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2010-02-04 14:07 来源:  纠错 打印 收藏   



TapeStore: A New Tape Storage System

  TapeStore is a new kind of tape storage system which can store up to 6,000 computer tapes. No other tape storage system can hold as many computer tapes as TapeStore. The tapes look exactly like video cassettes. Many hundreds of data files can be stored on each tape, up to a maximum of 500 million bytes (字节) of data. If you stored the same amount of information on paper, you would "need nearly 4.5 billion printed pages.

  The machine is a tall black box with a mechanical arm. The machine is 2.5 metres high and 3.0 metres wide. This is how it works. Each tape has a code printed on it. You feed the code number into TapeStore, which then looks for the code. As soon as TapeStore locates the code, the arm reaches in and pulls out the tape.

  The system is very fast. It takes the mechanical arm about 10 seconds to find the tape it is looking for. The machine then searches the tape to extract (提取) the required file, and this takes less than a minute. A human technician would have to locate and remove the tape by hand, and could take at least an hour to find the right file on the tape.

  Some of the world's biggest companies, including banks, insurance companies, airlines, telephone companies, utilities and computer centres, have bought the system.

  They like it particularly because the system guarantees the security of their data.

  TapeStore was originally developed in Canada and is now being marketed worldwide. In Europe alone, 750 have already been installed at a cost of 480,000 dollars each.

  1 TapeStore is better than any other storage system because

  A it can store more video cassettes.

  B itis extremely small.

  C it stores more tapes.

  D it stores data files on the same tape.

  2 The mechanical arm finds a tape by

  A recording the file name on the tape.

  B identifying the printed code on the tape

  C looking for its file name.

  D searching for the tape number.

  3 The TapeStore system is popular among big companies mainly because

  A it costs less than a skilled worker.

  B it looks impressive.

  C the information it stores is valuable.

  D it ensures the safety of their data.

  4 Which of the following statements about TapeStore is NOT true?

  A It can store a large amount of information.

  B It is very cheap.

  C It is very fast.

  D It is secure.

  5 The word "marketed' in the last paragraph can be replaced by

  A installed.

  B used.

  C promoted.

  D designed.


The Cherokee Nation

  Long before the white man came to America, the land belonged to the American Indian nations. The nation of the Cherokees lived in what is now the southeastern part of the United States.

  After the white man came, the Cherokees copied many of their ways. One Cherokee named Sequoyah saw how important reading and writing were to the white man. He decided to invent a way to write down the spoken Cherokee language. He began by making word pictures. For each word he drew a picture. But that proved impossible - there were just too many words. Then he took the 85 sounds that made up the language. Using his own imagination and an English spelling book, Sequoyah invented a sign for each sound. His alphabet proved amazingly easy to learn. Before long, many Cherokees knew how to read and write in their own language. By 1828, they were even printing their own newspaper.

  In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed a law. It allowed the government to remove Indians from their lands. The Cherokees refused to go. They had lived on their lands for centuries. It belonged to them. Why should they go to a strange land far beyond the Mississippi River?

  The army was sent to drive the Cherokees out. Soldiers surrounded their villages and marched them at gunpoint (在枪口的威胁下) into the western territory. The sick, the old and the small children went in carts, along with their belongings. The rest of the people marched on foot or rode on horseback. It was November, yet many of them still wore their summer clothes. Cold and hungry, the Cherokees were quickly exhausted by the hardships of the journey. Many dropped dead and were buried by the roadside. When the last group arrived in their new home in March 1839, more than 4,000 had died. It was indeed a march of death.

  6 The Cherokees used to live

  A by the roadside.

  B in the southeastern part of the US.

  C beyond the Mississippi River.

  D in the western territory.

  7 Which of the following statements about Sequoyah is NOT true?

  A He was imaginative.

  B He was an Indian.

  C He was a white man.

  D He wrote down the spoken Cherokee language.

  8 A law was passed in 1830 to

  A allow the Cherokees to stay where they were.

  B stop the Cherokees using their own language.

  C force the Cherokees to move westward.

  D forbid the Cherokees to print their own newspaper.

  9 The Cherokees went to their new lands

  A in carts.

  B on horseback.

  C on foot.

  D all of the above.

  10 The word "exhausted' in the last paragraph could be best replaced by

  A worn out.

  B ended up.

  C run out.

  D finished up.


Pool Watch

  Swimmers can drown in busy swimming pools when lifeguards fail to notice that they are in trouble. A report says that on average 15 people drown in British pools each year, but many more suffer major injury after getting into difficulties. Now a French company has developed an artificial intelligence system called Poseidon that sounds the alarm when it sees someone in danger of drowning.

  When a swimmer sinks towards the bottom of the pool, the new system sends an alarm signal to a poolside monitoring station and a lifeguard's pager (呼机). In trials at a pool in Ancenis, near Nantes, it saved a life within just a few months, says Alistair McQuade, a spokesman for its maker, Poseidon Technologies.

  Poseidon keeps watch through a network of underwater and overhead video cameras. AI software analyses the images to work out swimmers' trajectories (轨迹). To do this reliably, it has to tell the difference between a swimmer and the shadow of someone being cast onto the bottom or side of the pool.

  It does the same with an image from another camera viewing the shape from a different angle. If the two projections are in the same position, the shape is identified as a shadow and is ignored. But if they are different, the shape is a swimmer and so the system follows its trajectory.

  To pick out potential drowning victims, anyone in the water who starts to descend slowly is added to the software's "pre-alert" (预先警戒) list, says McQuade. Swimmers who then stay immobile on the pool bottom for 5 seconds or more are considered in danger of drowning. Poseidon double-checks that the image really is of a swimmer, not a shadow, by seeing whether it obscures (使模糊) the pool's floor texture when viewed from overhead. If so, it alerts the lifeguard, showing the swimmer's location on a poolside screen.

  The first full-scale Poseidon system will be officially opened next week at a pool in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. One man who is impressed with the idea is Travor Baylis, inventor of the clockwork (时钟装置) radio. Baylis runs a company that installs swimming pools - and he was once an underwater escapologist (脱身杂技演员) with a circus (马戏团). "1 say full marks to them if this works and can save lives," he says.

  11 AI means the same as

  A an image.

  B an idea.

  C anything immobile.

  D artificial intelligence

  12 To save a life, AI software must be able to

  A descend in the water.

  B videotape every movement.

  C distinguish between a swimmer and a shadow

  D save a life within a few months.

  13 How does Poseidon save a life?

  A It orders an underwater robot to rescue the drowning swimmer.

  B It alerts the lifeguard.

  C It displays the swimmer's shadow on the screen.

  D It watches the pool through dozens of overhead cameras.

  14 Which of the following statements about Travor Baylis is NOT true?

  A He owns a swimming pool.

  B He invented the clockwork radio.

  C He was once an entertainer.

  D He runs a company.

  15 How does Baylis look at the Poseidon system?

  A He thinks it is too expensive.

  B He thinks it is a good system.

  C He thinks it is not efficient enough.

  D He thinks it is as good as the British pool Watch system.


  1. C  2. B  3. D  4. B  5. C

  6. B  7. C  8. C  9. D  10. A

  11. D  12. C  13. B  14. A  15. B

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