The Technology Portal

A steam turbine with the case opened. Such turbines produce most of the electricity used today. Electricity consumption and living standards are highly correlated. Electrification is believed to be the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century.

Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is first robustly defined by Jacob Bigelow in 1829 as: "...principles, processes, and nomenclatures of the more conspicuous arts, particularly those which involve applications of science, and which may be considered useful, by promoting the benefit of society, together with the emolument [compensation ] of those who pursue them".

  • Principle is a term defined current-day by Merriam-Webster as: "a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption", "a primary source", "the laws or facts of nature underlying the working of an artificial device", "an ingredient (such as a chemical) that exhibits or imparts a characteristic quality".
  • Process is a term defined current-day by the United States Patent Laws (United States Code Title 34 - Patents) published by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) as follows: "The term 'process' means process, art, or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material."
  • Nomenclature is term defined by Merriam-Webster as: "name, designation", "the act or process or an instance of naming", "a system or set of terms or symbols especially in a particular science, discipline, or art".
  • Application of Science is a term defined current-day by the United States' National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine as: "...any use of scientific knowledge for a specific purpose, whether to do more science; to design a product, process, or medical treatment; to develop a new technology; or to predict the impacts of human actions."

The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the later Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, and the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, and the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale.

Technology has many effects. It has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions of the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, and the challenges of bioethics.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition.

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The Huolongjing (traditional Chinese: 火龍經; simplified Chinese: 火龙经; pinyin: Huǒ Lóng Jīng; Wade–Giles: Huo Lung Ching; rendered by its translator into English as Fire Drake Manual; in modern English, Fire Dragon Manual) is a 14th century military treatise that was compiled and edited by Jiao Yu and Liu Bowen of the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD) in China. It outlined the use of various 'fire–weapons' involving the use of gunpowder. The Huolongjing provided information for various gunpowder compositions, including 'magic gunpowder', 'poison gunpowder', or 'blinding and burning gunpowder'. It had descriptions of the Chinese hollow cast iron grenade bomb, shrapnel bombs, and bombs with poisonous concoctions. The book had descriptions of the 10th century Chinese fire arrow, a simple wooden arrow with a spherical soft casing attached to the arrow and filled with gunpowder, ignited by a fuse so that it was propelled forward (and provided a light explosion upon impact). However, the book explained how this simple 'fire arrow' evolved into the metal-tube-launched rocket. The book provided descriptions of various rocket launchers that launched tons of rockets at a time, the advent of the two-stage rocket having a booster rocket igniting a swarm of smaller ones that were shot from the mouth of a missile shaped like a dragon, and even fin–mounted winged rockets. The book described the use of explosive land mines and descriptions of explosive naval mines at sea and on the river; this incorporated the use of a complex trigger mechanism of falling weights, pins, and a steel wheellock to ignite the train of fuses. The book described various proto–guns including the fire lance (a short-burst flamethrower that emitted a charge of shrapnel), multiple metal barrel handguns (with up to ten barrels), and descriptions of handguns with possible serpentine locks, used as components in matchlock firearms. The book provided descriptions of the early bombard and cannon, including the use of hollow gunpowder–packed exploding cannonballs, cannon barrels filled with metal balls containing poisonous gunpowder solutions, and cannons that were mounted on wheeled carriages so that they could be rotated in all directions.

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One of the two identical Voyager probes

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J. Michael Straczynski

Featured biography

Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield
Albert Stanley, 1st Baron Ashfield (1874–1948) was managing director, then chairman of the Underground Electric Railways Company of London (UERL) from 1910 to 1933 and chairman of the London Passenger Transport Board (LPTB) from 1933 to 1947. At a young age, he held senior positions in the developing tramway systems of Detroit and New Jersey. In 1907, his management skills led to his recruitment by the UERL, which was struggling through a financial crisis. He quickly integrated the company's management and used advertising and public relations to improve profits. As managing director of the UERL from 1910, he led the take-over of competing underground railway companies and bus and tram operations to form an integrated transport operation known as the Combine. He was Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne from December 1916 to January 1920 and was President of the Board of Trade between December 1916 and May 1919. He returned to the UERL and then chaired it and its successor the LPTB during the organisation's greatest period of expansion between the two World Wars, making it a world-respected organisation considered an exemplar of the best form of public administration.


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Barack Obama

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4-14 Marines in Fallujah.jpg
Credit: Lance Corporal Samantha L. Jones, United States Marine Corps

The M198 howitzer is a modern artillery piece that has been in use by the militaries of United States and other nations since 1979.


Technology categories

Main topics


Technological aspect of idea concepts and issues – Appropriate technology •Clean technology •Diffusion of innovations in science •Doomsday device •Ecotechnology •Environmental technology •High technology •History of science and technology •History of technology •Industry • Innovation •Knowledge economy •Persuasion technology • Pollution •Posthumanism •Precautionary principle •Research and development •Science, technology, and society •Strategy of technology •Superpowers •Sustainable technology •Technocapitalism • Technocriticism •Techno-progressivism •Technological convergence • Technological evolution •Technological determinism •Technological diffusion • Technological singularity •Technology acceptance model • Technology assessment •Technology lifecycle • Technology transfer • Technology Tree •Technorealism •Timeline of invention •Transhumanism

Technologies and applied sciences –Aerospace • Agriculture, Agricultural science & Agronomy • Architecture • Artificial intelligence • Automation •Automobile • Big Science •Biotechnology • Cartography • Chemical engineering •Communication •Computing (Computer science, List of open problems in computer science, Programming, Software engineering, Information technology, Computer engineering) •Construction • Design • Electronics • Energy development • Energy storage • Engineering • Ergonomics • Firefighting •Forensics • Forestry • Free software •Health sciences • Health Informatics • Industry • Information science • Internet • Library and information science • Machines • Management •Manufacturing • Mass communication •Mass production •Medicine (Unsolved problems in neuroscience) • Military science • Military technology and equipment • Mining • Nanotechnology • Nuclear technology • Packaging and labeling •Processes •Robotics • Space exploration •Technology forecasting •Telecommunications • Tools • Transport •Vehicles • Weapons


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