Cloud Computing - Using Software on the Internet

Read and translate the texts. Write out the verbs used in Passive. Complete the tasks.

Silicon Valley - America's High Tech Centre

Silicon Valley is located in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay area, California. It originally got its name from the large number of companies that produced silicon chips. Today it is a general name for the high-tech industry of Northern California.

The beginning of Silicon Valley goes back to the early 20th century when the United States military and other companies started experimenting in the fields of radio, communications and electronics. The area also grew because Stanford and other universities and colleges produced a number of students who were interested in technology.

One of the first companies that started in Silicon Valley was Hewlett Packard. It was founded by two graduates of Stanford University in 1939. Today HP is the world’s largest technology company and operatesin almost all countries in the world.

After World War II an industrial park was built around Stanford University. Companies rented offices from the university and employed students as engineers and scientists.

In the 1950s the silicon transistor was developed and many companies started moving into the region. In the 1970s Silicon Valley became a well-known term in the United States because of the computer and software firms that were founded in the area. About a hundred new companies were established every year. Such growth was possible because people could found a company, get money and rent office space in only a few weeks.

Among the well known companies in the region are search engines Google and Yahoo!, chip producer Intel, computer and software manufacturers Apple and Adobe.

By 1992 Silicon Valley accounted for over 250,000 jobs and over 40% of California’s exports. Companies began calling in specialists from China and India because more and more high-tech scientists and engineers were needed.

When the Internet boom began in the 1990s a number of new so-called enterprises sprang up, including the online auction house eBay and others. When the boom collapsed at the beginning of the new millennium, thousands of high tech workers lost their jobs and couldn’t afford the high housing prices that the area produced.

But even after the global financial crisis of 2008 Silicon Valley remains one of the top research and high-tech centres in the world.

account for = насчитывать afford = позволить себе collapse = потерпеть крах, обрушиться call in = пригласить develop = развивать, разрабатывать establish = found = основывать, учреждать graduate = выпускник growth = рост locate = размещать operate = функционировать originally = изначально remain = оставаться rent = арендовать research = исследовать scientist = ученый spring up = появляться, быстро расти

Match the words from the text with their definition.

boom company
call in an increase or very quick rise in the economy of a country
establish someone who has finished a university
manufacturer computer chip enterprise to offer a job to
employ producer
online auction house a small piece of metal in radios and TVs that controls electricity
transistor the beginning of the next thousand years
field a website in which you can sell things to the person who offers the highest price
firm a company that works in the Internet business
graduate area
millennium to give work to
silicon chip set up, create

Answer the questions:

  1. Where is Silicon Valley situated?
  2. Why is it called “Silicon” Valley?
  3. When and how was it established?
  4. What did you learn about HP from the text?
  5. The silicon transistor was developed in the 1970s, wasn’t it?
  6. Why was the region growing quickly?
  7. Enumerate the well known companies located in Silicon Valley.
  8. When did enterprises spring up?
  9. Why did thousands of high tech workers lose their jobs at the beginning of the new millennium?

Cloud Computing - Using Software on the Internet

Cloud computing means using software that is installed on the Internet. You can also save your work on another computer instead of the hard drive of your own PC or laptop. Music, letters, presentations and other projects can be stored on clouds, data storage areas on giant servers on the Internet.

There are many so-called web applications that can do the same as normal desktop software. Google Documents, for example, gives you a text editor, a slide show application and a program for creating tables and diagrams. You can use these programs for free – from any computer all over the world.

Up to now web browsers were only used to search for information on the Internet and show it. But now they have become something like operating systems which can give you almost everything that you have on your own PC desktop.

Cloud computing can also be cheaper than buying expensive software. Many basic applications on the net are free, but you may have to pay to use some of the more complexprograms. Companies do not have to buy expensive software licenses for all their workers and computers do not have to be better and more powerful all the time because all you need is a simple web browser, like the Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Cloud computing allows people from different parts of the world to work on a project together. Teachers and pupils, for example, might work on the same text together. Companies around the world can work together on a single computer and do not have to send data back and forth.

There are, however, some things that make computer users skeptical. One of the big problems is security. With cloud computing, you give your data to someone else. Users are also worried that they might lose their data on other computers. In any case, cloud computing is marching forward and in a few years we may only be having a web browser running on our PCs.

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