Week 1

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Views: 506

Words: 1335

Pages: 6

Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 08/31/2011 12:21 AM

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I agree with all of your points and I also have some concerns about alternative fuels especially fuel generated from corn. Growing corn is a comprehensive process that requires pesticides, fertilizer, heavy equipment and transport. When we use ethanol, the total impact of all that activity needs to be taken into account. Some have said that it takes more energy to grow corn and distill it into alcohol than you can get out of the alcohol. Ethanol can be very corrosive and does not provide the same fuel efficiency as gasoline. I find it a hard concept that with the wide spread lack of food around the world, we are using corn to fuel ours cars so we can get to the beach.

In your opinion, what recent technology has produced the greatest benefit? Which has produced the greatest harm? Are there harmful elements to beneficial technologies? Beneficial elements to harmful technologies?

An emerging technology that can be beneficial as well as harmful is the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), that are operated by the Pentagon, the CIA and by the Border Patrol. These UAVs are equipped with camera and equipment that provide real-time reconnaissance and it can also be equipped with laser-guided missiles and bombs. The advantages of UAVs are they are smaller and less expensive then the planes they are replacing,$22 million apiece for next-generation UAVs vs $100 million apiece for its next-generation fighter jets. They do not require putting a person in danger to operate the plane and they can be piloted by individuals specifically trained to fly UAVs rather than by pilots which are less expensive.

The disadvantages of these UAVs are that more than 40% of the Pentagon's original fleet of Predators had crashed or been lost, mostly due to mechanical failure. The cameras have been unreliable and they have been proven to be noisy, slow, can not evade radar and, in combat, are vulnerable to ground fire. They often break down, can not stay over targets, lose communication...