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问答题 Practice 4  Some critics believe that the very concept of intellectual property is mistaken. Unlike physical property, ideas are non-rivalrous goods that can be used by many people at the same time without making them any less useful. The term “intellectual property” was widely adopted only in the 1960s, as a way to bundle trademarks, copyrights and patents. Those critics argue that today’s rights are too strict and make the sharing of knowledge too expensive.  The paradox about intellectual property in IT and telecommunications is that it eases the exchange of technology and acts as a bottleneck for innovation at the same time. The whole system is in a stage of transformation. “Markets require institutions, and institutions take a long time to develop. Today, the institutions for a ‘market for technology’ are not well developed, and it is costly to use this market,” says a specialist.  Ideas are to the information age what the physical environment was to the industrial one: the raw material of economic progress. Just as pollution or an irresponsible use of property rights threatens land and climate, so an overly stringent system of intellectual-property rights risks holding back technological progress. Disruptive innovation that threatens the existing order must be encouraged, but the need to protect ideas must not be used as an excuse for greed. Finding the right balance will test the industry, policymakers and the public in the years ahead.

问答题 Practice 4  Bluetooth is the newest kid on the technology block, and it holds a lot of promise for the assistive technology industry. Named for a 10th Century King of Denmark who unified the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, Bluetooth is a shot-range wireless communication specification that promises to improve and increase electronic access to a number of environments by overcoming some of the obstacles typical of current technology. Bluetooth technology will enable devices to communicate and transfer data wirelessly and without the line-of-site issues of infra red technology.  So how does it work?  Bluetooth devices search each other out within their given operational range. Unlike devices that are wired together, Bluetooth devices do not have to be aware of the capabilities or properties of the devices to which they will connect beforehand. Bluetooth devices have a built-in mechanism that lets each device identify itself as well as its capabilities as it connects into this new Bluetooth network. This dynamic network does have a controlling device that designates itself as the master for the connection. Its programming and the capabilities necessary for the given task determine whether or not a device can be a master. For example, a cell phone may act as a master device when connecting to a headset, an ATM, or an information kiosk. However, the same cell phone or headset may act as a slave device to the information kiosk, now acting as the master device, broadcasting emergency evacuation information. The cell phone and kiosk can function in either capacity depending on the required function and their programming.

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