A Crush On Mobile # Practice Reading

Source : http://www.economist.com/news/business/21677651-big-merger-shows-where-money-heading-industry-crush-mobile

COMPARE “Candy Crush Saga” with the “Star Wars” franchise (the right or license granted by a company to an individual or group to market its products or services in a specific territory)and it comes as a shock (a sudden and violent blow or impact)that the casual (happening by chance)game’s creator, King Digital Entertainment, would sell for almost 50% more than the $4 billion that Disney paid for Lucas film in 2012. But in paying $5.9 billion in cash and stock for King on November 3rd Activision Blizzard, a giant (a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.;major figure; legend)in video games for computers and specialist (a person who devotes himself or herself to one subject or to one particular branch of a subject or pursuit)gaming consoles (to alleviate or lessen the grief, sorrow, or disappointment of; give solace or comfort), is doing more than buying another industry leader. Its purchase is an acknowledgment (recognition of the existence or truth of something)that the future of video games, and of gaming profits, is in mobile, where games are usually given away, and where their creators make money by selling extra features to the most enthusiastic (full of or characterized by enthusiasm)players.

Mobile games have been by far the fastest-growing part of the market in recent years, and have broader (of great extent; large) international (between or among nations; involving two or more nations) appeal (an earnest request for aid, support, sympathy, mercy, etc.; entreaty;petition; plea)because of the penetration (the obtaining of a share of a market for some commodity or service)of smartphones (a device that combines a cell phone with a hand-held computer,typically offering Internet access, data storage, email capability, etc.). By Activision’s reckoning (count), worldwide revenues (the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses.)from mobile games will almost catch up with those from PC and console games by 2019, reaching $55 billion (up from an estimated $36 billion this year). PC and console games’ sales are projected to reach $57 billion by then.

With “Candy Crush Saga” in its arsenal (a collection or supply of anything; store), Activision will have one of the most successful (achieving or having achieved success)mobile games yet seen, access to an active monthly user base of nearly half a billion people and dozens of new foreign markets where smartphones, not consoles, are the game platforms of choice. Those users might enjoy mobile versions of some of Activision’s hits, like the “Guitar Hero” series. The combined company will become the world’s second-biggest in terms of video-gaming revenues, with close to $7 billion a year, placing it behind only Tencent, a Chinese gaming and social-media conglomerate (a corporation consisting of a number of subsidiary companies or divisions in a variety of unrelated industries, usually as a result of merger or acquisition).

Activision has flailed (an instrument for threshing grain, consisting of a staff or handle to one end of which is attached a freely swinging stick or bar)about in mobile gaming (even if it has had a recent hit with “Hearthstone”, a digital card game). Though King’s shares have weakened (not strong; liable to yield, break, or collapse under pressure or strain; fragile; frail)since it gave a profit warning in May this year, there are worries that Activision may be paying richly for its big move into mobile. James Gwertzman, the boss of Playfab, a provider of back-office technology for game developers, says it is not clear if Activision and King can add that much value to each other’s gaming platforms, in the way that Disney can exploit the “Star Wars” characters and stories across its various businesses.

There is also no guarantee (a promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc., or that it will perform satisfactorily for a given length of time)that King can establish another runaway success like “Candy Crush Saga”—although it has created a moderately (kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme,excessive, or intense)successful sequel in “Candy Crush Soda”—or that the flagship (a ship carrying the flag officer or the commander of a fleet, squadron,or the like, and displaying the officer’s flag)“Saga” game will remain a hit. The faddish (like a fad)mobile game of the moment, like, say Zynga’s “FarmVille”, can give way seemingly overnight (very quickly)to new franchise hits—in its case, to “Candy Crush Saga” itself.


IELTS Practice Reading # Does Flying Harm ?

Source : http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1654488,00.html


Given the rage (angry fury) that air travel can provoke (to anger, enrage, exasperate, or vex)in even the most tranquil (free from commotion or tumult; peaceful; quiet; calm)among us these days, it may be surprising (causing wonder)that riot (a noisy, violent public disorder caused by a group or crowd of persons,as by a crowd protesting against another group, a government policy,etc., in the streets)police aren’t a more regular feature at airports. But Sunday’s pitched (to set at a certain point)battle between roughly 500 environmental activists and a phalanx ( a group of heavily armed infantry formed in rank sand files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping)of baton-wielding police at London’s Heathrow airport wasn’t about long lines, delays, lost luggage or missed connections. Instead, the protesters (an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, oftenin opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid)— who had demonstrated outside Heathrow all of last week — were trying to draw travelers’ attention to the impact on climate change of the carbon gases emitted by the aircraft in which they fly. A placard (a paperboard sign or notice, as one posted in a public place or carriedby a demonstrator or picketer)from one activist at Heathrow expressed it thus: “You Fly, They Die.”

Airplanes operate on petroleum fuel, which means they release large amounts of carbon dioxide when they fly. Commercial (able to yield or make a profit)air travel is currently responsible for a relatively tiny part of the global carbon footprint —just 3.5% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But the unique chemistry of high-altitude jet emissions (an act or instance of emitting)may produce an additional warming effect, while the explosive (tending or serving to explode)growth in air travel makes it one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon gases in the atmosphere. And unlike energy or automobiles, where carbon-free or lower-carbon alternatives (a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things,propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility)already exist, even if they have yet to be widely adopted, there is no low-carbon way to fly, and there likely won’t be for decades.


IELTS Reading Sample # Imaging Live Tissue


Human breast cancer sample in situ: proteins (green), DNA (magenta), and fat (yellow)PURDUE UNIVERSITY, CHIEN-SHENG LIAOA type of imaging that can capture the activity of proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and other molecules in some living tissues without the need for fluorescent (the emission of radiation, especially of visible light, by a substance during exposure to external radiation, as light or x-rays.)labels has been in the works in the last decade. But while this technique, called in vivo vibrational (the oscillating, reciprocating, or other periodic motion of a rigid or elastic body or medium forced from a position or state of equilibrium)spectroscopic (an optical device for producing and observing a spectrum of light or radiation from any source, consisting essentially of a slit through which the radiation passes, a collimating lens, and an Amici prism.) imaging (the use of computerized axial tomography,sonography, or other specialized techniques and instruments to obtain pictures of the interior of the body, especially those including soft tissues.), can be used to visualize (to recall or form mental images or pictures)tissues without the need for fluorescent labels, it has still been too slow to be practical for most research (to search or search for again)and clinical applications.

love reading

love reading

Now, researchers (A researcher is someone who conducts research, i.e., an organized and systematic investigation into something. Scientists are often described as researchers.)at Purdue University in Indiana have made two major improvements (the action of improving or being improved)to the approach, making it fast enough to be used in real-time and allowing imaging of not just transparent but also thicker, turbid living tissues. The results are published today (October 30) in Science Advances.

“This is a very innovative ( featuring new methods)approach,” said Wei Min of the department of chemistry at Columbia University in New York City who was not involved in the study. “And the instrumentation (measuring instruments regarded collectively)the authors built is quite impressive (evoking admiration through size, quality, or skill; grand, imposing, or awesome).”

“This is good progress toward making this technique (a way of carrying out a particular task, especially the execution or performance of an artistic work or a scientific procedure)more practical,” said bioengineering (the use of artificial tissues, organs, or organ components to replace damaged or absent body parts)professor Stephen Boppart, who develops novel imaging modalities (a particular mode in which something exists or is experienced or expressed)at the University of Illinois and was not involved in the work. “The authors have made the acquisition (the learning or developing of a skill, habit, or quality)faster, allowing image collection in vivo and in highly photon scattering (the process in which electromagnetic radiation or particles are deflected or diffused)tissues.”

While fluorescence microscopy requires labeling a cellular component with a fluorophore, the appeal of in vivo vibrational spectroscopic ( the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. Historically, spectroscopy originated through the study of visible light dispersed according to its wavelength, by a prism)imaging is the ability to produce images that include most of the endogenous (having an internal cause or origin)molecules within tissues or cells without the need to label any cellular components. The original technique sends light through a sample, exciting the molecules in the sample to vibrate at distinct frequencies, which are then registered (enter or record on an official list or directory)as a spectrum or a pattern of peaks. For each pixel, a spectrum (a band of colours, as seen in a rainbow, produced by separation of the components of light by their different degrees of refraction according to wavelength)of frequencies (the rate at which something occurs over a particular period of time or in a given sample)is created and an image is compiled (produce (a list or book) by assembling information collected from other sources)by merging (combine or cause to combine to form a single entity)all of the spectra. A spectrometer (an apparatus used for recording and measuring spectra, especially as a method of analysis)collects the well-directed light that goes through the same, and separates it into its individual wavelengths (a person’s ideas and way of thinking, especially as it affects their ability to communicate with others)while excluding scattered photons—components of light—that decrease the resolution of the light’s spectrum. This method is limited to use for transparent (allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen.)and single-cell layer biological samples because nontransparent (not able to be seen through; opaque)samples, such as live tissue, scatter too many photons, resulting in poor resolution (the quality of being determined or resolute).

Source : http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/44382/title/Imaging-Live-Tissue-Without-Fluorescence/


IELTS Reading Course # President

Defying(to challenge the power of)predictions (foretell a future), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, the A.K.P., won a conclusive (convincing)victory (a success or triumph over an enemy in battle or war)in Sunday’s national elections in Turkey, freeing it from the need to form a coalition (a combination or alliance, especially a temporary one between persons, factions, states, etc.)to stay in power. Mr. Erdogan proclaimed (to announce or declare in an official or formal manner)it a vote “in favor of stability,” and that is what it apparently (readily seen)was — though it was Mr. Erdogan who churned (to be changing rapidly or be in a confused state)up much of the turmoil (a state of great commotion, confusion, or disturbance; tumult;agitation)that frightened (afraid)voters back into his camp.

reading is the key of learning

reading is the key of learning

Though the A.K.P. won about half the vote, it did not gain enough seats in Parliament to enable Mr. Erdogan to change the Constitution to create the strong executive (pertaining to or charged with the execution of laws and policies or the administration of public affairs)presidency he has sought since he assumed the office last year. But the A.K.P. majority will mean a continuation (extension or carrying to further point)of 12 years of one-party rule, and most probably a continuation of Mr. Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian (of or relating to a governmental or political system, principle, or practice in which individual freedom is held as completely subordinate to the power or authority of the state, centered either in one person or a small group that is not constitutionally accountable to the people)domination (the act or instance of dominating)of the Turkish government.

Mr. Erdogan engineered (a person who operates or is in charge of an engine)Sunday’s vote after the last elections, on June 7, not only failed to secure the seats he needed for his presidential scheme, but cost the A.K.P. its majority and allowed a pro-Kurdish coalition, the Peoples’ Democratic Party, to enter Parliament for the first time. Instead of helping to form a coalition government after that vote, Mr. Erdogan called for new elections.

In the intervening (to come between disputing people, groups, etc.)time Turkey resumed (to take up or go on with again after interruption) bombing attacks on Syrian Kurds and violence flared (to start up or burst out in sudden, fierce activity, passion, etc.)in the country’s volatile southeast. Opposition politicians were assailed (to attack vigorously or violently)and the government’s longstanding (existing or occurring for a long time) harassment (the act or an instance of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, or troubling repeatedly; persecution)of the news media reached new levels. On the eve of the election, the police raided (a sudden assault or attack, as upon something to be seized or suppressed)the last television channels critical of Mr. Erdogan, which had belonged to an Islamic movement that had gone from support of Mr. Erdogan to fierce opposition.

In the early years of A.K.P. rule, Mr. Erdogan had been hailed (to cheer, salute, or greet)in Europe and the United States as the face of moderate Islam. Turkey’s economy (the management of the resources of a community, country, etc.,especially with a view to its productivity)bloomed (to flourish or thrive), human rights improved as Turkey sought membership in the European Union and Mr. Erdogan achieved a cease-fire with Kurdish rebels (a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country). But much of that has been undermined (to weaken or cause to collapse by removing underlying support, as by digging away or eroding the foundation), and Mr. Erdogan has come under increasing criticism (the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything)in the West, as he has turned steadily toward authoritarian (favoring complete obedience or subjection to authority as opposed to individual freedom)rule, assisted by his ally (to associate or connect by some mutual relationship, as resemblance or friendship)and prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.


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