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职称英语综合类阅读理解练习题19

2006-02-06 00:00   来源:       我要纠错 | 打印 | 收藏 | | |

  PASSAGE 43

  Will Quality Eat up the U.S. Lead in Software?

  If U.S. software companies don't pay more attention to quality, they could kiss their business good-bye. Both India and Brazil are developing a world-class software industry. Their weapon is quality and one of their jobs is to attract the top U.S. quality specialists whose voices are not listened to in their country.

  Already, of the world's 12 software houses that have earned the highest rating in the world, seven are in India. That's largely because they have used new methodologies rejected by American software specialists. For example, for decades, quality specialists, W. Edwards Deming and J. M. Juran had urged U.S. software companies to change their attitudes to quality. But their quality call mainly fell on deaf ears in the U.S. -but not in Japan. By the 1970s and 1980s, Japan was grabbing market share with better, cheaper products. They used Deming's and Juran's ideas to bring down the cost of good quality to as little as 5% of total production costs. In U.S. factories, the cost of quality then was 10 times as high: 50%. In software, it still is.

  Watts S. Humphrey spent 27 years at IBM heading up software production and then quality assurance. But his advice was seldom paid attention to. He retired from IBM in 1986. In 1987, he worked out a system for assessing and improving software quality. It has proved its value time and again. For example, in 1990 the cost of quality at Raytheon Electronics Systems was almost 60% of total software production costs. It fell to 15% in 1996 and has since further dropped to below 10%.

  Like Deming and Juran, Humphrey seems to be wining more praises overseas than at home. The India government and several companies have just founded the Watts Humphrey Software Quality Institute at the Software Technology Park in Chennai, India.

  Let's hope that U.S. lead in software will not be eaten up by its quality problems.

  EXERCISE:

  1. what country has more highest-rating companies in the world than any other country has?

  A) Germany.

  B) The U.S.

  C) Brazil

  D) India

  2. Which of the following statements about Humphrey is true?

  A) He is now still an IBM employer.

  B) He has worked for IBM for 37 years.

  C) The US pays much attention to his quality advice.

  D) India honors him highly.

  3. By what means did Japan grab its large market share by the 1970s and the 1980s?

  A) Its products were cheaper in price and better in quality.

  B) Its advertising was most successful.

  C) The US hardware industry was lagging behind .

  D) Japan hired a lot of India software specialists.

  4.What does the founding of the Watts Humphrey Software Quality Institute symbolize?

  A) It symbolizes the US determination to move ahead with its software

  B) It symbolizes the India ambition to take the lead in software.

  C) It symbolizes the Japanese efforts to solve the software quality problem.

  D) It symbolizes the Chinese policy on importing software.

  5.What is the writer worrying about?

  A) Many US software specialists are working for Japan.

  B) The quality problem has become a worldwide problem.

  C) The US will no longer be the first software player in the world.

  D) India and Japan are joining hands to compete with the US.

  Key: D D A B C

  PASSAGE 44

  High-speed Rail on Track

  If an agreement signed in a Germany works out, travelers of this Asian city may one day be able to zip from the downtown area to its new airport on a train riding a stream of magnetic energy at speeds up to 500 kilometres per hour.

  The 40-kilometers-trip ---now sometimes a long hour journey when the traffic is heavy-could be cut to less than 10 minutes.

  Such are the goals of a costly project designed to help to "shorten" the distance between the city center and the suburban busy airport by making it easier and faster to carry travelers to and back from the airport.

  The mayor of the city and Germany's Thyssen Krupp AG worked out an agreement in Berlin only several days ago that lays the groundwork for the magnetic levitation train line. They signed a commitment to carry out a feasibility study on the project and outlined the city's intention to import German technology. The project, once completed and acceptable to the two business parties, will be a double-win: the German company can benefit from exporting its technology and the city receiving German technology can improve its traffic and further strengthen its position as a cosmopolis.

  Called Maglev for short, the system under discussion makes use of a high-speed train levitated above a guideway and propelled by magnetic fields. The project has been in the talking stage for several months.

  Hans Ueberschaer, German's ambassador visited the city together with Harmut Heine, representative of Thyssen Krupp. They had an initial discussion with the mayor there about the prospect of the project. The talks were believed to be constructive and paved the way for the future talks in Berlin, where a commitment was reached.

  Sources familiar with the talks estimated that the project would cost US$723 million, which would cover everything from land use fees and rail construction to train cars. Completion date is 2005. A joint venture company is to be established for the project.

  EXERCISE:

  1. Who paved the way for further negotiations in Berlin?

  A) The mayor

  B) Both the German ambassador and the mayor.

  C) The German ambassador.

  D) The representative from the German company.

  2. What was the signed commitment mainly about?

  A) Finalizing the payment of US$723 million.

  B) Establishing a joint venture company.

  C) Conducting a feasibility study.

  D) Outlining the German company's intention to export its technology.

  3. What is the main feature of Maglev?

  A) The Maglev train "floats" above the guideway and zip to its destination.

  B) The Maglev train zips to its destination on the railway.

  C) The Maglev train zips to its destination on a double guideway.

  D) The Maglev train can carry more passengers than the electric train.

  4. How large will be the success rate of the agreement signed by the two business parties according to the passage?

  A) It is very likely that the city will have a German-built Maglev line.

  B) It is very likely that Krupp will ban the export of its technology.

  C) It is very likely that the city cannot afford the high payment.

  D) It is very likely that the city will turn to buy US technology.

  5. What type of writing do you think this passage belongs to?

  A) An article on popular science.

  B) An article taken from a transportation book.

  C) A commercial contract.

  D) A news report.

  KEY: B C A A D

  PASSAGE 45

  Unidentified Flying Object

  Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) is any object or light, reportedly sighted in the sky, that cannot be immediately explained by the observer. Sightings of unusual flying objects date back to ancient times, but UFOs (sometimes called flying saucers) became widely discussed only after the first widely publicized U.S. sighting in 1947. Many thousands of such observations have since been reported worldwide.

  At least 90 percent of UFO sightings can be identified as conventional objects, although time-consuming investigations are often necessary for such identification. The objects most often mistaken for UFOs are bright planets and stars, aircraft, birds, balloons, kites, aerial flares, peculiar clouds , meteors, and satellites. The remaining sightings most likely can be attributed to other mistaken sightings or to inaccurate reporting, tricks, or delusions, although to disprove all claims made about UFOs is impossible.

  From 1947 to 1969 the U.S. Air Force investigated UFOs as a possible threat to national security. A total of 12,618 reports were received, of which 701 reports, or 5.6 percent, were listed as unexplained. The air force concluded that "no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security". Since 1969 no agency of the U.S. government has had any active program of UFO investigation.

  Some persons, however, believe that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft, even though no scientifically valid evidence supports that belief. The possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations is not the stumbling block; most scientists grant that intelligent life may well exist elsewhere in the universe. A fully convincing UFO photograph has yet to be taken, however, and the scientific method requires that highly speculative explanations should not be adopted unless all of the more ordinary explanations can be ruled out.

  Called Maglev for short, the system under discussion makes use of a high-speed train levitated above a guideway and propelled by magnetic fields. The project has been in the talking stage for several months.

  Hans Ueberschaer, German's ambassador visited the city together with Harmut Heine, representative of Thyssen Krupp. They had an initial discussion with the mayor there about the prospect of the project. The talks were believed to be constructive and paved the way for the future talks in Berlin, where a commitment was reached.

  Sources familiar with the talks estimated that the project would cost US$723 million, which would cover everything from land use fees and rail construction to train cars. Completion date is 2005. A joint venture company is to be established for the project.

  EXERCISE:

  1. Who paved the way for further negotiations in Berlin?

  A) The mayor

  B) Both the German ambassador and the mayor.

  C) The German ambassador.

  D) The representative from the German company.

  2. What was the signed commitment mainly about?

  A) Finalizing the payment of US$723 million.

  B) Establishing a joint venture company.

  C) Conducting a feasibility study.

  D) Outlining the German company's intention to export its technology.

  3. What is the main feature of Maglev?

  A) The Maglev train "floats" above the guideway and zip to its destination.

  B) The Maglev train zips to its destination on the railway.

  C) The Maglev train zips to its destination on a double guideway.

  D) The Maglev train can carry more passengers than the electric train.

  4. How large will be the success rate of the agreement signed by the two business parties according to the passage?

  A) It is very likely that the city will have a German-built Maglev line.

  B) It is very likely that Krupp will ban the export of its technology.

  C) It is very likely that the city cannot afford the high payment.

  D) It is very likely that the city will turn to buy US technology.

  5. What type of writing do you think this passage belongs to?

  A) An article on popular science.

  B) An article taken from a transportation book.

  C) A commercial contract.

  D) A news report.

  KEY: B C A A D

  PASSAGE 45

  Unidentified Flying Object

  Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) is any object or light, reportedly sighted in the sky, that cannot be immediately explained by the observer. Sightings of unusual flying objects date back to ancient times, but UFOs (sometimes called flying saucers) became widely discussed only after the first widely publicized U.S. sighting in 1947. Many thousands of such observations have since been reported worldwide.

  At least 90 percent of UFO sightings can be identified as conventional objects, although time-consuming investigations are often necessary for such identification. The objects most often mistaken for UFOs are bright planets and stars, aircraft, birds, balloons, kites, aerial flares, peculiar clouds , meteors, and satellites. The remaining sightings most likely can be attributed to other mistaken sightings or to inaccurate reporting, tricks, or delusions, although to disprove all claims made about UFOs is impossible.

  From 1947 to 1969 the U.S. Air Force investigated UFOs as a possible threat to national security. A total of 12,618 reports were received, of which 701 reports, or 5.6 percent, were listed as unexplained. The air force concluded that "no UFO reported, investigated, and evaluated by the Air Force has ever given any indication of threat to our national security". Since 1969 no agency of the U.S. government has had any active program of UFO investigation.

  Some persons, however, believe that UFOs are extraterrestrial spacecraft, even though no scientifically valid evidence supports that belief. The possibility of extraterrestrial civilizations is not the stumbling block; most scientists grant that intelligent life may well exist elsewhere in the universe. A fully convincing UFO photograph has yet to be taken, however, and the scientific method requires that highly speculative explanations should not be adopted unless all of the more ordinary explanations can be ruled out.

  UFO enthusiasts persist, however, and some persons even claim to have been captured and taken aboard UFO's. No one has produced scientifically acceptable proof of these claims. Behavioral scientist Carl Sagan once proposed that "certain psychological needs are met by belief in superior beings from other worlds".

  1. What is the significance of the UFO sighting in 1947 according to the passage?

  A) It was the first evidence showing the existence of intelligent life outside Earth.

  B) It helped to explain some sightings of unusual events occurring in the sky.

  C) It aroused widespread interest in unidentified flying objects in the sky.

  D) It started off a new era of flying saucers in the United States.

  2. The second paragraph of the passage focuses on

  A) some explanations about UFO sightings.

  B) different kinds of UFOs reported.

  C) people's negative reaction to UFOs.

  D) interesting claims made about UFOs.

  3. According to the passage, which of the following about the UFO investigation by the U.S. Air Force is NOT true?

  A) About 84 percent of the UFO reports received were explained.

  B) UFOs were once regarded as a potential danger to national safety.

  C) There was no evidence that the U.S. was being threatened by the reported UFOs.

  D) No hard evidence supported the existence of UFOs.

  4. According to the passage, the belief that some UFOs are spaceships from some extraterrestrial civilizations

  A) has been supported by a convincing UFO photograph.

  B) would be accepted if it met the requirements of the scientific method.

  C) has been regarded as some kind of creative thinking.

  D) Has ruled out other explanations about the origin of UFOs.

  5. Why did Carl Sagan think there are so many UFO enthusiasts?

  A) The belief in UFOs gives them psychological satisfaction.

  B) The explanation that UFOs are only conventional objects is not attractive.

  C) They are strongly influenced by science fiction and science fiction films.

  D) Curiously makes them accept the speculative explanations about UFOs.

  Key: CCABA

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