Muffin Man has more than 2，000 songs on his hard drive， and he's happy to share them. He's a big fan of bands like Pearl Jam and the White Stripes， so there's plenty of hard rock in his collection.
But chances are you'll never get to it. The 21-year-old pizza cook， who asked to be identified by his online nickname， makes his songs available only through private file-sharing networks known as darknets. Unlike such public networks as Kazaa or Morpheus， which let you share songs with anyone， private networks operate more like underground nightclubs or secret societies. To gain access， you need to know the name of the group and a password. And the only way to get that information is from another member who invites you in. Some darknets even encrypt files and mask your identity within a group to keep eavesdroppers from finding out who you are and what you are sharing.
It's a handy invention now that the recording industry has taken to suing kids who share music online. But darknets are not just for digital music files. Carving out a bit of privacy online has wide appeal; students， community groups and even political dissidents can use these hidden networks to share projects， papers and information. One part of the allure is anonymity; the other is exclusivity. Since participation is limited， file searches don't turn up a lot of junk or pornography. Darknets offer the convenience of the Web without a lot of the bad stuff.
You need special software to start a darknet of your own. The two most popular programs are Direct Connect by NeoModus (at neomodus.com) and an open-source variation of it called DC++， available at sourceforge.net. More than 800，000 copies of DC++ have been downloaded since mid-July. A third program， called Waste (also at sourceforge.net)， automatically encrypts files but is much harder to use.
There are no good estimates of how many people use darknets. Lowtec， a college sophomore studying computer engineering， figures that 10% of the students at his school (which he declined to name) share files through Direct Connect. “It's much faster than Kazaa，” he says. That's because private networks typically link small， close-knit communities in which all members have superfast connections.
The recording industry so far hasn't put much effort into combatting the secret networks， but its neglect might not last long. If networks like Kazaa become too risky， darknets could quickly rise to take their place. And if that happens， the music industry could find itself chasing users who are that much harder to catch.
注(1)：本文选自Time;9/29/2003， p78-78， 2/3p， 1c;
注(2)：本文习题命题模仿对象2002年真题text 4第1、2题(1，2)，text 2第2 题(3)和text 3第4、5题(4，5);
1. From the first two paragraphs， we learn that__________.
[A] Muffin Man‘s songs will be available if you know his online nickname
[B] Outsiders can not visit darknets without the invitation from a member
[C] Kazaa is to darknets what police is to underground world
[D] It‘s impossible for people to find out your true identity on the darknets
2. Which of the following statements is true according to the text?
[A] Darknets are being accused by the recording industry of allowing kids to share music online.
[B] People use darknets to share music mainly.
[C] One advantage of darknets is that people can avoid reading unwanted information.
[D] Users of private networks are mostly students.
3. The word “allure” (Line 4， Paragraph 3) most probably means____________.
4. We can draw a conclusion from the text that ___________.
[A] darknets may become a headache of the music industry
[B] the age of darknets is within reach
[C] darknets may excel Kazaa in the number of its users very soon
[D] the music industry will lose the battle against darknets
5. From the text we can see that the write seems__________.
It is a devastating prospect. Terrorists electronically break into the computers that control the water supply of a large American city， open and close valves to contaminate the water with untreated sewage or toxic chemicals， and then release it in a devastating flood. As the emergency services struggle to respond， the terrorists strike again， shutting down the telephone network and electrical power grid with just a few mouse clicks. Businesses are paralysed， hospitals are overwhelmed and roads are gridlocked as people try to flee.
This kind of scenario is invoked by doom-mongers who insist that stepping up physical security since the September 11th attacks is not enough. Road-blocks and soldiers around power stations cannot prevent digital terrorism. “Until we secure our cyber-infrastructure， a few keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the economy and endanger lives，” Lamar Smith， a Texas congressman， told a judiciary committee in February. He ended with his catchphrase： “A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb.” Is he right?
It is true that utility companies and other operators of critical infrastructure are increasingly connected to the Internet. But just because an electricity company's customers can pay their bills online， it does not necessarily follow that the company's critical control systems are vulnerable to attack. Control systems are usually kept entirely separate from other systems， for good reason. They tend to be obscure， old-fashioned systems that are incompatible with Internet technology anyhow. Even authorised users require specialist knowledge to operate them. And telecoms firms， hospitals and businesses usually have contingency plans to deal with power failures or flooding.
A simulation carried out in August by the United States Naval War College in conjunction with Gartner， a consultancy， concluded that an “electronic Pearl Harbour” attack on America's critical infrastructure could indeed cause serious disruption， but would first need five years of preparation and $200m of funding. There are far simpler and less costly ways to attack critical infrastructure， from hoax phone calls to truck bombs and hijacked airliners.
On September 18th Richard Clarke， America's cyber-security tsar， unveiled his long-awaited blueprint for securing critical infrastructure from digital attacks. It was a bit of a damp squib， making no firm recommendations and proposing no new regulation or legislation. But its lily-livered approach might， in fact， be the right one. When a risk has been overstated， inaction may be the best policy.
It is difficult to avoid comparisons with the “millennium bug” and the predictions of widespread computer chaos arising from the change of date to the year 2000. Then， as now， the alarm was sounded by technology vendors and consultants， who stood to gain from scare-mongering. But Ross Anderson， a computer scientist at Cambridge University， prefers to draw an analogy with the environmental lobby. Like eco-warriors， he observes， those in the security industry——be they vendors trying to boost sales， academics chasing grants， or politicians looking for bigger budgets——have a built-in incentive to overstate the risks.
Economist; 10/26/2002， Vol. 365 Issue 8296， p19， 3/4p， 1c
注(1)：本文选自Economist;10/26/2002， p19， 3/4p， 1c;
注(2)：本文习题命题模仿对象1999年真题text 2 (1，2，3，5)和2001年真题text 5第3题(4);
1. We learn from the first paragraph that ____________.
[A] terrorists could plunge a large American city into chaos through electronic attack
[B] American people have no experience in dealing with terrorists
[C] the computer systems of utility companies are rather vulnerable
[D] the response of emergency services is far from satisfactory
2. Speaking of the doom-mongers， the author implies that_____________.
[A] their worries are quite reasonable
[B] their warnings should be taken seriously
[C] they exaggerate the threat utility companies are facing
[D] they are familiar with they way terrorists strike
3. In the view of Gartner consultant， ___________.
[A] terrorists may launch another “Pearl Harbor” attack
[B] terrorists have ample capital and time to prepare a stunning strike
[C] it is very costly and time-consuming to attack critical infrastructure
[D] it is unlikely that terrorists would resort to electronic means to attack critical infrastructure
4.“Lily-livered approach” (Line 4， Paragraph 5) probably means an approach
5. We learn from the last paragraph that__________.
[A] the computer industry suffered heavy loss due to the “millennium bug”
[B] doom-mongers care more about their own interests than national security
[C] computer scientists have better judgment than doom-mongers
[D] environmentalists are criticized for their efforts of protecting environment
Assistants in record shops are used to receiving “humming queries”： a customer comes into the store humming a song he wants， but cannot remember either the title or the artist. Knowledgeable staff are often able to name that tune and make a sale. Hummers， though， can be both off-key and off-track. Frequently， therefore， the cash register stays closed and the customer goes away disappointed. A new piece of software may change this. If Online Music Recognition and Searching (OMRAS) is successful， it will be possible to hum a half-remembered tune into a computer and get a match.
OMRAS， which has just been unveiled at the International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval， in Paris， is the brainchild of a group of researchers from the Universities of London， Indiana and Massachusetts. Music-recognition programs exist already， of course. Mobile-phone users， for instance， can dial into a system called Shazam， hold their phones to a source of music， and then wait for the title and artist to be texted back to them.
Shazam and its cousins work by matching sounds directly to recordings， several million of them， stored in a central database. For Shazam to make a match， though， the music source must be not just similar to， but actually identical with， one of the filed recordings. OMRAS， by contrast， analyses the music. That means it can make a match between different interpretations of the same piece. According to Mark Sandler， the leader of the British side of the project， the program would certainly be able to match performances of the same work by an amateur and a professional pianist. It should also pass the humming-query test.
The musical analysis performed by OMRAS is unlike any that a musicologist would recognise. A tune is first digitised， so that it can be processed. It is then subject to such mathematical indignities as wavelet decomposition， multi-resolution Fourier analysis， polyphase filtering and discrete cosine transformation. The upshot is a mathematical model of the sound that contains the essence of the original， without such distractions as style and quality. That essence can then be compared with a library of known essences and a match made. Unlike Shazam， only one library reference per tune is needed.
So far， Dr Sandler and his colleagues have been restricted to modelling classical music. Their 3，000-strong database includes compositions by Bach， Beethoven and Mozart. Worries about copyright mean that they have not yet gained access to company archives of pop music， though if the companies realise that the consequence of more humming queries being answered is more sales， this may change. On top of that， OMRAS could help to prevent accidental copyright infringements， in which a composer lifts somebody else's work without realising his inspiration is second-hand. Or， more cynically， it will stop people claiming that any infringement was accidental. There is little point in doing that when a quick check on the Internet could have set your mind at rest that your magnum opus really was yours.
注(1)：本文选自Economist;10/19/2002， p77， 2/3p， 1c;
注(2)：本文习题命题模仿对象2000年真题text 3第1题(1)，2001年真题text 4第2题(2)，2004年真题text 3第4题(3);2003年真题text 1第4题(4)，2002年真题text 3第5题(5);
1. The passage is mainly__________.
[A] a comparison of two music-recognition programs
[B] an introduction of a new software
[C] a survey of the music recognition and searching market
[D] an analysis of the functions of music recognition softwares
2. According to the author， one of the distinctive features of OMRAS is________.
[A] its ability to analyze music
[B] its large database
[C] its matching speed
[D] its ability to match music of different pieces
3. The word “upshot” (Line 4， Paragraph 4) most probably means_________.
[A] last step
[B] final result
4. We can learn from the last paragraph that__________.
[A] OMRAS will facilitate copyright infringements
[B] OMRAS researchers are fans of classical music
[C] composers can get more inspiration with the help of OMRAS
[D] music companies are yet to realize the value of OMRAS
5. From the text we can see that the writer seems__________.
“The creation of the PC is the best thing that ever happened，” said Bill Gates at a conference on “digital dividends” in 2000. He even wondered if it might be possible to make computers for the poor in countries without an electric power grid. The answer is yes， and things are going even further. Villagers in a remote region of Laos that has neither electricity nor telephone connections are being wired up to the Internet.
Lee Thorn， the head of the Jhai Foundation， an American-Lao organisation， has been working for nearly five years in the Hin Heup district. The foundation has helped villagers build schools， install wells and organise a weaving co-operative. But those villagers told Mr Thorn that what they needed most was access to the Internet. To have any hope of meeting that need， in an environment which is both physically harsh and far removed from technical support， Mr Thorn realised that a robust computer was the first requirement.
He therefore turned to engineers working with the Jhai Foundation， who devised a machine that has no moving， and few delicate， parts. Instead of a hard disk， the Jhai PC relies on flash-memory chips to store its data. Its screen is a liquid-crystal display， rather than an energy-guzzling glass cathode-ray tube——an exception to the rule that the components used are old-fashioned， and therefore cheap. (No Pentiums， for example， just a 486-type processor.) Mr Thorn estimates that， built in quantity， each Jhai PC would cost around $400. Furthermore， because of its simplicity， a Jhai PC can be powered by a car battery charged with bicycle cranks——thus removing the need for a connection to the grid.
Wireless Internet cards connect each Jhai PC to a solar-powered hilltop relay station which then passes the signals on to a computer in town that is connected to both the Lao phone system (for local calls) and to the Internet. Meanwhile， the Linux-based software that will run the computers is in the final stages of being “localised” into Lao by a group of expatriates in America.
One thing that the new network will allow villagers to do is decide whether it is worth going to market. Phon Hong， the local market town， is 30km away， so it is worth knowing the price of rice before you set off to sell some there. Links farther afield may allow decisions about growing crops for foreign markets to be taken more sensibly——and help with bargaining when these are sold. And there is also the pleasure of using Internet telephony to talk to relatives who have gone to the capital， Vientiane， or even abroad.
If it works， the Jhai PC and its associated network could be a widespread success. So far， the foundation has had expressions of interest from groups working in Peru， Chile and South Africa. The prototype should be operational in Laos this December and it， or something very much like it， may soon be bridging the digital divide elsewhere as well.
注(1)：本文选自Economist;9/28/2002， p76， 2/3p， 1c;
注(2)：本文习题命题模仿对象2003年真题text 2第1题(1)，2002年真题text 4地1、2题(2，4)，text 3第4题(5)，1998年真题text 2第4题(3);
1. The author begins his article with Bill Gate‘s words to________.
[A] show the great prospect of the PC in improving people‘s life
[B] catch people‘s attention to the importance of the PC
[C] reveal a project that creates miracle
[D] prove the PC can do things even beyond imagination
2. From the second paragraph， we learn that_____________.
[A] villagers are isolated from the outside world
[B] Lee‘s work is to improve the life of people living in the countryside
[C] the harsh environment keeps Lee from doing better job
[D] engineers have moved to far-away towns due to the poverty of the villages
3. Which of the following is NOT a feature of Jhai PC?
[D] low cost
4. Which of the following statements is true according to the text?
[A] The Jhai PC has no expensive parts.
[B] The Jhai PC is powered by solar energy.
[C] The project has gained support from non-resident Laotians.
[D] The software that runs the Jhai PC is a local product.
5. We can draw a conclusion from the text that___________.
[A] Mr. Thorn‘s project may produce a far-reaching influence
[B] the Jhai PC is revolutionizing the PC industry
[C] South Africa is as poor as Laos
[D] digital divide is something caused by pc and network
Las Vegas， where every born loser is told he is a potential winner， has always had a way with words. Prostitution is technically illegal in the city. But a private “dance” in one's hotel room is not——even if that's just a euphemism for what a “Hot Nude Blonde” does to cheer up a visiting conventioneer.
How exactly these private dancers know which hotel rooms to visit， though， has become a thorny question. On March 14th， as The Economist went to press， a hearing began at the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to investigate a complaint brought by Eddie Munoz against Central Telephone， a local subsidiary of Sprint. Mr Munoz operates an in-room “adult entertainment” service. He also publishes the Las Vegas Informer， a free paper that lists telephone numbers for his dancing troupe.
He alleges that rival operators have hacked into the Las Vegas telephone network and systematically diverted calls made from hotel rooms to the numbers listed in the Informer to their own services. These rivals then send out their own entertainers to do the dancing——and to collect the fees that should rightfully be his. Mr Munoz says that in the heady days of the early 1990s he was making $20，000 a month from his cut of the money earned by his dancers.
Telephone firms habitually deny that hackers can break in. Sprint maintains that it “has neither found nor been presented with any evidence to date that calls have been diverted”。 Others are not so sure. Hilda Brauer， who protested that call-poachers had driven her “Sexy Girls” service out of business， brought a lawsuit against Sprint and her rivals in 1998， but dropped it when her money ran out. In 1998 the FBI arrested six gangsters who were scouring Las Vegas to recruit a telephone hacker they believed was working for a successful call-girl service (although nobody found him)。
Mr Munoz has now hired Kevin Mitnick， a hacker who boasted last year to SecurityFocus， an online technology journal， that he used to break into Las Vegas switching systems. Mr Mitnick has diverted Mr Munoz's telephone lines to an office in Los Angeles; a temp there relays the requests for dancers back to Mr Munoz in Las Vegas. The aim is to cut Sprint out of the loop.
The hearings may shed more light on how the world's oldest profession has taken phone-hacking in its well-practised stride. And then， no doubt， as the fuss dies down， it will discreetly dim the lights and get on with business as usual.
注(1)：本文选自Economist;3/16/2002， p36-36， 1/3p;
注(2)：本文习题命题模仿对象2002年真题text 4第1题(1)，text 3第5题(5)，第4题(4);2001年真题text2第2题(2);2004年真题text 1第3题(3);
1. From the first paragraph we learn that in Las Vegas_________________.
[A] prostitution is strictly prohibited
[B] prostitution goes on in the name of private dance
[C] private dance has taken the place of prostitution
[D] people lose money more often than they win
2. Mr. Munoz made the complaint because____________.
[A] the local telephone company failed to provide satisfactory service
[B] his rivals competed with him through illegal means
[C] his dancers stopped dancing for him
[D] he could no longer collect fees from his dancing troupe
3. The word “call-poacher” (Line 3， Paragraph 4) most probably means __________.
[A] a person who breaks in other people‘s telephone conversations
[B] a person who eavesdrops other people‘s telephone conversations
[C] a person who harasses others by making telephone calls
[D] a person who diverts other people‘s telephone calls
4. We can draw a conclusion from the text that_____________.
[A] the competition in call-girl service is a fierce one
[B] public attention on the hearings will last for a relatively long period
[C] people know very little about the world‘s oldest profession
[D] telephone-hacking will be used less due to the hearings
5. The author‘s attitude towards the issue seems to be ___________.
Bragging about your fancy new cell phone is a fleeting pleasure; after all， today's coolest models tend to be next month's paperweights. By contrast， the half-life of a cordless phone for the home is measured in years. So if you really want to be ahead of the tech curve， forget the cell-phone wars and check out the new 5.8-GHz cordless phones.
Named after the frequency of the radio wave (measured in billions of cycles per second) that carries the signal between the handset and the base station， 5.8-GHz phones promise more clarity because there are fewer devices that operate on the same frequency and thus fewer to cause interference. If you have a cordless phone that is a couple of years old or even a new one that costs less than $50， chances are it is a 900-MHz model that is highly susceptible to static or buzzing from baby monitors， wireless speaker systems and your neighbors' 900-MHz phones. The newer 2.4-GHz units， introduced as an improvement over the 900-MHz models， do get less static， but wireless home networks and microwave ovens can still trigger a snap-crackle-pop effect. Not so the 5.8 GHz. So far， only a few companies sell the new models， and they don't come cheap. Uniden's TRU5865 costs $149， while the Vtech 5831 is $179. I preferred the Uniden because it was static free both inside my apartment and up to a block away. Its compact design hides the antenna inside the handset， and the glowing orange keys and display look sharp. The VTech got equally clear reception indoors， but I could stray only a few buildings down the block before buzzing set in.
But is it really worth an extra $100 (or more) to step up to 5.8 GHz? Maybe. When I tried out the Panasonic KX-TC1481B， a $39 900-MHz model， I could hear other conversations and even music coming through the phone. I got much clearer reception with the Motorola MA351， a $60 2.4-GHz model——except when I turned on my microwave oven and was assaulted by weird vibrating noises coming through the handset. Still， the Motorola is a decent option at a fair price.
No matter which kind of phone you're considering， a few other factors are worth keeping in mind. First， ask about battery life. While I liked the reception best on the Uniden， for example， it can go only four hours between charges vs. eight on the Vtech.
Next， find out if the phone is analog or digital. Both 5.8-MHz phones are digital， but that's not always the case with the models that use other frequencies， and this makes them an easier target for eavesdroppers. The best digitals use digital spread-spectrum (DDS) technology， which sends the signal down a broad range of frequencies to ensure that it gets through.
Finally， shop at a store that offers a money-back guarantee. That way you can torture test the phone for a few days. Then， once you're certain everything's O.K.， go ahead and start bragging about it to all your friends.
注(1)：本文选自Time; 12/2/2002， p104， 3/4p， 3c;
1. How does the author introduce the topic?
[A]Explaining a phenomenon.
[B]Justifying an assumption.
[C]Posing a contrast.
[D]Making a comparison.
2. Which of the following can be an advantage of Vtech over Uniden?
[A]A longer battery life.
[B]Free of static interference.
3. The expression “susceptible to”(Line 5， Paragraph 2) most probably means __________.
4. What is the most distinctive feature of 5.8-GHz phones?
[C]More attractive model.
[D]No easier target for eavesdroppers.
5. Which of the following is true according to the text?
[A]It is worthwhile to buy any of 5.8-GHz phones.
[B]Battery life determines your selection of the phone.
[C]The earlier you bought the phone， the more static interference you got.
[D]5.8-GHz phones are becoming popular with consumers.