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Kindle Killers? The Boom in New E-ReadersA. Amazon, the online retailing giant, did more than any other company to turn the sale of digital books into a real business with the 2007 launch of the Kindle electronic reader. The company has sold an estimated 1.7 million units of the hand held device in the US, and it's getting ready to ship millions more. On Oct.6, Amazon announced that it would soon begin selling Kindles -- complete with a key feature that allows users to wirelessly download e-books from Amazon -- in more than 100 countries.
B. Success breeds imitators. Amazon is about to be attacked by a squadron of would-be Kindle killers being brought to market by some of the biggest names in consumer electronics and publishing. To complicate the increasingly competitive landscape even further, Apple and, according to rumor, Microsoft are working on tablet computers that could prove to be handy e-readers but with more functions and features, such as video display capability and full web browsers. "2009 is a breakout year fore-readers," says Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst with Forrester Research."But we're still in the early stages."
C. The early stages have lasted a longtime. E-readers have been around for more than a decade, but the devices weren't popular due to high cost, proprietary (專利的) display formats and the reluctance of book publishers to sell digital versions of their best-selling titles. Now, just as digital music was driven into the mainstream by Apple's iPod and iTunes, Amazon's Kindle andonline bookstore, which sells more than 350,000 titles, are proving there's amass market for e-books. Total industry revenue from digital-book downloads has risen 149% this year, according to the Association of American Publishers,while e-reader sales are expected to reach 3 million by Dec.31, according to For rester Research. Almost a million of the devices could be sold during the upcoming holiday season alone. In 2010, sales are projected to double, to 6 million.That kind of growth is hard to come by in the recession-wracked technology industry, and a crowd is starting to gather. Around the world, at least 17 e-readers are in development or already on the market.
D. Among the better-known entrants is Asustek -- the Taiwanese company of China practically invented the netbook category with its ASUS Eee-PC, and it is working on a product called the Eee-reader that it hopes to have on the market in time for Christmas. South Korea's two powerhouse consumer-electronics companies, Samsung and LG Electronics, are wading in too. Samsung earlier this year introduced a reader called the Papyrus in South Korea; reports circulating in the technology blogosphere say LG is developing a prototype with a large,11.5- inch (diagonal) flexible screen. Meanwhile, Japan's Fujitsu has released the world's first dedicated e-reader with a colour  screen, although so far the device is only available in Japan.
E. It isn't just tech companies that are joining the fray. Bricks-and-mortar bookseller Barnes & Noble, which in the US offers access to 750,000 e-books on its website, is rumored to be pondering the development of its own e-reader to rival the Kindle. (The retailer already has a partnership to sell e-readers made by IREX, a spin-off of Holland's Royal Philips Electronics.)
Major newspaper and magazine publishers,which are suffering mightily from the loss of subscribers and advertisers to the recession and the Internet, are also getting involved. News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Wall Street Journal, is reportedly considering a deal with Japanese consumer-electronics giant Sony, which in 2004 introduced the first commercially viable e-reader, to use a black-and-white display technology called electronic ink (also used by the Kindle. Sony is rolling out a new family of e-readers, including a pocket- size version and one with a large screen that's geared toward newspapers and magazines.
F. One reason e-readers are getting traction is that competition is driving down prices. Amazon has cut the price of the Kindle by $100 over the past six months, to $259. As e-readers proliferate(激增) and price disparities narrow, manufacturers are trying to differentiate their products by adding features such as MP3 players and touch screens. The eSlick by Foxit,based in Fremont, Calif., allows users to listen to songs while reading .Asustek recently unveiled a prototype e-reader with two screens, which would more closely duplicate the traditional reading experience, although the devicethat the company expects to release later this year will have a single screen.
G. At the same time, new display technologies are emerging that promise to improve battery life and make devices more portable and easier to read. UK-based Plastic Logic hopes to introduce nextyear the first e-reader with a plastic screen that will reduce glare and be less prone to cracking when dropped by ham-fisted owners. Electronic-ink technology is set to move from black and white to colour by the end of 2010.Even video is on the horizon. "We'll see a range of models start to appear over the first half of 2010 offering a range of different reading and productivity experiences," says Neil Jones, CEO of UK-based In teread, which in May launched
a $249 e-reader called the COOL-ER.
H. Newcomers will have a hard time breaking Amazon's chokehold in the US, where the company controls 60% of the e-reader market, according to Forrester Research. But the edge Amazon gained when it launchedthe Kindle could be blunted by evolving technology and changing consumer needs.Currently, more people read e-books on their smart phones than they do on dedicated devices like e-readers.
I. And there's the looming threat posed by next-generation tablet computers. Apple, the king of cool handheld devices, is rumored to be readying a tablet computer with all the functions of a laptop aswell as iPhone-like touch capabilities for release early next year. Microsoft has been secretive about its plans for a tablet, but a video making the rounds of the blogosphere shows a dual-LCD-screen prototype that closes like a book."E-readers are a transitional technology," says Rotman Epps of Forrester Research. It means that just as the e-reader is taking off, it may be becoming obsolete.
1.[選詞填空]Now e-readers are easier to carry andread thanks to the emergence of new display technologies.
    • 解題思路:根據題目中的read和new display technologies將本題出處定位于G.段第l句。 G段第1句提到,新顯示技術的出現可以增加電池的使用壽命,并使得設備更加便攜,閱讀起來也更容易,本題正是對該句的轉述。題目中的easier to carry and read是對文more portable and easier to read的同義轉述。
    2.[選詞填空]According to the passage, soon afterOct.6, users of Kindles can download e-books from Amazon wirelessly.
      • 解題思路:根據題目中的Oct.6,users和download e-books from Amazon wire lessly將本題出處定位于A段第3句。 A段第3句提到,亞馬遜于10月6日宣布,公司很快將在100多個國家開始銷售“金讀”——該閱覽器完成了一項主要功能,即允許用戶從亞馬遜上無線下載電子書,由此可見.10月6日后不久, “金讀”用戶就能從亞馬遜上無線下載電子書,本題正是對該信息的轉述。題目中的soon after Oct.6對應文中的Oct.6…soon。
      3.[選詞填空]According to the author, to sell 6million e-readers in 2010 is unlikely.
        • 解題思路:根據題目中的sell 6 million和in 2010將本題出處定位于C段倒數第3句。 C段倒數第3句提到,在2010年,銷售量預計翻一番,達到600萬臺,其中sales在這里指的是電子閱覽器的銷售量。緊接著下一句提到,在科技產業不景氣的時期,這樣的增長速度是很難實現的。由此可知,作者認為在2010年銷售600萬臺閱覽器不太可能,本題正是對這一信息的轉述。題目中的unlikely對應文中的is hard tocome by。
        4.[選詞填空]The e-reader geared to News Corp. willuse the same display technology as the Kindle.
          • 解題思路:根據題目中的News Corp.和display technology將本題出處定位于E段倒數第2句。 E段倒數第2句提到,新聞集團……正在考慮和……索尼合作,索尼在2004年引進了首款具有商業價值的電子閱覽器。應用了叫做“電子墨水”的黑白顯示技術(“金讀”也應用了這項技術)。由括號內的also used by the Kindle可知,索尼為新聞集團制作的電子閱覽器所使用的顯示技術和“金讀”的是一樣的,本題正是對該信息的轉述。
          5.[選詞填空]As technology develops and consumerneeds change, the advantage the Kindle gave Amazon could no longer exist.
            • 解題思路:根據題目中的technology和consumer needs change將本題出處定位于H段第2句。 H段第2句提到, “金讀”的上市給亞馬遜帶來的領先優勢會由于新技術的更新和顧客需求的變化而變得不那么明顯,本題正是對該句的轉述。題目中的technology develops對應文中的evolving technology,consumer needs change對應changing consumer needs,the advantage the Kindle gave Amazon對應the edge Amazon gained when it launched the Kindle.no longer exist對應be blunted。
            6.[選詞填空]The tablet computer which Microsoft is developingis said to be more powerful than e-readers.
              • 解題思路:根據題目中的tablet computer和Microsoft將本題出處定位于B段第3句。 B段第3句提到,據說,微軟正在攻克的平板電腦也可以是手持電子閱覽器,而且具有更多的功能和特征。由此可推斷,微軟開發的平板電腦要比電子閱覽器的功能更強大,本題正是對該信息的轉述。題目中的more powerful是對文中with more functionsand features的概括。
              7.[選詞填空]Manufacturers are adding features suchas touch screens, to distinguish their e-readers from their rivals'.
                • 解題思路:根據題目中的manufacturers,adding features和such as touchscreens:to本題出處定位于F.段第3句。F。F段第3句提到,廠商們正在盡力通過增加一些諸如MP3播放功能或者觸摸屏功能的方式來使自己的產品與眾不同,本題正是對該句的轉述。題目中的to distinguish their e-readers from their rivals’與原文中的different ate their products同義。
                8.[選詞填空]We can learn from the passage thatAmazon released an electronic reader named Kindle in 2007.
                  • 解題思路:根據題目中的electronicreader,Kindle和2007將本題出處定位于A段第1句。 A段第1句提到,亞馬遜是電子零售業的巨頭,隨著2007年電子圖書閱覽器“金讀”的上市,該公司比同行業其他任何公司都更加努力地把電子圖書的銷售發展成真正的商業。由此可見, 亞馬遜在2007年上市了一款名為“金讀”的電子圖書閱覽器,本題正是對該信息的轉述。題目中的released與原文中的launch同義。
                  9.[選詞填空]One of the reasons e-readers were not popular in the past is that publishers were unwilling to sell digital versions of their best-sellers.
                    • 解題思路:根據題目中的were notpopular,publishers和sell digital versions of their best—sellers將本題出處定位于C段第2句。 C段g20提到,電子閱覽器已經存在了十多年,但由于高成本、專有的顯示格式以及圖書出版商不愿銷售他們暢銷書的電子版本等原因,這種設備在過去一直沒有流行起來。由此可知,圖書出版商不愿銷售他們暢銷書的電子版本是閱覽器長期以來并不流行的原因之一,本題正是對該信息的轉述。題目中的unwilling對應文中的reluctance。
                    10.[選詞填空]Eee-reader is developed by aTaiwan-based company.
                      • 解題思路:根據題目中的Eee-reader和Taiwan.based company將本題出處定位于D段第1句。 D段第1句提到,該領域比較有名的廠家之一是華碩——這家臺企發明的易系列個人電腦開辟了上網本這類產品,現在正致力于研發一款名為“‘易’電子書閱覽器”的閱覽器,有望在圣誕節上市。…it is working on a product called the Eee-reader中的it指的是Asustek,而破折號后的the Taiwanese company指的也是Asustek,由此不難得知,the Eee-reader是一家臺灣公司研發的,本題正是對該信息的轉述。題目中的Taiwan.based company對應文中的Taiwanese company。
                      大學英語四級在線題庫
                      • 參考答案:G,A,C,E,H,B,F,A,C,D
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