Business English News 45 – The 5G Revolution

Business English News 45 - 5G Mobile Communications Revolution

In this Business English News lesson we look at vocabulary related to technology and mobile communications.

There’s a lot of buzz around 5G technology these days. And it’s not just tech giants like Samsung, Ericsson and Huawei that are getting excited. Everyone from consumers to governments are paying attention. And with the excitement comes no small amount of controversy. But what’s all the hype about? And for starters, what exactly is 5G? Technology website Inventiva explains:

Put simply, 5G is an innovative mobile technology, which is expected to impact all aspects of our lives, including our homes, entertainment, work, and travel. In part, this is because it enables download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than the 4G networks of today. But it’s also much more responsive than the current networks, and allows many more devices to be connected to the internet. In short, it radically improves network bandwidth. With such speed and capacity, 5G is expected to transform everything around us.

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Business English News 41 – Data Privacy

Business English News 41 - Data Privacy

The digital age has brought unprecedented access to information and new online services. And in exchange, people have proven very willing to provide personal information and to have their online activities monitored. But is it worth it? As Wired reports, more and more people are questioning this trade-off:

The US has found itself in the middle of a data privacy awakening, and you can credit the recent spate of headline-grabbing scandals as the kick-starter. Cambridge Analytica illicitly took the personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users and turned it into targeted political ads. And Equifax let slip the sensitive details of 148 million Americans because it couldn’t be bothered to patch a known vulnerability.

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BEP 322 – Project Management 7: Debriefing User Testing

BEP 322 Lesson Module - English for Project Management 7: Debriefing User Testing

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for project management and debriefing user testing during a software project.

Ask anyone in the tech world and they’ll tell you that user testing is the key to good software development. In fact, that’s not quite true, because the key is actually good user testing. Users don’t always give you exactly the information you need. Or they may not give you all the information you need. For these reasons, you need to be able to do an excellent job of debriefing a user test with the users.

Debriefing basically means talking about an experience. Debriefing helps us understand a user’s thoughts and feelings during their experience with the software. And in software development, that means we can make the necessary changes to improve that experience.

Debriefing a user test effectively might require you to do several things. For one, it’s a good idea to start by setting the focus for the debrief. And later, you might have to bring the user back to that focus area. To get a general sense of the experience, you might ask for overall impressions. And to get more detail, you might ask the user to talk about the process of using the software. It’s also a good idea to acknowledge important issues when they come up.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear a software developer named Jill debriefing a user test with Carla, an office worker. Jill’s company, OptiTech, has been developing new software for a logistics company where Carla works.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jill say she wants to focus on in the debrief?
2. How does Jill respond to Carla’s suggestion about being able to update a driver’s status?
3. How does Jill respond when Carla mentions that the routes are changing color too soon?

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BEP 321 – Project Management 6: Launching User Testing

BEP 321 Lesson Module - English for Project Management 6: User Testing

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for project management and launching user testing for a software project.

At the heart of every software project is the user. If the user finds the software confusing, or if it doesn’t do what the user needs it to do, what’s the point? For this reason, user testing is an essential part of the development process.

User testing can involve a range of activities. You might watch how users interact with the software. You might track or monitor how they use it. And you might ask them for their opinions. In this way, you collect information and feedback that helps you create the best user experience possible. And just as the software itself needs to be user friendly, so does user testing. If people don’t have a clear idea of what they’re supposed to do during testing, you’ll be wasting an opportunity.

So when you launch testing, it’s important to outline what you’re going to be doing, and what kind of feedback you’re interested in. Because the software is new to the test users, you’ll need to give them clear instructions on how to use it and give them an overview of the main features. You might also find yourself emphasizing key points along the way. After all, it’s much easier to make sure everyone understands upfront than to deal with confused users during testing.

In today’s dialog, we’ll hear Jill, a developer with a software company called OptiTech. They’ve been developing software for a logistics company, and now they are ready to launch the first round of user testing. We’ll also hear Liam, the IT manager for the client, and Carla, one of the test users.

Listening Questions

1. What does Jill say will be the final step in this test?
2. What three aspects of the software does this test focus on?
3. What does Jill emphasize is absolutely necessary for the drivers to do?

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VV 54 – Technical English: Artificial Intelligence

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In this lesson, we’ll look at business English vocabulary related to artificial intelligence or AI.

AI includes machine learning, which may rely on neural nets for deep learning and use complex algorithms. AI also includes autonomous applications and machines such as bots, which use natural language processing for interaction.

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