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A computer problem made a pet feeder not work. Many pets did not have their meals.

The pet feeder can feed pets when no one is home. It can do it by itself. It uses WiFi to do this. The device costs $149. You can use an app on your phone to use it. It makes sure pets are fed when their owners are busy.

A computer problem made many feeders go offline. The company sent an email to the pet owners. They also posted the same message on Twitter. They told the owners to please make sure their pet is fed because of the problem.

Many people were angry. This happened while many people were on vacation. They were also angry because it is very expensive.

The problem has now been fixed. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

Difficult words

Feeder: Someone or something that gives animals food.

Meal: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Device: A piece of technology.

Offline: Not connected to the internet.

Company: A group that tries to make money.

Post: Write something online.

Expensive: A lot of money.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English:

American English:

Match the Synonym!

 1. Device  A. Business
 2. Expensive  B. Snack
 3. Offline  C. Gadget
 4. Meal  D. Costly
 5. Company  E. Disconnected

True or False?

1. The Feeder is automatic. T / F

2. People use an app to feed their pets. T / F

3. The company called the pet owners. T / F

4. The feeder is cheap. T / F

5. People were not angry about the feeder. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. made / problem / feeder / A / work / a / pet / computer / not

2. is / no / feeder / one / when / feed / pets / pet / can / The / home

3. phone / it / You / use / use / on / can / your / app / an / to

4. people / were / Many / angry

5. fixed / now / The / problem / been / has

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English:

American English:

 Meals Company Pet
Happened  Problem Phone

A computer __________ made a pet feeder not work. Many pets did not have their ______.

The pet feeder can feed pets when no one is home. It can do it by itself. It uses WiFi to do this. The device costs $149. You can use an app on your _______ to use it. It makes sure pets are fed when their owners are busy.

A computer problem made many feeders go offline. The __________ sent an email to the pet owners. They also posted the same message on Twitter. They told the owners to please make sure their _________ is fed because of the problem.

Many people were angry. This __________ while many people were on vacation. They were also angry because it is very expensive.

The problem has now been fixed. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think about connected devices in the home?
4. Do you have any “smart” devices in your house?
5. Is there a product that isn’t “smart” that you think should be?
6. Are devices like this feeder making people lazier?
7. Do you think people can trust smart devices?
8. What do you know about the internet of things?
9. Is it a bad idea for the internet to control nearly all devices?
10. What devices should remain offline?
11. Do the conveniences outweigh the cons?
12. What do you know about smart cities?
13. Is the internet now a basic necessity along with food, water and shelter?
14. Should the internet be free?
15. Is it possible to live an internet-free life these days?
16. How many times a day do you use the internet?
17. Would your work be different without internet?
18. What jobs would the world lose and gain back if the internet disappeared?
19. Was life better or worse before the internet?
20. What do you think the future of the internet will be?