LAN, WAN, client, server, Ethernet, access, access permissions, login,
password, firewall, sysadmin, UPS, EDI
It is a computer network covering a local area, like a home, office, or group
of buildings. Current LANs are most likely to be based on switched IEEE
802.3 Ethernet running at 10, 100 or 1,000 Mbit/s or on Wi-Fi technology.
The defining characteristics of LANs in contrast to WANs (wide area
networks) are: their much higher data rates; smaller geographic range; and
they do not require leased telecommunication lines. Thus, some of the issues
with LAN are that they have a small geographic range, and as there are
numerous systems connected to one, there are more chances of getting
them infected my viruses and hackers etc.
A Wide Area Network is a computer network covering a broad geographical
area. Contrast with personal area networks (PANs), local area networks
(LANs) or metropolitan area networks (MANs) that are usually limited to a
room, building or campus respectively. The largest and most well-known
example of a WAN is the Internet. WANs are used to connect local area
networks (LANs) together, so that users and computers in one location can
communicate with users and computers in other locations. Many WANs are
built for one particular organization and are private. The different types of
WAN’s are Leased Line, Circuit switching, Packet switching, and Cell relay.
These different types of WAN’s have problems like call setup, expenses, fixed
amount of the transfer of data etc.
A client is a computer system that accesses a (remote) service on another
computer by some kind of network. The term was first applied to devices that
were not capable of running their own stand-alone programs, but could
interact with remote computers via a network. These dumb terminals were
clients of the time-sharing mainframe computer.
The client-server model is still used today on the Internet, where a user may
connect to a service operating on a remote system through the internet
protocol suite. Web browsers are clients that connect to web servers and
retrieve web pages for display. Most people use e-mail clients to retrieve
their e-mail from their internet service provider's mail storage servers. There
are basically three types of clients, the Fat Client, the Thin Client and the
hybrid Client. Thus, the fat client gives a high performance and support but
have low manageability and flexibility. The thin clients give high
manageability and flexibility but don’t have a high performance and support.
The hybrid clients have all the above features of the fat and the thin clients.
In information technology, a server is a computer system that provides
services to other computing systems—called clients—over a network. The
term server can refer to hardware (such as a Sun computer system) or
software (such as an RDBMS server). Although servers can be built from
commodity computer components—particularly for low-load and/or non-
critical applications—dedicated, high-load, mission-critical servers use
specialized hardware that is optimized for the needs of servers. For example,
servers may incorporate “industrial-strength” mechanical components such
as disk drives and fans that provide very high reliability and performance at a
correspondingly high price.
Ethernet is a large and diverse family of frame-based computer networking
technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the
physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling
standards for the physical layer, two means of network access at the Media
Access Control (MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format.
Despite the huge changes in Ethernet from a thick coaxial cable bus running
at 10 Mbit/s to point-to-point links running at 1 Gbit/s and beyond, all
generations of Ethernet (excluding very early experimental versions) share
the same frame formats (and hence the same interface for higher layers) and
can be readily (and in most cases cheaply) interconnected. Due to the
ubiquity of Ethernet, the ever-decreasing cost of the hardware needed to
support it and the reduced panel space needed by twisted pair Ethernet,
most manufacturers now build the functionality of an Ethernet card directly
into PC motherboards, removing the need for installation of a separate
Login & Password
A login is the process of receiving access to a computer system by
identification of the user in order to obtain credentials to permit access. It is
an integral part of computer security procedure. A username is used in
preference to the full name of the user this is a shorter sequence of
characters which still uniquely identifies the person. A password is another
sequence of characters which provides the user with a key to the system and
is kept secret from others. The issues with logins and passwords are that
there is a chance of other people trying to get the login and passwords and
misuse it. Thus, people usually keep the passwords complicated or personal
due to which they are hard to remember and which is why people have a
chance of loosing them.
Types of Intrusion
Different types of intrusions are like Viruses, hacking etc. A computer virus is
a self-replicating computer program written to alter the way a computer
operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. Though the term
is commonly used to refer to a range of malware, a true virus must replicate
itself, and must execute itself. The latter criteria are often met by a virus
which replaces existing executable files with a virus-infected copy. While
viruses can be intentionally destructive—destroying data, for example—some
viruses are benign or merely annoying. A hacker is someone who creates and
modifies computer software and computer hardware, including computer
programming, administration, and security-related items. The term usually
bears strong connotations, but may be either favorable or denigrating
depending on cultural context.
Types of intrusion, for example, viruses, hacking, phreaking and
What is computer security? Computer security is the process of preventing
and detecting the unauthorized use of one’s computer. To stop unauthorized
users (known as “intruders”) from having access to any part of one’s
computer system, there are prevention measures one can use. Also,
detection helps to determine whether or not someone attempted to break
into one’s system, and if they were successful, what they may have done.
In recent years, many households use computers for everything from
banking and investing to shopping and communications with others through
e-mails and chat programs. Although many people might not consider their
communications “top secret”, no one would want ‘intruders’, from reading
their e-mail, using their computer to attack other systems, sending forged e-
mails from their computers nor personal information stored in their computer
(such as financial statements) examined.
Intruders (also known as hackers, attackers or crackers) may not care about
a person’s identity. Whenever they are bored (also maybe if their life has no
bright side to it), they would hack into a computer to gain control of one’s
computer so they can use it to launch attacks on other computer systems. By
doing so, they avoid being traced directly to their computer system at they
break into high-profile computer systems such as government or financial
systems. Even if the computer in the particular household is used to play the
latest games or to send e-mail to friends and family, that computer maybe
targeted. Intruders may be able to watch all the actions of that household
computer or cause damages to it by reformatting the hard drive or changing
Unfortunately, intruders are always discovering new vulnerabilities
(informally called “holes”) to exploit in computer software. Software
complexity makes it increasingly difficult to thoroughly test the security of
computer systems. When holes are discovered, it is up to the user of the
computer to obtain and install the patches to address the problem or
correctly configure the software to operate more securely. If system
administrators and users kept their computers updated with patches and
security fixes, most of the incident reports of computer break-ins could have
been prevented. Also, some software applications have default setting that
allow other users to access the computer unless the user changes the
settings to be more secure. An example includes chat programs that let
outsiders execute commands on one’s computer or web browsers that could
allow someone to place harmful programs on your computer that run when
you click on them.
A firewall is a system or group of systems that enforces an access control
policy between two networks. A firewall typically takes one of two forms in
the context of home networks. One is in the form of software firewall which is
a specialized software running on an individual computer. The other is a
network firewall which is a dedicated device designed to protect one or more
computers. Many of both types of firewalls allow the user to define access
policies for inbound connections to the computers they are protecting and
also provides the ability to control what services (also known as ports) the
protected computers are able to access on the Internet (outbound access).
A variety of antivirus software packages that operate in many different ways,
depending on how the vendor chose to implement their software. But they all
look for patterns in the files or memory of your computer that indicate the
possible presence of a known virus. Antivirus packages know what to look for
through the use of virus profiles (sometimes called “signatures”) provided by
the vendor. Since new viruses are discovered daily the effectiveness of
antivirus software is dependent on having the latest virus profiles installed on
the computer so that it can look for recently discovered viruses. It is
important to keep these profiles updated.
Network types, for example, Intranet, Internet, VPN by Oliver Chan
The internet is the type of network that’s most commonly known. The
internet is a worldwide network that is constantly growing, sometimes
described as a “network of networks.” The internet uses a common protocol
(an agreed method of communication) known as Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol, or more commonly know as its abbreviation:
TCP/IP. The internet is an endless resource for information, where the word
endless does not really emphasize the size of the network.
An intranet is the internal network of an organization, such as company or
school. An intranet uses the same network protocols and technology of the
internet, but the access is restricted to employees, teachers, etc. It is
sometimes described as the “private version of the internet.” An intranet is
used to share information within an organization, and generally features a
web server providing such information on the network.
Local Area Network (LAN):
Local Area Networks and intranets are quite similar in the fact that they are
restricted networks. Most Local Area Networks tend to use the TCP/IP
protocols, and most of them are connected to the Internet, commonly
through a firewall. However the difference between an Intranet and a Local
Area Network is that they don’t have a web server providing resource to the
An extranet is two or more computers or a local area network connected via
the internet. It can be described as a private internet over the internet.
Extranets are sometimes used to extend the intranet to other users.
Wide Area Network (WAN):
A WAN is a network of two computers (or local area networks) that are
connected over a large geographic distance through a dedicated connection.
WANs are generally more expensive as they require the dedicated connection
(not the internet), that is usually leased.
Virtual Private Network (VPN):
A virtual private network is two or more computers connected to each other
via the internet. What separates the VPN from the other networks is its
encryption. VPN generally involve high encryption in their data transfer as
their medium for transmission is via the internet. Virtual Private Networks
are generally favored over Wide Area Networks for their cost, as leasing a
dedicated connection is more expensive than simply using the internet.
Encryption and SSL
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a cryptographic protocol and applies
cryptographic methods for such services like web email, web browsing,
Internet faxing, etc. It provides authentication and privacy over the Internet
using cryptography. SSL runs under protocols like HTTP, FTP, SMTP, etc. It
also runs under various other applications, which form the TCP/IP protocol
Encryption is the process of obscuring or hiding information so it is not read
without any special knowledge. An example can be emails, and how
passwords can be considered as special knowledge.
SSL was developed by Netscape and was released in 1996. Therefore,
Netscape takes all responsibility for releasing it and developing it. And later,
it served as a basis for TLS (Transport Layer security), later to be used by
financial institutions like Visa, Master Card, etc. SSL had a big impact on the
Internet. People started encrypting web pages, thereby making web pages
hard to 'attack' and take over, as compared to earlier days, where there was
no encryption and only normal encrypting methods were used.
It affected financial institutions the most, as they started using SSL on their
home pages where people would log in and view their bank accounts on line.
This was a big boom, and it provided safety for the company's website too.
Also, before, companies would get attacked and they couldn't go anything
about it. But now, their web pages were protected, and were secure. It had
an effect on everybody, even on normal people who aspired to open websites
and have SSL on them.
Some early weak points of SSL were that SSL could use only 40 Bit keys,
because of legal restrictions. This was made so that they could read
encrypted traffic. The US government explicitly imposed a 40-bit key space
small enough to be broken by law enforcement agencies-wishing to read the
encrypted traffic, while sting ll presenting obstacles to less-well-funded
There was also a time when the government wanted to encrypt emails and
other forms of communication with their own encryption method. This was
called (clipper?). This encrypted all emails, so that only the intended user can
see them. But the government claims that it would have the
encryption/decryption keys. This would result in our loss of privacy, and the
government reading our stuff.
As SSL was introduced, people started using it incorrectly. Some websites
only used SSL on the form submission page, but not securing the login page.
This is hazardous, and SSL is not being used correctly, and also it is exposed
to other people and can result in tampering and loss of information.
Basically, SSL is directly related to privacy. Companies used SSL to respect
privacy and to ensure privacy. Now that web pages were more secure, users
felt more secure, and started using the Internet more, as it became a safer
And another form of insecure SSL is when it is not fully used. Sometimes, a
website used SSL and other media and scripts along with it. This can also
result in illegal results and furthermore, lower the safety of the website. The
website is exposed more and can be attacked.
The advantages of SSL are that it secures the web page. It is also easy to
use. It provides security more than any other protocol and it is used widely.
Also, it cannot be broken easily, and prevents many attacks, including -man
in the middle- attacks and so on. Also the data which is put in is processed
with a different hash each time.
Along with advantages, are disadvantages. SSL can be broken into, it is not
full proof. Also, many websites who use SSL tend to include other media and
tamper with it, thereby making it insecure. Another disadvantage is that the
certificates can expire, resulting in the same situation as without the SSL.
Also, it is server dependent. This means that if a person gets into the server,
then the SSL has no meaning. Another one is that it is used for only ONE
page/email. This has limitations.
The advantage for Netscape is that it gets widespread publicity. SSL is used
widely and they are also getting paid for it. This helps them and provides a
cause. Also, another advantage can be that they are getting recognized. But
also, SSL is like a open-source project now.
People have made many different forms of SSL using their source code, and
added their name onto it. As we can see on the Internet, there are many free
open source SSL projects out there. This is a disadvantage to Netscape, as
their project is being literally 'plagiarized' by other people, or little
Also, another point concerning encryption is a cipher. A cipher is basically an
algorithm which encrypts. The cipher depends on a key. A key must be
selected to encrypt a packet. Some types of ciphers include classical ciphers,
polyalphabetic substitution ciphers, etc. Modern encryptions methods include
symmetric key algorithms and asymmetric key algorithms.
Points to consider:
- Although SSL is encrypting information, it is creating a major gateway
bottleneck. As secure sessions become more common, the gateway
architecture is becoming less suitable for the servers.
- With encryption, there is a lot of server load since it encrypts each packet
- It has a lot of cost for the systems handling encryption.
- Legal restrictions apply, as a company or the government cannot encrypt
too much of a packet. A firm cannot encrypt more than a certain bit of
- During encryption, there are a lot of system crashes. And systems do not
keep ‘backup keys’. The data, therefore, cannot be recoverable.
What is E-commerce?
The “E” in E-commerce refers to electronic and therefore the term “E-
commerce” means the buying and selling of objects electronically. It doesn’t
only refer to buying and selling but also any other transactions over the
internet for example electronic transfers of funds or money, online marketing
and advertising etc. So a simple definition for E-commerce could be, “any
transaction that uses the Internet.”
How did it develop?
It was first used in the 1970s when electronic funds transfer started to occur.
And then in the 1980s, ATMs started to pop-up all over the streets and this
caused an increase usage of the term “e-commerce.” And when the Internet
came, it included online shopping and any payments made through credit
cards. However, today it just doesn’t include online shopping and credit card
payments, it also includes any kind of banking (funds transfer) or any kind of
business related things taking place on the Internet.
1. Provides an easy and secure way for customers to purchase objects from
their home. People don’t have to go to their nearest Wal-Mart anymore to
purchase their favorite cologne. Everything is available on the Internet. You
can make your purchase at any time of the day – 24/7! And as long as you
have the Internet, you have access to all the products (even the products on
the other side of the world).
2. There is no menu or catalog on Internet. Well there is some sort of index
but unlike traditional menus, these indexes are updated hourly with new
prices and new content – making it much easier for customers to select the
3. There are less marketing expenses to be paid on the Internet. Cost of
production is greatly reduced because there’s less labor costs and other
processing (phone, fax) costs. Hence, that money can be spent on improving
the quality of the product etc.
4. Everything is sold directly to the customers. There is no “salesman”
anymore and that’s another reduced cost. It also builds the consumer-
company relationship and solidifies it.
As stated before, e-commerce just doesn’t include the transactions of
purchasing products online. It is basically any business related transaction
done over the Internet. Therefore, there are other advantages that are not
related to online shopping.
1. Employee can be trained on the web now. They don’t have to come to a
specific place to be trained and that saves a lot of money. Employee can go
on the Internet and learn from the updated material at their convenience.
2. E-mail has greatly reduced the costs of communicating between
businesses and customers. Therefore, the prices of products on the Internet
are cheaper than the prices in the real world because all these costs have
3. Business partners can collaborate and work on the same project using
many advanced programs available on the Internet and share their ideas
without having to attend a meeting in Shanghai.
4. Instant updating is one of the main features of E-commerce. As long as
you have the right device(s), instant updating of anything that has happened
at the store can be done. So for example, an Apple store in Japan can update
the recent purchase of a Macbook and the main Apple store in USA would
receive that update in less than an hour and their accountants will be
Everything has two sides. There are advantages and disadvantages for
everything and E-commerce is not different. However, it can be easily
deduced that there are a lot more advantages than drawbacks because of the
wide-spread popularity of E-commerce.
1. Credit card transactions can be a problem for some (including my dad).
Some adults think that their credit card number will be “misused” if they give
it out to the Internet companies. They don’t understand how secure the
system is but credit card frauds do happen and therefore these adults will
never purchase anything with their credit card.
2. Some consumers consider shopping a “social event” as in they are used to
shopping for hours with their friends and family and would rather keep it that
way instead of spending 20 minutes on the Internet alone.
3. Some consumers want to experience and test the objects they purchase.
Therefore, an object like a deluxe bed would be less sold than let’s say a
4. Time for delivery of the products can be annoying for some people
especially if the shipping is done internationally! And it’s not just the time,
there’s also a bit of uncertainty involved. When you do normal shopping, you
walk out the store with your product in your hands but through E-commerce,
the product will take time to arrive and even if the company sends it, there is
not a 100% chance that it will arrive!
5. Returning goods can be a pain through E-commerce. You don't even know
where your product came from then how would you ever return it?
6. Perishable goods cannot be bought over the Internet. Even though the
companies are working their way around this by introducing advanced
shipping methods, people still don’t trust them.
Again, E-commerce just doesn’t include online shopping and hence there are
disadvantages including the other aspects of E-commerce too.
1. Hacking of an electronic system can easily be done in today’s world and
therefore, any kind of electronic data is always at risk. The risk can be
minimized but it will always be there.
2. Perhaps, the online interaction between businesses will not be good
enough to finalize a deal because the business owner could feel like he
doesn’t yet know the person because of minimal eye-contact required.
3. Computers are not perfect. With computers, anything can go wrong at any
time and nobody can stop. The risk of that is being minimized everyday but it
will never completely go away.
However, the advantages totally overcome the disadvantages and thus E-
commerce is a very efficient way of doing business and therefore most
companies today have websites and web stores!
The social issue related to this could be the fact that everything is going
online and even less and less interaction between people is required. If this
keeps going on, all of us will mainly be computers talking to other computers
and there wouldn’t be any conferences or dinners anymore!
The ethical issue is of course the fraud and hacking involved. Credit card
frauds happen all the time and that is the same as stealing.
Personal and public
Knowledge of Technology
Convergence: The merging of personal computing, telecommunications, and
television into a single technology platform. One of the few early examples
was WebTV, discontinued by Microsoft in 2001. Currently, cell phones and
PDAs are leading the convergence push by incorporating digital cameras,
Web browsers, and TV or radio receivers, for example.
Teleconferencing: A teleconference is a telephone meeting among two or
more participants involving technology more sophisticated than a simple two-
way phone connection. At its simplest, a teleconference can be an audio
conference with one or both ends of the conference sharing a speaker phone.
With considerably more equipment and special arrangements, a
teleconference can be a conference, called a videoconference, in which the
participants can see still or motion video images of each other. Because of
the high bandwidth of video and the opportunity for larger and multiple
display screens, a videoconference requires special telecommunication
arrangements and a special room at each end
Videoconferencing: Conducting a conference between two or more
participants at different sites by using computer networks to transmit audio
and video data. For example, a point-to-point (two-person) video
conferencing system works much like a video telephone. Each participant has
a video camera, microphone, and speakers mounted on his or her computer.
As the two participants speak to one another, their voices are carried over
the network and delivered to the other's speakers, and whatever images
appear in front of the video camera appear in a window on the other
Multipoint videoconferencing allows three or more participants to sit in a
virtual conference room and communicate as if they were sitting right next to
each other. Until the mid 90s, the hardware costs made videoconferencing
prohibitively expensive for most organizations, but that situation is changing
rapidly. Many analysts believe that videoconferencing will be one of the
fastest-growing segments of the computer industry in the latter half of the
Telecommuting: The practice of working at home and communicating with
your fellow workers through the phone, typically with a computer and
modem. Telecommuting saves the employee getting to and from work and
saves the employer from supplying support services such as heating and
cleaning, but it can also deprive the worker of social contact and support.
Digital television: TV broadcasting system that can transmit images with 720
to 1080 horizontal lines of resolution as compared with 480 lines of the
ordinary (analog) television system. Digital television offers interference-free,
CD-quality sound and multiplexing of 6 channels less than one bandwidth.
Push–pull technologies: Currently, one of the most fashionable technologies
within the Internet is “Push” technology. Contrary to the “Pull' world of web
pages where users request data from another program or computer, via a
web browser, “Push” enables services to be targeted at the user, without
them having to initiate the information collection activity. Instead,
information finds the user. In other words, an automated retrieval of data
from the Internet, corporate data sources and e-commerce web sites, is
delivered directly to specific user populations in a personalised manner.
“Push” Technology allows you to become an integral part of your customers
daily lives by enforcing your brands and services directly to them every day.
Key messages and personalised information that they have requested, and
critical information can be delivered to their desktop, screen saver, any
wireless device, mail account and more. “Push” amplifies and extends your
current Web presence while providing new and valuable services. Your
customer is directed back to your Web site for more in-depth information.
This technology eliminates the need to wait for customers to visit your site,
instead, allowing an organisation to take their business to their
Mobile phone and associated services and uses:
The most commonly used data application on mobile phones is SMS text
messaging, with 74% of all mobile phone users as active users (over 2.4
billion out of 3.3 billion total subscribers at the end of 2007). SMS text
messaging was worth over 100 billion dollars in annual revenues in 2007 and
the worldwide average of messaging use is 2.6 SMS sent per day per person
across the whole mobile phone subscriber base (source Informa 2007). The
first SMS text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in 1992
in the UK, while the first person-to-person SMS from phone to phone was
sent in Finland in 1993.
The other non-SMS data services used by mobile phones were worth 31
Billion dollars in 2007, and were led by mobile music, downloadable logos
and pictures, gaming, gambling, adult entertainment and advertising. The
first downloadable mobile content was sold to a mobile phone in Finland in
1998, when Radiolinja (now Elisa) introduced the downloadable ringing tone
service. In 1999 Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo introduced its mobile
internet service, i-Mode, which today is the world's largest mobile internet
service and roughly the same size as Google in annual revenues.
Companies are starting to offer mobile services such as job search and
career advice. Consumer applications are on the rise and include everything
from information guides on local activities and events to mobile coupons and
discount offers one can use to save money on purchases. Even tools for
creating websites for mobile phones are increasingly becoming available.
Digital entertainment versus live entertainment
The main difference between digital and live entertainment is on the physical
level, a video game for example, might require the same level of intelligence,
communication skill (if not more than live entertainment as there is no
physical expressions or tone to help) as a live game, the main difference is
the physical energy consumed. In a proper modern video game, you have to
be able to quickly analyze and react to a situation, you have to think and
plan whatever you are going to do, just as in a real game (eg soccer), in
multiplayer games, conversation skills are of immense need, as the only way
you have to communicate I by text, no tone, action or facial expression to
help you, whereas in any live situation, there is so much more to help in
communication. The only real difference is the physical activity, no matter
how much FIFA 2009 you play, you will not gain any skill or anything good
for your body, whereas a real game of soccer will help your body and your
Contents of digital entertainment, for example, violence, pornography and
There are a lot of issues that is associated the world of digital entertainment
that is available on the internet. Digital music is a broad area with sub-
categories such as digital music, digital television, and digital video etc.
Because of the sub-categories this paper is solely concentrated on digital
entertainment on the internet. This could be things such as videos on sites
where it is associated with the purpose of entertainment, business, etc. This
is commonly seen in pornography sites or other sites set up for the purpose
of entertainment such as YouTube or Google Video. There is also the issue of
music and files that can be downloaded illegally or legally on the internet that
is provided on sites or programs for free. A big issue associated with this
area is the legality or content protection that are on the files, programs, and
software etc. being distributed on the net.
Content producers are deeply concerned about the threat that digital
technologies pose to their ability to control the distribution of their works.
Millions of people regularly use peer-to-peer programs to download
copyrighted songs without paying for them, and the music industry attributes
major revenue losses to file sharing. The movie industry fears becoming
victim to the same kind of widespread piracy over file-sharing networks.
Content producers are looking smatter technology and digital distribution
channels as ways to enable even more focused distribution models. They
picture a future in which consumers have many choices in the ways they
receive their entertainment, from short-term rental downloads to long-term
sales. Without effective protections from digital piracy, these new offerings
will not be possible--the studios will not risk exposing their high-value
content to widespread unauthorized redistribution. Certain providers of these
“free distribution” of the digital contents are apprehended and judged such
as Napster. But its impossible to keep track nowadays especially with p2p or
peer-to-peer sharing of files over the internet.
Features of telecommuting, for example, environmental aspects, flexibility,
productivity, business and social relationships
In terms of environmental aspects, telecommuting has quite a few
environmental benefits and some environmental costs. Some major
environmental benefits that telecommuting contributes are savings in
gasoline, a reduction in pollution, a decrease in traffic congestion, and lower
highway accident rates.
Telecommuting is very flexible as it makes people’s work less stressful in
most cases as it reduces the time and money spent on transportation. It
encourages most females in the society to work as they can work at home
and take care of their children, where as if telecommuting didn’t exist most
females would stop working after they are mothers or while they are
In economics terms “productivity” is defined as the quantity of output a
worker produces in a certain period of time. The quantity of output increases
in most cases as telecommuting makes processing and transmitting data
much easier. As a result of this at a management level in work is made
efficient and leaves the rest to the laborers. Hence in some cases where
management level is a big key to the output, productivity is raised.
Telecommuting has some disadvantages and one of them is the relationship
between co-workers. A boss in a company might not get to know the
employee or a manager as well through telecommuting as he/she would not
be able to see how productively an employee is working.
Face-to-face communications versus communications via technology
Mobile phone and computers are much similar forms of communications.
Mobile phones and computers help us to communicate with others on
different ends of the world. Due to the advancement in technology both
devices aid in countering dangerous acts, in fighting wars, in having peaceful
settlements, and so forth.
But, unlike face-to-face communications there are many social and ethical
issues when using technological communication methods. Due to our
advancements in technology, we are able to track conversations through
technological devices, we can alter conversations, or we can use one
conversation against another to cause commotion. Electronic systems now
reach into all levels of government, into the workplace, and into private lives
to such an extent that even people without access to these systems are
affected in significant ways by them. New ethical and legal decisions are
necessary to balance the needs and rights of everyone.
Technology itself has become so hard to control that we have come out with
rules to control our technology and have gone as far as introducing acts
enabling us to misuse technology – such as the Patriot Act. Public agency
mandates and the right to access of public records is also creating problems
of a different sort. Some agencies are charged with responsibilities to study
and thereby help protect endangered species, others to understand and help
preserve archaeological sites. Some of these agencies are finding that
detailed information about species and their habitats or about sensitive
archaeological sites can also harm endangered animals or places. Habitats
and sites become vulnerable because they become known. The problem lies
in the right to access of public records. Agencies may decide that the best
protection of species or sites is simply to not gather detailed information
Minimum requirements to enable realistic teleconferencing and
Minimum requirements for teleconferencing and videoconferencing are
mainly having a computer that is connected to the internet. That’s pretty
much it – as long as you have a computer connected to the internet, you can
have a video conference. People might argue that teleconference might be
done with a mobile, however, in this case we are also referring to
videoconference and for that you do need a computer. Unless you live in
Japan and have one of those phones where the users can see each other
while talking, perhaps having a mobile is sufficient enough to have a
conference but most business executives use computers because that is the
right and the formal way to do it.
Of course you can have more than just a computer. In order to have a no-
disturbance videoconference certain things are needed. First of all, a FAST
Internet connection is a must. Because if your internet is slow then the
images will be received slowly and the interaction between the participants
will be poor. Then you need a good microphone because the other executives
should be able to hear your voice clearly and have a decent conversation.
Thirdly, you must have a good quality web cam so clear images are
presented to the other party.
These three things should make your video conferencing experience smooth.
However, if you have the new Mac and the other party has one too then you
can use Apple’s iChat to have an almost-real-life videoconference. The
program works so smoothly that it seems like the person is actually sitting on
the other end of the table. Four people can be in a VIDEO conference
together! And can discuss issues like they are in one room! But then, Mac is
just on a whole another level and might be a bit expensive for some people.
So the three things listed above should be available in order to have a decent
Undetected intrusions into IT systems, for example, phone tapping
The main problem is that these “undeteced intrusions” which aren’t just
limited to phone tapping can have a huge impact on the company. For
instance, if Yahoo!’s IT system was intruded by a highly qualified and highly
paid hacker then the company could lose all it’s data and the website would
probably be shut down for days, even months or forever! Of course, that’s
major exaggeration but that’s just to show what kind of impact undetected IT
intrusions could have.
Phone tapping is when a third party gains access to the phone lines of
another party. This can be done by playing with the wires or bribing certain
people. Since phone is a very popular way of communication in today’s
world, the person who has tapped the phone has access to the victim’s entire
life because telephone calls are made to everyone – your doctor, husband,
lover, friends etc! Socially, this is against the law, especially without
permission. Even with permission, it’s plain invasion of privacy, which just
Other forms of “undetected intrusions” can be hacking of someone’s email.
But since we are talking about “IT systems” here the hacking could be of an
entire computer. A qualified hacker or someone in your family can do this.
And I do mean to imply that nobody can be trusted in today’s world and even
your family members might try to hack into your computer because they
want to know what you do and everything.
If someone does indeed hack into your computer without your knowledge,
then he would be able to read all your e-mails, all your saved MSN and Yahoo
conversations and if he’s intelligent enough (which he should be since he
hacked into your computer) he’ll able to view all the saved passwords to all
the websites you visit!
And you won’t even find out about it until the damage is done. Socially, just
like phone tapping this is against the law. Any form of invasion of pprivacy is
against the law, if done without permission. Ethically, this is very wrong
because simpy put you are invading the other person’s life without even
letting him know! People do this all the time today, especially the jealous and
protective lovers who want to find everything their partners are doing when
they are not with them.
There are other forms of intrusions too like a virus or a bug in the software,
which can cause all the company’s data to just vanish. These viruses are
either sent by random hackers or paid hackers. Therefore, all these anti-virus
companies are making so much money today because everyone’s scared of
viruses because it’s very hard to recover lost data and sometimes it’s too late
when the virus is found. Therefore, in order to detect the “undetected
intrusion”, anti-virus software is needed. The best way would be to just buy a
Mac because Macintosh is known to have no viruses!
Basically, it is wrong to intrude somebody else’s system! It’s wrong socially
because it’s against the law and ethically because it’s clear invasion of
privacy. You can protect yourself by either installing anti-virus software or
creating a really complex password that’d be really hard to guess.
Personal mobile devices, for example, PDA, laptop
PDA stands for personal digital assistant. According to dictionary.com
personal digital assistant is “A lightweight, handheld computer, typically
employing a touch-sensitive screen rather than a keyboard, generally used
for storing information such as addresses or schedules. Many PDA’s include
handwriting recognition software, some support voice recognition, and some
have an internal cell phone and modem to link with other computers or
networks.” So basically in simple terms a PDA is a phone which has multiple
features and has widely come to be known as pocket computers and palmtop
Out of several features the one that makes PDA so unique is the touch
screen. Touch screen is a virtual keyboard which enables a user with an easy
soft click to access around the system. This feature helps the user navigate
around the device faster than typing with a normal keyboard. The PDA also
has a larger screen than normal cell phones which enables users to easily
view websites. The PDA has a strong wireless network which helps one view
websites online. Most PDA’s have Bluetooth and infra-red which also enable
data to transmitted between PDA’s and laptops.
Most PDA’s also have a word processor, spreadsheet viewer and PDF file
viewer. All these features make life easier and efficient for business men. All
these features help a business man to access information easily on their
phone. Although the screen on PDA is smaller than a normal computer
monitor the information is still viewable and pays off at crucial times. The
same goes with the wireless connection. Although the speed at which data is
transferred into a PDA is no comparison with the speed on a computer,
chatting and video conferencing from a PDA is still happen able.
PDA not only has designed to use for business and social purposes. Recently
it has also been used for medical and scientific purposes. PDA has been used
recently to provide aid diagnosis and drug selection. What happens is there is
a drug database which helps the patient gets information on the particular
drug he is taking. It has also been used as a way of communication between
the doctor and the patient when the patient is not in a remote area.
In conclusion PDA has several benefits and very limited drawbacks. Some of
these drawbacks are ruggedness, weather and water resistance and power
considerations. Overall PDA is helpful for many business, social, scientific and
Emerging technologies as the result of convergence of computers and
Computers have allowed many types of technologies to emerge and expand
than ever before. As a result, humans have begun to utilize resources better
than previously and also, have begun organizing them.
For example, video conferencing used to be very limited because it was very
difficult to set-up, expensive and was not used by many people. In fact, it
was impossible. People only dreamed of such software which would be free,
cheap (or better, cost nothing at all) and easy to use such that anyone could
use it. Now in this century, anyone (any person with sufficient amount of
experience with computers) can set-up video conferencing on the computer
or a laptop and with an internet connection and a software such as instant
messaging. Such an example is VOIP.
VOIP (voice over internet protocol) has been another technology that has
emerged with software such as Skype. Skype is a peer-to-peer Internet
telephony network founded by the entrepreneurs Niklas Zennström and
Janus Friis, also founders of the file sharing application Kazaa. It competes
against existing open VoIP protocols such as SIP, IAX, and H.323. The Skype
Group, acquired by eBay in October 2005, is headquartered in Luxembourg,
with offices in London, Tallinn and Prague. Skype has experienced rapid
growth in both popular usage and software development since launch, both
of its free and its paid services. The Skype communications system is notable
for its broad range of features, including free voice and video conferencing,
its ability to use peer to peer (decentralized) technology to overcome
common firewall and NAT (Network address translation) problems, and its
extreme countermeasures against reverse engineering of the software or
Skype has enabled us pc users (and mac users) to extend our limitations
beyond the telephone. We can now call to anyone with a microphone (which
comes with almost every pc) and speakers. Better yet, if you have a web
camera, you can do live video conferencing (a dream in the past, reality in
A social network service is social software specifically focused on the building
and verifying of online social networks for whatever purpose. Many social
networking services are also blog hosting services. As of 2005, there are over
three hundred known social networking web sites. MySpace, Facebook and
Friendster are some well known examples. (Wikipedia.org)
An Internet forum is a facility on the World Wide Web for holding discussions
and posting user generated content, or the web application software used to
provide this facility. Web-based forums, which date from around
1995, perform a similar function as the dial-up bulletin
boards and Internet newsgroups that were numerous in the 1980s and
1990s. A sense of virtual community often develops around forums that have
regular users. Technology, computer games, and politics are popular areas
for forum themes, but there are forums for a huge number of different topics
Lastly, digital downloads have emerged as well. In the US, people can rent
movies through the internet on sites such as Netflix and also on iTunes,
people can buy music digitally. Previously, we used to get cassettes, and
CD’s. Before that, it used to be on big records, and on reels. The emergence
of computers has allowed us to ease the process of going to the store or
buying it. Other people use torrents to download music or movies.
With the emergence of technology as a result of computers, more and more
things are becoming common and new technology is invented every day,
thereby, helping us improve our way of living and modernize it.
Public information systems, for example, traffic control, security camera
systems, public transfer information systems.
There a lot of pubic information systems that range from being sophisticated
to a simple one and have a lot of uses that are generally aimed at the public.
There are also others that are aimed at the public that are interested at
certain aspects of the world such as the Interpol, a worldwide police force
organization that works to help capture criminals who flee a country to get
refuge elsewhere. But usual it refers mostly to a state’s government
organization such as NAPHSIS (National Association for Public Health
Statistics and Information Systems) on the internet where people can access
it and see what plans or measures etc. are posted and follow up on it.
Basically the various public information systems are to the benefit of the
general public so such things as traffic control are a crucial part of our
modern day daily life as we know that the traffic control helps keep the traffic
lights functioning perfectly so to move our vehicles moving in a harmonic and
smooth-flowing way as much as possible without causing an accident. To
have a central traffic control helps the public as they can commute safely
because without it, the roads will be in chaos as each driver tries to go his
own desired route causing trouble for the countless others looking to
commute to their desired destinations too.
Despite the arguments that it is an invasion of privacy but on the bright side,
it can help protect or benefit a lot more people. The highway cameras are a
definite success and vital part of the road management of the speeds of
motorists. Since its introduction it has played a crucial part in saving a lot of
lives and helped to reduce traffic fatalities and accidents or various sorts and
there has been a worldwide recognition of the frequent use of highway
Public transfer information systems are general notices or just information
posted or published for the business, universities, banks, and other
organizations. Public transfer information systems are provided to the public
interested in the information published as they will use this free information
to do something that is connected to publisher or authority directly linked to
the information. It helps to make know to the public information that
concerns the people doing business or teaching so that it can be accessed by
the public or people in specific areas of work so they can use and apply the
information to their use.
Technology has really helped society as a whole quite a lot such as security
cameras and not only for security purposes but there are also other small
technologies such as automatic street lighting where as soon as it is dark
then the lights are turned on automatically by its sensor. But overall it has
beneficial aspects but there are always people who discredit it for some
reason which is underestimating the real benefit of using these technologies.
In the modern world, with technology expanding in daily life and all aspects
of it, it will be a disadvantage not to use such things. In this growing world
the cooperating with each other using technology as one of our key tools of
communication and usage. The technologies help both locally and globally as
for ex: if local authorities fail to capture a certain criminal then their will be
public information about the reward or the watch out and the public will be
notified and also globally, request for the capture of the criminal if the
criminal is in the foreign country. So both will be affected but through their
cooperation they will most likely apprehend the criminal as both will be on
because security cameras in airports and all transportation terminal or points
will have or be prepared for the surveillance.
Integrated Systems – Robotics
A robot is a mechanical device controlled by computer processors and
programs to do human-like tasks faster or in unsafe environments. The word
is also used to describe a computer program that "explores" the World-Wide
Web without human intervention, automatically following links on hypertext
An android is a machine created to perform one or more functions normally
done by humans and that looks like a human. Android literally means
"possessing human features"; the Oxford English Dictionary defines android
as "an automaton resembling a human being." Androids resemble humans
while robots do not have to.
A cyborg is a human with one or more mechanical or electronic devices
implanted to enhance their capabilities.
An input device that detects physical or chemical conditions around an IT
system e.g. temperature, light, motion, pH. Some are digital (e.g. a simple
on/off light gate), some are analogue and require analogue to digital
conversion before their signal can be processed.
Situations where it is more appropriate to use robots rather than humans:
In the home –robot vacuum cleaning and floor washing
Elder care – humans cannot always provide round the clock care so robots
become more useful in this case
Duct cleaning – hazardous spaces robots become more useful
Surgery robots (telerobots) can be controlled from a distance e.g. on the
Types of input/output peripherals used in robots.
Asimov's three laws of robotics
A robot may not harm a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human
being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where
such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not
conflict with the First or Second Law.
The advantages of robots from a management point of view
Save labor costs
Improve quality and productivity
Ideal for dangerous jobs and other tasks not suitable for a human
KOT Databases and Spreadsheets
A key field is a field or set of fields of a database (typically a relational
database) table which together form a unique identifier for a database record
(a table entry). The aggregate of these fields is usually referred to simply as
Row —also called a record represents a single, implicitly structured data item
in a table. In simple terms, a database table can be thought of as consisting
of rows and columns or fields. Each row in a table represents a set of related
data, and every row in the table has the same structure. For example, in a
table that represents companies, each row would represent a single
Columns might represent things like company name, company street
address, whether the company is publicly held, its VAT number, etc. In a
table that represents the association of employees with departments, each
row would associate one employee with one department. The implicit
structure of a row, and the meaning of the data values in a row, requires that
the row be understood as providing a succession of data values, one in each
column of the table. The row is then interpreted as a relvar composed of a
set of record, with each record consisting of the two items: the name of the
relevant column and the value this row provides for that column. Each
column expects a data value of a particular type. For example, one column
might require a unique identifier, another might require text representing a
person's name, and another might require an integer representing hourly pay
A search algorithm, broadly speaking, is an algorithm that takes a problem
as input and returns a solution to the problem, usually after evaluating a
number of possible solutions. Most of the algorithms studied by computer
scientists that solve problems are kinds of search algorithms. The set of all
possible solutions to a problem is called the search space. Brute-force search
or "naïve"/uninformed search algorithms use the simplest, most intuitive
method of searching through the search space, whereas informed search
algorithms use heuristics to apply knowledge about the structure of the
search space to try to reduce the amount of time spent searching.
There are different types of search methods used in computers:
An uninformed search algorithm is one that does not take into account the
specific nature of the problem.
List search algorithms are perhaps the most basic kind of search algorithm.
The goal is to find one element of a set by some key.
Tree search algorithms are the heart of searching techniques. These search
trees of nodes, whether that tree is explicit or implicit.
Many of the problems in Tree search can be solved using SQL type searches.
SQL typically works best on structured data. It offers one advantage over
hierarchical type search in that it allows accessing the data in many different
In general, a query is a form of questioning, in a line of inquiry. A query may
also refer to:
- A precise request for information, typically keywords combined with
Roolean operators and other modifiers, in the field of information retrieval.
- A database query, the standard way information is extracted from
- Query language and database query language, ways of specifying a query.
- Command-Query Separation (CQS), a concept in object-oriented
programming, especially in the Eiffel programming language.
- The question mark, especially as used by programmers (analogous to the
use of "bang" for the exclamation mark).
- Query (Quaker), a question used for reflection and spiritual exercises
among members of the Society of Friends.
- The formal name for a proposal letter (and perhaps accompanying
materials) sent by an author to a literary agent or publisher to garner
interest in a new work.
A database management system (DBMS) is a system or software designed to
manage a database, and run operations on the data requested by numerous
clients. Typical examples of DBMS use include accounting, human resources
and customer support systems. DBMSs have more recently emerged as a
fairly standard part of any company back office. A DBMS is a complex set of
software programs that controls the organization, storage and retrieval of
data in a database. A DBMS includes A modeling language, A database query
language , & A transaction mechanism, that ideally would guarantee the
ACID properties, in order to ensure data integrity, despite concurrent user
accesses (concurrency control), and faults (fault tolerance).
Mail merge is a computer term describing the production of multiple (and
potentially large numbers of) documents from a single template form and a
structured data source. This technique is used to create personalized letters
and pre-addressed envelopes or mailing labels for mass mailings from a
database mailing list of names and addresses.
The procedure of mail merging is typically carried out using a word
processing program. The template is a word processing document which
contains fixed text that will be the same in each output document variables
which act as placeholders to be replaced by text from the data source.
Value of the development of AI as a field, for example, whether it is an
appropriate place to put economic resources
Artificial intelligence is getting increasingly complex
Now the question is, which field is appropriate to develop this technology in.
Presently the field that is said to come the closest to completing this
technology is the military.
First, why would the military research artificial intelligence? This may not be
the appropriate question to ask. The question should be why wouldn’t the
military research artificial intelligence. Indeed the production of a proper
artificial intelligence would mean a lot to the military. The type of artificial
intelligence that the military has in mind has two types. The first one is in
short a all powerful commanding office by itself.
By having this A.I, the military will have a lesser need for large commanding
stations with operators, generals etc. Instead the A.I will be connected to the
military’s network, and will be able to efficiently receive information,
theoretically analyze it, then issue effective orders all by itself. If this system
comes to use, the army will be able to operate with less human staff,
ultimately resulting in the decrease in the military’s expenses.
The system will also be in theory more efficient than human staff since the
different types of jobs are merged into one system, resulting in a more
connective and fast system. Also all decisions the A.I make will be based on
theoretical data, so it will make less mistakes than humans. The second type
of A.I is an independent battlefield operational type. Long story short, it is a
mechanical soldier, or a robot. The merit from this is of course the lives of
millions of soldiers that will be saved by this technology.
These merits however, are only merits if you see them from the military’s
point of viewEthical issues of various applications of AI, for example,
replacement of human workers, handing decision-making tasks to a
Morals and profit are not two things that usually go hand in hand when
associated with the hard world of business transactions. More often than not,
companies choose monetary gains over moral values, and because of this,
humanity has both benefited and suffered greatly.
Many firms have questioned whether they should retain their human
workers, or let the quicker, more efficient robot workers/computers take over
the management section. Both have their pros and cons. But which one
would lead to a better, stronger company?
The advantages of having a computer-controlled manager is obvious. First
off, the company would have a reliable worker that never took sick days,
could work twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and always made
the most efficient, cost cutting decision without letting personal emotions
cloud its judgment. At first glance, it seems like the right choice, but there
are several factors that weigh against an artificial manager.
On of the first things would be that the moral of the company’s workers
would be at an all time low. It would be extremely degrading for a person,
who prided themselves on being a loyal and skilled worker, to have to take
orders from a machine, who has little or no idea of what they have to do to
keep the firm active and running.
They would feel misunderstood, ignored, and maybe even angry at how they
are being treated. This will detract from their job performance, and in the
end, lower their efficiency. After all, how could a twisted amalgamation of
steel, silicon and computer chips possibly comprehend what the average
worker has to go through everyday? These mutinous feelings will lead to
lowered performance, latent anguish, and maybe even incidents of outright
disobedience. Because of their inability to feel, computers help destroy a
On the other hand, a talented manager knows exactly what to say and do to
get his laborers in a frenzy of work, utilizing incentives, and select words of
praise to keep them going long into the night. He will understand what kind
of troubles they are facing, and will attempt to help them by making them
feel like part of the “team”. A human manger could identify what kind of
problems the employee was facing, and through his or her understanding
and compassion, could potentially cause the employee to be happier about
his or her work, and make them work harder as a form of compensation for
their boss. However, as human managers have emotions, they also have
Understanding can be misinterpreted as excessive leniency, which in turn
gives the employees the belief that they are allowed to “slack off” from
working. Grudges harbored against stubborn workers, and irrational dislike
can also amount to a loss in efficiency during work, as both people spend
time they could be working on pondering how they can get their own back on
that particular individual. As ridiculous as it may sound, these petty
vendettas can get in the way of getting some real work done, and therefore
do affect how the workers work.
Overall, this is a very difficult question to answer. To have a purely
professional army of robots to build and maintain the company, would be
absolutely impossible, in this day and age. It seems ironic that the very
qualities that make us human and the ones that keep us going in the
business world today.
Social impact of the use of "smart" machines on everyday life
Smart machines can be used for various purposes that will be to the
advantage of the humans. Therefore, socially they have a very positive
impact by helping us making our lives easier and more secure.
Smart Machines in Education is woven in the utilization of the research
results from cognitive science and artificial intelligence to advance our
perception of technology for education into the next revolution. The main
focus is placed on the illustrations of educational systems, and the intention
is to promote the “intelligent” ideas in virtual learning environments.
Learning from costless failure is one of the important advantages in
educational simulation. Expectation failures synthesize situations that
students could encounter in their real-life, and encourage them to maturate
their scientific investigation skills in order to learn the lessons from the
Another novel idea is the creation of a teachable agent. One can often learn a
lot from the feedback and responses from the taught during the teaching
process. The teachable agents offer this opportunity to students while
protecting them from being harmed by “in-experienced teachers” (other
students) at the same time.
Ethical issues related to military applications of AI, for example, smart
weapons, reconnaissance, decision making
Artificial Intelligence(AI) means intelligent machines manufactured by human
beings. It also refers to a trait of intelligence that is existed by an artificial
entity. Research in AI is concerned with producing machines to mechanize
tasks requiring intelligent behavior. Examples include control , the ability to
answer diagnostic and consumer questions, voice and facial recognition. The
study of AI has also become an engineering discipline, focused on providing
solutions to real life problems. But it is also applied to military weapons,
causing a lot of problems. Smart weapons are an example of this.
Smart weapons are guided weapons intended to maximize damage to the
target by using a laser, television, or satellite guidance system. The
improvements in accuracy by using AI enable a target to be effectively
attacked with fewer and smaller bombs. Smart weapons, which use guidance
systems that rely on external assistance, are different from brilliant weapons,
which are totally self-guided.
In the case of a smart bomb with a laser guidance system, an aircraft pilot
aims a laser beam at the target, a computer keeps the beam locked on the
target, and the bomb has a sensor programmed to find the reflection of the
laser's light. A guidance computer adjusts the path of the bomb after it is
released, using movable fins to steer. Satellite-guided bombs have guidance
computers that use signals from navigation satellites to confirm that they are
on target; the tail fins are adjusted to control the bomb's course as it falls.
Cruise missiles are an example of this.
The problem with these weapons is the technology of AI, which is made to
improve real life problems, is actually used in the mass destructive weapons.
The fact AI is being used in the wars make many people sad including me.
But on the other hand, we are making those weapons to protect themselves.
The issue is thus multilayered and complicated.
Access to the knowledge base underlying an inference engine in an expert
system, for example, whether people affected by decisions made using an
expert system should have access to the rules by which the decision was
Access to the knowledge base underlying an inference engine in an expert
system, for example, whether people affected by decisions made using an
expert system should have access to the rules by which the decision was
To begin with let's recall what an expert system and inference engine are so
an expert system is "a system that attempts to provide solutions to problems
in a particular field, based on a database of information about that field. An
expert system might specialize in biology, accounting, human resources, and
financial service and be able to provide answers to questions on all these
fields, and even carry out complex thought processes on questions relating to
all these fields." And an inference engine is "the part of an expert system
that draws inferences and deduces new facts by using old knowledge."
People affected by decisions made using an expert system should always
have access to the rules by which the decision was made so that the process
of attaining the decision can be justified when needed to. One reasonable
way of looking at why there is a need for the rules is to look at the
drawbacks of an expert system. To learn the drawbacks we must understand
the practical use of an expert system first.
The lack of human common sense needed in some decision makings can
sometimes provide unrealistic decisions. The creative responses human
experts can respond to in unusual circumstances and can lead to various
problems. Domain experts not always being able to explain their logic and
reasoning The challenges of automating complex processes can lead to an
undesired outcome. The lack of flexibility and ability to adapt to changing
environments can cause problems in the field of biology. Not being able to
recognize when no answer is available. For instance in biological cases the
system may provide answers which are not possible and doctors would not
instantly see that there is no real solution to the issue.
Expert system is used and applied in several medical cases. It is applied
when the case is not brief and doesn't have a simple answer to it. Meaning it
has a multiple solutions to it, therefore an expert system produces
algorithmic approach. Hence a very narrow topic such as "diagnosing skin in
human teenagers" can be used to provide rules on thumbs on how to
evaluate the problem. The expert system will use an expert developer which
would draw inferences from the old knowledge previously inputted by an
expert in the field.
In conclusion, an expert system is always right but the rules on which it is
run are inputted by an expert in the field who can be wrong from time to
time. Hence if a wrong solution is provided especially in the field of biology
and financial services someone who doesn't know much about the field or
has absolutely no knowledge may choose to simply rely on the advice given
by the system when it is wrong. In today's world where there are a number
of ways to approach something, the best and expert in the field can do to is
to make sure the validation, verification and evaluation of the system are
made at their best.
Key Terms—AI, Turing test, parallel processing, machine learning, natural
language, common-sense knowledge, agent, pattern recognition, expert
system, knowledge base, inference engine, heuristics, fuzzy logic, knowledge
AI – AI stands for artificial intelligence. It is defined as the ability of a
computer or other machine to perform actions which normally require
intelligence. This includes simulating moves for a computer chess game, or
even speaking to humans, as in a chat bot.
Turing Test – A Turing test is a test of whether a computer’s intelligence is
humanlike or not. The test is performed by having a panel of humans “talk
to” a computer. If they believe that the computer is really a human, then the
computer is said to have passed the Turing Test.
Parallel Processing – Parallel processing is when more than one computer is
working on the same or multiple tasks at the same time. For example, if a
problem or task is too big for one computer to handle, more computers can
work on different parts of it so that the task can get done faster.
Machine Learning – Machine learning is much like the way living things learn,
except with machines. Through machine learning, machines can improve
their performance on future tasks based on what they did in the past. They
are able to remember which ways are most efficient and which are least
efficient, and which ones do not work at all.
Natural Language – Natural language is any language spoken by humans.
The opposite of this is programming language or computer language, which
is not as complex as human language. Computers are not able to understand
things like philosophy because they cannot understand natural language.
Common-Sense Knowledge – Common sense knowledge is the knowledge
that humans have without having to be told. Humans are able to deduce
things like “if I drop this ball, it will fall” without being taught. However,
computers do not have this ability and must be programmed so that they
know that the ball will drop.
Agent – In a client-server exchange, the agent is the part of the system that
does the transferring and packaging of information.
Pattern Recognition – Pattern recognition is the ability to classify and arrange
knowledge according to certain characteristics of that knowledge. An
example of pattern recognition in computers today is with spyware. Spyware
programs monitor the sites that users visit, try to find patterns in them, and
then show advertisements that fit the category of what users look at.
Expert System – The expert system is a system that attempts to provide
solutions to problems in a particular field, based on a database of information
about that field. An expert system might specialize in biology and be able to
provide answers to questions about biology, and even carry out complex
thought processes on questions relating to biology.
Knowledge Base – The knowledge base is the part of the expert system that
contains all the facts and information that it needs to give solutions and solve
Inference Engine – In inference engine is the part of an expert system that
draws inferences and deduces new facts by using old knowledge.
Fuzzy Logic – Fuzzy logic is a type of algebra in which a range of values
ranging from “true” to “false” are employed. It is mainly used in making
decisions where data is not very precise, in order to come up with an
approximate answer instead of an exact one.
Knowledge Engineer – A knowledge engineer is someone who builds and
designs expert systems.
Domain – A domain is a group of networked computers that share a common
2.3 Communication systems
Knowledge of technology:
Internet protocols: Method or protocol by which data is sent from one
computer to another on the Internet. Each computer (known as a host) on
the Internet has at least one IP address that uniquely identifies it from all
other computers on the Internet.
HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A protocol that is used to transmit
hypertext documents through the Internet. It controls and manages
communications between a Web browser and a Web server.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol. Protocol that allows users to copy files between
their local system and any system they can reach on the network. It is a very
common method of moving files between two Internet sites.
TCP/IP: Transmission Control Program. It is a session layer protocol that
coordinates the transmission, reception, and retransmission of packets in a
data network to ensure reliable (confirmed) communication. The TCP protocol
coordinates the division of data information into packets, adds sequence and
flow control information to the packets, and coordinates the confirmation and
retransmission of packets that are lost during a communication session. TCP
utilizes Internet Protocol (IP) as the network layer protocol.
Cookies: a cookie (also tracking cookie, browser cookie, and HTTP cookie) is
a small piece of text stored on a user's computer by a web browser. A cookie
consists of one or more name-value pairs containing bits of information such
as user preferences, shopping cart contents, and the identifier for a server-
based session, or other data used by websites. It is sent as an HTTP header
by a web server to a web browser and then sent back unchanged by the
browser each time it accesses that server. A cookie can be used for
authenticating, session tracking (state maintenance), and remembering
specific information about users, such as site preferences or the contents of
their electronic shopping carts.
Listserv: A type of electronic mailing list, allowing for distribution of email to
many subscribers. An electronic mailing list typically used by a broad range
of discussion groups. When you subscribe to a listserv, you will receive
periodic email messages about the topic you have requested.
Web cam: A cam, home cam, or webcam is a video camera, usually attached
directly to a computer, whose current or latest image is request-able from a
Web site. A live cam is one that is continually providing new images that are
transmitted in rapid succession or, in some cases, in streaming video. Sites
with live cams sometimes imbed them as Java applets in Web pages.
HTML: An acronym for Hypertext Markup Language, HTML codes is
interpreted by the web browser to format documents in a particular way.
Netiquette: A contraction of the words "Net" and "etiquette," this refers to
the online code of good manners for Internet users. It describes the
acceptable manner in which to communicate on the Internet.
Intranet: A private network inside a company or organization that uses the
same kinds of software that you would find on the public Internet, but that is
only for internal use.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator: an address of a web page, ftp site, audio
stream or other Internet resource, for example, http://en.wiktionary.org/
Hyperlink: it is a link from a hypertext file to another location or file; typically
activated by clicking on a highlighted word or icon at a particular location on
Bandwidth: The amount of data that can be transmitted over a network in a
fixed amount of time, measured in kilobits, megabits, or gigabits per second
(Kbps, Mbps, or Gbps).
WWW: World Wide Web. A service that resides on computers that are
connected to the Internet and allows end users to access data that is stored
on the computers using standard interface software (browsers). The WWW
(commonly called the "web") is associated with customers that use web
browsers (graphic display software) to find, acquire and transfer information.
Browser: A Web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting,
and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web.
Search engine: A Web search engine is a tool designed to search for
information on the World Wide Web. The search results are usually presented
in a list and are commonly called hits. The information may consist of web
pages, images, information and other types of files.
E-mail: A process of sending text messages in electronic form. The messages
can also include images and video clips.
Social consequences of addiction to the Internet:
May cause the loss of your spouse or family, e.g. divorce
Distracts you from important things such as your job and your family
Some physical symptoms include "cyber shakes," dry eyes, carpal tunnel
syndrome and headaches. "A focus on the computer and lack of attention to
daily reality is indicative of poor judgment and results on lowered grades in
school, job loss, and indebtedness."
Failed attempts to control behavior
Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and internet
Neglecting sleep to stay online therefore constant tiredness
Being dishonest with others
Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior
Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal
Withdrawing from other activities such as social events
Social impact of global viruses:
A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a
The term virus is mistakenly used to define malware, adware, and spyware
because these programs don't have a reproductive ability.
Global: worldwide and means of, or relating to, or involving the entire world,
in the general sense or as the planet Earth.
Malware: is software designed to infiltrate a computer without the owner's
Adware: is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or
downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it
or while the application is being used.
Business and Employment: people might lose their business files due to their
computer being affected by a virus.
Arts, entertainment &Leisure: People might also lose their Art or there
entertainment through the virus changing their format.
Means of blocking access to information:
Firewalls: A firewall is a guard between you and the Internet; this can be
either a software or hardware firewall. It regulates access of program
between you and the Internet. Firewall protection is very useful and very
necessary for users who are always connected to the Internet. Firewalls work
in the background controlling inbound and outbound traffic and notify the
user of any intrusion attempts on their system. In addition to a good firewall
you should also install a good virus scanner and keep it up to date with the
latest virus information. A virus scanner with a firewall will reduce your risk
of being hacked or virus infected and helps keep both you and your system
Whenever your computer is connected to the internet regardless of whether
your browser is opened your computer is vulnerable to attack by hackers,
worms, Trojan s, spy ware and so on. For those who are utilizing a DSL,
Cable Modem, LAN or T1 connection you are open to threats every time you
turn your computer on and until your computer is turned off, you have a
permanent connection to the Internet. It is very simple for just about
anybody to come through your Internet connection and access your
Many PC users believe that no one would bother breaking into their
anonymous home computer. Unfortunately, this is not true. Every computer
on the Internet has its own IP address, a unique string of numbers that serve
as a type of identification. Hackers often program their computers to scan
random IP addresses and attack whenever a vulnerable machine is found.
They don't need to know your machine personally to attack it. At that point
they can perform many malicious acts or steal all of your private information.
There are hundreds of ways this can be accomplished.
Passwords: can also be used to help protect your computer files as well as
things such as your email inbox and accounts on different sites from being
accessed. These passwords should contain a mixture of letters, number and
symbols in order to make it difficult for anyone to be able to guess them.
These passwords would usually accompany a username that you pick or your
username would appear in the form of your e-mail.
Features of a web browser:
Browsers are the software that allows you to access the World Wide Web.
The most popular browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla FireFox,
Netscape Browser and Apple's Safari.
Most browsers contain the following features. Some of these may be
presented as buttons (or icons) in a toolbar. If you don't find a button, you
will find a menu item in one of the menus provided. You can usually
customize the toolbar to include any or all of these features:
This area is where the URL (web page address) for the web page is displayed
or entered. (A field is a text entry or display area.) In many browsers, there's
a little downward facing arrow next to this field. When you click on the arrow
you will see a list of recently visited websites. Clicking one of these URLs will
take you to that website. You can also enter a URL into this field and then
press enter or return to go to the website. In some browsers there is a "Go"
button next to this field that initiates a server request after typing in a URL.
By the way, you don't usually have to type in the "http://" part of the URL.
Most browsers will add that information in for you when you press enter or
Autofill Forms Button
When you encounter a page that has a form on it, such as an order page,
this button will make filling out the form much easier. See the Autofill section
in Preferences to use this feature.
Use this button to go back to the previous page opened in this particular
browser window. In some browsers, holding the mouse down on this button
produces a menu of previous pages that you can then choose from. In other
browsers, there's a little arrow next to the Back button that produces this
Bookmarks or Favorites
You can easily create a shortcut to your favorite web pages by using the
Bookmark (or Favorites) menu or button. This is a very important feature
and it works a little differently in each browser. In Internet Explorer, use the
Favorites Menu to Add to Favorites. You can then use the Organize Favorites
menu item to place your bookmark in a folder or particular place in the list.
In Netscape, FireFox and Safari, choose Add Bookmark from the Bookmark
menu. You can then choose Show All or Manage Bookmarks to create folders
and/or rearrange your bookmarks. In most browsers you can also place
favorite websites to an area just above the main browser window.
This button in the upper right corner of the window will close the browser
window. If there is only one browser window open, the program will exit. One
way to tell if you have more than one browser window open is to look at the
button bar at the bottom of the screen. If you see more than one button with
the icon of the browser you are using, you can switch between the open
windows by clicking on these buttons. Another way to deal with multiple
windows is to minimize or Restore the window to its pre-maximized size. On
the Macintosh, there's a similar button, but separate windows are more
obvious and closing the last one does not quit the browser.
Fonts or Larger or Smaller
In Internet Explorer a button called Fonts gives you a menu to choose the
size of the text displayed in the browser window. Some browsers offer two
buttons, Larger and Smaller to change the size of the text.
Like the Back button, the Forward button takes you to pages that you have
previously seen in a particular browser window. The Forward button is only
available if you have used the Back button and want to go Forward to where
you were before. In some browsers, holding the mouse down on this button
produces a menu of previous pages that you can then choose from. In other
browsers, there's a little arrow next to the Forward button that produces this
Most browsers offers a History button or menu item which allows you to look
at the last several hundred web pages you've been to, and select one of
them for an easy return path.
This button takes you to the page that has been designated as your "home"
page. You can select your "home page" in the browser's Preferences (or
Internet Options) section.
Favorites, Links or Personal Toolbar
You can add your own buttons to this toolbar. In Explorer it is called
Favorites or Links Toolbar and in Netscape it is called the Personal Toolbar.
These toolbars can be hidden or shown by using the View menu.
In Windows you can use this button to make the browser's window enlarge to
full screen. When the window is already maximized the Restore button
replaces this button.
In Windows the Menu bar is a part of each browser window. Choices include
File, Edit, View, History, Favorites or Bookmarks and Help. On the Macintosh,
these Menus are always at the top of the screen.
In Windows you can use this button to make the browser's window disappear
from the screen. You can restore the window by clicking its button on the
bottom of the screen.
You can print any web page by clicking this button.
Reload or Refresh Button
If you suspect the contents of a browser's window may have changed since
the last time you viewed it, you should click the Reload or Refresh button to
update the page.
If the browser's window is maximized you can use this button to restore the
size of the window so that it no longer fills the entire screen. This is very
useful if you want to see more than one window at the same time.
Search Button or Field
In some older browsers there is a button to go to the page you have
designated as your "search" page. You can select your "search page" in the
browser's preferences section or by clicking the "Choose a Search Engine"
button in the Search window. Most browsers now have a search field, at the
right end of the main button bar, which you can type into to perform Internet
Most browsers show a padlock icon in the lower left corner of the window to
indicate a secure connection. This means that data being sent or received
from that server is encrypted and would be extremely difficulty for a third
party to access. If this padlock is in the locked position, you know you have a
secure server connection. If the padlock is unlocked, then you do not.
Another way to tell is by the URL or web site address. If the URL begins with
https:// then the server connection is secure.
The bar along the bottom of the browser's window shows you what is being
loaded into the browser window at the moment or the URL of the link your
mouse is over. There is usually also a progress indicator that shows how
much of a file has already been downloaded.
Use this button if you want to stop loading the contents of a page.
The title of the web page appears in the browser window's title. Sometimes
pages don't have titles. When you bookmark a page, the windows title is
used to identify the bookmark.
How Do Browsers Work
A web browser works by using a protocol called HTTP to request a text
document from a web server. The text document contains special instructions
(usually written in HTML) that tell the browser how to display the document
on the user's screen. The instructions may include references (hyperlinks) to
other web pages, information about text formatting and color, and position
information for images contained in the document
Comparison of Internet and intranet:
Internet is worldwide, and can be Intranet is like local internet, i.e. can
accessed from any computer with an only be accessed on a web of
internet connection computers, like a business or a
school. Things on the intranet can
sometimes be accessed via the
Does not usually require a form of Usually requires a form of validation
validation to be accessed. to access it
Encryption is the process of changing text so that it is no longer easy to read.
A very simple example is the following sentence:
Guvf vf n fvzcyr fhofgvghgvba pvcure.
Commercial encryption uses methods, which are a lot more secure than the
one I used to produce that example. Almost all modern encryption methods
rely on a key - a particular number or string of characters, which are used to
encrypt, decrypt, or both.
In the next sections, common encryption methods are presented. To
illustrate how they work, fictitious characters named Bob and Alice will be
introduced. Private key encryption and public key encryption are discussed,
as are their limitations.
Private key encryption
Private key encryption is the standard form. Both parties share an encryption
key, and the encryption key is also the one used to decrypt the message.
The difficulty is sharing the key before you start encrypting the message -
how do you safely transmit it?
Many private key encryption methods use public key encryption to transmit
the private key for each data transfer session.
If Bob and Alice want to use private key encryption to share a secret
message, they would each use a copy of the same key. Bob writes his
message to Alice and uses their shared private key to encrypt the message.
The message is then sent to Alice. Alice uses her copy of the private key to
decrypt the message. Private key encryption is like making copies of a key.
Anyone with a copy can open the lock. In the case of Bob and Alice, their
keys would be guarded closely because they can both encrypt and decrypt
Public Key encryption
Public key encryption uses two keys - one to encrypt, and one to decrypt.
The sender asks the receiver for the encryption key, encrypts the message,
and sends the encrypted message to the receiver. Only the receiver can then
decrypt the message - even the sender cannot read the encrypted message.
For example: When Bob wants to share a secret with Alice using public key
encryption, he first asks Alice for her public key. Next, Bob uses Alice's public
key to encrypt the message. In public key encryption, only Alice's private key
can unlock the message encrypted with her public key. Bob sends his
message to Alice. Alice uses her private key to decrypt Bob's message.
The thing that make public key encryption work is that Alice very closely
guards her private key and freely distributes her public key. She knows that
it will unlock any message encrypted with her public key.
Limitations of encryption
Cryptanalysis, or the process of attempting to read the encrypted message
without the key, is very much easier with modern computers than it has ever
been before. Modern computers are fast enough to allow for 'brute force'
methods of cryptanalysis - or using every possible key in turn until the 'plain
text' version of the message is found.
The longer the key, the longer it takes to use the 'brute force' method of
cryptanalysis - but it also makes the process of encrypting and decrypting
the message slower. Key length is very important to the security of the
encryption method - but the 'safe' key length changes every time CPU
manufacturers bring out a new processor.
Encryption does not make your data secure. Not using encryption, however,
means that any data in transit is as easy to read as the contents of a
postcard sent in regular mail. Encryption at least ensures that anyone who
does read your messages has worked hard at it.
The effects of limiting bandwidth:
Bandwidth is, in its simplest terms, the amount of data a service has the
capacity to deliver. The more users on a system, the slower the bandwidth,
especially when they are engaging in a lot of data transfer. Uploading web
site pages, streaming live video, downloading music or even playing your
favorite console or online games can increase the amount of bandwidth used
in a household.
What affects bandwidth?
Everything you do over the Internet affects your bandwidth usage. While
most consumers will never even come close to a 250 GB limit, if you do a fair
amount of downloading, you may be picked up on your company’s service
provider bandwidth radar and receive notice for it.
Actions That Use Bandwidth:
- Online gaming
- Network console gaming
- Streaming music, movies or other videos (e.g. YouTube)
- VOIP service
Some companies will begin capping customer accounts at a 250 GB
bandwidth limit. Customers that go over this amount in one month will be
warned. If their account does it again within a six-month period, their service
will be terminated for up to a year. While most consumers will never even
come close to hitting that limit, for households with multiple Internet users, it
is possible that service will be interrupted by this limit.
Limiting bandwidth is nothing new. Providers all over the world, most notably
in Australia, have been limiting bandwidth for years. This limit allows all
users in a service, or particular area, have a faster connection by limiting
households to a certain percentage of bandwidth. Once they reach this limit,
they are cut off in a way that decreases their overall connection speed to
encourage them to step away from the Internet for a while.
While limiting one household seems futile, when it comes to bandwidth,
limiting a high-usage household can mean higher connection speeds for the
rest of the server cluster they belong to. Companies have said that close to
99% of their subscribers do not reach even half the 250 GB threshold limit
they are setting. However, they are setting the limit regardless so that the
minorities of users that do use more than the limit are not significantly
affecting the area of service they reside in.
Electronic mail, often abbreviated as email or e-mail, is a method of
exchanging digital messages. E-mail systems are based on a store-and-
forward model in which e-mail computer server systems accept, forward,
deliver and store messages on behalf of users, who only need to connect to
the e-mail infrastructure, typically an e-mail server, with a network-enabled
device (e.g., a personal computer) for the duration of message submission or
retrieval. Originally, e-mail was always transmitted directly from one user's
device to another's; nowadays this is rarely the case.
An electronic mail message consists of two components, the message
header, and the message body, which is the email's content. The message
header contains control information, including, minimally, an originator's
email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually additional
information is added, such as a subject header field.
Originally a text-only communications medium, email was extended to carry
multi-media content attachments, which were standardized in with RFC 2045
through RFC 2049, collectively called, Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
The foundation for today's global Internet e-mail service was created in the
early ARPANET and standards for encoding of messages were proposed as
early as 1973 (RFC 561). An e-mail sent in the early 1970s looked very
similar to one sent on the Internet today. Conversion from the ARPANET to
the Internet in the early 1980s produced the core of the current service.
Network-based email was initially exchanged on the ARPANET in extensions
to the File Transfer Protocol (FTP), but is today carried by the Simple Mail
Transfer Protocol (SMTP), first published as Internet standard 10 (RFC 821)
in 1982. In the process of transporting email messages between systems,
SMTP communicates delivery parameters using a message envelope
separately from the message (headers and body) itself.
The problem of logistics
Much of the business world relies upon communications between people who
are not physically in the same building, area or even country; setting up and
attending an in-person meeting, telephone call, or conference call can be
inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly. E-mail provides a way to
exchange information between two or more people with no set-up costs and
that is generally far less expensive than physical meetings or phone calls.
The problem of synchronization
With real time communication by meetings or phone calls, participants have
to work on the same schedule, and each participant must spend the same
amount of time in the meeting or call. E-mail allows asynchrony: each
participant may control his or her schedule independently.
Most business workers today spend from one to two hours of their working
day on e-mail: reading, ordering, sorting, ‘re-contextualizing’ fragmented
information, and writing e-mail. The use of e-mail is increasing due to
increasing levels of globalization—labor division and outsourcing amongst
other things. E-mail can lead to some well-known problems:
Loss of Context: which means that the context is lost forever; there is no
way to get the text back.
Information in context (as in a newspaper) is much easier and faster to
understand than unedited and sometimes unrelated fragments of
information. Communicating in context can only be achieved when both
parties have a full understanding of the context and issue in question.
Information overload: E-mail is a push technology—the sender controls who
receives the information. Convenient availability of mailing lists and use of
"copy all" can lead to people receiving unwanted or irrelevant information of
no use to them.
Inconsistency: E-mail can duplicate information. This can be a problem when
a large team is working on documents and information while not in constant
contact with the other members of their team.
Despite these disadvantages, e-mail has become the most widely used
medium of communication within the business world.
A December 2007 New York Times blog post described E-mail as "a $650
Billion Drag on the Economy", and the New York Times reported in April 2008
that "E-MAIL has become the bane of some people’s professional lives" due
to information overload, yet "none of the current wave of high-profile
Internet start-ups focused on e-mail really eliminates the problem of e-mail
overload because none helps us prepare replies".
Technology investors reflect similar concerns.
Spamming and computer viruses
The usefulness of e-mail is being threatened by four phenomena: e-mail
bombardment, spamming, phishing, and e-mail worms.
Spamming is unsolicited commercial (or bulk) e-mail. Because of the very
low cost of sending e-mail, spammers can send hundreds of millions of e-
mail messages each day over an inexpensive Internet connection. Hundreds
of active spammers sending this volume of mail results in information
overload for many computer users who receive voluminous unsolicited e-mail
E-mail worms use e-mail as a way of replicating themselves into vulnerable
computers. Although the first e-mail worm affected UNIX computers, the
problem is most common today on the more popular Microsoft Windows
The combination of spam and worm programs results in users receiving a
constant drizzle of junk e-mail, which reduces the usefulness of e-mail as a
A number of anti-spam techniques mitigate the impact of spam. In the
United States, U.S. Congress has also passed a law, the Can Spam Act of
2003, attempting to regulate such e-mail. Australia also has very strict spam
laws restricting the sending of spam from an Australian ISP,  but its
impact has been minimal since most spam comes from regimes that seem
reluctant to regulate the sending of spam.
E-mail spoofing occurs when the header information of an email is altered to
make the message appear to come from a known or trusted source. It is
often used as a ruse to collect personal information.
E-mail bombing is the intentional sending of large volumes of messages to a
target address. The overloading of the target email address can render it
unusable and can even cause the mail server to crash.
E-mail privacy, without some security precautions, can be compromised
E-mail messages are generally not encrypted;
E-mail messages have to go through intermediate computers before reaching
their destination, meaning it is relatively easy for others to intercept and
Many Internet Service Providers (ISP) store copies of e-mail messages on
their mail servers before they are delivered. The backups of these can remain
for up to several months on their server, despite deletion from the mailbox;
The Received: fields and other information in the e-mail can often identify
the sender, preventing anonymous communication.
There are cryptography applications that can serve as a remedy to one or
more of the above. For example, Virtual Private Networks or the Tor
anonymity network can be used to encrypt traffic from the user machine to a
safer network while GPG, PGP, SME mail, or S/MIME can be used for end-to-
end message encryption, and SMTP STARTTLS or SMTP over Transport Layer
Security/Secure Sockets Layer can be used to encrypt communications for a
single mail hop between the SMTP client and the SMTP server.
Additionally, many mail user agents do not protect logins and passwords,
making them easy to intercept by an attacker. Encrypted authentication
schemes such as SASL prevent this.
Finally, attached files share many of the same hazards as those found in
peer-to-peer filesharing. Attached files may contain Trojans or viruses.
Tracking of sent mail
The original SMTP mail service provides limited mechanisms for tracking a
transmitted message, and none for verifying that it has been delivered or
read. It requires that each mail server must either deliver it onward or return
a failure notice (bounce message), but both software bugs and system
failures can cause messages to be lost. To remedy this, the IETF introduced
Delivery Status Notifications (delivery receipts) and Message Disposition
Notifications (return receipts); however, these are not universally deployed in
Strange as it may sound, the computer virus is something of an Information
Age marvel. On one hand, viruses show us how vulnerable we are -- a
properly engineered virus can have a devastating effect, disrupting
productivity and doing billions of dollars in damages. On the other hand, they
show us how sophisticated and interconnected human beings have become.
For example, experts estimate that the Mydoom worm infected
approximately a quarter-million computers in a single day in January 2004.
Back in March 1999, the Melissa virus was so powerful that it forced Microsoft
and a number of other very large companies to completely turn off their e-
mail systems until the virus could be contained. The ILOVEYOU virus in 2000
had a similarly devastating effect. In January 2007, a worm called Storm
appeared -- by October, experts believed up to 50 million computers were
infected. That's pretty impressive when you consider that many viruses are
--When you listen to the news, you hear about many different forms of
electronic infection. The most common are:
Viruses - A virus is a small piece of software that piggybacks on real
programs. For example, a virus might attach itself to a program such as a
spreadsheet program. Each time the spreadsheet program runs, the virus
runs, too, and it has the chance to reproduce (by attaching to other
programs) or wreak havoc.
E-mail viruses - An e-mail virus travels as an attachment to e-mail
messages, and usually replicates itself by automatically mailing itself to
dozens of people in the victim's e-mail address book. Some e-mail viruses
don't even require a double click -- they launch when you view the infected
message in the preview pane of your e-mail software.
Trojan horses - A Trojan horse is simply a computer program. The program
claims to do one thing (it may claim to be a game) but instead does damage
when you run it (it may erase your hard disk). Trojan horses have no way to
Worms - A worm is a small piece of software that uses computer networks
and security holes to replicate itself. A copy of the worm scans the network
for another machine that has a specific security hole. It copies itself to the
new machine using the security hole, and then starts replicating from there,
Features of a web page:
Accessibility: whether the webpage can be accessed easily e.g. no passwords
or access code required
Speed: the amount of time it takes for the page to load, it needs to be quick,
and light on graphics as these slow it down
Style: appearance is important as it needs to be entertaining for the person
surfing the website.
Device independence: by being able to view a Web page with any browser,
under any operating system, and on any computer with any monitor, at any
resolution, window size, and font size. Also being able to stylize it and
colorize it, as you like, by changing the user preferences in your Web browse.
Global database link
A database link that links each database in a network to all other databases.
This enables any user of any database in the network to specify a global
object name in a SQL statement or object definition. A global database link
that is the same as the global database name is registered with the Oracle
Global database name
It is the full name of the database, which uniquely identifies it from any other
database. The global database name is of the form
"database_name.database_domain," for example, sales.us.acme.com.
The database name portion, sales, is a simple name you wish to call your
database. The database domain portion, us.acme.com, specifies the database
domain in which the database is located, making the global database name
unique. When possible, Oracle Corporation recommends that your database
domain mirror the network domain.
The global database name is the default service name of the database, as
specified by the SERVICE_NAMES parameter in the initialization parameter
A business that provides its subscribers with a wide variety of data
transmitted over telecommunications lines. Online services provide an
infrastructure in which subscribers can communicate with one another, either
by exchanging e-mail messages or by participating in online conferences
(forums). In addition, the service can connect users with an almost unlimited
number of third-party information providers. Subscribers can get up-to-date
stock quotes, news stories hot off the wire, articles from many magazines
and journals, in fact, almost any information that has been put in electronic
form. Of course, accessing all this data carries a price.
The difference between an online service and a bulletin board service is one
of scale and profits. Online services provide a variety of information and
services, whereas BBS's normally concentrate on a single theme. In addition,
BBS's are often operated on a non-profit basis whereas online services are
always for profit. Three of the largest online services are America Online,
CompuServe and MSN.
it is the largest service, but it is not centrally controlled by any one
organization, nor is it operated for profit.
Electronic commerce, commonly known as (electronic marketing) e-
commerce or eCommerce, consists of the buying and selling of products or
services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer
networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown
extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is
conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic
funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online
transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory
management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern
electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some
point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range
of technologies such as e-mail as well.
A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely
electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a
website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of
physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-
tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all big retailers
have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web.
Electronic commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as
business-to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g.
commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants
(private electronic market). Electronic commerce that is conducted between
businesses and consumers, on the other hand, is referred to as business-to-
consumer or B2C. This is the type of electronic commerce conducted by
companies such as Amazon.com.
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-
business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing
and payment aspects of the business transactions.
A system allowing individuals to perform banking activities at home, via the
internet. Some online banks are traditional banks, which also offer online
banking, while others are online only and have no physical presence. Online
banking through traditional banks enable customers to perform all routine
transactions, such as account transfers, balance inquiries, bill payments, and
stop-payment requests, and some even offer online loan and credit card
applications. Account information can be accessed anytime, day or night, and
can be done from anywhere. A few online banks update information in real-
time, while others do it daily. Once information has been entered, it doesn't
need to be re-entered for similar subsequent checks, and future payments
can be scheduled to occur automatically. Many banks allow for file transfer
between their program and popular accounting software packages, to
simplify record keeping. Despite the advantages, there are a few drawbacks.
It does take some time to set up and get used to an online account. Also,
some banks only offer online banking in a limited area. In addition, when an
account holder pays online, he/she may have to put in a check request as
much as two weeks before the payment is due, but the bank may withdraw
the money from the account the day that request is received, meaning the
person has lost up to two weeks of interest on that payment. Online-only
banks have a few additional drawbacks: an account holder has to mail in
deposits (other than direct deposits), and some services that traditional
banks offer are difficult or impossible for online-only banks to offer, such as
traveler's checks and cashier's checks.
The term e-Health (E-Health, eHealth...) has been in use since the year
2000. E-health encompasses much of medical informatics but tends to
prioritize the delivery of clinical information, care and services rather than
the functions of technologies. No single consensus, all-encompassing
definition of eHealth exists - the term tends to be defined in terms of a series
of characteristics specified at varying levels of detail and generality (see next
section). The term is not included in the MeSH taxonomy but most of the
topics typically classified as being part of e-health are encompassed within
the medical informatics MeSH tree.
Throughout many western national healthcare services, extensive e-Health
infrastructures and systems are now viewed as central to the future provision
of safe, efficient, high quality, citizen-centered health care. (Information on
current national e-Health implementation programs, centered on the
deployment of national information infrastructures and electronic medical
record systems is provided on Open Clinical.)
Though current technological developments are essentially limited to
developed countries, e-Health is now a global topic. It was discussed at the
United Nations World Summit on the Information Society in December 2003
and at the World Health Assembly in May 2005. The World Health
Organization has established various e-Health initiatives, such as the WHO
Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) in 2005, which aims "to provide
Member States with strategic information and guidance on effective
practices, policies and standards in eHealth". The World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS), held with the participation of 175 countries
(second phase, 16-18 November 2005, Tunis), affirmed its commitment to
"improving access to the world's health knowledge and telemedicine services,
in particular in areas such as global cooperation in emergency response,
access to and networking among health professionals to help improve quality
of life and environmental conditions".
In Europe, e-Health forms a major part of the European Commission e-
Europe action plan. The EU has set out ambitious plans for its member states
envisaging the definition of health data interoperability standards by the end
of 2006, the implementation of health information networks by 2008 and
"online services such as tele-consultation (second medical opinion), e-
prescription, e-referral, tele-monitoring and telecare" by the end of 2008.
The 10 e’s in e-health:
Efficiency - one of the promises of e-health is to increase efficiency in health
care, thereby decreasing costs. One possible way of decreasing costs would
be by avoiding duplicative or unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic
interventions, through enhanced communication possibilities between health
care establishments, and through patient involvement.
Enhancing quality of care - increasing efficiency involves not only reducing
costs, but at the same time improving quality. E-health may enhance the
quality of health care for example by allowing comparisons between different
providers, involving consumers as additional power for quality assurance,
and directing patient streams to the best quality providers.
Evidence based - e-health interventions should be evidence-based in a sense
that their effectiveness and efficiency should not be assumed but proven by
rigorous scientific evaluation. Much work still has to be done in this area.
Empowerment of consumers and patients - by making the knowledge bases
of medicine and personal electronic records accessible to consumers over the
Internet, e-health opens new avenues for patient-centered medicine, and
enables evidence-based patient choice.
Encouragement of a new relationship between the patient and health
professional, towards a true partnership, where decisions are made in a
Education of physicians through online sources (continuing medical
education) and consumers (health education, tailored preventive information
Enabling information exchange and communication in a standardized way
between health care establishments.
Extending the scope of health care beyond its conventional boundaries. This
is meant in both a geographical sense as well as in a conceptual sense. e-
health enables consumers to easily obtain health services online from global
providers. These services can range from simple advice to more complex
interventions or products such a pharmaceuticals.
Ethics - e-health involves new forms of patient-physician interaction and
poses new challenges and threats to ethical issues such as online
professional practice, informed consent, privacy and equity issues.
Equity - to make health care more equitable is one of the promises of e-
health, but at the same time there is a considerable threat that e-health may
deepen the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots". People, who do not
have the money, skills, and access to computers and networks, cannot use
computers effectively. As a result, these patient populations (which would
actually benefit the most from health information) are those who are the
least likely to benefit from advances in information technology, unless
political measures ensure equitable access for all. The digital divide currently
runs between rural vs. urban populations, rich vs. poor, young vs. old, male
vs. female people, and between neglected/rare vs. common diseases.
In addition to these 10 essential e's, e-health should also be
Entertaining (no-one will use something that is boring!) and exciting
Physical site and/or website that provides 24-hour online access to digitized
audio, video, and written material, such as wikipedia.
Use of appropriate search engines:
What follows is a basic explanation of how search engines work.
Refining Your Search
Concept-based Searching (This information is dated, but might have
historical interest for researchers)
Search engines use automated software programs known as spiders or bots
to survey the Web and build their databases. Web documents are retrieved
by these programs and analyzed. Data collected from each web page are
then added to the search engine index. When you enter a query at a search
engine site, your input is checked against the search engine's index of all the
web pages it has analyzed. The best urls are then returned to you as hits,
ranked in order with the best results at the top.
This is the most common form of text search on the Web. Most search
engines do their text query and retrieval using keywords.
What is a keyword, exactly? It can simply be any word on a webpage. For
example, I used the word "simply" in the previous sentence, making it one of
the keywords for this particular webpage in some search engine's index.
However, since the word "simply" has nothing to do with the subject of this
webpage (i.e., how search engines work), it is not a very useful keyword.
Useful keywords and key phrases for this page would be "search," "search
engines," "search engine methods," "how search engines work," "ranking"
"relevancy," "search engine tutorials," etc. Those keywords would actually
tell a user something about the subject and content of this page.
Unless the author of the Web document specifies the keywords for her
document (this is possible by using meta tags), it's up to the search engine
to determine them. Essentially, this means that search engines pull out and
index words that appear to be significant. Since search engines are software
programs, not rational human beings, they work according to rules
established by their creators for what words are usually important in a broad
range of documents. The title of a page, for example, usually gives useful
information about the subject of the page (if it doesn't, it should!). Words
that are mentioned towards the beginning of a document (think of the "topic
sentence" in a high school essay, where you lay out the subject you intend to
discuss) are given more weight by most search engines. The same goes for
words that are repeated several times throughout the document.
Some search engines index every word on every page. Others index only
part of the document.
Full-text indexing systems generally pick up every word in the text except
commonly occurring stop words such as "a," "an," "the," "is," "and," "or,"
and "www." Some of the search engines discriminate upper case from lower
case; others store all words without reference to capitalization.
The Problem With Keyword Searching
Keyword searches have a tough time distinguishing between words that are
spelled the same way, but mean something different (i.e. hard cider, a hard
stone, a hard exam, and the hard drive on your computer). This often results
in hits that are completely irrelevant to your query. Some search engines
also have trouble with so-called stemming -- i.e., if you enter the word "big,"
should they return a hit on the word, "bigger?" What about singular and
plural words? What about verb tenses that differ from the word you entered
by only an "s," or an "ed"?
Search engines also cannot return hits on keywords that mean the same, but
are not actually entered in your query. A query on heart disease would not
return a document that used the word "cardiac" instead of "heart."
Refining Your Search
Most sites offer two different types of searches--"basic" and "refined" or
"advanced." In a "basic" search, you just enter a keyword without sifting
through any pull down menus of additional options. Depending on the
engine, though, "basic" searches can be quite complex.
Advanced search refining options differ from one search engine to another,
but some of the possibilities include the ability to search on more than one
word, to give more weight to one search term than you give to another, and
to exclude words that might be likely to muddy the results. You might also
be able to search on proper names, on phrases, and on words that are found
within a certain proximity to other search terms.
Some search engines also allow you to specify what form you'd like your
results to appear in, and whether you wish to restrict your search to certain
fields on the internet (i.e., Usenet or the Web) or to specific parts of Web
documents (i.e., the title or URL).
Many, but not all search engines allow you to use so-called Boolean
operators to refine your search. These are the logical terms AND, OR, NOT,
and the so-called proximal locators, NEAR and FOLLOWED BY.
Boolean AND means that all the terms you specify must appear in the
documents, i.e., "heart" AND "attack." You might use this if you wanted to
exclude common hits that would be irrelevant to your query.
Boolean OR means that at least one of the terms you specify must appear in
the documents, i.e., bronchitis, acute OR chronic. You might use this if you
didn't want to rule out too much.
Boolean NOT means that at least one of the terms you specify must not
appear in the documents. You might use this if you anticipated results that
would be totally off-base, i.e., nirvana AND Buddhism, NOT Cobain.
Not quite Boolean + and - Some search engines use the characters + and -
instead of Boolean operators to include and exclude terms.
NEAR means that the terms you enter should be within a certain number of
words of each other. FOLLOWED BY means that one term must directly
follow the other. ADJ, for adjacent, serves the same function. A search
engine that will allow you to search on phrases uses, essentially, the same
method (i.e., determining adjacency of keywords).
Phrases: The ability to query on phrases is very important in a search
engine. Those that allow it usually require that you enclose the phrase in
quotation marks, i.e., "space the final frontier."
Capitalization: This is essential for searching on proper names of people,
companies or products. Unfortunately, many words in English are used both
as proper and common nouns--Bill, bill, Gates, gates, Oracle, oracle, Lotus,
lotus, Digital, digital--the list is endless.
All the search engines have different methods of refining queries. The best
way to learn them is to read the help files on the search engine sites and
Most of the search engines return results with confidence or relevancy
rankings. In other words, they list the hits according to how closely they
think the results match the query. However, these lists often leave users
shaking their heads on confusion, since, to the user, the results may seem
Why does this happen? Basically it's because search engine technology has
not yet reached the point where humans and computers understand each
other well enough to communicate clearly.
Most search engines use search term frequency as a primary way of
determining whether a document is relevant. If you're researching diabetes
and the word "diabetes" appears multiple times in a Web document, it's
reasonable to assume that the document will contain useful information.
Therefore, a document that repeats the word "diabetes" over and over is
likely to turn up near the top of your list.
If your keyword is a common one, or if it has multiple other meanings, you
could end up with a lot of irrelevant hits. And if your keyword is a subject
about which you desire information, you don't need to see it repeated over
and over--it's the information about that word that you're interested in, not
the word itself.
Some search engines consider both the frequency and the positioning of
keywords to determine relevancy, reasoning that if the keywords appear
early in the document, or in the headers, this increases the likelihood that
the document is on target. For example, one method is to rank hits
according to how many times your keywords appear and in which fields they
appear (i.e., in headers, titles or plain text). Another method is to determine
which documents are most frequently linked to other documents on the
Web. The reasoning here is that if other folks consider certain pages
important, you should, too.
If you use the advanced query form on AltaVista, you can assign relevance
weights to your query terms before conducting a search. Although this takes
some practice, it essentially allows you to have a stronger say in what results
you will get back.
As far as the user is concerned, relevancy ranking is critical, and becomes
more so as the sheer volume of information on the Web grows. Most of us
don't have the time to sift through scores of hits to determine which
hyperlinks we should actually explore. The more clearly relevant the results
are, the more we're likely to value the search engine.
Information On Meta Tags
Some search engines are now indexing Web documents by the Meta tags in
the documents' HTML (at the beginning of the document in the so-called
"head" tag). What this means is that the Web page author can have some
influence over which keywords are used to index the document, and even in
the description of the document that appears when it comes up as a search
This is obviously very important if you are trying to draw people to your
website based on how your site ranks in search engines hit lists.
There is no perfect way to ensure that you'll receive a high ranking. Even if
you do get a great ranking, there's no assurance that you'll keep it for long.
For example, at one period a page from the Spider's Apprentice was the
number- one-ranked result on AltaVista for the phrase "how search engines
work." A few months later, however, it had dropped lower in the listings.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there on Meta tagging. If you're
confused it may be because different search engines look at Meta tags in
different ways. Some rely heavily on Meta tags; others don't use them at
all. The general opinion seems to be that meta tags are less useful than they
were a few years ago, largely because of the high rate of spamdexing (web
authors using false and misleading keywords in the meta tags).
Note: Google, currently the most popular search engine, does not index the
keyword Meta tags. Be aware of this is you are optimizing your web pages
for the Google engine.
It seems to be generally agreed that the "title" and the "description" meta
tags are important to write effectively, since several major search engines
use them in their indices. Use relevant keywords in your title, and vary the
titles on the different pages that make up your website, in order to target as
many keywords as possible. As for the "description" Meta tag, some search
engines will use it as their short summary of your URL, so make sure your
description is one that will entice surfers to your site.
Note: The "description" Meta tag is generally held to be the most valuable,
and the most likely to be indexed, so pay special attention to this one.
In the keyword tag, list a few synonyms for keywords, or foreign translations
of keywords (if you anticipate traffic from foreign surfers). Make sure the
keywords refer to, or are directly related to, the subject or material on the
page. Do NOT use false or misleading keywords in an attempt to gain a
higher ranking for your pages.
The "keyword" Meta tag has been abused by some webmasters. For
example, a recent ploy has been to put such words "games" or "mp3" into
keyword meta tags, in hopes of luring searchers to one's website by using
The search engines are aware of such deceptive tactics, and have devised
various methods to circumvent them, so be careful. Use keywords that are
appropriate to your subject, and make sure they appear in the top
paragraphs of actual text on your webpage. Many search engine algorithms
score the words that appear towards the top of your document more highly
than the words that appear towards the bottom. Words that appear in HTML
header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc) are also given more weight by some search
engines. It sometimes helps to give your page a file name that makes use of
one of your prime keywords, and to include keywords in the "alt" image tags.
One thing you should not do is use some other company's trademarks in
your Meta tags. Some website owners have been sued for trademark
violations because they've used other company names in the Meta tags. I
have, in fact, testified as an expert witness in such cases. You do not want
the expense of being sued!
Remember that all the major search engines have slightly different policies.
If you're designing a website and meta-tagging your documents, we
recommend that you take the time to check out what the major search
engines say in their help files about how they each use meta tags. You
might want to optimize your meta tags for the search engines you believe
are sending the most traffic to your site.
Concept-based searching (The following information is out-dated, but might
have historical interest for researchers)
Excite used to be the best-known general-purpose search engine site on the
Web that relies on concept-based searching. It is now effectively extinct.
Unlike keyword search systems, concept-based search systems try to
determine what you mean, not just what you say. In the best
circumstances, a concept-based search returns hits on documents that are
"about" the subject/theme you're exploring, even if the words in the
document don't precisely match the words you enter into the query.
How did this method work? There are various methods of building clustering
systems, some of which are highly complex, relying on sophisticated
linguistic and artificial intelligence theory that we won't even attempt to go
into here. Excite used to a numerical approach. Excites’ software
determines meaning by calculating the frequency with which certain
important words appear. When several words or phrases that are tagged to
signal a particular concept appear close to each other in a text, the search
engine concludes, by statistical analysis, which the piece is "about" a certain
For example, the word heart, when used in the medical/health context,
would be likely to appear with such words as coronary, artery, lung, stroke,
cholesterol, pump, blood, attack, and arteriosclerosis. If the word heart
appears in a document with others words such as flowers, candy, love,
passion, and valentine, a very different context is established, and a concept-
oriented search engine returns hits on the subject of romance.
2.2.6 Tutorials, training and wizards (assistants)
Tutorial software: computer programs that give instruction in how to use the
software program or system that they support. These programs simulate the
capabilities of the system.
Training software: Computer programs that training, usually job related,
e.g., how to perform tasks, about company procedures or policies. Training
programs may also be used to teach basic knowledge and skills. They permit
users to learn at a pace determined by the user, easy repetition of material,
and some give information in response to answers or choices made by the
Wizard: A program that guides users through a sequence of choices and
helpful information, leading to the completion of specific tasks such as
software installation, mail merges, or computer configuration. An assistant is
able to answer specific questions.
Help menu and help features: Almost similar to the wizards and assistance
this feature is designed to provide the user with help and is generally
provided in most software’s such as the tutorial software, training software
and most word processors. This feature generally provides the user with a
search in which the user can type to what he wants a solution to.
“Read Me” files: A “read me” file contains data relating to other files which
are in a directory or an archive. It is very commonly distributed with most
computer software these days. These files are called text files and are usually
under these types of names TXT, README.1ST, READ.ME, or simply README.
Using wizards and online assistants:
Pertaining to the computer;
"programmed instruction provided to a user at a computer terminal, often
concerning the use of a particular software package and built into that
"a manual explaining how to use a particular software package or computer
system." (Dictionary.com 2006)
"An interactive help utility that guides the user through a potentially complex
task, such as configuring a PPP driver to work with a new modem. Wizards
are often implemented as a sequence of dialog boxes which the user can
move forward and backward through, filling in the details required. The
implication is that the expertise of a human wizard in one of the above
senses is encapsulated in the software wizard, allowing the average user to
perform expertly." (Dictionary.com 2006)
The use of "wizards, assistants and online assistants in the design and
creation of a product, for example, desktop-published documents,
slideshows, web sites." (IBO 2006)
Open the Microsoft Office 2000 Word Processor
Click File --> Project Gallery --> Menus & Catalogues --> Menus
Make a Menu for favourite local restaurant
Save and Print
Generally, training is an organized special session where attendance is
required, tutorials are designed for self-paced learning and wizards are little
'tips' or 'how to’s' for small tasks.
A template in the IT sense is a pre-made outline or format for a file to be
made in. This can be for word processing documents, style sheets, web
sheets, or a software template. A software template is "generally identified
as any processing element that can be combined with a data model and
processed by a template engine to produce a result document." (Wikipedia,
accessed February 24, 2007)
The most commonly known type of templates are the ones used in word
processing. These types of templates include types of letters (formal and
informal), reports, etc. These templates can be browsed for online by going
to Microsoft Word > File > New... > then in the window on the right of the
screen click the "Templates on Office Online" link.
Check out Templates for more information on all kinds of templates.
Ethical and Social Issues
The step by step tutorial, training and wizards content is correct.
Will work every time and be useful
Can be confusing or hard to follow the steps
Reliability refers to the operation of hardware, the design of software, the
accuracy of data or the correspondence of data with the real world. Data may
be unreliable if it is entered incorrectly or if it becomes outdated. For
example, a medical record that becomes dissociated from the patient it refers
to becomes unreliable. The reliability of machines, software and data
determines our confidence in their value.
Globalization and Cultural Diversity
The need for IT companies to consider global and cultural diversity preparing
training and tutorial software (IBO 2006, i.e. language, level of language,
content (images, text, etc), suit learning styles
Globalization means the diminishing importance of geographic, political,
economic and cultural boundaries. IT has played a major role in reducing
these boundaries. For example, any dramatic event anywhere in the world
can be broadcast almost instantly by television or on the Internet. However,
there is a fear that easier communication can become a source of cultural
homogeneity. The new global village provides a worldwide cultural
awareness, but may lead to less diversity.
People and Machines
The requirement of organizations to provide training when implementing
change. (IBO 2006)
The balance in responsibility between an individual and an organization for
training. (IBO 2006)
Speed and accuracy of tasks are improved
Work is made easier and more pleasant
The balance in responsibility between an individual and an organization for
This is a very important topic concerning individuals and jobs nowadays. A
balance in responsibility between an individual and an organization for
training is required for a full and efficient job. That being said, we will discuss
now the outcomes and more features on this topic. Training for jobs is
necessary. This is done quite often, and in all companies. This is required so
that the individual can ‘get a hang’ of things going on in the office, as well as
to give him an idea of the future ahead of him.
This is also done when an individual does not meet the needs of the company
and the company feels that they can improve the individual by training him
in that area. For example, if a person is an Economics post-graduate from
oxford, and he is computer illiterate (this is an extreme idea but it is a simple
one), then the company feels that they can expand his abilities by training
him in computers. Another scenario is when an individual has not studied
computers, and his job is as a manager at a software company.
The company will train the individual so that he is a computer literate and
can do well in both managing, and understanding the areas. We all agree
that it is the responsibility of the company to train the individuals. But that is
assumed to be to a certain extent. I mean, a company can’t train an
individual more than enough. That would be a loss for the company, esp. if
the individual quits.
In fact, that would be a gain for the company he joins next. But the point is,
the individual, too, must have a responsibility concerning his own training.
He should consider his options before applying for an interview, or before
taking up a career. Before applying, he should see that he has the necessary
skills for the job, and that the company should not train him for expected
material which he is already supposed to know. There is a difference between
one or two day trainings, and 5 month trainings.
The requirement of organizations to provide training when implementing
This is a very practical measure. If there are changes in the system,
employees must be adequately trained to deal with and use that change
efficiently. A simple example would be a new database system for a hotel.
One can't expect to change the system one fine day and hope all the
employees can keep up with the change. New features and characteristics
need to be explained to maintain efficiency. If no training is given, many
unnecessary mistakes will be made before a level of efficiency is reached.
A hotel receptionist, could theoretically, misunderstand the system and book
a week-long guest for an extra day. This could cost a lot for the guest who
may remain unaware of the mistake.
Practice makes perfect and training accelerates the training process making
life easier for the company and the consumer- who don't suffer due to
mistakes caused by not understanding changes. In some cases, training not
only accelerates but is the only practically way of learning something. Telling
a bunch of workers at an Ad agency to suddenly start using Photoshop to
create layouts instead of paper would cause problems without training. It
would take an impractical amount of time for them to teach themselves and
achieve a reasonable level of efficiency. The consumers, people ordering the
Ads, will probably suffer as a result of poor initial quality.
Not training when implementing change can affect the product's consumers
and as such be a requirement- besides, it will increase the efficiency of the
company -unless the training is very costly. For consumers' sake, training
must be provided by organizations implementing change.
Key terms tutorial software, training software, wizards and assistants, help
menu and help features, “Read Me” files
Tutorial Software – Tutorial software’s are types of programs which assist or
guide a user to learn something. Tutorial software’s in this case mainly play
the role of a tutor or a teacher. Tutorial software’s are generally designed to
be user-friendly such that the user can be guided easily.
Training Software – Training software’s are types of programs which help a
user get training. This type of software is usually designed to let a trainee
experience the actual circumstances as it would during a real situation.
Training software’s generally are used because they are efficient. It is
cheaper to give training to trainee than actually building a real situation. The
advantage this has is that companies can hire several trainees and train
them with this software for minimal costs and risks.
For example when the government wants to hire train drivers, they usually
train them with the help of these training software’s. Hence by this they can
easily train the drivers without taking into account the costs of actual training
which would be driving the actual train and risks such as train accidents.
Consequently again in this scenario training software’s minimize the costs
Wizards and Assistance –Tools that assist the user, typically by “popping up”
Help menu and help features – Catalogued and indexed databases within a
program that provide assistance on a variety of subjects. Topics are
“Read me” files – A “read me” file is a helpful file usually packaged with the
software designed to instruct the user in its operation.
Using wizards, assistants and online assistants in the design and creation of a
product, for example, desktop-published documents, slideshows, web sites
These can be done very conveniently.
The technology emerged when Microsoft and Apple felt the need to help and
enlarge their customer base by helping them with procedures crucial to
creating files that could be made with their applications.
The issues that are related are those of:
The business of the company that manufactures the software
The ease of use for the customer
The faith that the customer has in the brand(for example Microsoft or Apple
who create software for presentations and spreadsheets)
The stakeholders are the customers who, with the assistance of wizards, can
create files that can be made using some application or another. These
people can significantly save their time and act in an efficient manner. This
will give them a satisfaction and keep them coming for products released by
major software power houses.
The situation doesn’t really have a problem unless it’s difficult to use or if it is
non-existent. Both of these are rare occurrences.
It really affects only business of companies that release software. An
example of what is talked is the “Mac fever”. Converts to Macintosh prefer it
to Windows and to these people Mac is considered an addiction.
Also, the impact is global because software is available to most people who
can afford it anywhere with relative ease.
2.1 Basics: hardware and networks
2.1.1 Systems fundamentals
Baud: a data transmission rate (bits/second) for modem
Trojan horse: A computer program with an apparently or actually useful
function that contains additional (hidden) functions that surreptitiously
exploit the legitimate authorizations of the invoking process to the detriment
of security. For example, making a "blind copy" of a sensitive file for the
creator of the Trojan Horse.
Worm: A worm is a self-replicating (makes copies of itself), self-propagating
(moves itself forward) program which is designed to harm your computer
and others on the network. Of course, self-replicating means that they
actually make copies of themselves and send themselves through a network
of unprotected computers. Worms can act on their own and do not need to
be associated with any particular computer program.
Logic bomb: a set of instructions inserted into a program that are designed
to execute (or `explode') if a particular condition is satisfied; when exploded
it may delete or corrupt data, or print a spurious message, or have other
Platform: In computing, a platform describes some sort of hardware
architecture or software framework (including application frameworks) that
allows software to run. Typical platforms include a computer's architecture,
operating system, programming languages and related runtime libraries or
graphical user interface.
Peripheral: A peripheral is a device attached to a host computer but not part
of it whose primary functionality is dependent upon the host, and can
therefore be considered as expanding the host's capabilities, while not
forming part of the system's core architecture.
Examples are printers, scanners, tape drives, microphones, speakers,
webcams, and cameras.
Use advantages and disadvantages of analogue and digital data
Easy to store and use, that is why computers use it.
Digital data is designed and artificially created, so it is efficient.
Digital communications require greater bandwidth than analogue to transmit
the same information.
Uses less bandwidth
The effects of random noise can make signal loss and distortion impossible to
Operating systems (multitasking, boot) and utilities, for example,
defragment, diskformat, virus scan programs
What is an operating system?
System software is designed to enable you to run a computer without having
to know exactly what's going on inside. It controls the actual operation of
the computer system. An operating system (OS) such as Microsoft Windows
XP is part of the system software. The purpose of an OS is to provide the
user with a means of operating the computer and manage the many
components and resources of the system.
What is application software?
Application software is a range programs designed for users to perform
specific tasks or functions. Such tasks include word-processing,
spreadsheets, databases, desktop publishing (DTP), presentations and
communications such as email and ‘chat’.
When a computer is powered up it carries out a series of tasks to check that
the basic hardware is operating correctly. It then tries to load the OS
program into the main memory. Checking hardware, locating and loading the
OS is carried out by a small program called the bootstrap loader that is held
Functions of a single user operating system
An OS can be described as having six areas of functionality:
Interpret user commands.
The operating system’s File Management System (FMS) manages the storing
of files on the hard disk and holds details of the precise physical addresses
where the files are located. The FMS organises files in a hierarchical filing
system for the benefit of the user, though in reality files are fragmented
across the disk’s surface and therefore these fragments require to be indexed
for retrieval. This index is known as a File Allocation Table (FAT, FAT32 or
NTFS in XP).
Input/Output management (I/O subsystem)
The I/O subsystem is also known as the Basic Input / Output System (BIOS)
as supplied on the PC motherboard in ROM. The I/O subsystem
communicates directly with peripheral devices and handles the transfer of
data between peripherals and the processor.
Managing processes – the kernel
The kernel manages processes and handles interrupt request signals from
peripherals wishing access to the processor. Processes can be thought of as
jobs or tasks. Modern operating systems facilitate multi-tasking which
simply means many tasks can be carried out concurrently i.e. at the same
time. In reality a single processor can only perform one process at a time
and therefore it is necessary to allocate each running process a ‘time slice’
with the processor. As time slices are in nanoseconds, it appears to the user
that many processes are being executed simultaneously.
Resource allocation is the way in which an operating system makes a
computer’s resources available for use at any one time to a running process.
Processes require a computer’s resources to be allocated during their runtime
such as memory locations in RAM, access to a device’s buffer, data files and
processor time. The operating system queues processes that are ready for
CPU time and schedules their time slices resulting in an efficient allocation.
Utility programs are designed to perform a specific task and extend the
functionality of the OS. Some utilities are supplied with the OS, such as the
disk defragmenter utility supplied with Windows XP. Others are ‘third party’
in that they are developed by other software companies and are often free or
shareware, such as the AVG anti-virus utility.
Examples of utility programs include:
Disk partitioning - allows division of hard disk into two or more partitions
with assigned drive letters e.g. E:\. This is very useful if you want to run two
or more different operating systems such as Windows and Linux, with each
partition being ‘bootable’ and containing all OS, program and data files.
Disk defragmenter – lets you defragment your hard disk by gathering
together all the free space and restoring fragmented files to a contiguous
Anti-virus checker – detects virus programs on your computer and removes
them, checks incoming files do not contain viruses and keeps up-to-date with
regular updates from the vendor.
Responsible computer use (for example, regular back-ups, virus checking,
security, storage, housekeeping)
People use file folders in which to organise their paper documents into
meaningful collections. These file documents could be e.g. financial papers,
In the same way, computer files can be organized into folders. You are able
to create folders, give them names and store documents and other files
within them. So when you open a folder, all its contents are revealed.
Folders can be organized hierarchically, which means that a folder can
contain other folders.
If you still couldn’t find a document, operating systems such as Search or
Find can help you find them.
File compression is the process of reducing the size of a file so that you can
fit more files into the same amount of disk space. File compression can be
thought of as squeezing, making space for more files.
File compression can be performed by using an application, an operating
system, or another type of software program. E.g. Adobe Photoshop, which
can save a digital photograph by using GIF or JPEG.
Back-ups should be updated regularly, in case of misplacement of files or
folders. These usually come from hard disk failure, a software bug, or a
computer virus that destroyed data files.
It is a good idea to use a backup copy (e.g. a CD) to hold backup files and
save computer storage space. To save time, you should also back up hard
disks by using removable hard drives.
Check out this generic (sample) backup policy that could be adapted for
organization: Backup Policy
Firstly, you need a good virus protection program. You can either purchase it,
or download it from the internet. Fee should be included.
When installing, set program to automatically scan all files.
To safely keep computer free of viruses, you should be constantly up- dating
anti-virus software, just to be safe, and insure that no viruses will breach
A responsible and systematic approach to implementing or upgrading IT
systems, for example, analysis, design, implementation, testing, evaluation,
training, policies and standards.
Information Technology will be one of the key factors driving progress in the
21st century it will transform the way we live, learn, work, and play.
Advances in computing and communications technology will create a new
infrastructure for business, scientific research, and social interaction. This
expanding infrastructure will provide us with new tools for communicating
throughout the world and for acquiring knowledge and insight from
Information technology will help us understand how we affect the natural
environment and how best to protect it. It will provide a vehicle for economic
growth. Information technology will make the workplace more rewarding,
improve the quality of health care, and make government more responsive
and accessible to the needs of our citizens. Information Technology also
deals with the design and use of computers and communications for solving a
wide variety of problems. It is remarkable that computers, which were only
developed about 50 years ago, are now used in such a large number of large
We accept as part of our normal life that almost all bills and payments from
governments and large organizations are printed by computers and that
services such as Medicare or Bankcard are possible only because of the
effective use of computers. Although the applications of computers are
diverse, from printing bills to controlling a blast furnace, they all require that
information be stored in the computer and manipulated by computer
There are two main category of Information Technology. Data management
comprises all the disciplines related to managing data as a valuable resource.
The official definition provided by DAMA is that "Data Resource Management
is the development and execution of architectures, policies, practices and
procedures that properly manage the full data lifecycle needs of an
This definition is fairly broad and encompasses a number of professions
which may not have direct technical contact with lower-level aspects of data
management, such as relational database management. Data storage is a
system for recording information. Recording can be done using virtually any
form of energy. A storage device may hold information, process information,
or both. A device that only holds information is a recording medium. Devices
that process information may either access a separate portable recording
medium or a permanent component to store and retrieve information.
Word processing versus page layout
Standard – everyone has it
Not much training needed for simple tasks
Fairly powerful . . . If you know the tricks
Crashes, bugs, weirdness of Microsoft
Not cross-platform compatible
Equations cumbersome to publish and edit
Not designed for books or other long projects
Page layout features limited
It’s not from Microsoft
Easy to use
Not as standard as Word
Poor page layout
Poor cross-platform compatibility
Designed for books and long publications
Tools for indexing, bibliographies, etc.
Excellent cross-platform performance
Ready to multipurpose documents
Equations easily edited, published
Excellent import/export capabilities
Designed for page layout
Works well with others
Excellent typographical control
Require some training to be effective
No native equation editing
Best for image-intensive layouts
Best choice for pre-press
PageMaker vs InDesign vs Quark Express
PageMaker Easy to use, but becoming outdated
InDesign Powerful it’s from Adobe, works with Photoshop, etc.
State of the art tools
Quark Express Outpaced by In Design It’s not from Adobe
Effective use of word processing functions to streamline production of
Use of appropriate fonts, white space and line spacing to create output that