Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chapter 7

Identify common wireless devices and their application to business

Wireless devices are commonly applied to businesses because they save time and allow the employees of the business to spend time on other more productive things. Some common wireless devices include smart phones, these phones are regularly used by businesses as employees have regular access and can perform productive tasks, as they are connected to the internet and in turn are connected to their work. Other common wireless devices include the blackberry 8800, The Treo 750, The Motorola Q, The Helio Ocean, the Apple I-phone and The Sony Mylo.Such wireless devices connect people with their businesses by letting them know what is happening internal to their business even when they are outside their business; this in turn gets work done faster.
However one disadvantage of smart phones is that people can use them to copy and pass on confidential information. Nonetheless new jamming devices are being developed to counter the threat.

Describe the various types and general characteristics of wireless transmission media/technologies - microwave, satellite, infrared and radio waves.

- Wireless transmission media – transmit signals without wires over the air or in space. The main types of wireless media include microwave, satellite, radio and infrared.
- Microwave – these transmission systems are widely used for high-volume, long distance, line-of-sight communication. The advantages are High bandwidth and they are relatively inexpensive, however the disadvantages include that there must be an unobstructed line of sight, and it is susceptible to environment interference.
- Satellite – make use of communication satellite. There are three types of satellites geostationary (GEO), medium earth orbit (MEO), and low earth orbit (LEO). The advantages of high bandwidth and large area coverage. The disadvantages include the fact that it is expensive, it must also have an unobstructed line of sight, the signals experience propagation delay and encryption must be used for security
- Infrared – the final type of wireless transmission is infrared transmission. Common applications of infrared lights are remote control units for television etc. The advantages include that it has low to medium band width and it is used only for short distances. The disadvantages are that it must have an unobstructed line of sight.
- Radio – uses radio wave frequencies to send data directly between transmitters and receivers. The advantages include its ability to travel easily between normal office walls. The radio devices are fairly inexpensive, and can transmit data at high speeds. The disadvantages of include the fact that radio media can create electrical interference programs.

What is Bluetooth and how is it used?

- Bluetooth is a chip technology that enables short-range connection (data and voice) between various devices. It is an industry specification used to create small personal area networks. A personal area network is a computer network used communication among computer devices (e.g. telephones and smart phones) close to one person.
- Bluetooth can link up to eight devices within a 10 meter area using low power, radio-based communication.
- Common applications for Bluetooth are wireless handsets for cell phones and portable music players.
- Advantages include its low power consumption and its Omni-directional radio waves.

What are WLAN's, Wi-Fi, WWAN's, 3G?

- WLAN – a computer network in a limited geographical area that uses wireless transmission for communication
- Wi-Fi – a set of standards for wireless local area networks based on the IEEE 802.11 standard.
- WWAN – it differs from WLAN in that it uses Mobile telecommunication cellular network technologies.
- 3G – uses digital signals and can transmit data up to 384 Kbps when the device is moving at a walking pace , 128 Kbps when moving in a car, and up to 2 Mbps when the device is in a fixed location. 3G supports video, Web browsing and instant messaging.

What are the drivers of mobile computing and mobile commerce

The development of mobile commerce and mobile computing is driven by the following factors:
- Widespread availability of mobile devices – most phones now have internet access. Cell phones are also spreading very quickly on developing countries
- No need for a PC – because people have access to internet through the smart phone or other wireless devices, they do not need to go on the PC to access the internet.
- The ‘cell phone culture’ – the members of ‘cell phone culture’ will constitute a major force of online buyers once they begin to make and spend more money.
- Declining prices – the price of wireless devices is declining and wil continue to decline
- Bandwidth improvement – to properly conduct m-commerce, you will need sufficient bandwidth for transmitting text, voice, video and multimedia.

Explain the nature of RFID

- Radio frequency identification technology is a wireless technology that allows manufacturers to attach tags with antennas and computer chips on goods and then track their movement through radio signals.
- RFID systems use tags with embedded microchips, which contain data, and antennas to transmit radio signals over short distance to RFID readers
- One problem with has been the expense. Tags remain expensive, which makes them unusable for low-priced items.

Chapter 3

Provide an IT example that relates to the ethical issues for the ideas of privacy, accuracy, property, and accessibility.

- Increasing amounts of data are being stored at decreasing cost, this means that the organisation can store more information for longer periods of time on their information systems. Computer networks, particularly the internet, enable organisations to collect, integrate, and distribute enormous amounts of information on individuals, groups and institutions. As a result ethical problems can arise about the appropriate use of customer information, personal privacy, and the protection of intellectual property.

What are the 5 general types of IT threats? Provide an example for each one

- Unintentional acts – those acts without maliciouis intent, there are three types, these are human error, deviations in quality of service by service providers, and environmental hazards. Out of all three types, human errors are the most serious threats to information security.
- Natural disasters - these include floods, earthquakes and fires. In many cases thuis may result inlosses of information and other company data. For this reason the company must engage in proper planning for backup and recovery of information systems and data.
- Technical failures – include problems with hardware and software. The most common hardware problem is the crash of a hard disk drive. The most common software problem is errors – called bugs – in computer programs. Software bugs are so common that entire websites are dedicated to documenting them.
- Management failures – involve lack of funding for information security efforts and a lack of interest in those efforts. Such lack of leadership will cause the information security of the organisation to suffer.
- Deliberate acts – deliberate acts by organisational employees (i.e, insiders) account for a large number of information security breaches.

- Malicious behaviour
- Malicious code: virus, spam, phishing
- Management security negligence – through incorrect procedure and recovery established within workplace

Describe/discuss three types of software attack and a problem that may result from them.

- Virus – segment of a computer code that performs malicious actions by attaching to another computer program
- Worm – segment of computer code that performs malicious actions and will replicate, or spread by itself (does not require another computer program)
- Trojan horse – software programs that hide in other computer programs and reveal their designed behaviour only when they are activated

Describe of security controls in relation to protecting information systems.the four major types

- Physical controls – no one can physically go to the server and see it. (there are physical barriers which those that do not have the authorisation to cross, cannot cross
- Access controls
· Administration – setting people user names and passwords to ensure the right level of access to the right areas.
· Authentication and authorisation
· Knowing who you are – works in a few diff ways , something that you know or the system wants to know who you are, biometrics. Or authenticated on something that you have e.g proximity card.
· What are you authorised to access – the directory of the organisation is split into different functional areas and the people in certain areas are only authorised to see things in their area
- Communications controls – secures the movement of data across networks
- Application controls – security counter-measures that protect specific applications

What is information system auditing?

- Companies implement security controls to ensure that information systems work properly. These controls can be installed in the original system, or they can be added after a system is in operation. Independent and unbiased observers perform the task of information system auditing. it involves the regular check-up on files and servers to ensure that those people that should have access to the different files of the business do have access to the different files of the business and ensure that those who are not authorised do not have access to such files.

What is the difference between authentication and authorization?

Authentification determines the identity of the person that requires access, whereas authorisation determines which actions, rights, or privelages the person has, based on verified identity. organisations may use many methods to identify authorised personnel: something a user is, something a user has, something a user does, and something the user knows.

Tech Guide 2 questions

What are main differences/distinction between system software and application software?

-Application software is the class of computer instructions that directs a computer system to perform specific processing activities and provide functionality for users. Whereas system software is the class of computer software that serve primarily as an intermediary between computer hardware and application programs; provides important self-regulatory functions for computer systems.

What are the two main types of system software?

System control programs (control the use of the hardware, software and the data resources of a computer system . the main system control program is the operating system – supervises all operations of the computer) and system support programs (supports the operations, management, and users of a computer system by providing a variety of support services. Examples of ssp are system utility programs, performance monitors and security monitors)

What is the difference between proprietary and open source software? What considerations should be made when a business selects either software.

Proprietary application software is software that addresses specific or unique business need for a company whereas open source software is software made available in source code form at no extra cost. A business should choose proprietary software if it is a firm that in need of unique and specific software, if not, it should just obtain the general software, open source software as it is the cheaper alternative. open source software leaves the purchaser with the alternative of editing the source code and hence customising the software to suit certain needs, and the lack of necessity of a license leaves the individual free to distriute the product.

What are some of the legal issues involved in acquiring and using software in most businesses/organizations?

Copying software is illegal. The Software Publishers Association (SPA) has stated that software piracy costs software vendors around the world approximately $15 billion. in order to use propriety software the business must ensure that it is not using it illegally, this is done by obtaining a license. however the software must not be distributed. nonetheless, open source software is free to all and can be distributed to all people.

What is meant by SaaS? Name some examples of this software.

Software-as-a-service --> it is a method of delivering software in which a vendor hosts the application. Customers access these applications over a network, typically the internet.

some examples of SaaS include:

--> microsoft live

--> google docs

--> sales force online CRM

Tech Guide Questions

What is computer hardware and what are the major hardware components?

- Computer hardware refers to the physical equipment used for the input, processing, output and storage activities of a computer system.
- The major hardware components are as follows:
· Central processing unit (CPU) àmanipulates the data and controls the tasks performed
· Primary storage --> temporarily stores the data and program instructions during processing
· Secondary storage -->external to the CPU; stores data and programs for future use
· Input technologies --> accept data and instructions and convert them into a form that the computer can understand
· Output technologies --> present data and information in a form people can understand
· Communication technologies --> provide for flow of data from external computer networks to the CPU and from the CPU to computer networks

What is Moore's Law/what does it mean in relation to computers.

- Gordon Moore predicted that microprocessor complexity would double approximately every two years. This means that computers will double in speed every 24 months. As computer speed doubles processors will become smaller and smaller.

In basic terms, describe how a microprocessor functions.

- In laymen’s terms the function of a microprocessor is as follows, it sets inputs, then processes the data after processing the data it stores the data until it is needed. When the data is needed it then retrieves the data.
- The control unit accesses programs instructions, decodes them and controls the flow of data to and from the ALU and various output devices. The arithmetic-logic unit (ALU) performs the mathematic calculations and makes logical comparisons. The registers are high-speed storage areas that store very small amounts of data and instructions for short periods of time.

What factors determine the speed of the microprocessor?

- Clock speed – preset speed of the clock that times all chip activities, measured in GHz and MHz
- Word length – the number of binary units, or bits that the CPU can process in one machine cycle
- Bus width – the size of the physical paths down which the data and instructions travel as electrical impulses. (the wider the bus, the more data can be moved and the faster the processing)
- Line width – the distance between the transistors. The smaller the line width, the more transistors that can be packed on to a chip, and the faster the chip.

What are the four main types of primary storage.

- Registers --> part of the CPU. They have the least capacity, storing extremely limited amounts of instructions and data immediately before and after processing.
- Random Access Memory (RAM) --> holds software program and small amounts of data for processing. RAM is temporary and in most cases, volatile.
- Cache memory --> type of high-speed memory that enables the computer to temporarily store blocks of data that are used more often and that a processor can access more rapidly than main memory (RAM)
- Read-only Memory --> a type of chip where certain critical instructions are safeguarded. It is non-volatile (retains instructions even when the computer is switched off. ROM is the instructions needed to “boot” the computer after it has been shut off.

What are the main types of secondary storage?

- Magnetic media --> magnetic tape is kept on a large open reel or in a smaller cartridge or cassette, although this is an old type of media, it is still used because it can hold enormous amonts of data and is the cheapest form of storage
- Optical storage devices --> a laser reads the surface of a reflective plastic platter. Slower than magnetic hard drives but are less susceptible to damage from contamination and are less fragile.
- Flash memory devices --> non-volatile computer memory that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed. They are electronic storage devices that contain no moving parts and use 30 times less battery power than hard drives.
- Solid state media --> e.g. USB

How does primary storage differ from secondary storage in terms of speed cost and capacity?

- Secondary storage is non-volatile. It takes more time to retrieve data from secondary storage than it does from RAM. Secondary storage is cheaper than primary storage. Secondary storage can take place on a variety of media, each with its own technology. Secondary storage has higher capacity and lower costs.

What are enterprise storage systems?

- An independent, external system with intelligence that includes two or more storage devices. There are three major types of enterprise storage subsystems: redundant arrays of independent disks (RAIDs), storage area networks (SANs), and network-attached storage (NAS). enterprise storage systems are known for providing large amounts of storage, high performance data transfer, a high degree of availability, protection against data loss and sophisticated management tools

Distinguish between human data input devices and source data automation.

Human data input devices: rely on humans to input data, and prone to human error. Such as: keyboards, mouse
Source data automation: far more accurate and faster. Such as barcode scanners

What is one new technology that will change how we do things? You need to do some research

A new technology available that will change how we do things is the LG watchphone. this will allow people to use their watches rather than carrying phones around with them. it has an inbuilt speaker and microphone, so people can make phone calls directly from their wrists. it has bluetooth, so you can wear your headset instead of holding your wrist next to your mouth.

more information is available on the following website:


Chapter 2

What is the difference between an 'application' and a computer-based information systems?

- A computer-based information system is an information system that uses computer technology to perform some or all of its intended tasks. The basic components of information systems are as follows, hardware, software, database, a network, procedures and people. An application program is a computer based designed to support a specific task or business process. Each functional area or department within a business organisation uses dozens of application programs for example HR, one for screening and one for monitoring employee turnover.

What are strategic information systems?

- Systems that help an organisation gain a competitive advantage by supporting its strategic goals and/or increasing performance and productivity.

According to Porter, what are the five forces that could endanger a firm’s position in its industry or marketplaces?

- Michael Porter’s competitive force models describe five forces that could endanger the firms industry or marketplaces. These five forces include:
· The threat of entry of new competitors
· The bargaining power of suppliers
· The bargaining power of customers
· The threat of substitute products or services
· The rivalry among existing firms in the industry

In relation to Porter's value chain model, what is meant by primary activities and support activities, and how does IT support these activities?

- Primary activities are those business activities that relate to the production and distribution of the firms products and services, thus creating value for which the customers are willing to pay.
- Primary activities are buttressed by support activities. Support activities do not add direct value to the firm’s products or services. They contribute to the firms competitive advantage by supporting the primary activities. Support activities consists of:
· The firms infrastructure
· Human Resource Management
· Product and technology development
· Procurement

Discuss the logic of building information systems in accordance with the organizational hierarchical structure.

Once the company forms its hierarchical structure it then forms systems for each of these structures. They are then interconnected. most organisations have a structure of the CEO at the top then downwards. Specialisation and customisation then takes place in each division, the business focuses on what types of software and hardware are necessary for each division for each of there specialised tasks. For example; graphic editing software and hardware for marketing division of a business

How has the Internet affected each of the five forces in Porter’s competitive forces model?

- 1) threat of entry of new competitors – the web increases the threat of entry of new competitors. Competitors frequently need only to set up a web site. This threat is particularly acute in industries that perform an intermediation role, which is a link between buyers and sellers.
- 2) the bargaining power of suppliers – buyers can find alternative suppliers and compare prices more easily, reducing suppliers’ bargaining power. Campanies can also integrate their supply chain, participating suppliers prosper by locking in customers
- 3)the bargaining power of customers – increases a buyers access to information about products and suppliers. Can reduce the customers switching costs (the cost of switching elsewhere).
- 4) the threat of substitute products and services – any industry in which digitalised can replace material goods must view the internet as a threat because the internet can convey this information efficiently and at low cost.
- 5) the rivalry among existing firms in the industry – the internet increases and intensifies competition and therefore makes the rivalry high among different firms in an industry.

Chapter 1

What are the characteristics of the modern business environment?

The business environment is the combination of social, legal, economic, physical, and political factors that affect the business.
Social, political and legal factors include things such as social responsibility, government regulation/deregulation, spending for social programs, spending to protect against terrorism, and ethics
There also consists technological pressures which do in fact affect the modern business environment as the business must continually update their technology in order to remain competitive.
The modern workforce is becoming extremely diversified. There is an increasing number of women, single parents, minorities and persons with disabilities

What is meant by a web-based, global platform, what does it provide, and how has it affected business?

The global web-based platform consists of hardware, software, and communications technologies that comprise the Internet and the functionality of the World-wide web. This platform enables individuals to connect, compute, communicate, compete, and collaborate everywhere and anywhere, anytime and all the time, and to access limitless amounts of information, services and information, services, and entertainment. The platform operates without regard to geography, time, distance and even language barriers. The web-based platform has created today’s business environment, which is global, massively interconnected, intensely competitive, rapidly changing and communication intensive.

What are the main pressures that characterize the modern global business environment?

The main pressures that characterise the modern global business environment market pressures, technology pressures and societal/Political and Legal Pressures
Market pressures include things such as Global economy and strong competition (cost of labour varies widely among countries, labour costs are higher in developed countries), the changing nature of the workforce(workforce is becoming extremely diversified) and powerful customers (customers use the internet to become more knowledgeable about the availability and quality of products and services)
Technology pressures includes things such as Technological Innovation and Obsolescence (new and improved technology need to be obtained in order to keep up with consumer demands), and information overload (the amount of information available on the internet doubles approx every year, managers need to be able to access, navigate and utilise these vast storages of information.
Societal/Political and Legal Pressures include things such as social responsibility(corporations spend more time on solving various social problems. Other social problems include digital divideà many government and international organisations are trying to close the digital divide. Cybercafés have been implemented for people to use the internet for a small fee) government regulation/deregulation (businesses need to be in compliance with government regulations and statutes àbecoming and remaining compliant is expensive and time consuming), spending for social programs, spending to protect against terrorism (IT can help protect businesses by providing security systems and identifying patterns of behaviour associated with terrorist activities), and ethics (general standards of right and wrong)

What are/discuss some of the common, IT oriented organizational responses to these pressures?

Some of the IT oriented organisational responses to these pressures include strategic systems (advantages that enable a business to increase market share and/or profits, to negotiate with suppliers, or to prevent competitors from entering their markets), customer focus (organisation attempt to provide superb customer service), make-to-order (producing customised products and services) and mass customisation (produces large amount of items but customises them to fit the desire of each customer), and e-business(doing business electronically).
How are IT architecture and IT infrastructure are interrelated.
IT architecture is a high-level map or plan of the information assets in an organisation, it shows how all aspects of information technology in an organisation fit together. The IT infrastructure consists of the physical facilities, IT components, IT services, and IT personnel that support an entire organisation. People are the means of which IT architecture and IT infrastructure are interrelated. The IT architecture integrates the information requirements of overall organisation and all individual users, the IT infrastructure and all applications.

Is the Internet an infrastructure, an architecture, or an application program? or something else. Why?

The internet is not only one of the above, it is a combination of all the above, as the internet enables individuals to connect, compute, communicate, compete and collaborate everywhere and anywhere, anytime and all the time, also it allows individuals to access limitless amounts of information. It is an integration of information technology architecture, information technology infrastructure and application program to aid individuals to get the most out of the internet as they possibly can.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009