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Uses of Secondary Storage Devices

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Secondary storage devices are a very useful component to have. Many times, they also go by the name external hard drives. Different people use them for different purposes, as they are very versatile.

Computer Backup

  • The majority of secondary storage devices are used for a very simple task: backing up data. Most likely, your computer is filled with all of your music, pictures, videos and other items of value. You may also have expensive applications that you paid for loaded onto it. Backing up your data is always recommended in case of a hard drive crash on your computer.

External Hard Drive

  • Another common use of secondary storage devices is to serve as an external hard drive. If the hard drive on your computer is getting full, why not add an external hard drive? This simplifies the process of upgrading more storage as you do not have to crack open your computer. Simply add a secondary storage device via a USB port and you now have up to two terabytes of extra space added to your computer. This is also an ideal solution for notebook users who are unable to upgrade the hard drives in their computers.

Network Attached Storage

  • Many businesses will connect secondary storage devices to their network. This acts as an easy way for them to share files. When you connect a secondary storage device to your network, you can set specific permissions for anyone on your network to connect to it.

For Travel and Easy Transport

  • Secondary storage devices are becoming more and more portable as technology progresses. A very popular use of secondary storage devices has become using them to transport data. Whether you are going on an airplane and need to bring files to your boss, or just want to run a computer game to your friend, secondary devices will do the trick.

How to Create a Technology Needs Assessment

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A Technology Needs Assessment is written to provide the management of an enterprise with the information they need to make technology investment decisions. The enterprise may be a large corporation, a small business, a non-profit, or even a small unit or office within one of these entities. In all cases the task is the same: to examine the technology needs of the study site and document these needs so that technology strategy can be planned and corresponding investments made.

Instructions

  1. Begin by surveying and documenting all the existing technology at the study site. This survey will record all hardware along with its age and condition, all software along with the release version and any patches that have been applied, and should make reference to the business processes that are supported by the technology. The survey needs to be exhaustive, accurate and well-documented.
  2. Identify deficiencies in the existing technology. Some of these will already have emerged incidentally during the initial technology sweep. You should now interview site leadership and staff with the goal of exposing all the ways in which the existing technology fails to support the mission of the enterprise. Technology deficiencies can arise due to problems with slow, outdated hardware, or software that does not work well enough, or because of a lack of additional hardware or appropriate software. Document all the known and perceived deficiencies.
  3. Research solutions to the deficiencies. This will require some expert knowledge and careful judgment. In almost all cases there is a good argument for upgrading hardware to current standards. Software upgrades require more care, since the latest version is not always the best. Consult on-line forums and technology discussion groups for the opinions of experienced professionals on these topics. Assessment site management may suggest they need some new software. Investigate this suggestion and draw conclusions about its effectiveness and suitability. Look for alternative products, and compare costs.
  4. Consult the enterprise Technology Master Plan or Strategy document, if there is one. Your recommendations should be consistent with that document. If you make proposals in ignorance of a corporate policy you may be at variance with existing standards and that compromises the value of your assessment.
  5. Write up your findings and conclusions in a comprehensive document that includes your technology survey, a listing of deficiencies and the effects these have on the site’s business function, along with your recommendations for upgrades, if any. If you recommend any new software be purchased or licensed, provide the supporting rationale in terms of improvements to business functions that will result. In all cases provide the estimated costs of any changes you recommend.

How Does Technology Affect Business Decisions?

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Technology makes information available to decision makers, helping to improve the quality and speed of decision making. Technology also makes it easier for people to collaborate so they can execute joint business decisions. Organizations use communication technology to update employees on business decisions and ensure the right people implement those decisions.

Information

  • Individuals or groups who make business decisions need rapid access to information to formulate and justify their decisions. Information can include historical corporate data, customer records, market trends, financial data and competitor profiles. This information may reside in varying databases within an organization, however, making it difficult for decision makers to get a complete picture. Investing in a networked data management system enables organizations to store data in central locations that decision makers can access via a secure network.

Collection

  • Technology can also improve the collection of information needed for business decisions. Providing network links between a central database and local retail outlets, for example, enables organizations to collect the latest sales data and make decisions based on up-to-date information. Similarly, members of a supply chain can collect and share market and production data to make more accurate decisions about production and stock levels.

Process

  • Data alone cannot improve business decisions. According to Strategic Consultancy DSS Resources, data management must reflect decision-making processes. Many information technology (IT) departments believe that their responsibility is just to deliver large quantities of data to the decision maker’s desktop. Raw data, however, is unlikely to reflect the decision makers’ needs, creating a disconnect between IT and business.

Tools

  • The decision-making process consists of a number of stages including decision preparation, decision structuring, decision making, and decision management. Data requirements are different at each stage, so large volumes of raw data are unnecessary. Business intelligence software tools are available that allow users to select, analyze and manipulate data into the form they need at different stages of the process.

Groups

  • In many organizations, decision making is a group process, particularly for a project such as new product development. Technology supports decision making in a group environment by allowing all members to access essential data via a network. Groups can also use collaboration tools such as audio or video conferencing to conduct meetings between members in different locations as a way to speed up decision making.

Salary of a Principal Consultant

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Principal consultants may be employed by corporations or firms, and they are also private contractors. Their ranges of jobs, responsibilities and duties vary from mortgage fraud auditing, quality assurance consulting, and loan work-out consulting (loss mitigation) to investment and fund managers to business and technology consultants. There are hundreds of job titles that easily lend themselves to the job title “principal consultant.”

Salary Ranges

  • Salary ranges for principal consultants depend on the job and what kind of work it entails. The salaries depend on the industry it is in, what level of education the consultant has, how many years of experience, what region they work in and the nature of the work involved. The average salary of a principal consultant is from $94,000 to a little more than $110,000 per year.

Senior Principal Consultant

  • Senior principal consultants can be software engineers, technical support staff, software development managers, and applications engineers. Senior principal consultants earn about $76,000 per year depending on the company they work for.

Principal Consultant

  • Principal consultants in California make about $81,000 per year, per Simply Hired. The average salary in Colorado is $82,000 per year. The average in Illinois is about $80,000 per year and in New York, it is in the mid-80s ($85,000 annually). Principal consultants work in information technology, the life sciences, logistics and sales, as well as many other fields and industries.

Principal Sales Consultant

  • Principal sales consultant jobs cover a multitude of positions and skill levels. For instance, a principal sales consultant in the private sector who works with government accounts may be responsible for technical presales, functional support, mentoring less experienced sales consultants, and developing sales opportunities in need of creative solutions. They also help to develop productivity tools and training, and many are likely private contractors. On average, a principal sales consultant in Los Angeles makes around $84,000 per year and a consultant in Washington, DC makes $102,000 per year.

Companies that Hire Principal Consultants

  • All of the many different job titles and salary ranges under principal consultant cannot be covered here. This section lists the names of a few of the many companies that higher principal consultants. They are Oracle, Accenture, Sogeti USA, Keane, International Business Machines (IBM), SRA International, RCM Technologies, SAP America, Fujitsu Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many more. The salary ranges of principal consultants for these companies tend to fall between $80,000 to $170,000 or more per year.

Managing Engineering & Technology Organizational Structure

All organizations have a structure that defines how work is organized, who has the authority over work and workers and what work processes are used. The nature of these structures varies ranging from from those companies organized by function and utilizing a top-down reporting structure, to those taking a project-based approach, where assignments may be fluid and responsibility for work may be distributed. Engineering and technology organizations benefit greatly from a project-based or matrix structure.

History

  • The ways in which organizations are structured has evolved over time. In the early days of the American republic, entrepreneur founders often led companies. Over time, professional management came into being and managers were given responsibility for specific functions, such as sales, purchasing, manufacturing, administration or engineering. As organizations become more robust and their functions more diversified, this became the norm. In the 1970s, with the rapid development of technology, organization by project emerged. Many engineering and technology companies now organize in this matrix fashion.

Spectrum

  • Functional or matrix organizations are two ends of an organizational spectrum. Many companies include elements of both and may be classified as weak matrix, balanced matrix or strong matrix, depending on the extent they use a project-oriented structure and the level of authority given to project managers.

Impact

  • The structure of an organization affects how successfully a company is able to meet its strategic objectives or goals. While a functional group is responsible for ensuring the quality of current products and processes, it is the project-oriented activities that create the products and processes that take a company successfully into the future.

Communication

  • Good and timely communication is essential for success in a matrix-style organization. In a functional structure, much of the communication follows the “line of command,” but in a matrix-style organization communication is much more complex and occurs among the various project team members. There is more room for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Benefits

  • A matrix-style organizational structure provides project-oriented companies with improved cohesiveness. Resources, such as staff, time, equipment and money, can be brought to bear more efficiently on specific problems and shared more effectively across projects. Matrix organizations may benefit from improved teamwork and improved morale. Team members are exposed to a wider variety of challenges developing their skills and knowledge to a higher level.

Jobs for Electronics Engineering Technology

Some people love to work with electronics and other high-tech devices. However, finding a good job as an engineer often requires a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. If you want to start working sooner, you can acquire an electronics engineering technology degree in two years. As a technician, you can start earning high salaries without having to jump through the hoops of a bachelor’s degree.

Work

  • If you want to become an electronics engineer, you can pursue an electronics engineering technology degree, which is a specialized associate’s bachelor of science degree, insteand of a four-year bachelor’s degree. There are some engineering technician positions that do not even ask for an associate’s, but degree holders have a better chance of finding work. Degree holders can also find work as broadcast and sound engineering technicians.

Education

  • Associate’s degrees are offered at technical, community colleges that often have lower tuition and higher admission rates. These degrees are also sometimes awarded to service members by the military. Electronics engineering classes teach students about topics such as electrical circuits, microprocessors and digital electronics. Aspiring engineering technicians will also need to be creative and develop good communication skills in order to be successful. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians need manual dexterity. As technicians become more skilled, they are often given more complex work, and some move into the position of supervisor. Others go back to school for a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

Conditions

  • Electronic engineering technicians solve technical problems related to electronics devices, and some work as assistants to engineers. Many are responsible for setting up research equipment and collecting data. Others design, develop, test and manufacture electronic equipment to be sold in the marketplace. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up electronic equipment.

    Electronic engineering technicians usually work 40 hours a week and spend their time in laboratories, offices and manufacturing plants. While all those places are clean and well-lit, manufacturing plants require that workers wear specialized suits called bunny suits in order to avoid bringing contaminants into the plant. Some aspects of electronics engineering expose technicians to hazardous chemicals, such as fabricating integrated circuits. Broadcast and sound technicians can work in all kinds of environments and are sometimes exposed to adverse weather conditions.

Outlook

  • Electronic engineering technicians make up the majority of technician jobs, with 164,000 electronics technicians holding jobs in 2008. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these jobs are expected to grow by 5 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is slower than average. Broadcast and sound technicians can expect somewhat faster growth, at 8 percent, with 114,600 jobs held in 2008.

Earnings

  • In 2008, the median earnings for electronic engineering technicians was $53,240 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median earnings for broadcast and sound technicians was $38,050

Careers in Communications Technology

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In today’s society, it is crucial that technology functions both efficiently and consistently. People entering the field of communications technology will be responsible not only for sustaining and improving upon current communication systems, but also for creating entirely new forms of technology. Careers in communications technology span across all areas of industry, from software and hardware companies to media companies and financial institutions.

Qualifications

  • Each position within the field of communications technology requires its own specific set of skills. However, for any kind of job in the field of communications technology, applicants must have a strong understanding of communication systems and how they are developed and maintained.

    Although some employers only require previous work experience or specific certifications, for positions such as managerial roles, a bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement, and graduate degrees are preferred. Companies primarily focused on computer science and engineering will prefer applicants with degrees in information or computer science, engineering, or mathematics, while companies focused on business applications will hire graduates who have business and information systems experience.

Software Engineer

  • Software engineers design and develop software applications, such as word processors or communication networks. They write algorithms that essentially tell the computer what to do, and work closely with programmers during the design and maintenance processes of software development. According to Simplyhired.com, software engineers made an average of $69,000 a year in 2009.

Hardware Engineer

  • Hardware engineers are the architects behind the physical components of computer and communications technology. They are responsible for building and testing prototypes, and developing concepts that are cost effective and technologically sound. In 2009, the average hardware engineer salary was $71,000.

Database Developer

  • Database developers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of databases. Businesses and other organizations use databases to store and categorize information, and it is the job of the database developer to analyze, correct and answer questions pertaining to the system. Database developers made about $74,000 annually in 2009, according to SimplyHired.com.

Software Programmer

  • Software programmers are responsible for “teaching” a computer or network how to tolerate and interact with new programs. They do this by communicating with the computer or network via a programming language, such as Java. Software programmers also maintain and update programs, in addition to other computing tasks. Of the roles for communications technology outlined above, software programmers make the most—on average—at $79,000 per year.

Outlook

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs related to computers and databases are expected to grow at a faster than average rate—37 percent—by 2016. In fact, the communications technology industry as a whole is “projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy” in the next decade, says the BLS.

What Job Can I Get With an Associate Degree in Engineering Technology?

Students who pursue an associate degree in engineering technology learn a variety of engineering concepts. They may specialize in electronic engineering technology or mechanical engineering technology. Students may also choose to focus on civil engineering or industrial engineering technology. While some graduates go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree in engineering technology is enough to pursue several types of careers.

Electrical or Electronics Engineering Technician

  • With an associate degree in electrical or electronics engineering technology, graduates can pursue a career as an electrical or electronics engineering technician. In this role, they work with an engineer to design and advance the development of such electrical and electronic equipment as computers, medical monitoring devices, communications equipment and navigational equipment. According to 2012 wage estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical and electronics engineering technicians earn a median pay of $57,850, which is an hourly rate of $27.81. From 2012 through 2022, there is a 0 percent growth rate, which means that growth will be stagnant. However, the BLS predicts that demand for computer and electronics systems will produce some jobs for these graduates.

Mechanical Engineering Technician

  • An associate degree in mechanical engineering technology may lead to a career as a mechanical engineering technician. These individuals help to design, evaluate, improve and produce such mechanical devices as tools, engines and machines. According to the BLS, the median annual pay for mechanical engineering technicians was $51,980, or $24.99 hourly, as of 2012. Mechanical engineering technician jobs are projected to grow by 5 percent from 2012 through 2022, which is slower than the national average. However, the BLS also states that growth varies by industry, and these technicians will be able to find work in such emerging fields as 3-D printing, alternative energies and automation.

Industrial Engineering Technician

  • Graduates with an associate degree in industrial engineering technology may find employment as an industrial engineering technician. These technicians work in various industries to implement plans and designs, and also to effectively manage people, equipment and other resources in stores, offices, factories and other types of environments. Industrial engineering technicians can expect to make a median annual wage of $50,980, or an hourly wage of $24.51, according to May 2012 salary data from the BLS. In addition there is a -3 percent job growth rate from 2012 through 2022, which represents a decline in available jobs, but the BLS notes that the versatility of this degree will produce jobs as various industries seek to cut and control costs through efficiency.

Civil Engineering Technician

  • An associate degree in civil engineering technology can equip graduates with the skills needed to become a civil engineering technician. Civil engineering technicians work with engineers to plan and design highways, bridges and commercial and residential structures. The median annual salary for this position is $47,560 annually, or $22.87 hourly, according to May 2012 data from the BLS. Only a 1 percent growth rate is projected from 2012 through 2022, but the BLS states that the need to repair the country’s infrastructure and the demand for renewable energy projects should produce jobs.

How to Use Information Technology

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Information technology is the process of using computer devices to obtain and handle information and data. It is something that is used by people all over the world in their businesses as well as in their homes. Before the information-technology age came to be, individuals had to obtain and handle their information by hand, which was quite time-consuming; however, those days are over. You don’t need to have a degree in information technology to use it. All you need is a computer device and the desire to work with information.

Instructions

  1. Use information technology to increase productivity in your home or business. Programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint can be used to create word documents, spreadsheets and presentations. By using programs such as these, you will save time and effort, instead of wasting time by writing out documents and data information with your hands.
  2. Utilize databases in your home or office that will allow you to store data on your clients and customers. Many customers, when they connect with organizations, provide information such as their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and, sometimes, their social security numbers. By storing the client’s information in the database, you can shred the paperwork that contains confidential information. Because the information is being stored in a database, you can also have more control over who can view the information. You can assign usernames and passwords that are required to log into the database to access the information.
  3. Use information technology as a means to communicate. With so many features available, such as e-mail and instant messaging, you are sure to find a communication method that is more convenient than picking up a telephone.
  4. Use information technology to learn new information. With the power of the Internet, you have access to tons of information that some people pay to receive schooling for. You can search for any subject you would like to know about by entering the subject matter on an Internet search engine, such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com.
  5. Use information technology to create an online business. Through the Internet, you have access to billions more customers that will never step foot through your doors. If you have a business idea, you can market it online and make information technology work for you.
  6. Use information technology in your automobile by installing a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. The GPS device will help you to always know your location, even when you are lost. The GPS device can also help track your automobile if you should ever become the victim of auto theft.

How Much Data Can a Flash Drive Hold?

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Flash drives, also known as thumb or USB drives, are small external storage drives that connect to a computer’s USB drive. Users can employ these drives to move data between computers or to back up data.

Identification

  • Flash drives and other external storage media typically state the maximum data capacity on the drive itself or on the drive’s packaging. In addition to this, Windows users can determine the maximum capacity and available capacity of a flash drive by right clicking the drive in “My Computer” to view the capacity.

Maxiumum Capacity

  • As of October 2010, the maximum capacity of a flash drive is 256 gigabytes. Kingston’s 256 GB DataTraveler is larger than some computer hard drives, which makes them ideal for copying an entire hard drive. Flash drives are also available in much smaller capacities including 512MB, 1GB, 4GB and 8GB.

Considerations

  • Generally, the flash drives that can hold more data cost more money than smaller drives. In addition to this, the number of files a flash drive can hold depends on the type and size of the file. For example, a 512 megabyte card will only be able to hold about 232 photos at a 6-megapixel resolution while the same card can hold roughly 464 photos at a 3-MP resolution. Generally, a flash drive can hold more images than audio files and more audio files than video files.

Misconceptions

  • An 8GB flash drive will not hold exactly 8GB, similar to how a computer’s hard drive will actually have less room than advertised. Drives dedicate some space to formatting data and this reduces the overall capacity.

How Does Technology Impact Communication?

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Technology is constantly altering the way we live our lives. From how we eat to how we travel and work to how we entertain ourselves, technology has become an integral part of our day. However, the aspect of our lives that has been most impacted is likely the way we communicate with one another. These changes have been for both better and worse, but have unequivocally impacted the way we interact with the people in our lives.

SpeedTechnology has amplified the rate at which we communicate with the world around us. Developments like email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones, Twitter, social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and video conferencing have allowed us to connect with each other at breakneck speeds. This has helped us in some ways by allowing us to get in touch with each other quickly for both business and emergency needs. However, with speed sometimes comes recklessness. In a heated moment, people may send a text or email they later come to regret, but can’t take back because it was sent in a matter of seconds.

AccessibilityTechnology has changed how when contact each other, when, and where. With cell phone service being much more consistent than it was in the 1990s, and a growing market of smartphones with mobile internet and email access, messages can literally be transmitted anywhere at any time. This is uniquely helpful in a professional sense, because it allows you to stay in touch with colleagues when on a business trip or out of the country. Unfortunately, this accessibility can also become a burden. Blackberry phones have earned the nickname “Crackberry,” referencing a growing addiction to connectivity and a fast-paced lifestyle, perhaps distracting from other important communicative processes.

EfficiencyTechnology has greatly impacted the efficiency of our communicative acts. Instead of having to have a long conversation with a client about his kids and home life before asking a quick question about an order, a brief and to-the-point email can be sent to accomplish the same task. While this has made some business interactions a little easier, our reliance on technology to communicate with one another can sometimes lead to conflict. There is no nonverbal context to a text message or email, which means that sarcasm or jokes can sometimes be misinterpreted, leading to hurt feelings.

Family ConnectionsTechnology has made it easier for families to stay in contact with each other. Instead of having to rely on physical photographs being sent every couple of months, new parents can now send photo text messages (MSM) to proud grandparents every day. Video telephone calls made with platforms like Skype can let parents on overseas business trips talk to and see their kids. Members of the military can keep up to date with their family affairs and receive encouragement via email while deployed. The only time this becomes a problem is when technology becomes the only mode of connection, which can make more traditional family members feel isolated.

NewsTechnology has exploded access to news for the public. We are able to communicate about events as they happen with platforms like Twitter or news tickers that can be downloaded to your desktop. Moreover, the internet has changed the way we communicate news by giving literally anyone a voice with blogs and websites. This free flow of information serves as a check on public figures sometimes, but can also lead to misinformation and confusion.

List of Information Technology Careers

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Information technology encompasses all jobs related to computing technology, including networking, software, hardware and the Internet. There are a number of information technology positions that extend from entry-level to management, with a wide array of salaries. Some positions require interaction with people while others do not. If you have any interest in information technology, there is probably a job that fits your personality.

Computer Support Specialist

  • Computer support specialists are usually divided into two categories: technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. Technical support specialists work for organizations, helping address computer-user issues using automatic diagnostics programs. They may write training manuals and offer training. Help desk technicians address customer computer-related inquiries and provide assistance. Educational requirements for this position may vary from a certificate to a bachelor’s degree.

Systems Analyst

  • Systems analysts interact with clients, meeting with prospective customers and determining needs through interviews and observation. Systems analysts work in specific areas such as business, financial systems, accounting and engineering. They also prepare financial analyses regarding purchasing proposed technology and work with programmers to ensure systems are functional. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology is usually required for this position.

Computer Software Engineer

  • Computer software engineers are responsible for the design and development of computer software. They analyze a user’s needs and develop appropriate software using flowcharts and diagrams. Software computer engineer jobs include designing computer games, business applications, network control systems and operating systems. Most software engineers have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

Computer Programmer

  • Taking information provided by systems analysts or software engineers, a computer programmer writes the computer program. Translating the information into a language the computer can read, computer programmers also make repairs or improvements to existing programs. Computer programmer positions may require a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.

Information Systems Manager

  • An information systems manager’s main responsibility is to ensurethat an organization possesses the necessary technology to meet its goals. They oversee all technical areas of an organization along with managing other information technology professionals. Information systems managers may also evaluate new technologies, develop technical standards and determine how to implement any new technology. A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field is generally required.

Mobile Phone Engineering & Technology

Mobile technology developed over decades by sometimes astonishing feats of engineering and mobile phones are now used in nearly every country on Earth. First introduced in the 1940s, handling only single calls and nothing else, mobile technology has since undergone several revolutionary advances, including cellular service, highly sophisticated electronics and powerful, lightweight batteries.

Cellular Radio Service

  • Mobile phones rely on a cellular radio system that lets callers move about freely while facilitating millions of simultaneous calls. The system works through a network of radio towers, each of which has a range of a few miles. In most areas, tower coverage area overlaps. As you move, your phone detects one cell signal weakening and another strengthening. The network automatically switches you from one tower to another in a process called handoff

Tiny, Powerful Electronics

  • Improvements in electronic components have driven the modern mobile phone development. In particular, the power of phones increases as parts become increasingly miniaturized, enabling more and more to be packed into a small package. As component size decreased, phones became slimmer, lighter and more energy-efficient. For example, every mobile phone contains a radio transmitter and receiver. The earliest cellphone transmitter and receiver required pounds-worth of components. Now, these two circuits are reduced to a single chip a few millimeters square.

    Microprocessors, non-existent in the earliest mobile phones, now have the power for the latest games and sophisticated apps, not to mention movies and music. Also, advances in memory storage — in the onboard chips and, sometimes, expansion slots for SD cards — have transformed mobile phones into little PCs. Most mobile phones also include front and rear-facing cameras, some that rival expensive cameras. Cellphones have gradually eliminated the need for a separate device for photos and videos.

Compact, Lightweight Batteries

  • Mobile phones — as indicated by their name — are valued for their portability. Portability requires a battery to free you from power cords — at least until it needs recharging. The earliest mobile phones ran from a vehicle’s electrical system. Later phones used standard replaceable batteries as well as rechargeable nickel-cadmium types. The introduction of the lithium-ion battery, however, enabled mobile phones to both get through the day without recharging as well as power the added functionality and especially the brilliant, eye-catching displays.

Display Refinement

  • Modern cellphone screens rival and even beat the image quality found in full-size computer displays. Screen size has grown over the years and now takes up almost the entire front surface of the phone — from 4 to 6 inches diagonally, at time of publication. Screen resolution has also increased, rendering clarity for infinitesimal details.

    Full keyboards eventually replaced the number keypad in some devices. Those physical keyboards are now mostly replaced by an on-screen keyboard on a touch-screen display. Touch screens were tricky to manipulate when first introduced to the mobile phone but now have refined touch sensitivity, permitting control of the phone though finger taps and swipes.

    Many users now want screen size big enough to view comfortably while remaining convenient and portable. These larger mobile phones have started to take the place of tablets in the lives of users, earning them the nickname phablets.

Pyrolysis is an Emerging Green Technology

Pyrolysis is an emerging technology and its green credentials when the feed is biomass are top notch. Everyone who has lit a wood or coal fire and watched it burn has seen pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is usually the first chemical reaction that occurs in the burning of many solid organic fuels, like wood, cloth, and paper, and also of some kinds of plastic.

In a wood fire, the visible flames are not due to combustion of the wood itself, but rather of the gases released by its pyrolysis; whereas the flame-less burning of embers is the combustion of the solid residue (charcoal) left behind by it.

Although the basic concepts of the process have been validated, the performance data for an emerging technology have not been evaluated according to methods approved by EPA and adhering to EPA quality assurance/quality control standards.

Waste is converted to a fuel by heating the waste which burns just as coal or wood does under the right controlled conditions. Whereas incineration fully converts the input waste into energy and ash, these processes limit the conversion so that combustion does not take place directly.

Waste Plastic under pressure and catalytic cracking produces fuel and can be used as a fuel source. Under certain temperature conditions the plastic macromolecular chains are broken down into small molecular chains (simple hydrocarbon compounds) and those small molecular compounds contain C4 to C20, this compound is a component of petrol, coal oil, and diesel.

Anhydrous pyrolysis can also be used to produce liquid fuel similar to diesel from solid biomass.

Fast pyrolysis occurs in a time of a few seconds or less. Therefore, not only chemical reaction kinetics but also heat and mass transfer processes, as well as phase transition phenomena, play important roles. Fast pyrolysis is a process in which organic materials are rapidly heated to 450 – 600 degrees C in absence of air. Under these conditions, organic vapors, permanent gases and charcoal are produced.

Researchers at Virginia Tech have identified pyrolysis as a potential technology for disposing of poultry litter. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop transportable pyrolysis units to process the waste from poultry growers within one locality, thus reducing transportation cost. Researchers believe that the char, an inert and highly porous material, plays a key role in helping soil retain water and nutrients, and in sustaining microorganisms that maintain soil fertility. Researchers have obtained from wood – initially beech and then coniferous species – oils with almost ideal characteristics. Straw, which has a lower energy yield – 50% as opposed to 70% for wood – is also due to be analysed in the near future.

Bill Gates’ personal investment vehicle, is reportedly backing Sapphire Energy, a start up working towards a commercial-scale facility to produce oil from algae, but we think he would do well to look at gasification and pyrolysis as his energy technology because there are so many possibilities in this technology.

Gasification technology also offers the possibility to create a new domestic supply of gas. It works by converting the hydrocarbons in coal, biomass and waste petroleum products into a gas called “syngas” that can be used in place of natural gas to generate power, or used in manufacturing as fuel or feedstock. Gasification avoids many problems which can occur in biogas digesters, and is also able to process lignin and cellulose, which are hard to ferment

What Are the Jobs in Information Technology?

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Information technology (IT) is a branch of engineering that deals with computers and telecommunications. There are a variety of jobs available to those with an educational background in IT.

Software Engineers

  • Software engineers design computer programs through which users can perform a variety of operations.

Hardware Engineers

  • Hardware engineers design the physical computer components and peripherals as well as computer systems.

IT Consultants

  • IT consultants advise businesses on the best way to use technology to improve their productivity and reduce costs. IT consultants make recommendations for computer hardware, software, peripherals and systems, as well as telecommunications upgrades, changes and additions.

Programmers

  • Programmers take the programs created by software engineers and convert the design into a language that is understood by computers. Once this conversion is complete, the programmer tests to ensure that the program is functioning as planned.

Network Administrators

  • Network administrators work for businesses by performing duties related to and in support of their computer systems. Administrators are responsible for keeping all computers up-to-date, installing new programs, and providing technical support as needed.

Database Specialists

  • Database specialists create specialized programs that compile and organize information that is vital to the operation of a business, such as client information, order history, and inventory listings. Database specialists are also required to maintain and update these systems as needed.

How Does Technology Affect Economics?

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Technological change is part of the economic process. The economist Joseph Schumpeter once described economic innovation as “the perennial gale of creative destruction,” Competition and the drive to find better, more efficient ways to produce goods and provide services leads businesses to take advantage of every new technology. Technological innovation comes with a price, however, destroying some jobs while creating others.

Technology in History

  • The impact of technology has been felt for centuries. The woolen mills of the early Industrial Revolution put cottage industries operating hand looms out of business. The internal combustion engine left many harness makers and blacksmiths jobless. And the more contemporary technological revolution has displaced secretaries, postal workers and telephone operators. Technological innovation makes it possible to do more with less. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. Instagram had 30 million customers and just 11 employees. By contrast, Kodak, which had just filed for bankruptcy, had 145,000 employees at the height of its operations. Displaced workers are usually first to feel the impact of innovation, with the middle and under classes bearing the brunt of unemployment.

Technology and Economic Growth

  • According to classical economic theory, the accumulation of physical capital – tools, trucks, bulldozers and assembly lines, for example – is responsible for increasing human productivity. You can drive a nail with a rock, a hammer or a nail gun, but you will be most productive with the latter. But capital goods do not account for all economic growth. Technology plays a significant role in fueling economic growth. The impact of technology can be seen in advances in manufacturing where robots perform precision operations and in hospitals where robots are used to make medical procedures less invasive. Advances in technology are improving batteries to create better performance in everything from hand-held devices to electric automobiles. Predicting the advances made possible by technology is challenging, but they will continue unabated.

The Downside of Technological Change

  • A negative aspect of technological change is its impact on income distribution. Workers who are displaced by technological advances may find it difficult to become re-employed as new jobs require advanced skills they do not possess. Technology impacts the number of jobs needed to produce goods and services. At the turn of the 20th century, a third of American workers were employed in agriculture. Asof publication, only 2 percent of the labor force works on the farm, producing more than their predecessors. A report from Oxford University states that 47 percent of all jobs may be automated in the coming decades. Middle-class jobs will be lost, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots will widen.

Prospering with Technological Change

  • The rate of technological change makes it necessary to take a fresh look at education. While the technological revolution opens opportunities for better jobs, workers must be retrained and re-educated to take advantage of them. Education must be less by rote and more focused on creative thinking. The Internet has made online learning an alternative to traditional classroom instruction, and many academic institutions are turning to blended learning – a mix of classroom and online. Online opportunities such as Khan Academy or the colleges that post their academic courses for anyone to audit for non-credit are examples of the technological wave that can give workers the knowledge to gain higher-paying jobs.

Programs for Certification in Assistive Technology

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Assistive technology practitioners without appropriate education and relevant experience can pose a danger to the safety of vulnerable assistive technology users. Safety and satisfaction are more likely to result when assistive technology users work with certified assistive technology practitioners. Although certification is not a license to practice, in the future it may be required by employers. Occupational therapists earning certifications as assistive technology practitioners enhance their value to their employers and clients.

California State University at Northridge Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program

  • This program includes a mix of online and in-person classes. Completion of a project customized to the needs of a client is also required. The program encompasses using assistive technology for a wide range of applications in the home, at school, in the workplace and in the community.

    The focus is on providing existing and new assistive technologies for those needing augmentative and alternative communication, environmental controls, seating and positioning assistance, mobility devices and computer access technology. Clients served will have learning, physical, cognitive and/or sensory disabilities.

    Program participants will learn about the resources supporting assistive technology devices and services. They will be able to implement practical knowledge from the program into everyday situations. In addition, they will be able to work as part of a team through a national assessment framework.

    California State University at Northridge
    18111 Nordhoff St.
    Northridge, CA 91330
    818-677-1200
    CSUN.edu

Northern Illinois University Assistive Technology Specialist

  • Those who earn the Certificate of Graduate Study Program for Assistive Technology Specialist are able to identify and procure instructional and assistive technologies for students with multiple mild disabilities. They can assess a student’s technology needs and integrate the appropriate technology into their daily routine. In addition, they will have the knowledge and experience to provide consultation to colleagues and families regarding available assistive technologies.

    The curriculum emphasizes working with other professionals as part of the team serving the client, researching emerging technologies, translating research into practice, supporting technology in academic settings, and preparing students, teachers and parents to use instructional and assistive technologies.

    Northern Illinois University
    1425 W. Lincoln Highway
    DeKalb, IL 60115
    815-753-1000
    NIU.edu

State University of New York at Buffalo Graduate Program in Assistive Technology

  • The Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology employs a dynamic, problem-based approach to learning through classroom projects, community involvement and exposure to current research literature. The goal of this program is to educate practitioners and researchers striving to improve the independence and quality of life of those with disabilities.

    Course work integrates technology to educational, vocational and independent living environments for persons with disabilities. Those completing the program can work as advanced clinical practitioners and assistive technology researchers.

    Students must complete four three-credit graduate courses oriented to the needs of practitioners and clinical researchers. Two of the courses are part of the core curriculum and two are electives. Courses typically meet one evening per week for a semester.

    University of Buffalo
    401 Kimball Tower
    3435 Main St.
    Buffalo, NY 14214
    716-829-3434
    Buffalo.edu

East Carolina University Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology

  • This graduate certificate program is for teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, physical therapists, engineers and other professionals who strive to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

    Courses in this program are online and delivered through distance learning. Students take three core courses and one elective for 12 credits. They must also attend several sessions on the campus to acquire hands-on experience using the assistive technology equipment. Those who gain certification will have a broad-based knowledge of assistive technology and the ability to work as part of a collaborative team to serve the client.

    East Carolina University
    East Fifth Street
    Greenville, NC 27858
    252-328-6131
    ECU.edu

George Mason University Assistive Technology Certificate

  • This certificate program provides training for practitioners working with family members or colleagues who need assistive technology at school, at home, at work or in the community.

    Requirements include completing courses awarding 15 credits. Two core courses are worth five credits. One of these required courses includes a community project. Electives fulfill the remaining 10 credits.

    Flexible class scheduling makes it possible to complete all course work within a calendar year. One-credit courses last five weeks, two-credit courses last 10 weeks and three-credit courses last a full semester.

    George Mason University
    4085 University Drive
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    703-993-3798
    GMU.edu

Challenges in Information Technology Management

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The tremendous growth of the Internet has had an enormous impact on the way we do business, educate our children and socially interact. Information technology management has evolved quickly to meet the needs of the public. There are many challenges that surround the management of information in today’s world. Two major problems are the information explosion and “options overload.”

Information Distribution

  • Information is stored on different computers or servers and managed by different information management systems, and some information many not be available to the average user. For example, a research library or archive that subscribes to several information management systems may have access to information that the common user, relying on a free Internet search engine does not. Plus, all search engines do not list all websites.

Relevance

  • Many mechanisms–search engines in particular–do not have the ability to rank information by relevance. For example, if an individual using a search engine chooses a search term that is too broad, that user may be overwhelmed with millions of results that have nothing to do with the topic. If an individual chooses a topic that is too specific, the corresponding results may be too few.

Profiling

  • Many websites profile their customers. According to Won Kim of South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University, they do this by using recommendation engines to match suggestions with data gathered from customers’ order histories and profiles. A customer may visit an e-commerce site in search of a product or service, and the site may make recommendations that are not relevant to the customer’s search. Having a limited list of the products and services the company offers is often much more useful than a list of products that might potentially interest the consumer based on purchase history or profile information, such as education level or income.

Options Overload

  • Many modern electronic devices burden users with “options overload.” Kim notes that the number of functions a device has usually exceeds the number of keys or switches on it. Because of this, many consumers have no idea what keys (or combinations of keys) are to be used for what function without consulting a manual.

How Technology Affects Strategic Management

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Technology is a broad term that encompasses many tools and innovative processes that employees use to help a company achieve its goals. A company uses the strategic management process, or planning how to use resources for goal achievement, and specific types of technology to ensure the best use of resources in each operational area.

Knowledge

  • If you look at technology as knowledge, employees are both producers of knowledge and keepers of knowledge. Their knowledge is an asset that managers seek to develop through the strategic management process, including identifying what the organization will do to develop employees through training and professional development. Strategic managers also decide how employee knowledge will be stored electronically in the company knowledge base, such as an information system.

Product Innovations

  • Employees can also affect the attainment of strategic goals by suggesting product innovations. This occurs when employees apply their ideas to fix problems with products or make them better. Employees must receive the right amount of input in the product development process to be utilized effectively in a strategically managed company. For example, managers use nonmanagers as members of cross-functional product development teams in some organizations.

Competitiveness in Fluctuating Markets

  • Technology also refers to information systems that businesses use to maintain their competitive advantage by responding to their business markets. If a company uses an order tracking system to manage customer orders, it must meet the needs of the company in a changing market and in a stable market. Therefore, a strategic manager plans the ordering system to accommodate many more requests than the present level of production so that the system will still serve the company if it experiences massive growth.

New Capabilities

  • A strategically managed organization sets goals for developing new technologies, or new capabilities, to introduce in a target economy, not just product innovations. This relates to expanding the organization’s market position, another goal of strategic management. A firm can create new markets when it introduces new technologies if it believes in front-end investment in technology development.

Business Strategies for Information Technology Management

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Information technology management is a process companies use that takes advantage of available information technology resources to create competitive business operations. Business owners and managers may struggle to fully implement information technology into their company because of expense, maintenance and upgrade requirements. However, developing information technology management strategies can help company owners and managers find the best ways to use technology to improve their company’s operations and standing in the business environment.

Corporate Strategy

  • Corporate strategies set the overall direction of a company. Business owners and managers typically determine which economic markets the company will operate in, how the company will acquire resources and how to diversify products in the marketplace. Information technology can help a company achieve these goals, for example, through the use of a website to sell goods or services in markets where the company does not have a presence and by electronically ordering materials from suppliers and using business software to create forecasts for production and sales.

Business Strategy

  • Business strategies focus on one division, department or product line in a business. Owners and managers can use information technology to transfer information between departments and integrate activities to cut eliminate needless activities. Many businesses successfully use information technology to improve their internal business functions. Creating and using information technology-based strategies helps owners and managers set goals and objectives and conduct a performance review process to determine how well the company achieves these objectives.

Functional Strategy

  • Functional strategies use information technology to focus on the management of specific, daily activities that occur in a business. These strategies help improve accounting, finance, human resources or research and development. Information technology—primarily computers, software applications and intranets—allow companies to automate manual processes and improve individual employee output. While this can sound simple in theory, actually putting information technology to work can be complicated, especially for large organizations. Functional strategies attempt to improve a company from the bottom up, using short-term time frames to complete the implementation process.

Business Technology Management Degree Careers

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A degree in business technology management focuses on the combination of business management and computer and information systems. It gives students a competitive edge in the constantly changing business and information technology workplace. Graduates are prepared to pursue an array of career options such as positions in business technology management as well as the management analysis field.

Business Technology Manager

  • A business technology manager focuses on both business and computer and technology aspects of an organization. He supervises computer and technology specialists such as systems analysts, software engineers and computer support specialists. He also focuses on business development. A business technology manager must have at least a bachelor’s degree in business technology management or a computer-related field. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Many business technology managers obtain professional certification such as a CompTIA certification to remain competitive in the field. As of 2010, Simply Hired states the average annual salary for business technology managers is $75,000.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • A computer and information systems manager is responsible for assisting with the application and management of technology for businesses and organizations. She arranges and organizes computer tasks including hardware and software installation and upgrades, system programming and employment of computer networks. She manages computer and information systems tasks by delegating work to other information technology professionals including computer support specialists, computer programmers and computer software engineers. Many computer and information systems managers evaluate the goals and needs of their organizations to develop and implement new information technology. Computer and information systems managers must have at least a bachelor’s degree and related management experience. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a technology related field. Simply Hired states as of 2010, computer and information systems managers earn average salaries of $59,000 per year.

Management Analyst

  • A management analyst is responsible for helping organizations stay competitive in the ever-changing business field. She evaluates the structure, effectiveness and revenue of an organization and creates and presents methods for improvement. She obtains relevant information such as inventory reports, job performances and market trends and creates reports to present to higher management professionals. A management analyst needs at least a bachelor’s degree, but some positions require a master’s degree and extensive work experience. As of 2010, as stated by Simply Hired, the average annual salary for management analysts is $63,000.