LIFE SKILLS

WIRELESS NETWORKS

One of the exciting new developments is the deployment of wireless networks. There are two main types of wireless networks today: Cellular and WIFI.

Cellular networks are used primarily for voice coverage along with very limited data capabilities. The main advantage of cellular technology is its long-range capability. In many parts of the world, there is persistent cellular connectivity available. (for example users on some of the high-speed trains in Europe and Asia can even use their cell phones while travelling).

Advantages of Cellular Technology

  • Cellular technology is very good for voice communication.
  • Very wide acceptance worldwide

Disadvantages of Cellular Technology

  • It has very limited (i.e., slow) data capability.
  • All of the major carriers are working on next generation cellular technology that will dramatically increase the data capabilities.

WIFI is based on existing wired computer network technology (LAN). It provides very high speed but with a much short range of service. It is available in limited locations (commonly called ‘hot spots’.) It does not provide voice Communication, just Internet access. Additionally, WIFI access requires a specific device or a special add on to other devices (laptop and PC). Today, only a relatively small number of users have appropriate devices. However, the expectation is that this technology will gain very rapid popularity.

Advantages of WIFI Technology

  • WIFI is excellent for data communication.

Disadvantages of WIFI Technology

  • It is limited in availability
  • Very expensive. However it is expected that as the availability increases, the costs will drop.

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is a technology that uses the internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their data at any computer with internet connection. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve economies of scale similar to a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network. At the foundation of cloud computing is the broader concept of converged infrastructure and shared services

A simple example of cloud computing is Yahoo email, Gmail, or Hotmail etc. All you need is just an internet connection and you can start sending emails. The server and email management software is all on the cloud (internet) and is totally managed by the cloud service provider Yahoo, Google etc

Cloud computing is so named because the information being accessed is found in the “clouds”, and does not require a user to be in a specific place to gain access to it. Companies may find that cloud computing allows them to reduce the cost of information management, since they are not required to own their own servers and can use capacity leased from third parties.

Advantages of Cloud Computing

If used properly and to the extent necessary, working with data in the cloud can benefit all types of businesses. The following are some of the advantages of this technology:

  • Cost Efficient. Cloud computing is probably the most cost efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. Traditional desktop software costs companies a lot in terms of finance. Adding up the licensing fees for multiple users can prove to be very expensive for the establishment concerned. The cloud, on the other hand, is available at much cheaper rates and hence, can significantly lower the company’s IT expenses.
  • Almost Unlimited Storage. Storing information in the cloud gives you almost unlimited storage capacity. Hence, you no more need to worry about running out of storage space or increasing your current storage space availability.
  • Backup and Recovery. Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than storing the same on a physical device. Furthermore, most cloud service providers are usually competent enough to handle recovery of information. Hence, this makes the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage.
  • Automatic Software Integration. In the cloud, software integration is usually something that occurs automatically. This means that you do not need to take additional efforts to customize and integrate your applications as per your preferences. Cloud computing also allows you to customize your options with great ease.
  • Easy Access to Information. Once you register yourself in the cloud, you can access the information from anywhere, where there is an Internet connection. This convenient feature lets you move beyond time zone and geographic location
  • Quick Deployment. Lastly and most importantly, cloud computing gives you the advantage of quick deployment. Once you opt for this method of functioning, your entire system can be fully functional in a matter of a few minutes. Of course, the amount of time taken here will depend on the exact kind of technology that you need for your business.

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

In spite of its many benefits, as mentioned above, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. Businesses, especially smaller ones, need to be aware of these cons before going in for this technology.

  • Technical Issues .Though it is true that information and data on the cloud can be accessed anytime and from anywhere at all, there are times when this system can have some serious dysfunction. You should be aware of the fact that this technology is always prone to outages and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service providers run into this kind of trouble, in spite of keeping up high standards of maintenance. Besides, you will need a very good Internet connection to be logged onto the server at all times. You will invariably be stuck in case of network and connectivity problems.
  • Security in the Cloud. The other major issue while in the cloud is that of security issues. Before adopting this technology, you should know that you will be surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider. This could potentially put your company to great risk. Hence, you need to make absolutely sure that you choose the most reliable service provider, who will keep your information totally secure.
  • Prone to Attacks. Storing information in the cloud could make your company vulnerable to external hack attacks and threats. As you are well aware, nothing on the Internet is completely secure and hence, there is always the lurking possibility of stealth of sensitive data.

PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANTS (PDA)

PDAs are small devices which can be loosely thought of as very small, limited functionality PCs. They do a very good job of storing contact lists and calendars. Some can be used to access email remotely.

In order to make them fit easily in a pocket or purse; PDAs have very small

screens and either no keyboard or a very small one.

Advantages of PDAs

  • Can organize daily schedules
  • Can take notes
  • Can record voice memos and lectures
  • Can write and rehearse PowerPoint presentations
  • Able to view journal articles,  photos and movies

 Disadvantages of PDAs

  • You can’t display a complete page of text or graphics on a PDA
  • Data entry, beyond short messages, is difficult or impossible.
  • Screen size is small
  • Battery life is limited
  • Limited memory capacity.

E-learning

E-Learning is the use of technology to enable people to learn anytime and anywhere.  E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual education opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio.

Electronic commerce

Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce is the process used to distribute, buy, sell or market goods and services, and the transfer of funds online, through electronic communications or networks. Electronic commerce i basically began (although debated) in 1994 when Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com out of his own garage. Well known e-commerce stores include sites like eBay, Dell, Walmart and many more.

Social networking

A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people who, for example, share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. A social network service consists of a representation of each user (often a profile), his/her social links, and a variety of additional services. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet, such as e-mail and instant messaging. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks.

The main types of social networking services are those that contain category places (such as former school year or classmates), means to connect with friends (usually with self-description pages), and a recommendation system linked to trust. Popular methods now combine many of these, with American-based services Facebook, Google+, and Twitter widely used worldwide.

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