Do some research on the internet about networks and communication in business of today and in to the future. The lecture mentioned one use of RFID tags, can you think of more uses for RFID? What do you think will come next?Please look at the attachment before responding
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Cutting the Cord
Being physically connected to a computer is sometimes not the best option. America has a very
mobile society so as technology has evolved, connectivity to the internet and business databases
has evolved. There are now many types of wireless networks, as you heard in the previous lecture
a PAN or personal area network spans just a few feet. An example of a PAN is your Bluetooth
earpiece on your phone or a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. You use the term Wi-Fi all the time,
did you know it stands for Wireless fidelity? Cellular connections are another type if wireless. Your
smartphone offers more computing power than a personal computer did just a few years ago. 4G is
a service that brings wireless broadband to mobile phones.
Many businesses are using radio-frequency identification (RFID) to transmit information over a short
distance. When all products in a grocery store have RFID tags, you will be able to pull your shopping
cart close to the computer and it will read all tags at the same time! No reason to put the items on a
conveyer belt to be scanned one at a time. THAT is progress.
The final type of wireless technology that we will discuss is Location Based Services (LBS). LBS can
track you to within a few inches. This can cause concerns about privacy. Wireless technology has
pros and cons just as wired networks did:
Provides immediate data access
Increases location and monitoring capability
Improves work flow
Provides mobile business opportunities
Provides alternative to wiring
Protecting against theft
Protecting wireless connections
Preventing viruses on a mobile device
Addressing privacy concerns with RFID and LBS
This week you have learned about hardware and networking, both wired and wireless. As you put on
your business owner hat and work on your strategic plan you need to keep in mind the ways that
your employees might use computer hardware to access the information in your data warehouse.
Part of strategic planning is to not only plan for events and technology that you know about but to
also plan ahead for what might happen in the future. As you create your network strategic plan, think
about RFID, Bluetooth and other state of the art technologies, how will they impact your plan in 1
year? In 5 years? In 10 years?
We Live in a Connected World
Business owners must also plan the computer network that will store the data and allow them to
access the information in a timely manner. This week you will study the hardware side of the
technology infrastructure. This knowledge will allow you to plan for connecting your employees to the
information that will help you create a successful business. There will be a lot of new terminology
this week, these words may not be new to you but you may not totally understand their meanings.
As you get a grasp on their meanings, it will help you construct the next section of your strategic
Networks come in several types. One way to discuss networks is by their geographic reach. Personal
area network (PAN) – Connects devices within a few feet, this is how Bluetooth devices work. Local
area network (LAN) – Connects a group of computers in close proximity, such as in an office
building, school, or home. Wide area network (WAN) – Spans a large geographic area such as a
state, province, or country. Metropolitan area network (MAN) – A large computer network usually
spanning a city. As a business owner you will probably be planning a LAN but you may be involved
in city or state committees that plan a WAN or MAN.
Speed of the network is another issue that you need to consider, this is as an individual or a
business owner, the bandwidth is the speed of the network. Some people conceptualize this like a
water pipe. The pipe lets through a certain amount of water, when it is filled and you want more
water, you have to put in a larger diameter pipe. Once the information is flowing at the right pace,
computer users do not have to wait for information to be retrieved and displayed. An older type of
connection to the internet is dial up. It is being replaced but is still used in remote areas. Another
type of connection is a broadband connection, it is connected to the internet all the time. Either
connection needs pieces of hardware to change the electronic signal from one format to another,
this is called a modem, it stands for modulate – demodulate.
When the internet was conceived and as it continues to grow there are certain rules that are followed
called protocols – these standards help maintain consistence but have to occasionally be revised to
keep up with changes and improvements. One of the main protocols is known as Transmission
control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) it provides the standards for sending information from one
computer to another. When information is sent form one computer to another it is usually done with
the numeric names of the computers (like 220.127.116.11), this is good for computers but not so good for
humans so there is a DNS – domain name system – it changes the numbers in to names that humans
can remember (like www.google.com). A practical example and a picture will help you pull all of
these ideas together. Since technology has improved so much over the decades it is possible to talk
over the internet. Taking over the internet has a name an acronym – of COURSE! Voice over IP
(pronounced VoIP) – Uses Internet Protocol technology to transmit telephone calls between
computers and ultimately to a phone. Take a look at the image below. Follow the call from right to
left. You will see some of the pieces of hardware that you have been reading about. The lines with
arrows are the pipes (bandwidth). The internet ‘cloud’ could be a WAN or MAN.
Network Pros and Cons
Networks have pros and cons. Business owners must take things like bandwidth and network
connectivity into consideration as they create business plans because, as you can imagine, more
bandwidth costs more money!
Expense (to purchase and to maintain)
Perhaps the greatest challenge with networks and technology in general is that the fast pace that
technology has advanced and the knowledge that the information provides has created a digital
divide, a line between those that have the technology (or access to it) and those that do not.
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