Impact of ICT

Throughout recent times, ICT has played a huge part in the world we live in and things have changed drastically. For example, the introduction of faster internet speeds and computers have not only helped in the workplace but at houses throughout the world as well. Nowadays, you would rarely see most people without their mobile phones, which have revolutionised the way many people communicate, whether it’s for work or socially related reasons.

The 4 technologies I am going to be studying are: USB/MP3 drive, email, mobile phone and digital T.V. (Television).

First Technology – USB/MP3 drive

The first technology I am going to talk about is my MP3 player that also utilises as a flash USB drive. This technology resides in the storage devices category. Flash USB (Universal Serial Bus) drives allow you to effortlessly transfer files and data between computers through the use of the USB 1.1 or 2.0 technology. MP3 players allow a person to carry music files portably, which allows greater practical uses. Recently, more and more MP3 players and USB drives have begun to use larger storage capabilities e.g. 512 MB and 1 GB storage capacity. Advancements have even increased to some 4 GB storage devices.

The advantages of using a USB/MP3 drive are:

* You can carry and potentially transfer large files and data between computers with ease and speed reliably.

* The actual USB/MP3 drive is very compact and small, which allows greater practical use.

* The casings of USB drives are very tough and MP3 players usually don’t contain internal moving parts, which allows for shock-proof action.

* The USB/MP3 drive can easily be disconnected/moved between devices. This makes it easy to switch between different adaptors.

* Many computers, laptops and lots of other electronic devices are compatible with the USB software.

The disadvantages of using a USB/MP3 drive are:

* It’s small so it can easily get lost or stolen maybe in a crowded area.

* Many people might rely on keeping all their files on their USB drive because of the huge storage capabilities and if something goes wrong or the files get lost, then all of them will be lost.

* It is relatively new technology and not supported on older operating systems including Windows NT or Windows 95. To use this technology in Windows environment, you need minimum Windows 98, 98 SE (which fixes some bugs), and Windows 2000.

The USB/MP3 technology meets my needs personally, socially and work-related issues in many ways.

It meets my needs personally by: -Allowing me to personally transfer my files and data from one computer in my house to another, which meets my needs by letting me carry my jobs out easily. -I have a hobby of listening to music, so the portability feature of the MP3 player allows me to do this with no trouble at all.

It meets my needs socially by: -I like to share my music with my friends and family and the versatility of the USB drive allows me to do this effortlessly because it’s easier to put files on and give to someone, (as it’s so small) which is good because it would be more difficult if I was using a DVD disk for example. -One of my hobbies is journalism, so I like to use the feature of voice recording on my MP3 player to simulate professional journalism seamlessly. This is great because this allows me to have some hands-on experience at journalism.

It meets my work-related needs by: -Allowing me to take my coursework and other important work-related files without difficulty to school. -The large storage compatibility of the USB drive lets me take larger files into school, which is very good because it allows me to create more professional pieces of work that would occupy larger masses of data. But this also means that I will be liable to take more and more data into school and this may be a bigger problem if I lose my USB (due to its small structure) and the data isn’t backed up securely. I may end up losing all the data all together.

Second Technology – Email

The second technology I am going to address is electronic mail or email, as we know it. Email is a form of swift communication (by ‘swift communication’ I mean the email is sent straight away). Email allows you to enter text, images and/or attachments with the message. It can then be sent anywhere around the world, as long as the email address is valid. Because email messages are sent straight away and are free, they provide a very practical and efficient method of communication.

The advantages of using email are:

* Email is cheap; studies have show that businesses can save large amounts of money using e-mail, in lieu of long-distance phone calls and postal deliveries. More and more formats can be sent via email, anything from CAD files to pictures and software.

* Email will reach its destination across the world in a few seconds as opposed to days or even weeks with the postal service.

* Email doesn’t worry about crossing time zones or that colleagues are not in their offices to take telephone calls, it always reaches its destination, whether the receiver is present or not.

* Email can be sent to groups of people at the same time. This makes possible joint distribution of information, which can be extremely useful.

The disadvantages of using email are:

* Email can be time consuming for answering complicated questions and misunderstandings can be found because of cultural differences in the understanding of certain words. The telephone is much better for providing detailed answers or if you feel that the question is not absolutely clear.

* Email can compromise the security of an organisation because sensitive information can be easily sent accidentally or deliberately. Email should be entrusted only to well trained and trustworthy staff members.

* Email can become impersonal or misunderstood.

* There is also a problem of spam or “junk mail”. This problem occurs when people might give out their email addresses to websites or registration forms and then the address is used by partners for promotional purposes. These emails then clog up peoples’ inboxes.

The email technology meets my needs personally, socially and work-related issues in many ways.

It meets my needs personally by: -Allowing me to rely on it as a backup storage medium for whenever I forget USB drive or floppy disk. This is extremely useful for circumstantial incidents such as when I may have to hand my coursework in. -Being a way in which I can easily be contacted. -I like to keep track on the latest music, games and football news, so email allows me to do this by letting me sign up to e-zines, which provide me with daily or weekly information.

It meets my needs socially by: -Making it possible for me to share my files and images with my friends and families. This is good because then I can share my trips and other important events with them through photos. -Allowing me to set up arrangements with my friends and family for trips or letting me send funny and strange emails to them. -My email address allows me to sign into MSN Messenger, where I can interact with friends and family in real time and this is good when I can’t maybe use the phone or some other method of interaction.

It meets my work-related needs by: -Letting me contact somebody for any help that is needed e.g. I can contact my school teacher via email if I need help in my coursework. -I can also email my coursework or any other work-related files to my teacher if she needs it for reference, which helps a lot, as I would then rather have to take the hassle of giving it to the teacher in person. This is also very useful for when I need to hand in coursework that I may for some reason not be able to hand in by hand.

Third Technology – Mobile Phone

The third technology I am going to explore is mobile phone, which is an integral part of the communications category. The concept of a mobile phone is very simple; a phone that is mobile i.e. a phone that can be used anywhere you want (well anywhere that there is a signal available that is). Over the years, mobile phones have evolved and improved dramatically and now they’re not simply a means of mobile communication but an electronic powerhouse. Nowadays, mobile phones can be used as MP3 players, digital and video cameras and even to connect to the internet (via the 3G technology).

The advantages of using mobile phones are:

* You can take them everywhere, as they’re getting smaller and smaller.

* Communication between people is more efficient and faster.

* They not only contain the facility to phone people but now also include little essentials such as digital and video cameras, calendars, calculators etc.

* Mobile phones contain relatively low-power transmitters in them, resulting in longer usage periods and more practicality.

The disadvantages of using mobile phones are:

* There is a problem of radiation caused by mobile phones, which in turn can cause headaches, earaches, blurring of vision and even causing cancer. Yet, this is still to be proved.

* People can get addicted to using mobile phones, which is a very big social problem (in fact, psychiatrists believe that mobile phone addiction is becoming one of the biggest non-drug addictions in the 21st century).

* Cyber bullying is also another issue among the disadvantages of mobile phones. Cyber bullying is one form of bullying enforced by using offensive words and behaviour via online chatting, emails or SMS text messages.

The mobile phone technology meets my needs personally, socially and work-related issues in many ways.

It meets my needs personally by: -Letting me use it as a point of contact, which is good because I can take it everywhere so people can contact me easily. -It will help me with my hobby for journalism, as I can take photos with camera. This is very utile, as I can include some of these photos as part of my CV. -Personally, I can’t wake up on time (even after one alarm), so I keep a second alarm on my mobile phone to wake me up, which keeps me out of the trouble of being late.

It meets my needs socially by: -Allowing me to contact my friends and family from different parts of the world, which is useful if I may want to send any photos of myself on holiday to them. Although, the fact that I can talk to my friends and family practically anywhere may lead to me using the mobile phone too much and this may cause high-cost phone bills and the radiation can cause health-related issues to myself. -I can use the integrated calendar, which is great, as I can use it to organise events and store important dates.

It meets my work-related needs by: -Using the included calculator if I may have forgotten my normal calculator. This is particularly helpful as I can avoid being landed in trouble by using it as an escape-goat. -I can use my mobile phone as a point of contact, which is handy, as I won’t be at home all day and I can keep track of all work-related calls, especially if it’s about any interviews or other important work-related calls.

Fourth Technology – Digital Television Broadcasting

Digital broadcasting (DTV) is the fourth and final technology I am going to consider and it’s one of the latest entertainment technologies. In digital broadcasting, digital data is used rather than analogue waveforms to carry broadcasts over television channels. DTV is becoming increasingly popular for television usage (especially satellite television).

The advantages of using digital television broadcasting are:

* Due to the use of data compression, digital links generally have more efficient bandwidth usage than analogue links, which allow content providers more room to provide services, or to present a higher quality signal than what was previously available.

* There’s an improved picture and digital quality sound.

* There are more TV and new digital only radio channels. There’s also a better interaction service with new “red-key” enhanced information services.

* DTV allows the use of many things through the phone line connection that were never possible before e.g. gaming, emails, shopping and banking services amongst others can all be accessed for the cost of a telephone call.

The disadvantages of using digital television broadcasting are:

* The cost of subscription services can be too much for many people.

* In order to enjoy the full benefits of DTV, such as wide screen and better picture quality, you would have to purchase a new television set.

* If you don’t have a television set that can receive digital signals, then you’d have to buy a set top box for the service to be available to you, which is very expensive.

The digital television technology meets my needs personally, socially and work-related issues in many ways.

It meets my needs personally by: -Giving me a larger variety of channels to choose from, which is very good for my hobby of journalism, as I can look at different methods used in the job through the many news channels.

-Entertaining me, as I have a huge hobby of listening to music and watching television shows. This may also cause a problem, as I might watch too much television and therefore, a lot of my school-work may be put into prejudice, as I possibly will put that to one side and just watch the wide variety of DTV channels.

It meets my needs socially by: -Allowing me to enjoy better quality TV shows and football matches with my friends and family, as the previous quality isn’t exactly superb. -I can email my friends and family through the use of the DTV technologies, which is useful as I may not have access to the internet at all times and at certain times I could need to use it as a point of emergency contact.

It meets my work-related needs by: -Letting me keep up to date with current affairs (through the vast amount of news channels), as I have a general knowledge quiz every week in Business studies. This is good because it helps me to achieve higher marks in my exams. -The interactivity functions of Digital Broadcasting allow me to learn more via the quizzes and general knowledge information they showcase on their interactive pages.