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9 Adware and spyware

The previous sections of this topic have been concerned with email, but the Internet provides yet more problems, in the form of adware and spyware on the Web. You may have seen pop-up messages on your browser screen offering services or products. What you may not realise is that if you respond to these messages, extra software may be installed alongside other programs without your knowledge.

Adware

Adware is ‘free’ software that is subsidised by displaying adverts


Author(s): The Open University

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6.2 Protecting yourself against hoaxes

Hoax messages are usually received via work colleagues, family or friends. You may also see them if you are on mailing lists or you read messages on newsgroups.

You should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I know the sender?

  • Is the sender a virus expert?

  • Should I check with my antivirus company?

You should always carry out the last point on this list before acting on any message you recei
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4.1 Email attachments

Following some simple rules should help you to minimise the risks from malware. The first rule is:

  • Never ‘double click’ to open a file attached to an email

Instead, what you should do is:

  • Create a folder called ‘Attachments’ (or something similar) in an accessible location within your file structure. Mine is in ‘My Documents’ and is called ‘My Received Files’.


    Author(s): The Open University

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2.8 Reference sourcing quiz

1 When referencing an image what details should be included alongside the image?

  • A The URL of the image

  • B The file name of the image

  • C The image URL
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2.7 How to reference sources

You have seen how easy it is to find what what you want on the Web. When you quote any information or use any images that you have not written or created yourself it is important to ensure that you reference the source of the quote or image. This is to show that you are not trying to pass off someone else's work as your own, and to enable your reader, should they wish, to access the source of that quote.

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2.5 Bookmarking websites

Most browsers allow you to keep a record of links to websites that you have found useful. These are called ‘Bookmarks’ in Firefox and ‘Favorites’ in Internet Explorer, and may have other names, such as a ‘Hot List’, in other browsers. For convenience I've chosen to call them bookmarks. Browsers usually offer the facility for organising the bookmarks into folders and sub-folders so that you can keep track of them as your collection grows.

You may well have a collection of boo
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2.4 Using search engines

Search engines can be very good at finding information since they cover such a huge number of web pages. Unfortunately it can be difficult to find the one you want in the huge number of hits that they return. I can illustrate some of the problems, and some of the strategies you can use to overcome them, with an example.

Let's assume a friend of yours, Jill, has heard you talking about ‘Living with the Net’ and is trying to find out more about the course. What problems might Jill fac
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2.3 Searching for information on the Web

What do you do if you don't know the URL of the website you are looking for, or haven't been able to browse to it? The Web is not like a library – it isn't carefully organised and catalogued, and it is growing all the time. Luckily, there are search sites that can help you find what you want.

2.3.1 Portals

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Information on the web

Liz Bennett and Jon Rosewell


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Unit summary

In this unit, the emphasis has been on devices communicating with each other in networks. You were introduced to some general principles about signals and networks, and the differences between wired and wireless networks. You met some of the network technologies in common use (Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth), before looking more closely at specific applications (smart homes, RFID systems) for networked devices. But we have barely had time to scratch the surface of what these technologies offer
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6.9 The personalised home

In the extract from The Road Ahead, quoted at the beginning of this section, Gates makes reference to ‘an electronic pin to clip to your clothes’. This pin appears to have the ability to communicate to the network so that its wearer can be identified and located. The information can then be used to provide a personal environment for the wearer. The next section introduces you to a technology that can provide the kind of pin that Gates refers to.


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6.5 Smart home networks

Some devices in a smart home may need to communicate information about the environment (for example, information about light, heat, humidity, sound, movement, water levels, etc.). They may also need to communicate to:

  • give information about their state (for example, activated, deactivated, faulty);

  • give temporal information (for example clock time, lapsed time, delays);

  • instruct, interrogate or acknowledge another dev
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2.8 Attenuation and distortion

As a signal travels from one device to another it has two problems to overcome. The first is that it gets weaker the further it travels, because some of its energy is absorbed by the transmission medium. This effect is known as attenuation. The extent of attenuation depends on the distance it has to travel and on the type of medium it is travelling through. An amplifier can be used to boost the signal power at the transmitter and receiver, and if necessary at various points in the tran
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5.1 The personal computer

Over the following screens you will look at three different examples of computers: a PC, which is obviously a computer, and a set of electronic kitchen scales and a digital camera, which are not so obviously computers. You will find that all three of these examples match with the functional block diagram of a computer given in Author(s): The Open University

4.2 Representing data

But if all the data and computer instructions within a computer are represented by 1s and 0s, how can this limited set of conditions be used to represent, for instance, every letter of the alphabet that might be typed into a computer from a keyboard? Activity 4 showed that there are four possible combinations
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2.2 Memory

You should now be beginning to build up a picture of what a computer is: you know it needs input and output devices to communicate with the world outside and a processor to carry out the instructions that are programmed into it. But where are these instructions stored within the computer? The answer is that they are stored within what is called the computer's main memory, along with any data needed to carry them out.

However, the main memory in computers like PCs is much too smal
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1 Bringing the news on the back of a horse

We seem to be surrounded by ‘news’ these days, but it was not always like that. In Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 2, Falstaff hears the news that his former friend and drinking partner, Prince Hal, is now King Henry V, following the death of Henry IV. It is a comic scene set in Gloucestershire, 200 km from the royal court in London, and it is clear that before the messenger (called Pistol) arrived on horseback Falstaff did not even know that Henry IV had died.

It would not be li
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Learning outcomes

This is what you should have achieved when you have completed your study of this unit:

  • have developed your skills in taking notes;

  • have developed your skills in evaluating Web-based resources;

  • be able to recognise different learning styles;

  • have developed an awareness of ethical issues involved in online communication.


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Learning outcomes

By the time you have completed this unit you should:

  • know the meaning of all the terms highlighted in the text;

  • understand the concept of the ‘network society’;

  • have an awareness of how ICTs impact on your everyday life.


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7.1 The advantages of reuseability

Reuse is the process of building new software from existing software assets, rather than starting from scratch. Reuse is an important factor in building flexible products that can be changed quickly in response to changes in requirements.

One of the advantages claimed of object technology is that it encourages a disciplined approach that facilitates reuse. Encapsulation encourages better designs that can be reused in a more reliable way, as there is exact knowledge of which oper
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