4.13.2 Example: an ‘intelligent’ email system

Let us work through an email example of making a system ‘smarter’. We are all familiar with the standardised fields in an email system: From, To, Subject. The computer needs the To/From information, expressed in a standard format, to direct the message to its addressees and allow them to reply. It has no concept of who the sender and recipient are, or what the Subject field means. We can imagine simple knowledge-level email categories which add status information to t
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4.2.5 Choosing the best option

When you have collected a broad range of options, each possible solution should be assessed for its feasibility. As the feasible options are narrowed down, you may choose to analyse three or four in detail. Appraise the possible consequences of implementing each of these, against your criteria for cost, time and quality.


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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • understand the value of graphics as visual thinking tools;

  • give examples of relevant graphics used in the business context.


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4.2 Personal self-evaluation

You could also carry out a personal self-evaluation, to contribute to your own development as a project manager. You can develop a list of questions to evaluate your own performance:

  • Were the project objectives achieved?

  • Did the project stay within budget?

  • How were problems that occurred during the project been resolved?

  • What could you have done differently to improve the final result?

  • <
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3.1 The idea

Essentially, any project begins with an idea. The idea is often one about how to do something that seems to be needed. Transforming ideas into projects begins with recognising the nature of this driving force:

Projects arise in order to meet human needs. A need emerges and is recognized, and the management determines whether a need is worth fulfilling. If it is, a project is organized to satisfy the need. Thus, nee
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4.1 Introduction

The 1970s marked a period in which the cessation of the ‘normal’ period of full-time employment at 60 or 65 years had become the accepted orthodoxy. The personal lives of older people had thus become constituted outside the domain of paid employment and within the arena of public and private welfare. As we illustrated in the preceding section, pensions, organised around fixed ages of retirement based on chronological measurements of age, played a crucial role in this process. Further, as
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References

Ahmed, K. (1995) ‘Glasgow reputations: powerful case for the prosecution’, Scotland on Sunday, 13 August.
Au, O. (1995) ‘Midsummer madness makes one Mean City’, The Sunday Times Scotland, 13 August.
Allardyce, J. (1995) ‘Smiling through’, The Scotsman, 8 August.
Bolitho, W. (1924) Cancer of Empir
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Introduction

This unit considers four ways in which some social scientists have claimed that there might be a ‘new economy’ coming in to being: the switch from manufacturing to services, globalisation, new technology and flexible labour markets. The good and bad points of economic change, its benefits and costs, are discussed. For example, what does it mean for people trying desparately to balnace the urgent demands of work and life?

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4.2.3 Text capture devices

Practically, how can we take text across the boundary?

SAQ 8

What are the main devices for transforming text into digital form inside the computer?

Answer


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3.3.2 Enhancing the perceptual system

Magnificently evolved though it is, our sensory system is nothing special. We do not see as well as birds; our hearing is feeble compared to that of bats and some forest-dwelling mammals. Our sense of smell can't compare with that of dogs or pigs. There are many things we don't detect at all – radio waves, for instance.

In one capacity, though, humans are supreme: we have learned to enhance our perceptual systems with instruments. For example, the human eye has only a limited p
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2.2 A system map

One way of explaining and analysing a system is to represent it in a graphical form, known as a system map. I'll use the example of a system for making an appointment with a doctor in a health centre to illustrate this point. In this example, the health centre uses a computerised booking system and the patient may phone or visit the health centre to make an appointment. Therefore, the system includes a patient, a receptionist, a doctor, and a computerised booking system. The example sh
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5.1 Introduction

The word usability has cropped up a few times already in this unit. In the context of biometric identification, usability referred to the smoothness of enrolment and other tasks associated with setting up an identification system. A system that produced few false matches during enrolment of applicants was described as usable.

Another meaning of usability is related to the ease of use of an interface. Although this meaning of the term is often used in the context of computer inter
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3.5 Other kinds of data

All the data we have had so far in the database has been text or numbers. I have mentioned that another type of data might be dates. Modern databases, however, can store other kinds of data than text, numbers and dates. They can also store graphics, moving pictures and sounds.

Activity 12 (exploratory)
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3.4 Using a query language

When you search a large website for information, for instance when you search a large e-government site, very often, behind the scenes, a large relational database is being searched. I mentioned earlier the use of SQL as a way of extracting information from a database. Depending on the system being used, your enquiry may be converted into an SQL query, and this finds the information you need. For example, suppose we wanted to find the family names of all people enrolled on the digital photogr
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5.1 Introduction

In this section you will study the process demanded by the British Standard on Information Security Management for planning an information security management system (ISMS). We present ISMS development as a process involving four tasks, each of which may be subdivided into stages. This section also examines the managerial and organisational structures that the Standard recommends to support ISMS development and looks in detail at the ISMS documentation task.


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7.3 ADV:

Some spam mail includes ‘ADV:’ in the title. This indicates that it is part of the system used in the US to allow spam mail but to highlight that it is an advertisement. You can then make an informed choice as to whether to read or delete the message.

ADV: also allows users of email systems that have filtering facilities, such as Outlook, Eudora or Pegasus, to set a rule that will automatically remove the message. The way this works is that some email systems allow you to define a s
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3.2.1 Obtaining patches and updates

Start Internet Explorer.

Choose Tools > Windows update from the drop-down menu at the top of the browser screen.

(Note: if you are using a computer at work that is controlled by an IT group this option may be missing, as it can be disabled in a corporate environment.)

If you are unable to find the ‘update’ option, you could try the Microsoft update site.

Follow the on-screen option to scan your computer and see the number of updates that are available to you.


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Acknowledgements

The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) and is used under licence.

All materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.


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General principles

In principle, online shopping is simple and involves the following stages:

  • You find a site that sells what you want (possibly using a search engine, but more frequently going to a site which you know (from personal experience, word of mouth or advertising) sells the desired goods.

  • Having found on the site, you then locate – by searching or browsing – the goods in its online catalogue.

  • You then fill in an online fo
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1 Introducing eBay

One of the earliest popular applications of the Web was an online auction system called eBay. Think of it as an enormous car-boot sale. In an ordinary (offline) auction system, you brought things you wished to sell to an auctioneer who catalogued and then sold them on your behalf at a physical auction attended by people who placed bids for the goods. There would be a series of bids with the auctioneer encouraging people to bid against each other, thereby raising the selling price. The highest
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