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There have been some dramatic developments in computer technology during the past 50 years.

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Introduction

There have been some dramatic developments in computer technology during the past 50 years. Changes have taken place all around the world. Computers have revolutionised our working environment in some good ways and in some bad ways. Most occupations at present and in the near future require individuals to be computer literate. This means people in current jobs would now be required to get training or are being replaced with workers with computer experience. Computers have now introduced new forms of employment were workers carry out work away from the office and communicate with employers through the use of computers and telecommunication equipment. Although a study done in 1995 at Newcastle University found that " Less 1 worker in 1000 was a teleworker (spending half their working week at home using a computer". Workers enjoy greater flexibility and can arrange their working hours around their commitments and employers save on the cost of office space and overheads such as heat and light. On the other hand management may fear difficulties in controlling a workforce that is not in the office. The revolution in the Internet provides society with a large amount of info accessible to all individuals. The accessibility of this information has been widely utilised by companies to improve their business activity and productivity. ...read more.

Middle

All are demands are accessible with a click of a finger Banks and building societies are spending millions of pounds on developing their net related services. Mori is an organisation which has carries out opinion polls. They had investigated the number of individuals shopping on-line and their discoveries were I quote, " some 40% of users have sampled buying over the Web and 10% described themselves as regular web shoppers. Cheap flights, books and holidays were the most popular items bought over the Web". Consumers are beginning to loose their fear of buying goods and services on-line as traditional retailers move to the internet to supplement sales from their stores. Expert system is a field which covers artificial intelligence. They are computer programs that attempt to replicate the performance of a human expert on some specialised reasoning task. A great example where expert systems are being implemented is the protection of endangered species found in case study relating to expert system. At airports such as Heathrow, customs are often faced with the task of identifying the particular species of animal or reptiles that, say, a handbag has been made from - not an easy task when there are over 35, 000 different species of snake alone, each with a different level of protection. ...read more.

Conclusion

Governments can now hold and process enormous amounts of data on their citizens reflecting a "Big Brother" conception to its general public. The dangers of these powers being abused are a perennial cause for concern in some quarters. The pressure to reduce fraud leads to the collection of information from the authorities. This can be beneficial in eliminating the abuse of government funds by individuals, but can be precarious in that a database on citizens might be abused by the authorities in the future. General use of computers has lead to health issues arising. Those who use computers frequently have found problems have occurred due to this. Repetitive stain injury (RSI) causes pain in wrist, hand, neck and shoulder. People who use computers for long periods of time complain of eyestrain which is thought to be due to prolonged staring at computers screens with decreased blinking. The introduction of computers in the workplace can have detrimental effects on the well being of workers such as companies may use computers to monitor their workers productivity, which often leads to high level of stress. An article in the Guardian newspaper defines victims of repetitive strain injury. Five former part time workers who put cheques details into computers are claiming compensation for upper limb disorder including aches, stiffness and shooting pains in their arms. They had taken their case to court and won in which Midland Bank had to pay �45,000 compensation to any RSI sufferer. ...read more.

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