Computers have had a major impact on society due to a rapid increase in computer use. E-mail - education - e-commerce

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Introduction

Computers have had a major impact on society due to a rapid increase in computer use. 25 years ago most computers were centralised, stored in locked rooms. In 1989 one in three persons aged three and above used a computer in the USA. In 1997 in USA 37% of households with children owned a computer and 56,416 people over 18 own a computer. (www.census.gov). Use has increased dramatically since 1997 with the majority of households now owning a personal computer. There are positive and negative impacts which have resulted from an increase in technology and computer use. Computer technology nowadays is encountered almost everywhere at work, home, in finance, communication, education and retail. Therefore it affects various people including the elderly, poor children and businesses. I will assess the advantages and disadvantages of computers and predict the situation in ten years time. E- Mail Email is a very common use of a computer. Millions of emails are sent every day. It is a fast and efficient means of communicating. However face-to-face contact is obviously lost. "About 20% of the secretaries surveyed by the Diebold Group (1984) reported less face-to-face contact with their peers. 22% of the managers and professionals also reported a decrease in face-to-face contact." (www.ccs.neu.edu). It can improve family and friend relationships and aid businesses.

Middle

The information is always available and therefore it is easily accessed if extra learning is needed unlike traditional teaching. E-Commerce E-commerce is very successful. It is now very easy to purchase goods on the Internet. Internet shopping is done in a secure environment using cryptography to make the credit card number unattainable apart from the intended receiver. The advantages for the users is that they do not have to leave their home therefore saving time and money from fuel consumption. This is especially useful for disabled people. Internet banking is a new service, which is now used by many major banks allowing access to your balance, list of transactions, and money can be transfered between accounts under the same bank. However this is probably not as secure as traditional banking. ???? Virtual conferences can be held to bring various companies together to overcome delegates having to travel long distance to meetings, thereby saving the company money. As a result of current technology, conferences can be held with high resolutions, sound and little delay. Businesses can send projects to various L.E.D.Cs (Less Economically Developed Countries) where computers are used as the wages are lower. (delete this doesn't make sense?? ) Virtual reality is used to produce a simulation of a real world concept e.g. pilot training etc.

Conclusion

This can save the employees a lot of time and effort. One advantage for the police department for example is that a digital camera will save lots of time when processing fingerprint data. However viruses are an example of Internet crime. Another Internet crime is the illegal use of credit card transactions online e.g. interception. Personal details are readily used for recognition on websites i.e. cookies. However these details are not very secure and can be accessed and then used for email spamming and other purposes. The Data Protection Act has rules, which limits the use of personal data i.e. kept for no longer than necessary. I believe in the next 10 years that computer use will be even greater. Everything will be closely linked to a computer. Due to the increase in technology, communication will be improved e.g. conferencing software, will be better and faster than the current versions. Virtual reality worlds will be even more realistic with the equipment reduced in price and possibly smaller due to new manufacturing techniques. Voice connections at present have a delay and are of moderate quality, in the future this will be improved. Using dedicated IP networks and using packet switching will improve it. Video conferencing will be as easy as making a phone call. Even more businesses will be using computers in one way or another. CUA B Computers and Society Anthony Carbutt psyvac1 - 1 -

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