​Employee Computer Use Policy

In relation to the new “Bring Your Own Device” policy, we have implemented new strategies that each employee should be aware of.  Emphasis will be set upon specific things such as realizing potential ethical issues, knowing what actions are approved and the acceptable use of company technology.  Employees are encouraged to review this new policy and acknowledgement is mandatory in the form of your signature.

Ethical Computing

Computer ethics is known as a set of moral principles that regulate the use of computers.  Some related issues regarding computer ethics include intellectual property rights, privacy concerns, and how computers affect society.  Employees are obliged to properly follow the standards of ethical computing.

Plagiarism and Copyright

Plagiarism is known as the act of taking someone else’s work or ideas and then passing them off as your own.  The difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement is that while plagiarism is claiming someone else’s work, copyright infringement is using someone else’s work without their permission.  These concepts are also known as copying, piracy, theft, and stealing.  All employees are expected to abide by all federal, state, and local laws.  Employees are expected to observe the copyright laws as it applies to music, videos, games, images, texts and other media in the workplace and are strictly prohibited from the use, reproduction, or distribution of copyrighted works unless they have obtained the legal right and permission to do so.  A great way to avoid plagiarism is to always cite the sources quoted and list the resources in your work.  Not adhering to these expectations could not only result in disciplinary action, but can also result in civil litigation and criminal prosecution.  Copyleft is the idea that there has been an arrangement whereby the software or creative work may be freely utilized, modified, and distributed with the understanding that if anything is derived from it, then it shall be bound by the same conditions.  Employees shall respect this concept if using this form of work, creation, or software.  An example of plagiarism found in the news this year is about the Japanese Olympic Stadium.  It is also directly quoted below to demonstrate the proper way of citing a source while also listing it in the resource section.

“The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have already been mired in one plagiarism scandal over the logo chosen for the games, but now another is brewing over the event’s stadium.
In 2012 a design from London-based architect Zaha Hadid was chosen for the new stadium.  However, concerns over costs, the building’s appropriateness for the area and, according to Hadid, resentment over a non-Japanese architect being chosen, led to the original design being scrapped and another design competition being held.
That competition was won by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who worked in conjunction with construction company Taisei Corp. and design from Azusa Sekkei Co., both of whom were contractors working Hadid’s design.

Between some similarities in design, the overlapping contractors and the quick turnaround for the new design (14 weeks for Kuma’s as opposed to 2 years for Hadid’s) has led many to accuse the new design of being plagiarized.

This has only been furthered by the Japan Sports Council, which, according to Hadid, is withholding final payment for design services until Hadid’s firm agrees to sign away all copyrights in their design, something they have refused to do.  Hadid has threatened legal action if it’s necessary.” (Bailey, 2015-2016)

Software Piracy

Software piracy is the term used to label the illegal act of copying, using, or distributing software without ownership or obtaining the legal rights.  Most software is bought as a one-site license.  This means that only one computer is allowed to have that software installed on it at any given time.  The illegal act of software piracy is considered when copying a specific software to multiple computers or sharing it with another person without first having multiple licenses and permissions.  Employees shall completely evade any form of software piracy.  If the employee is found pirating software, both the employee and the company could be held liable under both civil and criminal law.  If the owner of the copyright brings a civil action, they could stop you from using the software instantly and could also demand financial damages.  Then, the owner may choose between actual damages (the amount that has been lost because of the infringement) or statutory damages (which can be as much as $150,000 for each copy of the software).  The government could also criminally prosecute for copyright infringement.  If convicted, the guilty party could be fined up to $250,000 and/or sentenced to jail for up to five years.

Sharing Internet Connection

Sharing an internet connection outside of company parameters and expectations should be avoided.  When more users are actively present on the network, the bandwidths for each user significantly lowers.  For example, if 8 employees were connected to an ADSL connection at 512 kb/s, only 64 kb/s will remain per person.  Due to the daily productivity standards that must be met, a stable connection must be consistently available.

Social Media

Social media is an ever-growing cultural norm of today.  Unfortunately, we cannot fully support the excessive attention that social media demands.  However, we will allow employees to log into their social media accounts during breaks only.  The only exception for this expectation is the marketing team using our company’s social media accounts to fulfill the demands and requirements associated with their given responsibilities.  During your personal time, posting company issues, thoughts or images is strictly prohibited.  “In fact, 28 percent of employers report that they’ve fired people for using the Internet for non-work-related activity (such as shopping online or checking out Facebook for example) during the workday and 18 percent have dismissed employees because of something they posted on social media, according to Career Builder.” (Rapacon, 2016)

Employer’s Rights
The company owns the rights to all data and files in any network, computer, or other systems used in the company.  We own the right to access any data and files sent or received using any company system.  We reserve the right to monitor e-mail messages and the content therein.  Employees shall be aware that the e-mail messages sent and received using company equipment, network and internet access are not private and are subject to viewing and inspection at any given time.  We will actively engage in the ongoing use of monitoring software that shall create and store copies of any files or information associated with any system.  Employees waive their rights to confidentiality or disclosure privileges when using the company’s systems.
H. Robert Mays

References

Bailey, J. (2015-2016, November 27). 5 Biggest Plagiarism Stories of 2016 (So Far). Retrieved from WordPress: https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2016/01/20/5-biggest-plagiarism-stories-of-2016-so-far

Information on Software Enforcement in the United States. (2016, November 18). Retrieved from BSA The Software Alliance: http://www.bsa.org/anti-piracy/tools-page/software-piracy-and-the-law/?sc_lang=en-US

Rapacon, S. (2016, February 5). How Using Social Media Can Get You Fired. Retrieved from CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/05/how-using-social-media-can-get-you-fired.html

What is software piracy? (2016, November 28). Retrieved from Share Computer Hope: http://www.computerhope.com/jargon/s/softpira.htm

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The Operating System: A Form of System Software

System software is a type of computer program that is designed to run a computer’s hardware and application programs.  A well known example is the Operating System (OS) which is the interface between computer hardware and the user.  The purpose of an operating system is to control all of the interactions among the different system components.  This includes the human interactions with the computer, and the network operations for the computer system.  Basically the operating system is a group of programs that accomplish the tasks by building an increasingly complex set of software layers between the hardware and user interactions.
The Operating System will decide which process gets the processor.  It will decide when and for how long also.  This is also known as process scheduling.  The operating system keeps track of the processor and the statuses of the processes therein.  It will also allocate and de-allocate the processor to and from a specific process.

There are important activities that the Operating System performs.  It has security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and programs.  These are usually protected by passwords.  The OS has control over system performances by recording delays between requests for a service and responses from the system.  It also keeps track of time and the resources that are being used by jobs and users.  The OS records the delays between the requests for a service and the responses from the system.  It also coordinates between other software and users.

When the term memory management is used it is referring to the management of Primary Memory or Main Memory.  Main memory is a huge collection of words or bytes where they have their own address.  Main memory provides a quick storage that can be accessed directly by the CPU.  For a program to be executed, it must be accessed through the main memory.  The operating system keeps track of primary memory.  It decides which processes will get how much memory and when.  It allocates the memory when a process requests it.

Virtual Memory is the use of a portion of the hard disk as memory.  An operating system can allow the user to have several programs open in memory at the same time.  The feature called multitasking means that it is possible to run out of physical RAM and then the OS will use and manage a portion of disk space as if it were RAM.

The operating system incorporates routines that manage peripheral device allocation and ensure that device assignments to multiple concurrent applications do not conflict.  Peripheral devices include things such as a keyboard, mouse, disk drive, touch pad, monitor, USB devices, speaker, and/or printer.  A block device is one with which the driver communicates by sending entire blocks of data.  There are character devices in which the driver communicates by sending and receiving single characters or bytes.

A device driver is software that allows a device to operate.  It is a special file that defines the linkage to a physical device.  It is responsible for performing unique, device-specific tasks.  Often times when you purchase a new peripheral device, such as a printer for example it will come with an installation disk.  This will have the latest device driver for that device.  Other times it is already installed on the device.  For example if you had a modem with a USB connection that you plugged into your computer, then your monitor will display an installation wizard.

PnP stands for Plug and Play.  It is a standard that allows a computer to automatically detect and configure the installed device.  Both the operating system and the device must be Plug and Play compliant for this method to work.  

The Operating System coordinates software by having its kernel implement complete control over which thread of a software process is executing on every CPU core.  Then it has a virtual memory manager that gives each process its own virtual memory space.  Lastly, the Os provides multiple means of communication with the software running the OS.

BIOS stands for Basic Input/output System.  It is the program that a personal computer’s microprocessor uses to get the computer system started after it is turned on.  It also manages data flow between the operating system and the hardware components.

POST stands for Power-On Self-Test.  This refers to the diagnostic testing sequence that a computer’s BIOS runs to determine if the RAM, keyboard, disk drives, and other hardware components are working correctly.  

The kernel is the core of the operating system.  It communicates directly with the hardware.  It manages the tasks of the computer and the hardware such as memory and CPU time.

A beep code is an audio signal that computer announces as the result of a diagnostic test when it is first turned on.  These audible beeps vary in pitch, number and duration.  The sequence is a coded message designed to tell the user what is wrong with the computer, if there is an error.

There are different versions of Windows which is made by Microsoft.  I am currently using Windows 10.  Previous versions include: Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista and XP.  There are other operating systems.  Examples include: OS X, OS/400, VMS, AIX, z/OS and Linux.

I would recommend using Windows 10.  The main reason is because of its familiarity with growing up on other Windows operating systems.  I just feel comfortable using it.  I like the way it navigates and stores my information.  I like knowing that with each upgrade over time, there are minor differences.  Not too much where I don’t know how to maneuver it anymore.  Windows has been sufficient for my needs and I am ok with continued use.  I don’t see any need to change something that seems to be working well for me.  Also, I haven’t used many other operating systems so I wouldn’t know how to compare or recommend a different operating system.

– H. Robert Mays

Resources:

Jane Holcombe, C. H. (2013). CompTIA A+ Certification Study Guide, Eight Edition. McGraw-Hill Education: New York City.

Operating System – Overview. (2016, October 23). Retrieved from Tutorials Point: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/operating_system/os_overview.htm

Todd Meadors, C. A. (2004). Operating Systems for Technicians. El Granade: Scott/Jones, Inc.

William S. Davis, T. R. (2005). Operating Systems: A Systematic View, Sixth Edition. Boston: Addison-Wesley, Inc.

Bridge the Gap

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International communication in real time.
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M-Commerce readily available.

The internet is a wonderful tool readily available in today’s society and culture.  I understand that for most of the older generation, this is confusing and can be intimidating at times.  But there’s no need for that.  In order to understand how to use the internet, we should first explore the history of the internet, the different methods of communication, and different aspects such as e-commerce and m-commerce.

The internet basically began back in the 1960s by a group of individuals that saw a great value in allowing computers to share information on research and development in scientific and military fields.  J.C.R. Licklider was the guy that first projected a global network of computers.  Leonard Kleinrock developed the theory of packet switching.  This was basically to form the basis of the internet connections.  Later in 1965, Lawrence Roberts connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer over dial-up telephone lines.  Roberts moved to DARPA in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET.  This was the network that became the basis for the internet.  To read on further about this or to gain some more in depth knowledge please visit:  http://www.walthowe.com/navnet/history.html

Fast-forward through time to present day.  There are so many things that have evolved over just a short period of time in the last 30 years.  One thing I want to emphasize is the various methods of communication that the internet has made available.  It was a great feat to allow people to communicate with others across the globe in real time on various platforms and methods.  Examples include:

  • Social networking– There are various sites or applications we can download to our smartphones or tablet devices to interact with other users or stay connected with such ease and convenience.  Examples include Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace.
  • Email– This application allows people to communicate with others without waiting on postal services.  What once could have taken several days to several weeks to be received has drastically decreased to real time responses across the globe.  I don’t have to wait on mom’s letter that can take a long time whereas using email is much faster.  Examples include Gmail, Yahoo mail, Hotmail and countless others.
  • Wikis and blogs– A Wiki is a website comprising text-based content that can be edited collectively by users at will.  A blog is where the author’s posts remain unaltered.  Some useful information can be found with these but they aren’t always 100% factual.  One great example is Wikipedia.
  • Podcasts and webcasts– A podcast is a series of digital media files that is made available for download via Web syndication whereas a webcast is a media file distributed over the internet using streaming media technology.
  • Streaming videos– This is content sent in compressed form over the internet and displayed by the viewer in real time.  The user does not have to wait for the whole file to download in order to play it.  This media is sent in a continuous stream of data and is played as it arrives.

This touched the basics of some different aspects of communication.  To learn more, visit:  https://www.techwalla.com/articles/types-of-internet-communication

Another wonderful aspect of what the internet has done for today’s society and culture is the e-commerce and m-commerce.  Even though the traditional commerce is still very much used, there are alternative ways to get what you want as a consumer. E-commerce is known as the commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet.  M-commerce is very much similar to E-commerce but this form is done on cellular phones.  Today almost everyone has a cellular phone or tablet readily available.  You can shop at countless places to get what you want.  You can compare prices and get the best deal.  A well known place to shop online is from Amazon.  There are countless others.  Most places today have their own website you can visit and shop from their either on the computer or on your handheld device.  Sometimes you can even download applications to use meant to save money using coupons.

Read more: http://keydifferences.com/difference-between-e-commerce-and-m-commerce.html#ixzz4MpO8eWU7

H. Robert Mays