This is “Cases and Problems”, section 15.8 from the book An Introduction to Business (v. 1.0).
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Taking Care of Your Cyber Health
It seems that some people have nothing better to do than wreak havoc by spreading computer viruses, and as a computer user, you should know how to protect yourself from malicious tampering. One place to start is by reading the article “How Computer Viruses Work,” by Marshall Brain, which you can access by going to the How Stuff Works Web site (http://computer.howstuffworks.com/virus.htm). After reading the article, answer the following questions:
Could You Manage a Job in IT or IS?
Do you have an aptitude for dealing with IT? Would you enjoy analyzing the information needs of an organization? Are you interested in directing a company’s Internet operations or overseeing network security? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then a career in IT and IS might be for you. Go to the U.S. Department of Labor Web site (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos258.htm) and learn more about the nature of the work, qualifications, and job outlook in IT and IS management. Bearing in mind that many people who enter the IT field attain middle-management positions, look for answers to the following questions:
Campus Commando or Common Criminal?
Do you want to be popular (or at least more prominent) on campus? You could set up a Web site that lets fellow students share music files over the campus network. All you have to do is seed the site with some of your own downloaded music and let the swapping begin. That’s exactly what Daniel Peng did when he was a sophomore at Princeton. It was a good idea, except for one small hitch: it was illegal, and he got caught. Unimpressed with Peng’s technological ingenuity, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued him, and he was forced to settle for $15,000. Instead of delivering music, Peng’s Web site now asks visitors to send money to help defray the $15,000 and another $8,000 in legal costs.
To learn more about the case, do some Internet research. Go to Peng’s new Web site (http://www.arbornet.org/~danpeng) and check out the sources of information he provides. Then, conduct a Google search to find some information on your own. After researching the topic, answer the following questions:
It’s no secret that college can be fun. For one thing, you get to hang around with a bunch of people your own age. Occasionally, you want to spend time with just one special someone, but finding that special person on a busy campus can take some of the fun out of matriculating. Fortunately, you’re in the same love boat with a lot of other people, so one possible solution—one that meshes nicely with your desire to go into business—is to start an online dating service that caters to your school. Inasmuch as online dating is nothing new, you can do some preliminary research. For example, go to the Internetnews Web site (http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/2228891) and read the article “Online Personals: Big Profits, Intense Competition.”
Next, you and several of your classmates should work as a team to create a business model for an online dating service at your school. After working out the details, submit a group report that covers the following issues:
Operations. What criteria will you use to match customers? How will your customers interface with the Web site? How will they connect with each other? Will you design your own software or buy or lease it from vendors? Before you answer, go to these vendors’ Web sites and check out their dating software:
“Hong Kong—Traditional Chinese”
Hewlett-Packard (HP) provides technology solutions to individuals, businesses, and institutions around the world. It generates annual revenues of $80 billion from the sale of IT products, including computers, printers, copiers, digital photography, and software. Anyone in the United States who wants to buy an HP product, get technical support, download software, learn about the company, or apply for a job can simply go to the HP Web site. But what if you live in Hong Kong? How would you get answers to your questions? You’d do the same thing as people in this country do—go to HP’s Web site.
Try to imagine, however, the complex process of developing and maintaining a Web site that serves the needs of customers in more than seventy countries. To get a better idea, go to the HP Web site (http://www.hp.com). Start by looking at HP’s line of notebooks and checking its prices. Then, review the company information that’s posted on the site, and, finally, look for a job (it’s good practice).
Now pretend that you live in Hong Kong and repeat the process. Start by going to the same HP Web site (http://www.hp.com). If you can read Chinese, click on “Hong Kong—Traditional Chinese.” Otherwise, click on “Hong Kong—English.” Then, answer the following questions: