Friday, July 17, 2009

IT Research Paper

What is Information Technology? Information technology or I.T. is a development that makes our lives easier. It makes it possible for us to see the world in a different manner. It also brings change in the way we live. James Martin, the author of The Wind Society said, “Most of the changes are changes for the better: better education, better news media, better forms of human communication, better entertainment, better medical responses, less pollution, less human drudgery. Less use of petroleum, more efficient industry, and better informed society with a rich texture of information services” (qtd. in Robins and Webster 68). I.T. also provides a network (the internet) wherein people in all parts of the globe can interact. Bill Gates, Microsoft creator and owner, pointed out in his book The Road Ahead, that “The network will draw us together, if that’s what we choose, or let us scatter ourselves into a million mediated communities. Above all, and in countless new ways, the information highway will give us choices that can put us in touch with entertainment, information, and each other”(qtd. in Robins and Webster 5).

To define further, I.T. makes communication, entertainment, market, and work more advance, more efficient and readily accessible. It includes all electronic devices to gather, communicate, process, display, and store information. An example of such device is the mobile or cellular phone. It is small, handy, easy to use and very efficient in terms of communication. Such innovations are provided by I.T. that is why it plays an important role in the development of one country. According to Carol Traver, Kenneth and Jane Laudon, authors of the book Information Technology: Concepts and Issues, I.T. plays an important role in the businesses and social organizations because, it allows greater productivity, efficient outputs, faster labor and higher production quality. In addition, I.T. also offers a wide variety of jobs such as web and multimedia designing, programming and other computer based work (11).

The Philippines has the potential to be one of the worldwide leaders in I.T. but because of insufficient I.T. education, lack of small-scale entrepreneurs, and poor governance, the I.T. in the country will not develop. The Philippines uses I.T. as one if its instrument for national developments. Its strength comes from its labor force, education, entrepreneurs and government support. The labor force in the Philippines are price competitive and literate in the sense that most of the Filipino workers know how to read and write English. There are numerous institutions providing I.T. education. According to the National Information Technology Center, in 1997, the Philippines is the second largest in terms of training facilities for computer courses in Asia. Their study also shows that there were 200 training centers and 30 colleges and Universities offering I.T. courses in 1996 alone and increased to 357 the following year (37). Having these institutions, there is an increase in the literacy rate in the country. Businesses on the other hand, engage in I.T. for it produces higher income with less capital. The support of the government is every essential to promote I.T. and study the situation of I.T. in the country. But the problem is, even though I.T. in the Philippines seems stable, its weakness also comes from its strength. According to the studies made by National Information Technology Center, the country’s labor force despite its strength lacks middle to high-end I.T. professionals. There were also lacks of small-scale entrepreneurs that provide jobs and the government because of corruption and lack of initiative regarding job outlook study, failed to strengthen the I.T. industry despite their well planned programs (20).

I.T. education in the Philippines needs certain changes. There are a lot of I.T. institutions available almost all over the country that is providing I.T. education. But, most of these institutions only provide vocational courses in I.T. There is a need in revising the curriculums provided by these institutions. Another factor that contributes to the problem in education is a lot of students are taking up I.T. because of the misconception of the demand for I.T. Well, at first, there was a need for I.T. professionals but now that people are all taking it up, there have been a great proliferation of I.T. graduates that resulted in the increase of unemployment. Viviene Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thames, also explained that there have been different stories when it comes to unemployment. The government, claims that the unemployment rate improved compared to the previous years. On the other hand, jobless I.T. graduates and reports claim that there are not enough jobs available in the market (qtd. in Himenez 3).

I.T. graduates in the Philippines are categorized into three. These are the high-end, above standard (middle) and standard (middle to lower class) I.T. graduates. High-end means top of the line I.T. graduates. These graduates are really skillful, very competitive and graduated in top universities in the country. In addition, most of them are really wealthy. Middle-end graduates are skillful and competitive and belong to the middle class. And lastly, the standard I.T. graduates. These are graduates that are competitive but lack skills. These graduates come from vocational institutions and most of them are somewhat less fortunate. When it comes to job seeking, middle to high-end I.T. professionals have no problems in their employment. In fact, the companies seek them personally. But, most of the time, these graduates get out of the country to seek more opportunities. The problem of employment is actually, for the lower class, because they constitute most of the country’s I.T. professionals. They lack credentials and skills that make it hard for them to find jobs. Therefore, they end up with jobs such as teachers, clerks, helpers and sometimes if not fortunate remains jobless.

There is a great competition in the I.T. industry when it comes to jobs. Companies want high-end programmers, engineers and analysts. But the problem is, as stated earlier, high-end class of graduates usually go abroad to seek bigger opportunities. This in turn drains the country in terms of highly skilled I.T. professionals. It does not only affect the employee’s position but also the managerial positions. For, only high-end graduates fit and competent to battle high positions in I.T. departments. Luis Lorenzo, the Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser for Job Creations, added that the Filipino graduates lack skills due to the past-paced development in technology. These in turn create new job requirements, which are not met by these graduates (qtd. in Himenez 10).

The country needs to improve its educational system regarding I.T. in order to produce high-end personnel. In response to these difficulties, some institutions have conducted studies and made adjustments on their curriculum to enhance graduates in the I.T. field. The University of the Philippines Manila boosted its I.T. curriculum more specifically in computer science. U.P. also signed partnership with some of the world’s top software companies. Ley Salcedo, Computer Associates of the Philippine Country manager explained, that under the Computer Associates Academic Partnership Program, I.T. in the Philippines would improve because the Computer Associates (CA) would help train and educate the country’s I.T. professionals. Salcedo, also said that CA would help the graduates find suitable jobs wherein they can practice their skills and be loyal to local industries (qtd. in UP Manila 3).

International Companies such as Intel, world leader in computer chip manufacturing gave emphasis on the need of improving the education in I.T. in the country. Dr. Timothy G. Saponas, manager of Intel’s international program said, “We view education as a very important part of our overall strategic plan. It is important to us in developing our semiconductor processors”(qtd. in Intel 3). Intel wants to secure their future and only the youth taking up I.T. today will be the key in what Intel wants to happen in the future. The company gave 120 million dollars to contribute in the development in education in elementary, secondary and higher education around the globe. Dr. Saponas also added that they invest in education because Intel wants top of the line I.T. professionals (qtd. in Intel 5).

Improving the educational system is one aspect of improving the I.T. industry in a country. But another factor would be, as Vicente Rallon, writer of the article Philippine I.T. realities, pointed out that there should be a society willing to take chances in business (2). To improve the I.T. industry, there is a need of entrepreneurs to provide firms for production of goods and services. Entrepreneurs are the capitalists and the heart of all businesses. With more firms available, there would be more jobs available. In the case of the Philippines, entrepreneurs are very few especially in the I.T. business.

Small-scale businesses are very essential especially in the I.T. field. I.T. needs ideas from its capitalist and not too much capital which is a perfect combination with small-scale businesses. The Center for Research and Communication (CRC) now University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) have studied and found out that small-scale businesses plays an important role in a county’s industrial sector. Studies show that small-scale businesses are the stepping-stones for bigger companies. The problem in the Philippines is that the businesses are centered mostly in the Luzon primarily Manila its capital. The research also concluded that if there would be an increase of small-scale businesses in the provinces, there would be income distribution (1). This will then increase employment.

What capitalize most of the I.T. industry are the large multinational companies such as Intel, Seagate, Fujitsu and other large companies producing computer hardware have been investing in the Philippines. In addition, these companies support provincial industry. According to the National Information Technology Council, Fujitsu had invested 300 million dollars for a manufacturing plant of their hard disk in Canlubang. NEC also planned to have a wiring plant in Laguna and Acer has been building additional facilities in Subic (22). Multination companies as manifested earlier, are investing a lot in the Philippines. This just shows how commercialized the Philippines can be.

The government’s role is very important in the development of I.T. in the Philippines. They are the ones that provide the budget. The government’s budget averages about 643 million and is increasing annually. The government has been spending billions because of investments in I.T. According to the National Information Technology Council in 1997, I.T. spending by the government was increasing and was expecting to finance 21 billion worth of I.T. assets in 5 years and now its in its 5th year. Also, the Local government computerization program was completed that same year (37). Its purpose was computerization in the government involving high-technology integrated solutions such as: providing website for the different bureau’s of the government, computerization of the civil registry at the National Statistics office and other aspects which involves computerization (34).

The Philippine government has a clear goal in the I.T. industry but there is a problem, corruption. Philippine is known to have a corrupt government and this disrupts the I.T. industry to develop. In addition, the economic problems occurring in the country is another contributing factor. Even though there have been actions taken by the government, such actions are useless if the government will tolerate corruption and will not do anything about the economy. Another problem as Rep. Gilbert Remulla, a Congressman of the Philippines stressed, that the government should do more studying regarding job outlooks. He also emphasized, that the government should inform the public on what is the current situation of the I.T. profession (qtd. in Himenez 12).

Having I.T. as one of a country’s pioneer instrument for development is fruitful, but because of problems in education, lack of firms to provide employment and lack of efficient ruling by the government, any country will have a hard time solving such problems. In the case of the Philippines, with the help of foreign companies to invest in education and provide firms in the country, there is hope in the I.T. industry. And, with the advancement of computer-based curriculum adopted by I.T. institutions, there will be an increase of high-end graduates. Lastly, the government should also be more aggressive to put up studies in how to improve the I.T. industry and they should try to solve the unemployment problem. It is the only way, the Philippines to become one of the leaders in I.T. Maybe in the future or maybe not, it all depends on the sectors the holds the key in I.T.

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Videogame Violence Essay

Despite all of the controversy, videogames do not cause violent behavior in mature players. Many studies have proven that videogames do not directly cause violent behavior. For many years not, psychologists have been studying how videogame violence affects kids. Leave the Pong to Grandma. Research has shown that videogames affect kids more than adults. These violent videogames are not aimed towards kids. The developers of these games make them for mature minded adults. ESRB ratings are used to prevent kids from purchasing mature rated games. If a game is rated mature, a customer must be at least seventeen years of age. Many games like Max Payne, Counter-Strike, and the ever popular game Grand Theft Auto are some of the most violent games on the market right now. List Targets Violent Games. These games may be violent, but they do not teach violence. In all of these games, a player uses weapons of mass destruction, but none of these games teach a player to accurately fire a high caliber sniper rifle. Video games are not bad for mature players, but shouldn’t be played by children.

The ESRB rating system is now required for every game to hit the shelves. The ESRB rating system helps consumers purchase a game for a specific age group. ESRB-FAQ. The rating may be placed to aim for mature players, but it is the parents’ responsibility to judge what game is appropriate for the child. Leave the Pong to Grandma. The staff that rates the games is not a permanent staff. People sign up to rate a set of games then return to their normal jobs. ESRB-FAQ. “The individual reviewers of games are not revealed to the developer.” ESRB-FAQ. Much is done to accurately rate each individual game based on game play and the game material. Each individual game package reveals the contents such as drug use, violence, sexual themes, etc. So if the parents do not approve of violence, they know which games to avoid, and which to buy. When ESRB first started, they were an optional rating for game developers to have. Now, it is required by law. ESRB-FAQ. The government clearly supports the use of the ESRB rating system and does everything possible to keep violent games out of the reach of young kids.

Some games, more than others, receive more media attention due to excessive gore, use of drugs, violence, or in Max Payne’s case, all three. Max Payne received a lot of controversy when it was first released. Max Payne is a very popular game and has been released for Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s Playstation 2, and the PC. The developer of Max Payne is Rockstar, who is constantly under suspension for releasing violent videogames and affected the minds of young kids. “Max Payne’s game engine is like no other”. Playing with Firearms. Max Payne uses a system called Bullet-Time. Bullet-Time slows down the game play to enable the player to make the character have faster reflexes. While in Bullet-Time, players can see the bullets actually impact the enemy. Bullet-Time enhances the gore level immensely. Bullet-Time is what is accused of being the game’s magnet to media. The storyline consists of a cop that has been framed for killing his ex-partner. He then comes home to his wife and child brutally murdered. He then goes on a quest to find his family’s killer and the person who framed him. Playing with Firearms. Not only is the storyline interesting, but also everything is done to make the game look real. Rockstar used an incredible graphics engine on the game. They used software that enabled the developers to take digital photographs and use them for textures in the game. So while walking around in the game, the wallpaper, ceiling fans, etc, seems more real. Although the storyline is violent and the graphics are realistic, it does not realistically teach kids to kill people. It does not show where to get guns or how to dive in slow motion. The game is unrealistic and as long as the players know that, children will not believe that they can do these things and will not act violently due to this game. Max Payne is appropriate for any mature action fan.

The popular game Counter-Strike is a mod to the 1998 PC Gaming Magazine game of the year. A mod is a patch of gaming code that gets latched on to a full version game. The game was the first of its kind. The health system is the closet to real life ever made. Playing with Firearms. Although you are supposed to kill enemies, you are punished for killing friendlies. The game consists of two teams, the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists. Playing with Firearms. There are separate objectives for each team on all the maps. “Terrorists are encouraged to set bombs, or kill hostages”. Playing with Firearms. The Terrorists may be encouraged to place bombs and kill the hostages, but the Counter-Terrorists are required to save the hostages and stop bombs from blowing up. Many aspects of the game mod are considered realistic, but the most realistic aspect of the game is the guns. Many of the weapons are actually used by SWAT and the Navy SEALS. There are also very popular Terrorists weapons such as the AK-47 and the Desert Eagle. Some examples of Counter-Terrorists weapons are MP5 and the Berretta. Although you can purchase the weapons in the game, you are not instructed how to properly and accurately fire any of them. Media is too fast to blame this game for violent behavior, it only promotes real life action and strategy.

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most controversial games ever made. The city is a real virtual acting city. Violence yields to pacman. Everything that is in real life, exists in the city. Some of these objects are like schools, traffic lights, cops, walking pedestrians, trains, etc. Every single object can be interacted with. “Health can easily be replenished by simply picking up a prostitute and drive into an alley way”. Violence yields to pacman. This is a foolish part of the game that no one takes seriously, health is easier to gain by going to the hospital. There are no sexual animations shown, the car is the only thing that shakes. Killing cops is an inevitable part of the game. Violence yields to pacman. The majority of cop killing is done accidentally by running them down over with a car. Although it is possible to run into the cop station and start shooting, it is suicidal. Breaking any law results in a penalty, the more laws that are broken, the more the cops come after the player. Killing cops is part of the game, but is not done freely without punishment. Every player realizes the seriousness of committing these crimes and would not take it seriously.

Games like Max Payne, Counter-Strike, and Grand Theft Auto are extremely violent and are not meant to be played by all audiences. Each game carries a rating for a purpose. That purpose is to advise the consumer about the product they are considering to purchase. Many studies have proven that violent videogames affect the behavior of young people, but studies have also shown that violent videogames do not affect the behavior of mature players. The clear solution is to try to prevent kids from getting these games.


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