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Briefly describe two important changes within the last ten years in the remote environment of and their impact on U.S. business in each of the following areas: a. Economic b. Social c. Political d. Technological e. Ecological Which factors complicate environmental analysis at the global level? Which factors are making such analysis easier? Do you agree with the suggestion that soon all industries will need to evaluate global environments? ( Note: Environmental does not mean just ecological )

Week 2 DQ’s

DQ 1

Briefly describe two important changes within the last ten years in the remote environment of and their impact on U.S. business in each of the following areas:

 

a.     Economic  b. Social   c. Political  d. Technological   e. Ecological

 

Which factors complicate environmental analysis at the global level?  Which factors are making such analysis easier? Do you agree with the suggestion that soon all industries will need to evaluate global environments? ( Note: Environmental does not mean just ecological )

                                                                                                                        

DQ 2

Choose a specific industry and, relying solely on your impressions, evaluate the impact of the five forces ( Porter’s Model ) that drive competition in the industry.

The industry I chose is the weekly published and printed news magazine. From what I have learned from Porter’s model is this. From the part of supplier concentration (that being the paper, ink, cameras, computers, printers, fax machines and printing presses), there is or shouldn’t usually be a shortage for this industry. In other words, these competitors should be fine getting what they need to do business as long as their finances are okay.

Next we look at the threat of new entrants. Even without going into depth about the details (unless some foreign developing nation can get into it (that is with understanding the pulse of America)) at a cheaper cost then their first world counterparts, there should be no threat of any new entrants into this slowly sinking ship of an industry.

Now review buying power’s role in this. The magazines the 2 big ones are competitively priced. I cannot see them raising prices much, but at least one of them has cut back on length of magazine and paper and cover quality. They both have declining ad revenue too.

There is a small degree of rivalry here. The 2 main ones are Time and Newsweek have their followers and they most likely wouldn’t switch readership from one to another. Time is more for those who lean to the right whereas Newsweek is for those on the left. Also, looking at this part of Porter’s Model one can see little industry growth as well as few other changes possible in this realm of Porter’s Model concerning this stagnant industry.

Now, I do see something big continuing to hurt this industry. That is the threat of substitutes. That is with more and more people “surfing the net” while doing their jobs or enjoying their free time.  There is more and more opportunity to read or see the news on line without paying a subscription to the site to do so.  So many people do this on a daily basis.

DQ 3

Many firms neglect industry analysis.  When does it hurt them? When does it not? Who in the firm should be responsible for industry analysis if  that  firm does not have a strategic planning department?

If the company wants to grow and be sure to keep the same sales, it is important to analyze the industry and identify weaknesses and strengths of the industry, the competition, and the company itself. If they have a satisfactory volume in a good industry, people tend to forget the industry and that can work out okay. But without the analysis, there is a possibility that they will not react fast enough when change comes. Many firms neglect the analysis because it can be expensive and or lead management down the wrong path with questionable information.

When it comes to who should be responsible for the industry analysis, in fact all or the entire management in the company or a firm are responsible for industry analysis but in their respective domains. To elaborate this further, we can say that all functional heads ie. Marketing, finance, strategic planning, financial management , Operations and Production, etc should get actively involved in their respective functional responsibility to do the industry analysis, aimed at achieving common corporate goals or objectives.

DQ 4

Describe SWOT analysis as a way to guide internal analysis.  How does this approach reflect the basic strategic management process? Why do you think value chain analysis has become a preferred approach to guide internal analysis?  What are its strengths? It’s weaknesses? The traditional SWOT analysis has been changed to SWOTT with the addition of Trend analysis. Why do you think this was done? Comment on whether this change makes a significant difference or not 

DQ 5

Apply SWOTT analysis to yourself and your career aspirations.  What are your major strengths and weaknesses?  How might you use your knowledge of these strengths and weaknesses to develop your future career plans?

DQ 6

( Your Own DQ )

Please review and post an excerpt from an article in your local newspaper, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes, or any other business magazine relating to strategic planning, economic issues or anything relevant to this course. Please summarize this article adding your own thoughts in about 150 to 300 words. Thank you and good luck.

 

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The MP3 is a common format of digital music that just about everyone tuned in to the digital life uses. MP3 is an abbreviation of MPEG-2 Audio Layer III which is a patented digital audio encoding form that uses what is termed as ‘lossy data compression’ wherein data (which in this case is the music file) is discarded to minimize the amount that needs to be held, stored or handled from computer to computer. This makes the transfer, storage and utilization faster and more efficient. With an MP3 file, as long as the structural components are there, the loss is not noticeable to the end user. I have chosen the mp3 as a cultural artifact because it is the most massively popular form of audio data used in the trade and commerce of digital audio. It is common to ask a friend to share or copy ‘an mp3′ music file or to purchase the same from online stores like iTunes, for example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Socio-Political and Economic Environment

Antonio J Wellmaker

American InterContinental University

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The MP3 is a common format of digital music that just about everyone tuned in to the digital life uses. MP3 is an abbreviation of MPEG-2 Audio Layer III which is a patented digital audio encoding form that uses what is termed as ‘lossy data compression’ wherein data (which in this case is the music file) is discarded to minimize the amount that needs to be held, stored or handled from computer to computer. This makes the transfer, storage and utilization faster and more efficient. With an MP3 file, as long as the structural components are there, the loss is not noticeable to the end user. I have chosen the mp3 as a cultural artifact because it is the most massively popular form of audio data used in the trade and commerce of digital audio. It is common to ask a friend to share or copy ‘an mp3′ music file or to purchase the same from online stores like iTunes, for example. Additionally, when streaming (listening to audio live online), mp3s are the preferred medium due to the fact they require less bandwidth. Music is an art form appreciated by all. Depending on genres and preference, kids and adults have a variety of music they listen to online and via their mp3 players (i.e. iPods). Just as vinyl were the preferred medium in the 70’s and 80’s and tape in the 80’s and the 90’s with CD’s overtaking in the late 90’s and the early part of the 2000’s, the Smartphone digital-everything era has the mp3 players where files are stored in machines that play, stream and store music in the form of mp3files. Because music is deemed essential to express one’s self, to relate emotions, to soothe emotions and to entertain, mp3s have become essential too especially in today’s generation. Rare will it be to find a college student, for example, who doesn’t have an mp3 player or mp3 music files stored in his/her computer. As such, I am of the opinion that mp3s are a cultural artifact (a virtual one in this case), that represents today’s popular music culture.

Funny enough, the idea of an mp3 has had its roots as far back as 1894 when Alfred Mayer proposed that a tone can be rendered inaudible by another lower frequency tone. Based on this idea, Richard Ehmer presented an auditory curve in 1959 that explored the phenomenon. This in turn became the basis for Ernst Terhardt’s algorithm which describes with great efficiency the phenomenon of auditory masking. Manfred Schroeder & his team at AT & T Bell Labs proposed a psychoacoustic masking codec based on this principle in 1979. That same year, Michael Krasner submitted a paper ‘Digital encoding of speech and audio signals based on the perceptual requirements of the auditory system’ in MIT for his PhD thesis. The work of these two men were improved upon in the 80’s in the exploration of delivering better ways of encoding audio for both compression and masking- The earliest incarnations of these principles were the ‘Optimum Coding in the Frequency Domain’ or OCF codec and the ‘Perceptual Transform Coding’ of PXCFM codec. The principles from these 2 were adopted in the creation of the ASPEC codec which became a component of the MPEG codec – one that included video/visual aspects. The principles of compression and storage found their way in the first Motorola 56000 chipsets.

By 1989, the OCF-PXCFM codec principles were first attributed for use in music by German audio engineer Karlheinz Brandenburg in his PhD thesis. The Suzanne Vega song ‘Tom’s Diner’ was the first song encoded into mp3 by Brandenburg. By 1991, European corporations (i.e. Phillips) were looking for a standard of encoding that can handle digital compression and storage. By July 1994, the German Fraunhofer Society of which Brandenburg was a member released the very first mp3 encoder called ‘l3enc’ and decided on the filename extension .mp3 which we use to this day. By 1995, .mp3 files were available on the early versions of the internet and most transfer friendly due to its size which allowed peer-to-peer sharing. At this point, the likes of sharing sites like Napster came to be with music players like Win Amp easily downloadable and free to be utilized by anyone who wanted access and utilization of them online. While this became a small phenomenon, the ‘free’ idea and the increase of bandwidth capacity allowed for unprecedented growth in usage which worried music labels referring to mp3 file sharing as ‘music piracy'; after all, people can get to listen or to have a copy of a song without paying for them. As such, music companies encoded their digital versions in a different proprietary format although it is easy enough for CD purchasers to convert them to mp3 to transfer to their mp3 players and computers, for example. The legal issues of such users are still under debate by RIAA for example as music producers believe that such practice endangers their bottom line.

Mp3 has revolutionized the way music is consumed. The iTunes of Apple Corporation has now become an important venue of music purchases across the global music industry and music is bought and sold via the mp3 format. While there are other sources and venues to purchase, trade or share mp3 music, by looking at iTunes statistics alone, one can easily see the way in which Mp3 music has transformed the way music is utilized and consumed. Concurrently, there are over 20 million songs available for purchase on iTunes and the site itself is available in 19 languages. It is a global online store that allows for the purchase of primarily mp3 format music. In October 4, 2011, iTunes served its 16 Billionth song purchase (Engadget, 2011) and at the same time, Apple reported its 300 millionth iPod sold. A relatively recent decade phenomenon, these numbers dwarf the stats of the Sony Walkman cassette player whose 30 years of incarnation only sold 220,000 units. The mp3-related products by Apple do not present the full picture. There are other venues to purchase and acquire mp3 files and there are other gadgets (the iRiver mp3 players for example). Additionally, most computer users and Smartphone owners rely on their mp3 files to listen to their favorite music or podcasts and online FM ‘radio’ making mp3s pervasive in a reality where Social Networks refer not to actual real-life communities but to such online interaction sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Music is something universal. Everywhere we go around the world, whatever culture we will likely meet, we will encounter their music. Singing and making rhythms and beats is as universal as cooking. Being attuned to melodies is part of the human experience. Music is pleasurable and joyful. When we sing, when we hear great music, when we listen to whatever genre that uplifts us, we feel emotions that stir us, that soothe us, that make us smile. For every mood there is a song that we can relate to, from anger, to angst, to misery. Music has always accompanied great theatre in ancient Greece. Music and beats have become the background from which ancient dancers in prehistory in rituals of prayer and worship have beseeched or exalted their deities. Music transcends age and time. Music then is part of our ethnic and cultural identities and, at a personal level, music allows for our own individuality. My musical choices for example are different from that of my neighbor or my sibling. We might have some similar preferences but not all of our choices would be the same. A world without music is unimaginable as music is that larger artifact that can be referred to as a collective human heritage. Mp3s have allowed us to practice and keep alive that heritage in the digital age

Will there be a next-generation mp3? In the digital age, the key is innovation. Mp3s are a way of experiencing music. It will be highly likely that there will be a need for a faster to transfer, lossless compression format in the future. For now however, the mp3 format appears to satisfy all needs. When it gets to a point where the mp3 no longer satisfies the needs of transfer, sharing and storage of music, then a new ‘form’ or a generation of encoding will likely replace it.


 

 

References:

(Articles)
Sterne, J. (2006), The mp3 as cultural artifact, Sage Publications. Online version. Retrieved from http://www.sterneworks.pdf/sterneworks.org/mp3.pdf
(Book)
Sterne, J. (2003), The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction, Duke University Press.
(Online)
Melanson, D. (2011), Apple: 16 billion iTunes songs downloaded, 300 million iPods sold, Engadget. Retrieved from http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/04/apple-16-billion-itunes-songs-downloaded-300-million-ipods-sol/
(Other Web Links)

http://humanresources.about.com/od/organizationalculture/a/culture_create.htm

http://www.oncourseworkshop.com/Awareness013.htm.

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The simulation demonstrated four key concepts of economics. These concepts include equilibrium, supply and demand, price ceilings, and shifts in supply and demand. Different aspects of the simulation reflect actual supply and demand applications.

Economic Concepts

            The simulation demonstrated four key concepts of economics.  These concepts include equilibrium, supply and demand, price ceilings, and shifts in supply and demand.  Different aspects of the simulation reflect actual supply and demand applications.

EquilibriumAll goods and services have prices that are purposeful in signifying what consumers will spend in agreement with the particular utility related to that good or service.  Equilibrium is that time when the demanded quantity is equal to the supplied quantity.  It’s main objective is maximizing a good or service utility while at the same time, maximizing profit in accordance with the willingness of the consumer to spend.

Supply and DemandEconomics mainly rely on the analysis changes or shifts related to supply and demand.  The supply and demand law plainly states that the price of goods and services are related directly to demanded quantity.  In the simulation from this weeks reading, consumers demand for a two-bedroom apartment is liken to the available quantity.  Thus leading to the determination of a price that’s suitable.

Price Ceilings.  According to Colander (2010), “A price ceiling is a combination of implicit subsidy to consumers and implicit tax on suppliers.”  This particular simulation reflects how the strategy of a firm can be hindered when the price ceiling is beneath the equilibrium.  When there is a price ceiling, pricing can be inexpensive enough to allow demand to be greater than supply.

Shifts in supply and demand.  Shifts in the supply and demand curve can go left or right.  All shifts reflect the actual demand of any good or service as well as any price consumers may be willing to purchase the good or service for.  Factors that depict whether or not supply and demand is elastic or inelastic are represented by the shifts in supply and demand.

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In economics, the concentration ratio of any industry is used as an indicator of the relative size of firms in relation to the industry as a whole. The share of industry output in sales of employment accounted for by the top firms. (Case, Fair, Oster; Principles of Microeconomics, 9th ed.) Commonly used concentration ratio is the “four-firm concentration,” which is the market share, a percentage of the largest firm in the industry. (Economic expert.com) The formula for determining the four-firm concentration ratio is: CR4 = (X1 + X2 + X3 + X4)/T, X being the output (sales) of the four largest firms and T is the total output (sales) of the industry being studied.

Running Head: Ratios                                                                                                            1

 

 

 

CONCENTRATION RATIO

VANESSA HARRISON-HARVEY

ECO204 PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS

INSTRUCTOR: RAMZI SALLOUM

MARCH 12, 2012

Running Head: Ratio                                                                                                  2

In economics, the concentration ratio of any industry is used as an indicator of the relative size of firms in relation to the industry as a whole.  The share of industry output in sales of employment accounted for by the top firms. (Case, Fair, Oster; Principles of Microeconomics, 9th ed.)  Commonly used concentration ratio is the “four-firm concentration,” which is the market share, a percentage of the largest firm in the industry. (Economic expert.com)  The formula for determining the four-firm concentration ratio is: CR4 = (X1 + X2 + X3 + X4)/T, X being the output (sales) of the four largest firms and T is the total output (sales) of the industry being studied.

The four-firm concentration ratio for the following industries are (1) 311511 – fluid milk – C4 = 42.6 + 53.6 + 69.2 + 83.7 – C4 = 249.1 or 2.491

(2) 315233 – women’s and girl’s cut & sew dresses – C4 = 37.5 + 53.2 + 72.7 + 89.1 – C4 = 252.5 or 2.525

(3) 322232 – envelopes – C4 = 51.1 + 65.7 + 79.2 + 91.8 – C4 = 289.8 or 2.898

(4) 334111 – electronic computers – C4 = 75.5 + 89.2 + 95.0 + 97.7 – C4 = 357.4 or 3.574

Fluid milk producers are larger, smarter and more diversified with their product lines crossing industry boundaries.  Shipment values of milk products totaled $24.9 billion U.S. dollars.  Milk is an extremely perishable commodity with supply and demand that is unpredictable.  Flavored milk for over twelve months totaled $752 million U.S. dollars at a 5.5% increase. (“State of the Industry,” Dairy Field, August 2002, pg. 22-23.)

Running Head: Ratio                                                                                                  3

Women’s and girl’s cut & sew manufacturing industry had a revenue of $2.5 billion U.S. dollars with an estimated gross profit of 29%.  Import value was $3 billion U.S. dollars that came from over120 countries.  Exports totaled $168.6 million U.S. dollars. (Emerging textile.com)

Envelopes are sometimes called “moving averages,” and are used as market technicians.  The commercial envelope manufacturing industry and the postal service are hand –in-hand in this industry. Envelopes are used for mailing, storage, and shipping products. Based on concentration ration of the four companies with value shipping above 50%  indicates that it can be considered as an oligopoly.

Electronics and computer product manufacturing industry has a rapid technological advance and has grown faster than most other industries.  The U.S. continues to have a comparative advantage in many industry segments, more exported than imported. Global competition’s priority has almost wiped out major parts of the domestic consumer electronics industry, and future effects competition depending on trade policies.  Notebook computers outsold desktops.  Global computer and electronics retail market revenue at $477.8 billion U.S. dollars representing a compound annual growth.

Oligopolies by definition are the market condition that exists when there are few sellers which results regarding pricing and other market factors. Oligopolists compete with one another not only in price but also in developing new products, marketing and advertising the products, and developing complements to use the product. The fluid milk industry is considered an oligopoly that competes everyday with other beverages.  Some milk products are sold to a private label and it competes against worldwide beverage makers well known brands.

Running Head: Ratio                                                                                                  4

References:

Case, Fair, Oster, Principles of Microeconomics, 9th ed.

U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 Economics Census

www.techamerica.org

 

 

 

 

 

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I decided to research Colombia in South America. Colombia has a population of 46.04 million people this is an estimate from July of 2011 (CIA, 2011). Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. According to the CIA (2011) that Colombia is the third largest exporter of oil to the United States. Colombia’s economy is based from the SANTOS Administration.

Colombia and its GDP

By Melody Cobb

ECON224-1201A-05

Instructor Steven Stewart

January 26, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia and its GDP

            I decided to research Colombia in South America. Colombia has a population of 46.04 million people this is an estimate from July of 2011 (CIA, 2011). Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America. According to the CIA (2011) that Colombia is the third largest exporter of oil to the United States.        Colombia’s economy is based from the SANTOS Administration.

The SANTOS Administration highlighted 5 locomotives to stimulate their economy growth. Foreign direct investments reached a record $10 billion in 2008 but dropped to $7.2 billion in 2009. It then started to recover in 2010 mainly in the oil sector according to the CIA (2011).  Colombia has challenges which include inequality, underemployment, and narcotrafficking. The infrastructure requires major improvements to sustain economic expansion. This is due to Colombia’s financial crisis and weakening demands for their exports. Their economy grew 2.7% in 2008 but only 0.8% in 2009 but went back up in 2010 to 4.4%.

I thought that it would be good to research their Gross Domestic Product or GDP. GDP is basically the health of the economy according to investopedia (2011). It represents the total dollar value of the goods and services produced over a specific time (investopeida.com, 2011). Colombia’s government will find these findings by one of two ways. They can add up what everyone earned in the year or add up what everyone spent in the year.

When going through all the different GDP’s for Colombia, I noticed that they were all growing each year. According to the CIA (2011) these are all estimates for Colombia. GDP purchasing power parity which is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States (CIA, 2011). The findings for this were $435.4 billion in 2010, $417.4 billion in 2009, and $411.4 billion in 2008. Colombia’s official exchange rate GDP was $285.5 billion in 2010. The GDP official exchange rate is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States (CIA, 2011). The GDP real growth rate was 4.3% in 2010, 1.5 % in 2009, and 3.5 % in 2008. This is growth on an annual basis adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent according to the CIA (2011). The GDP per capita was $9800 in 2010, $9600 in 2009 and $9500 in 2008. GDP per capita is purchasing power parity basis divided by population (CIA, 2011). Colombia had 22.4% of their GDP for investments, 25.7% of GDP for taxes, and the public debt consisted of 45.3% of the GDP.

According to the data I found, Colombia is going in debt more each year. From 2009 to 2010, Colombia went $18 billion more in debt. For Colombia to lower their debt they would need to increase their exports and decrease their imports. Since Colombia does not pay for exports, they receive money for these this will lower their GDP. Imports are what they pay to have a product come into their country, this raise their GDP.

The trends in the data are going up from year to year. According to what I read on The World Factbook (2011) was that Colombia is the third largest country that exports oil to the United States. They should export this more if they have the resources. Think of the money that would come in for them and in return lower their GDP. Lowering their GDP will make them a better country in the long run.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

CIA, (2011). The World Factbook: Colombia by the CIA Retrieved from    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/co.html

 

CIA, (2011). The World Factbook Glossary by the CIA. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/docs/notesanddefs.html#G

 

Investopedia, (2011). What is GDP and why is it so important? Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/199.asp#axzz1kb6e5Hiu

 

U.S Department of State, (2011). Background note: Colombia. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35754.htm

 

 

 

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Firm A would be considered a monopoly market which is there are many consumers and producers in the same market (Economics, 2009). If demand rises and pushes up prices of the same good, then new firms would come into play. A monopoly market is very price elastic. There are four characteristics for a monopoly market. They consist of a single firm selling all output, a unique product, restrictions on entry into and exit out of the industry and specialized information about production techniques unavailable to other potential producers. Then there is the barrier of entry that the different markets deal with. Barriers of entry are controlling a scare resource or input, increasing returns to scale, technological superiority and government-created barriers.

Concentration Ratios between Firms

By Melody Cobb

ECON224-1201A-05

Instructor Steven Stewart

January 15, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concentration Ratios between Firms

                        Firm A would be considered a monopoly market which is there are many consumers and producers in the same market (Economics, 2009). If demand rises and pushes up prices of the same good, then new firms would come into play. A monopoly market is very price elastic. There are four characteristics for a monopoly market. They consist of a single firm selling all output, a unique product, restrictions on entry into and exit out of the industry and specialized information about production techniques unavailable to other potential producers.  Then there is the barrier of entry that the different markets deal with. Barriers of entry are controlling a scare resource or input, increasing returns to scale, technological superiority and government-created barriers.

Firm B would be considered an oligopoly market which is controlled by certain large firms. Characteristics of an oligopoly market consist of high level market focus; the firm tends to create branded products, mutual interdependence between rivals, and periodic competitive price wars. A certain concentration for oligopoly is that it leads to some of the more interesting behavior of oligopoly, like collusion and non-price competition.

The reason oligopoly has a high CR is not many firms control this industry creating the 80% of the market distribution. Firm A has the exact number of firms but each creates a certain percentage to the total market.  Firm A create a majority of the market share because of economies of scale present the making of goods, business cycles remove fragile rivals, they get advantages of firm merging, and barriers like technological growth and advertising help the monopoly market.

Firm B thrives and profits because this type of industry has certain firms that create most of the market. They are considered market power. The minor firms create minor shares of the market which has no market dominance and takes the cost that was set by the power markets. Other reasons that an oligopoly has a higher CR are the four firms could have formed a cartel which is a group of firms that act in unison coordinating their price and quantity decisions (O’Sullivan, Sheffrin, & Perez, 2008).  In an oligopoly firm, it takes the lead and increases the price. This allows other companies to collaborate without discussing the pricing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Economics, (2009). Economics by Worth Publishers.

 

O’Sullivan, Sheffrin, & Perez, (2008). Economics. Principles, applications, and tools. 5th

Edition Pearson Prentice Hall, upper Saddle River, NJ

 

 

MONOPOLY, CHARACTERISTICS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia,

AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2012. Retrieved from http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=wpd&c=dsp&k=monopoly,+characteristics

 

OLIGOPOLY, CHARACTERISTICS, AmosWEB Encyclonomic WEB*pedia, AmosWEB LLC, 2000-2012. Retrieved from http://www.amosweb.com/cgi-bin/awb_nav.pl?s=wpd&c=dsp&k=oligopoly,+characteristics

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Humans have never lead lives purely connected to nature. We have always integrated forms of technology into our daily routines to either aid in tasks or provide alternative recreational activities. Though we choose to take paths to break away from our bonds with technology, humans will never be able to sustain the advancement of the society without interacting with technology. Carolyn Guyer states that “the simple thing to realize is that there is a balance between technology and nature,” (163) but with the constant advancement and expansion of the cyber world, it is easy to lose sight of this balance and fall into a disequilibrium, and lose our connection with nature.

Technology and Society

Humans have never lead lives purely connected to nature. We have always integrated forms of technology into our daily routines to either aid in tasks or provide alternative recreational activities. Though we choose to take paths to break away from our bonds with technology, humans will never be able to sustain the advancement of the society without interacting with technology. Carolyn Guyer states that “the simple thing to realize is that there is a balance between technology and nature,” (163) but with the constant advancement and expansion of the cyber world, it is easy to lose sight of this balance and fall into a disequilibrium, and lose our connection with nature.

 

Since the introduction of science fiction to the genres of the American film industry, Hollywood has pumped numerous pictures prognosticating the future. In July 2002, Steven Spielberg presented another view of the future, the eerily realistic future of Minority Report. In the year 2054, the District of Columbia still resembles the Washington DC of today, but with a closer look one can find many additions to the city that present a convincing simulacra of the future of our technologically advancing world. Instead of taking an afternoon stroll through the catwalks and overpasses of DC, we are immediately presented with a forecast: the real-time flash images of case 1108, a double homicide. Instead of easing to the main technological focus of Minority Report, Spielberg throws viewers directly into the advanced system of Pre-Crime. An advanced technological system we are to unquestionably believe, foretells murders through the precognitive minds of three humans so unfortunate to have the “gift” of seeing these murders in their minds. Through high-tech design and application, images the Precogs see are formatted into a state of the art floating screen from which John Anderton (Tom Cruise) uncovers the exact whereabouts of the murder in order to reach the destination in time to hinder the future murder.

Even without the lifeless, inanimate visual analogy to technology, the system integrating human Precogs displays an ultimate loss of human connection with nature. Lifelessly drifting in a flotation tank, cut off from civilization and only able to focus on one thing, murder, these aberrant humans not only portray the “loss of connection with nature,” but the “conversion of the real world to technology itself.” (Slouka 149) John himself presents an easier way of dealing with the existence of Precogs by stating that “it’s easier if you don’t think of them as human.” Spielberg presents a very common value of our zeitgeist centered on the degradation of human connection with nature. Well-known technologist, Jaron Lanier, observes through viewing Minority Report, that humans urge unconnected activity in synch with technological participation. Today we even air commercials encouraging our children and even other ages of humans to stay active not just for the obvious reason of staying healthy, but to also interact with nature; if not through direct nature activities, then at least through continuing existence in the natural, unwired world (3).

Though the creation of the Precogs was a horrendous accident through parental addiction of impure neroine, a new drug released years before 2054, the concept of being totally void of anything but technology alerts us to the additional “loss of connection with our inner terrain, disconnection from feeling.” (150) The assimilation of humans into technology, as shown in Minority Reportё results in not just a loss of connection with the outside world and nature, but also a loss of self. While in the tank under supervision, the Precogs do not feel pain, suffering, anger, and passion. They are void of the most definite human characteristic: emotion. Without emotion we are merely automatons existing only to continue our existence; not existing to feel and be the nature we are.

In this day and age it is apparent that many humans lose some connection with their selves as they approach a steep imbalance between technology and nature in their lives. However, just like all imbalances, it can be steadied. As Minority Report continues, one of the Precogs, Agatha (Samantha Morton), becomes part of John’s future after he steals her from the Pre-Crime headquarters. To the rest of Pre-Crime she was stolen, but to John, she was set free. His “theft” signified the release of mental and physical shackles on her mind and body, allowing her to see the world as “now” and not “will be.” Near the climax of the film, she experiences a full blow of emotions at John’s house in the room of his kidnapped son. “Only through experience will we find” a balance between technology and nature (161). Agatha tells John and his ex-wife the future of their son had he not been kidnapped when he was nine and discovers her own balance in such a warm moment of love. Minority Report continues the sense of balance all the way through the conclusion, indicating that the “only way to find and keep the balance is to keep moving.” (161) Like Agatha and the other Precogs who found their balance only after extreme experiences, humanity needs to experiment the boundaries of its own balance by passing into uncharted territory. Only by moving with the development of technology will we be able to find a balance.

Loss of connection with nature indirectly surfaces with the expansion of advertisements in Minority Report. Even today we see and hear advertisements that know our names and ask us unnecessary questions (134). Minority Report a simulacra of advertising through holographic screens in malls that identify every person and address them by name. For instance, in a Gap store a woman is asked whether she liked the pack of skimpy lingerie she bought last time and starts recommending other similar products available. Online stores already have the ability to identify a person and suggest products based on past purchases. Movie critic Jack Aaronson mentions that humans would prefer to keep something this personal on the down-low, maybe personally with an actual employee, but certainly not announced throughout the entire store (2). Minority Report reflects the current zeitgeist we have on advertisements and other forms of marketing by providing digitized humans who have replaced the flesh and blood of employees. With the advancement of technology comes the ever increasing annoyance and intrusion on personal life. The intrusion of marketing in Minority Report creeps its way into the homes of people who purchase cereal through the continuously animated character annoyingly dancing around on the box surface asking how the cereal tastes, but is cleverly denied by John’s furious throwing of the box that finally “kills” the advertising. Not only do we lose respect of personal space but we also lose our tempers and increased desire to rid ourselves of such menaces. However, with the proper values and limits set for marketing, such technology could prove to be fruitful additions to the entertaining side of advertising.

Visual technology does not stop with the appearances of interactive advertisements. Through advanced cameras and projectors, John is able to record and play videos of his past, before his son was kidnapped and his wife left. Through this technology John comes to see more of himself just as someone today would pop in a video of their great times in Colorado. Complex headgear and recording technology also allow John to see whatever the Precogs see, allowing him to not only see his own future killing of man he does not know, but also to replay that murder. Like any human he is “obsessively rewinding and playing again the disembodied images offered to us,” (151) hoping to find some reconciliation. John’s vengeance for his son’s kidnapper clouded his judgment of the system he blindly believed in. Through his begrudging experience, John not only realizes the human flaw of the system – the fact that images can be fabricated and planted – but also finds his own self through the blurry reflections of a fabricated future. Through visual recordings and representations we can all locate ourselves in the physical realm and ground ourselves more towards a balance with nature.

Some people may argue that there is no balance between technology and nature. If this was the case then the only path for humanity would be to drive ourselves to a completely technological world due to the unyielding halt advancements in technology. “Nature is what we are, and so cannot be opposed to, or separate from, humans and their technologies, even when we push our inventions to the point of self-destruction,” (163) says Carolyn Guyer. Technology obviously needs nature, humans, to exist. Humans also need technology to keep up in a world that will never hold back and allow us to find compensation. The world of humans and the world of technology are codependent. They are made of each other, and there is no reason why they should not be together.

Such films as Minority Report goad us to reassess the balance of technology and nature in our lives. Recognizing ourselves and finding our soul in the alien world of technology is the only hope for the safeguarding of our connection with nature. Finding the balance and holding onto it is half the job, but continuing to move on and shifting this balance is what will ensure the continuation of our existence in both worlds. By guaranteeing our connection with nature through a balance, we need not concern ourselves with the asphyxiation of a solely technological life.

 

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Since humans are the dominant species on the planet one could argue that we are kings of the jungle sort of speak and that we have the right to treat inferior animals as we please. Is it our right to use animals for food and the betterment of our species? I believe that we do. We must eat to survive and as far as their use for things such as medical research is also acceptable. However, I do believe that animals deserve to be treated humanely for the simple fact that mistreatment and cruelty to animals shows a serious character flaw and moral dilemma for those that do this.

Since humans are the dominant species on the planet one could argue that we are kings of the jungle sort of speak and that we have the right to treat inferior animals as we please. Is it our right to use animals for food and the betterment of our species? I believe that we do. We must eat to survive and as far as their use for things such as medical research is also acceptable.  However, I do believe that animals deserve to be treated humanely for the simple fact that mistreatment and cruelty to animals shows a serious character flaw and moral dilemma for those that do this.

Many philosophers argue to the same points.  For instance “Peter Singer argues from the perspective of utilitarianism that animals—both human and others—deserve some degree of respect because they have “interests (Mosser, 2010).”  Think about all animals do what they can to survive just like us.  Although intellectually other animals are not on the same level as humans they still have feelings and needs.  Like our text says there must be a compromise between hurting animals for necessity and hurting them out of cruelty (Mosser, 2010).  Like I mentioned earlier the later part of that compromise says something about the morality and ethics of the people that mistreat animals.

References

Mosser, K. (2010). A concise introduction to philosophy. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Retrieved                from http://content.ashford.edu

 

 

 

 

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Do you feel diversity is important or unimportant? Why?

Week 1 DQ 2 ETH

Do you feel diversity is important or unimportant? Why?

 

I believe that diversity is very important, it is very important for all of our countries. It offers a new perspective to witness or decline. It allows others to understand one another, and have respect for one another, and for our beliefs and cultures. I do believe that there will always be a similarity in almost every aspect of cultural diversity. With many ethnicity, races, backgrounds, and religions I believe diversity is very important. It is a good thing because we learn about each other’s background, religion, and cultural. Everyone’s culture is important to their country, and their family.  Some people grow up not knowing their backgrounds, or their culture and they become curious and try to find ways to seek them so they know more about it and understand it much better. Some people think their background, or their religion is better this is why we need to learn and teach our children about the different backgrounds, culture, and religions so they know the differences and they will be able to teach their children the differences and they will be familiar with it when they get to the age that they notice the differences. This is why diversity is very important, because of our children they are the future and by knowing what we teach them will help make it a better place for them.

 

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eBay Incorporated is an American Internet company that manages eBay.com, which is an online auction and shopping industry website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide selection of goods and services worldwide. And although eBay manages eBay.com they have three distinct operating segments: marketplace, payments and communications. eBay.com offers several types of auctions, i.e., auction-style listings, fixed price format and fixed price format with best offer. eBay has also gone international in its dealings, in that, they run an affiliate program under the name eBay Partner Network. There are a number of ways eBay has used the information technology.

The Success of eBay

Herbert A. Agnew

Grantham University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

eBay Incorporated is an American Internet company that manages eBay.com, which is an online auction and shopping industry website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide selection of goods and services worldwide.  And although eBay manages eBay.com they have three distinct operating segments: marketplace, payments and communications.  eBay.com offers several types of auctions, i.e., auction-style listings, fixed price format and fixed price format with best offer.  eBay has also gone international in its dealings, in that, they run an affiliate program under the name eBay Partner Network.  There are a number of ways eBay has used the information technology.  eBay has acquired a mobile application called RedLaser, which performs price comparison and product search functions that the user would snap of product bar codes.  eBay has also entered a license agreement with Electronic Travel Auction to sell plane tickets and other travel products through the use of SmartMarket Technology.  EBay has used the Internet by way of Skype.  Skype a software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet.  eBay, as far as e-commerce goes, serves two main purposes.  The first is to effectively expose any item to millions of people on the web.  eBay is the first place many people go to look for items, both new and used.  The second is that eBay gives your site and company tremendous exposure at a very low cost.

Keywords:  Manages, E-commerce, Internet, and Information Technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

eBay, an online auction website, was founded as AuctionWeb September 3, 1995 by a French-born Iranian and computer programmer named Pierre Omidyar; in San Jose, California.    The AuctionWeb was considered a hobby and part of a larger personal site of Pierre Omidyar.  The site didn’t look very appealing at first nor did he have inklings as to what the public might want to auction.  He created categories such as antiques, books, comics, computer items, electronics, and etc… and there was no fees charged; so it slowly started to attract visitors.  The traffic on AuctionWeb steadily increased through the autumn of 1995, and by the end of the year AuctionWeb had over ten thousand bids.  In 1996 Pierre Omidyar started charging sellers a percentage of the final sale price.  As a result of charging a fee that he didn’t know how the public would receive it, AuctionWeb became one of the few web based companies to make a profit from the very beginning of its operation; by the fourth month AuctionWeb had amassed $10, 000.  AuctionWeb was changed to eBay in September of 1997 and as of 2009 it is worth $8.727 billion.

     eBay has seemingly become a household name, and is one of the more prominent online auction and shopping industry websites, in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide selection of goods and services worldwide.  It’s ironic; to say the least, that eBay Incorporated manages or uses eBay.com as a tool for business.  eBay.com has three distinct operating segments: marketplace, payments and communications.  The marketplace segment includes eBay.com, Half.com (the buying and selling of new and used books, and music) (Copyright © 1999-2010 Half.com Inc), Rent.com (where one can sign in, list your property, Blog, use the  Moving Center and search apartments by city and price, view photos, amenities and more), Shopping.com (online shopping; price comparison shopping; product reviews, and store ratings), and StubHub (where fans buy and sell MLB, NFL, Concert, and NCAA football tickets, and sellers set the ticket price).  The payments segment, consisting of PayPal, provides a secure method of sending and receiving online payments.  The communications segment consists of Skype, which enables low-cost Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communication to landlines and cell phones.

Information Technology has played an awesome role in eBay’s infrastructure.  eBay has acquired a mobile application called RedLaser, which performs price comparison and product search functions through photos that the user would snap of product bar codes. Now, the first eBay-created product of the RedLaser technology is here: an iPhone application for eBay’s reselling site Half.com.  iPhone owners can now use the free application RedLaser to take a picture of a bar code on a product and then scan Half.com’s inventory to find price points on new and used items there. Then they can actually buy them through the application and, if they choose to, share the details of their deals on Facebook or Twitter (McCarthy 2010).  And just in case you’ve lost your last bid in an eBay auction, eBay has gained the Auction Sniper.  The Auction Sniper is an eBay sniper that automates the process of placing your eBay bid in the closing seconds of any eBay bidding auction, dramatically increasing your chance of winning a bid.

The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.