Tuesday, September 18, 2012

asxsa

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Summary of John Q

The film stars Denzel Washington as John Q. Archibald, a Chicago factory worker whose apparently healthy son collapses during a Little League game. John Q. and his wife Denise race the kid to an emergency room, where his signs are stabilized and then a cardiologist explains that young Mikes heart is three times normal size. There are two options a heart transplant or optimizing Mikes quality of life during the months ... weeks ... days left to him. Joining the doctor is appropriately named hospital administrator Rebecca Payne, who already knows the Archibald has no money, and argues for the quality of life choice. John Q. thinks hes covered by insurance, but it was not. His company switched to a new HMO that has a $0,000 ceiling, and since John has been downsized to 0 hours a week, hes lucky to have that much coverage. Payne demands a $75,000 down payment on the $50,000 operation, and explains the harsh realities of life for cash patients. John Q. considers taking the kid to County Hospital, but is urged by a friendly hospital employee to stay right there at the ominously named Crisis of Hope Memorial Hospital. John Q. exhausts all his options and eventually pulls a gun and takes hostages, demanding that his son he put at the top of the list of eligible recipients However, it wasn’t easy. The hospital tries to make a deal with John Q. The deal was that if John Q liberates hostages and surrenders himself, they will accept his demands. However, it was a trick. John Q’s wife tells him that the hospital and policemen are making the trick to catch him. The TV ads already inform people. Many people protests at front of the hospital. However, John Q felt that there is no hope. He asks a urged by a friendly hospital employee to stay right there at the ominously named Crisis of Hope Memorial Hospital. John Q. exhausts all his options and eventually pulls a gun and takes hostages, demanding that his son he put at the top of the list of eligible recipients However, it wasn’t easy. The hospital tries to make a deal with John Q. The deal was that if John Q liberates hostages and surrenders himself, they will accept his demands. However, it was a trick. John Q’s wife tells him that the hospital and policemen are making the trick to catch him. The TV ads already inform people. Many people protests at front of the hospital. However, John Q felt that there is no hope. He asks a





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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Slavery: Degrading or Encouraging?

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Slavery Degrading or Encouraging?

Slavery has played a big part of our histories past. Slaves were people who were involuntarily chosen to become property of another human being. Their jobs were to perform various deeds that their master chose for them. Slave’s lives were basically run by their master and they had to do whatever it was that their master wanted them to do or their consequences were anything from no food or water to beating to near death. Not only was there a degrading effect on the slaves lifestyles and feelings, but it also debases the ones who own the slaves, the masters. This degrading effect of slavery is made more apparent in Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Through reading parts of his writing, one gets a better feel on how the lifestyles of the master differed and how his actions changed from being a slave owner.

Frederick Douglass talks about his life in his own Narrative. Through reading his Narrative you get a better feel of what went on if his life, how he was treated, and how it shaped him into what he became. You also get a better understanding on how the master’s lifestyles change. Frederick Douglass’ mistress was the first to start to change. In the Narrative, Douglass writes, “My mistress was a kind and tender-hearted woman; and in the simplicity of her soul she commenced, when I first went to live with her, to treat me as she supposed one being ought to treat another.” When Frederick first met his mistress, she began to teach him how to read and write. But after her husband found out he became angry because it was against the law to teach a slave and it made them more dangerous. Soon after she began to change. “Slavery proved as injurious to her as it did to me. When I went there, she was a pious, warm, and tender-hearted woman. Slavery soon proved its ability to divest her of these heavenly qualities. Under its influence, the tender heart became stone, and the lamblike disposition gave way to one of tiger-like fierceness” (Douglass). From being a slave owner, she went from a kind hearted woman to a person filled with rage and a stone heart. This was only one change. The worse came with beatings.

Later in life Douglass got a new master, Master Andrew. This master was harsher then Mr. and Mrs. Auld. Master Andrew clearly took advantage of the ownership of slaves. He liked to beat them and beating someone is clearly not in a normal lifestyle of a normal person. “…sample of his bloody disposition, took my little brother by the throat, threw him on the ground, and with the heel of is boot stamped upon his head till the blood gushed from the nose and ears” (Douglass). This attack on Douglass’ brother is clearly an act because slavery has made Master Andrew a little power hungry and has degraded his lifestyle. It is even made clearer when Master Andrew looks at Douglass and says “that was the way he meant to serve me one of these days” (Douglass). Clearly another way slavery is doing its part on degrading the slave owner.

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The changing of the attitudes and the actions of the masters are made emminent through slavery. Not only did slavery degrade the slave but it took a toll on the masters too. Because of slavery, everyone’s lifestyle changed, it was sometimes for the better, but as you can see through reading Douglass’ Narrative a lot of the time it was for the worse. “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon” (Douglass). The changes were that of the masters and that is why I agree that slavery degrades not only the slave but the slaver owner(master).



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Friday, September 7, 2012

Internet Securities Inc.

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INTERNET SECURITIES INC. CASE

BRIEFING THE CASE

v Gary and his brother George raised $15,000 to start a new venture.

v They saw an opportunity to exploit the need for content providers on the Internet, focusing on emerging markets.

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v They are contemplating a new phase of the company’s financing and development.

1. Evaluate Internet Securities, Inc. as of 15.

Ahead of its time since 14, Internet Securities is the pace car for subscription-based business information services on the Internet.

This company is an electronic provider, offering financial and business information on Poland and Russia. The services include news, corporate financials, analysis reports, as well as industry and macroeconomic info.

ISI has excellent business model with tremendous product (unique, user-friendly, bilingual, easy access) good acceptance from big customers, participate in industry and market with growing trends, its service is friendly and fast, has the advantage of first mover, has talented management team with experienced business advisors and operates a low costs.

I really like its strategy to focus first on specific emerging markets in Central Europe, but also the vision to move to other emerging markets in Latin America and Asia.

The main risk for this company is the potential entrance of big competitors such us Bloomberg and also the country environment conditions (mainly economic/market risk)

. How have the opportunities changed over the past year? Why?

Each year The Internet is changing more rapidly the way people work and do business creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs with limited resources like Gary and George Mueller. Also the opportunities changed over the past year because emerging markets (ex. Poland) are experiencing growth, the business conditions are more stable, foreign capital is increasing and the development of capital markets in Central Europe.

. What fund raising strategy would you recommend?

ISI is offering equity participation for an investment of $500,000. I would recommend targeting the raising strategy to companies or strategic investors that are seeking to enhance on line information services or web advertising.

Another target could be one of its customers in Eastern Europe that could participate as a means of strengthening its position in emerging market financial services.



4. What should the professor say? What should the Mueller’s do?

The professor should say that this is a great opportunity. All fundamentals have strong base, such us company strategy, team management, product quality, service differentiation, market segmentation, target customer acceptance, industry and market growth and the financial projections look pretty good.

Muellers should go ahead with this project, raise more capital to expanded, develop its product in different languages and try to move company headquarters from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to New York or London, in order to be more close to worldwide financial market centers.



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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Competition in society

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The “competition-promoting” purchasing practices are Multiple Sourcing, Short-term Contracting, Competitive Bidding, and Fully developed specifications. Multiple Sourcing is designed to assure availability among all of the required materials. Short-term contracting is designed to get the full benefits of changing markets and to help search for better alternatives. Competitive bidding is designed to help achieve the best price for a product in a given market through a competitive environment. Finally, Fully developed specifications are designed to ensure the correct and uniform product quality. Another rationale for this practice is to promote a competitive buying environment and to exploit a competitive situation. One of the major concerns of buyers in formulating their purchasing strategies is the price of the product.

Under this competitive condition to protect the normal profit margin, a supplier must reduce its long term production cost through innovation and improved efficiency. Those who don’t choose this route will eventually be forced out of the market. Short term contracts for smaller volumes also means that individual suppliers must deal with many customers. A level change requires the use of more overtime workers or frequent hiring or laying off of workers. In this case direct and indirect labor costs tend to be higher under this option, and the production cost will increase as a result.

The buyer-supplier relationship is affected by the purchasing strategies in many different ways. The multiple sourcing and competitive bidding strategies requires that a buyer provide potential suppliers with developed and precise described product specifications. The buyer must insist that suppliers conform strictly to the specifications. Since suppliers are committed to the current contract only they are less likely to take the initiative to consider modifications that may improve product quality. By frequently changing a supplier a buyer deprives his/her current supplier of the chance to reduce its production cost through the extended learning-curve effect. Competitive bidding tends to put an emphasis on the lowest price. Suppliers under this pressure sometimes feel forced to cut prices. Many suppliers’ decisions tend to be based on short-term rather than long-term considerations. Continuous and Harmonious effort from the buyer and supplier, to improve the supplier’s cost structure is what leads both parties to the real savings.



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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I can't find an essay on my computer.

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Authoring principles and practices Navigation in Educational Web Sites

Introduction

As more and more students go online and spend more time on the Internet (Pastore, 001) [summary], web site navigation has become more important in helping students find information for their studies. This paper details navigational design techniques that help web site designers make their navigation more user-friendly, especially for educational users, such as university students and researchers.



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The Purposes of Navigation

Krug (000, p.5) [summary] outlines these as firstly, telling users how to find information, for example by offering menus and search functions, and secondly, helping users to understand their location in the site by using page titles, breadcrumbs, colour coding etc. Thirdly, navigation gives users an overview of the site’s content, for example through site maps and the text of the menus. Finally, navigation shows users how to use the site if the site requires some kind of process, such as registration or login, for example as in WebCT.





Standard Navigational Components

These are usually available as links on the home page. The logo of the organisation identifies the site and is usually visible on most pages. The logo can help to assert the authoritativeness of this source of information, which is especially important to students as the Internet contains many pages that are not quality controlled by independent editors (Schroeder 001) [summary]. Outside the home page the logo is often a clickable link to home. Although many users are now familiar with this convention, it may help new users if the logo looks clickable, for example if it is on a button, or if an explanation pops up when the mouse is placed over it. Users expect the logo to be positioned in the top left corner of the page (Bernard, 001a) [summary].

Home pages should also give a site description or ‘tag line’, informing the user of what they can do on the site (Nielsen, 001a; Krug 000, pp. 101 - 10) [summary], which helps students estimate whether they will find information on the topic for which they are searching. The home page should also provide various links to enable the user to access this information. Krug (000, p.65) [paraphrase] categorises such home page links into ‘sections’ and ‘utilities’. The sections include links to categories of content, for example teachers’ presentations, and lists of useful links. The utilities may include an ‘About Us’ section, often including staff and organisation contact details, a ‘What’s New’ page, a site map and a frequently-asked questions page.



Search

The ability to search within a site is especially important for educational users. For example, if a student or researcher knows that an online journal covers a topic of interest, he or she will need to search within that site for specific information.

Nielsen (001b) [summary] emphasises the importance of site search facilities as a both a tool for finding information, and an escape route if users get lost. He recommends that there be a Search facility on the home page, and also on every page. This is often in a menu bar or at the top of the page.

The results page giving the results of the search can follow the example of the Google search engine (Google, 001), and have the following components the search terms used, a link to advanced search in case the search was unsuccessful and links to other search resources. Each link on the results page at Google includes the relevance of the page, the page title, the URL, the contents of the meta tag ‘description’, extracts from the text of the page with the search terms highlighted, a cached version in case of the page no longer exists or the server is unavailable, and a ‘More like this’ link. It may also be possible to include a list of bookmarks on the page, so that users can go directly to relevant sections of a page.

Hoffman (17) [summary] makes a number of recommendations about optimising the information in the head markup of a page for search engines to use to provide users with an overview of the contents of the page. He highlights the use of the meta tag, especially for keywords, and the use of the title tag. Another method of providing more meta information is to use the Dublin Core system.

The combination of proper meta-tagging and informative search engines should help lead students quickly to relevant sources.



Menu bars

The second main way to navigate a web site is through menus (Krug, 000, p.55) [summary]. Sites have menu bars in various positions (Bernard 001a) [summary] , with different components in different places. At the top of the page common components are the name of the site, breadcrumbs, search, and tabbed section pages (Krug 000, p.61) [summary]. On the left are often site sections, which on educational sites can serve as categorisation not only of the site, but also of the academic field. On the right are found further links related to content, although Bernard (001b) [summary] states that users prefer embedded links. Hoffman (17) [paraphrase], however, suggests the use of menus and criticises these embedded hyperlinks, presenting a number of arguments against them. These include that conscious choices add up to conscious overhead and distractedness; that embedding hyperlinks within prose paragraphs makes for rough reading and slow navigation; that excessive branching disintegrates structure and reduces the ability to build a mental model, and that there are already enough navigation choices to overload the readers attention.

Neilsen (16 & 000, p.84) [summary] criticises the use of frames, which often contain menus, for example stating that they make bookmarking a page impossible. Bookmarking is especially important in education, as learners record sites in their literature search, and then go back to them to cite in their academic writing.

Menus in frames can be replaced by server-side includes or javascript .js files, which can be dynamically positioned to remain in place on screen with JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets. For an example see the left menu on the Centre for Independent Language site at http//elc.polyu.edu.hk/cill/ .



Indexes

Various types of index to the contents of a site are possible (Hoffman 17) [summary]. For example, a educational site on the topic of history might include alphabetical indexes of events and people, timelines, a site map and galleries of images of people and places. In Bernard’s (1) [quotation] study of site maps, his subjects said that they preferred categorised to alphabetically-organised maps because they may have to guess the wording of the hyperlink name in order to search in the appropriate area. This may be more important on educational web sites, where learners may be unfamiliar with the terminology of the field, and especially important for non-native speaker students.



User-centredness

As well as being unfamiliar with the terminology of the field, learners may be unsure of the categorisation of contents of a field, for example, whether pronunciation is a sub-category of speaking, or a main category of equivalent level. Information & Design Pty Ltd [summary] suggest card sorting by representative users in order to reflect the learners’ rather than the experts’ categorisations.

Cookies and logging-in can help in the user-centredness of pages by personalisation. WebCT, for example, tracks usage by students, and shows users what information they have already seen. Commercial sites such as Amazon.com provide personalised services such as ‘one-click-ordering’ and book recommendations based on personalisation techniques. Navigation is made easier by the site presenting the user with information and links that its records show is relevant to them. For example, researchers can instruct Amazon.com to alert them if certain authors publish new books.



Links

Hyperlinks are one of the primary navigation methods on web sites. There are a number of guidelines on the usability of links (Krug, 000 & Nielsen, 000) [summary] . Firstly, they should look click-able before mouse-over (Krug 000, p.7) [summary] . Many designers turn off link underlining or image borders for aesthetic reasons, but Nielsen (000, p.15) recommends using underlining and standard link colours [summary] .

Nielsen (000, pp. 188 - 60) [summary] makes a number of recommendations for links. These include that they should be self-explanatory, or have an explanatory blurb in the text or in a title tag (Nielsen, 000, p,60), should lead to useful content, should have the same text as the page title or heading they are linked to, and that there shouldn’t be too many on one page for aesthetic and cognitive overload reasons (Hoffman, 17) [summary] .

Lastly, links should be big enough to hit with a dirty, sticky mouse. In education, computers are often a shared resource in a computer lab and the mice sometimes get dirty. Fitt’s Law states that the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target (Tognazzini, 1) [summary] , and therefore bigger links are easier and faster to click.



Images

Images are used on the Internet not only to convey pictorial information, but also to overcome the limitations of HTML in controlling the appearance of text. Images containing text are often used in menus and image maps as part of the navigation controls of a site. As images these take longer to download than text, thus making the navigation slower to appear. In educational settings it is especially important to have small image file sizes so that images download faster. This is because a whole class might access the same page at the same time, and lesson time is wasted if the download is not fast. Selvidge’s (1) [quotation] study of the download time issue concludes that The longer the wait for pages to load, the greater the frustration. Nielsen (000, p.4) [summary] recommends that page download time should be less than one second, but a realistic target is less than 10 seconds. To speed image downloads, Larsen and Phillips (001) [summary] recommend the use of small thumbnail images, reducing the number of colours in .gif format images, cropping image size, and using the right format, .gif, or .jpg.

However, there is evidence that download speed might not be as important as previously thought, Rhodes (001) quotes Jared Spool, Founding Principal of User Interface Engineering, a research company, as saying, it was almost a law of nature that the faster pages download, the more usable the site was. But when we actually compared the usability of sites to their download times, we didnt see any correlations. He explains this as follows,

To go farther, we found that when we asked users to rate the speed of a site, that didnt correlate to the actual download time either. Instead, the perceived speed of the site correlated strongly to whether they completed their tasks! This tells us that, when users are complaining about download time, they probably arent actually talking about the download time, but about their ability to complete tasks.

(Rhodes, 001). [long quotation]

There is further evidence from Selvidge (1) [quotation] that download times may not need to be as fast as Nielsen advocates, and says that Lostness and task difficulty were not affected by delay length and that Users were frustrated by the 0 and 60 second delays in page loading time, but would tolerate the 0 second delays. Whether this is true in educational settings is a topic for further research.

One way to decrease the time taken to download images is to reduce the number of images on a page (Nielsen, 000, p.14) [summary]. Some pages use image maps and images containing text. Unless server logs show that users’ browsers are unable to handle them, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) can be used to control the appearance of text, reducing the need to use images. CSS can also be used to control the appearance of buttons, for example, their widths and colours, reducing the need for graphics that look like buttons (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 000) [summary] .

To improve accessibility to educational resources for all learners, all images should have ALT tags describing the image, especially if the image is a hyperlink. The World-wide Web Consortium (WC, 001) gives this and more accessibility advice on its Quick Tips page. Image hyperlinks should link to a page, not just to another image, and have captions containing text links, as demonstrated by Castro (000, p.145) [summary].



Conclusion

In informal conversations with my students about researching information on the Internet, a common complaint is that while the Internet is very convenient for research, it can take a long time to find relevant materials. This highlights the need for good navigation, and especially good search results.

Present research into navigation tends to concentrate on general or e-commerce users. Therefore, more research into navigation in the educational context, and especially into navigation for non-native speakers, is needed. ff

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Monday, September 3, 2012

Apotheosis of Herakles

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The Priam Painter’s Hydria, in the Elvehjem Museum of Art (Madison 68.14.1), shows a narrative of the deification of Herakles that maintains the classic version of the myth in the sense that Athena drives a chariot which brings Herakles to the realm of immortality, but insinuates the process was perhaps more peaceful and more simplistic than did other painters contemporary with the Priam painter.

Herakles stands at the flanks of the horses, recognizable by the lion’s skin on his shoulders and its jaws he wears on his head. Athena, to his left, will command the chariot once their travels begin; she wears her archetypical helmet; and Hermes is engaged in conversation with Herakles, wearing a “traveler’s helmet” and carrying his staff. At the horses’ heads hides a female figure, presumably of no more significance than a groom or a servant.

Clearly Herakles and Hermes are talking; Athena looks ahead, over the horses’ ears, seemingly aloof to the conversation. That Athena is the charioteer is indisputable, as is the fact that Herakles is beside her. Their adornments are perfectly typical in the tradition of characteristic pieces associated with the goddess and the hero/to-be god. Thus, to an ancient viewer who had not been instructed that the vase depicted the apotheosis of Herakles, unless there existed another story in the oral tradition that Herakles was to ride behind Athena as Charioteer, the vase would have been instantly recognized as the myth the Priam painter intended. However, had I seen this vase without prior instruction as to its intention, I could have distinguished Athena and Herakles but probably not Hermes; I could see the intentions of Herakles to ride with Athena but be utterly clueless as to where they were going. There is no indication of Mount Olympus anywhere in the scene, so we don’t know where they are going; the chariot is stopped, so we wouldn’t know if the chariot has ended from its journey or is about to depart.

Furthermore, the scene on the vase isn’t at all consistent with the account of the apotheosis of Herakles by Apollodorus, which states simply that “while the pyre was burning, it is said that a cloud passed under Hercules (Roman) and with a peal of thunder wafted him up to heaven. Thereafter he obtained immortality . . .” (Apollodorus, Library). The chariot is conspicuously absent, as are both Athena and Hermes. This is possible for several reasons did the transport of Herakles to Mt. Olympus by Athena, as a charioteer, fade out of oral tradition by the time of Apollodorus’ writing? Can art scenes show divine interactions that could not be constructed in oral tradition or writing?

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Absent from the vase by the Priam painter are key elements of Apollodorus’ account of the ascent to Mount Olympus, namely the characters and events leading up to the near-death of Herakles. Obviously the scene is intended to display only a small portion of the myth, one not even touched on by Apollodorus.

What is striking about this scene, especially compared to other vase painting depictions of the apotheosis of Herakles, is that the human and/or god-figures appear calm and relaxed, while the horses appear tense and unnerved. In Munich 60, for instance, while Herakles and Athena are calm and collected, the scene is much more suspenseful Athena is driving the horses in the air, and Herakles is now riding with her instead of standing at their flanks; below is the burning pyre, and what have been described in Perseus as two nymphs are rushing forward to put out the flames. To their left and below the chariot are what Perseus calls “Silens,” two nude men. One of them is peering into the flames and the other appears panicked, backing away. An alternative interpretation might suggest a sort of arm conflict between the Silens, which is not described in Perseus but sort of appears as such on the vase. While Herakles is not wearing his lion’s skin and jaw helmet in this scene, making it more difficult for us to identify him, the rest of the action incontrovertibly describes the myth in a much more parallel fashion to that of Apollodorus. Perseus dates this vase to the classical period, and the one by the Priam painter to the archaic, which gives evidence that with time the myth may have changed and the narrative in the vase by the Priam painter follows a more dated storyline, which explains its lack of consistency with the tale told by Apollodorus. The vase from the Louvre in Paris, F 0, depicts another scene of the same myth here, Herakles is shown, with Poseidon, Hermes, and Athena, actually entering Mt. Olympus and the realm of the immortals. The characters are recognized by their adornments; Athena, for instance, is painted snow-white and carries her characteristic shield. To the left of Athena are Poseidon and Hermes respectively; to her right is Herakles, as though being introduced to a sort of hierarchy of deities. The scene is quite different from the two chariot scenes from Munich and Madison, obviously because it depicts another aspect of the same narrative. The mood to this painting is rejoiceful, a vivid contrast from both previous chariot scenes.

After comparison with these vases, the Priam painter’s Hydria seems simple and vague. The artist seems to have left much of the myth, which was probably still in a very formative period in archaic Greece, open to the viewer’s interpretation.



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