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THIS WEEK'S ARTICLES
Junk Mail Gets Personal
A Fresh New Office Finds a Place in the Cloud
The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald's

Junk Mail Gets Personal
by: Joel Schectman
Jan 23, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: data storage Industry, Infromation Technology and Society, Role of computers in daily life

SUMMARY: A world of ubiquitous computers was supposed to be the death knell of dowdy industries like direct-mail marketing, but the reverse seems to be true. While Americans are sending a third less mail than they did 10 years ago, the junk-mail business is staying afloat, thanks to changes in databases, computing power and available storage.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article informs information technology readers about the use and power of modern computing supporting the "junk mail" industry.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What does the term "Big Data" mean and why is it important to business and consumers?

2. (Advanced) How are computing analytics tools being used to keep the direct-mail business alive?

3. (Advanced) What options do marketers using Directmail.com have when designing campaigns?

Reviewed By: Scott Robert Homan, Purdue University


A Fresh New Office Finds a Place in the Cloud
by: Katherine Boehret
Jan 30, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Microsoft Office Software

SUMMARY: Tablets and smartphones may have taken over people's lives, but Microsoft has managed to maintain a hold on the way many people use their PCs with one product: trusty Microsoft Office. Microsoft's newest version of Office, available this week, is a radical change from the past. For starters, Office 365 has a surprising new price model: It is only available as a subscription that can automatically renew each year. This new system constantly updates program features year round. Every time you open a program in Office, you will be running the latest version.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article introduces IT students and professionals to significant changes among the pricing and subscription model associated with Microsoft Office Software.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) What changes have been made to the Microsoft Office price model?

2. (Advanced) What benefits come with the new Microsoft Office pricing model and why should a user care?

3. (Advanced) What is Microsoft SkyDrive and how does Skydrive add value to a user?

4. (Advanced) Why might the cloud-based structure of Office 365 take some adjustment for users?

Reviewed By: Scott Robert Homan, Purdue University


The Web-Deprived Study at McDonald's
by: Anton Troianovski
Jan 29, 2013
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
Click here to view the video on WSJ.com WSJ Video

TOPICS: Internet access

SUMMARY: Cheap smartphones and tablets have put Web-ready technology into more hands than ever but the price of Internet connectivity hasn't come down nearly as quickly. In many rural areas, high-speed Internet simply isn't available. McDonald's restaurant the fast-food chain is one of the few places in many cities where one can get online access free once the public library closes.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: This article introduces the concerns faced by the many who have limited access to the Internet and how businesses have become an Internet service provider to the poor.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) Why does Joshua Edwards, an eighth-grade student, find his homework often comes with a McDouble and fries?

2. (Advanced) According to the Pew Research Center, what percentage of households with income of less than $30,000 a year and teens living at home still don't have broadband access?

3. (Advanced) How is the Federal Communications Commission trying to increase Internet access to rural areas?

4. (Advanced) What is the E-Rate and what does it accomplish?

Reviewed By: Scott Robert Homan, Purdue University


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