Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 57

Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering

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  • 57
    Factors Influencing B2c eCommerce Diffusion
    Despite the fact that B2c eCommerce has become important in numerous economies, its adoption varies from country to country. This paper aims to identify the factors affecting (enabling or inhibiting) B2c eCommerce and to determine their quantitative impact on the diffusion of online sales across countries. A dynamic panel model analyzing the relationship between 13 factors (Macroeconomic, Demographic, Socio-Cultural, Infrastructural and Offer related) stemming from a complete literature analysis and the B2c eCommerce value in 45 countries over 9 years has been developed. Having a positive correlation coefficient, GDP, mobile penetration, Internet user penetration and credit card penetration resulted as enabling drivers of the B2c eCommerce value across countries, whereas, having a negative correlation coefficient,equal distribution of income and the development of traditional retailing network act as inhibiting factors.
    A Follow up Study on the Elderly Survivors - Mental Health Two Years after the Wenchuan Earthquake

    Background: This investigated the mental health of the elderly survivors six months, ten months and two years after the “5.12 Wenchuan" earthquake. Methods: Two hundred and thirty-two physically healthy older survivors from earthquake-affected Mianyang County were interviewed. The measures included the Revised Impact of Event Scale (IES-R, Chinese version, for PTSD) and a Chinese Mental Health Inventory for the Elderly (MHIE). A repeated measures ANOVA test was used for statistical analysis. Results: The follow-up group had a statistically significant lower IES-R score and lower MHIE score than the initial group ten months after the earthquake. Two years later, the score of IES-R in follow-up group were still lower than that of non-follow-up group, but no differences were significant on the score of MHIE between groups. Furthermore, a negative relationship was found between scores of IES-R and MHIE. Conclusion: The earthquake has had a persistent negative impact on older survivors- mental health within the two-year period and that although the PTSD level declined significantly with time, it did not disappear completely.

    Social Aggravations during the Period of Medieval Wars in Europe
    This article makes and attempt to disclose the dynamics of development of social interactions in an aggravated environment in relation to the distinctive features of religious wars and their negative impact to the society. Crisis situations that took place in all spheres of social life are described, on the grounds of which the author comes to specific conclusions.
    Combing LCIA and Fuzzy Risk Assessment for Environmental Impact Assessment

    Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is a procedure tool of environmental management for identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the adverse effects of development proposals. EIA reports usually analyze how the amounts or concentrations of pollutants obey the relevant standards. Actually, many analytical tools can deepen the analysis of environmental impacts in EIA reports, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental risk assessment (ERA). Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) is one of steps in LCA to introduce the causal relationships among environmental hazards and damage. Incorporating the LCIA concept into ERA as an integrated tool for EIA can extend the focus of the regulatory compliance of environmental impacts to determine of the significance of environmental impacts. Sometimes, when using integrated tools, it is necessary to consider fuzzy situations due to insufficient information; therefore, ERA should be generalized to fuzzy risk assessment (FRA). Finally, the use of the proposed methodology is demonstrated through the study case of the expansion plan of the world-s largest plastics processing factory.

    The Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (W-DEQ) with Turkish Sample: Confirmatory and Exploratory Factor Analysis

    The propose of this study is to investigate the factor structures of the W-DEQ, originally developed on UK and Swedish women, were confirmed in Turkish samples, and to obtain a new modified factor structure appropriate to Turkish culture. Statistical analyses of the data obtained were performed using SPSS© for Windows version 13.0 and the SAS statistical software Version 9.1. Both confirmatory and exploratory factor analysis of W-DEQ were performed in the study. Factor analysis yielded four factors related to hope, fear, lack of positive anticipation and riskiness. The alpha estimates of the total W-DEQ score were somewhat higher, being 0.92 for the parous and 0.90 for the nulliparous sample. These are well above the accepted limit of 0.70 and indicate excellent levels of internal reliability, thus showing that the questions were appropriate to the Turkish culture and useful scale for the evaluation of fear of childbirth in Turkish pregnants.

    Development Prospects of Education System in Modernization
    the article analyzes the development prospects of education system in Kazakhstan. Education is among key sources of culture and social mobility. Modern education must become civic which means availability of high quality education to all people irrespective of their racial, ethnic, religious, social, gender and any other differences. Socially focused nature of modernization of Kazakhstan-s society is predicated upon formation of a civic education model in the future. Kazakhstan-s education system undergoes intensive reforms first of all intended to achieve international education standards and integration into the global educational and information space.
    Methods of Estimating the Equilibrium Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER)
    There are many debates now regarding undervalued and overvalued currencies currently traded on the world financial market. This paper contributes to these debates from a theoretical point of view. We present the three most commonly used methods of estimating the equilibrium real effective exchange rate (REER): macroeconomic balance approach, external sustainability approach and equilibrium real effective exchange rate approach in the reduced form. Moreover, we discuss key concepts of the calculation of the real exchange rate (RER) based on applied explanatory variables: nominal exchange rates, terms of trade and tradable and non-tradable goods. Last but not least, we discuss the three main driving forces behind real exchange rates movements which include terms of trade, relative productivity growth and the interest rate differential.
    E-Learning Platform with SPICE Web Service

    When studying electronics, hands-on experience is considered to be very valuable for a better understanding of the concepts of electricity and electronics. Students lacking sufficient time in the lab are often put at disadvantage. A way to overcome this, is by using interactive multimedia in a virtual environment. Instead of proposing another new ad-hoc simulator for e-learning, we propose in this paper an e-learning platform integrating the SPICE simulator as a web service. This enables to make use of all the functions of the de-facto standard simulator SPICE inelectronics when developing new simulations.

    Psychological Structure of “Aitys“ as a Process of Oral Creative Competition in Kazakh Traditional Folklore

    the aim of this study was to analyze ethnopsychological content of “Aitys" as a process of creative competition in Kazakh traditional folklore by means of Transaction analysis (three types of Ego states are Parent, Adult and Child). “Aitys" is as sources of Kazakh national self-consciousness and form of oral Kazakh national creativity. Comparative psychological analysis of classical and modern “aityses" is carried out. Empirical proved that the victory in “Aitys" is provided with a position of egostate “Adult".

    An Assessment of Software Process Optimization Compared to International Best Practice in Bangladesh
    The challenge for software development house in Bangladesh is to find a path of using minimum process rather than CMMI or ISO type gigantic practice and process area. The small and medium size organization in Bangladesh wants to ensure minimum basic Software Process Improvement (SPI) in day to day operational activities. Perhaps, the basic practices will ensure to realize their company's improvement goals. This paper focuses on the key issues in basic software practices for small and medium size software organizations, who are unable to effort the CMMI, ISO, ITIL etc. compliance certifications. This research also suggests a basic software process practices model for Bangladesh and it will show the mapping of our suggestions with international best practice. In this IT competitive world for software process improvement, Small and medium size software companies that require collaboration and strengthening to transform their current perspective into inseparable global IT scenario. This research performed some investigations and analysis on some projects- life cycle, current good practice, effective approach, reality and pain area of practitioners, etc. We did some reasoning, root cause analysis, comparative analysis of various approach, method, practice and justifications of CMMI and real life. We did avoid reinventing the wheel, where our focus is for minimal practice, which will ensure a dignified satisfaction between organizations and software customer.
    The Role of Private Equity during Global Crises
    The term private equity usually refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. Some researchers believe that private equity contributed to the extent of the crisis and increased the pace of its spread over the world. We do not agree with this. On the other hand, we argue that during the economic recession private equity might become an important source of funds for firms with special needs (e.g. for firms seeking buyout financing, venture capital, expansion capital or distress debt financing). However, over-regulation of private equity in both the European Union and the US can slow down this specific funding channel to the economy and deepen credit crunch during global crises.
    Cross-cultural Analysis of the Strategy of Tolerance in the Republic of Kazakhstan

    The modern Kazakh society is characterized by strengthen cross-cultural communication, the emergence of new powerful subcultures, accelerated change in social systems and values. The socio-political reforms in all fields have changed the quality of social relationships and spiritual life.Cross-cultural approach involves the analysis of different types of behavior and communication, including the manifestation of the conflict, and the formation of marginal destructive stereotypes.

    Sustainable Urban Transport Management and Its Strategies
    Rapid process of urbanism development has increased the demand for some infrastructures such as supplying potable water, electricity network and transportation facilities and etc. Nonefficiency of the existing system with parallel managements of urban traffic management has increased the gap between supply and demand of traffic facilities. A sustainable transport system requires some activities more important than air pollution control, traffic or fuel consumption reduction and the studies show that there is no unique solution for solving complicated transportation problems and solving such a problem needs a comprehensive, dynamic and reliable mechanism. Sustainable transport management considers the effects of transportation development on economic efficiency, environmental issues, resources consumption, land use and social justice and helps reduction of environmental effects, increase of transportation system efficiency as well as improvement of social life and aims to enhance efficiency, goods transportation, provide services with minimum access problems that cannot be realized without reorganization of strategies, policies and plans.
    A Game Design Framework for Vocational Education
    Serious games have proven to be a useful instrument to engage learners and increase motivation. Nevertheless, a broadly accepted, practical instructional design approach to serious games does not exist. In this paper, we introduce the use of an instructional design model that has not been applied to serious games yet, and has some advantages compared to other design approaches. We present the case of mechanics mechatronics education to illustrate the close match with timing and role of knowledge and information that the instructional design model prescribes and how this has been translated to a rigidly structured game design. The structured approach answers the learning needs of applicable knowledge within the target group. It combines advantages of simulations with strengths of entertainment games to foster learner-s motivation in the best possible way. A prototype of the game will be evaluated along a well-respected evaluation method within an advanced test setting including test and control group.
    State Programs Analysis and Social Crisis Management in the Republic of Kazakhstan: A Descriptive Study
    The article is about government programs and projects and their description which are aimed at improving the socioeconomic situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan. A brief historical overview, as well as information about current socio-economic, political and transitional contexts of the country are provided. Two theories were described in the article to inform this descriptive study. According to the United Nation's Development Reports for 2005 and 2011, the country's human development index (HDI) rose by several points despite the socio-economic and political imbalances taking place in the republic since it gained its independence in 1991. It is stated in the article that government support programs are one of the crucial factors that increase the population welfare which in its turn may lead to reduction of social crisis processes in the country.
    Interaction at a Distance – An Approach for Redesigning for Distance Education
    Different forms of interaction are an integral part of modern courses. Traditional courses held on-campus might focus on teacher-student interaction, or student-student interaction, or both. However when these traditional on-campus courses are to be held as distance courses there is a risk that these well-designed interactions will be difficult or impossible to uphold. For example, studentstudent interaction in traditional project assignments might not work well if the students are scattered across the world. Thus, even a welldesigned traditional on-site course cannot without modification be turned into a distance course. Traditional on-site courses simply have to be redesigned to become true distance courses. This paper describes a structured approach which facilitates the redesign of a traditional course into a distance course. The approach is based on that the desired forms of course flexibility are identified, and thereafter that the course activities are redesigned to facilitate interaction in a distance course. The approach is making use of known patterns of pedagogic interaction and existing guidelines for distance education design. The approach is illustrated with an example course in the field of information systems design.
    Happiness Understanding Depending on Features of Coping Behavior

    The importance of happiness understanding research is caused by cardinal changes experiences in system of people values in the post-Soviet countries territory. «The time of changes», which characterized with destruction of old values and not creativeness of new, stimulating experiences by the person of existential vacuum. The given research is actual not only in connection with sense formation, but also in connection with necessity creatively to adapt in integrative space. According to numerous works [1,2,3], we define happiness as the peak experience connected with satisfaction correlated system of needs, dependent on style of subject's coping behavior.

    Developing Safety Behavior Practice Suitable for Thai Industrial Operators

    The objective of this study was to develop safety practices which is suitable for Thai industrial operators from Incident and Injury Free, IIF to create safety behavior and reduce the un-safe records in the petroleum industry. A number of 310 technicians i.e., 295 males and 15 females, in service maintenance section participated in this program. The safety attitude level and safety behavior level for pre-attended and post-attended the developed safety practices of the technicians were evaluated using questionnaire procedure and on-site observation. After applied the developed practice program, both of the safety attitudes and safety behavior were increased to be at very good level and good level, respectively. Evaluating the follow-up unsafe records, it was found that the injury was reduced from 0.11 to 0 case/month, the medical treatment case was reduced from 0.22 to 0 case/month and the first aid case was reduced from 1 to 0.33 case/month. The developed safety working practice was successfully implemented to Thai industrial operators.

    The use of a Bespoke Computer Game For Teaching Analogue Electronics
    An implementation of a design for a game based virtual learning environment is described. The game is developed for a course in analogue electronics, and the topic is the design of a power supply. This task can be solved in a number of different ways, with certain constraints, giving the students a certain amount of freedom, although the game is designed not to facilitate trial-and error approach. The use of storytelling and a virtual gaming environment provides the student with the learning material in a MMORPG environment. The game is tested on a group of second year electrical engineering students with good results.
    Collaborative Web Platform for Rich Media Educational Material Creation
    This paper describes a platform that faces the main research areas for e-learning educational contents. Reusability tackles the possibility to use contents in different courses reducing costs and exploiting available data from repositories. In our approach the production of educational material is based on templates to reuse learning objects. In terms of interoperability the main challenge lays on reaching the audience through different platforms. E-learning solution must track social consumption evolution where nowadays lots of multimedia contents are accessed through the social networks. Our work faces it by implementing a platform for generation of multimedia presentations focused on the new paradigm related to social media. The system produces videos-courses on top of web standard SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) ready to be published and shared. Regarding interfaces it is mandatory to satisfy user needs and ease communication. To overcome it the platform deploys virtual teachers that provide natural interfaces while multimodal features remove barriers to pupils with disabilities.
    School Homework and its Relationship with Student Academic Achievement in Malaysia

    School homework has been synonymous with students- life in Chinese national type primary schools in Malaysia. Although many reports in the press claimed that students were burdened with too much of it, homework continues to be a common practice in national type schools that is believed to contribute to academic achievement. This study is conducted to identify the relationship between the burden of school homework and academic achievement among pupils in Chinese National Type Primary School in the state of Perak, Malaysia. A total of 284 students (142 from urban and 142 from rural) respectively were chosen as participants in this study. Variables of gender and location (urban/rural areas) has shown significant difference in student academic achievement. Female Chinese student from rural areas showed a higher mean score than males from urban area. Therefore, the Chinese language teachers should give appropriate and relevant homework to primary school students to achieve good academic performance.

    Virtual Learning Process Environment: Cohort Analytics for Learning and Learning Processes

    Traditional higher-education classrooms allow lecturers to observe students- behaviours and responses to a particular pedagogy during learning in a way that can influence changes to the pedagogical approach. Within current e-learning systems it is difficult to perform continuous analysis of the cohort-s behavioural tendency, making real-time pedagogical decisions difficult. This paper presents a Virtual Learning Process Environment (VLPE) based on the Business Process Management (BPM) conceptual framework. Within the VLPE, course designers can model various education pedagogies in the form of learning process workflows using an intuitive flow diagram interface. These diagrams are used to visually track the learning progresses of a cohort of students. This helps assess the effectiveness of the chosen pedagogy, providing the information required to improve course design. A case scenario of a cohort of students is presented and quantitative statistical analysis of their learning process performance is gathered and displayed in realtime using dashboards.

    The Flashbulb Memory of the Positive and Negative Events: Wenchuan Earthquake and Acceptance to College

    53 college students answered questions regarding the circumstances in which they first heard about the news of Wenchuan earthquake or the news of their acceptance to college which took place approximately one year ago, and answered again two years later. The number of details recalled about their circumstances for both events was high and didn-t decline two years later. However, consistency in reported details over two years was low. Participants were more likely to construct central (e.g., Where were you?) than peripheral information (What were you wearing?), and the confidence of the central information was higher than peripheral information, which indicated that they constructed more when they were more confident.

    Awareness of Reading Strategies among EFL Learners at Bangkok University
    This questionnaire-based study, aimed to measure and compare the awareness of English reading strategies among EFL learners at Bangkok University (BU) classified by their gender, field of study, and English learning experience. Proportional stratified random sampling was employed to formulate a sample of 380 BU students. The data were statistically analyzed in terms of the mean and standard deviation. t-Test analysis was used to find differences in awareness of reading strategies between two groups (-male and female- /-science and social-science students). In addition, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare reading strategy awareness among BU students with different lengths of English learning experience. The results of this study indicated that the overall awareness of reading strategies of EFL learners at BU was at a high level (ðÑ = 3.60) and that there was no statistically significant difference between males and females, and among students who have different lengths of English learning experience at the significance level of 0.05. However, significant differences among students coming from different fields of study were found at the same level of significance.
    Dependence of Virtual Subjects Reflection from the Features of Coping Behavior of Students

    In the globalization process, when the struggle for minds and values of the people is taking place, the impact of the virtual space can cause unexpected effects and consequences in the process of adjustment of young people in this world. Their special significance is defined by unconscious influence on the underlying process of meaning and therefore the values preached by them are much more effective and affect both the personal characteristics and the peculiarities of adjustment process. Related to this the challenge is to identify factors influencing the reflection characteristics of virtual subjects and measures their impact on the personal characteristics of the students.

    Health Risk Assessment in Lead Battery Smelter Factory: A Bayesian Belief Network Method
    This paper proposes the use of Bayesian belief networks (BBN) as a higher level of health risk assessment for a dumping site of lead battery smelter factory. On the basis of the epidemiological studies, the actual hospital attendance records and expert experiences, the BBN is capable of capturing the probabilistic relationships between the hazardous substances and their adverse health effects, and accordingly inferring the morbidity of the adverse health effects. The provision of the morbidity rates of the related diseases is more informative and can alleviate the drawbacks of conventional methods.
    The Application of Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on the Czech Financial Market
    The impact assessment in its various forms has recently become a very important part of policy-making and legislation in many different countries. Regulatory impact assessment (RIA) is yet another set of analytical methods deployed in the legislation of the European Union, of many developed countries as well as in many developing ones such as Mexico, Malaysia and Philippines. The aim of this paper is to provide a theoretical background for economic models in regulatory impact assessment and an overview of their application especially on the financial market in the Czech Republic. We found out an inadequate application of these models, what makes room for further research in this field.
    E-learning and m-learning: Africa-s Search for a Suitable Concept in the Era of Cloud Computing?
    This paper is an exploration of the conceptual confusion between E-learning and M-learning particularly in Africa. Section I provides a background to the development of E-learning and M-learning. Section II focuses on the conceptual analysis as it applies to Africa. It is with an investigative and expansive mind that this paper is elaborated to respond to a profound question of the suitability of the concepts in a particular era in Africa. The aim of this paper is therefore to shed light on which concept best suits the unique situation of Africa in the era of cloud computing.
    Determinants for Success in Expatriation of Malaysian International Corporations
    Malaysian corporations going global increased many folds. The shift from domestic to international operations requires increased expatriation to achieve global business goals. Therefore, this study aims to identify the determinants for success in expatriation of Malaysian international corporations. There are certain attributes necessary for a global employee to succeed in international assignment. Self-administered questionnaires were sent to 327 respondents with a response rate of 35.2 percent. The results indicated that most Malaysian manufacturers are involved in expatriation. For a global employee to succeed in an international assignment, the ability to work in international teams was identified and ranked as the most important factor in determining the effectiveness of expatriation followed by language proficiency, adaptability to the international assignment and expatriate sensitivity to cultural elements. The results support previous research with regard to the importance of an effective expatriation selection process in order for a company-s international expansion strategy to succeed.
    Iranian Bazaars: The Illustration of Stable Thoughts

    "Bazaar" is a Persian word from the language of Iranians of 2500 years ago which has entered the languages of other countries. “Bazaar", the trading or marketing place with the architectural principles and concerns, was formed in Iran because of the long experience of marketing. This has become a valuable inheritance of Islamic ideological civilization and Iranian advanced architecture and a model of Islamic-marketing places with spectacular elements and parts, and the place for economical, social and cultural exchanges. “Bazaars" are found in cities of Iran and many Islamic countries in west of Asia and north of Africa. With the stable structure and function as a symbol of social values, this place has become the economic center and the illustration of stable architecture and advanced principles. “Bazaars" as the heart of Iranian cities economy with several major and minor rows of shops, in closed and open areas, along a fixed line or branches with beautiful arcs, patios, and frameworks are among the main national inheritance of Iran and one of the important Iranian architectural treasures because of its Iranian nobility.

    An Adverse Model for Price Discrimination in the Case of Monopoly
    We consider a Principal-Agent model with the Principal being a seller who does not know perfectly how much the buyer (the Agent) is willing to pay for the good. The buyer-s preferences are hence his private information. The model corresponds to the nonlinear pricing problem of Maskin and Riley. We assume there are three types of Agents. The model is solved using “informational rents" as variables. In the last section we present the main characteristics of the optimal contracts in asymmetric information and some possible extensions of the model.
    The U.S. and Western Europe Role in Resolving the Religious Conflicts in Central Asia

    The modern world is experiencing fundamental and dynamic changes. The transformation of international relations; the end of confrontation and successive overcoming of the Cold War consequences have expanded possible international cooperation. The global nuclear conflict threat has been minimized, while a tendency to establish a unipolar world structure with the U.S. economic and power domination is growing. The current world system of international relations, apparently is secular. However, the religious beliefs of one or another nations play a certain (sometimes a key) role, both in the domestic affairs of the individual countries and in the development of bilateral ties. Political situation in Central Asia has been characterized by new factors such as international terrorism; religious extremism and radicalism; narcotrafficking and illicit arms trade of a global character immediately threaten to peace and political stability in Central Asia. The role and influence of Islamic fundamentalism is increasing; political ethnocentrism and the associated aggravation of inter-ethnic relations, the ambiguity of national interests and objectives of major geo-political groups in the Central Asian region regarding the division the political influence, emerge. This article approaches the following issues: the role of Islam in Central Asia; destabilizing factors in Central Asia; Islamic movements in Central Asia, Western Europe and the United States; the United States, Western Europe and Central Asia: religion, politics, ideology, and the US-Central Asia antiterrorism and religious extremism cooperation.

    An Analysis of Economic Capital Allocation of Global Banks

    There are three main ways of categorizing capital in banking operations: accounting, regulatory and economic capital. However, the 2008-2009 global crisis has shown that none of these categories adequately reflects the real risks of bank operations, especially in light of the failures Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers or Northern Rock. This paper deals with the economic capital allocation of global banks. In theory, economic capital should reflect the real risks of a bank and should be publicly available. Yet, as discovered during the global financial crisis, even when economic capital information was publicly disclosed, the underlying assumptions rendered the information useless. Specifically, some global banks that reported relatively high levels of economic capital before the crisis went bankrupt or had to be bailed-out by their government. And, only 15 out of 50 global banks reported their economic capital during the 2007-2010 period. In this paper, we analyze the changes in reported bank economic capital disclosure during this period. We conclude that relative shares of credit and business risks increased in 2010 compared to 2007, while both operational and market risks decreased their shares on the total economic capital of top-rated global banks. Generally speaking, higher levels of disclosure and transparency of bank operations are required to obtain more confidence from stakeholders. Moreover, additional risks such as liquidity risks should be included in these disclosures.

    Robust Human Rights Governance: Developing International Criteria
    Many states are now committed to implementing international human rights standards domestically. In terms of practical governance, how might effectiveness be measured? A facevalue answer can be found in domestic laws and institutions relating to human rights. However, this article provides two further tools to help states assess their status on the spectrum of robust to fragile human rights governance. The first recognises that each state has its own 'human rights history' and the ideal end stage is robust human rights governance, and the second is developing criteria to assess robustness. Although a New Zealand case study is used to illustrate these tools, the widespread adoption of human rights standards by many states inevitably means that the issues are relevant to other countries. This is even though there will always be varying degrees of similarity-difference in constitutional background and developed or emerging human rights systems.
    Organizational Decision Based on Business Intelligence
    Nowadays, obtaining traditional statistics and reports is not adequate for the needs of organizational managers. The managers need to analyze and to transform the raw data into knowledge in the world filled with information. Therefore in this regard various processes have been developed. In the meantime the artificial intelligence-based processes are used and the new topics such as business intelligence and knowledge discovery have emerged. In the current paper it is sought to study the business intelligence and its applications in the organizations.
    Factors Influencing Environmental Management Practices Among Hotels in Malaysia

    This paper attempts to investigate the factors that influence hotel managers- attitudes towards sustainable tourism practices (STP) in Kuala Lumpur and the state of Selangor in Malaysia. The study distributes 104 questionnaires to hotels ranging from one star to five-star categories including budget hotels. Out of this figure, 60 copies of the questionnaires were returned and analyzed. The finding revealed that of all the seven factors investigated, only the variables measuring incentives and knowledge have significantly influenced sustainable tourism practices in the country. Therefore, government and other green bodies within the country should continue to provide hotels with incentives for sound technologies. Moreover, the government agencies should continue to educate hoteliers on the relevance of environmental protection for the successful implementation of sustainable tourism practices.

    PPP in Light Rail Transit Systems in Spain

    Light rail systems have proliferated in Spain in the last decade, following a tendency that is common not only in other European countries but also in other parts of the world. This paper reviews the benefits of light rail systems, both related to environmental issues and mobility issues. It analyses the evolution of light rail projects in Spain and shows that light rail systems in this country have evolved towards an extensive use of public-private partnerships. The analysis of the Spanish projects, however, does not contribute any conclusive evidence about whether public-private partnerships have been more efficient than publicly owned enterprises in building and operating light rail systems.

    The Effect of e-learning on the Promotion of Optoelectronics Technology and Daily Livings Literacy among Students in Universities of Technology
    This study aims to analyze the effect of e-learning on photonics technology and daily livings among college students. The course contents of photonics technology and daily livings are first drafted based on research discussions and expert interviews. Having expert questionnaires with Delphi Technique for three times, the knowledge units and items for the course of photonics technology and daily livings are established. The e-learning materials and the drafts of instructional strategies, academic achievement, and learning attitude scales are then developed. With expert inspection, reliability and validity test, and experimental instructions, the scales and the material are further revised. Finally, the formal instructions are implemented to test the effect of different instructional methods on the academic achievement of photonics technology and daily livings among students in universities of technology. The research results show that e-learning could effectively promote academic achievement and learning attitude, and the students with e-learning obviously outperform the ones with trandition instructions.
    Psychological Research of Ethnic Prejudices
    In the article the experience of principle new technology development of ethnopsychological experiment on the basis of using other virtual independent experimental variables is presented. It is shown that ethnic prejudices are the result of forming and development of specific semantic barriers, arising up in the conditions of interethnic co-operation and people-s communication. Their overcoming is more successful in the conditions of the special organized process of teaching in a polyethnic environment, characteristic for the modern institute
    Family Bonding and Self-Concept: An Indirect Effect Mediated by School Experiences among Students
    School experiences, family bonding and self-concept had always been a crucial factor in influencing all aspects of a student-s development. The purpose of this study is to develop and to validate a priori model of self-concept among students. The study was tested empirically using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to validate the structural model. To address these concerns, 1167 students were randomly selected and utilized the Cognitive Psycho-Social University of Malaya instrument (2009).Resulted demonstrated there is indirect effect from family bonding to self-concept through school experiences among secondary school students as a mediator. Besides school experiences, there is a direct effect from family bonding to self-concept and family bonding to school experiences among students.
    Design Aesthetics of Mobile Interface
    Mobiles are considered to be the most frequently used electronic items in world after electricity. It is probably the only device that can be used by any gender with no age limits depending on its functionality. This paper present the interactive interface of Mobile and particularly aiming the use of advanced phones which are also called smart phones. With the changes in the trend where users are now moving from ordinary mobiles to the one with touch screens and facilities such as WiFi and internet browsing.
    Modeling of the Internet Film Piracy - Preliminary Report

    This paper covers various aspects of film piracy over the Internet. In order to successfully deal with this matter, it is needed to recognize motivational factors related to film piracy. Thus, this study discusses group factors that could motivate individuals to engage in pirate activities. Furthermore, the paper discusses the theoretical effect on box office revenues and explains it on a proposed scheme of solutions for decreasing revenues. The article also maps the scheme of incentive motivational anti-piracy campaigns. Moreover, the paper proposes the preliminary scheme for system dynamic modeling of the Internet film piracy. Scheme is developed as a model of behaviors, influences and relations among the elements pertaining to the Internet film piracy.

    Cloud Computing-s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Delivery Model Benefits Technical Courses in Higher Education
    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing that relieves the user of the burden of hardware and software installation and management. SaaS can be used at the course level to enhance curricula and student experience. When cloud computing and SaaS are included in educational literature, the focus is typically on implementing administrative functions. Yet, SaaS can make more immediate and substantial contributions to the technical course content in educational offerings. This paper explores cloud computing and SaaS, provides examples, reports on experiences using SaaS to offer specialized software in courses, and analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of using SaaS at the course level. The paper contributes to the literature in higher education by analyzing the major technical concepts, potential, and constraints for using SaaS to deliver specialized software at the course level. Further it may enable more educators and students to benefit from this emerging technology.
    Analysis of Cost Estimation and Payment Systems for Consultant Contracts in the US, Japan, China and the UK

    Determining reasonable fees is the main objective of designing the cost estimation and payment systems for consultant contracts. However, project clients utilize different cost estimation and payment systems because of their varying views on the reasonableness of consultant fees. This study reviews the cost estimation and payment systems of consultant contracts for five countries, including the US (Washington State Department of Transportation), Japan (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism), China (Engineering Design Charging Standard) and UK (Her Majesty's Treasure). Specifically, this work investigates the budgeting process, contractor selection method, contractual price negotiation process, cost review, and cost-control concept of the systems used in these countries. The main finding indicates that that project client-s view on whether the fee is high will affect the way he controls it. In the US, the fee is commonly considered to be high. As a result, stringent auditing system (low flexibility given to the consultant) is then applied. In the UK, the fee is viewed to be low by comparing it to the total life-cycle project cost. Thus, a system that has high flexibility in budgeting and cost reviewing is given to the consultant. In terms of the flexibility allowed for the consultant, the systems applied in Japan and China fall between those of the US and UK. Both the US and UK systems are helpful in determining a reasonable fee. However, in the US system, rigid auditing standards must be established and additional cost-audit manpower is required. In the UK system, sufficient historical cost data should be needed to evaluate the reasonableness of the consultant-s proposed fee

    Unified, Low-Cost Analysis Framework for the Cycling Situation in Cities
    We propose a low-cost uniform analysis framework allowing comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the bicycling experience within and between cities. A primary component is an expedient, one-page mobility survey from which mode share is calculated. The bicycle mode share of many cities remains unknown, creating a serious barrier for both scientists and policy makers aiming to understand and increase rates of bicycling. Because of its low cost and expedience, this framework could be replicated widely, uniformly filling the data gap. The framework has been applied to 13 Central European cities with success. Data is collected on multiple modes with specific questions regarding both behavior and quality of travel experience. Individual preferences are also collected, examining the conditions under which respondents would change behavior to adopt more sustainable modes (bicycling or public transportation). A broad analysis opportunity results, intended to inform policy choices.
    Uncertainty Propagation and Sensitivity Analysis During Calibration of an Integrated Land Use and Transport Model
    In this work, propagation of uncertainty during calibration process of TRANUS, an integrated land use and transport model (ILUTM), has been investigated. It has also been examined, through a sensitivity analysis, which input parameters affect the variation of the outputs the most. Moreover, a probabilistic verification methodology of calibration process, which equates the observed and calculated production, has been proposed. The model chosen as an application is the model of the city of Grenoble, France. For sensitivity analysis and uncertainty propagation, Monte Carlo method was employed, and a statistical hypothesis test was used for verification. The parameters of the induced demand function in TRANUS, were assumed as uncertain in the present case. It was found that, if during calibration, TRANUS converges, then with a high probability the calibration process is verified. Moreover, a weak correlation was found between the inputs and the outputs of the calibration process. The total effect of the inputs on outputs was investigated, and the output variation was found to be dictated by only a few input parameters.
    Formation and Development of a New System of Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Globalization
    The concept of the new government should focus on forming a new relationship between public servants and citizens of the state, formed on the principles of transparency, accountability, protection of citizens' rights. These principles are laid down in the problem of administrative reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Also, this wish arises, contributing to the improvement of the system of political management in our country. For the full realization of the goals is necessary to develop a special state program designed to improve the regulatory framework for public service, improving training, retraining and advanced training of civil servants, forming a system of incentives in public service and other activities aimed at achieving the efficiency of the entire system government.
    The Role of State in Combating Religious Extremism and Terrorism
    terrorism and extremism are among the most dangerous and difficult to forecast the phenomena of our time, which are becoming more diverse forms and rampant. Terrorist attacks often produce mass casualties, involve the destruction of material and spiritual values, beyond the recovery times, sow hatred among nations, provoke war, mistrust and hatred between the social and national groups, which sometimes can not be overcome within a generation. Currently, the countries of Central Asia are a topical issue – the threat of terrorism and religious extremism, which grow not only in our area, but throughout the world. Of course, in each of the terrorist threat is assessed differently. In our country the problem of terrorism should not be acutely. Thus, after independence and sovereignty of Kazakhstan has chosen the path of democracy, progress and free economy. With the policy of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and well-organized political and economic reforms, there has been economic growth and rising living standards, socio-political stability, ensured civil peace and accord in society [1].
    A Design Framework for Event Recommendation in Novice Low-Literacy Communities

    The proliferation of user-generated content (UGC) results in huge opportunities to explore event patterns. However, existing event recommendation systems primarily focus on advanced information technology users. Little work has been done to address novice and low-literacy users. The next billion users providing and consuming UGC are likely to include communities from developing countries who are ready to use affordable technologies for subsistence goals. Therefore, we propose a design framework for providing event recommendations to address the needs of such users. Grounded in information integration theory (IIT), our framework advocates that effective event recommendation is supported by systems capable of (1) reliable information gathering through structured user input, (2) accurate sense making through spatial-temporal analytics, and (3) intuitive information dissemination through interactive visualization techniques. A mobile pest management application is developed as an instantiation of the design framework. Our preliminary study suggests a set of design principles for novice and low-literacy users.

    A Meta-Analytic Path Analysis of e-Learning Acceptance Model

    This study reports results of a meta-analytic path analysis e-learning Acceptance Model with k = 27 studies, Databases searched included Information Sciences Institute (ISI) website. Variables recorded included perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude toward behavior, and behavioral intention to use e-learning. A correlation matrix of these variables was derived from meta-analytic data and then analyzed by using structural path analysis to test the fitness of the e-learning acceptance model to the observed aggregated data. Results showed the revised hypothesized model to be a reasonable, good fit to aggregated data. Furthermore, discussions and implications are given in this article.

    Ecotourism, Expansion, alongside with Dominant Function of Khark (kharg) and Kharko Islands
    In recent decade's tourism industry is one of main reasons of the social and economical development for many countries; so these countries try to gain more portion of it for themselves. The excessive natural and cultural touristy potentialities in Iran made this country to be one of the most attractive sightseeing areas, although; Iran has got the lowest rate of tourists. Khark Island is about 32 km. It is a beautiful coral reef coast; about 98% of oil export has been done through this place. The ecotourism potentialities of Khark and Kharko Islands (about 3.7km far from Khark) are the reason to consider ecotourism and the main activity in these islands which is exporting oil at the same time. This article refers to way of measuring the geographical coordination of the place, and the potentialities, ecotourism attraction of the islands and introduces some ideas in order to expand tourism in the islands.
    The Cognitive Neuroscience of Vigilance – A Test of Temporal Decrement in the Attention Networks Test (ANT)
    The aim of this study was to test whether the Attention Networks Test (ANT) showed temporal decrements in performance. Vigilance tasks typically show such decrements, which may reflect impairments in executive control resulting from cognitive fatigue. The ANT assesses executive control, as well as alerting and orienting. Thus, it was hypothesized that ANT executive control would deteriorate over time. Manipulations including task condition (trial composition) and masking were included in the experimental design in an attempt to increase performance decrements. However, results showed that there is no temporal decrement on the ANT. The roles of task demands, cognitive fatigue and participant motivation in producing this result are discussed. The ANT may not be an effective tool for investigating temporal decrement in attention.
    Developing a Research Framework for Investigating the Transparency of ePortfolios
    This paper describes the evolution of strategies to evaluate ePortfolios in an online Master-s of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Instructional Technology. The ePortfolios are required as a culminating activity for students in the program. By using Web 2.0 tools to develop the ePortfolios, students are able to showcase their technical skills, integrate national standards, demonstrate their professional understandings, and reflect on their individual learning. Faculty have created assessment strategies to evaluate student achievement of these skills. To further develop ePortfolios as a tool promoting authentic learning, faculty are moving toward integrating transparency as part of the evaluation process.
    Islam in Kazakhstan: Modern Trends and Stages of Development

    According to the majority and to stereotypes in a simple everyman religious processes in the world in general, and Kazakhstan in particular, have only negative trends. The main reason for the author's opinion is seen in the fact that the media in the pursuit of ratings and sensation, more inclined to highlight the negative aspects of events in the country and the world of processes forgetting or casually mentioning the positive initiatives and achievements. That is why the article is mainly revealed positive trends in mind that the problems of fanaticism, terrorism and the confrontation of society on various issues, a lot has been written and detailed. This article describes the stages in the development of relations between religion and state, as well as institutionalization, networking and assistance in the correct orientation of religious activities in the country.

    Poverty Measurement by Islamic Institutions
    Islamic institutions in Malaysia play a variety of socioeconomic roles such as poverty alleviation. To perform this role, these institutions face a major task in identifying the poverty group. Most of these institutions measure and operationalize poverty from the monetary perspective using variables such as income, expenditure or consumption. In practice, most Islamic institutions in Malaysia use the monetary approach in measuring poverty through the conventional Poverty Line Income (PLI) method and recently, the had al kifayah (HAK) method using total necessities of a household from an Islamic perspective. The objective of this paper is to present the PLI and also the HAK method. This micro-data study would highlight the similarities and differences of both the methods.A survey aided by a structured questionnaire was carried out on 260 selected head of households in the state of Selangor. The paper highlights several demographic factors that are associated with the three monetary indicators in the study, namely income, PLI and HAK. In addition, the study found that these monetary variables are significantly related with each other.
    Translation of Phraseological Units in Abai Kunanbayev-s Poems
    Abai Kunanbayev (1845-1904) was a great Kazakh poet, composer and philosopher. Abai's main contribution to Kazakh culture and folklore lies in his poetry, which expresses great nationalism and grew out of Kazakh folk culture. Before him, most Kazakh poetry was oral, echoing the nomadic habits of the people of the Kazakh steppes. We want to introduce to abroad our country, its history, tradition and culture. We can introduce it only through translations. Only by reading the Kazakh works can foreign people know who are kazakhs, the style of their life, their thoughts and so on. All information comes only through translation. The main requirement to a good translation is that it should be natural or that it should read as smoothly as the original. Literary translation should be adequate, should follow the original to the fullest. Translators have to be loyal to original text, they shouldn-t give the way to liberty.
    The Situation in the Public Procurement Market in Post-Communist Countries: The Case of the Czech Republic
    Public procurement is one of the most important areas in the public sector that introduces a possibility for a corruption. Due to the volume of the funds that are allocated through this institution (in the EU countries it is between 10 – 15% of GDP), it has very serious implications for the efficiency of public expenditures and the overall economic efficiency as well. Indicators that are usually used for the measurement of the corruption (such as Corruption Perceptions Index - CPI) show that the worst situation is in the post-communist countries and Mediterranean countries. The presented paper uses the Czech Republic as an example of a post-communist country and analyses the factors which influence the scope of corruption in public procurement. Moreover, the paper discusses indicators that could point at the public procurement market inefficiency. The presented results show that post-communist states use the institute of public contracts significantly more than the old member countries of the continental Europe. It has a very important implication because it gives more space for corruption. Furthermore, it appears that the inefficient functioning of public procurement market is clearly manifested in the low number of bids, low level of market transparency and an ineffective control system. Some of the observed indicators are statistically significantly correlated with the CPI.