A Tour of ACM's HQ
With a membership fast approaching 100,000, ACM's 170 conferences, 45 periodicals, 34 Special Interest Groups, and 644 professional and student chapters are all supported by 72 staffers.
Letters to the editor
Workflow Tools For Distributed Teams?
"Orchestrating Coordination in Pluralistic Networks" by Peter J. Denning et al. (Mar. 2010) offered guidance for distributed development teams. I can vouch for the issues …
In the Virtual Extension
Communications' Virtual Extension brings more quality articles to ACM members. These articles are now available in the ACM Digital Library.
The Chaos of the Internet as an External Brain; and More
From the early days of computers, people have speculated that computers would be used to supplement our intelligence. In the last decades, most of the work toward this dream has …
The mouse's days are numbered. Computer interfaces that remove user-system barriers are in the works and are intuitive enough for first-time users to throw away the manual.
Straightening Out Heavy Tails
A better understanding of heavy-tailed probability distributions can improve activities from Internet commerce to the design of server farms.
Beyond the Smart Grid
The electrical grid isn't the only utility acquiring intelligence, as water and gas meters throughout the U.S. gain radio communication capabilities and …
Mine Your Business
Researchers are developing new techniques to gauge employee productivity from information flow.
Robin Milner: The Elegant Pragmatist
Remembering a rich legacy in verification, languages, and concurrency.
CS and Technology Leaders Honored
Awards were recently announced by ACM and the American Association for the Advancement of Science honoring leaders in the fields of computer science and technology.
Privacy and security
Myths and Fallacies of 'Personally Identifiable Information'
Developing effective privacy protection technologies is a critical challenge for security and privacy research as the amount and variety of data collected about individuals increase exponentially.
Privacy By Design: Moving From Art to Practice
Designing privacy into systems at the beginning of the development process necessitates the effective translation of privacy principles, models, and mechanisms into system requirements.
The profession of IT
The Resurgence of Parallelism
Parallel computation is making a comeback after a quarter century of neglect. Past research can be put to quick use today.
Dear KV, I've been working with some code that generates massive data sets, and . . . I'm finding that more and more often I have to explain my data to people who are either …
Law and technology
Intel's Rebates: Above Board or Below the Belt?
Over several years, Intel paid billions of dollars to its customers. Was it to force them to boycott products developed by its rival AMD or so they could sell its microprocessors at lower prices?
Institutional Review Boards and Your Research
Researchers in computer science departments throughout the U.S. are violating federal law and their own organization's regulations regarding human subjects research—and in …
An Interview with Ed Feigenbaum
ACM Fellow and A.M. Turing Award recipient Edward A. Feigenbaum, a pioneer in the field of expert systems, reflects on his career.
Securing Elasticity in the Cloud
Elastic computing has great potential, but many security challenges remain.
Emulating a video system shows how even a simple interface can be more complex—and capable—than it appears.
A Tour Through the Visualization Zoo
A survey of powerful visualization techniques, from the obvious to the obscure.
Managing Scientific Data
Needed are generic, rather than one-off, DBMS solutions automating storage and analysis of data from scientific collaborations.
Conference Paper Selectivity and Impact
Conference acceptance rate signals future impact of published conference papers.
Efficiently Searching For Similar Images
New algorithms provide the ability for robust but scalable image search.
Technical Perspective: Building Confidence in Multicore Software
Surprises may be fun in real life, but not so in software. One approach to avoiding surprises in software is to establish its functional correctness, either by construction …
Asserting and Checking Determinism For Multithreaded Programs
The trend towards processors with more and more parallel cores is increasing the need for software that can take advantage of parallelism. Writing correct …
Technical Perspective: Learning To Do Program Verification
When you decide to use a piece of software, how do you know it will do what you need it to do? Will it be safe to run? Will it interfere with other software you already have …
seL4: Formal Verification of an Operating-System Kernel
We report on the formal, machine-checked verification of the seL4 microkernel from an abstract specification down to its C implementation. We assume correctness of compiler, assembly code, hardware, and boot code.
Puzzled: Solutions and Sources
Last month (May 2010, p. 120) we posted a trio of brainteasers, including one as yet unsolved, concerning variations on the Ham Sandwich Theorem.
Future Tense: How the Net Ensures Our Cosmic Survival
The Internet has changed the way I think, though, ironically, less than I expected.
Beyond Connection: Situated Wireless Communities
Advances in wireless information technologies have placed users in a ubiquitous computing environment that allows them to access and exchange information anywhere and anytime through wireless handheld devices such as smartphones …
Examining Perceptions of Agility in Software Development Practice
Organizations undertaking software development are often reminded that successful practice depends on a number of non-technical issues that are managerial, cultural and organizational in nature.
Factors That Influence Software Piracy: A View from Germany
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) provides compelling evidence that software piracy continues to be a global problem. The growing worldwide use of PCs has contributed to a 84% increase in piracy losses since 2003, a number …
The year is 1787. Utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham publishes his ideas for a panopticon, a quite brilliant merger of architectural design with an understanding of human …
Barriers to Systematic Model Transformation Testing
Model Driven Engineering (MDE) techniques support extensive use of models in order to manage the increasing complexity of software systems. Automatic model transformations play a critical role in MDE since they automate complex …
The Requisite Variety of Skills For IT Professionals
Some commentators have suggested that, in order to stay competitive, IT professionals should retool themselves to gain competency in specific in-demand technical skills. Thriving in a dynamic environment requires competency in …
The Social Influence Model of Technology Adoption
Human innovation, in combination with the Internet, networking, and communications technologies have produced a new platform for social and business networking, formation of community, and communication.
Future Tense: I, Myself and E-Myself
The Internet has revolutionized the manner in which people interact. Web 2.0 applications supporting Web-based social networking through blogs, wikis and folksonomies have proven potent in changing users' perception and use of …