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Issue No.04 - April (2009 vol.42)
pp: 4-5
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Bob Ward , IEEE Computer Society
The IEEE Computer Society offers a lineup of 13 peer-reviewed technical magazines that cover cutting-edge topics in computing, including scientific applications, design and test, security, Internet computing, machine intelligence, digital graphics, and computer history. Select articles from recent issues of IEEE Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
Software
Software's March/April issue features an article titled "Development with Off-the-Shelf Components: 10 Facts," by Jingyue Li, Reidar Conradi, Christian Bunse, Marco Torchiano, Off Petter N. Slyngstad, and Maurizio Morisio.
Empirical studies show several discrepancies between academic theory and industry practices regarding the selection and integration of commercial off-the-shelf and open source software components in systems development. Why these gaps? Who is making false assumptions? The authors suggest that researchers should be more precise about their approaches' assumptions and limitations, and should conduct more empirical studies about the cost-effectiveness of new techniques. They also assert that component integrators should collaborate more actively with COTS providers on debugging.
Computing
The CiSE March/April special issue on astrophysics presents three case studies on modeling supernovae, which are spectacular stellar explosions. A fourth article presents a set of parallel analytical tools being developed to analyze the complex results of such simulations. Many astrophysics problems include multiple interacting physical processes and involve disparate length and time scales. The articles describe some interesting computational astrophysics and cosmology problems, which are themselves but a sampling of computational science—many of which require cross-disciplinary component integration.
Also in this issue, "Putting a Slug to Work" describes how to use the Linksys NSLU2—a low-power-footprint home appliance aimed at providing network-attached storage—as an embedded host for other kinds of USB devices, particularly those that can support various environmental sensing technologies.
IT Professional
"Be Communication Smart," the first installment of a new column about mastering the so-called soft skills of the IT profession, debuted in the March/April issue of IT Pro. The series will focus on the skills required to move your IT career to the next level.
Security & Privacy
The new US president is the most technologically savvy one to hold the position, which makes securing his BlackBerry a top priority for everyone from the Secret Service to the US National Archives. "A New Era of Presidential Security: The President and His BlackBerry," in S&P's March/April issue, explores the challenges and constraints involved in securing "BlackBerry One."
Computer Graphics
CG&A's March/April issue on serious games features an article titled "The Booze Cruise: Impaired Driving in Virtual Spaces," by the University of Calgary's James Parker, Nathan Sorenson, Nooshin Esmaeili, Ronan Sicre, Phillipa Gil, Vishal Kochlar, Lori Shyba, and John Heerema.
The Booze Cruise was developed as a course project at the University of Calgary to show that drivers can't accommodate the effects of intoxication—that you can't "think yourself straight." A variety of driving simulators already exist for training drivers and offer specific scenarios regarding driving habits and legal understanding. The National Advanced Driving Simulator ( www.nads-sc.uiowa.edu) and DriveSafety ( www.drivesafety.com) are two examples. In contrast to these simulators, Booze Cruise is a game. It has the look, feel, and control sequences familiar to players of traditional driving games.
Intelligent Systems
The March/April issue of IS explores the problems and solutions of cultural heritage in the digital age. To what extent can computers, and particularly knowledge-based technologies, facilitate authentication, preservation, and archiving of digital artifacts? "Semantic Classification of Byzantine Icons" describes the use of fuzzy description logics and patterns to automatically determine the sacred figures depicted in icons. Tests of the system on a repository of 2,000 Byzantine icons have produced promising results.
Internet Computing
In recent years, interest has been increasing in dependable service-oriented computing, both in industry and academia. Guest editors Asit Dan and Priya Narasimhan introduce a March/April issue of IC that's devoted to dependable service-oriented computing.
Service-oriented computing can extend the scope of developing dependable solutions beyond runtime protocols by focusing on independently developed services' entire life cycles—design, development, deployment, and runtime management.
This issue also features the debut of "The Functional Web," a new column by Verivue's Steve Vinoski that focuses on using functional languages for RESTful Web service application development.
Multimedia
Focusing on intelligent and pervasive multimedia systems, the January-March issue of MultiMedia includes articles on integrating interactive multimedia in online education, using Web services to enhance quality of service in content delivery, and analyzing voice quality in four popular VoIP systems.
The issue also features a special article, "SignTutor: An Interactive System for Sign Language Tutoring." SignTutor evaluates users' signing and gives multimodal feedback to help improve signing skills.
Micro
The January/February issue of Micro features the 12 best papers from the top computer architecture conferences in 2008, as selected by the Micro editorial board. The articles appearing in this special issue highlight key trends in current computer architecture design and research, including the:

    • growing importance of thread-level parallelism;

    • increasing complexity of software and the need for architectures that improve programmability, analyzability, and correctness;

    • urgency of controlling chip-wide power; and

    • emerging problem of process variation.

This is Micro's sixth annual Top Picks special issue. Top researchers regard inclusion in this issue as a high honor.
Design & Test
The Core Test Language, originally developed within the IEEE 1500 development working group but later spun off as an independent standard, specifies the standardized language in which core test information for both wrapped and still-to-be-wrapped cores is described. In its January/February issue, D&T features "CTL and Its Usage in the EDA Industry," by Sandeep Bhatia, Rohit Kapur, Brion Keller, and Paul Reuter. In this article, the authors present a brief tutorial on CTL and describe its usage in the EDA industry. The article also describes the uses of CTL in various parts of a DFT flow.
Annals
The January-March issue of Annals explores the history of Asian language processing in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Specifically, it discusses the historical background of specific writing systems; script structure and major issues relevant to text processing; important development stages in type-printing and the typewriter era; milestones marked by the design of character code standards for computing; and issues involved in designing a mechanism for input and display interfaces in Asian language computing.
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