Issue No. 10 - October (2009 vol. 42)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2009.313
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 Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
The Voice of Evidence column in Software's September/October issue asks, "What Do We Know about Agile Software Development?"
Of 1,996 research studies in the agile software development literature, 36 had enough rigor, credibility, and relevance to be included in a systematic review of empirical evidence for agile development's benefits and limitations. The review results suggest that despite some limitations, agile development can improve job satisfaction, project productivity, and customer satisfaction.
Authors Tore Dybâ and Torgeir Dings⊘yr of SINTEF Information and Communication Technology also provide a Web Extra listing the three dozen articles they used and the agile methods they evaluated.
"When Sensitive IT Information Crosses Borders," featured in the IT Ethics department in the July/August issue of IT Pro, looks at global data security.
Ethical, legal, and logistical problems can arise when a business traveler carries sensitive data across international boundaries. Organizations, their employees, and government agents all have important duties with respect to this information if and when it's seized at a border. These competing duties are complex and difficult to balance. This article offers specific suggestions that can help reduce problems.
For every technological innovation, there eventually comes a time of disillusionment. This was the case with virtual reality, which was presented to the world with the promise of an incredible future but, due to high costs, never reached the masses. Games weren't diverse enough to appeal to the broad public but have come a long way in recent years, enough so that VR applications are slowly becoming mainstream.
In an era of a weakened global economy and healthcare in crisis, games focused on health topics like exercise seem all the rage. The latest issue of CG&A asks if computer graphics applications can reduce suffering in the world and bring humankind closer to happiness.
Artificial intelligence research has had great success in attaining human-level capabilities in narrow domains and shedding light on particular aspects of cognition. Now, a new frontier in human-level AI research is emerging, where the problems of breadth, flexibility, and integration are beginning to be tackled directly. This yields the prospect both for revolutionary change in machines' capabilities and for a synthesis of cognitive models and a broader understanding of the nature of human cognition. "The New Frontier of Human-Level Artificial Intelligence," in the July/August issue of IS, looks at this unfolding paradigm.
The Stream Control Transmission Protocol is a general-purpose IETF transport protocol with kernel implementations on various platforms. Similar to TCP, SCTP provides a connection-oriented, reliable, congestion- and flow-controlled Layer 4 channel. Unlike both TCP and UDP, however, SCTP offers new delivery options that better match diverse applications' needs.
The latest issue of IC reveals recent advances in transmission protocols.
Monolithic silicon photonics is a promising technology for addressing the many-core memory bandwidth challenge. In the lead article for Micro's July-August 2009 special issue on Hot Interconnects, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, describe an approach to this technology that's suited for integration with standard bulk-CMOS processes. "Building Many-Core Processor-to-DRAM Networks with Monolithic CMOS Silicon Photonics" presents the approach and an application of its key features to a target processor-memory-network system with 256 cores and 16 independent DRAM modules. Simulation and experimental results show an order of magnitude improvement in energy efficiency over electrical links in the same technology generation.
Design & Test
In addition to eight articles on high-level synthesis, D&T's July/August issue includes a roundtable discussion among six industry HLS users. Senior technical leads and engineers name their HLS tool preferences, target technologies, and typical applications. They describe factors driving HLS adoption, what benefits have been demonstrated, and what needs improvement.
Participants include Ashish Trambadia, NEC; Gael Clave, Texas Instruments; Hiroyasu Hasegawa, HD Lab, Japan; Nitin Chawla, STMicroelectronics; Suhas Pai, Qualcom Flarion Technologies; and Gernot Koch, Micronas.
An article in the July-September Annals issue on computer games traces digital rights management technologies to the production and copy protection systems implemented on videogame consoles in the early 1980s. In "Production Protection to Copy(right) Production: From the 10NES to DVDs," the University of Georgia's Casey O'Donnell shows how DRM copyright protection issues and technologies such as CSS are rooted in videogame production and copy technologies issues. His article suggests that historically contextualizing DRM technologies opens new ways of framing current digital copyright debates.