Issue No. 01 - January (2010 vol. 43)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2010.4
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.
Time and again, software projects fail. Some of the reasons for failure relate to software architecture. In the November/December 2009 installment of The Pragmatic Architect, Siemens' Frank Buschmann discusses two mistakes that aren't the prime responsibility of architects, but that directly affect architects if they occur: missing, wrong, or creeping system scope; and vague, unnecessary, or extreme nonfunctional requirements. Not addressing these mistakes can lead software projects into trouble before concrete architecture elaboration even begins.
Trust in the workplace is both an ethical and a management issue. And although virtual teams have become common in IT—and promise to become even more popular as companies tighten travel budgets—the importance of building trust in such teams is often underappreciated. In "Virtual Teams and the Importance of Building Trust" in the November/December 2009 issue of IT Pro, authors Georgina Harell and Tugrul U. Daim of Portland State University examine the application of various definitions and theories of trust to virtual IT teams.
The November/December 2009 issue of CG&A features an article on 3D interaction by Alexander Kulik of Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. "Building on Realism and Magic for Designing 3D Interaction Techniques" looks at how imagination-based interaction can complement reality-based interaction in the design of 3D user interfaces. This hybrid approach could lead to interface design guidelines that promote higher-level consistency, and thus usability, for a large range of diverse interfaces.
Software testing can improve software quality. To test effectively, scientists and engineers should know how to write and run tests, define appropriate test cases, determine expected outputs, and correctly handle floating-point arithmetic. Using the Matlab xUnit automated testing framework, scientists and engineers can make software testing an integrated part of their software development routine.
CiSE is offering a preprint version of "Automated Software Testing for Matlab," by Steven Eddins of MathWorks, which describes the basic mechanics of automated unit testing.
Security & Privacy
An article featured in the November/December 2009 issue of S&P asserts that trusted insiders who misuse their privileges to gather and steal sensitive information represent a potent threat to businesses. In "Detecting Insider Theft of Trade Secrets," Deanna D. Caputo, Marcus A. Maloof, and Gregory D. Stephens tell how a prototype system developed by researchers at Mitre for identifying insider threats prompted a team of engineers and social scientists to study how malicious insiders use information differently from a benign baseline group.
Web science is an emerging field that studies the origins, state, and future of the World Wide Web as both a critical global infrastructure and a socially transforming phenomenon. In the first of two special issues looking at society online, guest editors James Hendler of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton present the first six of 11 articles selected from presentations at the first international Web Science Conference, held in 2009 in Athens. The selected articles in the November/December issue of IS represent interesting implications for intelligent systems and the interdisciplinary nature of Web science.
In "Phone + Internet Café = Secure Banking? You Betcha," in the November/December 2009 issue of IC, Fred Douglis, editor in chief of IC, casts a wary glance at advances in mobile security
Some banks now offer an added level of security, requiring a temporary passcode obtained via SMS on a mobile phone or a SecurID dongle to log in. There's even the possibility of using that bank as a springboard to access other accounts without providing the password. In theory, this might offer enough security to let a traveler do remote banking even at an insecure Internet café, but the author will stick to his laptop for now.
Resource poverty is a fundamental constraint that severely limits the class of applications that can be run on mobile devices. The authors of "The Case for VM-Based Cloudlets in Mobile Computing" present a vision of mobile computing that breaks free of this fundamental constraint. In this vision, mobile users seamlessly utilize nearby computers to obtain the resource benefits of cloud computing without incurring WAN delays, jitter, congestion, and failures.
By Mahadev Satyanarayanan of Carnegie Mellon University, Paramvir Bahl of Microsoft Research, Ramón Cáceres of AT&T Labs, and Nigel Davies of Lancaster University, the article appears in the October-December 2009 issue of PvC.
Low-power, high-speed chips, or "cool chips," aim to reduce power consumption and enhance performance for applications ranging from multimedia to robotics. The Cool Chips conference series focuses on all aspects of cool technologies. The November/December 2009 special issue of Micro captures not only highlights from Cool Chips 2009 presentations, but also from ordinal submissions. Major topics at Cool Chips XII included multicore, video codec, and recognition processors.
An October-December 2009 special issue of MultiMedia addresses multimedia metadata and semantic management. Authors present new research that focuses on interoperable, intelligent access to and management of multimedia materials. Guest editors Richard Chbeir of Bourgogne University, Harald Kosch of the University of Passau, Frederic Andres of the National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, and Hiroshi Ishikawa of Shizuoka University present six articles that explore the application of Semantic Web technologies to multimedia content—assessing current technologies and exploring the major challenges and solution approaches.
Design & Test
The November/December 2009 special issue of D&T addresses the reliability challenges of VLSI chip design at 32 nanometers and beyond. Guest editors Yu Cao of Arizona State University, Jim Tschanz of Intel, and Pradip Bose of IBM introduce six articles that highlight R&D efforts to cope with progressively more unreliable components at the device, circuit, and system levels in the late CMOS era.
An October-December 2009 special issue of Annals on the history of database management systems leads with DBMS prehistory: "How Data Got Its Base: Information Storage Software in the 1950s and 1960s." Computing historian Thomas Haigh of the University of Wisconsin describes the foundations of DBMSs in the experiences and practices of administrative computing specialists working on report generators and file maintenance during the 1950s. He also explores the influences of the managerial and organizational contexts that drove work on "total information management systems" during the 1960s.