Issue No. 11 - Nov. (2012 vol. 45)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MC.2012.367
The IEEE Computer Society's lineup of 12 peer-reviewed technical magazines cover cutting-edge topics in computing, including scientific applications, Internet computing, machine intelligence, pervasive computing, security and privacy, digital graphics, and computer history. Select articles from recent issues of Computer Society magazines are highlighted below.
Hewlett-Packard introduced its HP-65 programmable pocket calculator in January 1974, advertising it as a "personal computer," in what computing historian Paul Ceruzzi thought might be the first use of the term in print. A feature article in Annals' July-September issue, "Once upon a Pocket: Programmable Calculators from the Late 1970s and Early 1980s and the Social Networks around Them," traces the evolution of these devices as well as the user communities that grew up around them and their influences on later PC markets and software development.
CG&A introduces a new department, "Spatial Interfaces," in its September/October issue. In the first installment, researchers from the MIT Media Lab and University of British Columbia review emerging technologies that significantly enhance glasses-free 3D display. In "Compressive Light Field Displays," the researchers describe their work on a 3D output device that emits compressed representations of light fields, which are then decoded by integration in the human eye. "We're inspired by the promise that future generations of compressive displays will approach the realism of the physical world with technology that's available today," they conclude.
"Understanding Long-Term Earthquake Behavior through Earthquake Simulation" is the lead article in CiSE's September/October special issue on computational earthquake science. Authors Eric M. Heien and Michael Sachs of the University of California, Davis, describe the Virtual California simulation code, which consists of three major components: a fault model (the only part of the system that's California-specific), a set of quasistatic interactions, and an event model. It's one of several topologically realistic, system-level fault code collections that researchers using to construct ensemble earthquake forecasts similar to those used in weather and climate studies.
In the July/August issue of IS, "High-Frequency Trading: The Faster, the Better?" looks at computerized HFT as a culprit in the 998-point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average of major US stock prices that occurred between 2:31 and 2:51 p.m. on 6 May 2010. "This drop, subsequently known as the Flash Crash," writes author Rahul Savani of the University of Liverpool, "caused a temporary loss of more than US$1 trillion in market value, with some major stocks briefly falling to $.01 per share." Although prices quickly rebounded in the following days, Savani reviews new evidence that HFT trades not only caused the Flash Crash but might also be disrupting genuine economic trading. He also considers options for regulating them and the role of agent-based modeling.
"Priming for Better Performance in Microtask Crowd-sourcing Environments" is the lead article in IC's September/October theme on crowdsourcing. Authors Robert R. Morris of MIT, Mira Dontcheva of Adobe Advanced Technology Labs, and Elizabeth M. Gerber of Northwestern University describe two experiments in which they used the psychological technique of affective priming to improve quality in paid crowdsourcing tasks. "We have the power to build on many years of cognitive science research," they conclude, "and make interfaces and systems that leverage our innate human abilities and empower us to be more creative, productive, and successful."
IT Pro's September/October issue is a special theme on mobile and wireless technologies. "Analysts predict that by 2016, there will be 10 billion connected mobile devices in use globally, and smartphone traffic will be 50 times what it is today," write the guest editors, led by Irena Bojanova of the University of Maryland University College, in their introduction. They present five articles addressing issues that this connectivity raises, including mobile data service deployments, mobile data security and privacy, and upcoming 4G networks.
"Helix: Making the Extraction of Thread-Level Parallelism Mainstream" is the lead article in Micro's July/August theme issue on parallelizing sequential code. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge describe their work on the Helix prototype compiler, which extracts thread-level parallelism automatically from sequential programs by transforming select loops into parallel form. In evaluations using benchmarks from the SPEC CPU2000 suite on a real processor, Helix compared favorably to Doacross, the most similar historical approach to loop parallelization.
MultiMedia's July-September theme issue on large-scale multimedia data collections opens with "The Community and the Cloud: Multimedia Benchmark Dataset Development." On the basis of experience with the MediaEval Multimedia Benchmark, the authors present a specific example of crowdsourcing as a viable method for developing multimedia ground truth.
An article in PvC's July-September issue, "GroupEnergyTable: An Interactive Tabletop for Energy Conservation," describes a tool for supporting group exploration of home electricity and transportation data. Researchers from Microsoft, AccuSpec Electronics, and the University of Washington present results from a two-month user study that achieved 3 to 20 percent reductions in home energy use among participants who were already low-consuming energy users.
Security & Privacy
S&P's September/October issue is a special theme on e-voting security, guest edited by Michael Shamos of Carnegie Mellon University and Alec Yasinsac of the University of South Alabama. They introduce two articles that focus on algorithms that can provide inherent voting integrity and two that look at post-voting period audits. The issue also includes a roundtable discussion, "Electronic Voting Security 10 Years after the Help America Vote Act," featuring Merle S. King, executive director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, and Brian Hancock, director of voting system testing and certification at the US Election Assistance Commission.
Software's November/December issue is a special theme, "Technical Debt: From Metaphor to Theory and Practice." Guest editors Philippe Krichten of the University of British Columbia and Robert L. Nord and Ipek Ozkaya of the Software Engineering Institute introduce the concept of technical debt and its original description—"not quite right code which we postpone making it right"—through its place in leading software development schema to its eventual dilution to "anything that adds to the friction from which software development endeavors suffer." After defining the term more precisely, they introduce four articles to illustrate different perspectives on technical debt as well as a point/counterpoint column debating its merits in practice.