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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

DEPARTMENT: Editor's letter

How Are We Doing?

A rabbinical story tells about an angry reader who stormed into a newspaper office waving the day's paper, asking to see the editor of the obituary column.
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

True Seeds of Open-Source Software

Though I appreciated Martin Campbell-Kelly's "Viewpoint" "Will the Future of Software Be Open Source?" (Oct. 2008), we must still rectify a small piece of history to apportion credit correctly.

Communications Preps Web-Enhanced Articles

The soon to launch Communications Web site will break the bounds of the printed monthly.

Calculating the Future

Climate researchers have no shortage of scientific issues on which to expend computer power. The biggest problem is choosing which one to tackle first.

The Universe in Your Computer

Two virtual astronomical telescopes promise to transform the way people view and study the cosmos.

Context-Aware Smartphones

Future generations of smartphones will be context aware, tracking your behavior, providing information about the immediate environment, and anticipating your intentions.

A Pioneer Woman

Programmer Jean Bartik is inducted into the Computer History Museum's Hall of Fellows.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

Law and Technology: The End of the Generative Internet

Exploring the expectations and implications for version 2.0 of the Net's new gated communities.

Ground Control to Architect Tom . . .

Architecture astronauts habitually speak at extremely high levels of abstraction to avoid engaging in tangible discussions that might lead to disclosing that they really have no idea of what they are talking about. 

The Business of Software: The Ontology of Paper

The next generation of software engineering will involve designing systems without using paper-based formats, instead using software to develop software.

Technology Strategy and Management: The Legacy of Bill Gates

Assessing the pluses and minuses of the helmsmanship of Microsoft Corporation since its inception.

Viewpoint: Scaling the Academic Publication Process to Internet Scale

A proposal to remedy problems in the reviewing process.
DEPARTMENT: ACM's FY08 annual report

ACM's Annual Report

I would be hard-pressed to recall in my four decades as an ACM member a time as eventful and exceptional as recorded by ACM in FY08.
SECTION: Practice

Eventually Consistent

Building reliable distributed systems at a worldwide scale demands trade-offs between consistency and availability.

The Long Road to 64 Bits

The sometimes contentious development of 64-bit systems shows how technology decisions can have unexpected, enduring consequences.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Engineering Rural Development

Information systems enable rural development by increasing the accountability of nongovernmental organizations.

wisePad Services For Vision-, Hearing-, and Speech-Impaired Users

The wisePad system is envisioned as a full-service computing platform capable of delivering personalized image, audio, and text services to millions of individuals worldwide with impaired vision or hearing problems.
SECTION: Review articles

Computational Challenges in E-Commerce

Economic and social sciences will drive Internet protocols and services into the future.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Customizing Media to Displays

A mind-boggling array of displays differ greatly in resolutions and aspect ratios. But  images and videos are captured at fixed resolutions and aspect ratios, and viewing them properly in a display can be a challenge.

Seam Carving For Media Retargeting

Traditional image resizing techniques are oblivious to the content of the image when changing its width or height. In contrast, media (i.e., image and video) retargeting takes content into account.

Technical Perspective: Finding and Telling Stories with Data

Visual analysis, a powerful method for finding and telling stories with data, is moving from research into widespread use.

Voyagers and Voyeurs: Supporting Asynchronous Collaborative Visualization

This article describes mechanisms for asynchronous collaboration in the context of information visualization, recasting visualizations as not just analytic tools, but social spaces. 
COLUMN: Last byte

Q&A: The Upper Limit

Jeannette Wing talks about clusters, creativity, and the power of computational thinking.
SECTION: Virtual extension

Automating Commonsense Reasoning Using the Event Calculus

Active Citizen Participation Using ICT Tools

Information technology has the potential to profoundly affect democracy and civic discourse through active citizen participation.

Understanding the Adopters and Non-Adopters of Broadband

Despite policy level mandates by some Governments to motivate gains in broadband diffusion, rates and levels of support differ greatly. Such policy decisions appear now to be contributing towards a digital divide.

Improved Security Through Information Security Governance

Exploring the Black Box of Task-Technology Fit

Disaster Response in Health Care: A Design Extension For Enterprise Data Warehouse

The Relationship Between Software Development Team Size and Software Development Cost

Why Ebay Lost to Taobao in China: The Glocal Advantage

How Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) electronic-commerce platforms in China compete and how buyers are stimulated to be both aware and trustful of sellers through buyer-seller communication channels.