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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

DEPARTMENT: Editor's letter

Is the Image Crisis Over?

When Communications relaunched in July 2008, the issue included a "Viewpoint" column by Rick Rashid, entitled "Image Crisis: Inspiring a New Generation of Computer Scientists." Has anything changed in that regard in the last …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Pay For Editorial Independence

Though Moshe Y. Vardi's Editor's Letter "Open, Closed, or Clopen Access?" (July 2009) addressed the question of who pays the bills, we must also address the price of quality.
DEPARTMENT: In the virtual extension

In the Virtual Extension

Communications' Virtual Extension brings more quality articles to ACM members. These articles are now available in the ACM Digital Library.

Computer Science Curriculum, Deceptive Advertising

Each issue of Communications publishes excerpts from selected BLOG@CACM posts to the Communications Web site. In this issue, Ramana Rao writes about the evolution of computer science curriculum and Greg Linden reflects on ethics …

Internet Addiction: It's Spreading, but Is It Real?

The number of Internet addiction treatment centers is growing to treat behaviors worthy of a 12-step program. But neither the American Psychiatric Association's DSM nor theICD …

Deep Data Dives Discover Natural Laws

Computer scientists have found a way to bootstrap science, using evolutionary computation to find fundamental meaning in massive amounts of raw data.

Electronic Paper's Next Chapter

The technological challenge for researchers working on the next generation of electronic paper is to render color as brightly as traditional paper, without increasing power requirements or end-user costs.

Implementing Electronic Medical Records

Despite a number of challenges, patients' medical records are slowly making the transition to the digital age.

Exploring New Frontiers

The Expeditions in Computing program provides scientists with the funding to work on ambitious, often multidisciplinary research.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

Usable Security: How to Get It

Why does your computer bother you so much about security, but still isn't secure? It's because users don't have a model for security, or a simple way to keep important things safe.

Are Business Methods Patentable?

How the U.S. Supreme Court's forthcoming decision in the Bilski v. Doll case is expected to affect existing and future software patents.

The Broadband Price Is Not Right

Developing an effective pricing index is essential to understanding the value of broadband connectivity.

On Public Service and Computer Science

Members of the computer science community should become more involved in public service by becoming program managers at federal agencies, the opportunities and benefits of which are outlined here.

An Interview with Ping Fu

Ping Fu, CEO of the digital shape sampling and processing company Geomagic, discusses her background, achievements, and challenges managing a company during a period of dynamic growth.
SECTION: Practice

Communications Surveillance: Privacy and Security at Risk

As the sophistication of wiretapping technology grows, so too do the risks it poses to our privacy and security.

Four Billion Little Brothers?: Privacy, Mobile Phones, and Ubiquitous Data Collection

Participatory sensing technologies could improve our lives and our communities, but at what cost to our privacy?

You Don't Know Jack About Software Maintenance

Long considered an afterthought, software maintenance is easiest and most effective when built into a system from the ground up.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Scratch: Programming For All

"Digital fluency" should mean designing, creating, and remixing, not just browsing, chatting, and interacting.

Why IT Managers Don't Go For Cyber-Insurance Products

Proposed contracts tend to be overpriced because insurers are unable to anticipate customers' secondary losses.
SECTION: Review articles

Turing Lecture: Model Checking: Algorithmic Verification and Debugging

Turing Lecture from the winners of the 2007 ACM A.M. Turing Award.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Narrowing the Semantic Gap in Distributed Programming

In science, significant advances are often made when researchers from different communities join forces.

Declarative Networking

Declarative Networking is a programming methodology that enables developers to concisely specify network protocols and services, which are directly compiled to a dataflow framework that executes the specifications. 

Technical Perspective: Machine Learning For Complex Predictions

Interest in machine learning can be traced back to the early days of computer science. Alan Turing himself conjectured that some form of automatic learning would be required …

Predicting Structured Objects with Support Vector Machines

Machine Learning today offers a broad repertoire of methods for classification and regression. But what if we need to predict complex objects like trees, orderings, or alignments? Such problems arise naturally in natural language …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Covering the Plane

Welcome to three new puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is (as yet) unsolved. In each, the issue is how your intuition matches up with the mathematics.
SECTION: Virtual extension

Quantifying the Benefits of Investing in Information Security

Malicious attacks on enterprise IT infrastructures have become a serious threat with the growing importance of the Internet.

iCare Home Portal: An Extended Model of Quality Aging E-Services

The quality of life of senior citizens is a critical issue around the world today. Scrutiny of the extant technologies for aging services reveals that they are invariably aimed at or electronic care (eCare), but overlook social …

Computing Journals and Their Emerging Roles in Knowledge Exchange

Scholarly journals are reliable means of communicating knowledge and findings in a scientific discipline. This study addresses the interconnectedness of journals from four perspectives …

Offshoring and the New World Order

Outsourcing as a means of meeting organizational information technology (IT) needs is a commonly accepted and growing practice; one that is continually evolving to include a much wider set of business functions: logistics, accounting …

And What Can Context Do For Data?

Common to all actors in today's information world is the problem of lowering the "information noise," both reducing the amount of data to be stored and accessed, and enhancing …

Why Web Sites Are Lost (and How They're Sometimes Found)

The Web is in constant flux — new pages and Web sites appear daily, and old pages and sites disappear almost as quickly. One study estimates that about two percent of the Web disappears from its current location every week. To …

If Your Pearls of Wisdom Fall in a Forest . . .

The idea of doing things that can improve something is an extremely popular concept in American culture. For example, I found the phrase, make a difference , in 129 million Web pages in a Yahoo! search in July 2009. The concept …

Steering Self-Learning Distance Algorithms

The concept of distance expresses the distortion measure between any pair of entities lying in a common space. Distances are at the very heart of geometry, and are ubiquitous …