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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents


ACM-W Celebrates Women in Computing

Computer science is no longer the hot, high-enrollment field it once was. While many suggestions have been made for increasing enrollments, it is unlikely that computer science will ever be as vibrant as it could be — and should …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Share the Threats

Othman El Moulat's comment (Apr. 2009) concerning the article "The Topology of Dark Networks"(Oct. 2008) that the views and articles in Communications should have no bearing on or bias toward any agenda, political or religious …

Speech-Activated User Interfaces and Climbing Mt. Exascale

The Communications Web site,, features 13 bloggers in the BLOG@CACM community. In each issue of Communications, we'll publish excerpts from selected posts, plus readers' comments. Tessa Lau discusses why she doesn't …

Making that Connection

The goal of holding readers' attention has made provocation a timeworn editorial strategy. Communications doesn't resort to screaming headlines like most storefront fare, but …

Micromedicine to the Rescue

Medical researchers have long dreamed of "magic bullets" that go directly where they are needed. Now micromedicine and nanotechnology are making a range of molecules formerly inaccessible as drugs available to be delivered at …

Content Control

Entertainment businesses say digital rights management prevents the theft of their products, but access control technologies have been a uniform failure when it comes to preventing piracy. Fortunately, change is on the way.

Autonomous Helicopters

Researchers are improving unmanned helicopters' capabilities to address regulatory requirements and commercial uses.

Looking Backward and Forward

CRA's Computing Community Consortium hosted a day-long symposium to discuss the important computing advances of the last several decades and how to sustain that track record of innovation.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

Answering the Wrong Questions Is No Answer

Asking the wrong questions when building and deploying systems results in systems that cannot be sufficiently protected against the threats they face.

Reducing Risks of Implantable Medical Devices

The convergence of medicine with radio communication and Internet connectivity exposes implantable medical devices (IMDs) not only to safety and effectiveness risks, but also to security and privacy risks. Legislation, regulation …

Beyond Computational Thinking

If we are not careful, our fascination with "computational thinking" may lead us back into the trap we are trying to escape.

Why 'Open Source' Misses the Point of Free Software

Decoding the important differences in terminology, underlying philosophy, and value systems between two similar categories of software.

Kode Vicious: Obvious Truths

How to determine when to put the brakes on late-running projects and untested software patches.
SECTION: Practice

Hard-Disk Drives: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

New drive technologies and increased capacities create new categories of failure modes that will influence system designs.

Network Front-End Processors, Yet Again

The history of NFE processors sheds light on the trade-offs involved in designing network stack software.

Whither Sockets?

The pervasive and long-lasting sockets API has remained largely unchanged since 1982. How have developers worked around its inherent limitations and what is the future of sockets in a changing networked world?
SECTION: Contributed articles

The Claremont Report on Database Research

Database research is expanding, with major efforts in system architecture, new languages, cloud services, mobile and virtual worlds, and interplay between structure and text.

One Laptop Per Child: Vision vs. Reality

The vision is being overwhelmed by the reality of business, politics, logistics, and competing interests worldwide.
SECTION: Review articles

How Computer Science Serves the Developing World

Information and communication technology for development can greatly improve quality of life for the world's neediest people.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Reframing Security For the Web

The web has brought exciting new functionality while simultaneously requiring new mechanisms to make it secure. We've repeatedly discovered that these mechanisms are not good …

Securing Frame Communication in Browsers

Many Web sites embed third-party content in frames, relying on the browser's security policy to protect against malicious content. However, frames provide insufficient isolation in browsers that let framed content navigate other …

Technical Perspective: Software and Hardware Support For Deterministic Replay of Parallel Programs

Two Hardware-Based Approaches For Deterministic Multiprocessor Replay

Modern computer systems are inherently nondeterministic due to a variety of events that occur during an execution. The lack of repeatability that arises from this nondeterminism can make it difficult to develop and maintain correct …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Solutions and Sources

Last month (May 2009, p. 112) we posed a trio of brain teasers, including one as yet unsolved, concerning relationships among numbers.

Future Tense: Webmind Says Hello

Future Tense, one of the revolving features on this page, presents stories and essays from the intersection of computational science and technological speculation, their boundaries limited only by our ability to imagine what …
SECTION: Virtual extension

Hyperlinking the Work For Self-Management of Flexible Workflows

Advancing Information Technology in Health Care

Deriving Mutual Benefits From Offshore Outsourcing

The Challenge of Epistemic Divergence In IS Development

Forensics of Computers and Handheld Devices

Re-Tuning the Music Industry: Can They Re-Attain Business Resonance?

A Holistic Framework For Knowledge Discovery and Management

Leveraging First-Mover Advantages in Internet-Based Consumer Services