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September 2004 Archives
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September 2004
Volume 6, Issue 700: Wednesday,  September 29, 2004

  • Paperless E-Voting Gets Thumbs Down From ACM

  • The early results of a survey conducted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) indicate that 95 percent of ACM members favor the provision of physical records in voting systems so that voters might confirm that their choices were correctly registered. The ACM stated on Sept. 27 that ...


  • Senate Weighs H-1B Visa Changes

  • The Senate is mulling a revision to the H-1B visa program that would add an exemption for foreign-born U.S. graduates with master's or doctorate degrees, which has earned the ire of labor groups and the approval of the business community. WashTech President Marcus Courtney claims the ...


  • More Federal Lawmakers Want Paper Records of Electronic Ballots

  • Federal lawmakers are clamoring for the addition of paper trails to electronic voting systems in the face of growing doubts about paperless machines, but county registrars argue that making such changes before the November election would only sow confusion among poll workers and lead to ...


  • The Future Voice of Speech-Driven Interfaces

  • The IST program-funded SpeeCon project is helping European organizations create speech recognition databases to enable consumer multilingual speech-driven interfaces (SDIs) across the European Union. Successful development of the SDI market hinges on addressing two key technical ...


  • Doh! New Format Could Store All of Homer's Life on One Optical Disk

  • Imperial College London researchers are working on Multiplexed Optical Data Storage (MODS), an optical disk technology reportedly capable of storing as much as 1 terabyte (TB) of data on a CD- or DVD-sized disk. Dr. Peter Torok with Imperial College's Department of Physics believes commercial ...


  • File-Swap Software Gets a Speedy Update

  • The open-source BitTorrent file-swapping software can transfer digital files such as movies, music, and video games at a dramatically faster pace than other software. While other file-sharing services such as Kazaa usually take 12 hours to transfer a feature-length film, BitTorrent can ...


  • Internet Fails to Shine for 'Silver Surfers'

  • The growing population of senior citizens represents a lucrative opportunity for the technology industry, which could tap into a new market while improving the quality of life for elderly people by offering products designed to better meet their needs. The American Association of Retired ...


  • IPv6 Expert Sees Adoption Growing...Slowly

  • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) should really start to take off in North America in 2006, says IPv6 Forum chief technology officer and North American IPv6 Task Force chair Jim Bound. Infrastructure is needed before the multitude of Internet-enabled household appliances can come online, but ...


  • The Office Is Future-Proof

  • The office environment will dramatically change in 50 years' time, with desktop computers disappearing, robots handling more manual tasks, and global connectivity enabling more intercontinental collaboration. Data centers located outside the city will run powerful database and processing ...


  • Inside Kerry and Bush's Technology Agendas

  • Michael J. Miller reports that the technology agendas of presidential rivals John Kerry and George W. Bush differ widely on various issues and are more sympathetic in other areas; the Kerry campaign responded directly to Miller's inquiries while the Bush campaign referred him to the ...


  • Linux Could Become a Big Force in the Weather-Forecasting Field

  • Some meteorology experts believe supercomputers running Linux open-source software could be used to improve weather forecasting by tapping into a global programmer community, a development that has only recently become feasible. "You've got to have computers that stay up and running for a ...


  • Information System to Help Scientists Analyze Mechanisms of Social Behavior

  • The National Science Foundation announced the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's BeeSpace project as the recipient of a $5 million, five-year research grant under the aegis of the Frontiers of Integrative Biological Research program on Sept. 16. BeeSpace is a software ...


  • Public 'Left Out' as Governments Plot Internet Regulation

  • The United Nations' centralized approach to Internet regulation is disenfranchising regular Internet users and attracting the wrong kinds of people to the governance issue, said Web expert Esther Dyson, a founding chairman of ICANN. Dyson spoke at a debate organized by the Internet ...


  • Danger of Image-Borne Viruses Looms

  • Computer security experts say that hackers are close to being able to spread viruses by simply getting users to visit an infected Web site or to open an email message, using a new security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP and Server 2003 operating system. Last week, three demonstration programs ...


  • The Jumble Cruncher

  • Quantum-generated random numbers could enable today's computers to surpass the limitations of the Turing machine concept. In 1936, British mathematician Alan Turing created a sort of calculator model that could theoretically solve any computable problem; the difficulty with his scheme ...


  • Whether Linux or Windows, No Software Is Secure

  • The debate about whether the Windows or Linux operating system is more secure obscures the more important issue of generally shoddy software development, argue Purdue University researchers Eugene Spafford and David Wilson: Although different arguments and figures can be used to support ...


  • The Grand Challenges of IT

  • Researchers are working to address the biggest challenges in three key IT areas--artificial intelligence, processor performance, and chip miniaturization--by going outside traditional research methodology. Despite notable progress in the field of AI, computer systems are still ...


  • Home Is Where the Future Is

  • The dream of the automated home, a concept that dates as far back as the late 1890s, has shown remarkable staying power, and the idea may be edging closer to reality thanks to the development of automated household technologies in many academic and corporate labs. The emergence and spread ...


  • Machine-to-Machine Technology Gears Up for Growth

  • Harbor Research expects at least 1.5 billion devices to be Internet-linked worldwide by the end of this decade; machine-to-machine (M2M) technology aims to exploit this connectivity to make machines capable of direct communication with each other. M2M would enable machines to not only ...


    Volume 6, Issue 699: Monday,  September 27, 2004

  • Antipiracy Bill Divides Studios and Tech Companies

  • Silicon Valley is at odds with Hollywood once again in the debate over piracy, which has spawned new antipiracy legislation that would allow movie studios, record companies, and other copyright holders to sue companies that make products that enable piracy. The wide scope that the U.S. ...


  • Computers Prove Weak at Faces

  • Even after a decade of research, scientists are still far away from producing a facial recognition system that could be used to identify criminals in airports or other public places. The International Biometric Group says the market for facial recognition systems will nonetheless ...


  • When Bot Nets Attack

  • Symantec says computers in zombie networks are often hired out to third parties for $100 per hour, on average. The cybersecurity firm also says these networks are growing by 30,000 machines per day, up from about 2,000 new bot machines added daily last year. Hackers cultivate their networks ...


  • Open Science Grid Consortium Declares Grid3 a Success

  • Researchers in the Open Science Grid Consortium declared a nine-month trial of the prototype Grid3 data grid successful at a Harvard University workshop earlier this month. Grid3 integrates the computational muscle of 26 U.S. universities and laboratories to furnish processing power for over ...


  • How to Attract the Best Into IT

  • A panel of experts convened for Computing's Agenda Setters initiative, in studying the challenge of attracting the most talented people into IT, recommend investments to cultivate better IT leadership, development of more diverse career paths, promotion and advancement of cross-functional ...


  • Profs Patrol Cyberspace

  • University of Toronto electrical and computer engineering professors David Lie and Ashvin Goel have taken a different approach to providing security to computers. Lie makes use of decoy computers, also known as honey pots, to lure unsuspecting cyber-criminals into hacking into the machines, giving ...


  • Eavesdropping Call Centre Computers Cut Talk Time

  • IBM researchers are using speech recognition and search technology to make call center representatives more productive. The artificial intelligence system listens to customers' spoken words, picks out keywords, and retrieves relevant information from the call center database so the ...


  • Green Electronics

  • Researchers have integrated plants' ability to produce energy from light with solid-state electronics for the first time. The trick was a designer nanomaterial that enables organic proteins to maintain their stability even without the presence of water and salt. Another novel aspect of the ...


  • Web Tool May Banish Broken Links

  • A team of students from the United Kingdom interning at IBM has filed two patents for a new tool that promises to automatically update broken links on the Web. Existing tools only detect a broken link, while Peridot is able to determine where an original page has gone, which links have ...


  • Microsoft Taps European Expertise in Research

  • Microsoft's European research operations provide an important aspect of the company's technological innovation, according to Microsoft Research senior vice president Rick Rashid at an innovation fair in Brussels. The company's Cambridge, England, facility was the first research center ...


  • Rose-Hulman Conference to Feature World Wide Web Creators

  • The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana will host a conference about the World Wide Web that will feature as speakers a number of people who participated in developing the online network. Titled "WWW@10: The Dream and the Reality," the conference marks the 10th anniversary of the ...


  • IMSC's Live Immersive Internet

  • University of Southern California (USC) researchers will use immersive audio and high definition video imagery to stream a performance by the Miro Quartet over the Internet on Sept. 28, during the annual meeting of the Internet 2 organization at the University of Texas at Austin. The ...


  • Data You Can Virtually Touch

  • Haptics researchers say the technology is ready for wider commercial deployment with the falling cost of computer processing power and the haptics hardware itself. Haptics is a favorite among researchers with the promise of letting users actually feel what is visually displayed by the ...


  • Is Open-Source Software a Solution to Spam?

  • Many higher-education institutions are adopting open-source antispam software because it is free and easy to adapt and integrate with other software already in use. Analyst Fred Cohen observes that research-intensive institutions often opt for open-source software because ...


  • What's So Extreme About Extreme Programming?

  • Software development is often compared to manufacturing operations, but the Scientific Method actually provides a better conceptual framework for longer-lived, flexible, and understandable products, writes Larry McCay, a senior software engineer with Probaris Technologies. Extreme Programming ...


  • Our Wireless World

  • Optimistic predictions of a wireless home with universally accessible digital media within five years are undercut by the reality of current wireless technologies, which are marked by implementation and maintenance difficulties, susceptibility to interference, and quality of service ...


  • Targeting Unstructured Data

  • The growth of unstructured data within companies complicates the location of such files and their information, but a number of document-retrieval systems based on geographic information system (GIS) technologies can help. The "hot links" approach involves the association of a coordinate on a map ...


  • Music Everywhere

  • Compression algorithms are driving a transformation in the enjoyment and distribution of music, paving the way for massive audio libraries consumers can carry in a portable device about the size of a deck of cards. A vast number of algorithms are vying for the marketplace, with MP3 in the lead, ...


    Volume 6, Issue 698: Friday,  September 24, 2004

  • Tallying the Woes of Electronic Balloting

  • Voters and election officials around the country are becoming increasingly concerned about touch-screen voting machines, which process and store votes electronically and have proven unreliable in recent balloting exercises. Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie Greene in Florida, for example, now ...


  • Internet Task Force Shuts Down Anti-Spam Working Group

  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has dissolved the MTA Authorization Records in DNS (MARID) working group because of disagreement on fundamental issues, such as Microsoft's claims of copyright over technologies in mail authentication standards the group was considering. ...


  • World's Top Collegiate Programmers Go Head-to-Head at IBM-Sponsored 'Battle of the Brains'

  • IBM is sponsoring the 2004-2005 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), which will enlist thousands of collegiate programmers worldwide to participate in the 29th annual "Tech Olympics." The last three ACM-ICPCs have run on an open-source platform; this year programmers will ...


  • Women, and the Future of IT

  • Women will once again re-emerge in computer science as the field shifts from a purely technical focus to supporting other fields, says British Computer Society President and Southampton University professor Wendy Hall. In the early days of computer science, there were a significant number of ...


  • Tiny Sensors That Can Track Anything

  • Wireless, battery-powered sensors dubbed "smart dust" are moving out of the research arena and into the commercial domain: Dust Networks announced this week that Science Applications International would employ the sensors for electronic perimeter security systems, and Sensicast Systems declared a ...


  • SIGGRAPH 2005 Calls for Participation

  • ACM's SIGGRAPH Committee is calling for contributors and volunteers to the SIGGRAPH 2005 event scheduled for July 31-Aug. 4, 2005, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Participants will submit outstanding achievements in the field of computer graphics and interactive methods. Upon acceptance of submissions or volunteer work, participants will be able to directly interact ...


  • Africans Get Tools to Cross Digital Divide

  • Bridging the digital divide in Africa depends on adapting software to the inhabitants and their various languages--not the other way round, according to computer enthusiasts committed to translating open-source software into African languages. Software translation pioneer Dwayne Bailey notes that ...


  • Goal Makes Machines More Human

  • Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are working on a computer that will make use of molecules from DNA, rather than silicon processors. Qi Cheng, a computer science professor at the University of Oklahoma, says his work is still in the theoretical stage, but adds that DNA molecules are ...


  • Flexible Sensors Make Robot Skin

  • Recreating the pressure sensitivity of skin for robots and other objects is the goal of a University of Tokyo research project using pressure sensor arrays that can be widely distributed due to their fabrication from cheap organic or polymer transistors on a flexible material. Potential ...


  • Canada's Biggest Calculator

  • The Trellis Project led by University of Alberta computer science professor Dr. Paul Lu pooled the computational resources of more than 4,000 computers at 19 universities, a half-dozen high-performance computing consortia, and three research institutions into a virtual supercomputer over a 48-hour ...


  • Experts Convened by AAAS Call for Voter-System Research and Reform, Warning of Broad Vulnerability

  • A Sept. 21 report from an 18-member panel of experts convened by Advancing Science, Serving Society (AAAS) concludes that the U.S. voting system must be reformed if the public's confidence in American elections is to be restored, especially as the country transitions to Internet-based voting. ...


  • Surpassing Customers' Needs: When Technology Is Too Good

  • Of the 60-plus small tech startups that offered superior technology to fulfill the telecom market's bandwidth needs at the turn of the 21st century, a mere two dozen or so have survived the fallout of the economic recession, and only about 12 of those are selling products. The survivors ...


  • Death of the Net

  • The Internet is succumbing to growing numbers of users, a rapidly expanding scope, more demanding applications, and unruly netizens such as hackers and spammers, said ICANN Chairman and "Father of the Internet" Vinton Cerf at the Fall 2004 Intel Developer's Forum. There are more and more ways of ...


  • A True Master of Invention

  • Renowned inventor Ray Kurzweil is famed for his farsightedness, and has become a leading authority on far-reaching, technology-driven trends such as the global expansion of the Internet in the late 1990s, which he predicted about a decade earlier. Based on research demonstrating that the ...


  • IT Women Smash Glass Ceiling

  • The Chartered Management Institute's (CMI) 30th annual national management salary survey indicates that salaries and opportunities for female IT professionals are at their highest level yet, with women's pay raises overtaking those of men for the eighth consecutive year across all sectors. ...


  • Humanoid Robot Gets Pocket PC Brain

  • NimbRo RS, a diminutive humanoid robot from the Institute for Computer Science at Germany's University of Freiburg, was built out of mostly off-the-shelf components by replacing the head of a RoboSapien robot with a Toshiba e755 Pocket PC and a FlyCamCF CompactFlash camera. The e755 was ...


  • Cell Phone Video Gets Real

  • Broadcasters, semiconductor firms, and mobile network operators gathered to showcase the latest in mobile television technology at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam. Technology to pipe short video clips and live broadcasts is already working, but the number of options and ...


  • 5 Challenges for Open Source

  • Hundreds of colleges have initiated or joined open-source software projects that serve higher education by providing products to run email, combat spam, manage school finances, and facilitate other important services. Examples of such projects include Moodle, Pachyderm, and Sakai software for ...


  • Linux Is Finally Offering Windows Users a Real Choice

  • Consumers can now avail themselves of numerous commercial versions of the Linux operating system offering instant Internet connectivity, stylish and sophisticated interfaces, and free open-source upgrades via the Web. The rollout of Linspire and other open-source products finally gives desktop ...


    Volume 6, Issue 697: Wednesday,  September 22, 2004

  • Activists Find More E-Vote Flaws

  • Prominent e-voting critic and activist Bev Harris and a computer scientist claim to have uncovered even more flaws in a Diebold e-voting system that could potentially allow hackers to manipulate votes in the upcoming presidential election. In a demonstration to officials in the California ...


  • NSF Announces Two Cybersecurity Centers to Study Internet Epidemiology and 'Ecology'

  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded funding to 33 new cybersecurity projects, including two cybersecurity research centers that will model IT security threats in terms of ecology and epidemiology. The $30 million Cyber Trust program is the NSF's main cybersecurity effort and ...


  • Fixing a Busted IT Research System

  • Computing Research Association Chairman James Foley says U.S. national competitiveness is threatened by the lack of federal funding in computer science, difficulties in nurturing new computer scientists, and the increasing numbers of engineers in other countries. The number of computer ...


  • Reports on Spam Levels Paint Differing Views of the Problem

  • Accurately measuring the extent of the spam problem and the effectiveness of strategies to combat it is complicated by inconsistent statistical reports on the volume of junk email, and the fact that the most oft-cited reports are furnished by antispam software vendors. An August estimate by ...


  • Agent Model Yields Leadership

  • Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and two universities have developed a software model for studying economic markets, quantitative sociology, or optimizing communications among robot collectives. The model is based on the classic minority game, where multiple agents compete to be ...


  • Second Thoughts for a Designer of Software That Aids Conservation

  • In the six years since its development, the Marxan computer program created by Dr. Hugh Possingham of the University of Queensland, Australia, and grad student Ian Ball has been employed to structure many environmental conservation and biodiversity plans around the world, but Possingham now ...


  • Scientists Help Needy Regions

  • Richard Newton, engineering dean of UC Berkeley's College of Engineering, says that a prototype "peace corps for technology" initiative has been organized through a joint effort between the Haas School of Business and the Engineering College's Management of Technology (MOT) program. The ...


  • Congress Tackles Taxing Issues

  • Technology lobbying groups are upping their pressure on Congress to vote on some significant bills relating to Internet taxation and copyright, among other things. Some 40 organizations, including the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and the Association for Competitive ...


  • Getting Computer Vision Systems to Recognize Reality

  • The IST program's VAMPIRE project involves the testing of the theory that Visual Active Memory (VAM) plays an essential role in the cognition and learning processes of computer vision systems. Without VAM processes, objects and behaviors cannot be learned and categorized against a ...


  • Policy, Not Technology Creates Barriers to Info Sharing

  • In a Sept. 17 interview, Karen Evans of the White House's Office of Management and Budget said that policy and practice, rather than technology, were the root cause of federal agencies' inability to share information, which the Sept. 11 Commission cited as a major obstacle to the ...


  • Alice Chatbot Wins for Third Time

  • American programmer Richard Wallace's chatbot, Alice, won the Loebner Prize for the most convincing computer program to display human-like conversation for the third time on Sept. 19 in New York. The annual international contest rates entrants according to a modified version of the Turning Test, ...


  • USC Computer Scientist Receives Presidential Early Career Award

  • Cyrus Shahabi, research director of information management in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering's Integrated Media Systems Center, has won the 2004 Presidential Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his work in multidimensional databases and related methods for storing ...


  • Ready or Not (and Maybe Not), Electronic Voting Goes National

  • Almost one-third of the 150 million-plus registered U.S. voters will use electronic voting systems in the upcoming presidential election, regardless of whether the machines are truly ready for such a wide-scale deployment. The controversy that has erupted over e-voting machines is between ...


  • Internet Governance Under Spotlight in Geneva

  • The International Telecommunications Union kicks off a two-day meeting on the United Nations' Working Group of Internet Governance (WGIG) on Sept. 20, and in attendance will be representatives from governments, organizational bodies, and businesses. The meeting will focus on creating ...


  • When Will These Tech Wishes Come True?

  • At a recent meeting of the Media Entertainment Technology Alliance, moderator and kenradio.com host Ken Rutkowski had participants put together a wish list of currently unavailable technologies. Among the desirable products is an instant-on PC, which InterVideo's Mike Ling says is likely ...


  • Taking Stock of E-Paper

  • Several companies are pursuing the commercialization of electronic paper (e-paper), a flexible polymer sheet that combines the reflectivity of real paper with low power requirements and lightweight batteries thanks to its bi-stable characteristics, which allow images displayed on the sheet to be ...


  • Values of Community Source Development

  • Stanford University director of academic computing Lois Brooks notes that open source is becoming increasingly pronounced in higher education, and points out a movement toward initiatives in which institutions combine their resources and expertise to develop products that the education ...


  • The War Room

  • The Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) at the University of Southern California is a convergence point for military experts, visual effects artists, research scientists, and videogame developers, who are busy creating artificial environments that replicate battle conditions with ...


    Volume 6, Issue 696: Monday,  September 20, 2004

  • Lawmakers Call for Cybersecurity Enhancements

  • Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) have introduced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2004, which expands cybersecurity to include wire communication and gives the DHS the authority to protect telecommunications, in addition to ...


  • FP6 Grid Projects Target a Return on Europe's Research Investment

  • One of the major goals of the European Union's information societies technology program is to build a robust grid research community in Europe, although INRIA's Thierry Priol, coordinator of the CoreGRID Network of Excellence, notes that European investment levels in grid technologies far ...


  • Barbarians at the Digital Gate

  • The proliferation of spyware and adware requires Internet users to take special precautions while online, but growing dissent is prompting some of the companies behind the rise in adware to try more palatable business practices. Advertisers and major Web sites, meanwhile, have become more ...


  • Saving the Artistic Orphans

  • Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle and film collector Rick Prelinger filed a lawsuit against the government in March in an effort to secure permission to digitally archive "orphan" works determined to be commercially nonviable yet restricted from public access by copyright. ...


  • CMU Project Envisions Computers Even the Poorest Third World Farmer Could Use

  • Former dean of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University Raj Reddy is focused on bringing affordable Internet access to poor people throughout the world using the PCtvt, a $250 device that consists of a PC, a telephone that uses Voice over Internet Protocol technology, a color TV, and a video ...


  • NEC Extends Quantum Cryptography Range and Speed

  • Slated for commercial release in the second half of 2005 is a quantum cryptography system from NEC capable of generating keys at 100 Kbps and transmitting them to destinations as far away as 40 kilometers along commercial fiber-optic lines. Earlier NEC "round-trip" quantum ...


  • Tim Berners-Lee, Director, W3C

  • In an interview shortly following his keynote address at the SpeechTek Conference, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee argues that software providers ought to take a greater responsibility for security vulnerabilities in their products, and is puzzled that the ...


  • Competing for DVD Supremacy

  • Sony, Panasonic, and other major consumer electronics companies are in a pitched battle with computer firms Toshiba and NEC over the next-generation videodisc format. The Sony-led group supports an entirely new Blu-ray technology that would hold six times more data than current DVDs and would ...


  • Hollywood: It's Time to Get Creative, Use the Net

  • Dan Gillmor laments the apparent subordination of services that offer Internet content downloaded and replayed on television--TiVo, for instance--to the entertainment cartels, which support what he determines to be an outmoded, myopic business model. This business model is based on ...


  • Study: IT Job Market Continues to Be Stagnant

  • A new study conducted by the Center for Urban Economics Development at the University of Illinois in Chicago reveals that the number of information technology jobs has fallen from 2.1 million in March 2001 to 1.7 million in March 2004, and that approximately half of the 403,300 lost jobs came after ...


  • Smog-Sniffing Sensors

  • As part of the Research Councils U.K.'s E-Science program to promote new kinds of research made possible by wireless technology, the Internet, and distributed computing, several British universities are participating in the Urban Pollution Project, an effort to map out pollution over a wide ...


  • Technology Can Be the Multiplier

  • The dividing line between poverty and affluence can be eroded by the proper application of technology, according to executive coordinator of the United Nations Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force Sarbuland Khan, whose group is tasked with helping to spur economic growth in ...


  • Uncle Sam's Semantic Web

  • The federal government is optimistic about the Semantic Web, but the 2004 Semantic Technologies for e-Government Conference shows that the concept still has a lot to prove. Much of the conference featured introductions and tutorials, and there were only a handful of actual Semantic Web ...


  • 'Dirty Dozen' Tips From Former Cybersecurity Czar

  • Richard A. Clarke, the former cybersecurity advisor to President Bush, claims hackers and phishers are keeping e-commerce and e-government from reaching their full potential. Clarke says security worries are the primary factor thwarting the widespread take-up of Internet banking and ...


  • Citizen-Scientists

  • The U.S. Defense Department is attempting to avoid a projected shortage of domestic scientists and engineers through student outreach programs such as Starbase, the Army's e-cybermission initiative, and Materials World Modules. Starbase, which targets students in kindergarten through 12th ...


  • Wearable Aid for the Visually Impaired

  • Guide dogs, canes, and other traditional navigational aids for visually impaired people cannot prevent collisions with certain obstacles, but a team of University of Washington students led by Human Interface Technology Lab assistant director Eric Seibel has invented a cheap wearable device ...


  • The New Face of Hollywood

  • Cutting-edge computer graphics technology tends to rapidly migrate to the film industry, as evidenced by the visual effects houses employing state-of-the art face rendering software to produce more photorealistic virtual characters. Such applications not only help sell the artifice to ...


    Volume 6, Issue 695: Friday,  September 17, 2004

  • American Programmers Still Alive and Kicking

  • Edward Yourdon, author of the upcoming book, "Outsource: Competing in the Global Productivity Race," foresaw rough waters ahead for U.S.-based programmers as far back as 1989, when he noted that Indian workers adhered to very high standards of quality and productivity and were willing to ...


  • Looking for a User-Friendly Internet

  • The Internet can be a double-edged sword for visually impaired users: It can expand their independence, or isolate them further from important information if it is too complex to navigate. Solving this problem has been the goal for the past eight years of IBM Japan accessibility researcher ...


  • DHS Moves Ahead With Cybersecurity R&D Efforts

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is engaged in several pilot cybersecurity efforts designed to address the scarcity of real-world incident data, such as the Protected Repository for Defense of Infrastructure Against Cyber Threats (Protect) program. The goal of ...


  • Supercomputers Aid Hurricane Forecasting

  • Weather forecasting has significantly advanced with supercomputing: Improvements supercomputer-aided climate modeling has helped usher in include increasingly accurate five-day forecasts and 50% less hurricane track error in the National Hurricane Center's three-day ...


  • They're Robots? Those Beasts!

  • Some robotics researchers are looking to the animal world for inspiration, and they think the biomimetic devices they create will be able to function in places inaccessible to current-generation robots. Examples of biomimetic machines include segmented snake- and trunk-shaped robots from ...


  • Human Errors Silenced Airports

  • A software glitch led to a three-hour shutdown of Southern California's air traffic control radio system, cutting off radio communications and leading to five incidents where planes breached the required separation distance from one another. FAA officials said the radio system, known as Voice ...


  • Nose-Steered Mouse Could Save Aching Arms

  • Dmirty Gorodnichy of Canada's Institute of Information Technology has created the "nouse," a tool that enables PC users to navigate using the movements of their nose and eye blinks. The nouse can navigate around 2D computer software using a single Webcam and 3D software with two Webcams. ...


  • Berners-Lee Calls for More Voice Apps

  • In a keynote address at the SpeechTek conference, World Wide Web creator and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Sir Tim Berners-Lee called for further development of voice recognition systems, whose current shortcomings are causing frustration among users that could be detrimental ...


  • Too Hot to Handle

  • PC processors and graphics chips are generating uncomfortable amounts of heat for users, highlighting what is one of the most pressing technical concerns for the semiconductor industry. The excessive heat is a result of greater numbers of transistors being packed into smaller spaces. ...


  • IETF Deals Microsoft's E-Mail Proposal a Setback

  • Microsoft's SenderID technology was sent back for revision after the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) group studying the anti-spam proposal said it contained vague intellectual property claims. Open source groups such as the Debian Project and Apache Software Foundation have ...


  • Proving That Shape-Shifting Robots Can Get a Move On

  • A major challenge to the creation of self-reconfigurable or shape-shifting robots is establishing control and planning methods that will prevent the machines from falling apart or getting stuck as they move, and a team of Dartmouth College researchers led by Daniela Rus has devised such methods, ...


  • Dozens of Experts Take on Cyberterror

  • Government and business leaders from across the Pacific Northwest conducted a cyberterror simulation last week to assess the vulnerability of computer-controlled critical infrastructure. The public-private partnership attracted more than 100 experts from several states, the ...


  • Software Tutors Offer Help and Customized Hints

  • Carnegie Learning's Cognitive Tutor program is employed at 1,700 U.S. middle schools and high schools to offer math students more personalized instruction using artificial intelligence. The educational software monitors students' performance while providing customized feedback and ...


  • Digital Alchemy

  • The computing industry has been pursuing the vision of software emulation for nearly three decades, but such efforts have yielded few results with wider applications beyond enabling one specific program to run on one other kind of processor. Furthermore, these products are often characterized by ...


  • As WGIG Forms, Ideas About Defining Its Scope Circulate

  • The Internet Governance Project has issued a set of reports on the current state of play" in Internet governance as commissioned by the United Nations ICT Task Force as input for the U.N. Secretary-General's Working Group on Internet Governance, writes Syracuse University School of ...


  • Cursor on Target

  • The Cursor on Target (CoT) project is a joint venture between the Air Force Electronic Systems Center (ESC), MITRE, the Navy, the Air Force Special Operations Command, and the Air Force Research Laboratory to synchronize the battlefield operations of space, air, and ground forces through a ...


  • The SOA Puzzle: Five Missing Pieces

  • The promise of service-oriented architecture (SOA) is impeded by challenges in the areas of reliable asynchronous messaging, orchestration, security, legacy support, and semantics, and IT managers' decision to follow either a conventional enterprise application integration strategy or a Web services ...


  • The Next Threat

  • There is growing evidence that terrorist cells such as al Qaeda are attempting to become skilled in hacking and other forms of cyberwarfare, and experts warn that cyberterrorists could cripple the World Wide Web, interfere with military communications systems, or disrupt electrical grids ...


  • Exploring the Ultrawideband

  • A slew of commercial products, many with national and homeland security applications, stem from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's micropower impulse radar (MIR) technology, which emits millions of electromagnetic pulses in the ultrawideband (UWB) range each second to facilitate ...


    Volume 6, Issue 694: Wednesday,  September 15, 2004

  • Geeks Code for the Gold

  • Athens, the site of this year's Olympic Games, is hosting a contest of another kind: The 16th annual International Olympiad in Informatics (http://olympiads.win.tue.nl/ioi/), where approximately 300 programmers from 80 nations are competing to see who can code the fastest through a ...


  • On Fed Payroll, Hackers Seek to Save America

  • As part of the Homeland Security Department's attempts to fortify the country's defenses, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in August launched a new cybersecurity facility where hackers test the vulnerability of critical systems in an isolated ...


  • Help Wanted by IT Services Firms"

  • IT services companies such as IBM and Accenture are demanding employees with versatility and a wider range of skills, which means that unemployed professionals will need to obtain business training or experience in order to qualify for jobs as well as advancement. Analyst Marianne Hedin says ...


  • Expand Programming Skills or Lose Your Job, Consultant Warns"

  • Engineers and programmers could reduce the chances of losing their jobs to outsourcing by learning new programming skills and languages, advised Dan Saks today in his keynote speech at the Embedded Systems Conference. Strategies engineers and programmers could employ include seeking jobs ...


  • File-Sharing Leaps From Internet to Cellphones

  • Researchers at the Nokia Research Center in Budapest have developed a peer-to-peer (P2P)-based mobile file-sharing network that was tested on 6600 model cellular phones. The prototype system functions on phones that link to GPRS networks, which are set up to make staying online inexpensive ...


  • Nevada's E-Vote Free of Serious Problems

  • Nevada's e-voting program could serve as a model for other U.S. states, given the low incidence of problems that cropped up during the Sept. 7 primary. Although the election was not bug-free--power outages, damaged hardware, and glitchy software did cause data to be lost and results ...


  • Wireless Gets Up Close

  • Consumer electronics heavies Sony and Philips have developed a new close-range wireless technology they hope will become the foundation for a number of authentication and electronic wallet applications. The Near Field Communications (NFC) standard is based on radio-frequency ...


  • OpenBSD's Theo de Raadt Talks Software Security

  • OpenBSD founder Theo de Raadt says the vast majority of software security holes are due to low-level programming errors that are copied and spread throughout many different applications. He says programming errors occur when the code author misuses program functions in seemingly insignificant ...


  • Wireless Care for Elderly and Disabled People

  • Giving elderly and disabled people the means to contact carers in case of emergency while allowing carers to constantly know where their patients are is the reason behind LOCOMOTION, an IST project that combines global positioning system (GPS) technology with standard mobile phones. The GPS ...


  • Women Make Inroads in Video Game Industry

  • Peter Raad with Southern Methodist University's Guildhall school of video game making estimates that women comprise less than 10 percent of all game developers, and says that it would be in the gaming industry's best interest to bring in more female developers. People such as Laura Fryer, ...


  • On the Sunny Side of Life?

  • Internet researchers from about 30 countries gathered in Karlstad, Sweden, to debate the disparities, potential clashes, and cultural inconsistencies in cyberspace at the fourth conference on Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication. A major focus was on the origins of the ...


  • Coming to a Dashboard Near You

  • Automakers are trying to simplify the features and control systems in cars, as they move from mechanical to digital systems; many of these improvements are targeted at older drivers who are not used to digital instrument panels and other computer technology. But experts say the ease-of-use features ...


  • Engineer Builds Robot That Walks on Water

  • A team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers led by NanoRobotics Lab director Metin Sitti has created a prototype robot that can skim across water by mimicking the actions of water striders and similar insects. The machine, which cost about $10 in materials to build and weighs about a ...


  • 'Google-Mania' Ignites Search Technology

  • Google's recent IPO highlights the increasing popularity of search0technology: Enterprises are eager to use new search tools to hulp them leverage latent and incoming information, and are looking for a single search platform from which to launch searches into both structured and ...


  • World Looks to Reap IT Benefits

  • The global potential of information technology will be a key topic of discussion at the semiannual meeting of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) scheduled for late September in South Africa. Recently recruited WITSA members such as Senegal, Sri Lanka, and ...


  • Data Presentation: Tapping the Power of Visual Perception

  • The mechanics of visual perception must be understood in order to effectively and efficiently present data, and key to that understanding is a clear determination of what does and does not work, and why. In his book, "Information Visualization: Perception for Design," Colin Ware ...


  • The New Rules

  • Scott Ambler, author of "Agile Database Techniques," writes that data professionals should follow the example of software developers and adopt an agile, evolutionary approach to data modeling. The serial nature of data professionals' traditional development model makes updating the model ...


  • Crashproof Code

  • Glitchy flight control software can make the difference between life and death for pilots flying supersonic planes, and research teams at Boeing and NASA must deal with the added difficulty of experimental active aeroelastic wing (AAW) technology, which could potentially yield more maneuverable and ...


    Volume 6, Issue 693: Monday,  September 13, 2004

  • Let a Thousand Ideas Flower: China Is a New Hotbed of Research

  • The world's multinational companies are setting up as many as 200 new research laboratories in China each year, according to that country's Ministry of Commerce. China offers a huge reservoir of skilled and inexpensive researchers and proximity to what is the largest and fastest ...


  • Pentagon Revives Memory Project

  • Enabling soldiers on patrol to keep a diary of their activities through cameras, global positioning system locators, and audio recorders for analysis by commanders to better understand battlefield tactics is the goal of the Advanced Soldier Sensor Information System and Technology (ASSIST) ...


  • Linux Backers to Support Standard

  • In a move characterized as vital in open-source Linux software's push to compete against Microsoft, the Free Standards Group today is expected to announce that major Linux backers--as well as vendors of Linux-based hardware, software, and services--have agreed to support Linux Standard ...


  • Mainstream Companies Seek Charming Programmers

  • Seventy-nine percent of IT workers hired from 2003 to 2004 were recruited by non-IT companies, according to the Information Technology Association of America's (ITAA) Annual Workforce Development Survey, which also found that the overall size of the IT workforce increased from about 10.3 million in ...


  • Nanotechnology-Based Data Storage on Rise

  • Analysts are predicting a huge market for magnetic RAM (MRAM) and other exotic technologies that could yield nonvolatile, low-power, and low-cost nanostorage devices with dramatically larger memory and faster response times than current technologies. The most commonplace nanostorage ...


  • Microcontrollers Go Generic

  • Commercial microcontrollers, also called computers-on-a-chip, suffer from low production volumes and high design and assembly costs because, while they often boast a generic central processing unit (CPU), their CPU peripherals are customized. A possible solution to this problem is to ...


  • Speech Code From I.B.M. to Become Open Source

  • IBM today will announce the donation of some of its proprietary speech-recognition software to the open-source Apache Software Foundation and Eclipse Foundation in an effort to ratchet up speech application development and outflank Microsoft and other competitors in a market that ...


  • Tech Industry Presents Less-Than-Unified Defense

  • Microsoft, ISPs, and anti-virus firms need to stop relying on users to secure their computers and instead come up with uniform strategies to implement default protections, experts say. Nassau-based ISP Cable Bahamas has seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of virus infections for its ...


  • Self-Sustaining Killer Robot Creates a Stink

  • Self-powered robots are a critical step toward fully autonomous machines, and robotics experts at the University of the West of England (UWE) are working to tackle this problem with EcoBot II, a device designed to capture and digest flies using a series of sewage-filled microbial fuel cells ...


  • Searching for Substance: The Road to Safe Software

  • Nigel McFarlane writes that commercial software providers offer no guarantee of a software's quality--its reliability, security, usability, etc.--to consumers, but he sees a ray of hope in open-source software development practices. He notes in his study of the closed commercial ...


  • Malware Writers Using Open-Source Tactics

  • Malware writers have adopted open-source software development techniques to help them create zombie networks of remotely controlled PCs, which are estimated to generate between 25 percent and 30 percent of all spam. There's a community of worm builders creating, almost in an open-source ...


  • Better Safe: Steven Cooper, CIO, Dept. of Homeland Security

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) CIO Steven Cooper, who has the formidable responsibility of meshing the department's 190,000 federal employees and 22 member agencies, is convinced that the information infrastructure of the United States is even more threatened than it was ...


  • Presence Applications Poised for Takeoff

  • Presence awareness is the next killer application, and will see industry-wide adoption after standards gaps are closed, management tools are developed, and user acceptance increases. Most businesses currently use presence in instant messaging, but experts say it has a vast range of ...


  • Clean Machine

  • Electronics and electric motors will transform the automotive industry over the next 10 years. Among the changes will be a more robust electrical system than the current 12-volt standard, the use of telematic systems, increased electronic engine controls, and drive-by-wire systems that ...


  • Staying Power

  • A projected shortage of IT professionals spurred by the impending retirement of baby-boomer employees is a clear reason why companies should make a stronger effort to entice skilled veteran workers to stay on, according to experts. Reinforcing this conclusion is research from the ...


  • Next Stretch for Plastic Electronics

  • Semiconducting plastics could usher in a new age of pervasive computing by helping electronic paper, chemical sensors, wearable computers, flexible displays, low-end, high-volume data storage, and other technologies move out of the laboratory and into consumer and household markets. Organic ...


  • Enabling Enterprise Wi-Fi

  • Despite expectations of ubiquitous wireless LAN (WLAN) deployments in the corporate sector, enterprise adoption of Wi-Fi has been slow because of concerns related to security, security complexity, scalability, and return-on-investment. However, new products, services, and standards are ...


  • A Conversation With Donald Peterson

  • Avaya Chairman Donald Peterson, in an interview with Lucy Sanders, executive in residence at the University of Colorado's ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society) Institute, envisions the meshing of voice and data communications with business applications, which will result in ...


    Volume 6, Issue 692: Friday,  September 10, 2004

  • Intel Calls for Internet Overhaul

  • In an Aug. 9 speech at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel CTO Pat Gelsinger cited the experimental PlanetLab network as an example of the direction the Internet needs to go if it is to be successfully upgraded to resolve issues of adaptability, reliability, and capacity. "We think the work [PlanetLab ...


  • In Computers We Trust, Even Fallible Ones

  • Building intrusion-tolerant networked computer systems that are reliable and secure is the goal of the IST project MAFTIA, a contender for the European Union's 1-million-euro 2004 Descartes Prize to be awarded in December. MAFTIA has dedicated three years to outlining a conceptual ...


  • House Panel Gets Tough on Spyware, P2P Piracy

  • The House Judiciary Committee has toughened its stance on peer-to-peer digital piracy and spyware with the Sept. 8 passage of the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act and the Internet Spyware Prevention Act. The former bill goes after the digital dissemination of copyrighted content ...


  • System Alert: Web Meltdown

  • The Internet has already "melted down" when considering it is impossible for users to avoid spam and viruses, poor-quality software, and vaguely defined restrictions on how they can use their ISP accounts, according to networking expert Lauren Weinstein and other technology experts who met ...


  • Simple Search Lightens Net Load

  • Using funds from the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have created a local-rule search mechanism that will keep searches fast even as the network grows dramatically. The search algorithm ...


  • At Your Service (or Wits' End)

  • Companies are saving tens of millions of dollars in labor costs by using automated agents to handle routine inquiries via speech recognition. Unfortunately, speech recognition technology can prove very frustrating when the caller's requests exceed the limited parameters the agents operate ...


  • Are Hackers Using Your PC to Spew Spam and Steal?

  • Since last year, infectious programs have been turning hacked PCs into zombie computers, making them send spam emails and take part in other illegal activities. Experts say the number of infected machines has reached the millions at a time when computers are more powerful and ...


  • Rise of the Robot

  • Future Horizons projects that 55.5 million robots will be shipped by 2010 in a market worth over $75 billion; driving this expected trend is the falling price of software that enables the machines to adapt to diverse conditions. This will significantly boost robots' reliability, which Wow Wee toys consultant Mark Tilden notes is a critical factor to their ...


  • Coffee Needs Topping Up? Computer Specks Can Tell

  • Five universities in Scotland are collaborating to move Speckled Computing out of the conceptual stage and into the real world. Speckled Computing envisions the distribution of thousands of minuscule computers that can network into supercomputers and link ordinary objects to the Internet. ...


  • Princeton Research Project Bypasses Internet Shortcomings

  • Princeton University's computer science department chair Larry Peterson told attendees at a Sept. 7 seminar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that the commercial Internet is too unfriendly to host experiments with new network architectures and protocols that could be crucial to patching the ...


  • Spreading Knowledge, the Wiki Way

  • Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia assembled and edited by the site's visitors, has grown remarkably in size and popularity: The archive supports more than 340,000 English-language articles and disseminates news via a publicly authored current-events page, but its increasing acceptance ...


  • Industry Group Voicing Cybersecurity Concerns in Washington

  • Executive director of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA) Paul Kurtz says the motivation for the organization's establishment was to give cybersecurity industry leaders "a common voice in Washington on cybersecurity policy issues." The seven-month-old CSIA aims to address ...


  • Critics Warn of Post-Election Problems If No Paper Trail Exists

  • The U.S. presidential election in November could be endlessly disputed if the vote results are close, since nearly 30 percent of voters will be using touch-screen machines, most of which are not equipped to produce a verifiable paper record. The August recall election of President Hugo ...


  • Robots Invade the Table Football Pitch

  • Bernhard Nebel of Germany's University of Freiburg has led a team of roboticists in the development of a robotic foosball table that bested 85 percent of a random sample of players. The rods on one side of the table are linked to high torque motors and an electronic control system that ...


  • IT to Help Avoid Astronomical Armageddon

  • A number of major projects are underway to map the sky in an effort to spot and analyze potentially dangerous near-Earth objects long before they become serious threats so that they can hopefully be deflected in time. New search and processing approaches will need to be developed in order to ...


  • Toward a Federated Future

  • The federated network model, such as the one employed by banks to facilitate seamless ATM transactions, is being considered by IT vendors and their clients as an enabling framework for next-generation integrated network services for enterprise employees, business partners, and ...


  • The Dark Side of Small

  • Efforts to study the potential medical and environmental risks of nanomaterials are lagging behind those to develop and commercialize the technology, and advocates are worried that the nanotech movement could be undone by a shortage of reliable information and warnings of doomsday ...


  • Dark Matter Revisited

  • Distributed computing and integration toolkits tend to lose their simplicity and grow bigger and more complicated to the point where they become just as complex as the approach they were designed to supplant, and this trend is attributable to a number of factors, not the least of which ...


    Volume 6, Issue 691: Wednesday,  September 8, 2004

  • Right to Vote vs. Right to Secrecy

  • Experts such as former ACM President and National Committee for Voting Integrity member Barbara Simons warn that a new email voting system the state of Missouri plans to implement for soldiers stationed overseas is vulnerable to tampering because the ballots ...


  • XML: Too Much of a Good Thing?

  • In the six years since the main XML specification was created, hundreds of derivative schemas and dialects have emerged to serve interests ranging from poultry farming to cave exploration. Although some worry that the proliferation of XML formats could lead to compatibility problems, XML ...


  • Online Support to Advance Design for All

  • IST's three-year Design for All (DfA) project promotes universally accessible products and services to ensure that Europe's disabled and elderly population is not left out of the information society. DfA was organized to aid the European Design for All e-Accessibility Network ...


  • Automatic Icons Organize Files

  • A joint project between MIT, the University of Southern California, and ESC Entertainment has yielded VisualID, a system that automatically produces icons for specific computer files and tweaks them to generate icons representing related files. The degree of modification is dictated by how ...


  • EU Boost to Open Source Software

  • Sept. 10 marks the official launch of Coordination Action for Libre Software (CALIBRE), a project funded by the European Union that aims to improve the deployment of open-source software development projects and allow open source to more deeply penetrate the mainstream so that Europe ...


  • Purdue, Olympus Corp. Creating Technology for Sensor Networks

  • Enhancing security and helping elderly and impaired people is the goal underlying a three-year joint venture between Purdue University and Olympus to develop technologies for environmental monitoring via wirelessly networked sensors and ubiquitous cameras. The sensors will be enabled for ...


  • E.U.-Backed Group Researches Digital Home

  • The Amigo research project sponsored by the European Union plans to make devices from multiple vendors interoperable for home networking through the development of open-source middleware. "We aim to use as many of the existing standards and specifications as possible," noted Koninklijke ...


  • Computer Scientists at UH Developing 'Nurturing' Computers

  • The National Science Foundation's Division of Information and Intelligent Systems has awarded University of Houston computer science professor Ioannis Pavlidis a $640,169 research grant based on his breakthrough work with the Automatic Thermal Monitoring System, which non-tactilely monitors ...


  • So Your Roomba Vacuums...Does It Also Take Pictures?

  • A growing community of electronics and computer enthusiasts are earning the moniker "hardware hackers" because they like to tinker with existing commercial technologies, expanding or completely changing their functionality. Advocates claim their resurging interest in modifying ...


  • UW Computer Scientists Tout Achievements and Explain Industry Shortcomings

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) computer science and electrical engineering professors said the IT field is driven by academic research into computing techniques, network architecture, and computer security. The UW computer science department was one of the first, having been ...


  • Some in Tech Industry Critical of Bush Administration's Cybersecurity Efforts

  • The Bush administration has not made cybersecurity as critical an issue as many in the technology industry have advocated, and the issue is unlikely to receive significant focus again until after the November election, according to sources. This includes the provision to create a Homeland ...


  • Every Move You Make Could Be Stored on a PLR

  • A personal life recorder (PLR) is a portable device that records everything a person sees and hears via a camera and microphone, while using miniaturized storage technology that requires virtually no power and boasts massive capacity. Stuart Parkin with IBM's Almaden facility believes ...


  • Big Tech on Campus

  • More and more universities are offering students and faculty campus-wide wireless Internet connectivity, distance learning, and other high-tech products and services, but educators note that such tools should be implemented mainly for educational purposes, and caution that some ...


  • The Human Factor Trumps IT in the War on Terror

  • Information technology can be used as an intelligence gathering and analysis tool in the war on terrorism, but the organization of the intelligence community will need to change to make the data as effective as possible, according to industry experts. The place of IT in the war on ...


  • Behind in Broadband

  • The number of broadband connections in the United States continues to rise, but the nation is falling behind in the broadband race in terms of share of population with broadband and speed of connections. Among nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development, the United States was ...


  • Agents of Change

  • Computer experts predict autonomous software agents will revolutionize the operation of systems such as financial markets, supply chains, and computer networks. NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite has been testing autonomous agents for the agency over the past year, using the software to keep watch ...


  • Robots Creep Into Biomed Landscape

  • The interface of robotics and bioengineering will spur major advances in the field of nanomedicine, according to experts at a recent biomedical robotics workshop sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Potential technologies discussed at the workshop include ...


  • The Democratization of Supercomputing

  • Accessing the supercomputing power needed to meet major scientific challenges such as protein folding is easier than ever thanks to advances in supercomputer speed and capacity concurrent with falling prices. Developments fueling this trend over the last several years include the ...


  • My Oh MIMO

  • New multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) wireless technology promises to revolutionize the enterprise by making WLANs and other wireless implementations much more powerful and reliable. MIMO systems benefit from the spatial dimension in wireless transmission, such as slightly delayed ...


    Volume 6, Issue 690: Friday,  September 3, 2004

  • Copyright Office Pitches Anti-P2P Bill

  • A new draft of the Induce Act dated Sept. 2 purports to outlaw peer-to-peer networks used for file-swapping without jeopardizing products such as MP3 players and portable hard drives that might "induce" people to commit digital piracy. The Copyright Office insists that this new version of the ...


  • Spammers Using Sender Authentication Too, Study Says

  • The anti-spam effectiveness of the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) email sender authentication standard as well as a successor standard, Sender ID, has been called into question by the results of a CipherTrust survey, according to CipherTrust CTO Paul Judge. The poll indicates that out of ...


  • Tech Initiatives Aim to Go Global

  • Bringing information technology to the world's underdeveloped areas is the goal of numerous collaborations between academic and industrial researchers involving the design of new, inexpensive communications and computing devices. Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) 50x15 initiative aims to link half ...


  • Virtual Humans Proposed as Space Travelers

  • Computer animation expert Peter Plantec says virtual humans are a needed accompaniment for any long-term space travel because they will filter information for real human astronauts. Any encounter humans have with alien visitors will likely be with their virtual surrogates, since sending ...


  • Ultrawideband Takes on Wi-Fi

  • Ultrawideband (UWB) is an attractive technology that offers unique benefits over other contenders for wireless home networking, but its ongoing standards battle could give it enough pause that a new Wi-Fi version pulls ahead. IEEE UWB representatives have been fighting over the 802.15.3a ...


  • Gearing Up for Digital-Era Preservation

  • The importance of digitally preserving Europe's cultural and scientific heritage will be highlighted at an October workshop in Bern, Switzerland, hosted by the IST program's Erpanet project. Underlying Erpanet is the acknowledgment that Europe must commit more time, financial resources, and ...


  • Scientists Set Internet2 Speed Record

  • A new land-speed record for the Internet2 academic network was set by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on Sept. 2 when 859 GB of data was successfully routed between Geneva and Pasadena at a distance of roughly ...


  • Birth of the Bluetooth Bots

  • Researchers are finding the low-power Bluetooth wireless communications technology to be an excellent enabler for small, inexpensive robots that could serve as proof-of-concept demonstrations for collective machine intelligence and "self-deploying" sensor networks. Scientists at the Swiss ...


  • Dynamic Lighting System Colors 3-D Environments

  • The Expressive Lighting Engine (ELE) is a dynamic, automatic lighting system that can enhance the video game experience for users as well as accelerate game development. ELE is the brainchild of Penn State School of Information Sciences and Technology assistant professor Seif El-Nasr, who ...


  • Domestic Bliss Through Mechanical Marvels?

  • Robot technology has arrived at a watershed moment in which it has started to migrate from industrial and military settings into the home. Experts expect demand for domestic robots that function as caregivers, assistants, and companions to explode as baby boomers approach their autumn years and ...


  • Code Name: Geekfun

  • It is typical of the tech industry that products which boast whimsical, cool-sounding code names in their development phase are marketed under less colorful, humdrum brands. Most other industries, by contrast, use mundane appellations for products in development only to roll them out commercially ...


  • Paper or Mouse-Click? What's on Computers Is Easier to Find, Study Shows

  • Participants in a survey from the University of Washington's Information School indicated that managing and retrieving paper-based information is more troublesome than computerized information. Over 50 percent of the 219 respondents reported that they lost track of a paper document at least once ...


  • Cooking Up a Digital Future

  • Concocting futuristic kitchen technologies is the goal of MIT's Counter Intelligence Research initiative, whose areas of focus include smart appliances and more durable equipment. Concepts being researched include devices such as a sensor-studded plastic container that is aware of its ...


  • Five Photons Linked

  • A team of international researchers has entangled five photons in a quantum computing setup that would be able to check for errors and transmit information through a distributed network. Quantum computers would require more stringent error-checking schemes than are used in traditional ...


  • Bringing Down Communication Barriers for the Hard of Hearing

  • The IST program-funded Synface project coordinated by KTH in Sweden seeks to enhance telephone communications for people with hearing difficulties using software that produces a computer-generated face whose lips move in sync with the caller's speech. The software can be installed on a garden ...


  • When E-Mail Points the Way Down the Rabbit Hole

  • Spam is a runaway technology phenomenon that focuses on better understanding human interests, according to academics and spam experts. Spam and technologies to counter it develop quickly, but are not developing in the traditional economic sense where the aim is to gain market share; ...


  • Fund Cyber Infrastructure

  • An Aug. 12 memo from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy indicates that supercomputing and cyber infrastructure will be the most pressing concerns for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program in fiscal ...


  • A Better Distorted View

  • Readable cartogram maps based on population data can be generated rapidly on a computer using mathematics employed to describe diffusion, according to University of Michigan physicists Mark E.J. Newman and Michael T. Gastner, who detail their approach in the May 18 edition of Proceedings of ...


  • The Short Life, Public Execution, and (Secret) Resurrection of Total Information Awareness

  • The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA) Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, touted as an initiative to detect terrorist activity by mining public and private transactional databases, raised fears of citizen surveillance that led to its termination by Congress, though ...


    Volume 6, Issue 689: Wednesday,  September 1, 2004

  • Reining in Tech

  • The entertainment industry learned its lesson from Napster and is now going after threatening technologies even before they are actually made into real products: The music recording industry is asking the FCC to disallow high-definition digital radio (HD radio) makers from installing automatic ...


  • Battle of the Ballot Heats Up

  • Despite careful monitoring of elections between now and Nov. 2 by voting watchdogs to avoid the pitfalls that dogged the 2000 presidential election, ElectionLine.org director Doug Chapin is convinced that the 2004 race will be just as quarrelsome, simply by the fact that so many more people are ...


  • Bit by Bit Computers Correct Us

  • Essays and tests are being graded by computer programs imbued with artificial intelligence that uses pattern recognition techniques, although experts caution that such programs can miss the finer points of writing, such as relevance and context. Designers and advocates counter that ...


  • Computers: Scientific Friend or Foe?

  • The growing presence of computers and technology is opening up new avenues of scientific research while simultaneously raising the risk of both intentional and unintentional scientific misconduct or fraud. The National Cancer Institute's John Weinstein notes that scientists have become highly ...


  • Humanising the Internet With Virtual Companions

  • France-based La Cantoche Production has earned a nomination for this year's IST Prize for its Living Actor technology, which eases the creation and implementation of 3D interactive characters to enhance the online experience. The software, based on high performance compression algorithms ...


  • Fab Labs Bring "Personal Fabrication" to People Around the World

  • MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) is deploying "fab labs" so that people around the world can avail themselves of the technology to fabricate practically anything from cheap and widely available materials in order to tackle local challenges. "Instead of bringing information technology to ...


  • University Challenge

  • Universities are constantly monitoring industry and technology trends, and struggling to keep their curriculum up to date, according to experts in Australia. Murdoch University professor Duane Varan travels to the United States three times each year to check up on the latest technologies ...


  • The Socialization of Collaboration

  • Technologies such as email, instant messaging, and Web conferencing have played major roles in the acceleration of business speed, increased competitiveness, and the transformation of communications, writes IBM Fellow Irene Greif. She observes that individuals' reliance on social ...


  • Is Encryption Doomed?

  • Scientists at the Crypto conference last month announced flaws in the MD5 algorithm, the latest round in a cycle of developing and breaking codes that seems to go on perpetually. But researchers are also looking at a 30-year-old mathematical challenge that could possibly end this cycle by ...


  • Distributive Computing Spreads Out

  • The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) launched by UC Berkeley researchers is an Internet computer program that allows people to divvy up their PCs' idle computing power between as many distributive computing projects as they desire, which can range from the search for ...


  • Interview: Web Standards Need Support

  • Ilog head of products Jean-Francois Abramatic, who was recently reappointed to the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) advisory board, reports that the Internet has changed significantly since the W3C's formation in 1994: Whereas 10 years ago the Web was relatively small and only had a few major ...


  • Computers Add Sophistication, But Don't Resolve Climate Debate

  • There are many competing computerized climate models that use different techniques, but Ronald J. Stouffer of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory says these models outline the same conclusion: That world temperatures are rising sharply, primarily to human influences such as the ...


  • The Downloading of the President '04

  • Electronic voting machines are drawing fire because of their vulnerability to tampering, susceptibility to bugs, and their lack of an audit trail. But of more concern to people such as former ACLU Miami President Lida Rodriguez-Taseff are whether solid e-voting procedures and practices will ...


  • Speech Applications Voice New Strengths

  • The evaluation of interactive voice response (IVR) systems by organizations entails them choosing between Voice XML (VXML) products and Microsoft's Speech Application Language Tag (SALT) products as the basis for their speech application platforms, both of which bundle speech recognition, ...


  • In Search of Better Video Search

  • TV news broadcasters, PC users, and intelligence analysts are just some of the people who could benefit from video search technologies being developed by IBM, Microsoft, and academic researchers. IBM recently demonstrated Marvel, a prototype computer system that employs statistical methods to ...


  • Tests Reveal E-Passport Security Flaw

  • The first interoperability test between electronic-passport chips and readers was a terrible muddle, but vendors say future government testing will allow them to polish their products. Last month, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) performed the interoperability ...


  • Organized Crime Invades Cyberspace

  • Antivirus researchers say a surprising increase in virus and worm activity is linked to an underground economy in identity theft and spam. F-Secure antivirus research director Mikko Hypponen says the connection is not very new, though until recently the writers were thought to be only a rogue ...


  • Just a Note to Say...

  • New location-aware services are emerging thanks to the advent of new global positioning system (GPS)-enabled tools. Natalia Marmasse of the MIT Media Laboratory has developed comMotion, a system that can sift through data collected by the user and relay it in the appropriate location-based ...


  • MDA: A Motivated Manifesto

  • IBM Fellow and Unified Modeling Language co-founder Grady Booch writes that the increasing need for systems that operate round the clock is boosting the value of Model Driven Architecture (MDA), which offers a way to design and build systems that can continue to function even when components are ...


     
                                                                                              
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