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June 14, 2006

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Welcome to the June 14, 2006 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.

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Report: High Schools Fail to Meet Needs of Tech-Driven World
TechWeb (06/12/06) Jones, K.C.

The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has reported that students are required to take computer science in just 26 percent of U.S. schools. While many schools note that students do not have room in their schedules for computing courses, the misperception that computers are simply tools for browsing the Web or playing video games also keeps enrollment down. "We all need to go beyond thinking this is just about the computer as a tool to help us learn other subjects--it's really about programming, hardware design, networks, graphics, and a myriad number of other elements," said Anita Verno, curriculum chair of CSTA, an advisory group created last year by ACM to promote computer science education to policymakers, educators, and business leaders. The report outlines a plan for implementing computer science programs in high schools, and argues for the importance of giving students the skills and training they will need to succeed in a technology-driven workforce. "The United States cannot ignore the fact that there will be a shortage of qualified candidates for the 1.5 million computer and information technology jobs by 2012," said CSTA President Chris Stephenson. The report highlights successful programs in Canada, Israel, Scotland, South Africa, and the United States. It also details a national curriculum and implementation plan. For more information on CSTA, visit http://csta.acm.org/
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Some Tech Companies Cut R&D Budgets
USA Today (06/14/06) P. B1; Kessler, Michelle

Several prominent U.S. technology companies are cutting research and development funding, giving rise to concern that the country could lose its competitive advantage. A recent survey of leading technology companies found that in the most recent fiscal year they spent nearly $92 billion on R&D, though many are facing contracting budgets and having to do more with fewer resources. The portion of revenue that technology companies spent on R&D declined for the fourth straight year. The announcements of budget cuts came from some of the industry's major players, including Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft. "It's not a good sign for the future innovation capacity of the U.S. economy," said Kei Koizumi of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, noting also that inflation is outpacing federal research funding. The United States outspends other countries on research and development, but nations such as China, which is projected to boost R&D spending by 28 percent from 2004 to 2006, are closing the gap. Basic research can be hard to justify in private industry, as a 2005 survey found that there is no direct correlation between R&D spending and increased sales, profit, or investor return.
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Internet Pioneers: VOIP Wiretapping Complicated
IDG News Service (06/13/06) Gross, Grant

Mere days after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a ruling that voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers must be in compliance with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) issued a study warning that adhering to such requirements would bring new security problems to the Internet. The ITAA report says not only would fulfilling the mandate introduce major security risks, barring a vast retooling of the Internet, but also impose additional set-up and maintenance fees that would likely hold up U.S. Internet innovations. Sun Microsystems chief security officer Whitfield Diffie said the lack of control VoIP providers have over how their calls are directed online makes tracking VoIP calls more problematic than tracking traditional phone calls. Diffie said reducing a VoIP wiretapping system's security risks would involve a "major research and development effort." ITAA study co-author and TCP/IP co-creator Vinton Cerf said the enforcement of FCC CALEA rules would entail the monitoring of numerous Internet applications, and he cautioned, "I don't see any way to constrain or restrict the target of the intercept to simply voice, because, in fact, every application would have to be effectively treated in the same fashion. There's no way to tell what the bits mean in the packets that are flowing."
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The Latest Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques Revealed at SIGGRAPH 2006
Business Wire (06/13/06)

SIGGRAPH 2006 has accepted 86 papers for its Paper Program, which will run from July 31 to Aug. 3, 2006, during the conference. The latest and best research in computer graphics and interactive techniques comes from researchers at institutions such as Princeton University, Microsoft Research, Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, and Stanford University, and from countries around the world. "The Papers Program is a premier forum for disseminating ground-breaking, provocative, and important new work in computer graphics," says Julie Dorsey, Papers Chair from Yale University. "The program covers a wide range of topics including animation, modeling, rendering, imaging, matting, image manipulation; capture--of shape, appearance, and motion--and synthesis; and physically-based simulation of natural phenomena, such as fluids." Researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the University of Toronto have submitted "Removing Camera Shake From a Single Photograph," which offers an algorithm for removing blurred images. In "Drag-and-Drop Pasting," researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Microsoft Research Asia, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed a method for outlining yourself to become part of a desired cinematic scene. Other titles include "Photo Tourism: Exploring Photo Collections in 3D," "Procedural Modeling of Buildings," "Image-Based Material Editing," "Capturing and Animating Skin Deformation in Human Motion," and "Real-Time Video Abstraction." ACM SIGGRAPH is the sponsor of the conference, which is expected to draw some 25,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from around the world to Boston for technical and creative programs, and exhibitions. For more information about SIGGRAPH, or to register, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2006/
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Administration to Innovators: Database not Dollars
Technology Review (06/14/06) Bullis, Kevin

While President Bush's 2007 budget calls for increased spending for research in physical sciences, such as nanotechnology and energy programs, life sciences will suffer from cutbacks. Funding has also dried up for new research in the Advanced Technology Program (ATP), and the 2007 budget actually phases the program out altogether. The ATP, which is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), should be replaced by a database that provides researchers with information on federally funded research, according to Robert Cresmanti, who oversees NIST. Cresmanti described the government's vision in a recent interview, claiming that ATP was too low of a government priority to garner funding in a cash-strapped budget. While he admits that eliminating the ATP could make it harder to develop new ideas into commercial products, he believes that funding is only part of the equation. Offering novice researchers, who have little experience securing research funding, access to a database of federally funded research programs would provide information that could help win over angel investors or venture capitalists. Cresmanti believes the current system by which researchers report their work to the government is inadequate, calling instead for a database that would be searchable and distributable, providing details about the nature of experiments and the overall success of past projects. That way, Cresmanti says, a researcher could approach a venture capitalist with a well-documented description of previous research that his project would build on. The venture capitalist might then agree to give the researcher seed money to go visit the people who had conducted the original experiment, so that he would not have to reinvent the wheel to bring a product to market.
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Hiding in Plain Sight, Google Expands Its Power
New York Times (06/14/06) P. A1; Markoff, John; Hansell, Saul

As competition with Microsoft and Yahoo! intensifies, Google is quietly building two new data centers, each the size of a football field, on the banks of the Columbia River in The Dalles, Ore. Microsoft and Yahoo! have both announced that they will build new data centers as well, though Google, which already has a considerable lead in computing firepower, will significantly expand its global resources and further solidify its position atop the market with the new project. Google's existing global network of computers bundled together, known as the Googleplex, is already a singular achievement, says Danny Hillis, founder of Applied Minds. "Google has constructed the biggest computer in the world, and it's a hidden asset," Hillis said. The location of its new data center, which has been a tightly held corporate secret, will enable Google to tap into the expansive fiber-optic networking infrastructure left over from the dot-com era. In a sign of the intensity of the competition between search engines, Google is still pressuring local officials to adhere to the confidentiality agreements that it had them sign last year. Though Google is best known as a search engine, the scale of its project indicates a broader ambition to solidify its position as the global leader in data processing. "Google wants to raise the barriers to entry by making the baseline service very expensive," said Brian Reid, a former Google executive who now works for the Internet Systems Consortium. In 2001, when Google served roughly 70 million Web pages a day, it had 8,000 computers; by 2003, it had 100,000. Observers estimate that Google now has more than 450,000 terminals in its arsenal distributed in data centers throughout the world. Microsoft currently has 200,000 servers powering its Internet computing network, though it hopes that number will grow to 800,000 by 2011.
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Prodded by Consumers, the Computer Industry Slowly Grows Greener
Wall Street Journal (06/14/06) P. B1; Gomes, Lee

Consumer demand for longer-lasting batteries and cooler server rooms has pushed the technology industry to focus on energy efficiency, as well as signifying a broader trend of heightened environmental awareness. While today's CPUs run cooler and efficient LCD screens are now in widespread use, new inefficiencies continually arise. A new federal energy regulation requires that power supplies convert at least 80 percent of the AC power they take in into DC power that the computer can use. The average efficiency today is between 60 percent and 65 percent. Another inefficiency is the DC converters that charge portable electronic devices such as cell phones and music players. Even when the device they power is unplugged, the chargers can draw as much as 10 watts of current. These so-called "wall warts" are similar to a growing number of "always on" devices, such as a microwave that perpetually consumes power to run its clock. Typical U.S. households can have as many as 100 of these devices, which are the target of a recent California bill that over the next two years will greatly restrict the use of products that consume more than 1 watt of standby power. When it comes to computers, many of the benefits of improved energy efficiencies are negated by the increasing amount of time people are spending using their computers, according to Bruce Nordman of the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. Nordman believes vendors should design products that can power down most of their parts when not in use, while keeping just awake enough to act on an incoming message.
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Translator Lets Computers "Understand" Experiments
New Scientist (06/07/06) Simonite, Tom

Researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales have developed a technology to translate scientific reports into a machine-readable language that could revolutionize scientific endeavor by enabling computers to analyze and compare the results of experiments in different disciplines. Computers already prepare data for analysis and perform complex calculations, but they have a difficult time understanding natural language, said Aberystwyth researcher Ross King, one of the developers of the new EXPO system. "If lots of scientific papers were written in this way you could very quickly see whether an experiment has contradictions or agreements with other work," said King. "It would also allow much more sophisticated search engines to find what you're looking for." EXPO represents each stage of an experiment and the relationships between those stages with an ontology, or descriptive framework, as well as providing methods for defining a hypothesis, the analysis of results, and the conclusion reached. While previous applications have developed similar representations for specialized data, the EXPO framework is the first attempt to create a common representation for different sciences. The researchers have already tested the system to compare the experimental procedures used in a paper on evolutionary science with a paper written on particle physics. EXPO enables computers to identify similarities in the research methods of experiments that might otherwise have gone unnoticed: Expo discovered that the physics and evolution papers both used an analysis technique known as a statistical branching tool. With computers able to interpret the methods of analysis used in experiments across multiple scientific disciplines, researchers could build on the work of previous experiments and make better use of existing knowledge.
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'Prettier World' of Computer Modeling Provides Key Details, Says Sandia Researcher
Sandia National Laboratories (06/12/06)

Computer-generated nanoscale simulations produce more detailed results than experiments, according to Sandia National Laboratories researcher Eliot Fang, attempting to refute the perception that computer models are generally unrealistic. Fang took issue with the widely held notion that overly generic inputs are unable to produce simulations containing the hidden details that are revealed in experiments. "There's another, prettier world beyond what the SEM [scanning electron microscope] shows, and it's called simulation," Fang said in a speech delivered to members of the Materials Research Society. "When you look through a microscope, you don't see some things that modeling and simulation show." Fang said the increased impact of simulation on scientific research is the natural product of advances in computing power. Sandia researchers do not discount the importance of experiment, but the ability to run simulations with billions of atoms has led to discoveries that would never have come from lab testing. In one simulation, the computer found that the tip of an atomic force microscope picked up a small amount of material while examining the surface of a microsystem, a discovery that altered the properties of the surface but was unexplainable in laboratory experiments. Computer simulations create an experimental design by linking various size and time scales, making choices about what details to include by asking technical questions that ensure that the simulation is consistent with experimental data and other models. Automatic models can now inform scientists if their technical requirements have been met, saving the trouble of making such comparisons manually. Computer simulations can also be cost-efficient, as they can eliminate the redundancies that occur when repeating the same calculations in multiple experiments.
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The Disappearing Chinese Engineers
Inside Higher Ed (06/13/06) Epstein, David

More than six months after releasing a report that touched off a nationwide panic over the shortage of engineering graduates produced in the United States compared with China and India, the National Academies no longer adheres to its own statistics. The National Academies modified its figures in February, after the report already helped prompt President Bush to call for a sweeping plan to improve science education. The revised report lowered the number of Chinese engineers from 600,000 to 350,000, this time including only those "engineers, computer scientists, and information technologists with 4-year degrees." The figures were revised when Duke researchers issued a report finding that graduates from two- and three-year certification programs were included, some of whom were no better trained than automotive mechanics, and that some numbers in the study were simply incorrect. Though the numbers that sparked Bush's American Competitiveness Initiative may have been faulty, it is generally agreed that the National Academies' report has helped raise awareness about scientific education, and that, even if the situation is not as dire as first reported, the study's conclusions are still applicable. Vivek Wadhwa, one of the authors of the Duke report, believes the one downside to the initial report was that it prompted some engineering students to question whether they should pursue a career in a field that seemed bound to be dominated by another country.
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Engineering Careers Begin Here, NSF, Teachers Hope
Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) (06/13/06) Plumb, Taryn

Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass., was the site of an engineering workshop that was designed to attract more local high school and community college students to science, math, and engineering. Approximately 20 high schools and colleges across the state are participating in the three-year Power Up! project organized by the Boston Museum of Science, and backed by the National Science Foundation. "This is all about trying to get young people interested in careers in engineering and technology," said Kathy Rentsch, dean of business and technology at Quinsigamond. Jim Heffernan, coordinator of electronics and electromechanical technology at Quinsigamond, told the students in attendance that job prospects in the engineering field are good, even though the pace of innovation and technology may mean that an excellent year could be followed by a cutback. The students were also treated to demonstrations of state-of-the-art technology and robotics, and presentations on micro-electromechanical systems. In a role-play exercise, students gained a better understanding of how a wireless system and computer science benefit a soldier, high school teacher, a stay-at-home parent, or a doctor. Ronald Sandler, a professor of philosophy and religion at Northeastern University, stressed the importance of engineering by noting that technology, along with genetics and nature, shapes human experience, and adding that "it's a major part of what it means to be a human being."
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Carnegie Mellon University Humanoids to Provide Commentary for RoboCup
Carnegie Mellon News (06/08/06)

Humanoid robots will serve as commentators for the robot soccer competitions that get underway in Bremen, Germany, on June 14. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's CORAL (Cooperate, Observe, Reason, Act and Learn) laboratory have developed new applications for a pair of 2 1/2-foot-tall robots from Sony, which will enable them to follow a soccer ball with their electronic eyes and comment on the action during a soccer game. Robocop 2006 will pit about 350 teams of four-legged robots, also developed by Sony, from 40 countries against one another, in an effort to advance artificial intelligence, robotics, and research in related fields. The robot Sango will be restrained in its explanation of rules, analysis of a team's advancement of the ball, and assessment of a foul, while Ami will offer a more animated approach to commentary for spectators, as the humanoids use synthetic voices and deliver text in both English and German. The Game Controller that will communicate a referee's calls to the robot soccer players will also deliver wireless communication to Sango and Ami. The robots cannot see the entire playing field, so having them share information about what they see and what they will say, to prevent them from repeating or contradicting each other, was a challenge. "We need to map the input from their vision sensors, combined with the wireless information from the Game Controller, into a recognition of the events that are occurring. And then that awareness of events has to be translated into language," says CORAL head Manuela Veloso.
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Faster Wi-Fi Hits Hurdles
Wall Street Journal (06/13/06) P. B3; Clark, Don

As companies race to deploy devices with a faster version of Wi-Fi that has yet to be standardized, the various products are often built to different interpretations of unfinished specifications and cannot communicate with each other at their top intended speeds. The Wi-Fi Alliance is not endorsing any products until a formal standard is reached, which is not expected to happen before next year. "We've taken a firm stance," said the alliance's Frank Hanzlik. "We really think there is a lot of room for customers to be confused." The conflict lies at the core of technology development: Companies are eager to beat their competitors to market, but most at the same time recognize the importance of standardization to enable interoperability and keep prices down. Companies look to an increase in the speed of the current 802.11n standard to drive a new wave of spending on laptops and other hardware. The new technology will increase current theoretical top speeds from 54 Mbps to 270 Mbps, though the average speed is more likely to be around 100 Mbps to 150 Mbps. After long delays, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has released a draft specification, which several companies have incorporated into their products, assuming that they will be able to work in any changes made in the final standard relatively easily, though they are not guaranteeing that their products will be upgradeable. Many predict that the final standard will be very different form the draft specification, however, and that companies will have to significantly retool their chips to accommodate the improvements. The networking chips based on the informal specification, known as DraftN chips, often run at lower speeds than hoped, and the companies that are deploying them are likely to keep the technology secret from their competitors, further inhibiting interoperability.
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A Common Approach to Accessibility for All
IST Results (06/12/06)

IST is funding an initiative to develop a practical and common method for benchmarking and evaluating the accessibility of Web sites. The project is the work of the EU Web Accessibility Benchmarking (WAB) Cluster at the Bartimeus Accessibility Foundation in the Netherlands, and three other IST projects. The European Internet Accessibility Observatory (EIAO) project is developing a prototype for widescale Web accessibility benchmarking, while Support EAM is pushing the European Commission and its member states to embrace the "eAccessibility" quality mark for goods and services, which would bring the region in line with the standards developed within the WAB cluster and accepted internationally by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). BenToWeb (Benchmarking Tools and Methods for the Web) will offer new software modules and methodologies for Web accessibility that address such factors as color contrast, low vision, color deficiency, consistency of navigation elements, and language simplicity. Ultimately, researchers are trying to determine the best way to design and evaluate an accessible site, and develop standards and guidelines that can work for the entire region. The WAB cluster is expected to unveil the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology (UWEM) 1.0 in July online for free, and it will be consistent with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines developed by W3C. Project coordinator Eric Velleman says Web accessibility impacts everyone, adding that adopting W3C's guidelines will make a Web site easy to read in screen readers, PDAs, mobile phones as a result.
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H-1B Expansion Draws Support
Washington Technology (06/12/06) Vol. 21, No. 11, P. 12; Lipowicz, Alice

The Senate's recent move to broaden the H-1B visa program has renewed the already contentious debate in all corners of the IT industry, as employees fear that their jobs may not be secure while technology companies bemoan the shortage of qualified U.S. workers. The Senate's provision, which must now clear the House before the broader immigration reform bill is debated by both chambers, would expand the number of H-1B visas available annually from 65,000 to 115,000, while allowing for the possibility of annual increases of up to 15 percent in the future. Roughly half of the H-1B visas are awarded to computer workers, with the rest going to skilled workers from other sectors. Industry leaders such as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates have lobbied extensively for an expansion of the H-1B program to safeguard U.S. competitiveness. "I applaud the Senate for recognizing that U.S. competitiveness depends on our ability to recruit and retain the world's best minds, no matter where they are from," Gates said. Some IT leaders have hinted that they would outsource jobs overseas if the cap was not adjusted. IT workers, meanwhile, protest that the program floods the job market with foreigners who drive down salaries, particularly for older and entry-level workers. "We think expansion of the H-1B would devastate our careers," said American Programmers Guild President Kim Berry. Berry referenced a 2005 studying finding that H-1B workers receive an average of $13,000 less in compensation than comparably placed American IT workers. Other studies have found that the data on the subject is too incomplete to draw firm conclusions. Though the H-1B visa program has been limited to 65,000 since 1990, Congress increased the annual cap in fiscal 1999 and 2000, and again from fiscal 2001 to 2003, before reinstating the 65,000 mark in 2004.
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When Looks Are No Longer Enough
Economist Technology Quarterly (06/06) Vol. 379, No. 8481, P. 7

Though the graphics in video games have improved dramatically since the crude, pixilated forms of the 1980s, developers are finding that looks are not everything, and that they must make the characters' behavior more complex, according to researchers working to enhance video games with artificial intelligence. Despite the improved graphics, the player's experience has seen little improvement in the last few years, according to Michael Mateas, founder of the Experimental Game Lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology, adding that artificial intelligence offers a host of potential improvements. Better graphics are highlighting the functional areas of gameplay that remain primitive, exacerbating user demand for more sophisticated behavior. The Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment conference will meet later this month, bringing together academic and industry leaders to increase the flow of ideas between the two sectors. Historically, there has been a wide chasm between artificial intelligence researchers and video game developers, though that gap has closed somewhat in recent years. First-person shooter (FPD) games, for instance, now use sophisticated planning systems, developed in academic labs, to direct the behavior of the player's enemies; enemy activity used to be pre-scripted. "Instead of scripts and hand-coded behavior, the AI monsters in an FPS can reason from first principles," said Mateas. This new approach adds considerably to a character's functionality. "Rather than just moving between predefined spots, the characters in a war game can dynamically shift, depending on what's happening," said Fiona Sperry of Electronic Arts. University researchers are borrowing from video games as well, as professors have found that commercial games that can easily be altered or scripted let students learn in a flexible programming environment.
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The Future of E-mail
Computerworld (06/12/06) Anthes, Gary

Security applications such as scanning and filtering software, coupled with sound usage policies, do a fairly good job of protecting email, though new threats will emerge as users begin to adopt instant messaging, blogging, and other communication channels in greater numbers. Researchers looking beyond stopgap security applications envision bold new uses for email, and predict that the threat from malware will eventually subside. The battle against spam, phishing, and malware has essentially been fought to a draw, says BBN Technologies' Roy Tomlinson, who sent the world's first network email message in 1971. Curbing the onslaught of email threats is not so much a technical problem as it is a question of competing business interests, Tomlinson said. "The players have vested interests in the various approaches, and they are fighting tooth and nail to get their approaches adopted. It's not the end users who are the bottleneck here," he said. An all-inclusive email security platform would use a machine filter as a first defense, and then reply to suspected spam messages with an email asking the sender to verify his identity, according to researcher Joshua Goodman. Many experts believe that technology will only be able to solve part of the problem, however, and that regulatory action will be necessary to fully eradicate email threats. Though unlikely to replace email, emerging technologies complicate the security picture, leaving IT departments scrambling to develop comprehensive usage policies and security applications for blogging, instant messaging, and other new communications platforms. As more companies begin to archive email, researchers are developing new technologies to make that information retrievable. Companies that can mine email archives will open a trove of information that could help them learn more about their employees and send more targeted messages to their customers.
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Get the Google Look
InformationWeek (06/12/06)No. 1093, P. 51; Babcock, Charles

Ajax's ability to produce rapid, practical, and sticky Web sites is arousing the interest of businesses, but the toolset's adoption is happening at a more gradual pace because of the many options that business technology managers must consider. The various Ajax toolkits available are often designed for different purposes and have different levels of long-term or short-term potential. Not all problems associated with Ajax development can be addressed with toolkits, and it might be in the best interest for those who do not wish to cultivate their own Ajax expertise to wait and see which tools and toolkits will survive a market shakeout. On the other hand, companies that want to make their applications quick, responsive, and interactive need to choose and deploy Ajax solutions now. Such businesses perceive close-to-real-time Web site response facilitated via Ajax-based applications as a competitive variable for customer-oriented Web applications. Companies that delay such a move or wait for the emergence of open source toolkits will be trailing early adopters. But firms with time to spare can wait for efforts such as OpenAjax to establish well-defined standards and guarantee improved compatibility between Ajax tools.
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Making Vehicles Safer by Making Them Smarter
EDN (06/08/06) Vol. 51, No. 12, P. 49; Cravotta, Robert

Many emerging electronic safety features for automobiles start off as convenience features in high-end models, and it is openly acknowledged that convenience and safety systems can improve the safety, ease, and relaxation of driving. Electronic systems are designed to shoulder some of the driver's cognitive burden, and the implication is that these systems might be able to prevent accidents by calling a driver's attention to critical details. A threat's significance and timing determines how a vehicle's active and preventive safety systems respond: The systems may alert the driver at the earliest possible moment, warn the driver if he or she does not react to the information, and actively help or intercede to prevent an accident or reduce damage. Crash avoidance requires systems that possess the capability to identify potential crash indicators seconds before a crash takes place, and enabling the safety system to construe the driver's intent and associate that intent with the behavior of the vehicle is critical in preventing the system from taking predictive action according to inaccurate and false deductions. Systems that anticipate and recognize potential threats much earlier must place a greater value on inferring the driver's intent, which can be a tough challenge. To ensure the accuracy of the inferences the safety systems make, input from multiple sensors and types of sensors is needed, and combining different sensor types to cross-correlate redundant information via "data fusion" can help the systems make more informed decisions. Deploying a human-machine interface (HMI) may constitute the biggest obstacle for electronic assist, safety, and convenience features, because the interface must guarantee that the operation of each predictive, active, and preventive system conforms to the driver's expectations as well as his or her cognitive and ergonomic parameters. The growing autonomy of automobiles will allow drivers to primarily concentrate on reaching a destination rather than focusing on the mechanics of the vehicle's operation.
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