Association for Computing Machinery
Timely Topics for IT Professionals

ACM TechNews (HTML) Read the TechNews Online at: http://technews.acm.org
ACM TechNews
January 3, 2007

MemberNet
The ACM Professional Development Centre
Unsubscribe

Welcome to the January 3, 2007 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.


HEADLINES AT A GLANCE:

 

Q&A: E-Voting Issues Still There
IDG News Service (01/02/07) Gross, Grant

ACM U.S. Policy Committee Chairman Eugene Spafford, executive director of the Purdue University Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, says much work remains to ensure the accuracy and reliability of e-voting systems. Spafford says that all e-voting equipment should have independent audit capabilities such as paper printouts by the next election. "The goal should be to design systems carefully with the fault levels in mind and an appropriate way of using paper, if that's the mechanism," he says. "If you look at it as a design issue, there are many ways of using paper appropriately that don't have the disadvantages." Spafford named optical scan machines as an appropriate use of paper ballots. While some ideas involving a cryptographic algorithm that outputs a cryptographic receipt have been put forth, he understands that most voters would not understand such technology and would have to take another person's word that their vote is both correct and confidential: "The method of having a paper record is a technology people can immediately grasp and understand. That's really important. We want not only to protect the vote, but we want people to feel comfortable that their vote matters." Spafford also says that many officials do not understand that reliability is just as big of a problem as security. He notes the recent Florida House of Representatives race, in which around 18,000 voters who voted in other races did not vote, seems to be the result of poor design or a machine failure, not a security issue. For more information about ACM's e-voting activities, visit http://www.acm.org/usacm
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Programmers to Blame for Hard-to-Use Software
Reuters (01/02/07) Von Ahn, Lisa

David Platt, author of "Why Software Sucks ... And What You Can Do About It," blames the annoying elements of today's most popular programs on programmers who value control at the expense of usability. Some of his biggest pet-peeves are the message boxes that pop up to tell a user that their attempt to perform a function has failed, and gives them no choice but to click "OK." Platt says, "No, it is not OK with me that this operation didn't work and the program can't explain why." Platt says that even though developers prefer control over every aspect of an application, users only want an application that is simple to use. Complexity leads to problems, according to Platt, who notes that instructions for using more complex features "increase the possibility of crashing errors and security vulnerabilities in the same way as more moving parts on any mechanical device render it less reliable." Platt urges users to contact software companies with any concerns, and plans on forming a group called "It Just Works" that will congratulate good programming and call out the bad. The Software & Information Industry Association's David Thomas says that problems in many applications are a result of customers, especially big corporations or overly vocal people, requesting too many features. "You don't want your customers to design your product," he says. "They're really bad at it." He thinks Internet-based software will benefit customers because vendors will monitor their use and tweak the product to best fit their needs.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Copyright Lawsuit Names Leading Technology Firms
New York Times (01/03/07) P. C3; Markoff, John; Helft, Miguel

Intertainer, a pioneering Internet video company that went out of business five years ago, has filed a copyright lawsuit claiming infringement by Apple, Google, and Napster of a 2005 patent concerning the sale of audio and video from many sources over the Internet. Intertainer was formed in 1995 by Jonathan T. Taplin and two other Hollywood executives and created technology that allowed the distribution of on-demand video over cable and phone lines for use on TV sets and PCs, with investments from Intel Microsoft, Sony, NBC, and Comcast among others. Taplin says his company was a pioneer in on-demand Internet entertainment before Google was even conceived. Intertainer was experiencing growing business in 2002, with 125,000 subscribers on the Internet and 35,000 through Comcast cable, but the company closed shop and filed a suit against Movielink, which it claimed was being used by movie studios to fix prices in order to drive Intertainer out of business; but the antitrust investigation was dropped in 2004. Although the lawsuit will be tried in Texas, which is known for favoring patent holders, many feel that the recent filing date (2001) of the patent will not provide a strong enough case; Real Networks had already introduced its digital streaming media service by then. Santa Clara University School of Law's High-Tech Law Institute director Eric Goldman says, "There are so many of these lawsuits nowadays. It is hard to figure out which ones are a serious threat and which ones are not." He compares the ambiguity of the patent in question to those of the dot-com days, and calls the technology it outlines "pretty basic to the architecture of digital content delivery nowadays."
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Q&A With Six IT Rock Stars
Computerworld (01/01/07) Anthes, Gary; Hoffman, Thomas

The major advances of 2006 and projected milestones for 2007 were discussed by six leading IT pioneers: Google chief Internet evangelist Vinton Cerf, Ethernet co-inventor Robert Metcalfe, UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock, Electronic Data Systems executive Charles Feld, University of Southern California professor Warren Bennis, and "Silicon Dreams" author Robert Lucky. When asked what IT stories surprised them last year, Kleinrock and Lucky cited the buyout of YouTube by Google, which is indicative of how the Internet is empowering people on the fringes and nurturing major innovation, mainly by young people who would never find employment in traditional media. Bennis observed that the spread of wikis is helping expand the possibility of people outside the business organization supplying business intelligence, and that cell phones are fueling tribalism at the global level and enabling a new way for people to "huddle" in times of anxiety, especially in the workplace. Cerf mentioned the popularity of YouTube, social networks, and multiplayer games, while Metcalfe also cited the social networking boom and Feld said he was surprised that the rate of business modernization increased so quickly. Cerf expects the biggest IT story of 2007 to be an explosion in the number of Internet users thanks to a vast rise in Internet-enabled mobile devices, and the adaptation challenge this will present to Internet application service providers. Metcalfe thinks video, not Microsoft's Vista, will be the biggest IT story of the new year, and Bennis anticipates the increasing diversification of leadership and students. Kleinrock foresees major growth in phone-screen applications and the advent of location-aware applications for itinerants and their mobile devices, while Feld predicts a narrowing of the knowledge and proficiency gap between IT and business owners. Lucky thinks Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop could make a big difference in 2007.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Vibrating Vest Could Send Alerts to Soldiers
New Scientist (01/03/07) Simonite, Tim

MIT researchers are developing a vest that uses a grid of vibrating motors to transmit commands to soldiers in situations where radios can not be used. The vest is made of spandex and contains 16 small vibrating motors that rest against the wearer's back. These motors are connected to a control unit that links to a controlling computer via a wireless transceiver. Unique commands, a sort of Braille-for-the-back, are expressed through different patterns of vibration in certain motors; for example, the four motors at the corners vibrating steadily would signal the wearer to stop. The army is "interested in a way to communicate simple commands in situations when the hands are doing other things, or radios can't be used," explains Lynette Jones, the MIT engineer leading the research team. So far, 15 different signals have been developed that the vest can convey to its wearer. In tests, only one out of five volunteers misinterpreted any signals sent to him through the vest, and this volunteer only misinterpreted one signal. Similar tactile displays have been proposed for use in a pilot's seat or astronaut's suit. Glasgow University tactile display researcher Steven Wall says that tactile displays "use a different channel of communication, they don't take up the very valuable channel of visual processing." However, the current model in development must take into account the need for silence, as sounds travel a good deal in the desert at night. Researchers suppose that this technology could also help direct blind people around an urban area.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Speaking Plastic Microchip May Be the Last Word in Technology
Financial Times (01/03/07) P. 1; Marsh, Peter

The U.K.'s Plastic Logic plans to build the world's only plant for fabricating semiconductors from plastic instead of silicon. A relatively cheap and simple process, similar to ink-jet printing, will be used to make the semiconductors. Plastic Logic director Hermann Hauser says the products resulting from this project "could lead to an era of truly cheap electronics in which intelligent circuitry was sewn into your clothing, for instance, to give you instructions when you put the clothes on to tell you what you are supposed to be doing during the day." Hauser claims that his company is two years ahead of the competition. Analyst Tim Bajarin calls the plant "good news" for the semiconductor industry as a whole, because it will prove the viability of plastic microchips, giving the industry a "new option" for its development over the next three decades. While not expected to surpass silicon chips, plastic chips are expected to become an important part of the market. The first products released by Plastic Logic will be lightweight, resilient display screens as thick as a credit card.
Click Here to View Full Article - Web Link to Publication Homepage
to the top


Privacy, Patents on Agenda for New Congress
IDG News Service (01/01/07) Gross, Grant

The new Democratic Congress is eager to fulfill its campaign promises and address the tech issues that the outgoing Republican Congress failed to pass legislation on. Bush's surveillance program will come under scrutiny and further legislation to protect individuals' privacy is expected. However, the Supreme Court might have pre-empted any legislation concerning patent "trolls" in its ruling that eBay could use its "buy it now" function, after the feature had been ruled to be infringing on a copyright by a lower court. The Supreme Court also instructed lower courts not to issue automatic injunctions and to consider various factors before awarding a patent injunction. Nevertheless, Congress is expected to focus on creating a system for patent review. Although federal broadband reform may receive less focus from telecoms after a December FCC ruling that made franchising easier for broadband providers looking to provide IPTV, other elements of broadband reform bills could get passed, such as allowing local governments to provide wireless broadband and reforming the Universal Service Fund. Raising the limit on H-1B visas could come as part of a push for a wide-ranging "innovations agenda," aimed at boosting science and math education, as well as funding IT training programs and broadband access for all Americans.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Inside Seagate's R&D Labs
Wired News (01/02/07) Beschizza, Rob

Seagate Research and its work on how tightly data can be stuffed onto a disk's surface, or "areal density," is striving to solve problems similar to those posed by Moore's law, as new technologies must be established to fit more data onto the same amount of space. In eight years, the lab has gone from viewing 100 GB per square inch as impossible, to placing 421 GB per square inch on a test platter, but now they may be approaching what is called the superparamagnetic limit. Seagate is doing everything it can to fight this limit, most recently by recording data perpendicular to the orientation of the media, but this approach will probably peak at 1 terabit per square inch. Seagate's goal for the next decade is to market 50 terabit per square inch technology. A method known as heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) uses lasers to heat the disk surface so drive heads can write information that will settle into a more stable state when the disk cools down. This technique can produce sizes in the tens of nanometers, with time constants of the order of 150 picoseconds. But in order for HAMR to be effective, bit-pattern media must also be advanced: "HAMR helps with the writing process," said Eric Riedel, head of interfaces and architecture at Seagate Research. "Bit patterning allows us to create the media." Soon, disk sectors will be left behind in favor of self-organized magnetic arrays that are patterned lithographically along the circumferential tracks of a platter. Seagate is also working on non-volatile, magnetic-based media, which it hopes will upset sales of flash memory.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Hearing Machines
Technology Review (01/03/07) Smaragdis, Paris

With all of the attention given to understanding the way humans perceive the world and building machines that can do the same, the sense of hearing has received relatively little attention, writes Paris Smaragdis, a research scientist at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories. Machine hearing is much more than simply understanding speech; the technology could be used to listen for survivors in the wreckage of a building, tell a soldier where gunshots are coming from, or observe breathing problems in hospital patients. But there is still "a thrillingly large number of problems awaiting exploration" into this technology because it has received little attention, and fields that have received a good deal of attention, such as "machine-learning, AI, and classical computer science algorithms are deeply rooted in a visual way of thinking that does not extend naturally to reasoning about sound," explains Smaragdis. Although we have knowledge of the ear's functioning, we still know very little about the neural signals that are responsible for audible cognition. These problems will remain, he explains, until the idea of "a hearing machine captures the public imagination." While the effort to create technology in this field is a "a fight against the unknown," Smaragdis says that researchers have been working in the field for the past few years and have made significant advances, even having produced some "relevant products in the mainstream."
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Low-Cost Laptop Could Transform Learning
Associated Press (12/31/06) Bergstein, Brian

The XO, the computer developed by the One Laptop Per Child project, is a unique take on personal computing that its creators hope will prove the merits of its minimalist design. The $150 computer is not based on folders, as nearly all created since 1984 have been; instead, "journals" let users look at a log of the work they have done rather than forcing them to remember where an item is stored. Thanks to integrated wireless networking abilities, the "neighborhood," as the XO desktop is called, shows users what other XO users are nearby and let's them communicate and collaborate. While the laptop is designed to be used an as educational tool, it can run software such as a Web browser and an RSS reader, and is equipped with a camera. Project founder Nicholas Negroponte says that "children should be making things, communicating, exploring, sharing, not running office automation tools." The programming code that makes up the basis of XO is a patchwork of pre-existing open source code. The user interface, called Sugar and available online, overcomes some of the stumbling points of Microsoft or Apple operating systems but poses its own set of intricacies to be understood. One specialist will be sent to each school receiving XOs with the task of helping students get started with the laptops, but Negroponte expects students to mostly teach themselves and each other how to use the system. While final arrangements are being made with various countries, the first shipments, expected in July, should be to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, Thailand, and the Palestinian territory.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


5 Disruptive Technologies to Watch in 2007
InformationWeek (01/01/07) Strom, David

Radio-frequency identification (RFID), server virtualization, advanced graphics processing, Web services, and mobile security are poised to draw major interest from CIOs and IT managers in 2007 because of the impact they will have on application implementation and infrastructure management. The growing pervasiveness of RFID tags will inevitably ramp up the data loads IT centers must accommodate, and RFID's three central elements--scanners, radios, and warehouses--will need to be studied by those who wish to achieve proficiency. Scanning expertise comes first because of the relatively simple switchover from bar codes to radio tags; potential radio issues and the manner of enterprise-wide wireless network deployment are also important; and warehousing and inventory experience are necessary to the collection and integration of the scanned data into existing supply chain applications. The new year will see the increased use of virtual machines by IT shops for the purpose of server consolidation, lowering the price of software development and easing configuration as IT shops implement new servers. Greater use of 3D and the employment of graphics processors for computation are expected to facilitate a sea change in enterprise graphics, and this requires IT managers to understand the whole of their graphics desktop collection and manage the shift to more graphics-able PCs; careful management of graphics processing on a level that is at least equal to the management of CPUs is needed. Improved and more capable enterprise class applications that can be deployed much faster than traditional applications are coming out of the Web services movement, and IT managers are blending various Web-based applications together to determine what course of action to take. Finally, the inadequacy of user authentication calls for the implementation of a consolidated, enterprise-wide mobile and endpoint security solution that encompasses multiple desktop operating systems, non-desktop network devices, and diverse switch and router vendors and OS versions. Several architectures are available, and some shops are deploying them even though a single standard has not yet emerged.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Mars Rovers Are Taught New Tricks
BBC News (01/02/07)

The Spirit and Opportunity rovers are set to gain a number of new features as NASA scientists test an update to flight software for the robots on Mars. The upgrade is currently undergoing testing on a new capability that will allow the robotic rovers to make "smart" decisions on which images of Martian clouds and dust devils to send back to Earth, instead of having scientists at the space agency sort through the numerous photographs that they take. NASA scientists are also testing "visual target tracking," which will enable the rovers to remain locked on a landscape feature as they move along the Martian surface. "The rover keeps updating its template of what the feature looks like," explains Khaled Ali of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena. "It may be a rock that looks bigger as the rover approaches it, or maybe the shape looks different from a different angle, but the rover still knows it's the same rock." A "go and touch" feature will enable the rovers to determine when it is safe to use their robotic arm to grab a rock or soil for further analysis. The update also offers improvements for maps that are used to help the rovers avoid hazards on the planet.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Industry Braces for Net-Neutrality Fallout
Wall Street Journal (01/02/07) P. A3; Schatz, Amy

The industry is preparing for ramifications of AT&T's acceptance of net-neutrality rules--which dictate equal treatment of all Internet traffic--that could extend beyond the company. Net-neutrality advocates say AT&T's capitulation could at least temporarily derail other cable and telecom companies' plans to monetize their Internet lines by charging Internet companies extra to prioritize their traffic; "Anybody who violates this policy is going to run into a political buzz-saw," said Democratic FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein. Exempted from the net-neutrality condition, which expires in two years, was AT&T's Cingular wireless business and the segment of its network committed to the delivery of its Internet television service. On Dec. 29, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin chastised the two Democratic commissioners who pressured AT&T to accept the net neutrality conditions, arguing that the conditions are "unnecessary" and "discriminatory." "While the Democrat commissioners may have extracted concessions from AT&T, they in no way bind future Commission action," Martin insisted in a written statement. "[It] does not mean that the Commission has adopted an additional net neutrality principle. We continue to believe such a requirement is not necessary and may impede infrastructure deployment." Phone and cable companies' impedance of traffic or Internet services would be tough, at least for the time being, because of the consumer backlash such action could spur, analysts say.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Shaping Our Future Along With Robots
Japan Times (12/31/06) Otake, Tomoko

Tsukuba University professor of engineering Yoshiyuki Sankai, who is a leader in the field of "cybernics," where robotics meets various academic disciplines, was recently interviewed concerning his expectations for robotics in the near future. He thinks that in 2007 robotics efforts will benefit from the 2005 government decision to "move on from the exploration of basic technologies and start making prototypes, and also standardize our technologies, both hardware and software, to foster the development of robots. In 2007, several organizations will start test-marketing robot products." Pet robots, hobby robots, and serious robots will all be developed, in large part to help Japan's aging population. By 2020, Sankai predicts that "robots and robotic technologies will be fully integrated in our lives." His company's current projects are focusing on medical applications, but future projects will focus on construction and fabrication work. Sankai says that "mankind has given up on evolution by inventing and utilizing various technologies. The gap between technology and people has been big until now. But computers have become much easier to use, which means people and technology are getting closer." He stresses that technology is everywhere and is cutting down on distances between people, therefore becoming an "extended part of ourselves." At the same time, he points out that we must be careful of "technology getting out of control."
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


What Will They Think of Next?
Los Angeles Times (12/18/06) Ballmer, Steve; Sherman, Ned; Werbach, Kevin

Six leading computing industry authorities were asked what they expected from 2007, and their answers ranged from YouTube, to virtual worlds, to virtualization. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer believes that the digital revolution is only beginning, with robotics, Internet TV, mobile video, and data analysis tools that are simple enough to be used by anyone set to explode. Ballmer foresees the legacy of 2007 as the year that "unified communications technology helped us regain control of our information and our lives. Ironically, the proliferation of new technologies up until now has made communications harder, not easier." Digital Media Wire CEO Ned Sherman sees great potential in virtual worlds, with millions of dollars currently being generated by user-to-user commerce on "Second Life." Pennsylvania University's Wharton School assistant professor of legal studies and business ethics Kevin Werbach thinks that P2P networks will be utilized to increase the size of Internet video files beyond the current limits of central hosting. Wired Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Anderson expects this to be the year "when somebody figures out how to make video advertising work in a YouTube world," which would do great damage to the TV industry. He also sees the proliferation of video game consoles with Internet connections as an important step for online video. Former Napster CEO Hank Barry says the battle between Microsoft, who wants you to store information on your laptops, and Google, who wants you to store it on the Web, will be decided by virtualization, which will let you carry around a copy of a "snapshot copy of your state at all times" on an iPod or cell phone, meaning any computer will allow you access to your desktop and files. Finally, Edge editor and publisher John Brockman names microelectronic mechanical systems as a trend to emerge in 2007, which will be mass produced like semiconductors, but "they move."
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Ada Enhances Embedded-Systems Development
EE Times (01/01/07) Brosgol, Ben; Ruiz, Jos

Ada has been updated, and the latest version of the programming language should help make embedded systems less of a challenge for developers, write AdaCore's Ben Brosgol and Jos Ruiz. They say the new Ada 2005 standard could prove to be a better embedded systems tool for developers than the C, C++, and Java programming languages. Ada offers reliability and maintainability, with high-level features that stress readability and that are able to find errors early in development. A tool for both procedural and object-oriented programming, Ada 2005 also provides an enhanced concurrency model for detecting errors during the testing process through its treatment of new task-dispatching policies and in enabling the coexistence of multiple policies. Ada offers the typical capabilities of low-level processing, and also lets the reader of the program know that system-specific features, which may not be safe, are in use. Ada's Restrictions pragma will enable programmers to choose features that meet the requirements of embedded systems, and its Ravenscar profile will offer a helpful subset for addressing determinism, schedulability analysis, and memory boundedness. Ada has a robust pointer mechanism, and its interface facilitates the importing and exporting of subprogram or global data across language environments.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Portico Takes on '100-Year Archiving Dilemma'
SD Times (12/15/06)No. 164, P. 1; Feinman, Jeff

Portico, an organization consisting of librarians and archivists, aims to preserve the large amount of scholarly journals either being produced in, or transferred to, electronic form. The job requires intricate and large-scale infrastructure, which prevents libraries from doing such archiving themselves, but a third-party such as Portico is able to provide inexpensive archiving that can be used by countless libraries. "Should the day ever come when a publisher goes out of business or the materials are no longer available from any other source, then those libraries that are choosing to support the archive will have access to the material," said Portico executive director Eileen Fenton. Fenton and her colleagues are thinking of a future when the elements involved in storing and accessing these journals, such as servers and publishers, are no longer around. This consideration is referred to as the "100-year archive dilemma," as many doubt the longevity of technique's such as preserving today's systems and migrating data. Since no type of format could be expected to last a considerably long time, some archivists have been translating data into common plain-text formats such as Unicode and ASCII, which can handle any form of text in any language. Several companies are making their file formats self-contained, which many view as a valuable step in addressing the dilemma; both PDF/A and XML are thought to be suitable for long-term archiving. Portico allows publishers to submit journals in whatever format they choose, since they have little to gain from transferring the material themselves; the system then translates the files into a standard XML archive format mandated by the National Library of Medicine.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Liver Surgery Planning Using Virtual Reality
IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications (12/06) P. 36; Reitinger, Bernhard; Bornik, Alexander; Beichel, Reinhard

Researchers at the Graz University of Technology believe virtual reality can help facilitate better and faster liver surgery planning. To this end, they have developed LiverPlanner, which combines VR and high-level image analysis algorithms into a system whose advantages include effectiveness and ease of use, according to preliminary user studies. The planning of liver tumor resections is split into three main stages: Image analysis, which involves mostly automatic tissue segmentation and vessel extraction; segmentation refinement, where defects can be checked for, uncovered, and corrected; and treatment planning, in which a surgical plan can be detailed based on data inspection, spatial analysis, and resection simulation. Small defects can be corrected in LiverPlanner through the use of direct deformation tools, while template shape tools help users correct larger defects. LiverPlanner employs a camera-equipped optical tracking system, a Tablet PC, a custom-designed hybrid 2D-3D input device dubbed the Eye of Ra, and a stereoscopic large-screen projection system. The Eye of Ra can shift smoothly between the manipulation of the 2D and 3D views, and editing functions are equally available when users run the same 3D visualization and interaction code on both the 2D and 3D systems. Preliminary user studies showed that half of the users only needed 10 minutes of training on LiverPlanner to complete assigned segmentation refinement tasks within a 12-minute window.
Click Here to View Full Article - Web Link to Publication Homepage
to the top


A Robot in Every Home
Scientific American (01/07) Vol. 296, No. 1, P. 58; Gates, Bill

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates predicts that intelligent mobile devices will soon become ubiquitous as the robotics industry explodes on the heels of breakthrough advances. He draws parallels between the challenges the robotics industry currently faces and the challenges the computing industry faced 30 years ago, such as the lack of standard operating software that could enable the function of popular application programs across a diversity of devices. Instilling in robots the capability to quickly sense and respond to environmental factors is another challenge. Researchers are tackling these problems thanks to recent reductions in the cost of processing power and sensors, and Gates believes a new generation of autonomous assistive devices is in the cards via technologies such as distributed computing, voice and visual recognition, and wireless broadband connectivity. Manufacturers of robots can also use new software tools that ease the writing of programs that work with disparate kinds of hardware. Gates recalls that the purpose of developing such tools was "to see if it was possible to provide the same kind of common, low-level foundation for integrating hardware and software into robot designs that Microsoft BASIC provided for computer programmers." Among the technologies Gates has high hopes for is decentralized software services (DSS), a tool for streamlining the writing of distributed robotic applications that allows a fairly cheap robot to delegate sophisticated processing chores to the high-performance hardware of current home PCs. Gates thinks this milestone will eventually lead to a new class of mobile, wireless peripheral devices that harness desktop PC power to support navigation, visual recognition, and similar tasks.
Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


To submit feedback about ACM TechNews, contact: technews@hq.acm.org

To unsubscribe from the ACM TechNews Early Alert Service: Please send a separate email to listserv@listserv.acm.org with the line

signoff technews

in the body of your message.

Please note that replying directly to this message does not automatically unsubscribe you from the TechNews list.

ACM may have a different email address on file for you, so if you're unable to "unsubscribe" yourself, please direct your request to: technews-request@ acm.org

We will remove your name from the TechNews list on your behalf.

For help with technical problems, including problems with leaving the list, please write to: technews-request@acm.org

to the top

News Abstracts © 2007 Information, Inc.


© 2007 ACM, Inc. All rights reserved. ACM Privacy Policy.

About ACM | Contact us | Boards & Committees | Press Room | Membership | Privacy Policy | Code of Ethics | System Availability | Copyright © 2014, ACM, Inc.