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Volume 5, Issue 567:  Wednesday, November 5, 2003

  • "FCC Approves First Digital Anti-Piracy Measure"
    Washington Post (11/05/03) P. E1; Krim, Jonathan; Ahrens, Frank

    The entertainment industry scored a victory with the FCC's Nov. 4 approval of technological safeguards to be built into some personal computers and consumer electronic devices designed to prevent digital content from being pirated and replayed over the Internet. Under the new regulations, programs could be embedded with "broadcast flags" that would only allow the material to be copied by digital recording devices that can correctly identify the flags; the FCC set a July 2005 deadline for digital video recorders and similar devices to be broadcast-flag compliant. FCC Chairman Michael Powell noted that "Because broadcast TV is transmitted 'in the clear,' it is more susceptible than encrypted cable or satellite programming to be captured and retransmitted via the Internet." Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti declared that the FCC decision levels the playing field for digital TV, cable TV, and satellite TV. Consumer proponents are concerned that the broadcast flag rules will force consumers to purchase new equipment and could impede the copying of programming that is not eligible for industry protection, as well as allow the design of computers to be dictated by entertainment providers. "Having just given big media companies more control over what consumers can see on their TV sets by lifting media ownership limits, the FCC has now given these same companies more control over what users can do with that content, leaving consumers as two-time losers," lamented Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn. The FCC voted 5 to 0 on the new regulations, with two partial dissents: Dissenters included Consumers Union legislative counsel Christopher Murray, and commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, who said that the scheme could potentially conflict with copyright law and privacy rights. The FCC did not rule on what technologies would be used for the broadcast-flag system, and has set up an interim system for reviewing various proposals.
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  • "Intel to Report a Breakthrough in Chip Design"
    Wall Street Journal (11/05/03) P. B1; Clark, Don

    Intel says it has found new chip materials that will help solve the problem of excessive current leakage as chip features get smaller and could lead to computers with hundreds of times the calculating power of today's machines. Intel says it has developed a new high-k insulating material to replace silicon dioxide--the semiconductor mainstay for more than 30 years--as well as new metals to replace current polysilicon electrodes. Intel components research director Ken David says the new material combination resulted in test transistors that leaked just 1/100 the amount of energy of normal transistors while operating at high speed. University of Texas professor Jack Lee says the breakthrough, as reported by Intel in a technical paper, represents a significant advance for the electronics industry, which for a long time had worried about the sustainability of Moore's Law in the face of rising current leakage. Other academics and Intel's industry rivals are skeptical of the work, citing the lack of specifics which they would need to adequately assess the results. Texas Instruments research head Luigi Colombo says Intel's insulating material is likely hafnium oxide, the same substance his company has been researching. Motorola, meanwhile, has proposed titanium nitride and tantalum silicon nitride as metal electrodes that could replace polysilicon. IBM chief technologist Bernard Meyerson says the dimensions cited in the Intel paper will not represent the situation in future, when circuitry is expected to be much smaller. Even Intel technology and manufacturing senior vice president Sunlin Chou admits that there is a lot of work to do and that the company may yet modify its plans. Chou says that Intel's famously fastidious chairman, Andy Grove, is also a critic: "Andy is one of the skeptics and I don't blame him," Chou says. "He's still going to challenge us to prove it in manufacturing." The new materials could be placed into production by 2007.
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  • "Technology Gets in Its Own Way"
    Los Angeles Times (11/04/03) P. A1; Shiver Jr., Jube

    A hodgepodge of wireless gadgets that emit radio signals can give rise to inconvenient and potentially dangerous interference, also known as signal leakage. This phenomenon is responsible for mundane incidents such as the appearance of static on a TV screen when a vacuum cleaner is running, but also serious complications, such as when a baby monitor disrupts aircraft navigation systems. It is possible for practically any modern device to interfere with anything in the surrounding environment, because all electrical devices discharge a certain amount of electromagnetic radiation. In the United States, complaints of such interference have risen from virtually none 30 years ago to over six a day, according to the FCC; but despite warnings that a lack of federal regulation will only make matters worse, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell has proposed scaling back governmental control of the publicly owned radio spectrum in the hopes that the companies that lease the spectrum will responsibly develop ways to reduce interference. Peter B. Ladkin of Germany's University of Bielefeld attributes a great deal of interference to mobile phones, arguing that air travelers should keep their cell phones off from the time the plane is in the vicinity of the runway until it leaves the runway upon landing. An FCC-run non-interference certification program can only test a small portion of electronics, with the bulk of certification reliant on testing by device manufacturers, which is anything but foolproof. The introduction of new technology often serves as a catalyst for airwave interference, and Edmond J. Thomas of the FCC reports that the emergence of mobile phones has complicated the detection and remedying of such disruption. Declaring last year at the University of Chicago that "The time has come to consider an entirely new paradigm for interference protection," Powell proposed the concept of "interference temperature," in which transceivers would be designed to turn off or hop to another frequency when a conflict is detected, thus enabling more users to share airwaves.
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  • "'DDoS' Attacks Still Pose Threat to Internet"
    TechNews.com (11/04/03); McGuire, David

    The successful repulsion of last October's distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on the Internet's 13 root servers has done nothing to assuage concerns that another siege could cause even more damage, despite experts' attempts to shore up Net safeguards. DDoS assaults, in which hackers commandeer computers and use them as "zombies" to flood target machines with data so they will crash, are relatively simple to carry out; Internet Software Consortium President Paul Vixie is worried that there are people with the means, the skills, and the dedication to launch a better coordinated--and more damaging--attack. "Sooner or later it's going to happen [again] and it's going to happen with a degree of virulence and professionalism that makes prior attacks look wimpy," warns former ICANN director Karl Auerbach. Computers can be infiltrated to be used as zombies by code carried by worms and viruses that target susceptible PCs, and hackers can get this process started with minimal effort. The optimal strategy to combat a DDoS attack, purchasing extra bandwidth to accommodate the incoming data, is far more costly. VeriSign has spent enormous sums to bolster the security of the two root servers it administrates, and VP of networks and information security Ken Silva complains that other server operators are not investing enough for defense. Other members of the Internet community have balked at such contentions--ICANN Chairman Vint Cerf, for instance, asserts that server operators are keeping pace with hackers in the information security arms race. Director of ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee Steve Crocker adds that root server operators are not only carrying out their jobs responsibly, but are more coordinated, which has boosted the safety of the Internet. Strategies that have helped reduce Net vulnerability include decentralization of operations through "anycasting," in which server location is divided among several computers in different geographical areas.
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  • "Building a Crash-Test Internet"
    San Francisco Chronicle (11/03/03) P. E1; Kirby, Carrie

    A team of researchers at UCLA and the University of California at Berkeley expects to determine the effects of wide-scale coordinated cyberattacks on the Internet and how such assaults could be repelled by building an Internet simulation they will lay siege to with the help of a $5.46 million grant from the Homeland Security Department and the National Science Foundation. The objective of such experiments, which should be taking place by spring 2004, is to furnish more data for policy-makers in charge of administering network security, and to help industry develop more hacker-resistant defense measures. Carrying out such tests on the real Internet is untenable, because "you can't afford to break [the Internet]," explains S. Shankar Sastry of UC Berkeley. Although the Cyber Defense Technology Experimental Research Network (DETER) will not match the real Internet in terms of scale, it is hoped its behavior will be comparable. DETER attacks what many security experts consider to be a flaw in current network defense strategy: The focus on security products such as antivirus software and firewalls, when in fact the real weaknesses reside in the Internet's infrastructure and the software that is run on it. "[DETER] brings us out of the realm of speculation to what can happen, what defenses will be effective, and analyzing the effectiveness of the defense before we make large investments in it," posits Cyber Defense Agency President O. Sami Saydjari. University of Pennsylvania computer science professor Jonathan Smith lauds DETER, believing it will be an excellent project for testing cyberattack scenarios that for now only exist as theoretical possibilities.
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  • "Burgeoning Russia IT Blasts Government Policies"
    Computerworld (10/30/03); Mainville, Michael

    The Russian government's investment to develop the nation's IT industry, especially when it comes to landing lucrative offshore outsourcing contracts, has fallen woefully short of initiatives undertaken by India and China, bemoan Russian corporate leaders. Luxoft CEO Dmitry Loschinin, for one, is bewildered that the Russian government seems to be completely uninterested in the future of the country's IT industry, which RusSoft estimates has been expanding at roughly 10 percent annually for the last four years. Critics contend that Russia has done nothing comparable to India's IT efforts, which include the foundation of software technology parks, the reduction of tech import duties to encourage research and development funding, and the setup of tax-free zones for companies developing exports. The Russian government and private allies are spending $2.4 billion to expand Internet usage across the nation by 2005 under the Electronic Russia program, but this constitutes the only major government high-tech project. Loschinin laments the government's missed opportunity to promote the IT industry during Russia's most recent economic boom through offset programs. Although promises were made to submit proposals for tax-free zones and tax holidays for high-tech firms to Russia's State Duma by the end of 2001, nothing significant has resulted. In September, Alexander Shubin of the Duma's information policies committee told attendees at a Geneva conference that the Russian government wants to institute tax incentives for high-tech companies, including a 10 percent reduction in value-added tax; but he did not set any date for the introduction of such tax breaks. Auriga President Alexis Sukharev calls such a performance typical: "There is a lot of sweet talk, but nothing ever happens," he argues, adding that government inaction is mainly due to confusion over which entities are responsible for developing the high-tech sector. His solution is to invest that responsibility within a single department or officer.
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  • "The Computer Mouse Trajectory"
    TechNewsWorld (11/04/03); Hook, Brian R.

    The computer mouse is aging and is long overdue for replacement, according to some involved in the desktop industry. Analyst Rob Enderle says it is now the eve of the mechanical mouse, and he predicts optical and wireless mouse formats will become standard in about 18 months, while in three to five years people will be giving voice commands to their computers as well. Enderle admits that it is difficult to get consumers to adopt new technologies, pointing to the standard keyboard, which is largely unchanged since it was invented to keep typewriter keys from becoming tangled. Alternative technologies such as touchpads and touchscreens are the domain of notebook PCs and Tablet PCs. Desktop hardware firm Gyration says its wireless optical mouse is the PC interface device of the future and translates users' wrist movements into computer commands. Gyration's Pete Rauholt says that as computer screens become larger, people will want to move further back from their computer and will be able to use the company's product to effectively control the cursor; eventually, the device will assume remote control functions for home theatre PCs. Rauholt says threats to the optical, wireless mouse include touchscreen and eye-tracking technologies, but that those are far away from mainstream release. Synaptics' Mariel van Tatenhove says the mouse will continue to reign in limited markets, but the shift to mobile computing will force new interface devices on users. Synaptics offers a round touchpad device called a RoundPad; users can move their finger around the outside edge in order to scroll the computer screen. University of Delaware electrical and computer engineering professor John Elias says the mouse's ultimate downfall will be its limited point-and-click functionality.
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  • "Charity Challenges Programmers to Code for Society"
    ZDNet UK (11/03/03); Wearden, Graeme

    The nonprofit mySociety.org recently launched an initiative to fund low-cost, socially beneficial IT projects that operate over electronic networks. The organization has encouraged the online submission of proposals for the first two projects, and mySociety.org founder Tom Steinberg reports that 153 submissions have been received since the site was launched. Proposals include the development of a Web-based system that aims to reduce pollution and spending by matching passengers and motorists for car pools, an electronic neighborhood watch scheme, and a database of IT personnel and programmers willing to donate their services to charities. The projects must also be highly scalable to qualify: "We're interested in ideas that can serve one million users for virtually the same cost as serving 10," Steinberg remarks. He notes that full-time mySociety.org employees will receive a "living wage" as well as the satisfaction that their work is helping socially relevant causes. MySociety.org has thus far been funded by one donation, but the organization will seek out additional sources of capital once the first two projects have been selected in about a month's time. Steinberg believes that interested people who cannot or will not become full-time staffers will still make contributions through online communities. Interface design skills will probably be highly sought-after competencies, while the source code for mySociety.org-developed projects will likely be distributed under open-source licenses.
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  • "Computer-Enabled Democracy?"
    Technology Review (10/31/03); Wolman, David

    Futurist Jason Tester is floating radical ideas about how democracy can incorporate technology: A self-proclaimed "interaction designer" and graduate of the Interaction Design Institute in Italy, Tester says his aim is to spur public discussion about how technology should or should not be used in the democratic process. The Accelerated Democracy Project includes four scenarios that Tester admits are provocative and sometimes not good ideas. A software agent called Constituty, for example, could track citizens' Web usage and compile a position based on people's individual interests; the software could then either recommend a candidate, or cast the vote automatically. With each of the four scenarios, Tester conducts imaginary interviews, where people lambaste the technology implementations or applaud them. Another unlikely but interesting idea is Exercise Your Vote, a technology Tester says would give more electoral weight to voters who spend time researching a subject; the obvious pitfall of this approach is that it violates the fundamental one person, one vote concept, but Tester says that low voter turnout already amplifies the voice of the most fanatical constituents. Location-Based Voting is more plausible, and requires that voters spend time at a relevant place, such as at the location of a proposed new park or at educational seminars, before they can cast their ballot. Post-Vote Tracking would enlist tracking organizations such as the ACLU or major newspapers to send voters detailed records of how politicians did or did not live up to campaign promises. Stanford computer science professor and voter-technology pundit David Dill says technology is not yet ready to be integrally involved in the voting process and that it is questionable as to the extent that it ever should be.
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  • "Smart Software Helps Robots Dodge Collisions"
    New Scientist (11/03/03); Graham-Rowe, Duncan

    French researcher Thierry Fraichard and Japanese scientist Hajime Asama have developed smart software designed to help robots evade collisions by calculating an exclusion zone based on their movements and the movements of surrounding objects. The exclusion zone represents the area in which a collision cannot be avoided regardless of what actions the robot takes. The software, known as the Inevitable Collision System (ICS), is designed to be more advanced than current collision avoidance systems, which in their simplest form are "bumper" systems that cause the robot to halt when it encounters a nearby object. However, bumper systems cannot stop last-minute collisions because they do not consider the movement of either the objects or the robot. Other avoidance systems try to cover these factors by predicting the future positions of all objects, but Fraichard explains that multiple objects or non-linear motions can complicate the problem. ICS calculates only partial trajectories of the robot and other objects, projecting them only as far into the future as available computing power will permit. Continuous updating of the trajectories enables real-time exclusion zone calculation. Artificial intelligence expert Blay Whitby of Britain's University of Sussex doubts that a robot could ever be made totally safe, but adds that "no guarantee of safety does not mean that we should not try as hard as possible to be as safe as possible." The only recorded incident of a person killed by a robot took place over 20 years ago in Japan because of a mishap in an automated manufacturing plant; this led to the institution of additional safety measures that cannot be implemented for mobile robots.
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  • "IBM, Corning Look Into Supercomputer Optics"
    CNet (11/03/03); Shankland, Stephen

    A Nov. 4 announcement from IBM is expected to cover a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for IBM and Corning to jointly develop high-speed, optically switched interconnects for next-generation supercomputers as a replacement technology for electronic switches that employ copper wires. Handling optical signals requires the presence of costly and complex hardware, which has chiefly limited the use of optical technology to long-distance communications. The supercomputing sector is undergoing a sea change thanks to the emergence of high-speed communications technology, which is allowing some clients to connect independent lower-end systems to a higher-end network instead of constructing one consolidated system; mainstream Ethernet and higher speed links are just some examples of the technology being used to facilitate supercomputer "clustering." IBM says that its optically switched interconnects will be able to support several communications protocols, including InfiniBand. IBM and Corning expect to have a working prototype by the time the Energy Department program concludes in 30 months. The $20 million grant was made under the aegis of the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration, which is tasked with maintaining the viability of America's nuclear arsenal using computers and other technology. IBM says the joint venture with Corning would also be applicable to the fields of biotechnology and weather prediction.
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  • "Adding Style to Substance"
    SiliconValley.com (11/03/03); Takahashi, Dean

    Technology companies are designing more aesthetically pleasing products to satisfy consumer demand and differentiate their wares from those of competitors. "As the rate of technological change levels off, design becomes even more important," remarks Ideo CEO Tim Brown. This new emphasis in design is welcome news to industrial design graduates in the economically ailing Silicon Valley region, although the benefits they reap are unlikely to counter the loss of engineering positions. Industrial design firms large and small, foreign and domestic, have set up shop in the Bay Area, and Sony's Andy Proehl reports that the region is an excellent location to analyze the whimsical nature of the American market. Valley-based industrial design companies such as Ideo and Frog Design have garnered reputations as fun places to work and hubs of creative innovation. More firms are realizing design's importance, and have started to move away from building luxury items to boosting the efficiency of everyday products. This shift in focus is demonstrated by efforts such as Hewlett-Packard's "One Voice" initiative, which has yielded products such as HP's Media Center PC. "When you think that we can get them a few more points of market share, the cost of using designers is well worth it," notes Summit Design owner Scott Summit, whose firm helped flesh out Tapwave's Zodiac handheld gaming device, which has received favorable reviews.
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  • "An Unsanctioned Whois Database"
    CircleID (11/04/03); Auerbach, Karl

    Karl Auerbach critiques a proposal that Mark Jeftovic of easyDNS Technologies placed on the ICANN GNSO registrars' mailing list concerning control and publication of domain contact data. Jeftovic proposes the placement of control and actual publication of domain contact data in the zone file managed by the domain name registrant. "Basically, the registrant could store their own Whois record in a well-known location on their own servers, similar to a P3P policy, and the registrars maintain publicly accessible 'stub' records which point them," Jeftovic explains. Jeftovic adds that certain new fields could become part of Whois records in order to bolster the functionality of viewing a record. Citing a field titled "proposed use" Jeftovic asserts that "we may decide that 'personal' domain registrants are allowed to withhold their phone, address, and email data from their published whois.xml records." However, using this to commit fraud, Jeftovic argues, would be difficult given that Web browsers would recognize an inconsistency between the kind of page on which one is placed and the listing for proposed use in Whois. Auerbach, who notes that this suggestion did not begin with Jeftovic but perhaps with Kent Crispin, believes the proposal has merit.
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    To read about ACM's concerns with ICANN's Whois policy, visit http://www.acm.org/usacm/Issues/ICANN.html.

  • "MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Promoting Innovation and Entrepreneurship"
    PRNewswire (10/27/03)

    Nearly one year after its launch, the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation announced its largest grant round to date on Oct. 27, approving proof-of-concept funding for 13 out of 45 proposed projects for a total of $1.3 million. Grant recipients, who are also MIT faculty in the School of Engineering, include Chiping Chen, who will work on inexpensive power amplifiers for third-generation wireless base stations that could boost performance and nurture $100 billion markets; Yet Ming Chiang, who will focus on the fabrication of ionic colloidal crystals that could be applied to drug delivery, photonic fingerprinting, and filtration; Tom Knight, whose brainchild is a daring new processing approach that could be a significant step toward speech recognition; Dave Perrault, who will develop 3D printed circuit boards that offer improved performance over 2D boards; Greg Wornell, who aims to expand wireless network capacity by creating intelligent antenna algorithms; and Caroline Ross, whose goal is to simplify the manufacture of microelectronic devices through the use of cheap magnetic replacements for expensive semiconductors. Other recipients are working on innovations such as powered joint braces for disabled people, a 3D image-processing system that could make surgery less invasive, a computerized cardiac screening system, and a novel endoscope for non-invasive tissue biopsy. The Deshpande Center was founded to spur innovation and entrepreneurship through support of research projects by MIT faculty and students, and to encourage collaboration between faculty, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and creative enterprises. The center has awarded $3 million through a trio of grant rounds in the past year.
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  • "Time for UN Intervention?"
    Economist (10/30/03) Vol. 369, No. 8348, P. 59

    ICANN, which recently held public board meetings in Tunisia, is confronting difficult issues of change due to shifts in the Internet sector in the five years since ICANN's establishment. These changes include the crumbling of the domain name selling business, increased involvement of governments in Internet regulation, and ICANN's own troubles managing these issues. ICANN and VeriSign, which controls the .com and .net databases, are at odds over VeriSign's SiteFinder service, which ICANN pressured VeriSign to shutter. The controversy, along with VeriSign's recent decision to sell its retail name-registration business, highlights a shift in the Internet address sector, given that VeriSign now is looking to new operations beyond domain name sales and registration system administration to drive revenue. VeriSign's response to ICANN and the push by some countries to give the ITU control over tasks ICANN now handles demonstrate the questions that surround ICANN's position in the long-term. Previously, discussions about management of the Internet have centered on worries that governments could become too powerful and stifle innovation, but as the recent Tunisian meetings show, concerns now also have arisen about commercial interests gaining too much control.

  • "The Animation Game"
    New Scientist (10/25/03) Vol. 240, No. 2418, P. 28; Biever, Celeste

    Machinima is a term used to describe computer-animated movies that take place in video game environments, an art form that is gaining in popularity despite its limitations. Machinimists take advantage of games such as Doom and Quake, whose code is released as open source, to create their own animated scenarios. Current games usually come with built-in physics engines that allow filmmakers to commandeer the games' virtual worlds and enjoy their realistic renderings, motions, and other features that can enable animators to produce films in real time and at significantly lower cost than traditional computer animation. Scenes recorded in a 3D game environment can be replayed from different camera angles without the need to restage the action because the recorded "footage" is the coordinates displaying where the characters moved rather than the scene as it might appear from a camera's point of view. Even more camera angles can be used in a Quake environment because the game's physics engine allows gravity to be disabled at a certain point. However, machinimists are often constrained by the physics engine as well: Though a film company using the Quake game was able to insert mirrors into the virtual set, the physics engine did not generate reflections; and though the latest games allow for reflections and more realistic shadows, lighting effects are much more difficult to render accurately. Fountainhead Studios has developed a suite of machinima tools designed to appeal to non-technically-oriented animators, and Fountainhead machinimist Katherine Anna Kang hopes major studios will employ the tools to create rough drafts of potential animations. Bill Rehbock of Nvidia says his company will soon begin selling its game cards to filmmakers, which could lead to even more sophisticated machinima.

  • "It Only Looks Like Child's Play"
    Business Week (11/03/03) No. 3856, P. 86; Arner, Faith

    MIT researcher Hiroshi Ishii has long explored alternate ways for people to view and manipulate data that offer more flexibility and simplicity than keyboards, monitors, and mice. The "tangible" interfaces Ishii's team has developed, which incorporate elements such as pinwheels, video projectors, and glass beads, may be especially useful in fields such as design and teaching, Ishii maintains. One of the most notable gadgets developed at Ishii's lab is the IP Network Design Workbench, created as a tool to facilitate easier collaborative telecom and computer network design between engineers and non-technically-oriented executives; team members sit around a "sensetable," sliding hockey puck-like objects over its surface to reconfigure a simulated network, while an overhead projector displays the changes so users can determine their budgetary requirements and how they fit into expanded needs. Designers can therefore see the impact of these changes in real time. Ishii's team is working on a related system for the purpose of urban or landscape planning, and the product is being tested by MIT design students who are building miniature towns in three dimensions on the sensetable to measure such factors as airflow and traffic; another gadget is a sandbox-like tool that could yield key insights on development sites and construction approaches when users shift sensor-laden glass beads under the eye of a video camera feeding the 3D geometry into a computer, which generates color-coded markers. The commercially available Ambient Orb from Ambient Devices, which is also based on work done in Ishii's lab, is a glass globe that shifts color to reflect changes in the stock market, traffic, weather, or other optional data. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Mynatt of the Georgia Institute of Technology has devised a user-friendly tangible interface designed around a digital family portrait that works in tandem with sensors located near the people in the picture. The interface, which was developed with the help of Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Motorola, would notify the user of activity based on data picked up by the sensors.
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  • "Labor Pains"
    CIO Insight (10/03) No. 31, P. 56; Wasserman, Elizabeth

    The total U.S. IT workforce declined from 10.4 million workers in 2000 to 9.9 million workers in 2002, according to a recent survey; the outlook for IT employment is grim, as more and more mundane programming and business processes are outsourced to cheaper offshore labor, technology platforms are standardized, and computing evolves into a utility-like resource. Even more IT layoffs are feared with the emergence of autonomic computing, in which systems are capable of auto-configuration and auto-repair. "Companies have to find the least-cost way of delivering their products and services," observes former Apple Computer CEO John Sculley, who adds that American IT workers must continuously build up their skills and know-how in order to remain corporate assets. "[Workers] can build their value through understanding of business process through issues associated with enterprise objectives, knowledge of the business, things that are associated with the industry or business," notes Gartner's Diane Morello. It is even more critical that CIOs and IT managers also understand technology's impact on business. A recent Deloitte Consulting report forecasts that the financial-services sector will offshore $356 billion in expenses over the next five years, which will add up to yearly cost savings of $138 billion for the 100 leading financial-services firms by 2008. Meanwhile, a July report from Gartner estimates that 10 percent of all computer services and software industry jobs in the United States could migrate offshore by the end of next year--jobs that will probably be irretrievable even after the economy recovers. Information Management Forum managing director Al McConnell says the prospect of retraining may not be welcomed by all IT developers, which is why it is essential to properly handle outsourcing decisions within a company.
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