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Volume 7, Issue 823:  August 1, 2005

  • "File Sharers Anonymous: Building a Net That's Private"
    New York Times (08/01/05) P. C1; Markoff, John

    Despite the Supreme Court's recent ruling that publishers of peer-to-peer (P2P) software are legally liable for copyright infringement committed by customers, technologists are developing ways to preserve anonymity on the Internet. Ian Clarke said the goal of such systems and methodologies is to uphold freedom of speech by getting around censorship and political repression, but admitted that abuses such as copyright infringement are unavoidable. Furthermore, he advocates the free exchange of all information, which he wants to help realize through his Freenet technology. Clarke acknowledged that secret organizations intent on inciting political violence could use Freenet to achieve such goals, but he remains convinced that the positive aspects of anonymous communication are greater than the negative. Freenet and similar "darknet" systems are designed to link individuals who trust each other into networks through the use of software code, and computer security researcher Ross Anderson published a paper in June detailing how industry efforts to cripple darknets could be thwarted. He projected in a second paper the advent of closed networks and "fan clubs," noting that his research group is working with MIT computer scientists on a next-generation P2P network designed to resist censorship and allow secure communications in potentially unfriendly environments. Clarke denied that his Freenet system would be faultless, while claiming it would be less transparent than popular P2P systems such as Grokster. Many industry specialists predict that systems with features similar to Freenet will mushroom as file sharing's legal ramifications are clarified.
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  • "SIGGRAPH 2005 Fires Up High-Tech Weapons"
    Daily Variety (08/01/05) P. A1; Cohen, David S.

    ACM's SIGGRAPH coference attracts people in the visual effects and animation industry who are under the gun to produce work of higher quality with less time and money, and effects pros are especially drawn to the event's show floor where the latest technologies are spotlighted. Many animation and effects outfits have replaced proprietary software with commercially available products in recent years, and rendering times are expected to fall with the rollout of the latest graphics cards. Darin Grant of Digital Domain says rendering is the costliest part of the effects production process, and adds that SIGGRAPH's startup park is alluring because "people who wouldn't normally be able to afford a booth are in this little area and you see some amazing technologies there." Among anticipated highlights at this year's Siggraph are presentations on the use of sampling instead of algorithms to generate more realistic digital imagery, while Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) CTO Cliff Plumer says breakthroughs in rendering and illumination are highlighting deficiencies in other areas of animation, such as the lack of detail in subtle animation. Stu Maschwitz of the Orphanage effects house is looking forward to next-generation photogrammetry technology, which promises to furnish complete simulations of real-world environments captured on video. Stanford computer science professor and ILM consultant Ron Fedkiw is slated to deliver a presentation of motion-capture research that details a technique to capture facial expressions using less markers, while a joint Adobe/ICC session on color management is also generating interest.


    The SIGGRAPH conference opened yesterday at the Los Angeles Convention Center and goes through Aug. 4. For more information, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2005/.

  • "New Software Can Help People Make Better Decisions in Time-Stressed Situations"
    Penn State Live (07/29/05)

    Penn State researchers have developed a software system that can help teams of people arrive at decisions more accurately and more rapidly in time-stressed situations. The results of the R-CAST system's first test are detailed in the paper, "Extending the Recognition-Primed Decision Model to Support Human-Agent Collaboration," presented July 29 at the Fourth International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems. The R-CAST experiment demonstrates that software agents can be a critical aid to timely and appropriate human decision-making, according to Xiacong Fan of Penn State's School of Information Sciences and Technology. The software uses the recognition-primed decision (RPD) model as its foundation; the model presumes that human decision-making is based on the identification of similarities between past experiences and current scenarios, while prior research finds that the RPD model accommodates situations where extensive reasoning is not permitted by time constraints. The R-CAST test simulated an attack on an airbase and supply route that team members had to protect by distinguishing between neutral and hostile aircraft, while dealing with the added complication that one team member was responsible for gathering information and relating it to the other two. Penn State doctoral student Shuang Sun said the entire team's performance is reduced when decisions are made without knowing whether the incoming aircraft is unfriendly, but the R-CAST software allowed faster collection and sharing of information, enabling the teams to better defend the base and deliver supplies without delay. The U.S. Army Research Laboratory supported the research.
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  • "Router Flaw Is a Ticking Bomb"
    Wired News (08/01/05); Zetter, Kim

    Former Internet Security Systems (ISS) researcher Mike Lynn was so perturbed about a flaw in Cisco Systems' Cisco IOS that he defied mandates from Cisco and his employer to keep it secret and disclosed the vulnerability at last week's Black Hat conference. The significance of the bug was apparently so great that Lynn resigned from ISS so he could make his presentation, although he later reached an agreement with ISS and Cisco to delete his research material on the flaw and keep the details of the exploit under wraps, as well as not distribute copies of his presentation. Lynn says ISS instructed him to reverse-engineer the Cisco operating system following Cisco's announcement of a router reload vulnerability the company would not elaborate on despite ISS' insistence, and his research uncovered a flaw that was far more exploitable than the one Cisco announced. Lynn says the bug allowed shell code to be executed on Cisco IOS, and when ISS confronted Cisco with this information, the company initially refused to believe it, but later cooperated with ISS in finding and verifying the bugs. Lynn says a new version of the Cisco operating system currently in beta testing boasts better architecture, but is more vulnerable, and alerting people to its existence is more important than keeping it secret. The current attack strategy is to exploit one machine at a time and commandeer the portion of the network the machine is on; Lynn explains that running the new hack against the new version allows the attacker to bring the entire network down. He says a router worm could potentially destroy the hardware, but there is plenty of time to fix the problem, although expediency is critical. "We have to change the public perception about patching now, and that cause is not best served by pretending that there's not a problem," Lynn says.
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  • "Perfect Storms, Competitiveness, and the 'Gretzky Rule'"
    HPC Wire (07/29/05) Vol. 14, No. 30; Berman, Fran

    The United States still occupies the top spots on the list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers, but it is a tenuous lead that could be surpassed by foreign competition if government, academia, and private industry do not recommit to innovation and research, writes UCSD computer science professor Fran Berman. The looming reality is that U.S. hegemony in high-performance computing is under assault from a perfect storm, as increased foreign innovation (particularly in Europe and Asia, which also offer appealing markets for outsourcing), a decline in research funding in the United States, and waning interest in math and science among students form a tripartite threat to the United States' position. The National Science Foundation reports that despite the general embrace of technology among young people, the number of advanced degrees awarded in engineering and science has been in decline since 1998. Berman says the United States needs to take a long-term approach to research and development, acknowledging that missteps are inevitable along the road to innovation, and that funding must not be withdrawn when the first setback arises. The NSF currently funds just about 20 percent of the computer science and engineering proposals submitted. There is no single answer to address these problems; rather, a diverse, nuanced approach that balances short and long-term considerations is most advisable, according to Berman. Increased funding for research, education, and infrastructure, and a gradual shift in our cultural perception of the role of science and technology will refocus the U.S. commitment to technology and ensure its viability in the international arena. Restated as the Gretzsky rule: "Skate to where the puck will be."
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  • "Living Book Makes Learning Easier"
    IST Results (07/29/05)

    The IST-funded Trial-Solution project has developed a suite of tools designed to re-work online learning and teaching material on the spur of the moment in order to fulfill individual students and educators' requirements. "Students or lecturers can use the online platform to select parts of a textbook that are relevant to the subject being studied at that time," explains project coordinator Dr. Ingo Dahn of Germany's University of Koblenz-Landau. "They can view the whole contents of the book, and choose the items they wish to study, or they can use the advanced search functions to find text covering a particular theme." The Trial-Solution Delivery Tool is a Web server that provides personalized teaching material for math undergrads, and delivers on-the-fly composition via artificial intelligence. Dahn says the system permits alterations to delivered documents as well as the insertion of annotations, and automatically provides the user with advice on meaningful document composition. The Delivery Tool is stuffed with features for the purpose of obtaining as much experience as possible, and the tool has enjoyed successful use in trials with students in Cologne, Koblenz, and Chemnitz in Germany as well as Britain's Open University. Dahn says the project validated the suite's applicability and cost efficiency in real-life scenarios. Practically all subjects in which clearly structured documents are utilized could encompass Trial-Solution project experience.
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  • "A Brain Trust in Bangalore"
    BusinessWeek (07/29/05); Hamm, Steve

    India's mix of talented, English-speaking engineers and low labor costs is proving irresistible for Sarnoff, IBM, Microsoft, and other Western high-tech companies eager to set up Indian research operations in the hope of gaining an edge over the competition. Sarnoff CEO Satyam Cherukuri wants to create a model for "global networked R&D" through offshore investments such as a new laboratory facility in Bangalore. He says such collaboration is characteristic of the "third wave" of tech research: "This wave is about harvesting innovations anywhere in the world, with companies using their own employees or third-party researchers like us," Cherukuri explains. A key project at Sarnoff's Bangalore lab is the invention of a self-developed, self-owned technology that supports wireless video compression and transmission on various low-power devices at data speeds as slow as 28 Kbps. MPEG 4 serves as the foundation of the technology, but the production of best quality video is supported by proprietary Sarnoff algorithms. IBM, Google, and Microsoft have also established research labs in Bangalore, and Microsoft Research, India managing director P. Anandan says India is an excellent proving ground for technology designed for use in rural communities and emergent economies. However, recruitment can be difficult: Sarnoff Bangalore managing director Tim Mitchell admits finding engineers and managers experienced with analog-chip design is a challenge. Google expects to attract more leading Indian technologists by promising them status equal to U.S. programmers and researchers, as well as the freedom to devote 30 percent of their time to pet projects.
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  • "Take Browsers to the Limit: Google"
    ZDNet Australia (07/28/05); LeMay, Renai

    Developers need to incorporate next-generation technologies into Web browsers to really transform the desktop experience for computer users, says Google Maps project lead engineer Lars Rasmussen. At a recent Web engineering conference in Sydney, Rasmussen cited the Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL+) standard and Microsoft's Vector Markup Language as technologies that are only supported by certain browsers. For Google Maps, Internet Explorer can use VML to display a blue line between geographical points, and Firefox can use a PNG graphic format and a linear description. Developers have been more interested in developing asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) applications since the release of Google Maps, Rasmussen said. Also, browser makers have become more excited about the prospect of including technology such as VML if it is going to be used widely. The Web browser has positives in that deployment is fast, users do not have to install software, and developers do not have to make sure code runs on different operating systems. However, programmers lose out on access to computer resources such as memory, process power, and hard disk space.
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  • "Coming Soon...a Single, Global, Collaborative Virtual IT World (Phew!)"
    Knowledge@Wharton (07/26/05)

    Collaboration without boundaries will define the changing face of the IT community, said AT&T's Hossein Eslambolchi at the recent Supernova conference, which examined the decentralizing currents in IT and simultaneously identified them both as challenges and opportunities. Eslambolchi sees great potential in the future when networks will connect everyone, breaking down the barriers of physical distance, language, and interdevice incompatibility. Integration of laptops, PDAs, and cell phones will boost telecommuting initiatives, as a projected 40 million workers will operate through a network outside of the office by 2008, up from about 25 million, or 20 percent of the total workforce today, though security remains a major hurdle for telecommuting to clear. As members of the IT community shift from passive receivers to contributors, leadership and communication will be key, as blogging is a much more effective way of directly linking the IT world to information than the traditional corporate filtering process; telecommunications deregulation will mark its shift from an equipment-driven field to one defined by software. E-sourcing, the trend of placing business services over the Internet, rather than on internal platforms, will simplify computing. Integrated Web services could ultimately function as an electronic personal assistant, automatically notifying all affected parties of a change in plans, such as a delayed flight. The exposure of so much information to a global network has raised some privacy concerns, though; Sun Microsystems President Jonathan Schwartz answered that "trust is the currency of the participation age," adding that portable devices such as laptops will eventually enjoy the same authentication as cell phones do. Estimates vary as to the timetable for full implementation of network interconnectivity, though it is generally agreed that we are still in the early stages.
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  • "U.N. Not Seeking to Govern Net"
    National Journal's Technology Daily (07/28/05)

    A recently released report by the U.N. Working Group on Internet Governance has sparked debate on whether oversight of the domain-name system for addresses should be shifted from ICANN to an international organization, as the report recommends. Clarifying the report at a meeting at Syracuse University, Markus Kummer, executive coordinator of the working group, said, "Our mandate was not a proposal for sweeping regime change." He said the U.N. was in fact not seeking to govern the Internet but that greater international input was needed. But U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration director Michael Gallagher said that oversight should remain where it is. "Given the Internet's importance to the world's economy, it is essential that the underlying DNS of the Internet remain stable and secure. As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root-zone file." U.S. State Department senior deputy coordinator Richard Beaird concurred, saying, "The U.S. government has a responsibility. We are not walking away from ICANN as the technical manager of the DNS." Syracuse University professor Milton Mueller disagrees with these positions, writing in a position paper that the U.N. General Assembly is the "only universal body whose competence covers all the elements of Internet governance." MSI counsel Christopher Boam sees a solution somewhere in the middle, claiming that ICANN oversight with greater international input is the "only model that can be considered reasonable from an industry standpoint."
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  • "Soft Cash"
    New Scientist (07/23/05) Vol. 187, No. 2509, P. 40; Mackenzie, Dana

    The popularity of electronic currency, smart cards, and other technologies would seem to indicate that hard currency's days as viable legal tender are numbered, but cash has proved remarkably resilient because most people think it is still more convenient than digital money. Merchants must be convinced that customers are going to use a new payment system or currency before they accept it, and vice-versa. "Micropayment" technologies that enable transactions for low-value goods are gaining ground in places such as Hong Kong, where the Octopus smart card, originally developed to speed access to public transport, is being used in such a capacity. MasterCard, American Express, and Visa have started distributing micropayment cards of their own, while Japanese consumers are using specially-equipped mobile phones to shop or pay for public transport. Electronic payment systems could also support the growth and mainstreaming of social currency, or economic compensation for social behavior. Naropa University visiting professor Bernard Lietaer foresees the integration of local currencies and business currencies into a hybrid electronic currency within the next few years. Meanwhile, Agnes Koltay and Daniel Nagy are collaborating on ePoints, a decentralized system for creating electronic currency that will generate profits via the distribution of enabling software rather than through the payment system itself.
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  • "China's High-Tech Challenge"
    National Journal (07/30/05) Vol. 37, No. 31, P. 2448; Stokes, Bruce

    China's commitment to become a technology--and economic--powerhouse is illustrated by the more than 100 percent increase in China's R&D budget in the past 10 years, the wild growth of Chinese high-tech exports, and the rising number of Chinese science and engineering doctorates awarded, which is expected to surpass those earned in the United States by 2010. Although China's hierarchical societal structure, state-dictated R&D policy, and relatively low production of patents and published research are seen as barriers to its emergence as a tech superpower, Washington feels China is enough of a threat to warrant increased U.S. investment in R&D, science and engineering education, and innovation. Also raising alarms is China's significant progress in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology, while the migration of microelectronics manufacturing to China leads Thomas Howell of the Dewey Ballantine law firm to conclude that "China's growing 'gravitational pull' will draw capital, talented people, and ultimately, leading-edge research-and-development and design functions away from the United States." Fueling the growth of China's semiconductor industry is an unquenchable thirst for computer chips because China is the world's leading television manufacturer, as well as the world's largest mobile phone market and second-largest PC market. Though only 5 percent of China's total R&D spending was devoted to basic research in 2001, the Chinese government wants to increase that percentage at least threefold by 2020. More and more multinationals are establishing R&D and production facilities in China to take advantage of a skilled, lower-wage workforce. Other signs of China's rapid growth include dramatic increases in U.S. tech imports from China in the last few years. U.S. experts think stifling Chinese piracy of U.S. intellectual property and preventing Beijing from setting homegrown technical product standards is a wise policy to follow as China becomes a more potent economic power.

  • "In Search of Talent"
    InformationWeek (07/25/05) No. 1049, P. 18; McGee, Marianne Kolbasuk; Murphy, Chris; Kontzer, Tony

    The IT labor market is showing some promising signs of resurgence, though improvement is by no means across the board; senior executives are particularly in demand, as signified by the high-profile competition between Google and Microsoft for researcher Kai-Fu Lee. A recent survey found that in the first half of this year, salaries for employees with networking skills rose 5.1 percent, database skills jumped 4.3 percent, and application development increased 2.1 percent. Pay for a litany of noncertified skills rose 3.8 percent, while certified technical skills only commanded a 1.3 percent increase. Still, as a backdrop to those encouraging figures, industry conditions such as the trend toward offshoring are resulting in continued layoffs, such as the 14,500 positions Hewlett-Packard recently announced it would cut. Yet companies are willing to pay for the right person with the right experience, as HP recently offered a $2.2 million signing bonus to lure CIO Randy Mott away from Dell. Often, the cost of IT talent is dictated by regional conditions, as a scarcity of skilled workers in upstate New York has led Destiny CIO Jeff Cohen to extend attractive relocation offers to IT professionals he seeks to lure from other markets. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson has opened a secondary headquarters in Toronto, where he has found the competition for talent less aggressive. The overall market for IT professionals has grown 3.9 percent since last year, reaching almost 3.43 million employees, the highest number since 2001; still, it remains unclear if this is a sign of a lasting resurgence, or merely a prelude to another downturn.
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  • "Stuck in Traffic? IT Can Ease the Commute"
    CIO (07/15/05) Vol. 18, No. 19, P. 17; Santosus, Megan

    Technology offers an alternative to expensive road projects as a solution to worsening traffic congestion. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are involved in an effort to outfit nearly 200 cars with wireless GPS and pocket PC devices, which would be tracked by a central server at the university. RPI's Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Studies will use the Advanced Traveler Information System pilot to plot locations on a map, and provide voice updates on traffic with recommendations of alternative routes. Acura offers drivers of the 2005 RL sedan the opportunity to receive real-time traffic information via the satellite XM Radio Service. Also, the voice update capability is integrated into RL's navigation system, enabling the service to also provide suggestions on alternative routes. Meanwhile, the city of Bellevue, Wash., has networked 90 percent of its traffic signals to a central computer as part of a plan to improve signal management, according to Bellevue traffic engineering manager Mark Poch. Traffic engineers monitor traffic patterns via closed-circuit TV cameras, and use PCs to adjust the timing of signals according to backups on roads.
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  • "Coder Be Agile, Coder Be Quick"
    Computerworld (07/25/05) P. 36; Willoughby, Mark

    IT industry veteran and journalist Mark Willoughby writes that agile development has the potential to change everything about software development and make it more intuitive, if it fulfills proponents' expectations. In an agile methodology, programmers write fragments of functionality or iterations that can be completed in a few weeks, and as much attention is devoted to module testing as to the writing of code; upon the completion of one iteration, the developers pinpoint the next requirements, expand the just-completed module's functionality, and begin a new iteration. Agile backers say the technique will dramatically boost developer productivity and lower development costs, although waterfall development methodologies are expected to retain their status as the software development standard for many projects. Agile will emerge initially as part of a hybrid development scheme that mixes both waterfall and agile methods, and software modules with functionality that is likely to change or undefined areas are probable candidates for agile development. Willoughby recommends developers work out a test plan, and then construct and test modules using easily updateable "Tinkertoy" interfaces via agile processes. Willoughby notes that overseas software development can strain cultural practices that play a critical role in agile development, such as instant communication and small teams of developers working in close proximity, but expects offshore developers will also eventually adopt agile.
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  • "USB Devices Can Crack Windows"
    eWeek (07/25/05) Vol. 22, No. 29, P. 18; Roberts, Paul F.

    By exploiting buffer-overflow vulnerabilities in USB drivers, hackers are gaining administrative access to 32-bit computers by programming a USB device to use the machine's vulnerable drive; although SPI Dynamics researchers tested Microsoft Windows environments, the vulnerability is most likely in all computers with USB access. The process allows a circumvention of application security measures. SPI has yet to inform Microsoft of the vulnerability and plans to submit its data at the upcoming Black Hat Briefings hacker conference. An increasing number of security vendors are noticing the threat of peripheral device vulnerabilities for USB, FireWire, and wireless networking connections and releasing new products to protect computer users from such exploits. SPI researcher David Dewey says the USB flaws are easy to find. He says, "Like many hardware drivers, USB drivers are written with very little data validation and security awareness. They're bare-bones drivers that focus on [speed.]" Although attacks involving peripheral devices would generally require a physical presence, contractors or janitors, for example, could easily gain access. The vulnerability is potentially severe since such drivers usually have system-level access, which would give hackers total control of the host system. Efforts to secure USB ports is necessary as new technology such as the USBIF's Wireless USB standard becomes available to provide high-speed remote USB connections.
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  • "Hard Work, Good Pay"
    Network World (07/25/05) Vol. 22, No. 29, P. 43; Cummings, Joanne

    Network World's 2005 Salary Survey finds significant salary increases for network professionals, although this translates into longer working hours. Increases in total compensation for workers in the highest and lowest job tiers is particularly high, with CIO-level respondents reporting gains of 7.8 percent and staffer-level respondents pointing to 5.2 percent growth. Average bonuses for network executives has risen 0.4 percent over 2004, while CIO-level executives are enjoying a bonus increase of 18.2 percent and staffers are receiving a 15 percent increase, on average. Respondents say business acumen is more highly valued than technical knowledge when it comes to getting promotions or wage hikes, and many workers are hoping to improve their standing with upper management by obtaining graduate-level degrees and MBAs. However, once again the rise in salary has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in working hours, with the average respondent putting in more than 50 hours per week; those polled say the additional hours stem from the need to support businesses that operate 24/7. The top five job criteria for respondents, in descending order, are job security, benefits, overall compensation, base salary, and work challenges, while family friendliness is included in the top 10. Generally speaking, respondents are dissatisfied with the overall compensation and benefits their positions entail, although their pursuit of new job opportunities varies according to salary level. Workers who earn less than $60,000 will more likely seek new positions, while those earning between $60,000 and $100,000 tend to be interested in new job opportunities, but are not actively looking.
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  • "Work Without Wires"
    InformationWeek (07/18/05) No. 1048, P. 34; Malykhina, Elena

    A modest but growing percentage of businesses are constructing massive wireless networks as a low-cost, space-saving measure for boosting the efficiency and job satisfaction of workers and partners. This trend is partly driven by the proliferation of Wi-Fi in public areas, which has made people accustomed to--and even expectant of--pervasive wireless connectivity. Through wireless access, knowledge workers can be more flexible, mobile, and productive, although cost, management, security, and other issues have been impediments to the widescale rollout of wireless local access networks (LANs). The lack of consolidation of wired and wireless network-management tools among vendors means companies must implement different systems to monitor wireless LANs, as well as separately manage each campus wireless LAN. Forrester analyst Ellen Daley reports that Computer Associates, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM are promising network-management products that interoperate with both wired and wireless networks. Aruba Networks CEO Don LeBeau says many businesses will desire wireless LANs that deliver combined security and centralized control. Wireless LANs are also expected to advance to support voice over Wi-Fi and other emergent applications. A new report from Research and Markets predicts revenue for the global wireless LAN-security market will skyrocket from $41 million in 2002 to $279 million by 2009.
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  • "Social Informatics: Overview, Principles and Opportunities"
    Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (07/05) Vol. 31, No. 5, P. 9; Sawyer, Steve

    Professor Steve Sawyer with Pennsylvania State University's School of Information Sciences & Technology expects computerization's continued penetration into society to increase the importance of social informatics, which he describes as the study of information and communication technologies' (ICTs) design, implementation, and use as they relate to their interaction with cultural and institutional frameworks. Sawyer outlines underlying tenets about social informatics: Social informatics is a problem-oriented field of study; computing is visualized by social informaticians as a web-like configuration of material artifacts (computers and software), and social rules, norms, and practices; social informatics scholarship is heavily dependent on context; social informatics research represents people as "social actors;" social informatics scholars dispute assumptions about an ICT's material value, people's actions toward both computing and their native social environments, and the nature of these various elements' interrelationships; and intense empirical work forms the basis of social informatics research. Sawyer lists five observations of social informatics that recur so frequently they could be construed as common themes. Among these findings is that ICT uses result in multiple and sometimes contradictory effects and influence thought and action in ways that are not equally advantageous to all groups. Sawyer also concludes that moral and ethical ramifications often stem from the differential effects of ICT design, deployment, and uses, while these same three elements also relate synchronistically with the larger social contexts. Finally, Sawyer writes that interest differs according to the level of analysis. "Contrasting social informatics research with less well-grounded work provides other scholars with evidence of the limitations of these approaches to studying computerization and helps to delineate the form and value of social informatics contributions," the author reasons.
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