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ACM TechNews
January 25, 2006

The ACM Professional Development Centre

Welcome to the January 25, 2006 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.

Sponsored by Information, Inc.


  • In Patent Disputes, a Scramble to Prove Ideas Are Old Hat
  • NJIT's SmartCampus Project to Create Closer Connections Among People and Places
  • A New Way to Help Computers Recognize Patterns
  • After Subpoenas, Internet Searches Give Some Pause
  • Internet Coalition Sets Up Anti-'Badware' Site
  • Can Video iPod Lead to DMCA Reform?
  • Pleasing Plant Shapes Explained by New Computer Model
  • GPL 3 Draft Draws Mostly Positive Response
  • Encryption Using Chaos
  • Manufacturing Gets Absolutely Fabulous
  • Privacy for People Who Don't Show Their Navels
  • Web Surfers Decide a Site's Worth in Fraction of a Second: Study
  • They're Hiring in Techland
  • Bringing Communities to the Semantic Web and the Semantic Web to Communities
  • A Semantic Solution to Finding Information Among Peers
  • NSA Spy Program Hinges on State-of-the-Art Technology
  • Expert Calls for Increased E-Voting Security
  • Salaries Stagnant for IT Workers
  • On Its Face, ALM's Appealing


    In Patent Disputes, a Scramble to Prove Ideas Are Old Hat
    Wall Street Journal (01/25/06) P. A1; Squeo, Anne Marie

    In defending its patents, Research In Motion (RIM) offered as evidence eight reports issued by the Norwegian Telecommunications Administration from 1986 to 1989 that detail a wireless email system that predates NTP's patents, which are the subject of an infringement suit that could shut down RIM's popular BlackBerry device in the United States. RIM's strategy of searching for old research that could undermine the legitimacy of a rival's patent claim, known as prior art, echoes the actions of many companies around the country that are having to defend themselves in infringement cases. RIM's discovery resonated with the Patent Office, which rejected NTP's patents in a preliminary decision last year, citing the Norwegian research. "All you need is one reference that was publicly available, and that's sufficient to invalidate a patent," said patent attorney Dennis Crouch. Until the mid 1990s, patent officers searched manually for evidence of prior art, though the Internet has streamlined the process significantly, as there are now entire Web sites devoted to the discovery of prior art, and obscure and out-of-print books and journals are now available from all corners of the world. The patent process requires applicants to search for prior art, and examiners do the same, though with the current backlog of applications the typical patent only receives about 20 hours of consideration. An industry official, whose name RIM would not disclose, tipped off the company to the Norwegian reports, which were issued at least two years prior to NTP's first patent. Although the Patent Office has invalidated four of NTP's five patent claims, citing the Norwegian research, the company's federal lawsuit is proceeding briskly, with a judge having threatened to halt BlackBerry service in the United States as early as next month.
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    NJIT's SmartCampus Project to Create Closer Connections Among People and Places
    New Jersey Institute of Technology (01/23/06)

    The New Jersey Institute of Technology is preparing to launch SmartCampus, an experimental program that will explore new ways for students to connect with each other through cell phones and other wireless devices. The program aims to link students together with shared interests and provide information about campus news and events. "We'll use mobile tracers to detect the places where students like to gather and use those places to identify students' interests and patterns," said assistant professor of information systems Quentin Jones. "SmartCampus is a unique social computing research project that uses technology to unite an urban environment--in this case the NJIT campus--into a community." The development group draws from the disciplines of electrical engineering, computer science, information systems, and human-computer interaction in an effort to cultivate personal connections and a sense of place that could eventually change the way people interact in urban areas. The National Science Foundation is contributing $1.7 million to the SmartCampus project over the next three years, some of which will be used to provide equipment such as cell phones, laptops, and other wireless devices to program participants. SmartCampus will begin with 100 volunteers equipped with the technology to locate and interact with each other. The program will then expand to 500 participants and eventually will include the entire campus. Volunteers will have software that enables them to access a database comprised of the interests and activities of their fellow participants. The researchers are aware of the privacy and safety concerns that surround this initiative, and are requiring participants to specify which personal information they are willing to make public. Collecting geotemporal data is a central component of the project, though users can block the view of their location at certain places and times.
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    A New Way to Help Computers Recognize Patterns
    Ohio State Research News (01/24/06) Gorder, Pam Frost

    A pair of Ohio State University researchers has developed a technique for improving pattern recognition software by determining in advance the most appropriate algorithm for a given application. Aleix Martinez, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, develops algorithms that simulate human vision, a study that draws heavily on pattern recognition, traditionally using the body of techniques collectively referred to as linear feature extraction. Martinez notes the limitations of that approach, however, claiming that researchers can explore a given method for weeks, only to discover that it does not work. Martinez developed a test with doctoral student Manil Zhu that rates the effectiveness of a given algorithm when applied to a particular application. Using an imperfect algorithm does not necessarily yield incorrect information, but it usually produces superfluous information that only adds to the scientist's workload. The researchers applied algorithms to a data-sorting exercise and ranked their effectiveness on a scale of zero to one. Martinez and Zhu used each algorithm to sort through a database of facial images, and then to distinguish items within a database of objects, such as apples and pears. Scores closest to zero were the most accurate, meaning that an algorithm that scored 0.68 had just a 33 percent accuracy rate, and would probably not be worth a scientist's time.
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    After Subpoenas, Internet Searches Give Some Pause
    New York Times (01/25/06) P. A1; Hafner, Katie; Bernstein, David; Falcone, Michael

    As the Justice Department aggressively pursues a court mandate for search companies to disclose their customers' queries, many Internet users are modifying their search habits. Google has been resistant to the Justice Department's request, though MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! have all complied, echoing the government's assurance that the search terms do not link back to their original source, so there is no danger of compromising personal information. The government has recently stepped up its monitoring activities in the name of combating terrorism, though the revelation that the National Security Agency has been intercepting emails and phone calls without court-issued warrants has outraged many privacy advocates and civil libertarians. Many Americans have no qualms about disclosing personal information for online banking or other activities where there is a perceived gain, but the notion of wanton government surveillance has aroused acute resentment and anxiety among the same body of Internet users. Still others are reassured by the ubiquity of the Internet, reasoning that with nearly half of the almost 300 million people in the United States using the Internet, the odds of being snared in the government's web are slim. The motion to subpoena Google's search records has nonetheless caused many Internet users to think more carefully about the search terms that they select. Google claims that the subpoena would compromise its trade secrets and impose an unreasonable burden of compliance, as well as potentially expose users' personal information, an eventuality which Google has said is untenable.
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    Internet Coalition Sets Up Anti-'Badware' Site
    Washington Post (01/25/06) P. D4; Mohammed, Arshad

    The Stop Badware Coalition, which consists of Google and institutes at Harvard and Oxford universities, today will announce the launch of an anti-spyware campaign designed to counteract the spread of malicious computer programs that have the ability to steal personal information, spy on users who are Web surfing, and overcrowd computers with pop-up ads. The coalition will have a Web site,, that catalogs programs that are dangerous to users so they can know if a program is harmful before downloading it. Companies that manufacture malicious software will be targeted for possible class action law suits. "For too long, unscrupulous companies have made millions of dollars infecting our computers with malicious software," says Stop Badware Coalition co-director John Palfrey. "This is so dangerous because there are intruders in your house, but you don't know that they are in there or how they got there." Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Oxford Internet Institute are the two main groups involved in the project, which is receiving funding from Google, Lenovo Group, and Sun Microsystems. Consumer Reports WebWatch says it will be an unpaid advisor to the coalition. Google VP Vinton Cerf says "our interest is very strong in doing anything we can to help defend against this sort of abusive behavior."
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    Can Video iPod Lead to DMCA Reform?
    CNet (01/23/06) McCullagh, Declan

    The growing popularity of Apple's video iPod could provoke a groundswell of opposition to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, which prohibits the distribution of software that can rip content from a DVD. "Our best hope for getting amendments to the DMCA is for more regular customers to feel the pinch of the DMCA," said the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohmann. Digital rights advocates have protested the DMCA since its inception, though until the iPod, there has yet to be a mainstream consumer device significantly affected by the legislation. Previous DMCA-based legal challenges to 321 Studios, DVD burning software, and many computer scientists and security researchers passed under the radar of most Americans. Reps. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Ca.) have both introduced legislation seeking to address the iPod problem. The Boucher bill is mired in ambiguous language that still restricts the distribution of software that enables DVD ripping. The Lofgren bill gives broader legal support to software that can circumvent DVD encryption, though it has yet to garner much support. A broad swath of the entertainment industry supports the DMCA as it stands, and the bill passed through Congress with an overwhelming majority. Although many hardware companies and Internet providers such as Intel, Sun, Verizon, and Red Hat have pressed for reform, the outcome could be determined by how loudly video iPod users complain.
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    Pleasing Plant Shapes Explained by New Computer Model
    EurekAlert (01/23/06)

    A team of computer scientists from the University of Calgary has developed an animated model that simulates the growth of plants as they assume recognizable patterns. Theirs is the first detailed model of phyllotaxis--the process that begins molecularly where lateral organs gather around a central axis, creating the familiar spiral pattern in many plants. "Biologists have many theories about why phyllotaxis exists but have always wondered how it happens," said Richard Smith, a PhD student at Calgary. "This model is exciting because it proposes a mechanism that works and can be used to try and prove some of the biological theories about the growth process." Smith and computer science professor Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz partnered with a team of Swiss botanists to develop three-dimensional models of plant growth at the microscopic level, revealing the process of cell division and the incrementally spaced concentrations of the plant growth hormone auxin. The model showed the clear development of spiral patterns that appear in many common plants, such as daisies and sunflowers. The scientists hope that their research will provide botanists with an additional tool to supplement their biological experiments. Prusinkiewicz says, "This was a great example of the synergy you can have between biology and computer science and how the tools of one discipline can be used to answer questions in another."
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    GPL 3 Draft Draws Mostly Positive Response
    IDG News Service (01/23/06) Martens, China

    Preliminary reactions among lawyers and the open source community to the Free Software Foundation's (FSF) draft of the third version of the GPL have been generally favorable. Despite lingering concerns about software patents and digital rights management (DRM), the industry has also been receptive to the first update to the GPL in 15 years, generally crediting the draft for taking a multilateral approach. The FSF estimates that the GPL distributes the majority of all free and open-source software, including MySQL and Linux. The FSF formally released the draft at the First International Conference for GPLv3 at MIT, which boasted some 262 registered attendees from a broad cross-section of companies and countries. The FSF's Eben Moglen described the audience's reaction to his presentation as attentive, and noted that many in the crowd seemed relieved that the new version was not pushing copyleft--the provision where works and their subsequent updates and revisions are free--too far. One controversial element of the draft protects "downstream" software users from patent infringement suits by large companies. Moglen hopes that companies will either disavow their own licenses or employ new patent tools such as the Open Invention Network created by IBM, Red Hat, and other groups. While the FSF has long been critical of the software patent process, a newer source of controversy in the update is DRM, which Moglen describes as an endless cause of harm. The update also makes the GPL compatible with Eclipse and Apache, the two principal open-source licenses. Moglen notes that the new GPL takes a more international approach than previous versions, as it was written to untether itself from U.S. law, though English will remain its only official language. Moglen and FSF President Richard Stallman expect to release the second version of the draft in late May.
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    Encryption Using Chaos
    Technology Review (01/24/06) Greene, Kate

    Security researchers are exploring a new method of encryption where the chaotic fluctuations of a laser beam encode messages passing over fiber optic cable, which require a receiving laser of almost identical properties to decode it. The University of the Balearic Islands' Claudio Mirasso used chaotic laser encryption to transmit data at 1 Gbps, a speed equivalent to the typical commercial transmission rate. To transmit data inside a chaotic laser, the message must first be translated into an optical signal, which is then funneled into the laser that emits it along with its beam. The chaos of the beam is then accentuated, and the message is transmitted to a receiving beam of near-identical properties. Upon receipt of the message, the process gives way to chaotic synchronization, which, while still not completely understood, pairs the sending and receiving lasers together, and the receiving laser subtracts the chaos of the transmission to recover the original message. Chaotic laser encryption will have to prove its effectiveness if it is to supplant conventional optical signals, though a body of scientists has already reported the successful transmission of a chaos-encrypted message through an intermediate laser, which is critical for commercial applications where messages would have to travel great distances. While Mirasso admits that the basic technology is not perfect, he will next turn his attention to developing smaller devices for communication based on chaotic encryption, though he does not expect commercial applications of the technology to appear for the next five years.
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    Manufacturing Gets Absolutely Fabulous
    BBC News (01/23/06) Day, Peter

    Long a center for innovation and cutting-edge research, MIT's Media Lab under the direction of founder Nicholas Negroponte has extricated itself from the day-to-day computing concerns to embrace the fantastic possibilities of the digital future. In the same vein, MIT's Neil Gershenfeld has been running MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms since 2002, which harnesses an interdisciplinary talent pool to manufacture new and innovative devices through unconventional techniques. By linking innovation to manufacturing, Gershenfeld is attempting to level the barrier between thought and action that he claims has bifurcated man into clearly delineated camps since the Renaissance. "Computer science is one of the worst things that ever happened to computers or to science, because it prematurely froze the notion of computing on what was possible in 1950," Gershenfeld explains as he describes his vision of computers that digitize production by acting as tools themselves, similar to how proteins direct the human body, rather than simply serving as the control center for other tools. Gershenfeld hopes that in 10 years, three-dimensional copiers will be as commonplace as today's printers and conventional copiers, though the price of mini-fabs currently ranges between $20,000 and $30,000. When prices come down, Gershenfeld looks to the home-fab as the wrecking ball that will level the digital barrier between rich and poor, carrying with it the promise of a capacity for innovation that knows no economic or national boundaries.
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    Privacy for People Who Don't Show Their Navels
    New York Times (01/25/06) P. 7; Glater, Jonathan D.

    There is growing interest today in software that protects the confidentiality of Internet users sending emails and posting blogs. Tor, a free anonymity software package, has seen increased downloads, while the free Java Anonymous Proxy is another program for users who want to communicate anonymously. While it is difficult to quantify how many people have opted to conceal their Internet presence, the recent surge in Web anonymity can be attributed to a growing number of users who want to download music but are concerned about legal reprisals from the entertainment industry, as well as those who use the Internet as a confessional or a forum for political dissent. Electronic Frontier Foundation technology manager Chris Palmer says, "People in the world are more interested in anonymity now than they were in the 1990s." While many software companies are moving away from identity protection software, their heavy investment in the technology several years ago preceded demand, as a rapidly growing number of Internet users is growing concerned with hackers looking to steal credit card numbers, bank accounts, and other sensitive personal information. Despite the renewed interest, many identity protection ventures are still having difficulty turning a profit. Tor's Defense Department funding has run out, and project leader Roger Dingledine is now working without compensation as he searches for new backers. Tor employs a technique called onion routing where a tiered server structure extricates the user from the sites he has visited. The Privoxy software that comes with Tor prevents new cookies from being created and blocks a computer from sending some personal information to Web sites, though the package can slow browsing speeds.
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    Web Surfers Decide a Site's Worth in Fraction of a Second: Study
    Canadian Press (01/22/06) Pacienza, Angela

    Businesses would do well to invest more in the appearance of their Web sites, suggests Gitte Lindgaard, a professor of human-computer interaction in the department of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa. Lindgaard is the co-author of a study that reveals that Web surfers base decisions on how they feel about a particular site according to what they immediately see. At the University's Human-Oriented Technology Lab, researchers compared the assessments of volunteers exposed to sites for 500 milliseconds, or half a second, with those of a new set of volunteers who only had 50 milliseconds, or 1/20th of a second, to make a judgment. The results were similar for both groups, and were completely based on visual appearance because the volunteers had very little time to consider whether they felt good or bad about a site. "People make up their minds very, very quickly about how much they like what they see," says Lindgaard, adding that those who like what they see will then continue at the site in an attempt to prove that they made a good decision. "The message to Web developers is, at this point, you better make sure you don't offend people visually," says Lindgaard. The study can be found in the current edition of the journal Behaviour and Information Technology.
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    They're Hiring in Techland
    BusinessWeek (01/23/06) Ante, Spencer

    The technology industry is no longer producing over 300,000 jobs a year as it did in the late 1990s, but the industry is starting to create an average of about150,000 jobs a year. After adding some 125,000 tech jobs last year, according to Moody's, chief economist Mark Zandi is now forecasting that 217,000 jobs will be created in 2006. "As the memory of the tech bust fades, we seem to be getting better and better job growth," says Zandi. The steady pace of tech job growth comes at a time when corporate America is starting to boost spending on software and business equipment, and the hiring is expected to be somewhat broad-based. Companies such as Google, Microsoft, Accenture, Amazon, Advanced Micro Devices, and Infosys indicate they will be joining startups such as NetSuite and OfficeTiger in hiring more tech workers in the United States this year. The best opportunities will be available to high-level software engineers, management consultants, and computer scientists, while low-level engineers will continue to see jobs outsourced, and major sectors such as telecommunications and enterprise software are expected to show more weakness. expects the average high-tech salary to rise in the mid- to high-single digits this year, compared with a 5.1 percent increase in 2005 to $69,000, and a 4.3 percent gain in 2004. Also, Silicon Valley is no longer the hub for job growth, considering only 2,000 new tech positions were added in the region last year.
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    Bringing Communities to the Semantic Web and the Semantic Web to Communities
    University of Southampton (ECS) (01/23/06) Lawrence, K. Faith; Schraefel, M.C.

    K. Faith Lawrence and M.C. Schraefel of the University of Southampton argue that the key types of virtual communities existing within the Semantic Web--Communities of Practice (COPs) and social networks--may not necessarily qualify as communities when compared with definitions found in other areas. The authors propose a hybrid COP/social network model, the Internet Based Community Network (IBCN), in which the properties of both kinds of networks are combined to fulfill the definition of a community; applications and services can then be developed and operate with the assumption that the network acts in ways specific to a community. In a COP, the links are inferred, the focus is on practice, and social interaction is not required; in a social network, links are explicit, the focus is on people, and shared purpose and behaviors are not mandatory. An IBCN features explicit as well as implicit links, and focuses on people as members of the community. Lawrence and Schraefel focus on amateur communities where the creation and sharing of data is incorporated into the platform on which the community infrastructure rests, and collaborating with such communities offers an opportunity to work in a dynamic, data rich environment. Careful study of community interaction allows researchers to explore the transformation of data sharing from good practice to expected behavior, which raises the issue of whether the community's governance elements can be migrated to non-community networks. To determine who could support the Amateur Online Writing Community with the addition of semantic data to their existing work and interaction processes, the authors developed two ontologies, the Fan Online Persona ontology and the OntoMedia ontology. The ontologies are customized to the community's needs and the development of software to allow community members to indirectly interact with the ontology constrained metadata.
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    A Semantic Solution to Finding Information Among Peers
    IST Results (01/24/06)

    The IST-funded SWAP program has developed an open-source system for retrieving information by infusing peer-to-peer networks with Semantic Web technologies. The application advances the use of ontologies, or vocabularies of formal description, by applying them to content in peer-to-peer databases. File sharing applications have become an enormously popular method for transmitting content over the Internet, linking two users' computers together directly, rather than relaying through a server. "However, because of the distributed nature of P2P systems it can be hard to find the information you are looking for," said Marc Ehrig, leader of the SWAP team. Semantic Web technologies enable computers to retrieve targeted information more quickly, as two pilot SWAP projects have demonstrated. One pilot program, XAROP, coordinated 30 tourism stakeholders in the Balearic Islands, providing instant access for travel agents, tour operators, and other concerned parties to information such as the number of guests staying in a particular facility. Bibster, the second pilot program, is still in use by the academic community to oversee bibliographic information, facilitating the search of scholarly articles, journals, and papers through a peer-to-peer network.
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    NSA Spy Program Hinges on State-of-the-Art Technology
    National Journal (01/20/06) Vol. 38, No. 3, P. 47; Harris, Shane

    Cutting-edge data-mining technologies play a key role in the National Security Agency's (NSA) plan to collect and analyze vast volumes of call and email traffic to extract valuable data about terrorists and other potential enemies. Data-mining not only spots key words but also unearths hidden relationships between data points, and can even identify the thinking patterns and biases of specific analysts and propose alternative speculations. In 2002, the Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA) group apportioned $64 million in research contracts for the Novel Intelligence from Massive Data (NIMD) project, a program to develop an early-warning system designed to prevent information overload--and thus the overlooking of important data--among intelligence analysts. A "Call for 2005 Challenge Workshop Proposals" issued by ARDA says research funded by NIMD is supposed to not only help analysts cope with the flood of data, but also to "detect early indicators of strategic surprise, and avoid analytic errors." The NIMD project and other ARDA-supported efforts are very similar to the Defense Department's Total Information Awareness (TIA) program, which sought to establish a system for uncovering terrorist plots by mining intelligence databases as well as private databases; concerns over TIA's potential to infringe on civil liberties led to the program's suspension in 2003, but other agencies are continuing the development of tools used in TIA. Also generating discomfort among lawmakers is the unanswered question as to whether NSA's current data-mining programs, like TIA, are making sizable investments in technology and policy research to safeguard privacy. Former program manager in the office of ex-TIA manager John Poindexter Tom Armour confirms that the NSA's interest in pursuing projects such as NIMD lies in the analysis of call and email traffic.
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    Expert Calls for Increased E-Voting Security
    Computerworld (01/23/06) P. 14; Songini, Marc L.

    In a Q&A with Computerworld, security specialist Herbert Thompson describes his volunteer effort to hack into Diebold Elections Systems' e-voting machines in Leon County, Fla., on Dec. 13, in response to fears about accuracy and security expressed by local officials. Thompson, director of research at Security Innovations in Wilmington, Mass., says he wrote a five-line script in Visual Basic that provided access to the central tabulator of the Diebold AccuVote optical scan device, and the opportunity to change votes without leaving a log. He added that Finnish security expert Harri Hursti was able to change the content of a memory card, describing his effort as the equivalent of stuffing a ballot box. As a security expert, Thompson views the issue more as a bad software matter than as a political one. He says the exercise was not about Diebold, because other vendors are also making tabulation software and optical scan gear that is not open to independent audit and analysis. Thompson says the security of e-voting pales in comparison to the standards of critical business processes. "There should be much more severe security-testing requirements," he says. "The key is you need to raise awareness that these vulnerabilities do exist and can be exploited, and you need a way of measuring security."
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    Salaries Stagnant for IT Workers
    eWeek (01/16/06) Vol. 23, No. 3, P. 27; Hines, Matt

    IT salaries appear to have been flat during the fourth quarter of last year, according to the preliminary results of a survey of about 2,000 U.S. companies by research firm Janco Associates. The January 2006 IT Salary Survey reveals that the mean compensation for computer-industry professionals rose to $74,636 in the last quarter of 2005, slightly up from $69,579 during the final quarter of 2004. Salary winners included management jobs in wireless communications and security, and positions involving e-commerce operations, computer programming or systems networking, and production operations. However, the average salary for rank and file workers such as software engineers and database specialists fell from roughly $95,000 in the third quarter of 2005 to about $94,000. For the past eight quarters, salary levels have been relatively level as companies have looked to curb their IT spending. "There has been a degrading of the demand for IT professionals because many companies aren't looking at technology to gain a competitive advantage as much as they see it as a cost center," says Janco CEO Victor Janulaitis. "Companies are looking at IT more like any other business unit." Nonetheless, some top executives and specialized workers could see more growth in their salaries this year, according to Janco.
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    On Its Face, ALM's Appealing
    Software Development Times (01/15/06)No. 142, P. 29; DeJong, Jennifer

    Application life-cycle management (ALM) offers faster and more efficient application development, although its wide adoption is being held up by a lack of tool integration and the cultural challenge ALM presents to developers, according to analysts. Although integrated ALM products can help companies conform to federal regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the spreading adoption of service-oriented architectures is an even bigger driver of ALM integration. "Organizations need to not only make sure they have the technical processes to deliver application services, but they also need to make sure they have the organizational capabilities to define, capture, share, and manage service requirements, services delivery, and ongoing services support," says Upside Research President David Kelly. He notes that ALM can deliver enormous benefits to enterprise software development teams when properly implemented, but discipline is necessary if life-cycle management is to be effective. Forrester Research analyst Carey Schwaber says the first thing that must be done is to recognize ALM as being more than an integrated tool set, but a process in and of itself; this means all the face-to-face interactions and other communications necessitated by ALM must be factored in. Interarbor Solutions analyst Dana Gardner says ALM also combines the traditionally separate processes of development and deployment, noting that developers traditionally produced applications based on requirements and handed them in to someone else. Applications must now be designed to accommodate deployment and flexible implementation, and this requires a change in thinking. Adding to the cultural difficulty is the lack of interoperability between different vendors' tools, according to Ovum analyst Bola Rotibi, who says the Eclipse Application Lifecycle Framework project could potentially address the issue by providing a loosely coupled means to link divergent products, based on Web services.
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