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Volume 5, Issue 527: Friday, August 1, 2003

  • "ACM SIGGRAPH Conference Plays Up Interaction"
    CNet (07/30/03); Kanellos, Michael

    The corporate and academic sectors are trying to make the control of technology more intuitive by designing immersive systems built around interactivity, which is a major theme of ACM's SIGGRAPH conference this week in San Diego. One such system is Body-Brush from the Center for Media Arts at Hong Kong's City University: Body-Brush users can perform electronic music or paint in three dimensions through body language and movement--moving one's hands and arms can effect a change in musical pitch or volume, while how fast one walks or runs can change the tone or rendering of the generated images. City University's Hay Young says Body-Brush's potential applications include art therapy, while its ability to track people's movements using infrared light could make the technology a security option. Other interactive user-tracking technologies under development include a virtual keyboard from Canesta that also uses infrared; the University of Tokyo's Thermo-Key, which picks up body heat; and NTT's ElecAura-Net, which delivers data to a user's handheld by passing electricity through the user's body via a specialized floor. MIT, meanwhile, is using SIGGRAPH to showcase HyperScore, an application that uses statistical models so that novices can compose orchestra-quality musical compositions with limited data input, such as handwritten lines on a computer display and a few notes from a synthesizer. In fact, one of HyperScore's most popular pieces was composed by a 14-year-old. Such interactive applications can be efficiently driven by current microprocessors, but further work on motion tracking, voice recognition, and handwriting technologies is needed. Another potential stumbling block is the privacy implications, especially for those interactive systems that rely on tracking people.

  • "Digital (Fill in the Blank) Is on the Horizon"
    New York Times (08/01/03) P. A1; Lohr, Steve

    Despite the rise and fall of technology investment, the digital age continues its advance in nearly every area of society--communications, automation, science, entertainment, art, and even on the domestic front. A four-month home technology pilot called Mealtime plans to equip 20 households with an array of futuristic, networked appliances, such as an oven that both heats and cools food, and a refrigerator that automatically re-orders groceries from an online grocer; all the home appliances can be controlled remotely via the Internet. Many companies have been surprised by this ascension of digital technology and services, including those in the music industry, which are trying to defend their product against rampant online song-swapping, and the photo industry, which has seen film cameras sales fall as digital camera sales jump. The Photo Marketing Association International predicts digital cameras will outsell film cameras for the first time this year, while the Video Software Dealers Association reports 2003 DVD rental revenue will exceed that generated by VHS rentals. Meanwhile, since 1999, the number of households with PCs has climbed from 50 percent to 64 percent, defying predictions that the market had leveled off, while the share of households online nearly doubled, from 33 percent to 59 percent. Digital technology converts everything to a simple series of binary digits, either 0s or 1s, so that the images, messages, music, or video are easily manipulated by computers. Some companies are embracing digital technology, such as General Motors, which is using the Internet to revolutionize its supply-chain. GM technology chief Anthony E. Scott says, "Despite a difficult economy, that Web-based work to expand our external connections continues unabated." In fact, although worldwide annual spending on IT is down slightly from its peak, at $867 billion, it's still over twice what it was 10 years ago.
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  • "Security Experts on Alert for Large-Scale Hacker Assault"
    EarthWeb (07/31/03); Gaudin, Sharon

    Security experts are worried that a dramatic increase in hacker activity targeting a bug in the Microsoft Windows RPC Interface Buffer Overrun may be the harbinger of a major cyberattack that could encompass millions of networks; one expert, Internet Security Systems' Dan Ingevaldson, says there is a chance that the entire Internet could be affected. RPC is a key element of the Windows operating system, and Ingevaldson characterizes the flaw as the first critical security hole that bridges the gap between desktops and servers. Meanwhile, California-based security firm Qualys lists the Windows bug as the most critical flaw currently in existence. Sophos security analyst Chris Belthoff observes that his company has witnessed a significant upswing in system probes, indicating that hackers are playing with the exploit and seeking out susceptible, unpatched systems. Qualys CTO Gerhard Eschelbeck comments, ''There's a lot of creativity being put in right now to make the exploit more powerful...and hit on a wider scale.'' The RPC flaw is troubling enough to have attracted the attention of the Homeland Security Department, and DHS representative David Wray notes that DHS officials are keeping tabs on the situation and maintaining direct communications with the security community and industry. Wray and security specialists concur that a wide-scale cyberattack could be thwarted if consumers and IT managers immediately download and deploy an RPC vulnerability patch that Microsoft released. Most experts think the exploit would manifest as a worm, and there is disagreement as to whether the rise in probes and hacker activity is the work of a coordinated group or a single individual.
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  • "Surveillance Proposal Expanded"
    Washington Post (07/31/03) P. E1; O'Harrow Jr., Robert

    Government officials want to expand the application of the CAPPS II passenger screening system, which could potentially become the largest surveillance network ever created by the government, but limit the information gathered on each individual. The new proposal was meant to mollify critics who worried about privacy issues. Under the current proposal, CAPPS II would not only use commercial information services to mine commercial and demographic data to identify potential terrorists, but would also be used to find violent offenders. Terrorist suspects' records would then be further checked against classified government systems. Electronic Privacy Information Center general counsel David L. Sobel says the new proposal turns CAPPS II from a terrorist screening system to a "massive enforcement mechanism." Center for Democracy and Technology executive director James X. Dempsey says officials will always be tempted to expand the scope of such a system. CAPPS II has been delayed over questions about the technology to be used and the system's danger to privacy, especially the length of time data would be held, but Homeland Security officials say the rewritten proposal clears the way for CAPPS II to launch this fall after pilots this summer. Homeland Security privacy officer Nuala O'Connor Kelly notes that the new CAPPS II rules allow individuals to access records that have been used to implicate them, a measure she says ensures fair and legitimate use.
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  • "Caltech Professor Peter Schroder Receives ACM SIGGRAPH Achievement Award"
    Videography (07/30/03); Shatkin, Elina

    ACM SIGGRAPH has named California Institute of Technology professor Peter Schroder the winner of its 2003 Computer Graphics Achievement Award. Schroder, a professor of computer science and applied and computational mathematics at Caltech, has conducted a considerable amount of work on 3D geometry processing, which has helped lay the foundation for current research in computer graphics and digital geometry processing. Also being honored by ACM SIGGRAPH are two researchers with ties to Schroder. Pat Hanrahan, a former computer graphics professor of Schroder's, has won the Steven Anson Coons Award, and Mathieu Desbrun, a former student, has earned the Significant New Researcher Award. The Computer Graphics Achievement Award was created to recognize outstanding accomplishment in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Schroder's work, which focuses on wavelets, subdivision surfaces, and multiresolution modeling, is heavily cited in the research community. An emerging research area, 3D geometry processing makes use of mathematics, computer science, and engineering concepts in designing efficient algorithms for manipulating and animating complex 3D models.

  • "Security Pros Talk, But Can They Walk?"
    CNet (07/30/03); Lemos, Robert

    As computer security experts gather in Las Vegas for the Black Hat Briefings and DefCon gatherings this week, many say the debate about how to improve security is more strident than ever, yet has still not produced results. Spire Security research director Pete Lindstrom says obvious security gaps are being closed, such as email virus transmission, but other issues are not moving forward. The federal government issued its National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace in February, but critics say it will do little to improve the overall security environment because it lacks a concrete plan and the two top officials that drafted the strategy have left. IT vendors also continue to fare badly, with Microsoft facing embarrassing Passport security issues after more than a year with its Trustworthy Computing program, while Cisco recently revealed a serious flaw in its routers. Companies are arguing for more time in crafting patches for flaws--for example, the Organization for Internet Safety disclosure guidelines would leave 30 days before an announcement and another 30 days before full disclosure of technical details. Some security firms already comply with the proposed rules, while smaller groups and independent researchers are eager to release their discoveries as soon as possible. Metasploit.com founder and security researcher H.D. Moore says companies' desire to keep vulnerabilities under wraps is understandable, but in the end does little to improve actual security. Meanwhile, Moore says more flaws are being reported privately, so users have less of a chance to defend against those specific attacks; he argues that making vulnerabilities public quickly actually lessens their threat.

  • "I Think, Therefore I Communicate"
    Wired News (07/30/03); Sandhana, Lakshmi

    The past 15 years have seen notable progress in the development of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), although the technology is still not ready for commercialization. The objective of BCI research is to directly connect computers to the neural impulses of "locked-in" persons so they can communicate with the outside world--by mentally controlling a wheelchair or prosthesis, or by making their feelings and desires known through word processing programs, for example. Other potential BCI applications include new video games, "mental typewriters," and the enhancement of response-time for fighter pilots. BCI devices currently fall into two categories: A non-invasive electroencephalogram skullcap that picks up brain waves off the subject's scalp, and implanted electrodes that read neural signals directly from the brain. Both approaches interpret these signals as commands that the connected computer or device should follow. University of Rochester BCI researcher Jessica Bayliss has designed a virtual apartment where participants don a virtual-reality headset and focus their thoughts to control the environment's lights, turn on a TV, and direct a mock car. Meanwhile, Chuck Anderson of Colorado State University is trying to make a computer capable of accurately recognizing specific thought patterns by analyzing five isolated mental tasks, such as the writing of a letter, the visualization of numbers as they are written on a board, and the execution of complicated multiplication problems. Cyberkinetics hopes to start testing its Braingate Neural Interface on disabled human subjects next year, equipping them with permanent implants that allow them to communicate with a computer; the interface's development owes a lot to Brown University neuroscientists who experimented with BCIs, allowing monkeys to mentally play computer games and direct the movement of robotic devices.

  • "The New Era of Wireless Tracking"
    NewsFactor Network (07/30/03); Ryan, Vincent

    Wireless-tracking technology is being developed and touted by small vendors, but its adoption hinges on how those vendors market the technology and what their agendas are. Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is already in use by the U.S. military and, to a lesser degree, the commercial sector. The military has invested in active RFID tags, which are more sophisticated and expensive than passive tags, for operations such as supplies deployment in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia; the tags boast a greater range of coverage and can transmit more information about the supplies they are attached to. Savi Technology's Mark Nelson notes that the commercial sector has found use for RFID tags as a tool for supply-chain management, but adds that the cost of the technology and a dearth of international interoperability standards has impeded the widescale commercial adoption of wireless-tracking systems. Steve Wozniak's Wheels of Zeus venture is developing a wireless platform called wOz whose core component is a low-power network that operates in the 900 MHz spectrum and can track tagged items within a radius of up to two miles. Gina Clark of Wheels of Zeus says the system will also feature a mobile base station and long-lived tag batteries, while the tags themselves can issue alerts in case an item exceeds its designated bounds. Multiple wOzNet base stations would be linked together in a peer-to-peer network that expands the range of coverage beyond the maximum two-mile limit for individual stations. Wheels of Zeus plans to keep network costs down by not imposing carrier fees, while the wOz platform and network are slated to debut in the first half of 2004.

  • "Senators to Quiz New ICANN Leader"
    TechNews.com (07/31/03); McGuire, David

    During his first scheduled appearance before a Senate subcommittee scheduled for July 31, ICANN President Paul Twomey will address the reforms the authority has made, ICANN's plans for continually ensuring its responsibility to companies and governments as well as users, ICANN's position shielding the Internet from hackers, and possibly other topics, such as the controversy over protecting privacy of users when they register Internet addresses and the method for reallocating domain names that ICANN backs. Twomey, an Australian businessman, took leadership of ICANN in March after the previous president Stuart Lynn pushed for improvements to the authority. Changes at ICANN have included the fact that while users used to have some say in elections to the board, now they may form regional at-large organizations that may give ICANN input on policy instead. According to an aide for Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), the head of the subcommittee that oversees ICANN, Burns "views Twomey as a very competent CEO type, whereas before they were mostly academics, and previous people haven't had that high-level business experience." Joe Sims, an outside counsel for ICANN, anticipates that Twomey will report that the overhaul of ICANN is complete and the next step is to put dedicated individuals into positions at local groups. However, Rob Courtney of the Center for Democracy and Technology notes, "I think there are very few people in and around ICANN that would claim that ICANN's move to bolster legitimacy is really over."
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  • "UK, U.S. IT Pros Top the Salary Charts"
    CyberAtlas (07/31/03); Greenspan, Robyn

    The 2003 Information Technology Toolbox (ITtoolbox) Salary Survey lists the United States and Britain as the regions with the highest IT industry pay scales, with American and British IT workers earning an average yearly salary of more than $80,000. American supply chain and storage experts earn some of the highest annual salaries, while Linux and networking professionals hit bottom in terms of yearly wage. Most of the nine countries surveyed reserve the highest salaries for IT professionals with over 15 years of experience, although South Africa awards top salaries to professionals with eight to 10 years of experience, while workers with 10 to 15 years of experience command top salaries in the United Kingdom. Almost 50 percent of the 3,000 survey respondents claimed that their most recent salary increase fell between 0 percent and 5 percent, while over 25 percent reported enjoying a salary increase topping 10 percent. Fifty-one percent of respondents attributed their most recent raises to an employer review, 21 percent cited an change in employer, 15 percent received promotions, and miscellaneous reasons accounted for 10 percent. Female respondents to the ITtoolbox survey earn an average annual salary of $59,400, just $2,600 less than their male equivalents. Female IT workers were earning $4,200 less than male IT workers in 2001 and $10,000 less in 2000, which indicates that women in IT are coming closer to earning as much money as men. Another study conducted by Wilson Research Group lists data warehousing and software design as the most highly valued skills an IT professional can possess.
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  • "From Uzbek to Klingon, the Machine Cracks the Code"
    New York Times (07/31/03) P. E8; Farah, Christopher John

    Researchers are developing machine translation systems that can decipher many obscure texts thanks to the advent of statistical machine translation, which involves computers learning new languages on their own. Traditional machine translation requires the participation of bilingual programmers who must feed vocabulary and syntax rules into the computer, essentially teaching the language to the machine; in contrast, statistical machine translation only needs the programmer to provide the machine with an English text and its foreign language equivalent, with subsequent translations determined by statistical analysis. The complexity of statistical machine translation required more sophisticated software and computers than were available in the 1990s, and Johns Hopkins University scientists made a critical leap forward with the development and release of Egypt/Giza, a software application package that made statistical translation accessible to researchers across the United States. The proliferation of the Internet has also benefited scientists' research by creating a surge of translated foreign texts, while IBM's statistics-based Bleu Metric technique is an invaluable tool for testing new translation procedures. Dr. Kevin Knight of the University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute reports that statistical machine translation has outdistanced conventional machine translation programs in terms of progress and accuracy. Although statistical translations are often grammatically inaccurate, the method is significantly faster and less expensive than traditional machine translation. Dr. David Yarowsky of Johns Hopkins says that systems capable of translating as many as 100 languages could be up and running in five years. Skeptics, meanwhile, argue that statistical machine translation is inadequate as a search method.
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  • "'Point-and-Connect' Links for Wireless Devices"
    New Scientist (07/29/03); Knight, Will

    Researchers at Sony are developing a system that will make linking devices via a wireless network a more intuitive process. The prototype camera-based system, which makes use of "point-and-connect" technology, eliminates the need to manually configure networked devices. The Gaze-Link system works by attaching small stickers with codes for each device, using laptops with cameras for identifying the code, and using laptops with software that can automatically locate the device on the network. The idea is to link a laptop or a handheld computer so that data can be instantly transferred to another device on the same wireless network. Ayatsuka Yuji, a researcher at Sony's Interaction Laboratory in Tokyo, says transferring data via a wireless network can be difficult if there are many networked devices. Simeon Keates, a computer usability researcher at Cambridge University, is optimistic about the prospects of the Gaze-Link system, as networks, such as those in the home, start to feature a number of different devices.

  • "High Tech Worker Visas Come Under Fire"
    EarthWeb (07/30/03); Mark, Roy

    Allegations that the L-1B visa program is being abused has prompted a raft of proposed legislation in both the House and the Senate calling for limits on the number of L-1Bs that can be approved. The L-1Bs were originally designed to allow multinational companies with U.S. branches to transfer foreign employees with "specialized knowledge" to the United States, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) claims that software outsourcing companies are exploiting the visa program to shift overseas workers to American companies, where they often displace domestic staff. Laid-off Siemens programmer Patricia Fluno testified at a recent hearing of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security that she was forced by her employer to train her replacement, who was brought in on an L-1B visa. Fluno also said that Siemens was paying L-1B workers below prevailing U.S. wages. Proposals from lawmakers, in addition to cutting back on approved L-1Bs, would require employers to first look for suitable American candidates before applying for L-1Bs, as well as pay visa holders prevailing wages. ITAA President Harris N. Miller declared that the L-1 program is key to the continued competitiveness of American IT multinationals, but admitted that "we see some possible areas of improvement in its administration by the Departments of State and Homeland Security to ensure that legitimate users have access and to prevent possible abuses." The ITAA issued a new white paper that attempts to more specifically define the kinds of IT skills that qualify as specialized knowledge, skills such as proficiency in COBOL or Java programming languages, or understanding of a company's unique process or techniques that does not constitute general industry knowledge.

  • "Prowling the Ruins of Ancient Software"
    Salon.com (07/30/03); Williams, Sam

    Some experts are concerned that a "digital dark age" is looming in which important digitized material could be lost forever because the software programs needed to unlock it were never archived, or the knowledge of how the old software works was never recorded or passed on. This trend is being driven by the lack of a central software archival institution and legislation such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which criminalizes the circumvention of copy-control mechanisms. Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle observes, "Things are going to be lost not because people don't want to save them or because the original creators don't want to save them, but because they can't save them." The Internet Archive, which serves as a repository for Web site screen shots and other digital artifacts, is willing to fulfill the same role for source code, but software preservationist Simon Carless notes that the DMCA and outdated copy-protection measures are major impediments. His institution is lobbying Congress to amend the DMCA to grant archival organizations immunity from penalization. Grady Booch of IBM's Rational Software subsidiary plans to coordinate a fall seminar at the Computer History Museum that focuses on exhuming and preserving old software. The session's ultimate goal is to clear the way for an exhibit on classic software programs and provide a lexicon for deconstructing and discussing such programs. Booch says the World Wide Web and the open-source software community have been critical contributors in the push to document and publish coding methods, and he intends to court firms that could potentially benefit from the preservation of their legacy code.
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  • "Homeland Security Courts Silicon Valley"
    CNet (07/31/03); Gilbert, Alorie

    Silicon Valley technology firms and entrepreneurs caught in a IT spending downturn could have reason to smile with the Department of Homeland Security's announcement of a roughly $1 billion budget for academic and private-sector research and development projects focusing on technology that could fortify the national infrastructure and enhance defensive and responsive measures to terrorist incidents. Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) deputy director Jane Alexander told tech executives at Veritas Software's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., that projects must adhere to certain criteria in order to qualify for funding. The technology must be relatively cheap if it is to be widely used by local law enforcement and emergency workers; the technology must be incapable of generating false positives if its purpose is to identify the signs of a terror attack; and the technology must be able to adjust to protocols and infrastructure that may vary between states and local governments. Alexander noted that HSARPA will concentrate heavily on technology that facilitates the detection and handling of bioterrorism threats, but will also listen to proposals designed to aid domestic disaster response by the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and other security-related departments and entities. Alexander reported that her staff have been flooded with more than 3,000 proposals sent to HSARPA. The deputy director said that HSARPA, unlike the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), will focus on technology concepts that can be developed within a relatively short time--six months to two years.

  • "Antispam Bills: Worse Than Spam?"
    Wired News (07/30/03); Singel, Ryan

    Dislike for spam is fairly universal, but not all Internet interests are in support of centralized blacklists, delivery charges, or other aggressive regulations that would aim to block spam, because they fear such measures could serve to ruin the larger email system. A number of pieces of legislation would classify hiding sender identities or faking routing data as illegal, but these common practices of spammers also may be used by government whistle-blowers, people living under repressive governments, or closeted gay teenagers. Marv Johnson of the ACLU is among those who worry about Internet users who rely on anonymity for understandable reasons, and says using an incorrect message header does not constitute fraud. Discussing the position of her organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, head counsel Cindy Cohn stresses the importance of ensuring that legitimate email always reaches its destination. "It's not the job of an ISP to block email," Cohn contends. Brian Gillette, whose firm sells the antispam tool trimMail Inbox, agrees. Challenge-and-response systems, which do not deliver messages without a confirmation sent by the recipients host or ISP, often interfere with newsletters and listservs. One new and potentially useful technique involves Bayesian algorithms to filter email and mark spam for a spam folder.

  • "Code Reuse Gets Easier"
    Computerworld (07/28/03) Vol. 31, No. 36, P. 24; Anthes, Gary H.

    Software reuse was touted heavily in the 1980s, but widescale adoption remained elusive until object-oriented languages and applications emerged; reusing code has been simplified even further with the advent of XML-based Web services, Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration directories, and the J2EE and .Net component models. The power and compatibility of software tools has also been enhanced with the appearance of Unified Modeling Language for object-oriented software management and the Reusable Asset Specification. Software reuse is not as new as it may seem, but the practice has long been complicated by a dearth of protocols, policies, and tools for tracking, coordinating, searching, and circulating software assets. "Developers like to share things informally, and managers might be surprised to find how much reuse they already have," explains Fidelity National Financial's Dale Hite. "The leverage comes from being able to manage where it's at, locating it, updating it and maintaining it once versus maintaining it in a number of iterations." At the core of software reuse are searchable repositories of software metadata and usage, but there are also development tools and environments, version-control software, legacy code wrapping and transformation tools, and messaging tools that support reuse. Grant Larsen of IBM's Rational Software division notes that companies are seeing the wisdom in reusing precode assets such as design specifications and requirements. Other assets that could also be considered reusable include best practices, business-process protocols, test cases, interface specs, documentation, images, models, patterns, and XML architecture. Andrew Zimmerman of Citigroup Real Estate Servicing and Technology says that developing code with reuse in mind takes longer, but promises to dramatically reduce the time and effort of subsequent code rollouts.
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  • "Spam Technology Seeks Acceptance"
    Network World (07/28/03) Vol. 20, No. 30, P. 21; Fontana, John

    The growth of spam and the importance of deploying email filters to staunch its spread has renewed interest in Sieve, a proposed Internet Engineering Task Force Standard originally designed to help end users write filters that sort messages clogging up in-boxes. Sieve creator Tim Showalter notes that spam is directly responsible for email overload, and this trend promises to give Sieve new life and raise it from the doldrums of low adoption as a result of scripting complexity and dearth of support in standard clients. "Filtering is now happening at the corporate gateway and not the desktop for spam, anti-virus and content," Showalter says. Vendors that have found use for Sieve include Vircom, which has made the scripting language the basis for the ModusSieve anti-spam engine Vircom sells to ISPs and certain corporations. Brightmail's Anti-Spam engine also supports Sieve, while Rockcliffe deployed Sieve in the Web-mail interface of its MailSite Express messaging server and is planning to include it in an upcoming anti-spam release. These vendors' customers use Sieve to write personalized spam filters and share scripts as well. Messaging server products from Sun One, Critical Path, and Sendmail, along with Cyrusoft International's Mulberry Internet mail client, also boast Sieve support. Showalter says that Sieve is a good match for Internet Message Access Protocol-based email servers that store messages on the server where Sieve scripts can be implemented for users who take mail from more than one client.

  • "Technology Trend Predictions"
    Darwin (07/03); Spencer, Robert H.; Johnston, Randolph P.

    Technology Best Practices authors Robert H. Spencer and Randolph P. Johnston foresee wireless dominating long-term technology trends--indeed, they posit that all networks could conceivably go wireless within a decade. There is a push to extend the useful economic life of both hardware and software; hardware for general applications such as accounting and manufacturing will enjoy an average four- to five-year span, while Spencer and Johnston advise companies to upgrade their software annually. The authors expect a significant increase in personal digital assistant (PDA) usage, while mobile commerce (m-commerce) will eventually displace e-commerce. Instant messaging is projected to penetrate mainstream businesses, driven by the influx of younger professionals into the workforce and the need for rapid customer response. Spencer and Johnston predict that IM will be interlaced with traditional telephony to the point that one day all phone calls will be handled through IM. Remote or mobile computing will keep evolving until the practice is just as routine as flextime or job sharing. The authors believe that centralized computing will regain the crown for the leading technology trend because of people's desire for anytime/anywhere access to information. Other trends Spencer and Johnston forecast include the seamless transfer of data between vendors, the move toward an office with less paper as opposed to a paperless office, and a need to find an alternate operating system rather than continuously upgrading the Microsoft OS.

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