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Volume 7, Issue 820:  Monday, July 25, 2005

  • "Behind-the-Scenes Battle on Tracking Data Mining"
    New York Times (07/24/05) P. 15; Lichtblau, Eric

    Despite opposition from the Bush administration and some prominent Republican legislators, a measure requiring the Justice Department to report to Congress on its use of data-mining techniques passed in the House this week. Opponents of the provision, which was an amendment to one of several bills involving the extension of the Patriot Act, claim that such detailed reporting would be a waste of the department's time and resources, as expressed by Republican talking points claiming the measure would be "burdensome, costly, and of little value, and could interfere with the daily law enforcement activities." Critics have also voiced concerns that the reporting could divulge critical information to terrorists, alerting them to the channels that law enforcement officials use for monitoring suspects, and enabling them to stay one step ahead of the agencies tracking them. In response, proponents of the amendment offered the possibility of a confidential disclosure of the agency's data-mining efforts, whereby sensitive information would pass only to key legislators through a separate report. Like much of the flap over the Patriot Act, debate about this amendment was driven largely by privacy concerns. The government has sweeping access to public and private databases that allow it to compile comprehensive profiles on suspected persons, though civil liberty advocates vehemently support measures to rein in the government and impose standards of accountability, particularly in the wake of failed Bush initiatives such as the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness system and the Department of Homeland Security's Capps program. The failure of these projects has consumed huge sums of government money, and many legislators view the reporting amendment as a way to ensure closer monitoring of the Justice Department's activities.
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  • "When Cell Phones Become Oracles"
    Wired News (07/25/05); Singel, Ryan

    The Reality Mining project led by MIT Media Lab researcher Nathan Eagle distributed 100 cell phones to students and employees that documented their everyday lives by logging cell-tower data to record the devices' location; the phones also scanned the immediate vicinity for other participating phones in five-minute intervals. Some 350,000 hours of data concerning the participants' location, proximity, activity, and communication was logged over nine months, and from it inferences could be drawn about relationships between volunteers and the performance of students and staffers in the Media Lab. With sufficient data, Eagle's algorithms could forecast people's next actions with 85 percent accuracy. Eagle believes the project can be a predictor of how people's lives will be further affected by mobile devices, and a radically new tool for studying social networks, with commercial applications as well. He is negotiating with a networking company that is considering distributing phones to employees in order to build a picture of its operational structure that reflects real life; organizations could employ such an overview to understand clique formation, see where communication is lacking, and measure the actual impact of organizational revisions. Eagle admits the Reality Mining project carries concerns about privacy and data ownership, but he says such issues should not discourage users. He notes, for instance, that most people cannot access personal data without a program on the phone to record such data, because cell phone providers claim it as proprietary.
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  • "Retracing Spam Steps Could Halt Mass Emails"
    New Scientist (07/22/05); Knight, Will

    A team of researchers from IBM and Cornell University have devised SMTP Path Analysis, a method that traces an email's Internet route by examining Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) data embedded within the message's concealed "header," and determines from this information whether the message is spam or authentic. The algorithm at the heart of SMTP Analysis "learns" by studying the chain of Internet Protocol addresses in both spam and legitimate email headers, which enables it to ascertain fairly accurately whether a new incoming email is genuine or junk. Barry Leiba with IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center says the algorithm cannot efficiently identify spam by itself, but is effective when it operates in conjunction with content filters; moreover, it can spot material that content filters cannot. The researchers developed a second algorithm to assess the plausibility of the route an email claims to have followed as a countermeasure to spammers' ability to forge the address of the mail server used to send the message out. Microsoft anti-spam researcher Joshua Goodman says spammers should have a hard time inventing a workaround to SMTP Path Analysis, since the technique uses IP information derived from multiple sources. The SMTP Path Analysis software was unveiled at the Second Conference on Email and Anti-Spam on July 22. Other anti-spam proposals suggested by industry groups include having email servers furnish cryptographic keys so that messages can be confirmed upon their arrival in an in-box.
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  • "May I Have Your Identification, Please?"
    SiliconValley.com (07/25/05); Lee, Dan

    Several email authentication technologies will go before the Internet Engineering Task Force as candidates for an industry standard. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a joint venture between Yahoo! and Cisco Systems that marries the former's DomainKeys and the latter's Internet Identified Mail into a technology that enables a sender's company or service provider's mail service to assign scrambled digital signatures to outgoing emails that verify the address; the recipient confirms the address by checking that the sender has been registered as genuine through the domain name system. Meanwhile, the Microsoft-backed Sender ID specification checks the numerical IP address of the server sending the email against a published list of servers authorized to send messages by the domain owner. DKIM has experienced difficulty in recognizing messages that are part of email lists employed in discussion groups that may modify a message, while Sender ID cannot always identify email forwarded from one address to another. Experts classify an effective email authentication standard as one that is adopted by a large portion of the world's email senders, and Gartner analyst Arabella Hallawell believes DKIM will emerge as the leading standard because it faces fewer technical problems than Sender ID. However, Yahoo!, Cisco, and Microsoft each expect both technologies to find use. EarthLink's Tripp Cox says the level of industry collaboration surrounding these technologies is "unprecedented." "If we're going to make an impact on spam, it's crucial that the vast majority of Internet senders and receivers implement the technology," he argues.
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  • "SIGGRAPH 2005 Hosts Full-Dome Animation Theater"
    Business Wire (07/19/05)

    Computer graphics and interactive technology professionals will have an opportunity to see the best full-dome animation from DomeFest 2005 at SIGGRAPH 2005. The Full-Dome Animation Theater will be a part of the event's Computer Animation Festival, and will feature animation from students, institutions, and full-dome professionals using the emerging, immersive display technique. The animations will be on display daily on a 9-meter-diameter digital dome. Planetariums and special-venue theaters around the world have implemented full-dome video in more than 125 displays that fully immerse viewers in environments, making them feel as if they have been transported to another world. ACM SIGGRAPH is the sponsor of the 32nd International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques, which is scheduled for Los Angeles from July 31, 2005, through Aug. 4, 2005. Research, art, animation, games, interactivity, and the Web will be the focus of the technical program and the special events of SIGGRAPH 2005.
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    For more information on SIGGRAPH 2005, and to register, visit http://www.siggraph.org/s2005/.

  • "Web Services Chugging Along"
    InfoWorld (07/22/05); Krill, Paul

    Although Web services boast lower operational and development costs, more ease of legacy-system and external-system integration, and faster system development than previous techniques such as EDI, they still have significant pitfalls. Among the disadvantages Column Technologies project manager John Neels mentioned at last week's BMC Remedy User Group 2005 conference were a shortage of ensured security and execution protocols; Web server downtimes; rigid interfaces; and performance problems related to
    http requests' need for a fresh server connection at every URL call. Not all vendors concurred with Neels' assessment: Sun Microsystems' Tim Bray called Web services highly reliable, though he and other vendors agreed there is an overabundance of Web services specifications as well as a lot of dirty politics related to those specs. Microsoft's Ari Bixhorn claimed the company's planned Indigo technology, which is designed to eliminate Web server dependence, could address many Web services-related issues; he also disputed the notion that a Web services security protocol is nonexistent by citing WS-Security as the industry standard. Vendors recommended the use of the Web Services Interoperability Organization Basic Profiles as a guide for getting around the multitude of Web services specs. Bray admitted that WSDL complexity was a major impediment, yet reported that Sun was firmly committed to WSDL. And though BEA's Paul Patrick acknowledged that WDSL could be improved, he pointed to a noticeable lack of complaints from customers. "The main advantages of Web services are in easing the loose coupling between service providers and consumers within SOA implementations," said ZapThink analyst Jason Bloomberg in an email, noting that the most pressing problem is a paucity of user understanding regarding Web services' purpose and how they are used.
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  • "Students Imagine a World Where Technology Kills Boundaries"
    PublicTechnology.net (07/25/05)

    The best entries from this year's Imagine Cup, a competition sponsored by Microsoft that challenges students from around the world to conceive of real-world applications for technology, will compete this week for the top prizes. With its focus on solutions for today, rather than theoretical possibilities for the future, the Imagine Cup centers on the application of technology to break down the barriers that are preventing humans from realizing the full potential of technology. One winning entry from the Indian team ProGreen devised a system of rural micro-cooperatives to offer basic-skill computing services such as data entry to large companies seeking to outsource; the group said its goal was to bring the technology revolution that has transformed India's population centers to the country's more rural parts where cheap, reliable labor would benefit large businesses as well as provide jobs for a largely untapped talent pool in India. A Romanian team won the Web development prize with a graphically rich Web site that provides a wealth of medical information and focuses specifically on intelligent prosthesis, a technology that has applications in hearing aids, pacemakers, and retinal prostheses, as well as prosthetic limbs. Winners from each category will compete for the top prizes of $25,000, with the winners to be announced on Aug. 1 at the Imagine Cup World Festival in Yokohama, Japan. Finalists in the competition can look forward to a bright future, as the Imagine Cup is often a source for corporate recruiters seeking out young IT talent. Many participants say they would invest their prize money in further research and education.
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  • "Computers Graduate in Education"
    IST Results (07/25/05)

    The IST-funded Diogene project has developed a prototype information and communication technology training system that selects course materials that are relevant to the topic and a single student, allowing courses to be tailored to individual students' level of expertise and the subject they wish to learn. In addition, the Diogene system can automatically notify students when qualified instructors are available, as well as establish communications between students with similar levels of expertise in the same subject. Diogene-supplied courses will be universally available once they are online because the system uses an application service provider model. The system can align course materials to a topic through a combination of metadata and ontologies, while the use of "fuzzy" learner modeling guarantees the content assigned to students is not too easy or too hard. Cooperative and online training support facilitates student-to-student and student-to-mentor interaction, while dynamic learning strategies allow instruction to adjust to the learner's progress. Diogene also boasts semantic Web openness that assigns a machine-readable label to data, and employs Web services to provide learning object handling, property rights management, curriculum vitae production and searching facilities, assisted definition of learning goals, and support for freelance teachers. Diogene project coordinator Nicola Capuano says the user interface needs to be improved, and the system will be assessed via the Kaleidoscope IST project.
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  • "'We Have the Technology'"
    MarketWatch (07/21/05); Gerencher, Kristen

    Spinal cord stimulators and cochlear implants are some of the commercially available computer technologies being used to recover lost sensory input or manage chronic pain. The stimulators employ internal leads that channel electrical currents over nerve fibers that relay pain signals to the brain, generating a vibrating or tingling sensation to muffle the signals, says Advanced Bionics' Doug Lynch. Chronic pain specialist Dr. Clifford Bernstein cautions that such devices do not mask all pain sensations, but notes that spinal cord simulators have fewer side effects than narcotic painkillers, and are less invasive than surgery as well as reversible and patient-customizable; in addition, implantation requires no hospitalization, and the stimulators can be used for a trial period before surgery. Stimulators with rechargeable batteries are expected to invigorate the market, given the many patients whose use of such devices drains power rapidly. Lynch does not expect the market for cochlear implants to grow as fast, given the cultural and infrastructure obstacles they face. Cochlear implants use two computers--one within the skull and one worn outside the body--to circumvent dead hair cells in the ear and stimulate nerve endings in order to restore audio input to the hearing impaired, but some sufferers of hearing loss may object to the devices either because they prefer sign language or are self-conscious. There are also other considerations: Michael Chorost, who received a cochlear implant, says he had to train his brain to interpret the signals generated by the device as sound because the artificial stimulation differs from biological stimulation. Chorost chronicled his struggle in his memoir, "Rebuilt: How Becoming Part Computer Made Me More Human," and he says his cochlear implant "made me more human...not because of the technology itself, but the choices I made to reconstruct my own outlook on life."
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  • "Software Learns to Recognize Spring Thaw"
    North Texas e-News (07/22/05)

    NASA is pleased with the performance of new software controlling the Earth Observing-1 satellite that is able to track changes in the frozen section of the Earth and provide scientists with updates of information and images, all on its own. The software behind the Space Technology 6 Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment is able to automatically monitor ice formation, floods, and volcano eruptions, compared with other spacecraft that can only capture images upon command. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers trained the software on the nuances of cryosphere changes in a few hours. "This new software is capable of a rudimentary form of learning, much the way a child learns the names of new objects," says Dominic Mazzoni, who developed the software for the JPL. "Instead of programming the software using a complicated series of commands and mathematical equations, scientists play the role of a teacher, repeatedly showing the computer different images and giving feedback until it has correctly learned to tell them apart." After searching for a certain cryosphere event such as ice melting, the software reprograms the satellite to take more images of the event. More than 1,500 images of frozen lakes and sea ice around the globe have been captured by the software.
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  • "I Think, Therefore I Am--Sorta"
    LA Weekly (07/28/05); Wertheim, Margaret

    PsychSim, a virtual reality artificial intelligence technology, is helping train the U.S. military as it crafts real-life scenarios and thrusts its trainees in the middle of them, forcing them to interact with simulations, known as agents, endowed with human intelligence. Stacy Marsella, one of the PsychSim's chief architects and a project leader at USC's Information Sciences Institute, envisions an expansive role for AI-powered agents in the future, claiming that, over time, they will become an integral part of our world and be able to interact seamlessly with humans on a complex level. Marsella is also involved in an agent-based project in which a virtual therapist counsels parents of children with cancer and simulations that could treat people afflicted with phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, both exploring the potential to create human thoughts and emotions through technology. Marsella says virtual minds obtain cognitive powers by anticipating the actions of other simulations and planning responses. PsychSim capitalizes on technology designed for non-human purposes, such as the software that powers the Mars rovers, and seeks to infuse it with a human dimension to enable more advanced modeling. The central departure in AI has been the attempt to simulate the non-rational components of thought, principally emotion and psychology. In creating an agent, programmers need to give it goals, such as adhering to social norms, or being polite and liked; and then they need to instill in it the ability to carry on a conversation in a manner coherent with human standards, where the most basic decisions of how to respond to a simple question or statement become challenging. The military is funding Marsella's research as part of a broad program to prepare soldiers for deployment in Iraq by teaching them rudimentary Arabic and simulating command situations.
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  • "Open Authentication Initiative Gaining Ground"
    IT Manager's Journal (07/20/05); Lyman, Jay

    An estimated 85 percent of enterprise users are not using authentication, and the Initiative for Open Authentication (OATH) seeks to change that by promoting the adoption of interoperable authentication technologies based on open standards, which OATH also certifies. OATH officials say people are increasingly realizing the importance of authentication, along with the simplicity and lower costs that come with open standards-based solutions. OATH's Wally Kowal of Diversinet says customers are often unaware that using an OATH-certified product can eliminate vendor or solution lock-in, while Forrester analyst Jonathan Penn says the crazy quilt of authentication standards and specifications makes the efforts of groups such as OATH all the more essential. "The one thing preventing a blended authentication environment is the management of it all," he notes. "OATH is supposed to be an umbrella for that management." Penn also acknowledges that standardization efforts move at a slow pace because of the time it takes to build standards into products, while apathy among enterprise users is another stumbling block. OATH's Colleen Kulhanek of SafeNet says the rollout of enhanced authentication has been chiefly held up by the cost of integrating a second piece of hardware or other non-interoperable authentication solution within existing infrastructure. Proponents of open standards-based authentication enthusiastically report OATH's growing membership, while OATH's David Berman of VeriSign estimates that the OATH Reference Architecture version 1.0 spec for cross-device authentication is being downloaded 30 to 40 times a day since its release two months ago.
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  • "A First Programming Language for IT Students"
    University of Southampton (ECS) (07/20/05); Gee, Quintin; Wills, Gary; Cooke, Eric

    Quintin Gee, Gary Wills, and Eric Cooke of the University of Southampton's Learning Technologies Group discuss what programming language should initially be taught to IT students, taking into account substantial differences between IT students and traditional computer science students. The authors note that IT students tend to be either direct IT program registrants, transfers from computer science programs, mature students (23 years and up) with industrial experience, or transfers from other institutions or from overseas. Almost all IT students seek computer industry careers and titles such as IT manager, operations manager, project manager, project leader, team leader, or technical manager. Gee, Wills, and Cooke argue that including programming in an IT degree program can help students acquire an understanding of the uses and limitations of computer technology, but the method of teaching must cover programming and program design without emphasizing a coding language. Choosing the programming language to train students in is a challenge, given that there are so many different languages that carry both advantages and drawbacks. One suggestion is to teach programming using the basic components of an existing production language such as Java, Delphi, or Visual Basic, which most students have heard of. The University of Southampton offers a programming module in the second semester of the IT degree program's first level that is designed to make students proficient in algorithmic problem solving; knowledgeable of basic programming principles; aware of the software development process; and experienced with a development environment and writing programs in microcosm. The authors conclude that IT students generally favor a language they are familiar with that also boasts a simple IDE and a real programming language.
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  • "Digital Watermarks Make Life Tougher for Bootleggers"
    Nikkei Weekly (07/11/05) Vol. 43, No. 2191, P. 15; Honda, Takahisa

    To combat the growing popularity of digital bootlegging, many content providers are turning to digital watermarks to protect a file from sharing by identifying copyright information. The watermark is appealing because even if a file is bootlegged, special software allows the copyright holder to determine who possess the illegal copies, a capability that watermark supporters believe will deter would-be pirates. Watermarks protect content through adding a piece of copyright information to a remote part of the file, so as to make it undetectable, though some proficient bootleggers can view watermarks through minor differences in pixel luminance. To further embed the watermarks, researchers at Kobe University in Japan have devised a mathematical formula that spreads a single watermark over 32 pixels, making it much more difficult to detect. A research team at Kyoto University has designed technology to prevent the destruction of watermarks if they are found by complicating their design so that the removal of a given row or column of pixels would not interfere with the watermark's tracking ability. Aside from copyright protection, some developers are applying watermark technology to security camera footage as a way of showing if it had been tampered with. Another application could be the use of watermarks to embed important information into ads or posters that a user could access through a camera or other handheld device. The idea of obtaining information about a product through simply taking a picture of an ad could have enormous consumer appeal if the reliability is shown to be adequate.

  • "Think Thin"
    InfoWorld (07/18/05) Vol. 27, No. 29, P. 32; Tynan, Dan

    Thin client hardware is starting to break out of its niche roles in industries such as health care, banking, city government, and education because it offers better security than desktop PCs, with less inconvenience. Enterprises can avoid expensive upgrades since thin clients can last up to three times longer than PCs, and the technology's biggest advantage is its potential to dramatically reduce support costs and allow organizations to deliver substantially improved support. Thin clients are not without their drawbacks: Although cheaper than PCs, thin clients often entail higher server costs and bigger salaries for network-proficient support personnel; users of thin clients cannot continue to work offline when the network is down; PCs still outperform network-based computers, particularly with graphics-heavy applications; and though interoperability problems with delivering line-of-business apps to thin clients have been resolved for the most part, integration of in-house or custom apps with Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Services can still be tough. The biggest hurdle for many IT managers is the resistance of desktop users, who believe their capabilities will be drastically reduced by the adoption of thin clients. The Gartner Group's Martin Reynolds does not believe thin clients will supplant mainstream enterprise desktops. He says thin clients do not boast the power or flexibility of desktops, while many businesses are switching from desktops to notebooks. Wyse CEO John Kish is more optimistic about thin client hardware's penetration of the enterprise, although he foresees an even bigger revolution in the consumer market once ISPs and telcos roll out cheap appliances for delivering digital services to households.
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  • "Home Is Where the Work Is"
    Business Week (07/25/05) No. 3944, P. 36; Hamm, Steve

    Domestic jobs are plentiful for high-end U.S. software programmers, according to the latest findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The organization estimates that jobs in "computer and mathematical occupations"
    experienced second-quarter growth of 7.5 percent over the previous year; employment in software companies rose 3.3 percent, while jobs at providers of custom software programming services increased by 5.6 percent. This shift is attributed to several factors, including the adoption of new, highly integrational software technologies, and Indian and Western service firms' hiring of people proficient in design and business knowledge close to their American and European clients. Despite the benefits this carries for U.S. programmers, David Garlan, Carnegie Mellon University's director of software engineering programs, warns that people with entry-level programming skills will become more and more disenchanted as such jobs migrate offshore in coming years. CMU's top graduates are better suited for the shifting job market because they have training in areas beyond routine programming, such as software package design. Training in the latest coding skills is also helpful. The leading strategy for tech services companies is to recruit domestic programmers to make design decisions in software projects, while low-wage overseas programmers do the gruntwork. Although software's future prospects as a driver for expanding employment are low, U.S. programmers will still find plenty of home-based work as long as American companies maintain innovation and schools continue to churn out highly skilled graduates.
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  • "Magical History Tour"
    CIO (07/15/05) Vol. 18, No. 19, P. 67; Fitzgerald, Michael

    Museums are deploying pervasive or ubiquitous computing as a visitor-assistive technology, and the knowledge such deployments yield about the presentation of personalized multimedia to mobile users, among other things, will point the way toward more commercial applications. Smithsonian museums are participating in the SIguide project, an effort in which museum-goers rent wireless handhelds that offer a museum map, an interactive list of exhibits, guided tours, video clips and images, location tracking, and instant messaging. Eventually the SIguide technology will enable visitors to participate in scavenger hunts and assemble centrally stored scrapbooks, and SIguide project leader My Le Ducharme is hopeful that the initiative will enhance the museum experience and encourage visitors to spend more time in lesser-known exhibits. In another experiment, Cornell University has installed motion detectors in a gallery of the Johnson Museum that trigger bird noises in a specific section in order to lure visitors. Many museums are implementing similar measures because the technological infrastructure is already entrenched, which resolves issues of customer resistance, reliability, and capital costs, according to MIT professor Alex Pentland. Museums' maintenance of pervasive environments is challenging for a number of reasons: Building content that runs on every type of handheld is too expensive; the cheapest handhelds cannot yet support quality multimedia content; and visitors tend to spend more time staring at the display than at the actual exhibits. The strategies museums follow to address these various issues will provide insights into pervasive computing that commercial ventures could apply to their own deployments.
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  • "Look Ma--No Wires"
    Business Today (Egypt) (07/05); Salama, Vivian

    Many IT experts agree that Egypt is on track to becoming a major global IT player, but a lot more has to be done. Industry analysts say Egypt must adopt India's software industry as a template for its own IT sector, and substantially improve the quality of its products in order to become a competitive IT exporter. "[We should] promote the industry itself and develop the competence and skills of the people," recommends Sherif Enayed of the International Information and Communication Technology Center. Egypt has an advantage in the youth and skills of its tech workforce, while the majority of Egyptian IT users are small businesses that software makers classify as target customers. Furthermore, Egypt's geographic location is a plus because it is close to Europe and can add an additional work shift to North America, while the country's dramatic reduction and planned elimination of import tariffs is expected to fuel the Egyptian IT sector's growth and enhance other regional advantages such as the swelling population of talented IT engineers and entrepreneurs, low fixed costs, and proximity to expanding export markets. IT companies and academics cite the Middle East's burgeoning population of Internet users as reason enough to "Arabize" software language so that online content and applications can adapt to specific dialects, local markets, and cultures; however, Arabizing computer education is generally frowned upon, because of the preponderance of English in the world IT market. Microsoft Egypt general manager Karim Ramadan says Egypt's historical role as a leading originator of Arabic culture, media, and entertainment should be applied to IT as well. Enayed and Ramadan concur that hands-on exposure to IT is critical: Enayed says it fills a major gap in academic education, while Ramadan says the Egyptian population needs the experience in order to advance in the IT sector.
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  • "Software Patents Don't Compute"
    IEEE Spectrum (07/05) Vol. 42, No. 7, P. 56; Klemens, Ben

    Brookings Institution guest scholar Ben Klemens attributes the advent of software patents to the blurred line between machinery and mathematical algorithms, and writes that a clear boundary must be laid down. He outlines two approaches to distinguishing between patentable machines and unpatentable algorithms, and then demonstrates that neither approach works. The distinction between a patentable physical invention and a unpatentable abstract invention breaks down when an invention mixes both physical and abstract components: Federal courts have ruled that an innovation that marries an uninventive physical element to an inventive abstract element is wholly patentable, and that patent examiners must also assume that a physical element exists for any computational algorithm, given the integral role the physical element plays. Drawing a line between an unpatentable pure mathematical algorithm and its patentable application to real-world problems is too unreliable. Klemens cites the research of Alan Turing and Alonzo Church to prove that distinguishing between pure mathematical expression and software is folly, because they are fundamentally the same thing. Turing's "state machine"--a device that performs different operations across different states--is equivalent to a modern PC, while almost all modern programming languages are equivalent to each other because they can transform a computer into a state machine; and Church proved that software is basically mathematics. At the same time, Turing and Church allow a line to be drawn between unpatentable math and patentable machinery: Devices that implement state machines (computers) can be patentable, while the states to which they are set (programs and data) can stay unpatentable. Banning software patents will therefore prohibit the patenting of states to which state machines may be set.
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