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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

DEPARTMENT: Editor's letter

Conferences vs. Journals in Computing Research

An old joke tells of a driver, returning home from a party where he had one drink too many, who hears a warning over the radio about a car careening down the wrong side of the …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Logic of Lemmings in Compiler Innovation

I am deeply ambivalent about what I read in the contributed article "Compiler Research: The Next 50 Years" (Feb. 2009). On the one hand, its description of the field's challenges and opportunities evoke great excitement; on the …

Recommendation Algorithms, Online Privacy, and More

Greg Linden, Jason Hong, Michael Stonebraker, and Mark Guzdial discuss recommendation algorithms, online privacy, scientific databases, and programming in introductory computer science classes.

The Print-Web Partnership Turns the Page

The relationship between Communications' Web site and its print forefather is entering a new era this month with the debut of the BLOG@CACMin this issue.

Rethinking Signal Processing

Compressed sensing, which draws on information theory, probability theory, and other fields, has generated a great deal of excitement with its nontraditional approach to signal processing.

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

The rapidly changing advertisements that appear on Web pages are often chosen by sophisticated algorithms that seek to place the best ad in the best context before the right customer.

Learning Goes Global

In a world that's increasingly global and interconnected, international education is growing, changing, and evolving. More than 1.5 million students a year study at schools outside their country's borders, and the nature and …

Liskov Wins Turing Award

MIT's Barbara Liskov is the 55th person, and the second woman, to win the ACM A.M. Turing Award.
COLUMN: Viewpoints

The Network Neutrality Debate Hits Europe

Differences in telecommunications regulation between the U.S. and the European Union are a key factor in viewing the debate over network neutrality legislation from a European perspective.

Increasing Gender Diversity in the It Work Force

Want to increase participation of women in IT work? Change the work.

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Software as a Service

The commercial opportunities of software as a service are widely hyped these days and many think SaaS is the future of software. That might be true in the medium term, but the volatile history of remote …

Teaching Computing to Everyone

Georgia Institute of Technology has  required every undergraduate on campus to take a course in computing.  Here are the lessons learned from the practice, now almost 10 years old, of creating high-demand computer science courses …

Program Committee Overload in Systems

Conference program committees must adapt their review and selection process dynamics in response to evolving research cultural changes and challenges.
SECTION: Practice

Security in the Browser

Users with no security training download Web browsers from the Internet without precaution, and demand that they be fast and easy to use. What can be done to make  browsers secure while preserving their usability?

API Design Matters

It is very easy to create a bad API and rather difficult to create a good one.  Recent APIs implemented in modern programming languages make the same mistakes as their 20-year-old counterparts written in C. What can be done to …

Debugging AJAX in Production

Lacking proper browser support, what steps can we take to debug production AJAX code?
SECTION: Contributed articles

Spending Moore's Dividend

Multicore computers shift the burden of software performance from chip designers and to software developers. Now the computing industry is challenged to make parallel computing the mainstream method …

Computing Needs Time

The passage of time is essential to ensuring the repeatability and predictability of software and networks in cyber-physical systems.
SECTION: Review articles

Algorithmic Systems Biology

The convergence of computer science and biology will serve both disciplines, providing each with greater power and relevance.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: A Chilly Sense of Security

Many systems rely on keeping a master key secret. But technological progress can undermine old assumptions.

Lest We Remember: Cold-Boot Attacks on Encryption Keys

DRAM retains its contents for several seconds after power is lost. Although DRAM becomes less reliable when it is not refreshed, it is not immediately erased, and its contents persist sufficiently for malicious (or forensic) …

Technical Perspective: Highly Concurrent Data Structures

The advent of multicore architectures has produced a Renaissance in the study of highly concurrent data structures.

Scalable Synchronous Queues

In a thread-safe concurrent queue, consumers typically wait for producers to make data available. In a synchronous queue, producers similarly wait for consumers to take the data. We present two new nonblocking, contention-free …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Understanding Relationships Among Numbers

Welcome to three new challenging mathematical puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is as yet (famously) unsolved. In each puzzle, the issue is how numbers interact with one another.
SECTION: Virtual extension

Software Developers' Views of End-Users and Project Success

Designing Ubiquitous Computing Environments to Support Work Life Balance

Information technology is no longer restricted to organizational use but is as common place in the home as electricity and water. Because of this increased ubiquity, work activities infiltrate the home with ease and spontaneity …

An Overview of IT Service Management

Toward an Information-Compatible Anti-Spam Strategy

Anti-spam researchers are in an arms race. Deploying ever-more-sophisticated identification and filtering technologies, they have kept one step ahead …

Cross-Bidding in Simultaneous Online Auctions

Online auctions have dramatically transformed the way many people trade goods and services on the Internet. The popularity of the online auction market and evolving variations …

To Trust or to Distrust, That Is the Question: Investigating the Trust-Distrust Paradox

One major obstacle to the widespread diffusion of e-commerce is consumer distrust. In the highly uncertain virtual environment, people have a more prevalent …

Reflections Today Prevent Failures Tomorrow

Process improvement requires understanding and measuring existing processes, analyzing the data to discover cost, quality, or schedule improvement opportunities, and introducing …

Technical Opinion: Semantic Ambiguity: Babylon, Rosetta or Beyond?

Establishing true understanding has been a challenge to human communication throughout history. In the age of electronic communication, the challenge not only remains, but is …