December 2008 - Vol. 51 No. 12

December 2008 issue cover image


Opinion Publisher's corner

Looking Back and Forward

"Well within our sights now is a magazine that can truly be considered the most important scholarly publication in the field of computing." 2008 has been a year of incredible change for Communications of the ACM. Starting with the 50th anniversary issue in January in which it was first announced that the magazine would undergo […]
Opinion Letters to the editor

Apple Builds Great Platforms, Too, Not Just Products

Why is Michael Cusumano puzzled about Apple? The main point in his Viewpoint column "Technology Strategy and Management" (Sept. 2008) was that you can either build products or you can build platforms. He then claimed that Microsoft is successful because it builds platforms and said he was puzzled by Apple’s success since it creates only […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Enhancing Business Performance via Vendor Managed Inventory Applications

Modern Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) connect companies in new and novel ways and, as a result, allow them to develop new competencies for competing successfully. ICTs make it possible for companies to collaborate on the design of new products and services, configure new sales and distribution channels, and efficiently replenish those channels to reduce […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

A Framework of ICT Exploitation For E-Participation Initiatives

Governments around the world are tapping on the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) to transform the public sector, a phenomenon broadly known as e-government. Deployment of ICT in government is expected to improve internal efficiency and provide citizens with better information and services. The increasing interest in e-government is evident in the rising […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Evolving Innovations Through Design and Use

Design and development of an innovative system does not end with delivery and installation of the software product. Nor is innovation facilitated by system maintenance focused on “bug fixes.” Rather it requires recognizing how users innovate around system dysfunctionalities. It requires designers to go “native,” as if they were an applied anthropologist, and understand how […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Two Approaches to an Information Security Laboratory

Hands-on course work plays an important role in information security education. Through such course work, students can apply, deepen, and extend the conceptual knowledge taught in more theory-oriented lectures. Moreover, they can acquire experience with, and an understanding of, realistic systems, which is particularly important in Information Security. Hands-on experience shows how often a system’s […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Opening Up to Agile Games Development

In fast-paced business environments like computer games, Agile would seem to be the appropriate style of software development. However, our study of three computer game studios revealed that game development does not deploy Agile methods as such, but rather it shares some of Agile’s practices and values. We were intrigued by how agility was triggered […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

From Genesis to Revelations: The Technology Diaspora

There are two ways of thinking about technology. The popular instrumental view positions technology as a means to an end. Alternatively, technology is also a mode of revelation: a revealing of hitherto latent potentialities in nature and society. It offers insights about the direction of society, business, and science, and those who are quick to […]
Research and Advances Virtual extension

Technical Opinion: Bosses and Their E-Manners

While hailed for its efficiency in facilitating interactions in an increasingly wired workplace, electronic mail messages (emails) also have a dark side. Pearson and Porath4 noted that the complexity of fast-paced, high tech interactions facilitated by emails fuel incivility as people “believe that they don’t have time to be ‘nice’ and that impersonal modes of […]

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