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Communications of the ACM

Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers


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Semantic Web technologies enable users to combine and share information as never before. Knowledge management systems give organizations the ability to discover or "know what they know." And e-business processes offer firms a means for automating exchanges among customers, employees, and business partners in a transparent manner. As potent as these capabilities have become alone, together they represent the roots of the emerging field of Semantic E-Business.

The ongoing effort to blend Semantic Web and Web Services technologies promises a seamless flow of information and knowledge, offering companies the tools to search, identify, and tap into more business opportunities as well as the ability to perform automatically what was once done manually. Moreover, that work can be integrated and shared among floors, departments, branches, indeed, different companies.

This month's special section examines the vision that is fast becoming Semantic E-Business. Guest editors Rahul Singh, Lakshmi Iyer, and A.F. Salam, recognized experts in this field, have called on colleagues and researchers who are doing some of the most important work to enhance and expand this "vision."

Also this month, Michael J. O'Donnell argues for a layer between the Internet's addresses and names to allow the use of independent handles that do not reflect the human touch of domain names. And Dingsøyr et al. share results of an in-house study of how tools for managing technical skills among employees are utilized, finding some unexpected uses.

Augustine et al. explore how complex adaptive systems can make the move to agile methodologies truly agile. Chandra and Calderon examine the business, technical, operational, legal, and social issues that still face the field of biometrics and its ultimate diffusion in IS applications.

In "Security Watch," Rebecca Mercuri focuses on the current state of, and escalating uses for, forensic computing. In "Viewpoint," Amy Bruckman argues the need to teach students the nature of trutha key component to understanding the art and limits of online research. And David Patterson's "President's Letter" commends DARPA's grand challenges competition for raising the bar in AI applications.

As 2005 comes to a close, we extend thanks and gratitude to the authors and guest editors who have graced the pages of Communications this year. Your commitment and enthusiasm never cease to inspire us. And a special thanks to our truly unsung heroesthe reviewerswhose dedication to the cause always raises the quality and integrity of Communications editorial to a new level. It could not be done without the devotion, determination, and yes, patience of you all.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year,

Diane Crawford
Editor


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