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In the Virtual Extension

In the Virtual Extension

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Ballot Box Communication in Online Communities

Mu Xia, Yun Huang, Wenjing Duan, and Andrew B. Whinston

User interaction in online communities is one of the most noted features in the Web 2.0 era. A variety of sites devoted to sharing pictures (Flickr), video (YouTube), collective music recommendations (, and even voting for news articles that deserve attention (Digg), as well as social bookmarking ( have, for the first time, opened the door for users to interact with each other through short messages and other types of interaction. Nonmessage-based interactions have become a major force behind successful online communities. Recognition of this new type of user participation is crucial to understanding the dynamics of online social communities and community monetization.

Examining User Involvement in Continuous Software Development

Achita (Mi) Muthitacharoen and Khawaja A. Saeed

This study examines different factors that help promote users' participation in sending error reports through error report systems (ERS) that take a proactive approach by allowing users to send errorrelated information directly to the software firms when their software experiences a mishap. A survey conducted on 317 users and ERS factors were ranked according to their impacts on user's intention to send error report. Among several findings, the results reveal that value compatibility is the most influential factor. The study also discovered initial evidence of user's reflexive behavior in their interaction with the ERS.

Constructive Function-based Modeling in Multilevel Education

Alexander Pasko and Valery Adzhiev

The authors describe how a shape modeling and rendering framework based on the rapidly progressing function representation is used in the spirit of the educational constructionism theory to implement an active, creative, and collaborative learning process. The modeling language and software are being developed within an international HyperFun Project. The authors applied the theoretical framework and software tools on different levels of education starting from elementary schools to doctoral thesis research in various areas related to mathematics, computer graphics, programming languages, artistic design, animation, and digital fabrication. They illustrate the presented approach by practical experience examples from different educational institutions and countries.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Legal Protection for Non-Copyrightable Data

Hongwei Zhu and Stuart E. Madnick

The Web is the largest data repository on earth and Tim Berners-Lee has noted "the exciting thing is serendipitous reuse of data: one person puts data up there for one thing, and another person uses it another way." However, data reuse faces certain legal challenges. As computing professionals develop new Web technologies, we must understand the legal implications of using them for data reuse purposes. After reviewing legal and policy issues, the authors discuss a framework for policies that maximally allow valuecreating data reuse without diminishing the incentives of compiling databases and making them available on the Web.

The State of Corporate Web Site Accessibility

Eleanor T. Loiacono, Nicholas C. Romano, Jr., and Scott McCoy

Web accessibility continues to have important social, legal, and economic implications for e-commerce. Over 50 million Americans and around 600 million people worldwide possess some sort of disability. In this study, the authors expound on a previous Communications article that surveyed Fortune 100 Web sites for their level of accessibility at a snapshot in time. This study adds three additional data sets for a total of four2000, 2002, 2004, and 2005to present a longitudinal perspective. The authors examine the reasons why global companies should care about accessibility and offer recommendations on how to get started.

Reducing Employee Computer Crime through Situational Crime Prevention

Robert Willison and Mikko Siponen

Employee computer crime represents a substantial threat for organizations. Yet information security researchers and practitioners currently lack a clear understanding of how these crimes are perpetrated, which consequently hinders security efforts. The authors argue that recent developments in criminology can help to address the insider threat. More specifically, they demonstrate how an approach, entitled Situational Crime Prevention, can not only enhance an understanding of employee computer crime, but also strengthen security practices designed to address this problem.

Modified Agile Practices for Outsourced Software Projects

Dinesh Batra

In recent years, agile practices have become popular in the software development industry. However, some agile practices break down when faced with the realities of outsourced development, including the larger size of the typical project, and the geographical, language, temporal, social, and cultural barriers. This article explores how agile practices must be reevaluated in the broader software development environment.

Technical Opinion: Falling into the Net: Main Street America Playing Games and Making Friends Online

James Katz and Ronald E. Rice

Findings from a U.S. survey of the general population identify how the Internet is affecting the daily lives of ordinary people. A nationally representative random survey of 1,404 people finds that, on balance, there is almost no evidence to support the harsh contentions that the Internet is harmful or breeds sad, lonely people as has been asserted. Neither is there evidence to indicate the Internet is male-dominated. Rather, the survey findings indicate that millions of people find community online, and many new friendships have been forged. In fact, a significant fraction of those friendships have extended from the virtual to the face-to-face world. So rather than people "dropping out" of life to become hermits, data shows the Net is a pro-social medium, resource, and network that brings people together.

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