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In the Virtual Extension

Communications' Virtual Extension brings more quality articles to ACM members. These articles are now available in the ACM Digital Library.
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Power and Trust in Global Virtual Teams

Niki Panteli and Robert Tucker

Although the current understanding of virtual teams has advanced in significantly over the last few years, the authors contend it has not taken sufficient account of power dynamics within virtual teams nor sought to explore the nature of power within geographically distributed teams. The challenge is to be able to manage power differentials effectively in order to allow collaboration to foster within a virtual team environment. The question addressed in this article is: How is power exercised in global virtual teams and how can it effectively impact trust development and overall team performance in such distributed environments?

Online Privacy, Government Surveillance, and National ID Cards

Sun Sun Lim, Hichang Cho, and Milagros Rivera Sanchez

The authors explore how the online privacy concerns of Internet users are related to their attitudes toward government surveillance and national ID cards. A survey of Internet users in five multinational cities (Bangalore, New York, Seoul, Singapore, and Sydney) found that while positive attitudes toward ID cards raise online privacy concerns, actual experiences using these cards appear to desensitize Internet users to privacy intrusions. This is possibly due to the perceived convenience of these cards, the realization that privacy intrusions are not particularly significant, or a sense of resignation that the use of ID cards will inevitably be accompanied by privacy intrusions.

Security in Dynamic Web Content Management Systems Applications

Ganesh Vaidyanathan and Steve Mautone

Web Content Management Systems (WCMS) allow teams to maintain Web content in a dynamic fashion. While this "on-the-fly" content creation provides Web site authors several advantages, there are distinct disadvantages. Indeed, organizations are adopting information technology without understanding such security concerns. The authors illustrate how to evaluate open source systems and how an evaluation technique in terms of security may be used in an organization to assess a short list of possible WMCS systems. This work focuses on security issues in WCMS with the objective to understand the security issues as well as to provide a generic security framework.

Assessing Open Source Software as a Scholarly Contribution

Lou Hafer and Arthur E. Kirkpatrick

In academic computer science, papers about software are considered scholarship but actual software is not. The authors propose "best practices" for the evaluation of the scholarly contribution of open source software, raising publication of code to a status comparable to publication of the ideas it embodies. Evaluating software as scholarship acknowledges the importance of the application of discoveries. The authors contend software instantiates knowledge in a form that can be applied, unlike the passive knowledge in an article. Considering software as scholarship also advances the scientific principle of reproducibility. Pseudo-code in an article is insufficient for replication; only actual code provides enough detail.

Why Did Your Project Fail?

Narciso Cerpa and June Verner

Most research literature on failed software projects tends to deal with a few high-profile failures. The authors review 70 failed projects to determine what factors lead to project failure. Data was collected from a survey that considered over 80 software development practices. Projects do not fail for a single reason alone; they fail for multiple reasons, including poor estimation and schedule, poor risk management, and lack of staff rewards. The failure factors are different for in-house and outsourced projects, and while organizations do not conduct post-mortem reviews software projects will continue to fail.

Visual Passwords: Cure-All or Snake-Oil?

Karen Renaud and Antonella De Angeli

In our everyday lives we’re expected to remember a number of passwords and PINs. Since human memory is finite and fallible, we often forget them. As an industry, we know that the password has outlived its usefulness as an authenticator, but no one has come up with a convincing and viable alternative. Visual passwords have been researched for a decade now. The authors present the different kinds of visual passwords, their pros and cons, and debate whether they do indeed possess the potential to be a viable alternative to the hated password.

Positive Externality, Increasing Returns, and the Rise in Cybercrimes

Nir Kshetri

The distinctive geography of cyberspace provides an ideal environment for engaging in opportunistic behavior. This article employs increasing returns and externalities approaches to explain the escalation of cybercrimes. The author focuses on three positive or self-reinforcing feedback systems to examine increasing returns in cybercrime-related activities. They are related to economic, sociopolitical and cognitive systems. The author also examines three mechanisms that may give positive feedback to cybercriminals: inefficiency and congestion in the law enforcement system, acceleration of the diffusion of cybercrime know-how and technology, and increase in potential criminals’ predisposition toward cybercrimes.

Technical Opinion: Are Employees Putting Your Company At Risk By Not Following Information Security Policies?

Mikko Siponen, M. Adam Mahmood, and Seppo Pahnila

Careless employees who do not follow information security policies constitute a serious threat to information privacy and confidentiality. A field research, conducted to determine which issues are vital toward employees’ compliance with these policies, indicates that the visibility of security activities and expectations of peers have a positive impact on employees’ ability to assess the severity of security threats. These precursor variables also affect employees’ beliefs that the security policies compliance is an effective way to combat these threats. In turn, if employees realize the severity of security threats, they often have a strong intention to comply with security policies.

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