Architecture and Hardware Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

Ubiquitous objects and mobile communication devices are fast becoming part of the invisible fabric of everyday life. While each comes with a unique set of operating requirements, we’ve come to expect them to work autonomously as well as in concert with other devices already part of our personal operating needs. As a result, finding ways to satisfy access-control issues, information management, and privacy and security concerns in such highly dynamic systems (HDS) is as challenging and diverse a field as the issues its researchers face.

This month’s special section looks at some of the inroads researchers have made in realizing security and privacy in HDS, illustrating the dilemmas involved in building protective measures into systems that are not only data-intensive, but continuously growing and changing. Guest editor Günter Müller, a professor at the University of Freiberg, Germany, and former director of IBM Europe for networking research, called on some of the leading researchers in the field to analyze the demand for and range of potential solutions to the related security problems. His aim was twofold: make practitioners aware of the security techniques being researched today and advocate making security a fundamental component in the development of future ubiquitous applications. While much work must still be done, we hope these stories give direction to future research efforts.

Also this month, Gio Wiederhold asks `What Is Your Software Worth?’ Indeed, he presents an extraordinary model for answering that question, allowing you to calculate future financial benefits based on the use of the software.

Many businesses are easily overwhelmed by the amount of information they have but do not use simply because they lack the tools or methods for analyzing it all. Fan et al. examine the competitive benefits of text-mining tools and present the key steps needed to deploy such projects. And Steigler et al. introduce Polaris—an HP creation that protects computers and their applications against viruses and worms by applying the Principle of Least Authority.

In "Viewpoint," Dennis Adams is torn between how to teach technology to a classroom of students who are constantly distracted by their own technology. In "Staying Connected," Meg McGinity Shannon notes Fiber to the Home (FTTH) is the fastest-growing broadband technology, motivating service providers in Asia, Europe, and North America to be the first to offer bandwidth that merges telecommunications with television. And Phillip Armour urges the need for better ways to measure software, examining the results of a recent study of findings from measurements of modern projects in the "Business of Software."

Diane Crawford

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