Computing Applications Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

It’s a nascent technological mecca that defies description, or calculation, and sometimes even logic. It’s a potential gold mine to many high-tech global investors; it’s an economic tinderbox to just as many others. Competitive strategies abound there, but rarely intersect. It’s a consumer marketplace measured in billions; indeed, its sheer geographical vastness makes it impossible for the most seasoned venture capitalists and business leaders to take in. The media reports its technonationalistic dreams, while insiders claim those dreams will never materialize. Standards? It will create its own; no, it will abide by the international consensus. And it will stand by the ideology and policy of its Communist leaders, or not.

China has positioned itself to be the next great frontier in business as well as in science and technology. How it fares depends on its ability to overcome its own technical, industrial, and governmental obstacles. But it is clear that IT, especially the Net, has opened the world to much of this once-isolated society, now not only competing with global technology powerhouses, but hoping to lead the charge. This month’s special section centers on the road ahead for China in this quest. Guest editor Maris G. Martinsons has organized a set of articles providing a striking portrait of China today—the Eastern and Western influences, the competing factions vying for leadership, and the undisputed fact that IT is truly transforming Chinese business and society.

Also this month, Iacovou and Dexter offer remedies for surviving IT project cancellations. How management handles failure—and learns from it—is often invaluable. Collberg and Kobourov question whether computer scientists should reuse their own published work, examining what qualifies as legitimate reuse and what constitutes self-plagiarism. Berendt et al., working on the long-held belief that online consumers are driven to protect their privacy, provide a fascinating study of online behavior and just how quickly those privacy convictions disappear with a good discount or entertaining site.

Delen et al. present an integrated modeling approach to help decision makers study the enterprise as a whole from a variety of perspectives. And Ellen Christiaanse explores a new era in the B2B marketplace driven by network-level optimization, making a case for its collaborative benefits over point-to-point relationships.

Richard P. Suttmeier picks up the China theme in "Viewpoint," focusing on the pros and cons of China’s fluctuating notions of establishing and following its own technology standards. David A. Patterson resumes his SPUR resolve, investigating funding options for CS&E research. Peter J. Denning questions whether computer science really qualifies as science in "IT as a Profession." And in "Digital Village," Hal Berghel laments the changing management role of today’s CIO.

Diane Crawford

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