Architecture and Hardware Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

Every year around this time we take the opportunity to present some of the emerging trends and latest applications created by the vibrant fields surrounding graphics technologies. Part of this strategy is to provide some editorial coverage to complement the annual SIGGRAPH conference—surely one of ACM’s most globally renowned events. Each summer researchers, artists, software developers, filmmakers, scientists, and technologists congregate to share their diverse interests in graphics and interactive techniques as well as welcome a widening spectrum of budding areas in VR, gaming, animation, visualization, special effects, artistry, and health care applications, to name just a few. (This year, the conference will take place in Los Angeles, Aug. 8–12; www.siggraph.org/s2004/.)

Another reason for this yearly graphical sojourn is simply because it’s visually spectacular in scope, implementation, and promise. Indeed, it’s this electric atmosphere that draws Communications’ senior editor Andrew Rosenbloom to SIGGRAPH each year, always searching for the latest applications, always returning with dozens of stories to tell and more to pursue. This time he has orchestrated a section focusing on 3D virtual imagery that is so real to the (literal) touch, so rich to the senses, so dynamic as to allow us to view and manipulate objects from all angles in real, virtual, or hybrid environments. We hope you find these articles reflect some of the scientific reasons we keep going back for more.

Also in this issue, Rolf Oppliger examines the technologies to provide certified mail services in an efficient and protected manner. Burmester and Desmedt consider the trade-offs between security requirements and the complexity of an authentication infrastructure in secure network communication. And Elfatatry and Layzell discuss the market for software services, introducing a business model in which software is rented, used as needed, and then discarded.

Ralph Westfall has chronicled the telecommuting phenomenon for over a decade, often deciphering fact from fiction. In "Does Telecommuting Really Increase Productivity?" he cuts through familiar rhetoric and finds telecommuting has never reflected its expected potential, despite years of hype and an expansive collection of literature to the contrary.

And finally, New York’s Plaza Hotel was ablaze with computer scientists and IT innovators one night last June as the site for ACM’s Awards Banquet, where over 200 guests celebrated ACM’s award winners and newly inducted Fellows. A photo essay beginning on page 89 offers the images and anecdotes from that evening.

Diane Crawford

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