Computing Applications Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

The one sure thing about "E-service" is that it’s anything but one thing. Seek out the phrase with your favorite search engine and the findings tell the story. The global proliferation of businesses, universities, and government offices adopting e-service technologies appears limitless. It’s clearly a term that translates in any language, though its definition is unique to each application.

The e-services explosion is what industry watchers view as the next wave of the Internet evolution; that is, working for the user. This month’s special section brings together industry executives and scholars to examine the current phenomenon and predict the future course of service models that complete tasks, solve problems, or perform transactions online. Guest Editor Thomas Stafford called on some of the leading marketing and technology experts to introduce several perspectives of e-services as a digital business model, and to detail technologies already in service. The section concludes with a lively debate over two of the leading platform architectures on which to build distributed applications: Microsoft’s .NET and Sun Microsystems’ J2EE.

Also in this issue, Walid Ben-Ameur and Hervé Kerivin tout the strengths of new economical virtual private networks for reducing network costs without compromising quality of service. E. Vance Wilson examines the promise of asynchronous health care communication for patients as well as their health care providers. Peter Hart and Ziming Liu contend an "institutional guarantee" would help garner user trust in the use of digital media for preserving confidential information. Fay Cobb Payton points out the digital divide involves far more than Internet access, suggesting policymakers seek to improve the social network that will help close that gap. And Kevin Desouza profiles innovative ways to foster knowledge exchange among employees.

A trio of security scenarios is explored in our featured columns this month. In "Legally Speaking," Pamela Samuelson revisits the Andrew Bunner case (sued for publishing DeCSS software that decrypts DVDs), arguing freedom of speech should triumph over trade secrets. In "Security Watch," Rebecca Mercuri ponders the merits of quantification tools for measuring the cost of IT security. And Diomidis Spinellis is skeptical of the potential of trusted computing platforms in "Inside Risks."

Diane Crawford, Editor

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