Architecture and Hardware Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers

  1. Article

As I write this column, the press is having a field day over reports that the latest corporate entity to surf the Wi-Fi wave is, of all things, McDonald’s (see News Track, page 10). The decision may not be as pioneering as, say, the low-cal vegan McWrap, but the hamburger giant is surely in impressive company as more and more hotels, cafes, hospitals, offices, and airports worldwide are boasting or promising 802.11 connectivity.

But with the striking speed with which wireless local area networking has caught on come associated legal, social, and most certainly, security issues. This month’s special section examines wireless networking security and helps to address some of these obstacles. Guest editor Aviel Rubin has assembled a timely selection of articles pinpointing the issues raised by the advent of wireless networking, including security architectures, cryptography, and open wireless networks.

The fact and fiction residing on the Net are often indistinguishable, with the onus on the user for checking the veracity of data. Leah Graham and Panagiotis Metaxas share fascinating findings that indicate college students rarely question the accuracy of what they tap online, often going on blind faith and the conviction: "Of course it’s true; I saw it on the Internet!" Peter Neumann also points out the risks posed by online misinformation dressed up as fact in his "Inside Risks" column.

Jae Kyu Lee and Mye Sohn detail their two-year effort developing the eXtensible Rule Markup Language (XRML). Amir Herzberg discusses how common mobile devices, including cell phones and PDAs, are an increasingly popular means for performing financial transactions. And Amrit Tiwana explores the business potential of the P2P computational model for building knowledge networks.

Our columnists this month buck conventional wisdom with their usual flair. Phillip Armour calls for flexible game plans and team players to score winning software development strategies in "The Business of Software." In "Practical Programmer," Robert Glass contends that while great strides have occurred on the hardware side over the decades, software development tools and methodologies have actually lost ground. And in this month’s "Viewpoint," Dennis Tsichritzis ponders "Life Beyond the Bubbles," claiming much can be learned from the downturn experience, and offering suggestions for making the most of our changed circumstances.

Diane Crawford, Editor

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