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Computer

Issue 8 • Date Aug. 2004

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 27
  • [Front cover]

    Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 1
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  • Masthead

    Page(s): 2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Article summaries

    Page(s): 4
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Letters

    Page(s): 6 - 7
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  • The Art of the Possible

    Page(s): 8 - 10
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    Often, a product prevails because it embodies the best available set of compromises. View full abstract»

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  • E-micropayments sweat the small stuff

    Page(s): 19 - 22
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    Many people buy books, CDs, clothes, travel, and other products and services over the Internet every day. However, after years of online purchasing, one long-promised aspect of e-commerce has remained largely unfulfilled: electronic micropayments for items that cost $5 or less. There appears to be a growing demand for e-micropayment technologies that enable the purchase of items and services such as MP3 music files, magazine and newspaper articles, Web-based comics, pay-per-view videos, database access, and driving directions. Several companies are developing e-micropayment products, including BitPass's Core BitPass System and BitPass Studios; Firstgate's Click & Buy; Payloadz's PayLoadz.com system; Paystone's personal, merchant, and group-pay accounts. The technology faces several obstacles, including the need to convince sellers and users to trust and work with e-micropayments. View full abstract»

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  • 3D searching starts to take shape [search engine]

    Page(s): 24 - 26
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    The Internet and corporate data warehouses are full of all types of digital information, from simple text documents to complex applications. One type of information gaining in prominence is the three-dimensional object. From computer-aided design (CAD) drawings of complex engineering parts to digital representations of proteins and complex molecules, an increasing amount of 3D information is making its way onto the Web and into corporate databases. Advances in computing power combined with interactive modeling software, which lets users create images as queries for searches, have made 3D-search technology possible. 3D searching has several important elements: the voxel, query formulation, and 3D search process. 3D search engines help big companies quickly find whether they have certain parts in their inventories. View full abstract»

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  • Companies develop nanotech RAM chips

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    Nantero has created NRAM - the "N" stands for both nanotechnology and nonvolatile - a high-density RAM chip that saves its contents when a device is turned off or loses external power. Nantero manufacture its chip with carbon nanotubes, cylindrical structures consisting of hexagonal graphite molecules. Carbon nanotubes are up to 100 times stronger but one-sixth the weight of a steel object the same size. Because of nanotubes' strength, NRAM undergo many more read-write processes than other types of nonvolatile memory. The nanotubes also offer better electrical conductivity than many other materials frequently used in chips and thus enable faster performance. View full abstract»

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  • Computer Society Information

    Page(s): 31
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  • Modeling complex spoken dialog

    Page(s): 32 - 40
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    We develop a commercial phone-based SDS (spoken dialog system) that supplies information to employees about their holiday-allowance. Frequently-asked-questions (FAQ) system use of the conceptual dialog language (CDL), a customized language that express patterns specific to the system's dialog model while still providing a clear picture of the dialog model to domain experts and supporting model updates. CDL's power stems from its ability to capture the specifics of an SDS application while remaining flexible enough to support a range of modeling styles and requirements. To facilitate effective communication with domain experts, modelers can translate the dialog model in CDL to an HTML document, or they can compile it to a programming language for executable code. View full abstract»

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  • Guest Editors' Introduction: Overview of Sensor Networks

    Page(s): 41 - 49
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    Wireless sensor networks could advance many scientific pursuits while providing a vehicle for enhancing various forms of productivity, including manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and transportation. View full abstract»

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  • Environmental sensor networks

    Page(s): 50 - 56
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    The developments in wireless network technology and miniaturization makes it possible to realistically monitor the natural environment. Within the field of environmental sensor networks, domain knowledge is an essential fourth component. Before designing and installing any system, it is necessary to understand its physical environment and deployment in detail. Sensor networks are designed to transmit data from an array of sensors to a server data repository. They do not necessarily use a simple one way data stream over a communication network rather elements of the system decide what data to pass on, using local area summaries and filtering to minimize power use while maximizing the information content. The Envisense Glacs Web project is developing a monitoring system for a glacial environment. Monitoring the ice caps and glaciers provides valuable information about the global warming and climate change. View full abstract»

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  • Radiation detection with distributed sensor networks

    Page(s): 57 - 59
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    In any assessment of potential terrorist attacks, the nuclear threat takes center stage. Although weapons-grade nuclear materials arc heavily guarded, a plausible scenario involves terrorists detonating a simple radiological dispersion device (ROD) capable of broadcasting nonfissile but highly radioactive particles over a densely populated area. In most cases, a motor vehicle has to transport the device and its payload commonly known as a "dirty bomb" - to the target destination. As a final defense against such a weapon, select traffic choke points in the US have large portal monitoring systems to help detect illicit isotopes. The distributed sensor network project at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in cooperation with the University of New Mexico, is developing a network of radiation detectors that, coupled with other sensors that collect supportive data, is suitable for ROD interdiction in either urban or rural environments. Compared to a portal monitor, a DSN is much less visible, uses less power per detector, is hand carried and thus more rapidly deployable, and simplifies coverage of multiple transport avenues. Also, to function effectively, portal monitoring systems typically require slow or halted traffic, whereas our DSN can be tailored for any moderate traffic speed. View full abstract»

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  • Shooter localization in urban terrain

    Page(s): 60 - 61
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    Detecting and accurately locating snipers has been an elusive goal of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies for a long time. Most successful sniper-detecting systems are based on acoustic measurements. We develop an acoustic system that works well even in complex urban environments. Funded through the Network Embedded Systems Technology program of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Information Exploitation Office, the PinPtr system uses a wireless network of many low-cost sensors to determine both a shooter's location and the bullet's trajectory by measuring both the muzzle blast and the shock wave. The PinPtr sensor-fusion algorithm, which runs on a base station, performs a search on a hyper-surface defined by a consistency function. This function provides the number of sensor measurements that are consistent with hypothetical shooter positions and shot times. The algorithm automatically classifies measurements and eliminates those that result from multipath effects or are otherwise erroneous. A fast search algorithm finds the global maximum of the surface, which corresponds to the shooter position. View full abstract»

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  • WiseNET: an ultralow-power wireless sensor network solution

    Page(s): 62 - 70
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    A wireless sensor network consists of many energy-autonomous microsensors distributed throughout an area of interest. Each node monitors its local environment, locally processing and storing the collected data so that other nodes can use it. To optimize power consumption, the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology has developed WiseNET, an ultralow-power platform for the implementation of wireless sensor networks that achieves low-power operation through a careful codesign approach. The WiseNET platform uses a codesign approach that combines a dedicated duty-cycled radio with WiseMAC, a low-power media access control protocol, and a complex system-on-chip sensor node to exploit the intimate relationship between MAC-layer performance and radio transceiver parameters. The WiseNET solution consumes about 100 times less power than comparable solutions. View full abstract»

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  • The flock: mote sensors sing in undergraduate curriculum

    Page(s): 72 - 78
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    We integrate wireless sensor networks in an undergraduate embedded systems course that exposes students to an important emerging technology in the core of the computer-engineering curriculum. View full abstract»

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  • Computer Society Connection

    Page(s): 80 - 83
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  • Call and Calendar

    Page(s): 84 - 85
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Bookshelf

    Page(s): 88
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  • Products

    Page(s): 89 - 90
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  • Power management in networked devices

    Page(s): 91 - 93
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    Networks are one of the most significant developments in computing and a hallmark of modern society. However, along with increasing efficiency and productivity, both at home and in the workplace, networks have costs. One cost is the additional energy that electronic devices consume when attached to networks. Power management, a standard feature of modern PCs, was primarily developed to increase battery lifetime in laptop PCs, which historically were not network-connected when using battery power. Today, however, many laptops are connected to a network - typically a Wi-Fi network - as are the majority of desktop computers. Three key drivers of energy use are induced consumption by devices prevented by network connections from entering low-power states, increasing link data rates that inherently consume more energy for the network interfaces, and proliferation of network-connected displays that actively update and display data when no one is present. View full abstract»

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  • "Patch on demand" saves even more time? [network security]

    Page(s): 94 - 96
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    Zero-day attacks are those for which users receive no prior warning and thus have no preventive measures in place. We integrate the vulnerability discovery, patch generation, and patch application cycles into a system that automatically detects a new attack, analyzes its modus operandi, determines the best software patch, and applies it at the desired level of granularity LAN, enterprise, or Internet-wide. We develop a vaccination system that automatically generates patches to protect an application's source code. View full abstract»

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  • Context-aware trails [mobile computing]

    Page(s): 97 - 99
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    The emergence of converged mobile devices with a wide range of computing, communications, entertainment, and sensing capabilities represents a major step in the evolution of wireless computing. Such devices increasingly shift the decision-making power from the user to the machine, which has the capacity to be better informed about the current environment and can respond more quickly. A trail is a collection of locations, together with associated information about these locations and a recommended order for visiting them. Mobile, context-aware trails-based applications range from single-user systems that focus on individual daily activities to multimedia groupware that supports a wide collection of user requirements. The trails metaphor makes it possible to explore adaptive characteristics common to all mobile, context-aware applications. Adaptation in this context involves altering the set of interest points on a trail and their visiting order with timeliness, accuracy, and relevance while remaining in tune with user expectations. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society, publishes highly acclaimed peer-reviewed articles written for and by professionals representing the full spectrum of computing technology from hardware to software and from current research to new applications.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Ron Vetter
University of North Carolina
Wilmington