Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM – September 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 9)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the September issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You need to be a member of ACM or a subscriber to CACM to access premium content online.

News: Technology
Cycling Through Data by Neil Savage
Sensor-equipped bicycles are functioning as moving data sources for riders, researchers and policy makers.

News: Society
Degrees, Distance and Dollars by Marina Krakovsky
While technology has arguably made online education cheaper to provide, this is not typically reflected in tuition rates. Online education also thrives more in specialized, masters and doctoral programs than in bachelors programs.

Column: Law and Technology
Principles of the Law of Software Contracts by Robert A. Hillman and Maureen A. O’Rourke
The American Law Institute has developed a new set of legal principles for software contracts. The principles, as well as the tensions brought out in the drafting process, are the focus of this article.

Column: The Profession of IT
Discussing Cyber Attack by Peter J. Denning and Dorothy E. Denning
With reports of government activity in the area of cyber attack and exploitation, it’s past time that discussions take place with computer professionals about it, if for no better reason than to improve capacity in cyber defense.

Practice
Computers in Patient Care: The Promise and the Challenge by Stephen V. Cantrill
The author, a doctor with over thirty years experience in medical informatics, reviews the areas where computers have had significant and less-than-significant impact on patient care.

Last Byte: Future Tense
Little Brother Is Watching by Greg Bear
The author outlines a potential future where surveillance is everywhere and regular citizens participate in the watching and reporting.

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