Vol. 4 No. 6 – July-August 2006



The Future of Human-Computer Interaction

Personal computing launched with the IBM PC. But popular computing launched with the modern WIMP (windows, icons, mouse, pointer) interface, which made computers usable by ordinary people.

by John Canny

Social Perception

Modeling human interaction for the next generation of communication services

by James L. Crowley

The Invisible Assistant

One lab's experiment with ubiquitous computing

by Gaetano Borriello

Too Much Information

Two applications reveal the key challenges in making context-aware computing a reality.
As mobile computing devices and a variety of sensors become ubiquitous, new resources for applications and services - often collectively referred to under the rubric of context-aware computing - are becoming available to designers and developers. In this article, we consider the potential benefits and issues that arise from leveraging context awareness in new communication services that include the convergence of VoIP (voice over IP) and traditional information technology.

by Jim Christensen, Jeremy Sussman, Stephen Levy, William E. Bennett, Tracee Vetting Wolf, Wendy A. Kellogg


A Conversation with Jordan Cohen

Jordan Cohen calls himself 'sort of an engineer and sort of a linguist.' This diverse background has been the foundation for his long history working with speech technology, including almost 30 years with government agencies, with a little time out in the middle to work in IBM's speech recognition group. Until recently he was the chief technology officer of VoiceSignal, a company that does voice-based user interfaces for mobile devices. VoiceSignal has a significant presence in the cellphone industry, with its software running on between 60 and 100 million cellphones. Cohen has just joined SRI International as a senior scientist. He will be working on government contracts as well as other ventures.

Discipline and Focus

When it comes to managing and deploying large scale systems and networks, discipline and focus matter more than specific technologies. In a conversation with ACM Queuecast host Mike Vizard, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels says the key to success is to have a relentless commitment to a modular computer architecture that makes it possible for the people who build the applications to also be responsible for running and deploying those systems within a common IT framework.

Automatic for the People

Probably the single biggest challenge with large scale systems and networks is not building them but rather managing them on an ongoing basis. Fortunately, new classes of systems and network management tools that have the potential to save on labor costs because they automate much of the management process are starting to appear.


Like a Podcast in the Sea: Mean ol' LoTech Blues

Is it just a matter of semantics?

by Stan Kelly-Bootle

Kode Vicious

Pointless PKI

We've had problems in the past with internal compromises, and management has decided that the only way to protect the information is to encrypt it during transmission.

by George Neville-Neil