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CACM Reports: Improving Technology Interactions for Blind People

August Issue also Features Advice Evaluating Cloud Computing for Small and Mid-Size Business

The Association for Computing Machinery
Advancing Computing as a Science & Profession

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK, NY, August 4, 2009 – Behind the Braille representation on the cover of the August Communications of the ACM (CACM), researchers from the University of Washington examine the most effective methods for designing technologies for blind users.  The cover depicts a quote by Helen Keller that captures the paradox of seeing but having no vision.  In this cover story, Kristen Shinohara and Josh Tenenberg show how elements of meaning can be as important as usability in the design of technology.  The issue also features a debate among renowned CTOs on how small- and medium-size companies can take advantage of the opportunities that cloud computing provides for service delivery.  Communications, the flagship publication of ACM, offers readers access to this generation’s most significant leaders and innovators in computing and information technology, and is available online in digital format

            In an article on revitalizing computing education, members of the Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) Project discuss the origins of building open source software to serve society.  This concept, advocated by former ACM president David Patterson, led to the notion that a humanitarian motivation would simultaneously help the profession by addressing the problems of sagging enrollment, out-of-date curricula, changing demographics, and rapidly evolving technologies.  

            Other August Communications articles:

  •     In “Face Recognition Breakthrough,” technology writer Kirk L. Kroeker investigates how sparse representation and compressed sensing have enabled researchers to demonstrate significant improvements in the accuracy over traditional face-recognition techniques.
  •     A contrarian’s perspective on how entrepreneurial opportunities and innovation can thrive during an economic crisis, by Tim Draper, founder and a managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
  •     An analysis of the lessons learned by developers of Google Chrome to improve browser security in the face of its vulnerability to malicious Web site attacks.  Related articles for practitioners on acmqueue include Security in the Browser; Cybercrime 2.0:When the Cloud Turns Dark; and Phishing for Solutions.
  •     A Viewpoint article that asserts it is time for computer science to grow up and change the methods for disseminating computing research results from the traditional conference publications model to a more journal-based system, by Lance Fortnow of Northwestern University.
  •     At BLOG@CACM, Jeannette M. Wing writes about the need for a comprehensive research agenda for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to address the challenges of tomorrow’s energy and environmental problems; Daniel Reed discusses the necessity for a new generation of high performance computing systems in the face of commodity economics that have fostered retrenchment, mergers, and acquisitions; and Mark Guzdial assesses the importance of  encouraging the developed world to increase the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to keep pace with diversity in the developing world. 

            For more information on Communications of the ACM, click on


About ACM

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. 


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