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CACM Reports: Analyzing Opinion on Social Networks in Real Time

April Issue Reports on New Business Models for Digital Publishing, Why Computer Talents Become Hackers, the Dangers of Hands-Free Cellphones, and Measuring Website Performance

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

Contact: Virginia Gold

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NEW YORK – March 27, 2013 – One of the hottest research areas in computer science is analyzing opinions formed by thought leaders as well as ordinary people, reports Ronen Feldman in the April cover story of Communications of the ACM.  Feldman, of the Hebrew University in Israel, writes that the huge explosion of this technology, known as sentiment analysis, offers organizations the ability to monitor different social media sites in real time and act accordingly.  He reviews research problems in the field as well as algorithms for solving them.  He also examines major application areas, including marketing, public relations, political campaigns, online shopping, and equity investing, and provides some open research challenges.

Also in this issue, ACM President Vint Cerf cites the significant costs for the complex technology that enables the creation, distribution, and archiving of digital content. As the research community moves toward digital publication, he foresees the need for a new business model to assure the longevity, utility, and comprehensive nature of archival information, and adds that ACM’s recent steps in this direction are not the end of the story.

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.

Other Communications highlights:

  • As the epidemic of computer hacking grows, a group of researchers investigated how and why talented, computer-savvy young people become computer hackers in China.  Citing porous security, tolerance by teachers and administrators, and association with like-minded individuals as fertile ground for this transformation, they conclude that moral values and judgment are the decisive factors. 
  • MIT's Michael Cusumano surveys the wave of "free" online courses offered by universities. While he agrees that free learning via the Internet seems here to stay, he worries about unintended consequences and potentially negative effects of the Pandora's Box that universities have opened. 
  • As the auto industry increasingly builds hands-free calling, texting, and even Facebooking into the dashboards of new cas, Georgia Tech Robert Rosenberger challenges the viewpoint that these dashboard cellphones are safe.  He points to a dangerous level of distraction caused y the phone conversation itself. 
  • Technology writer Gary Anthes looks at a new approach to making computers more efficient, called "inexact," "probabalistic," or "approximate" computing. In the age of nanoscale operations, he cites the research of Rice University’s Krishna Palem on the need for “inexact designs” to make computers more energy-efficient. This process, which some call "living dangerously," may be the price we pay for efficiency. 
  • How fast is your website?  Google's Patrick Meenan examines traditional techniques and newer technologies that enable website performance.  He notes that the data has never been more readily available, and it is often quite surprising. 
  • Stephen Bourne and George Neville-Neil (aka Kode Vicious) highlight ACM's tools and resources for computing professionals who, like themselves, design, implement, deliver, and deploy software for a living. They detail the growing array of ACM publications, webinars, video profiles, and Tech Packs aimed at serving the software developer community. 
  • Blog @CACM bloggers Mark Guzdial on securing the future of computer science, and Daniel Reed on reconsidering analog computing. 

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.