[clug] ACM Technews Snippets

Steve Jenkin sjenkin at pcug.org.au
Sat Apr 5 08:55:07 EST 2003

There are a bunch of interesting links in the lastest ACM Technews - see index 
at end. URL: http://www.acm.org/technews/articles/2003-5/0404f.html

Main Open Source article on KDE/Gnome.  Interesting that the ACM [~30,000 
world wide] sees this as mainstream enough to be news.  The content may be 
old hat, havent read in detail...

There is also a pointer to 'slow light' - 'in vacum' it's ~186,324mph - these 
dudes have reduced it to _127mph_ at room temperature in a ruby crystal.

"Pizza Box or IMac? No, an IBox" - A 21-yo has put together an Apple clone for 
one-third the cost _and_ got a backer to source the bits and supply it.  Dont 
get too excited - not yet available.

"Interview With the KDE and Gnome UI/Usability Developers" 
Sumaray: http://www.acm.org/technews/articles/2003-5/0404f.html#item14
Article: http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=2997 
It is hoped that the Unix desktop will be revolutionized when the Gnome and 
KDE user interfaces (UIs) become interoperable; the Gnome project's Havoc 
Pennington discussed usability issues with Waldo Bastian and Aaron J. Seigo 
of the KDE project. Seigo commented that KDE users are highly desirous of 
configurability, and Bastian explained that improved UI systems are supposed 
to retain all functions while making the most of usability; Pennington said 
that a balance must be achieved between UI simplicity, stability, and the 
rate of development. Seigo says an important trend that is likely to continue 
is desktop "componentization," as demonstrated by the Konqueror interface, 
which offers context-based functionality. "Already we have reached the point 
where people, even those who are quite aware of interface issues and design, 
stop distinguishing between individual applications and instead simply 
experience the desktop as a coherent entity doing a lot of great and cool 
things," he declared. All three participants understood the value of having 
applications comply with some form of certification to support consistency, 
although the general feeling was that it should be unofficial rather than 
official. Two distinct approaches to improving file storage and organization 
have recently come into vogue: The setup of a general architecture and the 
provision of filetype-specific file management programs; Seigo saw 
disadvantages in both techniques, and favored a hybrid program that resides 
above the filesystem and below the user application level, while Pennington 
said that Gnome is currently using the filetype-specific method. Looking out 
over the next five years, Bastian thought that desktop UI technology will 
undergo little change and Seigo was confident that leading-edge desktop 
software will be defined by KDE, while Pennington predicted that there will 
be an emphasis on streamlining.


Top Stories for Friday, April 4, 2003:

"TIA Proponents Defend Domestic Spy Plan"
    Pentagon's Total Information Awareness (TIA) project 
"That Championship Season, in Code"
  The Association of Computing Machinery's (ACM) International Collegiate   
  Programming Contest in Beverley Hills, Calif. last week was swept by Eastern 
  European schools. The contest, now in its 27th year, pits teams of 
  university students against complex computer problems for five hours, and 
  the team that solves the most problems wins
"Feds Defend Plan to Secure Cyberspace"
"Fears About War, Economy Slow IT Hiring"
"Queen's Researchers Invent Computers That 'Pay Attention' to Users"

"Feinstein Introduces Privacy Act of 2003"
"Software Uses Pictures to Represent Info People Monitor"
"Online Phone Monitoring Sticky for FBI"
  Using Voice-over-IP, how do the policing agencies intercept calls (wiretap)?

"Pizza Box or IMac? No, an IBox"

"Interview With the KDE and Gnome UI/Usability Developers"

"Robots Take Dangerous Jobs"
"Business Scene: Why Aren't More Women in Tech Fields?"
"Microsoft Research Finds Women Take a Wider View"

"Ultra-simple Desktop Device Slows Light to a Crawl at Room

"SIP Fuels Communications Interplay"
"Gaining Ground"
"Mainframe Brain Drain Looms"

"The Net's Faltering Democracy"
  USA bagging ICANN

Steve Jenkin
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615 
(m) 0412 786 915

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