Valerie J. H. Powell, RT(R), Ph.D., C&IS Department, Robert Morris University

Information Technology Issues Page


v  Operating Systems

v  Telecommunications and Networking

v  General

v  Databases

v  Paper Topics

v  Applications

v  Social Issues and Impacts

Operating Systems and Processors

Telecommunications and Networking


·         Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, or CAPPS II. See:
CAPPS II Testing in Wired at,1294,59252,00.html
Ass’n of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) at

·         DNA databases. SeeD.H. Kaye & Michael E. Smith, DNA Identification Databases:
“Legality, Legitimacy, and the Case for Population-Wide Coverage,” submitted for Spring 2003 issue of Wisconsin Law Review at

·         National Identification Database: See:
Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA), “’Smart’ ID Card Gaining Support in U.S.? Hurdles and Doubts Remain Huge,” at

·         The Semantic Web and globally unique identifiers. See Nicholas Matsakis and David Karger, “Resource Identification on the Semantic Web,” at

·         Unique identification. See Don Norman, “Name confusion and its implications,” The Risks Digest: Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator, at

Paper Topics

Looking for a paper topic for a class? Check these sites!


  • Object-Oriented (OO) Techniques - See H. James Nelson, Deborah J. Armstrong, and Mehdi Ghods, "Old Dogs and New Tricks," Communications of the ACM 45, 10 (October 2002): 132-137. In particular note the two lists of questions in a section entitled "The OO Thinking Process" on p. 137.
    See also Bryan Hayes, "The Post-OOP Paradigm," American Scientist 91, 2 (March/April 2003): 106-110.
  • Electrostatic Discharges (ESDs) - See Steven H. Voldman, "Lightning Rods for Nanoelectronics" on the barriers to miniaturization of electronic devices in the October 2002 issue of Scientific American 287, 4 (October 2002): 90-93. Online link to and from there link to this article.


  • Speech Recognition - See W. Wayt Gibbs, "Whatever you say: with speech-recognition software, your voice is the computer's command" in the June 2002 issue of Scientific American 286,6 (June 2002): 98-100

Social Issues and Impacts

·         Electronic Voting Technology – see:

o   Voting with a paper trail; see: and at (2012)

o   Draft voting machine standards (2009):

o - Clayton M, “Could e-voting machines in Election 2012 be hacked? Yes: Security experts say a specific kind of electronic-voting machine is vulnerable to being hacked. Influencing a national election would be difficult, but the advance of malware makes it possible.” Christian Science Monitor (October 26, 2012).

o - “EVEREST: Evaluation and Validation of Election-Related Equipment, Standards and Testing” (2007).

o Simons B, “Electronic Voting Systems: The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid: Is it True that Politics and Technology don’t mix?” ACMQueue (October 1, 2004).

o - ACM on E-Voting Technology and Standards

o   DREs (Direct Recording Electronic Voting Systems):, League of Women Voters of Winchester, MA (2004).

o - IEEE standard - Project 1583 – Voting Equipment Standards

o   Black Box Voting -’s Elections Watchdog Group”

o - Diebold site – Choose election systems; see also

o   “Sequoia voting machines flawed” -

o - discussion about Diebold and Black Box Voting site

o - voting and network security

o   ”E-voting Security,” by Avi Rubin, Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University: - includes link to report on voting in Venezuela

o   ”Electronic Voting,” by Helgat Lipmaa, Finland (international coverage):

o   ”Electronic Voting Hot List,” by Lorrie Cranor:

o   Verified Voting – an advocacy group for paper ballots:

o - security of voting systems

o - voting machines
This is an active topic – search for more sites and/or use links on the sites given above.

  • Interfaces – see:

o    Grokker search tool (CNN) at

o    CNN – AP story “Does Power Point Make Us Stupid?” on using Power Point artistically at

  • The Global Open-Source Software Movement - see:

o    Eric S. Raymond, Bob Young, and Tim O'Reilly, The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary, 2nd ed. (O'Reilly & Associates; 2001)



o Eric Raymond's site

o    SourceForge:

o - Linux International

o - SPI


  • Web/Internet Etiquette – see:

o    Whitworth, B. (Oct, 2005) Polite Computing, “Polite Computing,” forthcoming in Behaviour & Information Technology, at:

  • Unsolicited E-mails (Spamming) – see:

o    Please see the Spamlaw site to identify and review legislation regarding unsolicited e-mails:

o    “Spam and the Social-Technical Gap,” IEEE Computer, October, 38-45

o    Brian Whitworth, “Spam – A social-technical problem,” forthcoming in Dr Claude Ghaoui (Ed) (2005) Encyclopedia of Human Computer Interaction; at

o    Whitworth, B. (2005), “Social-technical Systems,” in press, Encyclopedia of HCI, Edited Claude Ghaoui.

o    See Janice C. Sipior, “Should Spam be on the Menu?” Communications of the ACM (CACM 47, 6, June 2004): 59-63.

o - The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT)

o - The Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

o    Cost of spam is estimated at over $21 billion, February 2005, National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), produced by the Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business and by Rockbridge Associates, Inc., at

o    Fraudulent information in e-mail hoax (CNN story):

o    Cyber-blackmail e-mails (CNN – Reuters story) at

o    Spamming : hearing before the Subcommittee on Communications of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States, One Hundred Fifth Congress, second session, June 17, 1998.” RMU Libraries Y 4.C73/7:S.HRG.105-1028

o    also: “Spamming, the e-mail you want to can” - hearing before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Commerce, House of Representatives, One Hundred Sixth Congress, first session, November 3, 1999." RMU Libraries Y 4.C 73/8:106-84

o    United States. Federal Trade Commission, Division of Marketing Practices, “False claims in spam” -a report by the FTC'S Division of Marketing Practices. Mode of access: Internet from the FTC web site. Address as of 2003-05-16:; current access is available via PURL; call # FT 1.2:2003013771

o    Alan Schwartz and Simon Garfinkel, Stopping spam: Stamping out unwanted email & news postings (O'Reilly, 1998), RMU Libraries 658.478 S399s 1998 Moon

  • Legitimate Information Technology Environments for Virtual Communities

o    Whitworth, B., and deMoor, A. (2003). “Legitimate by design: Towards trusted virtual community environments,” Behaviour & Information Technology 22:1, p31-51; at:

  • Disasters and Information Systems - Katrina

o   “Katrina’s total system disruption: How many recovery plans anticipate what actual human beings might do?” From the Analysts, by David L. Margulius, September 09, 2005, The Data Administration Newsletter

o on Katrina, many interesting articles at:

o    Informationweek, “Rebounding from Katrina,” at:

o    University of California, Hurricane Katrina Aftermath and Recovery Efforts,” at

o    American Bar Association, “Technology Related Resources for Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief”, at:

  • Spyware:
    • See August 2005 issue of Communications of the ACM (CACM 48, 8) with a focus on Spyware
  • Access to Information Technology:

o    Reaching Out with Technology: Connecting the Low-Income Population to the Financial Mainstream by Steven Davidson:

  • Broadcasting Technologies and International Influence on Cultural Diversity

o    - See Harvey B. Feigenbaum, "Digital Entertainment Jumps the Border," Scientific American 288, 3 (March 2003): 78-83. See also Harvey B. Feigenbaum, "Globalization and Cultural Diplomacy" (Center for Arts and Culture), at and Ben Goldsmith, Julian Thomas, Tom O'Regan, and Stuart Cunningham, "The Future for Local Content? Options for Emerging Technologies" (Australian Broadcasting Authority), at

  • Use of information technology concepts in dealing with globalization – see

o    Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization (Anchor Books, 2000). Particularly note Friedman's discussions of the electronic herd and DOScapital 6.0. See also: 1999/

  • Information Overload - See

o    Ali F. Farhoomand and Dan H. Drury, "Managerial Information Overload," Communications of the ACM 45, 10 (October 2002): 127-131.

RMU C&IS – Updated 11/10/2012