Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Highs and Lows of IEEE Computer Magazine

I still read a few print publications, including IEEE Computer. Today's issue contained a high and a low:

Today's high point was a detailed history of the Conficker worm. Since we're a Macintosh family, and Google typically has its security stuff in order, I was barely aware of it. The sophistication of the worm's creators is almost admirable. (They probably use Python too. :-) An interesting table in the article included information about which countries contribute the most to the worm's population. China, Brazil and Russia top the list. You could have all sorts of theories on why this would be; personally I'm assuming it's a combination of sheer number of computers plus widespread use of bootlegged copies of Windows.

The low point was an article on "Software Engineering Ethics." Why a low point? Look at this table and think of how many bits of information it contains:

Using postphenomenology for software engineering ethics
Amplify experiences that are+-
Reduce experiences that are-+
Invite actions that are+-
Inhibit actions that are-+

Ironically, this pointless table contains a redundant column, while the table I mentioned above was missing a column that would have been useful -- how many PCs are installed in each country. Oh well.

PS: Googling for "postphenomenology" gives this as the title of the first hit: "If phenomenology is an albatross, is postphenomenology possible?" The web knows best.


jasonmbaker said...

"If phenomenology is an albatross, is postphenomenology possible?"

Perhaps postphenomenology is a dead albatross?! :-P

Dirk said...

You should probably send a letter to the editor describing your experiences (or pointing them to your blog entry).

As to searching for postphenomenology, I typically use define: which in this case does not deliver any results :-(

Guido van Rossum said...

Consider this my "letter to the editor" -- they'll find it. :-)

Philippe said...

Ironically there are also two redundant rows:

"Amplify experiences and invite actions that are desirable" would have been enough and just 2 bits of information.