ERCIM News 80

Image ERCIM News 80 cover page

January 2010
Special theme:
Digital Preservation

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R&D and Technology Transfer

Five Steps to Green Desktop Computing

by Howard Noble, Kang Tang, Daniel Curtis and Paul Jeffreys

It is estimated that in the UK, about half of the 1.47 million desktop computers owned by further and higher education institutions are left on all the time. If power management practices are improved annual savings would be in the order of £64 million and 285 million kg of CO2 equivalents. Tools and techniques are readily available to achieve these reductions. This paper outlines the approach taken by staff at the University of Oxford who have developed a five step approach to 'green' desktop computing.

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Ranking the Stars with MonetDB

by Annette Kik and Milena Ivanova

The international Sloan Sky Server project has put together a huge scientific database of information on celestial bodies. Querying these vast amounts of data is a great challenge. Using the MonetDB database system, Milena Ivanova and her fellow researchers at CWI in the Netherlands have implemented the first open-source solution. The MonetDB/SkyServer project now provides a valuable experimentation platform for developing new techniques for scientific data management.

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3D Reconstruction by Multimodal Data Fusion

by Dmitry Chetverikov and Zsolt Jankó

At the Geometric Modelling and Computer Vision laboratory of SZTAKI, a new method for 3D reconstruction by fusing multimodal data obtained using a laser scanner, a camera and illumination sources is being developed. The system processes and fuses geometric, pictorial and photometric data using genetic algorithms and efficient methods of computer vision.

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The Virtualization Gate Project

by Edmond Boyer, Benjamin Petit and Bruno Raffin

The Vgate project introduces a new type of immersive environment that allows full-body immersion and interaction with virtual worlds. The project is a joint initiative between computer scientists from research teams in computer vision, parallel computing and computer graphics at the INRIA Grenoble Rhône-Alpes, and the 4D View Solutions company.

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Providing Web Accessibility for the Visually Impaired

by Barbara Leporini, M.Claudia Buzzi and Marina Buzzi

Web accessibility means ensuring that online content, services or applications can be accessed and used by everyone, including those with special needs. Usability, on the other hand, is a multidimensional concept that depends on the application, the user context and on the goal itself, and its aim is to provide a fully satisfactory user experience. Although closely related, accessibility and usability are frequently addressed as two separate issues. Nevertheless, it is very important to apply them synergistically from the earliest phases of design in order to guarantee satisfactory interaction for users with disabilities.

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ICASE Project: New Challenges in Computer-Based Assessment

by Thibaud Latour and Sandrine Sarre

The ICASE project addresses issues related to computer-based assessment practices, analysed from the perspectives of IT, psychometrics and assessment, and is intended to open up new research strands.

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Impacts of an ICT Breakdown on the European Economy

by Fabio Bisogni, Simona Cavallini and Cristiano Proietti

What would happen to your economy in the case of ICT breakdowns? Can the economic impacts of ICT shortages be assessed? Are the effects of ICT breakdowns the same in all European countries? The VIS research project attempts to answer these questions by investigating the vulnerability of European industrial systems.

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