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Communications of the ACM

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The blog archive provides access to past blog postings from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

April 2014


From Computational Complexity

Libraries Without Books

Georgia Tech in its library renovation will move the vast majority of its books into a combined Emory/Tech Library Service Center off-campus. Very few people use the stacks anymore, particularly at this institute dominated by


From The Eponymous Pickle

Open Power Foundation Announcements

Open Power Foundation Announcements

Attended a set of presentations and announcements on the Open Power Foundation yesterday. Sponsored by IBM and included a number of other corporate participants.   Of particular interest, how open Linux and hardware can provide


From The Eponymous Pickle

Why Innovation Fails

Why Innovation Fails

In Innovation Excellence:  Unfortunately it does.   Fairly frequently too.  The number kicked around for band innovation true success is often 10%.  So we have lots of experience with the failure part.  This article does a good


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Organization: Scarcest Resource

The Organization:  Scarcest Resource

Via Bain and Company, from the HBR:   Meetings, thinking time, useful connections, human resources.   In general we make poor use of them and many new things are asking for their attention.  Can technology help rather than make


From Schneier on Security

Is Google Too Big to Trust?

Is Google Too Big to Trust?

Interesting essay about how Google's lack of transparency is hurting their trust: The reality is that Google's business is and has always been about mining as much data as possible to be able to present information to users.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Marketing Vocabulary

Marketing Vocabulary

Fascinating piece on ClickZ: Truth and vocabulary and the meaning for understanding the consumer.   A lot of truth is embedded here about measurement and the resulting value.  Statistics anyone? " .... Advertising and marketing


From The Eponymous Pickle

WalMart to Go Concept

WalMart to Go Concept

Wal-Mart's To Go concept.  Opens a new kind of consumer behavior to them.  And new data. Consider the implications, and the analytics.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Using Google Maps for History

Using Google Maps for History

We had thought of using time serial maps for history, now I see that Google maps plans to do something similar.  Can we ultimately do this generally for the earth to catch subtle trends we had not thought of before.   How also


From Putting People First

My digital shadow

My digital shadow

The surveillance program PRISM by the US secret service NSA has reminded us that all of our activities online may be monitored without giving us the chance to understand whether we really are targeted or what the purpose of this


From Putting People First

The Qualified Self and Affective Sensing

The Qualified Self and Affective Sensing

The people at frog design have been exploring sensing technologies and their impact on the human experience. Two interesting articles are the result: The Qualified Self: Going Beyond Quantification Just as stories yield data,


From Putting People First

Smart cities need smart citizens

Smart cities need smart citizens

The idea of the SMARTiP project is to take the experience developed by a wide range of existing user-driven, open innovation initiatives in Europe, particularly those developed through Living Labs, and to apply this experience


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Do you realize that you are using random hashing?

Do you realize that you are using random hashing?

Hashing is a common concept in programming. It is the process of mapping any object to an integer. It is used in fast search algorithms (like Rabin-Karp) and in hash maps. Almost all non-trivial software depends on hashing. Hashing


From Putting People First

Johan Blomkvist’s doctoral thesis on prototyping in service design

Johan Blomkvist’s doctoral thesis on prototyping in service design

Representing Future Situations of Service Prototyping in Service Design by Johan Blomkvist Linköping Studies in Arts and Science Doctoral Dissertation Human-Centred Systems Division Department of Computer and Information Systems


From Putting People First

User experience is the new differentiator. How will that affect the internet?

User experience is the new differentiator. How will that affect the internet?

The world of business is changing, as are the locations of the people who are driving that business. How companies reach new users and how they treat them once they do will be the defining business issue of the future. Those


From Putting People First

Ethnography, magpies, shiny things, and parallel worlds

Ethnography, magpies, shiny things, and parallel worlds

Three posts by Simon Roberts (?) explore the rise, fall and possible futures of ethnography in commercial settings. Ethnography, magpies and shiny things The first piece explores how ethnography fell victim of the enduring quest


From Putting People First

How Facebook uses UX research to personalize the way we see each other

How Facebook uses UX research to personalize the way we see each other

Facebook recently made profiles more “contextual” on their iOS app, writes John Paul Titlow in Fast Company. That means that like Google searches or other personalized experiences, Facebook profiles will now appear differently


From Schneier on Security

Conversnitch

Conversnitch

Surveillance is getting cheaper and easier: Two artists have revealed Conversnitch, a device they built for less than $100 that resembles a lightbulb or lamp and surreptitiously listens in on nearby conversations and posts snippets


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data Marketing

Big Data Marketing

Late on this, but useful thoughts:  "  .. This holiday season will likely bring another rise in cost-per-click prices. However, marketers shouldn't forget their post-click onsite experience, since they've invested hoards of time


From Schneier on Security

The Security of Various Programming Languages

The Security of Various Programming Languages

Interesting research on the security of code written in different programming languages. We don't know whether the security is a result of inherent properties of the language, or the relative skill of the typical programmers


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Upcoming Bootstrap Workshops

Upcoming Bootstrap Workshops

From the CSTA announcement list.


Bootstrap is a curricular module for students ages 12-16, which teaches algebraic and geometric concepts through computer programming. In this workshop you’ll learn how videogame programming


From Schneier on Security

Dan Geer on Heartbleed and Software Monocultures

Dan Geer on Heartbleed and Software Monocultures

Good essay: To repeat, Heartbleed is a common mode failure. We would not know about it were it not open source (Good). That it is open source has been shown to be no talisman against error (Sad). Because errors are statistical


From The Eponymous Pickle

Customer Experience in Retail

Customer Experience in Retail

In Retailwire: Who owns the customer experience in retail?   " ... Should the emerging CXO role — chief customer experiencer — own the customer experience in retail? If so, I think they'll have to dethrone the CMO. ... " 


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Windows Phone 8.1 Project my Screen app now available

Windows Phone 8.1 Project my Screen app now available

last week I installed the new Windows Phone 8.1 for Developers on my Nokia phone. There were some pretty cool features there with Cortana (the Siri for Windows Phone if you will) getting a lot of attention. And I’ve had somedownload


From The Eponymous Pickle

Augmented Pixels Example for Theater Engagement

Augmented Pixels Example for Theater Engagement

Daria Gaioshko of the Odessa, Ukraine company Augmented Pixels, sends along this new example of a promotional App for user engagement at a cinema.    I am now testing for alternative applications." ... Augmented Pixels releases


From Computational Complexity

Changing the ORDER you teach things in might help A LOT

I am teaching the undergrad jr/sr course Elementary Theory of Computation which is Reg Langs, Context free Langs, Computability theory, P and NP. Over the last few years I've changed some of the content (I dumped CFLs-- don't


From The Eponymous Pickle

Detecting Criminal Activity with Phone Data

Detecting Criminal Activity with Phone Data

Interesting example in Technology Review.  We used related approaches to detect patterns of innovative communications.  " ... Law enforcement agencies are turning to social network theory to better understand the behaviors and


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

NSF Requests Recommendations for Scientific and Technical Advisory Committees

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requests recommendations for membership on its scientific and technical federal advisory committees. Self-recommendations are accepted. Committee members serve varying term lengths. NSF has


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Dropbox for the Internet of Things.

A Dropbox for the Internet of Things.

In Technology Review:     Simple idea, easy to play with.  " ... With the advent of the Internet of things, potentially billions of devices will report data about themselves, making it possible to create new applications in areas


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 21 April 2014

Interesting Links 21 April 2014

I may be getting some spring fever. Next week is our school’s April vacation but mild days and a sunny sky have me wishing I had a bit more time to enjoy the day now.

For this week’s links I start up with dueling posts. That


From The Eponymous Pickle

Baseball Scheduling

Baseball Scheduling

Scheduling complex sports events, with many restrictions and preferences, is a known difficult problem to automate.  New work at Johns Hopkins addresses the problem.  " ... A team of Johns Hopkins University researchers has developed

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