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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.

October 2014


From Computational Complexity

Guest Post by Dr. Hajiaghayi: A new way to rank departments

(This is a guest post by MohammadTaghi Hajiaghayi. His name is not a typo- the first name really is MohammadTaghi.) Due to our belief in the lack of transparency and well-defined measures in methods used by U.S News to rankhere


From The Eponymous Pickle

Testing Machine to Machine Systems

Testing Machine to Machine Systems

Machines are easier to deal with than humans, at least when the machines are not compromised by humans.   This will increase in importance.   But is also implies the cognition of the process by humans.  Much more from the talk


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Instructions and Removing Ambiguity

Instructions and Removing Ambiguity

Recently I found the following image on Facebook. I plan to use it with my students this semester as a starting off point for conversation.

This is a perfect description of someone dealing with ambiguous instructions. Context


From The Eponymous Pickle

Protein Imaging Data

Protein Imaging Data

In Nature:  Heard much about this topic in R&D when we were still in health care product development.  " ... Data bank struggles as protein imaging ups its game Hybrid methods to solve structures of molecular machines create 


From The Eponymous Pickle

What's in Stock Nearby

What's in Stock Nearby

In Adage:  Macy's Links With Google To Show Mobile Users What's In Stock Nearby ... Find That Gift You've Been Looking for in the Right Size, Color and Price  ... " .  Call it Precision shopping.


From Schneier on Security

The NSA's Role in Commercial Cybersecurity

The NSA's Role in Commercial Cybersecurity

Susan Landau has a new paper on the NSA's increasing role in commercial cybersecurity. She argues that the NSA is the wrong organization to do this, and we need a more public and open government agency involved in commercial


From The Eponymous Pickle

Good Thoughts on E-Mail Responses

Good Thoughts on E-Mail Responses

Not about managing your email, but the often more important issue of how you should respond to serious questions in email. The most useful element: Pause.   " ... There is a simple two-step method to making the pause work for


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

A New Twist on Flexagons?

For Martin Gardner’s 100th birthday Martin Gardner introduced many including myself to the joys of Discrete Mathematics. His glorious monthly column “Mathematical Games” for Scientific American included some continuous mathematics


From Schneier on Security

Jumping Air Gaps with All-in-One Printers

Jumping Air Gaps with All-in-One Printers

Last week, Adi Shamir gave a presentation at Black Hat Europe on using all-in-one printers to control computers on the other side of air gaps. There's no paper yet, but two publications reported on the talk: Theoretically, if


From The Eponymous Pickle

Analyzing Ebola Data with Watson API

Analyzing Ebola Data with Watson API

Technical.A report via the Cognitive Systems Institute.Note this is Under Development.  Should not be used conclusively.  It is an example of using Watson services via Bluemix.Vikash Singh Ruhil. Data Scientist ( Graduate Assistant


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Ebola-Fighting Robots

Could robots really aid in the Ebola fight? On November 7th, robotics researchers from around the country will come together to try to answer that question. They will see if robots can prevent the spread of Ebola by possibly

      


From My Biased Coin

Cuckoo Filters

Cuckoo Filters

An upcoming paper appearing at CoNext will be of interest to any Bloom Filter user or aficionado:Cuckoo Filter:  Practically Better than Bloom(Bin Fan, David Andersen, Michael Kaminsky, Michael Mitzenmacher)Let me describe agithub


From Computational Complexity

MSR SVC Letters

The Committee for the Advancement of Theoretical Computer Science put together an open letter to several research leaders at Microsoft.

We feel that there should have been a better way to close down this lab, one that would
I


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF CISE Research Infrastructure (CRI) Program

The following is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) by the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Acting Assistant Director, Dr. Suzanne Iacono.   Dear Colleagues: Through…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Debating Emotional Intelligence

Debating Emotional Intelligence

How important is the concept? An interesting debate, that reminds me of the concept and what it has come to mean.   The author concludes:  " ....  I can’t emphasize enough the crucial importance of EI-based competencies for success


From The Eponymous Pickle

BBC Time Line of Computing

BBC Time Line of Computing

A slideshow style timeline of the emergence and use of computing, broadly defined.   I dislike this style of presenting information, though I understand it is meant to give more room to advertising.  Also clearly a UK view, based


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Successful Innovation

On Successful Innovation

Related to topics like Should we build a physical or virtual place to emphasize innovation.  Or should the process be more or less deliberate?    I agree that culture is important, and culture can, to a degree, be molded" ...


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Robot for the Home: Jibo

Social Robot for the Home: Jibo

The idea of a social, family robot is an interesting idea. None I have I have ever seen has worked very well, or has been very comforting.   Shades of Kismet from the same lab.    Now a new attempt, available in 2015, that is


From Schneier on Security

Deanonymizing Taxi Passenger and Fare Data

Deanonymizing Taxi Passenger and Fare Data

Interesting essay on the sorts of things you can learn from anonymized taxi passenger and fare data....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disruptor Foundation

Disruptor Foundation

A note from colleague Julie Anixter reminded me of the Disruptor Foundation, where she is executive in residence.  "  .... Co-founded by Professor Clayton Christensen and Craig Hatkoff in 2009, the Disruptor Foundation is a private


From The Eponymous Pickle

Online TV Tracked Across Devices

Online TV Tracked Across Devices

Expected next step." ... Showing all viewers the same commercial six minutes into, say, an episode of "Modern Family" might soon be over. If you're watching it online.A new partnership between TV measurement company Nielsen and


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

USACM Submits Comments On National Privacy Research Strategy

On October 17, comments closed on a Request for Information from the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program.  Agencies in this program are working on a National Privacy Research Strategy


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Spurring Innovation in Healthcare using MOOCS

The following is a guest post by Margo Seltzer, Herchel Smith Professor of Computer Science at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science. Her collaborators were Regina Herzlinger of Harvard Business School and Kevin Schulman…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Swash Gathers in-Store Display Data

Swash Gathers in-Store Display Data

A thread here since 07, the Swash brand, continues to move on.   Now the collaboration between Whirlpool and P&G that removes clothing wrinkles is using a method to gather how their displays are being interacted with in the store


From Schneier on Security

Whisper Tracks Users

Whisper Tracks Users

The Guardian has reported that the app Whisper tracks users, and then published a second article explaining what it knows after Whisper denied the story. Here's Whisper's denial; be sure to also read the first comment from Moxie


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Picking Good Variable Names

Picking Good Variable Names

Actually picking any sort of name is important in programming but we can focus on variable names for a bit. The CS Teaching Tips team tweets and posts a lot of great suggestions. Today they send out a tip about variable names


From Computational Complexity

Martin Gardner Centennial

Martin Gardner was born on October 21, 1914, so today is his Centennial (he died on May 22, 2010, at the age of 95). We've mentioned him in the blog before:

  1.  The Life of Martin Gardner
  2.  Contribute to the Gardner Centennial


From Schneier on Security

More Crypto Wars II

More Crypto Wars II

FBI Director James Comey again called for an end to secure encryption by putting in a backdoor. Here's his speech: There is a misconception that building a lawful intercept solution into a system requires a so-called "back door


From Computational Complexity

Algorithms that never get coded up

(There was a passing ref to this topic in the comments to one of Scott's blogs, so I thought I would pick up the theme.) When I teach Formal Lang Theory I end up teaching them many algorithms that I don't think are ever coded


From The Eponymous Pickle

Getting to Know the Chief Data Officer

Getting to Know the Chief Data Officer

Working with the complexity of data and its application to analytics is increasingly complex." ... The transformative power of data and analytics is being harnessed by organizations to make smarter, quicker and more analytically

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