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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.

July 2014


From Schneier on Security

The Fundamental Insecurity of USB

The Fundamental Insecurity of USB

This is pretty impressive: Most of us learned long ago not to run executable files from sketchy USB sticks. But old-fashioned USB hygiene can't stop this newer flavor of infection: Even if users are aware of the potential for


From Putting People First

The importance of user-focused research in medical device design

The importance of user-focused research in medical device design

“The human factors activities that deliver safety and effectiveness [in medical devices] do not necessarily deliver a good user experience or, ultimately, a good product,” argues Martin Bontoft in MDDI. In fact, he writes, “some


From The Eponymous Pickle

Who is the Employer?

Who is the Employer?

In Retailwire: This leads to some 'unintended' consequences for small business, franchises and drives litigation.   The comments also have some good points.    Is McDonald's a 'joint employer' with its franchisees?


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Closer Look at Crowdsourcing

A Closer Look at Crowdsourcing

Crowds are biased.  So what does that mean for crowdsourcing? In HBS Working Knowledge: " ... At the Open and User Innovation Workshop, several hundred researchers discussed their work on innovation contests, user-led product


From The Eponymous Pickle

Gamifying Intelligent Digital Signage

Gamifying Intelligent Digital Signage

A concept we looked at in the innovation centers.  How do you engage with participants in alternative contexts?  Here, from RMG Networks.   A thoughtful white paper on the integration of gamification concepts with digital signage


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mistakes Futurists Make

Mistakes Futurists Make

Often collaborator Steve King in his Small Business Lab's Blog.  A must to follow.  Never considered myself a futurist, but an innovator connected to short term understanding of needs and emerging technology solutions.  Some


From The Eponymous Pickle

Future Proofing the Supply Chain

Future Proofing the Supply Chain

Procurement futures considered: " ... Sustainable sourcing and procurement are key factors in "future-proofing" or protecting supply chains against future problems. Sustainable sourcing helps reduce procurement delays, improve


From Schneier on Security

Debit Card Override Hack

Debit Card Override Hack

Clever: Parrish allegedly visited Apple Stores and tried to buy products with four different debit cards, which were all closed by his respective financial institutions. When his debit card was inevitably declined by the Apple


From The Eponymous Pickle

Walmart Labs Buys Luvocracy

Walmart Labs Buys Luvocracy

In RetailWire:  " ... Yesterday, Walmart Labs announced it had acquired Luvocracy, an online community that helps members find products based on the recommendations of family, friends and other influencers. Members can then make


From Apophenia

Goodbye Avis, Hello Uber

Goodbye Avis, Hello Uber

Only two hours before the nightmare that would unfold, I was sitting with friends sharing my loyalties to travel programs. I had lost status on nearly everything when I got pregnant with my son (where’s parental leave??), forcing


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Predicting your future performance

Predicting your future performance

The Matthew effect says that “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. With this sole principle in mind, you would think that the future is easily predicted. Whoever is rich or famous today is going to be rich or famous


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tell a Great Story

Tell a Great Story

In the HBR: Very good piece on story telling in business.  I have covered this here many times, including pointers to some of my colleagues that were experts, both internally and externally on this method.  The idea has become


From The Eponymous Pickle

Learning to Operate with Wearables

Learning to Operate with Wearables

In Engadget: Another example of  the potential use of Google Glass like wearables for augmentation.  Learning operating room procedure. Hands free and augmenting training that contains visual and highly tacit support for process


From The Eponymous Pickle

IdeaConnection Re Connect

IdeaConnection Re Connect

It has been a long time since I talked to them, but just reviewed their offerings.  A nice idea, whose newsletter is always worth examining for innovative ideas.  " ... IdeaConnection gives you access to a worldwide network of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internet of Everything Discussion

Internet of Everything Discussion

Cisco sponsored a panel discussion yesterday that I was pointed to.  Still, not sure I agree with the differences between the use of the term versus using 'Internet of Things', but do see what point they are are attempting to


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

The Troubles with Tutorials

The Troubles with Tutorials

The first thing I ran into with regards to programming tutorials last week was this tweet and accompanying image.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Quid

Quid

Quid. Just pointed to.  An augmented way for people to interact with information?


From The Eponymous Pickle

CGT Execs Admit Lack of Digital Knowledge

CGT Execs Admit Lack of Digital Knowledge

Based on a survey in CGT .  Not universally, but I would generally agree.  In particularly regarding digital innovation. " ... The Consumer Goods Forum and KPMG International released the findings of their annual Global Top of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Need for an Open Source Internet of Things

Need for an Open Source Internet of Things

About an open source IOT.  In CWorld.  what we said all along in the RFID world, its careful establishment of standards." ... The only limit to the Internet of Things isn't imagination or technology. It's the vendors. Will your


From Schneier on Security

The Costs of NSA Surveillance

The Costs of NSA Surveillance

New America Foundation has a new paper on the costs of NSA surveillance: economic costs to US business, costs to US foreign policy, and costs to security. News article....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Machine Learning Mastery

Machine Learning Mastery

Jason B has a blog on machine learning.  Good introductory piece: Why Machine Learning Matters.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mass Marketing Days are Limited

Mass Marketing Days are Limited

A look at the future of mass marketing.   " ... Mass marketing no longer resonates with today's consumer and it must be replaced by one-on-one marketing with dedicated focus on pre-shop behavior, says Frito-Lay’s senior vice


From The Eponymous Pickle

Visualizing Dynamic Networks

Visualizing Dynamic Networks

In IEEE Transactions, an example showing dynamic changes in networks:Dynamic Network Visualization with Extended Massive Sequence ViewsNetworks are present in many fields such as finance, sociology, and transportation. OftenThis


From Schneier on Security

Conference on Deception

Conference on Deception

There was a conference on deception earlier this month. Sophie Van Der Zee has a summary of the sessions....


From Computer Science Teachers Association

What’s Changed and What’s Stayed the Same

As I drove home from the 2014 CSTA Annual Conference last week, I reflected on how things have changed in my 33 years of teaching computer science. CSTA is beginning its 11th year and it has been an invaluable resource for those


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Collecting Just the Right Data

On Collecting Just the Right Data

In the MIT News:  Has come up in two recent client engagements.  What current data and ancillary metadata will be needed to make current and future decisions?   What is the cost of gathering and maintaining that data?  What is


From The Eponymous Pickle

Simple Encryption App

Simple Encryption App

In Wired:   A strong, easy to use encryption App, they say.  I have played with the alternative PGP, and I agree it is not an easy to use alternative for the typical user.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Virtual Reality in Advertising

Virtual Reality in Advertising

In Adage:  Next new thing to impress and engage consumers?   Compare it to augmented reality often discussed here, which today uses less hardware. And its connection to game interaction.   " .... It's a bit like the leap marketers


From The Eponymous Pickle

Airwheel for Personal Transport

Airwheel for Personal Transport

We tested the Segway to some extent, even used it in retail aisles.  Mostly safe.  You could learn it to safety in an hour or so.  Now there is the Airwheel .   Looking at a demonstration this seems to be less stable and harder


From Schneier on Security

Russia Paying for a Tor Break

Russia Paying for a Tor Break

Russia has put out a tender on its official government procurement website for anyone who can identify Tor users. The reward of $114,000 seems pretty cheap for this capability. And we now get to debate whether 1) Russia cannot

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