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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 Putting People First

On the importance of forgetting

On the importance of forgetting

The ongoing debate about Europe’s so-called ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling on search engines has shone a light onto a key pressure point between technology and society. Simply put the ability of digital technology to remember


From Computational Complexity

The Change Problem and the Gap between Recreational and Serious Mathematics

In a prior post (here)I discussed the change problem: given a dollar, how many ways can you make change using pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters (and generalize to n cents). Scouring the web I found either programs for it,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Space Exploration with CMaps

Space Exploration with CMaps

Been a while since I mentioned concept maps, but I use them often.  In a Linkedin conversation I saw mention of their use in an example to provide motivation for space exploration.  Alberto J. Cañas, Associate Director at IHMC


From The Eponymous Pickle

Getting Your Work Done on a Tablet

Getting Your Work Done on a Tablet

I have had an iPad for years.   I helped survey its practical use for the enterprise.   I use it every day, but mostly for scanning information and planning, and sometimes for gathering notes at client meetings. Cloud enabled


From Putting People First

Applying insights from behavioral economics to policy design

Applying insights from behavioral economics to policy design

Applying insights from behavioral economics to policy design Brigitte C. Madrian NBER Working paper July 2014 The premise of this article is that an understanding of psychology and other social science disciplines can inform


From The Eponymous Pickle

Government Chatbots for Screening

Government Chatbots for Screening

An area where we worked extensively, communication bots.  Also involved in clearance and interviewing processes.  I know there is currently a huge backlog in clearance delivery.  And there is a government  Center of Credibility


From Putting People First

Qualitative self-tracking and the Qualified Self

Qualitative self-tracking and the Qualified Self

Mark Carrigan, sociologist, academic technologist and research assistant at the Centre for Social Ontology, is intellectually drawn to the Quantified Self because “it’s a fascinating example of the intensification of reflexivity


From Putting People First

Social wearables, as seen by the NYT R&D Group

Social wearables, as seen by the NYT R&D Group

Noah Feehan of the New York Times Research & Development group explores the concept of social wearables: objects that explicitly leverage their visibility or invisibility to create social affordances. “Wearables that engage with


From The Eponymous Pickle

Innovation Talent

Innovation Talent

Thoughts on what innovation talent looks like.  It is an unusual talent.  In particular to take it beyond speculation and on to useful implementation.  In Innovation Excellence. 


From The Eponymous Pickle

Analytics Disciplines Compared

Analytics Disciplines Compared

Once again, a very nice piece by Vincent Granville I am just exploring.  Which seeks to answer a common question: What is the difference between all these analytic and data focused disciplines? What should I try first, or at"


From The Eponymous Pickle

Infrared Digital's Contextual Fusion

Infrared Digital's Contextual Fusion

Heard a description of Infrared Digital's method called Fusion: " ..... FUSION provides an analytic architecture where you can create a single analysis that includes your internal media, media partners, and enterprise systems


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM Big Data Hub

IBM Big Data Hub

IBM on their view of big data, useful resources and pointers.  " ... A strategic approach to big data is built on a data-driven culture, scalability and value, among other essential elements of progress. ... " . 


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Need for Objectivity

The Need for Objectivity

Former boss Bob Herbold on the elusive but necessary concept of of objectivity.  He always provides some excellent business examples from the management perspective.   In his blog.


From Putting People First

The touch-screen generation

The touch-screen generation

Young children — even toddlers — are spending more and more time with digital technology. Hanna Rosin wonders what will it mean for their development? “As technology becomes ubiquitous in our lives, American parents are becoming


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Build a Squid

Friday Squid Blogging: Build a Squid

An interactive animation from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Vision Correcting Displays

Vision Correcting Displays

In Mashable:" ... Those of us who need glasses to see a TV or laptop screen clearly could ditch the eyewear thanks to a display technology that corrects vision problems.The technology uses algorithms to alter an image based on


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cognitive Computing Webinar and Resources

Cognitive Computing Webinar and Resources

New World of Cognitive Computing. Yesterday attended a webinar on Cognitive Computing.  Which was a fairly good introduction, non technical and suitable for an extended technical executive introduction.  Recorded one hour presentation


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

An Old Galactic Result

A cautionary tale Karl Sundman was a Finnish mathematician who solved a major open problem in 1906. His solution would have been regarded as paradigm-“shifty” had it been a century or so earlier. It employed power series to represent


From The Eponymous Pickle

iPhone as Future Wallet

iPhone as Future Wallet

More indications that Apple will be pushing the idea of a convenient phone-wallet in future mobile.  An idea that has been around for years. Talked to credit card companies about integrating promotion offers and shopping lists


From Schneier on Security

Building a Legal Botnet in the Cloud

Building a Legal Botnet in the Cloud

Two researchers have built a botnet using free anonymous accounts. They only collected 1,000 accounts, but there's no reason this can't scale to much larger numbers....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kinds of Regressions

Kinds of Regressions

Vincent Granville maps alternate regression types and their applications.  Nicely done.  It's very useful to know alternative tools and what they are good for.  After you know your business problem, the data needed and available


From The Eponymous Pickle

KNIME Analytics

KNIME Analytics

Brought to my attention, have not looked at closely, but one of a large number of packages available today.KNIME - Professional Open-Source SoftwareKNIME is a user-friendly graphical workbench for the entire analysis process:


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Geeks Pick Nits Even On Jokes

Geeks Pick Nits Even On Jokes

I posted this following image on my Facebook page.

Comments came immediately. First one was something like “only one step?” Another said the method should be called inside a loop. Another suggested a more involved loop.

while


From Computational Complexity

Need some book reviewed- faster than usual

I have been the SIGACT NEWS book review editor since 1997. I have tried to get about 10 books reviewed per column. I have succeeded- perhaps too well! I have gotten so many reviews out that I only have six reviews left. I DO


From The Eponymous Pickle

Maximum Flow

Maximum Flow

In CACM:  Maximum flow algorithms in a network under under constraint are a classical application of mathematical programming.  It has many applications.  This article covers advances in the methods.   Can also be used strategically


From Putting People First

HeadCon ’13: What’s new in social science?

HeadCon ’13: What’s new in social science?

In July, 2013, Edge invited a group of social scientists to participate in an Edge Seminar at Eastover Farm focusing on the state of the art of what the social sciences have to tell us about human nature, entitled “HeadCon ’13


From The Eponymous Pickle

Defining Digital Shoppers

Defining Digital Shoppers

Interesting statistics in Retail Wire. " ... Ernst & Young and Havas Worldwide are just two of numerous firms attempting to classify the still-emerging digital consumer in recently published reports. What questions are most important


From The Eponymous Pickle

Pageviews Dead?

Pageviews Dead?

It is suggested in Smart Data Collective. Engagement has always been king.  Well not really engagements, but purchases.  Pageviews are easily measured, and though always suspect in direct value, can be useful.  Views are the


From The Eponymous Pickle

Innovation Idea Prioritization

Innovation Idea Prioritization

Some simple ideas to address the portfolio of innovation ideas.  In particular I don't see this done very often at startups, where it is assumed that you can just internalize the ideas and keep their value and risks straight.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Digitizing Consumer Decision Journeys

Digitizing Consumer Decision Journeys

In McKinsey: It's back to understanding the decision process.   " ... Many of the executives we speak with in banking, retail, and other sectors are still struggling to devise the perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers—experiences