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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 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


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Becomes Cognitive. Is it Now Ready for Sustained Value?

AI Becomes Cognitive. Is it Now Ready for Sustained Value?

Is AI finally ready to roll?  Again? Spent years in the 90s working on it, with successes but also ultimately descent into a winter of discontent.  Back then there were a small number of well funded startups that drove the efforts


From The Eponymous Pickle

Web Style Analytics in the Retail Store

Web Style Analytics in the Retail Store

Good Forrester report, requires registration." ... Retail stores have been living in the analytical "dark ages" in comparison to digital channels, using metrics that rarely take into account customer behavior. But new advances


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Future Directions for NSF Advanced Computing Infrastructure

The National Science Foundation (NSF) requested that the National Research Council (NRC) carry out a study examining anticipated priorities for advanced computing infrastructure in support of NSF-sponsored science and engineering…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Channels Become Apps as Advertising Changes Forever

Channels Become Apps as Advertising Changes Forever

In Adage:   Remarkable piece about the conversion to digital TV happening now, and how it will change advertising.  And create a new flood of advertising data.    " ... The start of TV unbundling is upon us, with HBO and CBSSlowly


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Decision Trees–Possible Interesting Coding Project

Decision Trees–Possible Interesting Coding Project

I found this interesting flowchart for determining where one should eat Thanksgiving. It’s pretty complete which also means it’s complicated. I guess if you know the answers it is not too bad to follow. If you just want to see


From The Eponymous Pickle

Chef Watson as an Advisor

Chef Watson as an Advisor

Just received early access to IBM's Chef Watson Beta this past week.  I have been testing, not for recipe development, but with an eye to how it's structure could be adapted to other advisory systems. Also, how it really differs


From The Eponymous Pickle

Online Replacing In Store Browsing

Online Replacing In Store Browsing

The results of an Ipsos and Google survey and report.  " ... Whether through a laptop at work or a smartphone before bed or in-store, online searches continue to replace much of the shopper discovery process that comes from in


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NIST Global City Teams Challenge Report

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) launched their Global City Teams Challenge with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm last month.  The workshop ended with more than a dozen presentations by potential…


From Schneier on Security

How Did the Feds Identity Dread Pirate Roberts?

How Did the Feds Identity Dread Pirate Roberts?

Last month, I wrote that the FBI identified Ross W. Ulbricht as the Silk Road's Dread Pirate Roberts through a leaky CAPTCHA. Seems that story doesn't hold water: The FBI claims that it found the Silk Road server by examining


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 19 October 2014

Interesting Links 19 October 2014

You know those school weeks with lots of interruptions, strange schedules and little normal routine? Yep, had one last week. I also managed to record a good number of Office Mixes on various programming topics. I’ll post a list


From The Eponymous Pickle

Invention of Google Scholar

Invention of Google Scholar

Now ten years old.    Contains 160 million documents. " ... Making the world’s problem solvers 10% more efficient ... Ten years after a Google engineer empowered researchers with Scholar, he can’t bear to leave it  .. " " ... Some


From The Eponymous Pickle

Redesigning Bill Gates Favorite Data Visualization

Redesigning Bill Gates Favorite Data Visualization

From Perceptual Edge:  A 3D Treemap is at the link ..." .... Colorful space filling graphs are visually attractive, they do gather your attention.  But are they good ways to visualize data and really understand it?  It is still


From The Eponymous Pickle

Free Piston Engines

Free Piston Engines

Toyota's remarkable new approach to the gas piston engine, the first in 134 years.  I was truck by the visuals used.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Forecasting Net Site and Blog on Ebola

Forecasting Net Site and Blog on Ebola

George Boretos, Strategy & Marketing ExpertJust posted an update, including the most recent cases for October and a forecast of the expected Ebola deaths and mortality rate, also based on actual data up to Oct 1st 2014. ....The