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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.

September 2014


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Let’s Mention Foundations

Congratulating Dick on the 2014 Knuth Prize Cropped from source Dick Lipton is of course the founder and driving writer of this weblog. He is also a computer scientist with a great record of pathbreaking research. The latter


From The Eponymous Pickle

Best Practices for ECommerce Conversion

Best Practices for ECommerce Conversion

Interesting piece that covers many of the issues and best practices in ECommerce conversion, with associated statistics.


From Schneier on Security

The Full Story of Yahoo's Fight Against PRISM

The Full Story of Yahoo's Fight Against PRISM

In 2008 Yahoo fought the NSA to avoid becoming part of the PRISM program. They eventually lost their court battle, and at one point were threatened with a $250,000 a day fine if they continued to resist. I am continually amazed


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Teach APCS–A New Shared Resource Site

Teach APCS–A New Shared Resource Site

A few days ago I was contacted by Christina Cacioppo whose day job is an engineer at a startup but who is also helping to teach Advanced Placement Computer Science. She is involved at a public school in San Francisco throughhttp


From Putting People First

Why banks need to revamp their user experience

Why banks need to revamp their user experience

The most interesting things happening in financial services are not happening in financial services, writes Rich Berkman, Associate Partner of IBM Interactive Experience, in UX Magazine. The most useful and powerful cross-channel


From The Eponymous Pickle

Lego as a Tool for Serious Thinking

Lego as a Tool for Serious Thinking

Remember looking at this long ago.  Not sure how commonly it is used.  Small and useful tools for thinking." ... LEGO Serious Play is a way of using LEGO bricks to express feelings and ideas. It is used by adults (mostly), to


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mining Massive Datasets

Mining Massive Datasets

Coursera course from Stanford on Mining Massive Data Sets.  " ... This class teaches algorithms for extracting models and other information from very large amounts of data. The emphasis is on techniques that are efficient and


From Schneier on Security

Identifying Dread Pirate Roberts

Identifying Dread Pirate Roberts

According to court documents, Dread Pirate Roberts was identified because a CAPTCHA service used on the Silk Road login page leaked the users' true location....


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computer Scientist Among the Winners of the 2014 MacArthur “Genius Grant”

The MacArthur Foundation has named its 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows “Genius Grant”, recognizing 21 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Lying and Ethics

Lying and Ethics

Since I was speaking at a compliance and ethics conference yesterday I have been keenly attuned to the meaning of the terms used by professionals in that area.  So is lying ethical ... good?  Under what conditions?    In 


From The Eponymous Pickle

CPG and E-Commerce

CPG and E-Commerce

In AdAge: " ... Packaged-Goods Marketers Wade Warily Into E-commerce ... Big Brands Stymied by Executional Strategies in a World Where Online Retailers Control the Consumer Relationship ... " . Also with implications to current


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apple and Local Search

Apple and Local Search

The emergence of the Apple Watch will likely start to popularize the use of watch displays by the public.  How will it influence location plays?  In Search Engine Watch:" ...  Apple Watch will likely increase the number and frequency


From The Eponymous Pickle

Identity and Access Intelligence

Identity and Access Intelligence

Gave an invited talk at the SCCE Corporate Compliance conference yesterday in Chicago about compliance analytics.  Met a number of new people and saw examples of their work.  Here is an example that looked of interest, they are


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

The week-end freedom test

The week-end freedom test

In an earlier post, I compared life in academia with life in industry. One recurring argument to favour an academic job over an industry job is freedom. Of course, the feeling of freedom is fundamentally subjective. And we have


From Schneier on Security

Tracking People From their Cellphones with an SS7 Vulnerability

Tracking People From their Cellphones with an SS7 Vulnerability

What's interesting about this story is not that the cell phone system can track your location worldwide. That makes sense; the system has to know where you are. What's interesting about this story is that anyone can do it. Cyber


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing 2015

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing 2015

The nomination period for the 2015 NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing is now open. If you know a high school woman who is interested in computing nominate her or suggest she nominate herself. This is a great program to


From Computational Complexity

Maryland Theory Day October 10!

Univ of Maryland at College Park is having a Theory Day Friday October 10. Free Registration and Free Lunch! (there are no economists coming to tell us there is no such thing). For Information and Registration goto here A


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson Analytics Announced Today

Watson Analytics Announced Today

( More here later )http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/bits/2014/09/16/ibm-offers-a-data-tool-for-the-mainstream-with-watsons-help/" ... Developing technology is one thing; democratizing it is another. The latter involves finding


From The Eponymous Pickle

Machine Learning for Data Value

Machine Learning for Data Value

In Informs Analytics MagazineMachine Learning for Big Data Value.Yes, big data helps unveil millions of facts about consumer behavior and trends. Leveraging emerging big data sources and types to gain a much more complete understanding


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Why I Retweet Things From Heavily Followed People

Why I Retweet Things From Heavily Followed People

I used to think that retweeting something that someone who had a lot of followers tweeted was a waste of time. After all they reach many more people than I do. Plus many of the same people follow both of us so I’d be duplicating


From The Eponymous Pickle

Macy's Rolls out Biggest Beacon Installation

Macy's Rolls out Biggest Beacon Installation

Location based systems continue to move forward.  In ZDNet." ... Macy's rolls out retail's largest beacon installation  —  Summary: Macy's expects to complete the installation by early fall, just in time for the upcoming holiday


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Academia or industry?

Academia or industry?

I have done three things after my Ph.D.: I have been a (permanent/regular) researcher in a major government laboratory; I have been an entrepreneur in industry (making deals, paying other people); I have been a professor, in


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mathematica Launches in the Cloud

Mathematica Launches in the Cloud

Now you can run Mathematica in the cloud.  " ... In the past, using Mathematica has always involved first installing software on your computer. But as of today that’s no longer true. Instead, all you have to do is point a web


From Computational Complexity

Richard Lipton Wins Knuth Prize

Georgia Tech professor and fellow blogger Richard Lipton will receive the 2014 Knuth Prize at the upcoming FOCS conference in Philadelphia. The Knuth Prize is given jointly by the ACM SIGACT and the IEEE TC-MFCS for major research


From Schneier on Security

Two New Snowden Stories

Two New Snowden Stories

New Zealand is spying on its citizens. Edward Snowden weighs in personally. The NSA and GCHQ are mapping the entire Internet, including hacking into Deutsche Telekom....


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Research on History of Cognitive Assistants in Business

More Research on History of Cognitive Assistants in Business

A number of past blog posts here, over a number of years,  have been mentioned in Jim Spohrer's Paper: "More Research on the History of Cognitive Assistants in Business"  in his service science archive.  This indexes some of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Communities Work Better than Networks

Communities Work Better than Networks

We observed this too, just watching your network grow does not buy you anything.   You also need a community with purpose, alerts and measures.  Says the HBR.  I will add to that, the communities can also have little value if


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Cities as Big Opportunity

Smart Cities as Big Opportunity

In the Cisco Blog.   A pretty common thought.  Consider a city as an internet of many things.  What can be done to improve, enhance and monetize the resulting mega network?  First I have seen numbers to support the effort.  Useful


From The Eponymous Pickle

MIT CSAIL

MIT CSAIL

Had a reminder of MIT work with AI.  They influenced us, especially in manufacturing and sensor based applications of data AI.  And more about their history and projects underway.


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Computational Thinking and Beyond

Since Jeannette Wing described computational thinking (CT) in her 2006 Communications of the ACM article, it has gone beyond computer science and now become a “hot topic” within educational technology communities of practice.