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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.

November 2014


From Putting People First

Fundamental principles of great UX design

Fundamental principles of great UX design

In this edition of Ask UXmatters (a series curated by Janet M. Six), an eight-person expert panel looks at the importance of considering the fundamental principles of great design — not just UX design principles, but design principles


From Putting People First

A profile of Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google

A profile of Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience at Google

As part of an on-going series profiling people, institutions and programs in the EPIC People community, Katharina Rochjadi of Swinburne University of Technology has now profiled Elizabeth F. Churchill, Director of User Experience


From Putting People First

Why wearables should be free

Why wearables should be free

Companies shouldn’t just give out wearables for free; they should pay users for data, argues Hans Neubert, frog’s chief creative officer. “Owners of wearable technology, like the upcoming Apple Watch or Microsoft Band, are the


From The Eponymous Pickle

High Performance Computing in CPG

High Performance Computing in CPG

Video by a former colleague,  Tom Lange, about how High Performance Computing (HPC) is used in consumer packaged goods at Procter & Gamble.   " ... From toothpaste to diapers to dish soap, companies like Procter & Gamble useAnd


From The Eponymous Pickle

Comparing the Social Landscape in 2014

Comparing the Social Landscape in 2014

A one page landscape infographic view of the eight most common types of social media in 2014. Nicely done, but specifics in this space do change quickly.  Includes useful statistics about usage trends as well.  I find that people


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mail Re-Imagined in Verse

Mail Re-Imagined in Verse

Today from IBM.   Mail that understands you ... Imagine email that works for you instead of email that makes you work. .... Guided by analytics, IBM Verse learns your behaviors to adapt to the way you work, wherever you work.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Decision Making is Unconscious

Decision Making is Unconscious

Len Stein writes:" ... Marketers are realizing that decision making is largely an unconscious process. While neuro-scientists continue to expand our knowledge of how the brain functions, psychology will determine how specific


From Schneier on Security

A New Free CA

A New Free CA

Announcing Let's Encrypt, a new free certificate authority. This is a joint project of EFF, Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, and the University of Michigan. This is an absolutely fantastic idea. The anchor for any TLS-protected communication


From Schneier on Security

Whatsapp Is Now End-to-End Encrypted

Whatsapp Is Now End-to-End Encrypted

Whatapp is now offering end-to-end message encryption: Whatsapp will integrate the open-source software Textsecure, created by privacy-focused non-profit Open Whisper Systems, which scrambles messages with a cryptographic key


From The Eponymous Pickle

MICA Intel Wearable is Fashionable

MICA Intel Wearable is Fashionable

Fashion changes.  Pricey at $495.  Will all jewelry soon have an option for computer augmentation?   Intel is an unexpected participant.  I do like the fact that, unlike options like Glass, it's functionality can be completely


From The Eponymous Pickle

Understanding the Face of Emotion

Understanding the Face of Emotion

Determining emotion from facial images. A long term research and innovation interest.  Here news of a September talk in Edge HeadCon.  The introductory piece also has some interesting details.  Is this breaching the last outpost


From Schneier on Security

Snarky 1992 NSA Report on Academic Cryptography

Snarky 1992 NSA Report on Academic Cryptography

The NSA recently declassified a report on the Eurocrypt '92 conference. Honestly, I share some of the writer's opinions on the more theoretical stuff. I know it's important, but it's not something I care all that much about..


From BLOG@CACM

Why Does HPC Matter?

Why Does HPC Matter?

SC14 launched this year’s gala with a new plenary session to highlight the advancements that HPC enables in everything from soap to safer cars to the discovery of the origins of our universe.


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Top Secret Rosies

Top Secret Rosies

This week I have been showing the movie "Top Secret Rosies" to my freshmen students. It’s a wonderful story about some long unsung heroes of both World War II and computing. As introduced on the related web page:

In 1942, when


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Glass not Taking Off

Google Glass not Taking Off

It was only early this year I was looking at a way to use Glass to aid in some compliance applications. We approached Google, but got no interest. Now Glass appears to be fading.  They still have immediate value for hands-free


From The Eponymous Pickle

Next 50 Years of Management

Next 50 Years of Management

McKinsey's always interesting contributions, a look forward at the next 50 years:McKinsey Quarterly’s 50th anniversary editionIn this unique anniversary edition of the Quarterly, leading management thinkers tackle the management


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Cisco App for Collaboration

A Cisco App for Collaboration

In CWorld: The Cisco App is being positioned as Freemium.  Will also be interesting to see how this is connected to some of its hardware solutions.  See also its similarities to P&G's Business Sphere." ... Cisco crashes the enterprise


From Schneier on Security

The NSA's Efforts to Ban Cryptographic Research in the 1970s

The NSA's Efforts to Ban Cryptographic Research in the 1970s

New article on the NSA's efforts to control academic cryptographic research in the 1970s. It includes new interviews with public-key cryptography inventor Martin Hellman and then NSA-director Bobby Inman....


From Computational Complexity

A Fly on the wall for a Harvard Faculty meeting: Not interesting for Gossip but interesting for a more important reason

I was recently in Boston for Mikefest (which Lance talked about  here)  and found time to talk to  my adviser Harry Lewis at Harvard (adviser? Gee, I already finished my PhD. Former-Advisor? that doesn't quite sound right. I'll


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Why competitive people are often dumb and boring

Why competitive people are often dumb and boring

People who work hard are typically motivated by either their performance (i.e., they want to look good) or their mastery (i.e., they like being good at their craft). Most of us pursue a mix of different goals. It would seem like


From The Eponymous Pickle

Context for Evernote

Context for Evernote

Have now used the Evernote note taking and information management system for years.  I like it, especially since they improved their multiple interfaces.  It also acts as a cloud for your writing from multiple devices.  I see


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Connected Products Killing Industries

Smart Connected Products Killing Industries

Have heard this before, not universally true.  Especially when you have to move atoms vs bits. Or apply scarce resources.   Like in all transportation industries to date.  Other examples too.  Still a useful caution when forecasting


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of November 17

November 18 Hearing: The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on information security at the Veterans’ Administration 1:30 p.m.,  334 Cannon Building November 19 Hearing: The Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data is Here to Stay, and don't forget the right Metadata

Big Data is Here to Stay, and don't forget the right Metadata

With some warnings. I agree, we are never going to gather just less complex, wildly aggregated or less data.  We will error on the side of more data.  I add, we will still need to decide what to save, based on some notion of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Fujitsu Data Enables LED Light

Fujitsu Data Enables LED Light

In CWorld: Fujitsu Develops method which will allow products to send data to smartphones." ... LED lamps lighting merchandise may soon shine invisible data that your smartphone can pick up.Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facebook Wants Office Presence

Facebook Wants Office Presence

This was an area we examined.  What infrastructure would work best to deliver social style interaction among employees, among employees and contractors?  Linkedin is an obvious alternative.   Now Facebook is also interested in


From BLOG@CACM

Is There a 10x Gap Between Best and Average Programmers? And How Did It Get There?

Is There a 10x Gap Between Best and Average Programmers? And How Did It Get There?

There's not much evidence for a 10x programming productivity gap, but it doesn't matter from an education perspective. 


From BLOG@CACM

HPC Matters, and We Have Video Evidence

HPC Matters, and We Have Video Evidence

SC14 gets underway this week in New Orleans, LA (USA). This year the conference has produced a series of accessible videos highlighting why — in terms that hopefully everyone can understand — HPC matters to all of us.


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 17 November 2014

Interesting Links 17 November 2014

Last week was crazy for me. Professional development day last Monday and Veterans Day on Tuesday just made things start differently. Friday was a travel day as I flew out to Tucson AZ for the CSTA Board meeting. CSTA you have


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tailored Digital Sign Experience

Tailored Digital Sign Experience

A long time research interest, better and more personalized interaction with the shopper via digital signage:" ... Photon Interactive, a company that’s been focused on building mobile experiences for large brands, is teamingThe