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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.

April 2014


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Contact Lens Camera

Google Contact Lens Camera

A fairly detailed analysis of a patent application by Google that embeds cameras in the human eye.  I recall seeing a number of proposals like this a decade plus ago.  The idea itself is almost as old as the contact lens.  


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

USACM Contributes To Big Data Review

As part of the Administration’s review of big data, privacy and the economy, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a Request for Information (RFI) in March.  The RFI sought comments on the public policy implications


From The Eponymous Pickle

New Methods Taking place of Cookies

New Methods Taking place of Cookies

In Adage: How Mobile-Tech Players Are Crumbling the Cookie. Microsoft, Google, Apple Look to Track Consumers on Phones, Devices .... " 


From Michael Nielsen

How the backpropagation algorithm works

How the backpropagation algorithm works

Chapter 2 of my free online book about “Neural Networks and Deep Learning” is now available. The chapter is an in-depth explanation of the backpropagation algorithm. Backpropagation is the workhorse of learning in neural networks


From The Eponymous Pickle

Multilingual Promotion Apps

Multilingual Promotion Apps

Simple idea.  Useful statistics too. Quite appropriate: " ... Brands including General Mills and Clorox are targeting Hispanic consumers through the bilingual Veo mobile shopping app. The app engages consumers by using their


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neuromarketing and Consumer Behavior

Neuromarketing and Consumer Behavior

Had not seen this site before.  Here it is looks at a number of neuromarketing tests and associated data.  Useful thoughts, in particular about the limitations of such work:" ... The claim that electroencephalograms (EEG) and


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apps as Medical Devices

Apps as Medical Devices

Apps and their regulation:  Agree, this is a big deal.  " ... The potential of medical apps to improve care and lower costs is enormous. But if developers don’t know how these apps will be regulated, they’re going to spend their


From Computer Science Teachers Association

CSTA Board of Directors Election

The election for six open positions of the CSTA Board of Directors is underway. If you were a CSTA member as of April 1, you should have received an email with a personalized link to the online ballot. If you did not receive


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

The financial value of open source software

The financial value of open source software

We all rely daily on free and open source software, whether we know it or not. The entire Internet is held together by open source software. The cheap router that powers you Wifi network at home uses the Linux kernel. Your android


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

My FDG 2014 Cruise Ship Conference Experience

My FDG 2014 Cruise Ship Conference Experience

You may recall that I was going to a conference on a cruise ship in April.  Well, I'm back from Foundations of Digital Games 2014 and am happy to report that I have found another new favourite conference and community.  The conference


From Schneier on Security

GoGo Wireless Adds Surveillance Capabilities for Government

GoGo Wireless Adds Surveillance Capabilities for Government

The important piece of this story is not that GoGo complies with the law, but that it goes above and beyond what is required by law. It has voluntarily decided to violate your privacy and turn your data over to the government


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Coming back. What Will it look Like Now?

AI Coming back.  What Will it look Like Now?

Short piece on a number of examples how what we called AI is coming back.   Multiple and extended projects in the 90's led to real results, but not to extended uses in the enterprise decision process. Learning that came from


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links–14 April 2014

Interesting Links–14 April 2014

Crazy busy weekend for me. The weather was great and I got a lot done outside. Left me too tired to write this up last night. Sorry for the early birds who usually get here before now. Hope people find some useful things anyway


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Code: Echo–Programming Challenge

Code: Echo–Programming Challenge

Using a coding challenge as a promotional event for a movie? This is a new one on me but it looks interesting. What I especially like is that they are sharing resources that students can incorporate into a game.


Here is a chance


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Summer Work for Computer Science and Robotics Instructors

Summer Work for Computer Science and Robotics Instructors

If you are a member of the CSTA you should have received this announcement via email. BUT if you didn’t or you are not a CSTA member (why not?) I thought this worth sharing.


Summer 2014 Employment Opportunities: Computer Science


From Computational Complexity

Factorization in coNP- in other domains?

I had on an exam in my grad complexity course to show that the following set is in coNP FACT = { (n,m) : there is a factor y of n with 2 \le y \le m } The answer I was looking for was to write FACTbar (the complement) as {


From The Eponymous Pickle

Diamond Cartel

Diamond Cartel

Mark J Perry on the ultimate market manipulation, the diamond cartel.  Perception, however manipulated, is reality.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Metadata Lifecycle Management Considerations

Metadata Lifecycle Management Considerations

An interesting diagrammatic look at the lifecycle of metadata.  Everything has a lifecycle, but the question is always: To what degree do we have to pay close attention to it?  The diagram is quite complex.  Its easy to say always


From The Eponymous Pickle

Gamification as a Mainstream Approach

Gamification as a Mainstream Approach

Short piece in CIO Insight: Makes the case that gamification is in common internal and external use. And quotes:" ... Accenture points out that gamification isn't only for Millennials and techies; it's now in the mainstream.I


From The Eponymous Pickle

Magic of Shelf Level Eye Contact

Magic of Shelf Level Eye Contact

In Supermarket News: Shelf level eye contact can make a big difference.  It was one of the first things we attempted to accurately quantify when designing shelf arrangement.   And this is easier to study now than ever before.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Building Loyal Customers

Building Loyal Customers

Knowledge@Wharton:  In an information age.  " .... While the digital age has changed the rules of marketing, a panel of experts at the recent Wharton Marketing Conference suggests that the most effective outreach, even for international


From The Eponymous Pickle

KDNuggets for Analytics

KDNuggets for Analytics

Long before Big Data there was KDNuggets.  Well worth the follow.   Which is a  " ... Data Mining Community Top Resource for Analytics, Data Mining, and Data Science Software, Companies, Data, Jobs, Education, News, and moreRun


From The Eponymous Pickle

Emergence of Embed-able Tech

Emergence of Embed-able Tech

CNN Tech on the emergence of embed-able  technology.  With some good current examples. Probably not as adaptable as wearable, but more convenient.  So when do we become cyborgs?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Home Hub with Sensors

Smart Home Hub with Sensors

In GigaOM:  Continuing to look for intelligent hubs, with sensors that are adaptive to multiple conditions.    Here the ALYT:   " ... If the current generation of connected home hubs aren’t enough for you, then check out the


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neurogaming

Neurogaming

What can we learn from neurogaming?   The ultimate user interface.  Wearability taken to its limit. Trends, companies and people to be following.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Business Intelligence to Address Data Discovery

Business Intelligence to Address Data Discovery

In CWorld: Divining Data.Just a few months ago I would not have directly connected Business Intelligence (BI) with what is usually called Data Discovery.  The later is usually connected to methods that find patterns in data using


From Putting People First

Maybe the Voice of the Customer isn’t

Maybe the Voice of the Customer isn’t

Criticizing Voice of the Customer (VOC) programs is like speaking out against motherhood and apple pie, writes marketing consultant Ron Shevlin. Yet, he says, there are (at least) two problems with the “voice of the customer”


From The Eponymous Pickle

Technical iBeacon Basics

Technical iBeacon Basics

I found it interesting to see this relatively short O'Reilly piece on the basics of the iBeacon Apple location proximity sensor for retail.  Not very technical, but enough to understand the basics.


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Bronze Giant Squid Sculpture

Friday Squid Blogging: Bronze Giant Squid Sculpture

A little too big for my house....


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Probabilities and the C++ standard

Probabilities and the C++ standard

The new C++ standard introduced hash functions and hash tables in the language (as “unordered maps”). As every good programmer should know, hash tables only work well if collisions between keys are rare. That is, if you have