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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.

December 2014


From Putting People First

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From Schneier on Security

The Limits of Police Subterfuge

The Limits of Police Subterfuge

"The next time you call for assistance because the Internet service in your home is not working, the 'technician' who comes to your door may actually be an undercover government agent. He will have secretly disconnected the service


From Computational Complexity

The NIPS Experiment

The NIPS (machine learning) conference ran an interesting experiment this year. They had two separate and disjoint program committees with the submissions split between them. 10% (166) of the submissions were given to both committees


From The Eponymous Pickle

Building a Simple Word Cloud

Building a Simple Word Cloud

A simple word cloud service, data can be retrieved from pasted text, URLs or files.  A number of useful features for quick generation.  Their blog provides some good usage examples.


From The Eponymous Pickle

SAP IOT Garden

SAP IOT Garden

Work and thoughts by SAP on IoT Innovation, in a Garden:" ... Within SAP, IoT has begun taking shape in the form of grassroots projects and pilot implementations to fully validated solutions with external partners.SAP Palo Alto’s


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Too many Arrows in the Quiver?

Too many Arrows in the Quiver?

Last week I saw a tweet complaining to Wonder Workshop about them using Blockly to program their robots when (apparently) the Kickstarter proposal said the would be programmable using Scratch. A conversation ensued as it is likely


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Call for CCC Council Nominations

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) issued a call today for nominations for individuals to serve on the CCC Council for the next three years.  The deadline for nominations is February 6, 2015. See complete details — including…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Optimizing polymorphic code in Java

Optimizing polymorphic code in Java

Oracle’s Java is a fast language… sometimes just as fast as C++. In Java, we commonly use polymorphism through interfaces, inheritance or wrapper classes to make our software more flexible. Unfortunately, when polymorphism is


From The Eponymous Pickle

Brain Marketing

Brain Marketing

In the HBR:  Using the activity of the brain to understand purchasing and marketing decisions.   We called this neuromarketing, but that term is never used in the article.   " ... Brain Marketing: Is the Product Worth the Price


From The Eponymous Pickle

China Boosting Robotics

China Boosting Robotics

In CWorld: " ... Already a major manufacturer of electronics, China is preparing to bolster its presence in robotics with the help of government support and investments.China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

New NIH Big Data to Knowledge Funding Opportunities

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program has announced two new funding opportunities for FY15 funding. NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Massive Open Online Course…


From Schneier on Security

How the FBI Unmasked Tor Users

How the FBI Unmasked Tor Users

Kevin Poulson has a good article up on Wired about how the FBI used a Metasploit variant to identity Tor users....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stanford High Rise Chip

Stanford High Rise Chip

In CWorld: New three dimensional design.  Potential for IoT and Big Data applications." ... Stanford University researchers have built a multi-layered "high-rise" chip that could significantly outperform traditional computerUsing


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Prover’s Block

What to do when afraid to see if what you want is true Cropped from Canadian Bergler Society source Edmund Bergler coined the term in 1947, the great writers Francis Fitzgerald—F. Scott to most—and Joseph Conrad among many others


From The Eponymous Pickle

How to Fly a Horse

How to Fly a Horse

Colleague Kevin Ashton writes:Dear Franz, My new book, "How to Fly a Horse — The Secret History of Invention, Creation, and Discovery," comes out on January 20.It is already getting some good reviews: both Fortune and Business


From The Eponymous Pickle

Measuring Content Metrics: All About the Data

Measuring Content Metrics:  All About the Data

In Adage:  On how to measure digital content.  Which relates to the more general aspect of Data Assets.  Which I have repeated here and given a talk about.   It's all about context in business process. It requires having some


From Schneier on Security

Fake Cell Towers Found in Norway

Fake Cell Towers Found in Norway

In yet another example of what happens when you build an insecure communications infrastructure, fake cell phone towers have been found in Oslo. No one knows who has been using them to eavesdrop. This is happening in the US,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Where do you Start With the Internet of Things?

Where do you Start With the Internet of Things?

Good piece on the topic. by James MacLennan.   There is lots of talk everywhere of course, but what do you do to fit his into a business?   We spent years thinking  about this when it was mostly implemented with RFID. Now the


From The Eponymous Pickle

Video Analytics and Privacy

Video Analytics and Privacy

An area we examined in laboratory conditions. One approach seen was the automated blurring of faces.  In RetailWire:  Discussion:  " ... While privacy remains a big concern around in-store video analytics, stores are too much


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology

The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology

A friend sent me a link to an interesting looking page that the White House set up to tell stories of the history of women in Science and Technology. It is a collection of stores about great women in science and technology. For


From Putting People First

World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

World Development Report 2015 explores “Mind, Society, and Behavior”

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2014 — Development policies based on new insights into how people actually think and make decisions will help governments and civil society achieve development goals more effectively. A richer and more


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cheap Hack-able Roomba

Cheap Hack-able Roomba

In Mashable: " ... iRobot builds a vacuum-free Roomba for students to hack ... "     This is a successor to the iRobot Create, which we used to experiment with simple robotic demonstration ideas. This version has no vacuum, so


From The Eponymous Pickle

An Advisory System

An Advisory System

An interesting example."ALEX the virtual benefits counselor is America’s best-selling and most-trusted standalone benefits decision support tool. Used by hundreds of companies (including 50 in the Fortune 500), ALEX helps millions


From My Biased Coin

Stress: Competition and Ranking

Stress:  Competition and Ranking

One issue I keep seeing in comments here and elsewhere on this issue is that academia is very competitive, with everyone worried about their rank.  In my last post, I admitted that it would be hard to completely deny that there


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF Announces New Partnerships for Computer Science Education

The following is a letter to the community from National Science Foundation (NSF) Acting Assistant Director for the Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE), Suzi Iacono.  Dear CISE Colleagues, As we…


From Schneier on Security

Understanding Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Understanding Zero-Knowledge Proofs

Matthew Green has a good primer....


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Reminder LiSPI Nominations Close in One Week!

In November, the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) announced the third offering of the CCC Leadership in Science Policy Institute (LiSPI), intended to educate computing researchers on how science policy in the U.S. is formulated…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Open Source Projects for Machine Intelligence

Open Source Projects for Machine Intelligence

In InfoWorld: Four groups have been developing IBM Watson-like systems based on open source work.  ... Watson wannabes: 4 open source projects for machine intelligence.  These projects aren't as fleshed-out as Watson, but they're


From Computational Complexity

Joint Center for Quantum Information and Computer Science

(Guest post by Andrew Childs who is now at the Univ of MD at College Park) We have recently launched a new Joint Center for Quantum Information and ComputerScience (QuICS) at the University of Maryland. This center isHartree


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Advances in Mobile Eye Tracking

More Advances in Mobile Eye Tracking

An area where we did much work, both on the physical implementation aspects, and on the gathering and analytical methods used with the data.  New developments on completely mobile capabilities we did not have just a few years