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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 Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Leave School Now While You Still Know It All

Leave School Now While You Still Know It All

Interesting questions appear on Twitter all the time. Sometimes addressed to individuals and sometimes addressed to the Twitterverse as a whole. One earlier today has me thinking a lot. And chatting with people on Twitter and


From Computational Complexity

Sipser Symposium

On Sunday we had the Symposium on Theoretical Computer Science on the Occasion of Michael Sipser's 60th birthday to celebrate what Mike has brought to research (seminal work on the complexity of randomness and circuits),great


From My Biased Coin

Rankings Everywhere

Rankings Everywhere

Like many (theoretical) computer scientists, I spent far, far too much time this weekend thinking about rankings.  Well, really, it was more that I was being far, far too amused by the various posts and comments on the novel"Ranking


From Putting People First

The zombiefication of business travelers

The zombiefication of business travelers

Tim Askew, CEO of Corporate Rain International, explains how technology is increasingly isolating us from each other and stifling creativity and real experiences. “As a frequent business traveler, I have noticed an unhappy change


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Two States–the Highs and the Lows

Two States–the Highs and the Lows

I found this image on Facebook last week and it really rang true for me.

I experienced both sides of this recently. On one hand I wrote a program on the spur of the moment and pushed it out in 20 minutes with no struggle at


From Schneier on Security

Apple Copies Your Files Without Your Knowledge or Consent

Apple Copies Your Files Without Your Knowledge or Consent

The latest version of Apple's OS automatically syncs your files to iCloud Drive, even files you choose to store locally. Apple encrypts your data, both in transit and in iCloud, with a key it knows. Apple, of course, complies


From The Eponymous Pickle

Scene Understanding and Labeling Pixels

Scene Understanding and Labeling Pixels

A problem I looked at for a startup a few years ago.  Ultimately it was chosen to address it by using crowdsourcing.  Here a Vimeo interview with Stephen Gould discusses image understanding and pixel labeling, the topic of  "


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson Analytics Seen Today

Watson Analytics Seen Today

Watson Analytics    Have yet to get a beta loaner, but today I did get several more in depth demonstrations of the idea.  In one case I was able to at least suggest entries.  The idea is good, but not new.  Why not have a data


From The Eponymous Pickle

Whole Foods Digital Signage

Whole Foods Digital Signage

Whole Foods Store of the future utilizes digital signage.  They have been innovators in this space for some time.   " .... Whole Foods has unveiled a new range of touch screens and other digital tools at its new flagship store


From The Eponymous Pickle

USPS to Test Delivery of Groceries

USPS to Test Delivery of Groceries

The idea has been suggested for years, now finally the Feds have approved a test.  Why not?   " ... Federal authorities have given approval for the U.S. Postal Service to commence a two-year test of a customized delivery program


From Schneier on Security

US Intelligence "Second Leaker" Identified

US Intelligence "Second Leaker" Identified

There's a report that the FBI has identified a second leaker: The case in question involves an Aug. 5 story published by The Intercept, an investigative website co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, the reporter who first published


From Putting People First

Five things marketers can learn from designers

Five things marketers can learn from designers

Why are highly successfully companies putting top-notch designers in key leadership roles, ask David Weber and Lisa Leslie Henderson. What are designers bringing to the table that marketers and other c-level players are not?


From Putting People First

Best practices for medical app development go beyond standard UX

Best practices for medical app development go beyond standard UX

Mobile healthcare app development poses a set of challenges very different from mainstream apps. Not only is security an area that requires a considerable attention, compliance with regulatory standards is also absolutely crucial


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Rebooting Computing

How to beat the end of Moore’s Law Elie Track and Tom Conte were co-chairs of the recently-held Third IEEE workshop on Rebooting Computing. Tom is a computer architect at Georgia Tech. A year ago he became the 2014 President-Elect


From Schneier on Security

Authentication Attack Against Credit Card Verification

Authentication Attack Against Credit Card Verification

Here's a physical attack against a credit card verification system. Basically, the attack disrupts the communications between the retail terminal and the system that identifies revoked credit cards. Since retailers generally


From My Biased Coin

Welcome, Attorneys!

Welcome, Attorneys!

You might wonder why I am welcoming attorneys to the blog.  Well, I happen to know that some attorneys read my blog.  I know this because recently, as an expert witness, while I was testifying in court, the attorney on the other


From Schneier on Security

Spritz: A New RC4-Like Stream Cipher

Spritz: A New RC4-Like Stream Cipher

Last week, Ron Rivest gave a talk at MIT about Spritz, a new stream cipher by him and Jacob Schuldt. It's basically a redesign of RC4, given current cryptographic tools and knowledge. RC4 is an example of what I think of as a


From The Eponymous Pickle

Haptic Handles

Haptic Handles

In CWorld:It's not quite the same as thumbing a ride, but a cylindrical gadget that nestles in your palm can get you where you want to go.Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo on Monday showed off Yubi Navi, a prototype navigation


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 27 October 2014

Interesting Links 27 October 2014

What a week. I teach at a private school and one of the things we do is have open houses for prospective students and parents. Last week we had two which meant some extra time at school. Honestly though I really enjoy talking


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data Retail Program

Big Data Retail Program

IBM Big Data & Analytics: Retail Business and Industry Leadership Program


From The Eponymous Pickle

Gartner Identifies Key Technology Trends

Gartner Identifies Key Technology Trends

 I don't usually like top ten lists.  But in this list I do like the general descriptions.  Top strategic technology trends. No big surprises, and the order is debatable.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tracking the Value of Corporate Get-togethers

Tracking the Value of Corporate Get-togethers

This week attending IBM's big conference on Big Data and Analytics called Insight2014.  In progress all this week.  A huge affair with thousands of participants.  Each IBM participant is given an RFID tag.  They are allowed to


From The Eponymous Pickle

Steganographic Malware

Steganographic Malware

Network threats based on hidden malware.   " .... Researchers at the Hungary-based Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security have uncovered Duqu, an unusual form of steganography-based malware that embeds itself in Microsoft


From The Eponymous Pickle

Galactic Shadows

Galactic Shadows

My colleague Keith J Caserta has come out with a second book in his Kindle series called: Galactic Shadows. Science fiction about AI and how aliens are likely to interact with us.   His web page and ordering information. Much


From Putting People First

Creating user-friendlier environments

Creating user-friendlier environments

MIT News describes how Federico Casalegno of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab designs technology environments that keep human experience at the center of user experience. “The director of the MIT Mobile Experience Lab looks to innovate


From The Eponymous Pickle

Fast Track Back to Kanban

Fast Track Back to Kanban

It has been a considerable time since I have worked with Kanban, the lean,  just in time manufacturing process.   This InfoQ piece outlines what it is and a workshop that addresses how to achieve it.  Even including a Kanban"


From The Eponymous Pickle

Productivity Startups

Productivity Startups

We need more of these, in particular startups that deliver more efficient connections to each other, supplanting regular e-mail, focus data to value and have the ability to improve process.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kroger Scan, Bag and Go

Kroger Scan, Bag and Go

Got a chance today to use the Kroger in-aisle checkout method at the Middletown,  Ohio Kroger today.   This was a concept we tested with many alternatives in the innovation center and in lab stores. Nicely done example here.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Business Strategy and Execution for CIO

Business Strategy and Execution for CIO

In Future of CIO: Business strategy and execution challenges. " ... Many companies spend significant portion of time for formulating rock solid strategies, focuses on business strategy development and puts a lot of efforts to


From Putting People First

Should more banks acquire UX design firms?

Should more banks acquire UX design firms?

Underscoring the importance of a great customer experience, Capital One has acquired the San Francisco-based design and user experience firm, Adaptive Path. Is this a testing of the waters by a historically innovative financial