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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 The Eponymous Pickle

Navigating the Future, Today

Navigating the Future, Today

Sorry I saw this very late, someone should have sent it to me!  On a TED talk by Christopher Ahlberg, who worked with us on the question of how to understand and time map the future, based on our knowledge of the past.  I regret


From The Eponymous Pickle

Building Google's Quantum Computer.

Building Google's Quantum Computer.

Google has been working on the idea for some time, including testing the D-Wave computer mentioned here a number of times.  Now some interesting details about the quest in Wired.   This could result in new advances in analytics


From The Eponymous Pickle

Preferences for Autonomous Control

Preferences for Autonomous Control

Some research that seems to indicate how people think about robots that take control.  We will ultimately have to deal with these questions." ... If a company wants humans and robots to work more seamlessly together, they need


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of September 8

Congress has returned from recess, so hearings have resumed. September 9 Hearing: The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies of the House Homeland Security Committee and the Subcommittee


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Cool New Science Show for Kids on TVO

Cool New Science Show for Kids on TVO

I recently checked out the pilot episode for a new science show that premiered on TVO called Annedroids.  Although I found one of the characters overly annoying, I was definitely a fan of the android creator Anne.  The show nicely…


From Schneier on Security

iPhone Payment Security

iPhone Payment Security

Apple is including some sort of automatic credit-card payment system with the iPhone 6. They're using some security feature of the phone and system to negotiate a cheaper transaction fee. Basically, there are two kinds of credit


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 8 September 2014

Interesting Links 8 September 2014

Busy busy last week. I feel like I am getting back into the rhythm of school but grading takes up a good bit of time. As it always does. Still enjoying working with my students though. This week the post ends with a couple of


From Putting People First

Experientia @ Epic 2014: focusing on relationships and values

Experientia @ Epic 2014: focusing on relationships and values

It’s that time of year again, when ethnography professionals come together to exchange knowledge, discuss ideas, and share experiences about the practice of ethnography in the business world. EPIC 2014 kicked off yesterday (Sept


From Putting People First

How to see into the future

How to see into the future

Billions of dollars are spent on experts who claim they can forecast what’s around the corner, in business, finance and economics. Most of them get it wrong. Now a groundbreaking study has unlocked the secret: it IS possible


From Putting People First

11 reasons computers can’t understand or solve our problems without human judgement

11 reasons computers can’t understand or solve our problems without human judgement

It is true that our ability to collect, analyse and interpret data about the world has advanced to an astonishing degree in recent years, writes Rick Robinson, Executive Architect at IBM specialising in emerging technologies


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stress Detection from Google Glass

Stress Detection from Google Glass

In Engadget: Saw similar work at MIT in previous years, and tested the use of affective sensors attached to glasses to detect emotional reaction to product in context.  An early neuroscience application.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disney Magic via Big Data and MagicBand

Disney Magic via Big Data and MagicBand

Interesting examples of a company providing magic via big data.  Disney, quite an entertainment colossus now, is known for leveraging emerging technology. Only one example:" ... Enter: The MagicBand. It's the magic potion, so


From My Biased Coin

Teaching Sorting

Teaching Sorting

For many years now, while teaching the introductory Algorithms and Data Structures, I have told students that we won't be starting with (or really covering) sorting and searching, because it's boring.  While that description


From The Eponymous Pickle

End of Build it Yourself Software

End of Build it Yourself Software

In GigaOM:   This has been happening for a long time, but recent excursions through enterprise halls show this is becoming more true.   Much less is being purpose built.  Yet if you look at what is actually done, what people


From The Eponymous Pickle

Advisory System for Recipes

Advisory System for Recipes

Bon Appetit articles on the use of advisory systems to build or enhance food recipes.  Including a number of actual recipes created this way.  Are the creative?  How would creativity be built into the problem.  Still awaiting


From The Eponymous Pickle

Linkedin Retiring InMaps

Linkedin Retiring InMaps

We were exposed to this tool some time ago as a means to gain insight into corporate structure.  Now Linkedin is retiring it.  Would like to hear of cases where it was used practically by organizations, beyond simple curiosity


From Putting People First

Nudging and behavioral regulation gaining interest across Europe

Nudging and behavioral regulation gaining interest across Europe

Behavioral regulation is afoot in Europe and is drawing the interest of a growing number of OECD countries. Professor Alberto Alemanno has just posted a brief overview of what happened over the last few months: In late June,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Updating Our Address in the Galaxy

Updating Our Address in the Galaxy

I like to know my address.  GPS now provides me with one accurate location metric.  Now Nature reports on another measure: " ... Earth's new address: 'Solar System, Milky Way, Laniakea' ... Analysis of galaxies shows local supercluster


From The Eponymous Pickle

Resources for Cognitive App Development

Resources for Cognitive App Development

Have been exploring in more depth some of the detail behind IBM Watson/Cognitive.  Particularly interested in how this differs from work we did in the 90s in the field of what we then called  'expert systems', a practically oriented


From The Eponymous Pickle

Capturing Sentiment from Financial News

Capturing Sentiment from Financial News

From the ACM:   Talk on determining sentiment and prediction from text analysis in financial news.  This requires filling out a registration.  " ... Can the choice of words and tone used by the authors of financial news articles


From The Eponymous Pickle

How Retail Hacking Works: Danger at Point of Sale

How  Retail Hacking Works: Danger at Point of Sale

A very instructive piece in the Cisco Blog about how retail hacking at point of sale works, and how it can be addressed.  Must reading.   " ... With the announcement that yet another major retailer has allegedly been breached


From The Eponymous Pickle

Interview with Jim Goodnight

Interview with Jim Goodnight

An interview in Forbes with SAS data guru and founder Jim Goodnight.  Met him a number of times during their work with our enterprise, always interesting.  Some useful strategic insight.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Digital Transforming Retail

Digital Transforming Retail

How digital is transforming retail: The view from eBayDoes mobile commerce spell the end of traditional stores? In this series of short videos, Devin Wenig, the president of eBay Marketplaces, explains the impact of digitization


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Book by One Squid-Obsessed Person About Another

Friday Squid Blogging: Book by One Squid-Obsessed Person About Another

Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, by Matthew Gavin Frank. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

NIST Second Privacy Engineering Workshop on September 15-16 in San Jose

The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), in coordination with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), will host the Second Privacy Engineering Workshop on September 15-16 in San Jose,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Auctioneers Join Forces

Auctioneers Join Forces

More in the auction management space.   Which has many interesting ontological implications.  " ...  Six leading regional auction houses have joined forces to launch the online bidding platform Bidsquare.com. The firms, which


From The Eponymous Pickle

McKinsey on the Next 50 Years

McKinsey on the Next 50 Years

A new collection of articles from McKinsey.   Just starting to take a look at this.  For example: " ... Management intuition for the next 50 years ... The collision of technological disruption, rapid emerging-markets growth,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Making up Identities

Making up Identities

In Wired: Thoughts on what leads people to change their identity, and the implications. " ... Sockpuppetry—using false identities for deception—is centuries old, but the advent of the web has made creating sockpuppets, and falling


From Putting People First

Defining user experience strategy

Defining user experience strategy

UX strategy isn’t the blueprint, canvas, or definition you use. UX strategy is about the conversations you have and the alignment you achieve, writes Austin Govella, Experience Director with Avanade. As you start hacking your


From The Eponymous Pickle

Human Computer Interaction: Present and Future

Human Computer Interaction: Present and Future

In Computer Now:  Very good,  extensive view of the topic. Increasingly important was we use systems in new ways. Current and future trends." ... Human-computer interaction (HCI) is a multidisciplinary research area focused on