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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 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


From Schneier on Security

More on Heartbleed

More on Heartbleed

This is an update to my earlier post. Cloudflare is reporting that its very difficult, if not practically impossible, to steal SSL private keys with this attack. Here's the good news: after extensive testing on our software stack


From The Eponymous Pickle

Prediction for Wearables Market

Prediction for Wearables Market

In CWorld:   And much more detail at the link.  " .... Wearable computers "took a huge step forward" in the last year and shipments of smartwatches and related devices will grow by 78% a year until 2018, IDC said Thursday.The


From The Eponymous Pickle

Price of Being First in New Technology

Price of Being First in New Technology

In Cisco Blog:  Very good piece.  There is always a price, and perhaps the largest is the assumption that you will assume that you will always retain that position, exclusive or otherwise.  Especially in today's rapidly changing


From The Eponymous Pickle

Security Cameras Creating Big Data

Security Cameras Creating Big Data

In the 90s in Europe we worked with a large retailer for a test of this idea.  Re purposing security cameras to understand in store customer movement.   Will the addition of better analytics make this valuable?  In GigaOM.


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Nominations for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

April 15 is the deadline for nominations of K-6 teachers, including computer science teachers, for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), administered by the National Science Foundation


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kroger Store of the Future

Kroger Store of the Future

In RIS News: " ... One of the largest retailers, Kroger, has introduced its new Retail Site Intelligence (RSI) enterprise IT architecture. The architecture helps drive the store of the future by using ZigBee wireless mesh networks


From Schneier on Security

Police Disabling Their own Voice Recorders

Police Disabling Their own Voice Recorders

This is not a surprise: The Los Angeles Police Commission is investigating how half of the recording antennas in the Southeast Division went missing, seemingly as a way to evade new self-monitoring procedures that the Los Angeles


From Computer Science Teachers Association

CS Team Testifies on California Bill 1764

Yesterday the California Assembly Committee on Education unanimously passed Bill 1764. This bill would encourage districts to expand computer science courses in high schools and its passage at the critical committee level is


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Multiple-Credit Tests

Can chess statistics help design multiple-choice exams? UT Dallas source Bruce Pandolfini is one of very few living people who have been played by an Oscar-winning actor. He was the real-life chess teacher of junior chess player


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Multiple-Credit Tests

Can chess statistics help design multiple-choice exams? UT Dallas source Bruce Pandolfini is one of very few living people who have been played by an Oscar-winning actor. He was the real-life chess teacher of junior chess player


From The Eponymous Pickle

Optimizing Customer Loyalty Using Bayesian Networks

Optimizing Customer Loyalty Using Bayesian Networks

In the Latest Bayesia Newsletter.   For optimization of Loyalty.  An approach I had not seen in this area before.   " ... This tutorial illustrates an innovative market research workflow for deriving marketing and product planning


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wolfram Language for Knowledge Programming

Wolfram Language for Knowledge Programming

Wolfram Language, just examining:" .... Introducing knowledge-based programming...Designed for the new generation of programmers, the Wolfram Language has a vast depth of built-in algorithms and knowledge, all automatically accessible


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wolfram and Wearable Data Science

Wolfram and Wearable Data Science

An interview with Stephen Wolfram of Mathematica on reinventing data science for wearables. Not an area I had heard them talk about before.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Practical Virtual Reality for Work

Practical Virtual Reality for Work

We explored many opportunities in this space.  But not with success.  See the tag link on Virtual Reality at the bottom of this post for some examples about that extended experience.  Here in Fast Codesign.  Suggestion that VR


From The Eponymous Pickle

Methods for Dealing with Product Counterfeiting

Methods for Dealing with Product Counterfeiting

An important challenge for the CPG enterprise.  Nothing very new here, but some thoughts about how to address these challenges.  Emphasizing food and beverage issues, but broadly applicable:" ... Counterfeiting of branded goods


From The Eponymous Pickle

Made in the Future

Made in the Future

Tim Brown of IDEO announces: Made in the Future.  Looks to be of interest:Does changing how you make things change the way you live?The answer is “yes,” according to Made in the Future, an experimental project I collaboratedTo


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

My Students Are Not Me

My Students Are Not Me

Sometime in elementary school a teacher taught number bases. I was fascinated. It was interesting. It was fun. It made perfect sense to me. I spent hours converting numbers from one base to another. For some reason base 5 and


From The Eponymous Pickle

Blocking the Mobile Augmented Web

Blocking the Mobile Augmented Web

A curious example that I was unaware of.  I had heard of BuildAR through their partnering with AR company Metaio.   Providing AR within standard Web browsers would greatly promote their use. " ... iPhone and iPad users that have


From Computational Complexity

Favorite Theorems: Extended Formulations

The first couple of favorite theorems took place at the beginning of the last decade, but recent years have brought exciting results as well, such as the limitations of using linear programs to solve hard problems.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Alfred Yarbus Centenary: Tracking Eye Movement

Alfred Yarbus Centenary: Tracking Eye Movement

An intriguing piece on the history of eye movement tracking technologies, via the work of Alfred Yarbus, written by Tim Holmes:" ... These days, we take the ability to track eye-movements and then use them to gain insight into


From The Eponymous Pickle

Developing Analytic Talent

Developing Analytic Talent

Just received.  A quick look indicated that this is a useful, only mildly technical look at what is being called Data Science.  A guide and handbook for anyone interested into the topic. Will review further and post that here


From The Eponymous Pickle

Flexible Packaging Machines

Flexible Packaging Machines

In AutomationWorld:  "Consumer packaged goods companies are responding to retailers' needs for a wide range of goods by using flexible packaging machines that include sensing and communication technology. "Retailers are requiring


From The Eponymous Pickle

Sensors by Apple

Sensors by Apple

What apple is doing with sensors.   An overview of techniques, companies and people involved in sensor systems that could show up in Apple products.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Charting Global Negotation Styles

Charting Global Negotation Styles

Some charted visual examples of cultural negotiation styles ...The charts sometimes seem like caricatures, interesting, but I would not bet on them.     They do perhaps at most demonstrate that countries and  cultures are different


From Schneier on Security

Heartbleed

Heartbleed

Heartbleed is a catastrophic bug in OpenSSL: "The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the Internet to read the memory of the systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used


From Putting People First

Ethnography in action at Wells Fargo

Ethnography in action at Wells Fargo

Only a few years ago, the corporate view of retirement planning at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Bank tended to focus on dollars and cents — how much an individual needed to invest, by when and for how many years,” write Julien


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Don’t Just Grab the Wheel, Ask the Driver to Turn

Don’t Just Grab the Wheel, Ask the Driver to Turn

We’re learning about classes and related topics like data hiding and using methods rather than public data in my programming class these days. One of the students asked why we couldn’t just access public data from calling programs


From Putting People First

Tell me a story: augmented reality technology in museums

Tell me a story: augmented reality technology in museums

Museums around the world today face the challenge of increasing and maintaining visitor numbers, especially with younger audiences. A fall in visitors is seen by most as a negative outcome, both financially and in terms of wider