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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.

November 2014


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Why competitive people are often dumb and boring

Why competitive people are often dumb and boring

People who work hard are typically motivated by either their performance (i.e., they want to look good) or their mastery (i.e., they like being good at their craft). Most of us pursue a mix of different goals. It would seem like


From The Eponymous Pickle

Context for Evernote

Context for Evernote

Have now used the Evernote note taking and information management system for years.  I like it, especially since they improved their multiple interfaces.  It also acts as a cloud for your writing from multiple devices.  I see


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Connected Products Killing Industries

Smart Connected Products Killing Industries

Have heard this before, not universally true.  Especially when you have to move atoms vs bits. Or apply scarce resources.   Like in all transportation industries to date.  Other examples too.  Still a useful caution when forecasting


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of November 17

November 18 Hearing: The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on information security at the Veterans’ Administration 1:30 p.m.,  334 Cannon Building November 19 Hearing: The Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data is Here to Stay, and don't forget the right Metadata

Big Data is Here to Stay, and don't forget the right Metadata

With some warnings. I agree, we are never going to gather just less complex, wildly aggregated or less data.  We will error on the side of more data.  I add, we will still need to decide what to save, based on some notion of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Fujitsu Data Enables LED Light

Fujitsu Data Enables LED Light

In CWorld: Fujitsu Develops method which will allow products to send data to smartphones." ... LED lamps lighting merchandise may soon shine invisible data that your smartphone can pick up.Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facebook Wants Office Presence

Facebook Wants Office Presence

This was an area we examined.  What infrastructure would work best to deliver social style interaction among employees, among employees and contractors?  Linkedin is an obvious alternative.   Now Facebook is also interested in


From BLOG@CACM

Is There a 10x Gap Between Best and Average Programmers? And How Did It Get There?

Is There a 10x Gap Between Best and Average Programmers? And How Did It Get There?

There's not much evidence for a 10x programming productivity gap, but it doesn't matter from an education perspective. 


From BLOG@CACM

HPC Matters, and We Have Video Evidence

HPC Matters, and We Have Video Evidence

SC14 gets underway this week in New Orleans, LA (USA). This year the conference has produced a series of accessible videos highlighting why — in terms that hopefully everyone can understand — HPC matters to all of us.


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 17 November 2014

Interesting Links 17 November 2014

Last week was crazy for me. Professional development day last Monday and Veterans Day on Tuesday just made things start differently. Friday was a travel day as I flew out to Tucson AZ for the CSTA Board meeting. CSTA you have


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tailored Digital Sign Experience

Tailored Digital Sign Experience

A long time research interest, better and more personalized interaction with the shopper via digital signage:" ... Photon Interactive, a company that’s been focused on building mobile experiences for large brands, is teamingThe


From The Eponymous Pickle

Keeping Online Reviews Honest

Keeping Online Reviews Honest

In the CACM:   Some useful suggestions and statistics." ... As commerce increasingly moves online, consumers worldwide are relying more and more on online reviews to help them make decisions about products to buy and businesses


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Alexander Grothendieck 1928–2014

Creating vast beautiful mansions from the becoming of nothing L’espace d’un homme film source Alexander Grothendieck, who signed his works in French “Alexandre” but otherwise kept the spelling of his German-Jewish heritage, passed


From BLOG@CACM

Lessons from Winnie the Pooh: Sustainable Cyberinfrastructure

Lessons from Winnie the Pooh: Sustainable Cyberinfrastructure

The longitudinal value of research data often accrues to disciplines other than those where it was created. We need a new model that judiciously balances investment between the "next big thing" and sustainable cyberinfrastructure


From The Eponymous Pickle

Handsets and Clouds

Handsets and Clouds

Good questions.  Will The Smartphone Become Obsolete? ... A look at how cloud technology may change the future of mobile handsets. ...  In the current mobile manufacturing competition, device makers strive to give users a distinct


From The Eponymous Pickle

Can Retail Tech Save Stores

Can Retail Tech Save Stores

In Cisco Blog:   A number of familiar technology areas we worked in.   " .... It’s no surprise retailers are pulling out the stops to get shoppers into stores. E-commerce has been eating into brick-and-mortar sales for years,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mining a Global New Products Database

Mining a Global New Products Database

For food and beverage, mined to produce an infographic on sweetener indifference. " ... Research firm Mintel recently analyzed its Global New Products Database (GNPD) to further understand the landscape of consumer perceptions


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kids Programming Toys

Kids Programming Toys

In Engadget: An internet of toys?  The idea of specially designed, kid oriented technical toys has been around for some time, most notable is Lego Mindstorms.  Still inclined to think that its best for kids to use systems that


From The Eponymous Pickle

Thinking Causality in Science and Statistics

Thinking Causality in Science and Statistics

I have been looking back to understand how AI has changed since the 90s, when we worked with rule based expert systems.  One book that addresses some of the changes is Judea Pearl's:  Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference


From The Eponymous Pickle

Service Innovation Revisited

Service Innovation Revisited

Repeating the below introduction, giving a talk to them next week, more to follow about that. I am further struck how much this has to do with cognitive/advisory tasks.  It is all about service: Performing tasks in time withISSP


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

CSEdWeek activities December 8-14, 2014

CSEdWeek activities December 8-14, 2014

Blatantly stolen from the CSTA announcement mailing list.


We want to hear from all CS teachers! We are calling on YOU to participate in CSEdWeek activities December 8-14, 2014, and to let us know what you are doing to celebrate


From The Eponymous Pickle

Alan Turing Year and now the Movie

Alan Turing Year and now the Movie

" ... June 23, 2012, was the Centenary of Alan Turing’s birth in London. During his relatively brief life, Turing made a unique impact on the history of computing, computer science, artificial intelligence, developmental biology


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson Academic Perspective

Watson Academic Perspective

From Jim Spohrer of the Cognitive Systems Institute:  " ... Check out this presentation by Prof. Jim Hendler (RPI) entitled "Watson: An Academic Perspective"   ... ".    The group also just started a speaker series,more on that


From The Eponymous Pickle

Intel Edison Chip

Intel Edison Chip

In CNet:"Intel meets its 'makers,' with chips for DIY set and the firms they'll found (Q&A)The next wave of consumer electronics could come from the maker movement and indie developers. Intel's Edward Ross wants to make the company's


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: The Story of Inventing the SQUID

Friday Squid Blogging: The Story of Inventing the SQUID

The interesting story of how engineers at Ford Motor Co. invented the superconducting quantum interference device, or SQUID. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't


From The Eponymous Pickle

Edge on AI

Edge on AI

On the Edge:  A conversation with Jaron Lanier on the Myth of AI.   Can or will a recommendation engine fool us into thinking it has real content?  Is that the promise of AI?  No, but he makes some good points about being vigilant


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google includes Flu Trend Data

Google includes Flu Trend Data

Interesting.  Perhaps an admission that these kinds of patterns cannot be derived this way.  Recall we were also involved in a related project, which looked at retail pharma sales to predict bioterrorism. " ... Finding that aggregate


From The Eponymous Pickle

Naturally Intelligent Interaction

Naturally Intelligent Interaction

Recently received, The BabyX piece at the link is very interesting.    " ... One of my gigs is commercial licensing advisor to Auckland UniServices working with Dr. Mark Sagar Director ​of The Laboratory for Animate Technologies


From Schneier on Security

The Return of Crypto Export Controls?

The Return of Crypto Export Controls?

Last month, for the first time since US export restrictions on cryptography were relaxed two decades ago, the US government has fined a company for exporting crypto software without a license. News article. No one knows what


From Apophenia

Heads Up: Upcoming Parental Leave

Heads Up: Upcoming Parental Leave

If you’ve seen me waddle onto stage lately, you’ve probably guessed that I’m either growing a baby or an alien. I’m hoping for the former, although contemporary imaging technologies still do make me wonder. If all goes well,