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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 My Biased Coin

CS 50 Fair (Live)

CS 50 Fair (Live)

The madness that is the CS50 Fair at Harvard is going on now.  Hundreds of students demo-ing their final projects.  If you can't be there, you can watch the live stream.  I did a brief stop-by this morning and saw some fun and


From Schneier on Security

Rapiscan Full-Body Scanner for Sale

Rapiscan Full-Body Scanner for Sale

Government surplus. Only $8,000 on eBay. Note that this device has been analyzed before....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Beacons Proliferating Fast

Beacons Proliferating Fast

An update on the use of solutions like the iBeacon.   Expanding quickly." ... It matters that Apple's other retail-focused solutions -- Apple Pay, TouchID and iOS devices, including Apple Watch, mean the company now sits at the


From Schneier on Security

Corporate Abuse of our Data

Corporate Abuse of our Data

Last week, we learned about a striking piece of malware called Regin that has been infecting computer networks worldwide since 2008. It's more sophisticated than any known criminal malware, and everyone believes a government


From Putting People First

Understanding human behaviour to improve mobile research design

Understanding human behaviour to improve mobile research design

Shirley Eadie, founding member and CEO of Pondering Panda, explored some of the idiosyncrasies of the human condition at last month’s MRMW Africa conference [Market Research in the Mobile World], in order to help attendees understand


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 8 December 2014

Interesting Links 8 December 2014

It’s Computer Science Education week aka CSEdWeek. A lot of links to Hour of Code resources came though my social media stream last week and I thought about listing most of them but decided that it was a bit late for that for


From The Eponymous Pickle

Using Light instead of Wires in Computers

Using Light instead of Wires in Computers

Fascinating computing news out of the Stanford mag. "  ... Stanford engineers take big step toward using light instead of wires inside computersUsing a new algorithm, Stanford engineers can design and build a prism-like silicon


From The Eponymous Pickle

Don't Try to Innovate

Don't Try to Innovate

Some interesting points in a Knowledge@Wharton article.    I much like the point made in the first para by the Walmart VP:   " ... Want to Create the Next Great Software Product? Don’t Try to Innovate ..... Ben Galbraith, vice


From The Eponymous Pickle

Verse by and for Brainstorming

Verse by and for Brainstorming

I mentioned IBM's new EMail idea Verse.  Now an article in the NYT about how they developed it and how they use it.  The general brainstorming approach described is similar to the way we approached idea generation and discussion


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

There Is No Best Programming Language

There Is No Best Programming Language

Three items from different places on the same topic requires a blog post. Well for me it does. This week’s topic was picking the best programming language. Now you should know that one of the easiest way to get computer scientists


From The Eponymous Pickle

Innovating in Caine's Arcade

Innovating in Caine's Arcade

Late to this, but was impressed ... You can innovate.  Having the pieces to innovate helps.  But if you don't have them, you can invent them.Three Lessons From Caine's Arcade by Todd HenryIn early 2012 a short film by NirvanWhat


From The Eponymous Pickle

Haptic Holograms

Haptic Holograms

In New Scientist:  Because we were dealing with products that improved sensory interactions like touch, we were always interested in how to connect digital and sensory.  Here another interesting example.  " ... Feeling is believing


From The Eponymous Pickle

Visualizing Astronomical Data

Visualizing Astronomical Data

Astronomy is a science where understanding large amounts of data has been historically important.  So it is natural that visualization has been important there.  New examples here.


From The Eponymous Pickle

More on Cognitive Resources for Work

More on Cognitive Resources for Work

Jim Spohrer writes, adding to the thread of linking jobs to Cognitive solutions: .... Check out this fascinating TED talk which describes the need for more Cognitive Systems Engineers in the future:" ... It sounds counterintuitive


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mining Search Trends for Ad Buys

Mining Search Trends for Ad Buys

In Adage: Google mines search trends.    " ....  Two years ago, WPP's Mindshare created a tool for its client Kleenex that used Google search data to see where in the United Kingdom people were searching for things related to


From The Eponymous Pickle

On the Future of Work

On the Future of Work

In McKinsey:" ... A group of economists, tech entrepreneurs, and academics discuss whether technological advances will automate tasks more quickly than the United States can create jobs. ... The topic of job displacement has,


From The Eponymous Pickle

History and Future of the Smartphone

History and Future of the Smartphone

In Computing Now:   Good view of the history of the smart phone.   Where is this now so common device going?  How will it fit into the needs of the future?  "   A move to an increasingly biometric device.   While supporting health


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Quantum Algorithms Via Linear Algebra

Announcing publication of our textbook with MIT Press By permission of Nataly Meerson, artist : source Richard Feynman had a knack for new ways of seeing. His Feynman diagrams not only enabled visualizing subatomic processes,


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Poaching off the Coast of Japan

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Poaching off the Coast of Japan

There has been an increase in squid poaching by North Korea out of Japanese territorial waters. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....


From Schneier on Security

Surveillance Cartoon

Surveillance Cartoon

Funny....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hershey Wants to Share Big Data

Hershey Wants to Share Big Data

In Fortune:   " ... Hershey turns Kisses and Hugs into hard data ...   Hershey and its peers see data analysis from Palantir as an industrywide golden ticket.... But that’s not enough. A fledgling consortium of consumer packaged


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Academia as an ‘anxiety machine’

Academia as an ‘anxiety machine’

We learned recently of the suicide of Stefan Grimm, a successful professor at the prestigious Imperial College in London. Professors Grimm regularly published highly cited articles in the best journals. He was highly productive


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hyperspecialization

Hyperspecialization

The recently mentioned concept of microservices led to a conversation with Jim Spohrer of the Cognitive Systems Institute.  He pointed me to a related idea of hyperspecialization. " ... Prof Thomas Malone's idea of Hyperspecialization


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data Must Go Causal

Big Data Must Go Causal

Correspondent Stefan Conrady of Bayesialab writes about the need for big data to go causal.   I have been reading much about the topic recently  See the Causation tag below.  He writes " ...  we are substantially expanding our


From The Eponymous Pickle

Amazon Private Label Diapers

Amazon Private Label Diapers

In Retailwire: Amazon competing with major CPG.  Amazon has the consumer data to compete with Pampers.  Amazon has sold P&G products directly for years.   This will be interesting to follow.   " ... Amazon has launched Amazon


From The Eponymous Pickle

Service Sector Productivity

Service Sector Productivity

Productivity and competitiveness.  In McKinsey.   " ... Service-sector productivity largely determines a nation’s ability to compete in today’s global economy. An analysis of the comparative productivity levels of several leading


From The Eponymous Pickle

Real Time Medical Wearable Updates

Real Time Medical Wearable Updates

On wearable biosensors.  A continuation of additional data gathering sensors and the implications for the need for new analytics and the skills to apply them.   " ... Biomedical engineers are taking a cue from the technology


From Schneier on Security

Corporations Misusing Our Data

Corporations Misusing Our Data

In the Internet age, we have no choice but to entrust our data with private companies: e-mail providers, service providers, retailers, and so on. We realize that this data is at risk from hackers. But there's another risk as


From Putting People First

Using sensors in design research

Using sensors in design research

Elliott Hedman is the founder of the design consultancy mPath, where he’s pioneering a new approach to design research. It combines stress-testing sensors with traditional observational techniques. The idea is to uncover the


From Putting People First

How US state governments can improve customer service

How US state governments can improve customer service

A McKinsey Center for Government survey finds that Americans are often dissatisfied with state services—and identifies significant opportunities for improvement. Deloitte measured the satisfaction of citizens by surveying approximately