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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 The Eponymous Pickle

Kawsaki Thoughts on Innovation

Kawsaki Thoughts on Innovation

Gartner promotes Guy Kawasaki's top ten tips for innovation, given at a recent conference.  Not bad, easily digested, OK as top level possibilities for consideration.  But also, really and basically: trite.  Each of these things


From The Eponymous Pickle

Steve Ballmer on Machine Learning

Steve Ballmer on Machine Learning

In CWorld:Steve Ballmer, who headed Microsoft from 2000 to 2014, said when looking at what's ahead in computer science research, he's most excited about machine learning, the science of building algorithms so that computers can


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G Details on Duracell Divestiture

P&G Details on Duracell Divestiture

I had covered this previously due to its technology component. Now Via the P&G Alumni Network:Announcement from P&G In line with our strategy to explore all options to exit the battery category, we have announced today our plan


From Schneier on Security

Pew Research Survey on Privacy Perceptions

Pew Research Survey on Privacy Perceptions

Pew Research has released a new survey on American's perceptions of privacy. The results are pretty much in line with all the other surveys on privacy I've read. As Cory Doctorow likes to say, we've reached "peak indifference


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Getting Serious about the Design of Social Computing Systems

This is a guest post, written by David W. McDonald, Chair and Associate Professor in the Human Centered Design and Engineering Department at the University of Washington. Designing a good application is hard. Designing a good…


From Computational Complexity

From Homework Solution to Research Paper

Inspired by the Dantzig Story  I occasionally put an open problem on a class assignment. Never worked, though I did have a student get a research paper from solving a homework question the hard way. Teaching in the early 90's


From My Biased Coin

The News Is Out

The News Is Out

Harvard Computer Science was given a sizable gift from Steve Ballmer;  we're excited at the opportunity to grow this gift will provide us over the next several years.  For more news, see the Crimson article, the Boston Globe,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Twitter Says it gets Largest Daily Audience

Twitter Says it gets Largest Daily Audience

Conversation with colleague yesterday about Twitter and its use.  In some contexts it is still not well thought of, but I have long been a convert for its value for technical connects.   It all depends on if the people you need


From Schneier on Security

ISPs Blocking TLS Encryption

ISPs Blocking TLS Encryption

It's not happening often, but it seems that some ISPs are blocking STARTTLS messages and causing web encryption to fail. EFF has the story....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apple Moves for the Enterprise

Apple Moves for the Enterprise

Funny, I remember previous attempts at this.  In one case where the enterprise had to crack down to keep their personal and mobile systems from becoming too fragmented and expensive to maintain.  Now another attempt.   Apple


From The Eponymous Pickle

Overlaying Journey Maps and Process Mapping

Overlaying Journey Maps and Process Mapping

In e-commerce Times: Have not used the idea, but how about linking the idea to Business Process models?   Why not have time flows and value flows in the same map?  " ... You can look at the journey map and its supporting tools


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mozilla Extending Global Web and Content Creation Tools

Mozilla Extending Global Web and Content Creation Tools

Mozilla had not come into my thoughts or work for some time, but this piece was brought to my attention." ... Mozilla has announced today that it is entering a partnership with the GSMA to help enable internet access and local


From The Eponymous Pickle

Business Excellence Function at Nestle

Business Excellence Function at Nestle

Late reporting this, but have never heard this being established as a function.  Will be interesting to follow it.  On the further reading it, is this about excellence or reorganization?" ... Over recent years, Nestlé has consistently


From The Eponymous Pickle

Time not Money is the Key to Happiness

Time not Money is the Key to Happiness

Video and text in Knowledge@Wharton." ... In a series of papers — “Happiness from Ordinary and Extraordinary Experiences,” co-authored with Dartmouth professor Amit Bhattcharjee; “How Happiness Affects Choice” and “The Shifting


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Microsoft takes .NET open source and cross-platform

Microsoft takes .NET open source and cross-platform

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Three In The Room

A puzzle and a conference Zohar Manna is an expert on the mathematical concepts behind all types of programming. For example, his 1974 book the Mathematical Theory of Computation was one of the first on the foundations of computer


From The Eponymous Pickle

US Data Privacy Confidence at New Low

US Data Privacy Confidence at New Low

In the BBC:  Telling look at how US consumers are thinking about data privacy.  " ... The vast majority - 91% - of Americans believe that consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Privacy and Security Briefing on Capitol Hill

In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA) sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing titled Privacy and Security in a


From The Eponymous Pickle

Checking out in the Aisle at Sainsbury

Checking out in the Aisle at Sainsbury

An approach we examined over the years in many forms.  In aisle checkout.  Recently took a close-up look at how Kroger was testing this idea with a handheld device.  The Sainsbury test will also include store item location and


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google's Culture of Innovation

Google's Culture of Innovation

In FastCompany: Very different from our approach.  Driven by the culture. The culture supported innovation, but did not itself create innovation.  You had to go outside for that. Even create specific places for it.


From Schneier on Security

Narrowly Constructing National Surveillance Law

Narrowly Constructing National Surveillance Law

Orin Kerr has a new article that argues for narrowly constructing national security law: This Essay argues that Congress should adopt a rule of narrow construction of the national security surveillance statutes. Under this interpretive


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

The hubris of teachers

The hubris of teachers

Today, kids left and right carry the label of some learning disability. Instead of telling kids that they are dumb or lazy, we narrow it down to some problem. It is clearly progress on the face of it. However, when I see that


From The Eponymous Pickle

Oracle on Modern HR in the Cloud

Oracle on Modern HR in the Cloud

We actively used analytics in HR since the 80s.  From Oracle: Analytics and faster onboarding will transform HRCompanies looking to differentiate themselves are turning to HR technology as it becomes clear that attracting and


From The Eponymous Pickle

Micro Robots Magnetically Driven

Micro Robots Magnetically Driven

Continuing to follow the use of very small or very many simple robotics solutions. In IEEE Spectrum:" ... An engineered scallop that is only a fraction of a millimeter in size and that is capable of swimming in biomedically relevant


From Computational Complexity

Non controversial thoughts on rankings

US News has a ranking of CS depts and various subcategories. Recently MohammadTaghi Hajiaghay and Luca Trevisan have suggested alternative rankings here (Moh) and here (Luca). These rankings inspire me to record some thoughts


From The Eponymous Pickle

Building User Models with Twitter

Building User Models with Twitter

An outline about how Bluemix Watson services can be used with Twitter data to do User Modeling.   With a fairly simple process.  This is ultimately quite a powerful idea.  Targeted advertising and loyalty engagement.   Create


From The Eponymous Pickle

Are Fingerprints Pins?

Are Fingerprints Pins?

Good piece by Evan Schuman on the physical elements of security.  " ... A judge’s ruling that a person can be forced to open his phone with his fingerprint ignores the fact that the fingerprint scan is just a substitute PIN,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Datawatch Wins Hackathon

Datawatch Wins Hackathon

I happened to be at a small portion of this Hackathon last week.  Was an interesting experience. In CNN: " ... Datawatch .... a leading global provider of visual data discovery solutions, was the winner of a recent Internet of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stressed Out by Work

Stressed Out by Work

In Knowledge@Wharton: " ... If you had asked any worker since the Industrial Revolution whether he or she was experiencing stress on the job, the answer would likely have been in the affirmative—and emphatic. But workplace experts


From My Biased Coin

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a federal holiday, but, at Harvard classes go on.  This year, the holiday is observed for staff, but we'll be teaching.I can't easily find out when the practice of having classes on Veterans Day became standard