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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.

January 2015


From Putting People First

In the age of the Internet of Things, all products are software products

In the age of the Internet of Things, all products are software products

Esko Kilpi, the principal of Esko Kilpi Ltd, a leading research and consultancy firm focusing on the art of interaction, science of social complexity and the design of digital work, writes about how the value of a product is


From Putting People First

Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness

Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness

Behavioural Economics and Health: Nudging Toward a Culture of Wellness Report by David Verbeeten The Conference Board of Canada, 52 pages, January 15, 2015 This report explores “nudging,” a new, cost-effective policy tool than


From The Eponymous Pickle

Structural Data Objects

Structural Data Objects

Interesting piece.   I recall working on something like this for the construction of a competitive analysis database.    Though it was not called a structural data object.   Maintenance of an unexpectedly varying structure became


From ACM-W supporting, celebrating and advocating for Women in Computing

January (web)

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to the January 2015 issue of ACM-W Connections. It has been a year since we first introduced Connections and I want to once again think the wonderful volunteers who make it happen every month


From The Eponymous Pickle

Science and Art of Segmentation

Science and Art of Segmentation

A favorite topic.  Segmentation.  Classically a large amount of analytical effort in CPG  has been put into this topic. Is it science or art?   It is, both I agree.  But the specifics of this art and how it interacts with design


From The Eponymous Pickle

Patterns in Traffic Flow

Patterns in Traffic Flow

Interesting piece in the BBC on the hidden ways of traffic flows.   A favorite topic.  In paricular how groups of entities act and interact.  Here it is more about transportation flows.  We also worked the problem, but in retail


From The Eponymous Pickle

Semiconductor Opportunities in the Internet of Things

Semiconductor Opportunities in the Internet of Things

Very good piece from McKinsey.  Lots of opportunity here in the semicondictor industry.   " ... The data amassed from these devices can then be analyzed to optimize products, services, and operations. Perhaps one of the earliest


From Putting People First

[Book] Inventing the Muslim Cool

[Book] Inventing the Muslim Cool

At Experientia we believe in the importance of understanding cultural differences, no matter how wide they might be. There is not much qualitative research, it seems, that aims at understanding the lived experience of Muslim


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stand Alone Loyalty Systems

Stand Alone Loyalty Systems

Can Loyalty Marketing fulfill its promise? Good examination of the topic.  Ultimately it can achieve its promise through the natural integration of its data with other data resources.Without that it remains simplistic.


From Schneier on Security

New NSA Documents on Offensive Cyberoperations

New NSA Documents on Offensive Cyberoperations

Appelbaum, Poitras and others have another NSA aticle with an enormous Snowden document dump on Der Spiegel, giving details on a variety of offensive NSA cyberoperations to infiltrate and exploit networks around the world. There's


From Putting People First

Texting is family glue for the 21st century

Texting is family glue for the 21st century

Recent research from the University of Kansas looks at the way technological advancements influence interpersonal communication, with a focus on familial relationships. The study tested whether the number of media used by families


From The Eponymous Pickle

Creating Cognitive Applications with the Watson API

Creating Cognitive Applications with the Watson API

Creating Cognitive Applications Powered by IBM Watson: Getting started with the APIby Kevin Haverlock, Sridhar Sudarsan" ... Cognitive computing systems are built to learn from how they are used and adapt to their processing.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Only Data Science Skill you Need

Only Data Science Skill you Need

In Data Science Central.  A simplistic view.  But true in a sense that it is the most important skill you should have.  Being able to come to understand and solve real business problems.  Yet it is also efficient to have specialists


From The Eponymous Pickle

Microsoft Shuts Down Silicon Valley Research Lab

Microsoft Shuts Down Silicon Valley Research Lab

(In September) Unfortunate to hear, visited a number of times.  Is it because they feel they don't need a physical place to do research, or are they breaking it down into regional locations?  Reminds me of our ongoing argument


From The Eponymous Pickle

Power of Dark Data

Power of Dark Data

A favorite topic.  Though I see my definition is broader.  It is data that is not used.  Maybe that is not accessible, but even that we do not know about.   The Big Data solution proposed is often  Store it all! But that creates


From The Eponymous Pickle

Distributed Information Processing

Distributed Information Processing

A lengthy article that gives cues to how we can use biological models for computation.  Video."... Biological systems, ranging from the molecular to the cellular to the organism level, are distributed and in most cases operate


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: "Squid Jiggin' Ground"

Friday Squid Blogging: "Squid Jiggin' Ground"

Classic song written by Arthur Scammell and performed by Hank Snow. 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

Administration Includes Computing Initiatives In State of The Union Preview

This week the Obama Administration has been previewing some of the topics the President will cover in his State of the Union address.  That speech will take place next Tuesday, January 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern.  (If you watch the


From The Eponymous Pickle

Continuous POV Cameras For Compliance

Continuous POV Cameras For Compliance

It has been called lifelogging, a means to record continuous clips of point-of-view images as you work or play.  It was suggested and tested for easily gathering information about in-store conditions.  The Narrative-2 is a recent


From Schneier on Security

My Superpower

My Superpower

For its "Top Influencers in Security You Should Be Following in 2015" blog post, TripWire asked me: "If you could have one infosec-related superpower, what would it be?" I answered: Most superpowers are pretty lame: super strength


From The Eponymous Pickle

Evolution of Wearables

Evolution of Wearables

Thad Starner, who we followed from his days at MIT, now a Prof at Ga Tech, discusses the history and evolution of wearbles.  In Computing Now.   Excellent details are included.  " ... Thad Starner, who has been wearing a "homebrew"


From The Eponymous Pickle

Interceptor Towers

Interceptor Towers

In Popsci: Phony cell phone towers.  This has been reported on for some time, with more details emerging.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internet of Things and Big Data

Internet of Things and Big Data

Is it all about data and leveraging analytics.  And an architecture to support them.In OReilly: " ... The Internet of Things (IoT) has a data problem. Well, four data problems. Walking the halls of CES in Las Vegas last week,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mining Massive Databases

Mining Massive Databases

 Vincent Granville started the discussion "Mining Massive Datasets - Coursera Course (Stanford)" in the group Analytics Courses on AnalyticBridge.     Now looking at the scale of databases more closely.


From Schneier on Security

Common Risks in America: Cars and Guns

Common Risks in America: Cars and Guns

I have long said that driving a car is the most dangerous thing regularly do in our lives. Turns out deaths due to automobiles are declining, while deaths due to firearms are on the rise: Guns and cars have long been among the


From Putting People First

Case study: Service innovation in the public sector

Case study: Service innovation in the public sector

Case study: Service innovation in the public sector Service Design Network site This case study is based on a series of public sector projects commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with local governments in two


From Putting People First

Videos online of Service Design Global Conference 2014

Videos online of Service Design Global Conference 2014

On 7-8 October around 650 global thought leaders and practitioners from sectors such as hospitality, insurance, retail, telecommunications, finance, IT and healthcare gathered in Stockholm for the 7th Service Design Global Conference


From The Eponymous Pickle

Thinking Moments of Truth with Google

Thinking  Moments of Truth with Google

I recall that we introduced Google to the moment of truth mantra, and they popularized the zero aspect.  Just now in Thinking With Google, a collection of their writings on the topic.  Twenty-one articles.  A worthwhile way to


From Schneier on Security

3-1-1 for Encryption

3-1-1 for Encryption

An excellent idea: 3­1­1 for encryption. RSA, DSA, and ECDSA must be 3.4 ounces (100bits) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per message placed in screening bin. The bag limits


From The Eponymous Pickle

Open Source Application of Natural Language

Open Source Application of Natural Language

Natural language, our use of communications like text and speech and documents to communicate with other people,  would be the ideal way to communicate with computers.    Yet there are still complexities of its use that are difficult