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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.

July 2014


From The Eponymous Pickle

Managing Supply Chain Risk

Managing Supply Chain Risk

In CGMA Mag:   Good ideas here.   You can can manage your risks, often by simulating alternatives.   " ... A global poll of more than 1,000 senior executives by consulting firm Accenture found that managing operational risksBut


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facts about the Internet of Things

Facts about the Internet of Things

Some obvious yes, but useful thoughts about the internet of things." ... If something isn't connected to the Internet—whether human, animal, household appliance, automobile, factory tool, etc.—does it exist? If you're going all


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

High School Theorems

Taking a conjecture about identities to college Alex Wilkie is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and holds the Fielden Chair in Mathematics at the University of Manchester. Ken knew him at Oxford in 1981—1982 and again from 1986


From Schneier on Security

This Common Home Appliance Can Compromise Your Entire Security

This Common Home Appliance Can Compromise Your Entire Security

LIFX is a smart light bulb that can be controlled with your smart phone via your home's Wi-Fi network. Turns out that anyone within range can obtain the Wi-Fi password from the light bulb. It's a problem with the communications


From The Eponymous Pickle

Lovelace Test versus Turing Test

Lovelace Test versus Turing Test

More powerful in testing machine intelligence than the Turing test, it is claimed, from Slashdot.   I had not heard of this particular term.  A generalized non technical article. With an element of measuring actual creativity


From Computational Complexity

Is there a word for the top part of a binomial coefficient?

Consider the sequence: x/y,  (x+1)/y, (x+2)/y, ..., (x+z)/y one could say  in this sequence of fractions the numerators goes through z-1 consecutive numbers. Consider the sequence (x choose y), (x+1 choose y), (x+2 choose


From Computer Science Teachers Association

You Can Be An Advocate!

Yes, you can! If I can be an advocate you can be one too! It is not difficult to get started. I began by advocating at my school site for computer science with the counseling staff and the administration to help grow enrollment


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Map Hacking

Google Map Hacking

Had never heard of this, but in Wired.  It is a pretty serious thing if a supposedly perfect map and associated business list is hacked. It is happening.  A Danger of crowd sourcing.


From CERIAS Blog

Update on “Patching is Not Security”

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post entitled “Patching Is Not Security.” Among other elements, I described a bug in some Linksys routers that was not patched and was supporting the Moon worm.

Today, I received word that the same


From Apophenia

The Cost of Contemporary Policing: A Review of Alice Goffman’s ‘On the Run’

The Cost of Contemporary Policing: A Review of Alice Goffman’s ‘On the Run’

Growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in the 80s and 90s, I had a pretty strong sense of fear and hatred for cops. I got to witness corruption and intimidation first hand, and I despised the hypocritical nature of the “PoPo.”


From Schneier on Security

NSA Spied on Prominent Muslim Americans

NSA Spied on Prominent Muslim Americans

The latest story from the Snowden documents is about five prominent Muslim Americans who were spied on by the NSA and FBI. It's a good story, and I recommend reading it in its entirety. I have a few observations. One, it's hard


From The Eponymous Pickle

What is Hadoop?

What is Hadoop?

A non technical introduction by colleague Bernard Marr, nicely done, an intro to some big data concepts  as well.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Barriers to Open Innovation

Barriers to Open Innovation

With a link to a broader article: Interview with Anders Hjalmarsson of Viktoria Swedish ICT, Götegorg, Sweden. Author of “Beyond Innovation contest: a framework of barriers to open innovation of digital services”  .... .


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Extrinsic motivations are harmful…

Extrinsic motivations are harmful…

I have argued that when seeking professional success, it is best to avoid zero-sum games (e.g., compete for one prestigious slot). It is more fun, less distracting and more productive to focus on non-zero-sum games. That is,


From The Eponymous Pickle

Python most Popular Teaching Language

Python most Popular Teaching Language

Although most larger non tech enterprises these days do little internal programming themselves, it is interesting to see what programming languages are being taught these days, and what skills are thus most readily available.


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

As The Top Universities Go So Goes Who Actually?

As The Top Universities Go So Goes Who Actually?

Philip Guo had an interesting post on the Blog @ CACM titled Python is now the most popular introductory teaching language at top U.S. universities which summarizes his survey of the 39 top US PhD granting university CS departments


From The Eponymous Pickle

Company Initiative Overload

Company Initiative Overload

Have seen it. There can even be be overload in figuring out which initiatives to work on. Ao how should we address this?   Some good embedded ideas, in Forbes:  " .... If you work for a large company, you may be suffering from


From Schneier on Security

Here's How Brazilian Crooks Steal Billions

Here's How Brazilian Crooks Steal Billions

Man-in-the-middle attack against a Brazilian payment system: Brazil has an extremely active and talented cybercrime underground, and increasingly Brazilian organized crime gangs are setting their sights on boleto users who bank


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tableau Research Builds New UX for Data

Tableau Research Builds New UX for Data

Always looking for better user interfaces to make the curation and utilization of data more obvious to both the analyst and the decision maker,  who need to understand what they have, or may be missing, as it relates to realGigaOM


From The Eponymous Pickle

Augmented Reality for Smart Watches

Augmented Reality for Smart Watches

From press release today:  Implies the integration of a camera in a Smart watch and fast advanced image recognition. " .... , Metaio, today announced the first ever object recognition solution for smart watches. The technology


From The Eponymous Pickle

Live, Free Microsoft Research Summit

Live, Free Microsoft Research Summit

I plan to tune in for a part of this:Microsoft Research Faculty Summit to Be Streamed Live July 14Join us for a broadcast of the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit streamed live from Redmond, Washington on Monday, July 14, from


From The Eponymous Pickle

Roles in the Newly Empowered Retail Democracy

Roles in the Newly Empowered Retail Democracy

In Retailwire:  Short piece that takes the idea beyond the typical view of just buying product.  The new consumer wants to be a:  - Supply chain manager: deciding where to buy, ship, pick up and return orders.  - Merchandise-


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson Assistant in the Power of Your Hand

Watson Assistant  in the Power of Your Hand

Today we completely expect intelligence to be in the palm of our hands.  We can get it, but the means at hand now is repeated search.  There have been a number of attempts, interesting but hardly complete.  I have been reading 


From Schneier on Security

These Pickpocket Secrets Will Make You Cry

These Pickpocket Secrets Will Make You Cry

Pickpocket tricks explained by neuroscience. So while sleight of hand helps, it's as much about capturing all of somebody's attention with other movements. Street pickpockets also use this effect to their advantage by manufacturing


From The Eponymous Pickle

SmartPhones are Listening

SmartPhones are Listening

In the WSJ Digits:  It is often forgotten that phones can listen in ways other than during the usual call.  A good piece that addresses this sensory mode.  " ... From chainsaws whirring in rainforests to snoring that sounds like


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Supreme Court Recognizes Technology Matters

Guest blog post written by Mark Rasch, U.S. Public Policy Council member The Supreme Court has always had to consider the impact of new technologies on both individuals’ expectations of privacy and ultimately on their rights


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

True success is more than winning a zero-sum game

True success is more than winning a zero-sum game

Fiction writers used to have to submit their manuscripts to 6 or 7 big corporations. Only these corporations could seriously publish a book. Room on library stacks has always been scarce. Only a tiny number of authors could ever


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

U.S. Supreme Court Tells Police to “Get a Warrant” for Cellphone Searches

The U.S. Supreme Court recently unanimously ruled that law enforcement need to obtain a warrant to search a cellphone seized incident to an arrest. The decision addressed two separate warrantless cellphone search cases before


From The Eponymous Pickle

DARPA Explained and Now Socialized

DARPA Explained and Now Socialized

An Engadget view of the US Pentagon's DARPA.   With which I have had some connections.   As expected it's mostly about the mad science notions.  Which gets lots of interest.  But no, its mostly about things that are fairly mundane


From Schneier on Security

The Simple Trick that Will Keep You Secure from Government Spies

The Simple Trick that Will Keep You Secure from Government Spies

Last week, the German government arrested someone and charged him with spying for the US. Buried in one of the stories was a little bit of tradecraft. The US game him an encryption program embedded in a -- presumably common -