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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.

August 2014


From Wild WebMink

Is Microsoft To Blame For Malware?

Is Microsoft To Blame For Malware?

Originally posted on Meshed Insights & Knowledge:The action law enforcement services have taken against the GameOver-Zeus malware syndicate is great news for a change. In the UK, this was communicated with typical tabloid alarmism


From Apophenia

Why Jane Doe doesn’t get to be a sex trafficking victim

Why Jane Doe doesn’t get to be a sex trafficking victim

In detailing the story of “Jane Doe,” a 16-year-old transgender youth stuck in an adult prison in Connecticut for over six weeks without even being charged, Shane Bauer at Mother Jones steps back to describe the context in which


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Thousands in Cash Prizes Available in Verizon Innovative App Challenge

Student teams across the nation are now invited to create novel ideas for the mobile app marketplace in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge. The competition offers middle and high school students the opportunity to apply their


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

USACM Comments On Intersection Of Big Data And Consumer Privacy

Yesterday USACM responded to a Request for Comment from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  In response to a recommendation in the Administration’s Big Data report released in May, the NTIA


From The Eponymous Pickle

Techsolve's Miniviz

Techsolve's Miniviz

Local company Techsolve's software Miniviz helps companies understand if their machine tools are operating efficiently.   Enables small and medium sized companies to make better decisions about maintenance and reliability.  We


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

WIFIRE helps to prevent wildfires

As the number and scale of West Coast wildfires continue to increase, threatened communities are struggling to figure out what to do. High winds can shift the direction of a fire causing emergency evacuations of communities.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Byron Sharp on Behavioral Economics

Byron Sharp on Behavioral Economics

Excellent piece with lots of useful cautions .  Including a good criticism of neuromarketing.  See also correspondent Byron Sharp's excellent book: How Brands Grow. And his site." ... Too much has been written claiming that ‘behavioural


From The Eponymous Pickle

Amazon's 3D Printing Store

Amazon's 3D Printing Store

Just took a look.  This points to the broader commercializing of 3D Printing.  Shop the Future?  The offerings still look fairly trivial, but this gives you an idea about what can be done with the technology.


From The Eponymous Pickle

China's Digital Transformation

China's Digital Transformation

Good McKinsey piece, with some interesting statistics::China’s digital transformationWith more than 600 million users, China is already the world’s largest Internet market, but its economy is on the cusp of an even greater transformation


From BLOG@CACM

Hadoop at a Crossroads?

Hadoop at a Crossroads?

A few facts and opinions and a couple of announcements, with a prediction on where the "Hadoop stack" might be going.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Walmart.com Re-designs

Walmart.com Re-designs

In Retailwire: Making a move to look and work more like Amazon.   " ... Walmart.com saw its (online) sales rise 27 percent last quarter following a 30 percent increase in 2013, according to Internet Retailer. Now, Walmart's online


From Computational Complexity

How I know Moneyball is a true story. Do we clean up theorems and life too much?

A few years ago I saw the movie Moneyball about how the Oakland A's used intelligent statistics to... win? No, but to do better-than-expected.  Even if I didn't know it was a true story I would have assumed it was because the


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

It's Hard To Make Easy Projects

It's Hard To Make Easy Projects

I’ve been working on my lesson plans for this year and one thing I always struggle with is creating projects. Oh I have lots in my tool box but I am always looking for something new and more interesting. In many ways the hardest


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Game to Map the Brain: Eyewire

A Game to Map the Brain: Eyewire

One of a number of crowdsourcing games out there in cosmology,  genetics and beyond.  Several have been around for many years.  I like the idea, but have there been actual successes?   The combinatorial context of these problems


From The Eponymous Pickle

Emoticons and Neuroscience

Emoticons and Neuroscience

Do emoticons have a neuroscience?  How are they different than the use of text?  I thought I had noticed that there were fewer of them out in the wild these days.  But my experience is skewed.  In FastCoDesign:  " ...  Neuroscience


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Store as the Next Killer App

The Store as the Next Killer App

Discovered WayFind: A conversation about the customer experience:  Here talking about the use of the use of the retail store as the next killer App.  " ... “Buy online, pickup in store.” It’s an ungainly acronym but a very powerful


From The Eponymous Pickle

Taking an Opportunity View

Taking an Opportunity View

In the HBR, may require registration: " ... The innovative ideas that led to the companies Nest and Square started when their founders sought to improve everyday items, writes Warren Berger, author of "A More Beautiful Question


From Schneier on Security

Ubiquitous Surveillance in Singapore

Ubiquitous Surveillance in Singapore

Good essay...


From Schneier on Security

SynoLocker Ransomware Demands Bitcoins

SynoLocker Ransomware Demands Bitcoins

Network-attached storage devices made by Synology are being attacked, and their data encrypted, by ransomware that demands $350 in bitcoins (payable anonymously via Tor) for the decryption key. As of this moment, there's no patch


From The Eponymous Pickle

Living Our Life in Stories

Living Our Life in Stories

In The Edge:  Stories as problem resolution narratives.  " ... We think of stories as a wildly creative art form but within that creativity and that diversity there is a lot of conformity. Stories are very predictable. No matter


From The Eponymous Pickle

Coursera Consumer Neuromarketing Course

Coursera Consumer Neuromarketing Course

Via the Copenhagen Business School, no background required.   Worked with the CBS in the past in this context.An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience & NeuromarketingThis course will introduce you to the multidisciplinary field


From BLOG@CACM

Typing Without Typing

Typing Without Typing

Type inference made practical for an object-oriented/functional programming language.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Value of Un-Siloed Data is Exponential

Value of Un-Siloed Data is Exponential

In Adage: CEO  of AOL Platforms makes some interesting comments on Innovation and the value of data.  Like inertia stifles innovation ....  (Well yes)  And on data:  " ... The value of data is exponential. Too many marketers


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

USACM Announces New Leadership

ACM President Alex Wolf has appointed Ed Felten as Chair and Stuart Shapiro and Jeremy Epstein as Co-Vice Chairs of the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council. Alex Wolf thanked Eugene Spafford for his 16 years of dedicated service leading


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

ACM Europe Council and U.S. Public Policy Council Address Computing Issues in EU-US Free Trade Agreement

The ACM Europe Council and the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council presented a consensus position on policy issues relevant to the computing field to negotiators of a new EU-U.S. free trade agreement. ACM Europe Council Chair Fabrizio


From The Eponymous Pickle

Silent Risk

Silent Risk

A colleague writes:" ... For those interested in the mathematical beauty of highly unlikely but very impactful events : a draft version (for comments) of Silent Risk, Nassim Nicholas Taleb's  upcoming book, is available for download


From The Eponymous Pickle

Windows 8

Windows 8

I have been using Windows 8 for some time, have gotten used to its oddities, but based on that experience and what I have heard from more casual users, it is a serious failure.   Corporate and personal.  The market agrees.


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Recent ISAT/DARPA Workshop on Brain: Analysis Synthesis Computation

The following is a special contribution to this blog by by CCC Executive Council Member Mark Hill and workshop organizers Hanspeter Pfister, An Wang Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied


From Schneier on Security

Former NSA Director Patenting Computer Security Techniques

Former NSA Director Patenting Computer Security Techniques

Former NSA Director Keith Alexander is patenting a variety of techniques to protect computer networks. We're supposed to believe that he developed these on his own time and they have nothing to do with the work he did at the


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 4 August 2014

Interesting Links 4 August 2014

It was both a slow week and a busy week last week. Slow online for the most part. There were a couple of big events that friends of mine were at but I was home. Microsoft had the world wide finals of the Imagine Cup in Redmond