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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 The Eponymous Pickle

RFID and Beacons

RFID and Beacons

A recent query reminded me that the RFID journal now covers Beacon type systems.  This is an interesting kind of application than might be expected for in-store beacons:Epicurious to use Swirl Beacons to Deliver Localized Servces


From Computational Complexity

Favorite Theorems: Limited Independence

When can limited randomness act as well as true random bits?

Polylogarithmic independence fools AC0 circuits by Mark Braverman (JACM 2010)
To explain this result consider choosing uniformly from among the following four strings


From Computer Science Teachers Association

First Week Activity

Ever wish you had a set of activities for the first week of school to excite your students early on? There is a wonderful set of exercises that can be found at http://introcomputing.org/. These exercises were created by Nick


From The Eponymous Pickle

Beacons in Retail

Beacons in Retail

More on Beacons in retail.   " ... Beacons are showing up everywhere. It's open season for retailers as more apps are developed to take advantage of beacon technology. Sales staff will be equipped with beacon-enabled apps to


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF CISE Core Program Solicitations Posted

The National Science Foundation, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Core Program solicitations have been posted. There are no major changes to the solicitations, which can be found here: Information


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Origami-Inspired Robots Spring to Life

Inspired by the traditional Japanese art form of origami, researchers from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have figured out how to take flat sheets of specialized paper and plastic and make


From The Eponymous Pickle

E-Commerce and Physical Retail

E-Commerce and Physical Retail

In the HBR Blogs:  Suggesting that e-commerce is not as divisive to physical as is assumed.  May require some registration.  The statistics are interesting." ... There’s no doubt that digital technology is transforming the retail


From Schneier on Security

New Snowden Interview in Wired

New Snowden Interview in Wired

There's a new article on Edward Snowden in Wired. It's written by longtime NSA watcher James Bamford, who interviewed Snowden is Moscow. There's lots of interesting stuff in the article, but I want to highlight two new revelations


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stress Scanning Camera

Stress Scanning Camera

In the South China Morning Post: Another example of emotion detection by imaging and analysis:" ... Chinese scientists develop mini-camera to scan crowds for potential suicide bombers ... Home-grown imaging technology has the


From ACM News

What is Reality?

What is Reality?

 And, what flavor of reality do you prefer: standard, augmented, virtual...


From Schneier on Security

Security as Interface Guarantees

Security as Interface Guarantees

This is a smart and interesting blog post: I prefer to think of security as a class of interface guarantee. In particular, security guarantees are a kind of correctness guarantee. At every interface of every kind ­ user interface


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Our Three Body Problem

The three body problem, computer theory style Ellis Horowitz is one of the founders of the theory of algorithms. His thesis with George Collins in 1969 had the word “algorithm” in the title: “Algorithms for Symbolic Integration


From The Eponymous Pickle

Connection Analytics from Teradata

Connection Analytics from Teradata

Been some time since I have worked with Teradata, but I see they are supporting an Ovum white paper on connection analytics.  Understand it as described, though had not heard the specific term.  Looks to be of interest.  


From The Eponymous Pickle

Humor at Work

Humor at Work

My former colleague Andrew Tarvin does a TED talk on Humor at work.  Also on Facebook.  He is now a Humor Engineer at Humor that Works.  Nice idea for the enterprise, but has rarely been done well.  


From The Eponymous Pickle

Glasses Get More Augmentation Software

Glasses Get More Augmentation Software

Have always made a point that applications for wearable glasses, like Google Glass, are most valuably applied to augmented reality applications.  Mentioned this in a meeting with Google.  Now an announcement that an AR company


From The Eponymous Pickle

3D Printing Moves into Production

3D Printing Moves into Production

Good view of examples of how realistic commercial 3D printing is being used in manufacturing and how it may realign supply chain systems.  Still narrow domains of application, but worth paying attention to.


From Schneier on Security

Automatic Scanning for Highly Stressed Individuals

Automatic Scanning for Highly Stressed Individuals

This borders on ridiculous: Chinese scientists are developing a mini-camera to scan crowds for highly stressed individuals, offering law-enforcement officers a potential tool to spot would-be suicide bombers. [...] "They all


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hospitals Mining Your Credit Card Behavior

Hospitals Mining Your Credit Card Behavior

In Businessweek.  This scenario has been much in the news. It is starting to happen:" ... Imagine getting a call from your doctor if you let your gym membership lapse, make a habit of buying candy bars at the checkout counter


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hospitality Robotics Experiment at Starwood

Hospitality Robotics Experiment at Starwood

Robots in Hotels.  Perhaps not really as multi-functional as what we could call butlers. But you can see how they can be applied. Now how will this influence employment in the hospitality industry?   I do have some experience


From Computational Complexity

Subhash Khot wins Nevanlinna

At the opening ceremonies of the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2014, Subhash Khot was awarded the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize, given every four years to an under-40 researcher for outstanding contributions in Mathematical


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Report on the CSTA Annual Conference

This past July 14-15, 326 attendees converged on St. Charles, Illinois, for the 2014 CSTA Annual Conference. This number continues the impressive growth of the conference, representing a roughly 20% increase from 2013. On Monday


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Expanding cybersecurity and privacy research

The National Science Foundation (NSF)‘s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program has announced two Frontier-scale projects, part of a $74.5 million investment to support foundational cybersecurity research and education


From The Eponymous Pickle

Challenges for Google Glass

Challenges for Google Glass

Good Wired piece on the challenges for the success of Google Glass.  In our own enterprise experiment we also met some of these same issues.  Still have not seen them directly addressed by Google in their current versions of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Forgetting Leads to Memory Holes in the Web

Forgetting Leads to Memory Holes in the Web

The EU rulings that you could ask for posts to be removed from Google web searches have led to more unusual and unexpected results.  Not that there are not already memory holes in the web. It seems that there are often external


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hadoop and Metadata

Hadoop and Metadata

Excerpts from recent research about meta data use in the enterprise.  From Hortonworks and more in Infoq:" ... One of the most attractive qualities of Hadoop is its flexibility to work with semi-structured and unstructured data


From Putting People First

The Internet of Words

The Internet of Words

In his review of the recent books by Alice E. Marwick and danah boyd, Ted Striphas focuses on how they guide us in understanding how the internet is affecting our language as it expresses our social experience. “There has been


From Putting People First

White House launches UX-focused Digital Service team

White House launches UX-focused Digital Service team

Yesterday, the White House formally launched the U.S. Digital Service. “The Digital Service will be a small team made up of our country’s brightest digital talent that will work with agencies to remove barriers to exceptional


From Putting People First

UX without user research is not UX

UX without user research is not UX

UX teams are responsible for creating desirable experiences for users. Yet many organizations fail to include users in the development process. Without customer input, organizations risk creating interfaces that fail, writes


From The Eponymous Pickle

Multi Sensory Marketing

Multi Sensory Marketing

Advertising through multiple sense.  In Shopperception.  '... When two or more senses receive stimulation at the same time - cause shoppers to stay in the store for a longer time and buy more products ...  " 


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 11 August 2014

Interesting Links 11 August 2014

One more week until I return to school for the new year. I’ve been spending a lot of time planning and thinking about how to teach things better this year than last. You many have seen some of my posts on projects lately. A lot

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