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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.

December 2014


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cognitive Advising Veterans

Cognitive Advising Veterans

Finally got a bit closer look at this effort.  A good example of an advisory system.    Announced this past July.  " ... IBM and USAA announced Wednesday that IBM Watson is taking on the challenge of advising US military personnel


From The Eponymous Pickle

Infrastructure for Data Driven Science

Infrastructure for Data Driven Science

A very good direction,  working with infrastructure is often more complex than it should be.Laying the groundwork for data-driven scienceNSF announces $31 million in awards to develop tools, cyberinfrastructure and best practices


From Schneier on Security

Comments on the Sony Hack

Comments on the Sony Hack

I don't have a lot to say about the Sony hack, which seems to still be ongoing. I want to highlight a few points, though. At this point, the attacks seem to be a few hackers and not the North Korean government. (My guess is that


From The Eponymous Pickle

Biologically Inspired Design

Biologically Inspired Design

Attended a talk today in the Cog Sci Institute on the status of work being done at Ga Tech on Biologically Inspired design, or Biomimicry.  Given by Prof. Ashok Goel    Most often examples in this space look at how designs in


From BLOG@CACM

Yet Another Major Data Breach, But Will This Time Be Any Different?

 Yet Another Major Data Breach, But Will This Time Be Any Different?

Why is our community having such an anemic response to all of these major data breaches? What can we do differently? What should we be doing differently?


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CCC BRAIN Workshop: Research Interfaces between Brain Science and Computer Science

Early pioneers of computing such as Alan Turing, John Von Neuman and Herb Simon were fascinated by the possibility of computing opening a window into our understanding of the brain, and how understanding the brain might advance…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Seeing More Bad UX

Seeing More Bad UX

It seems like I have been experiencing increasing numbers of bad user experiences lately. ComputerWorld writes about the bad UX in Apps.  New standards need to be created and broadly applied.


From Computational Complexity

The Ethics of Saving Languages

The linguist John McWhorter wrote an NYT opinion piece entitled Why Save a Language? where he argues why we should care about saving dying languages, basically that language gives us a window into culture. As a computer scientist


From Schneier on Security

Not Enough CISOs to Go Around

Not Enough CISOs to Go Around

This article is reporting that the demand for Chief Information Security Officers far exceeds supply: Sony and every other company that realizes the need for a strong, senior-level security officer are scrambling to find talent


From The Eponymous Pickle

A History of Boston Computing

A History of Boston Computing

Part one of an article on the early history of computing technology in the Boston area.  As the piece suggests, it's often forgotten after the emergence of personal technologies in Silicon Valley.   So this is positioned as a


From The Eponymous Pickle

Re examining Analytics 3.0

Re examining Analytics 3.0

In the HBR.  by Thomas Davenport.  This 2013 article suggested that analytics 3.0 would put us in an era of data enhanced analytics offerings.  Worth re reading his proposed definition of 3.0.     Are we there today?  Not yet


From The Eponymous Pickle

Drone Photography

Drone Photography

BBC examples of stunning drone photography.  Shows how the point of view is being extended  into the third dimension for still photography.  Impressive shots.


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Federal Spending Bill – What’s in the ‘Cromnibus’ for Tech Policy?

The House last night released the $1 trillion “Cromnibus” bill to fund the government through September 2015. It combines an omnibus spending bill for 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills for FY 2015 and a continuing resolution


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internet of Things Heating Up

Internet of Things Heating Up

In Knowledge@Wharton:  Good overview of the current state of the IOT.  " ,,, Stories about the Internet of Things — everyday objects that have been upgraded to send and receive data — are growing ever more common in the media


From My Biased Coin

Stress, Continued: Jobs

Stress, Continued:  Jobs

Continuing from last post, I aim to focus on some of the issues related to stress in academia.  Today's post will be related to stress and the nature of academic employment.The most stressful issues I can think of in academia


From The Eponymous Pickle

Future of Cognitive Computing

Future of Cognitive Computing

A video view of the future of cognitive computing in Japan.   With an emphasis about the cognitive interaction between people and devices.   In the retail and food service and financial sectors.  Very nicely done.  A strong assumption


From The Eponymous Pickle

Multi Sided Platforms

Multi Sided Platforms

Was unaware of this classification.   Here a working paper on a choice model for this approach.  " ... There is growing interest in the economics of multi-sided platforms (MSPs), which-like eBay, Uber, and Xbox-get two or more


From The Eponymous Pickle

Skills and Practical Considerations for Data Science

Skills and Practical Considerations  for Data Science

On the must have skills for the data scientist.   A pretty good overview, including some information about where to get more detail.   I will emphasize:  Either direct experience in the use of business data in that business sector


From Schneier on Security

Effects of Terrorism Fears

Effects of Terrorism Fears

Interesting article: "How terrorism fears are transforming America's public space." I am reminded of my essay from four years ago: "Close the Washington Monument."...


From The Eponymous Pickle

Why BI Projects Fail

Why BI Projects Fail

In Infoworld: Interesting review piece, bottom line its always about focusing on the business need.  If you don't know that clearly, you cannot fix it.


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

The Smartest Kids in the World: stories from Finland, Poland and South Korea

The Smartest Kids in the World: stories from Finland, Poland and South Korea

I have always been interested in what makes us smart. So I read Amanda Ripley’s The Smartest Kids in the World in almost a single sitting. She is a good writer. The core message of the book is simple and powerful. Entire countries


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

An Update on Our CS2 Experiment with C++ and Java

An Update on Our CS2 Experiment with C++ and Java

Back in September, I reported on an experimental course design I was trying out for our CS2 class.  The main idea was to start with C++ and slowly transition to Java so that we could use the explicit nature of C++ to better understand


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Blue Sky Ideas Track Held at Foundations of Software Engineering Symposium

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) sponsored another track in its Blue Sky Ideas Conference Track series at the 22nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE), November 16-22, 2014 in…


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Tech Companies and Computer Science Education

Tech Companies and Computer Science Education

It’s Computer Science Education week and my social media streams (blogs, Facebook and Twitter) are full of the news. The president was part of an event at the White House yesterday and wrote a line of code for example. Some of


From The Eponymous Pickle

Request for Open Source Exemplars of Watson Analytics and Bluemix

Request for Open Source Exemplars of Watson Analytics and Bluemix

Jim Spohrer,  Director, Global Top University Programs at IBM, writes:" ... A number of faculty and student researchers have begun trying out these services:Try IBM Watson Analytics on your datahttp://gizmodo.com/anyone-can-now


From The Eponymous Pickle

Personalized Food Portals

Personalized Food Portals

In SNews: A prediction that:" ... 2015 will be the year that true shopper-centricity finally moves from concept to reality. How?A few leading food retailers will succeed in combining the one-on-one capability of loyalty marketing


From Apophenia

Data & Civil Rights: What do we know? What don’t we know?

Data & Civil Rights: What do we know? What don’t we know?

From algorithmic sentencing to workplace analytics, data is increasingly being used in areas of society that have had longstanding civil rights issues.  This prompts a very real and challenging set of questions: What does the


From The Eponymous Pickle

Make an Offer on Amazon

Make an Offer on Amazon

Press release. Amazon competing with auction houses.  But not an auction.   Are there regulatory implicatons?;  Continued following of auction structures in this blog.  See the Auction link below." ... Here’s how it works: Sellers


From Computational Complexity

Godel and Knuth Prize Nominations due soon. Which would you rather win? Or ...

(Alg Decision Theory conference in Kentucky: here.) Knuth Prize Nominations are due Jan 20, 2015. For info on the prize see here, if you want to nominate someone go here. Godel Prize Nominations are due Jan 31, 2015. For info


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google on MOOC Research

Google on MOOC Research

Overview report on a recent Google sponsored conference in China on improving MOOC, with an aim to innovation.   Particularly interesting, mention of measurement of hybrid learning models.   Also the inclusion of better social