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The blog archive provides access to past blog postings from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

January 2012


From Schneier on Security

Possibly the Most Incompetent TSA Story Yet

Possibly the Most Incompetent TSA Story Yet

The storyline:

  • TSA screener finds two pipes in passenger's bags.

  • Screener determines that they're not a threat.
  • Screener confiscates them anyway, because of their "material and appearance."
  • Because they're not actually a …


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    P&G AdSpend, Facebook Linked to Layoffs

    P&G AdSpend, Facebook Linked to Layoffs

      This article suggests that a not unexpected round of belt tightening at P&G is being caused by lower cost  online advertising in venues like Facebook and Google.  It does not look like a causal thing.  Just the usual periodic…


    From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    No Room in the Inn–I Mean Schedule

    No Room in the Inn–I Mean Schedule

    I spent yesterday at Stevens Institute of Technology, an outstanding university across the river from New York City. The occasion was a high school computer science workshop for  faculty and students. While the students wereAlice…


    From Computer Science Teachers Association

    A Question About Equal Access

    A Question About Equal Access

    I am currently serving on a committee where I am the only public school K-12 educator. The other members are college educators. The educators on this committee are spread throughout the U.S. During a recent teleconference,…


    From Schneier on Security

    Biases in Forensic Science

    Biases in Forensic Science

    Some errors in forensic science may be the result of the biases of the medical examiners:

    Though they cannot prove it, Dr Dror and Dr Hampikian suspect the difference in contextual information given to the examiners was the[…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Site Visits and Store Visits

    Site Visits and Store Visits

    A study linking brand site web site visits and in-store spending.  " ... According to a recent study, conducted by Accenture, comScore and dunnhumby USA, people who visit the websites of consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands end…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Chaos of Unstructured Data

    Chaos of Unstructured Data

    From O'Reilly Radar:  Thoughts from a practicing CTO on the chaos of unstructured data." ... The heart of data science is designing instruments to turn signals from the real world into actionable information. Fighting the data…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Private Label Cost Pressure

    Private Label Cost Pressure

    A good broadly ranging WSJ article.  Private label prices are increasing, but they are being increasingly pushed by retailers.  (Subscription)


    From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

    DARPA Announces Proposers Day for New PERFECT Program

    DARPA Announces Proposers Day for New PERFECT Program

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) has announced a Proposers Day for a new program — Power Efficiency Revolution for Embedded Computing Technologies (PERFECT) — to introduce…


    From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    Are You Applying for the 2012 US Forum?

    Are You Applying for the 2012 US Forum?

    Last summer I attended the US Innovative Education Forum in Redmond and came home quite inspired by the teachers and projects I saw. Dozens of teachers using technology to improve the quality and quantity of learning with their…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Half of US Shoppers Use Phones for In-Store Research

    Half of US Shoppers Use Phones for In-Store Research

    This look at a PEW report has gotten quite a bit of exposure.  It was an angle we looked at very closely, even well before the Smartphone explosion.  Early on we tracked the use of ordinary cellphones to see if people called…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Text Mining the Voice of the People

    Text Mining the Voice of the People

    In CACM:  Statistical techniques help public leaders turn text in unstructured citizen feedback into responsive e-democracy.... "  Good thoughts, though I worry how easily this could be manipulated.  Simpler people oriented methods…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Museum of Mathematics

    Museum of Mathematics

    In New Scientist: Mathematicians have launched an ambitious campaign to raise the profile of their discipline, by opening a museum of maths in the UK. Geoff Wain, who is leading the initiative, points out that every other subject…


    From Schneier on Security

    <i>Liars and Outliers</i> Update

    <i>Liars and Outliers</i> Update

    According to my publisher, the book was printed last week and the warehouse is shipping orders to booksellers today. Amazon is likely to start shipping books on Thursday. (Yes, Amazon's webpage claims that the book will be …


    From Schneier on Security

    British Tourists Arrested in the U.S. for Tweeting

    British Tourists Arrested in the U.S. for Tweeting

    Does this story make sense to anyone?

    The Department of Homeland Security flagged him as a potential threat when he posted an excited tweet to his pals about his forthcoming trip to Hollywood which read: 'Free this week, for…


    From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

    Hill Tech Happenings, Week of January 30

    Hill Tech Happenings, Week of January 30

    February 1 Markup: The Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies of the House Homeland Security Committee will mark up legislation on cybersecurity and information sharing. 10 a.m., 311…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Big Data Startups

    Big Data Startups

    A look of a number of startups that intend to improve the use of big data.   I have not looked at any of these to date, but some of the plays are interesting and well worth examining,


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Gamification Portal

    Gamification Portal

    The Community portal for the gamification Wiki has been updated.  A useful place for information about the topic, vendors and examples.


    From Daniel Lemire's Blog

    Two rules for teaching in the XXIst century

    Two rules for teaching in the XXIst century

    Education in the XXth century has been primarily industrial: organize the workersstudents in groups under the supervision of a managerteacher. We all have been in such systems for so long that we take it for granted. How else…


    From Computational Complexity

    A result of Specker in Recursive Combinatorics

    Ernst Specker passed away in December. He has 91. He was not the oldest living mathematician. That title likely belongs to Sergey Nikolsky. A former student of Specker's, Martin Furer, posted about his life and his math on this…


    From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

    The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have partnered to launch the “Go Viral to Improve Health” Health Data Collegiate Challenge, designed to spur undergraduate and graduate students to create…


    From Schneier on Security

    The Nature of Cyberwar

    The Nature of Cyberwar

    This was pretty good, I thought:

    However, it may be difficult to write military doctrine for many aspects of cyberconflict that are truly revolutionary. Here are no fewer than 10 to consider: The Internet is an artificial

    The…


    From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    Interesting Posts 30 January 2012

    Interesting Posts 30 January 2012

    Wow! January if almost over. Groundhog Day coming up this week. I wonder if these is a fun computing project around Groundhog


    From Wild WebMink

    ? ebooks

    ? ebooks

    Digital books are loaned, not sold, so why aren’t they described that way? There’s a big market for digital books, but I think they’re being sold badly, almost to the point of dishonesty. I think it’s time the way their vendors…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    A Community of Startups

    A Community of Startups

    Just pointed to: AngelList:   AngelList is a community of startups


    From Apophenia

    World Economic Forum: More than Meets the Eye

    World Economic Forum: More than Meets the Eye

    I spent the last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. When my friends (y’all) learned I was going, some were supportive while others were horrified. A few called me an outright traitor. Given how much mythology…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Corporate Blogging Decreases

    Corporate Blogging Decreases

    In ReadwriteEntrprise an article discusses a study on the decrease of corporate blogging.   Have been blogging since 2001.  First inside the enterprise with a group of interested participants, then outwardly facing, and finally…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    More About the Future of Retail

    More About the Future of Retail

    A good piece by Greg Satell in Innovation Excellence on the Future of Retail.  Always an important topic here.  Can we completely reinvent the retail process in engaging ways?  "  ... What


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Tibco Social Platform

    Tibco Social Platform

    I admit to having been unaware of the Tibco social platform, Tibbr .  I was involved with the enterprise rollout of their Spotfire data visualization package, which is impressive.  Now their Tibbr social network adds geolocation…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Artisan Videos

    Artisan Videos

    Link to some fascinating artisan videos.  Just videos of people who are very skilled in what they do, doing it very well.  As  the post says, hard not to watch.  It is something that has always fascinated me, probably because…

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