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

January 2013


From Schneier on Security

The Eavesdropping System in Your Computer

The Eavesdropping System in Your Computer

Dan Farmer has an interesting paper (long version here; short version here) discussing the Baseboard Management Controller on your computer's motherboard:

The BMC is an embedded computer found on most server motherboards made…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Forecasting Rogue Clouds

Forecasting Rogue Clouds

What is a rogue cloud?   " ... IT managers say "rogue cloud implementations" in which business managers sign up for services without getting IT approval is among their biggest challenges. This is according to a survey on avoiding…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CCC Seeking New Council Members

CCC Seeking New Council Members

THE COMPUTING COMMUNITY CONSORTIUM SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS The CCC’s Nominating Committee invites nominations (including self-nominations) for members to serve on the CCC Council for the next three years. Please…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Irrelevant Ideas and Breakthroughs

Irrelevant Ideas and Breakthroughs

Always an interest of mine in innovation.  I pushed the idea for years in the enterprise.  Usually with partial success.  Here some thoughts from Wharton.   What is the measure of irrelevance?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apple Losing Shine

Apple Losing Shine

In E-Commerce Times.   Although you can't tell it to the true fans, I am having more conversations about this recently.  Not enough true innovation.   Perception of real value is decreasing. Less direct conversation with  its…


From Schneier on Security

Power and the Internet

Power and the Internet

All disruptive technologies upset traditional power balances, and the Internet is no exception. The standard story is that it empowers the powerless, but that's only half the story. The Internet empowers everyone. Powerful institutions…


From Computational Complexity

Who do you write papers for?

Mitch Daniels, the former governor of Indiana and new president of Purdue, wrote an inaugural letter where he discusses many of the challenges of higher education. His lists several common attacks on universities and one caught…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson the Shopping Assistant

Watson the Shopping Assistant

A GigaOM piece just brought to my attention.  The idea of using a cognitive system to  solve problems was part of a direction we looked at in the late 80s during the hype for  artificial intelligence and expert systems.  OneThe…


From The Eponymous Pickle

CIO Strategies with CIO Eureka

CIO Strategies with CIO Eureka

A former colleague of mine at Procter & Gamble: José Ignacio Sordo Galarza, has started a company called CIO Eureka, which looks at enterprise CIO strategies.  " ... Our ‘immediate results’ commitment brings a step change improvement…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Student Teacher Time!

Student Teacher Time!

Spring is the season of student teachers. Do you remember when you went out and worked with an older, experienced teacher to see what the job was really like? You probably started out sitting in the back of the room like a new…


From Schneier on Security

"People, Process, and Technology"

"People, Process, and Technology"

Back in 1999 when I formed Counterpane Internet Security, Inc., I popularized the notion that security was a combination of people, process, and technology. Back then, it was an important notion; security back then was largely…


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Canadian Computing Education Day + Scratch Day Canada

Canadian Computing Education Day + Scratch Day Canada

This came though on one of the mailing lists I am on. I know that some from Canada read this blog (or so the analytic report claims) so I thought I would also share it here. Hopefully a lot of secondary and post secondary schools…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Martha Pollack selected to be University of Michigan Provost

Martha Pollack selected to be University of Michigan Provost

Martha Pollack, University of Michigan Professor of EECS and past Dean of their School of Information, has been selected as Michigan’s next Provost – another sign of the increasing influence of computer scientists in university…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Big Data and Healthcare Infographic

Big Data and Healthcare Infographic

Big Data could revolutionize healthcare by replacing up to 80% of what doctors do while still maintaining over 91% accuracy. Please take a look at the infographic below to learn more.  


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facebook and CPG

Facebook and CPG

In Adage:  How can Facebook work with the retailer and manufacturer in CPG?  Useful numbers and thoughts.  " ...  CPG accounted for 12.5% of measured ad spending in 2011, as measured by Kantar Media. But while there are no publicly…


From Schneier on Security

Who Does Skype Let Spy?

Who Does Skype Let Spy?

Lately I've been thinking a lot about power and the Internet, and what I call the feudal model of IT security that is becoming more and more pervasive. Basically, between cloud services and locked-down end-user devices, we have…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Analytics Disruption in the Enterprise

Data Analytics Disruption in the Enterprise

Thoughtful piece in Greenplum.  Once again I like the general idea, you look for patterns in data with an analytical search , then use an analytical method to use that pattern to predict or otherwise leverage the pattern to do…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Visual Guide to 3D Printers

Visual Guide to 3D Printers

Want to manufacture things to digital specifications at a distance?  Build components in your cellar? As long as the components can be cut, formed or extruded  from a relatively small number of parts.  A visual display from Engadget…


From Putting People First

Q&A with the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation’s Gerry Greaney and Molly McMahon

Q&A with the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation’s Gerry Greaney and Molly McMahon

Since its inception in 2008, the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation has become the poster child for internal innovation practices. The Center for Innovation focuses on engaging all of the stakeholders in the healthcare system,…


From Putting People First

Uncharted territory: Where digital maps are leading us

Uncharted territory: Where digital maps are leading us

The way we use maps is evolving fast, and it will change a great deal more than how we navigate, argues Kat Austen, an opinion editor at New Scientist. “Digital maps offer to enhance and optimise the world, giving us an even…


From Computational Complexity

TCS online series- could this work?

Oded Regev, Anindya De and Thomas Vidick we are about to start an online TCS seminar series. See here for details, though I have the first few paragraphs below. Its an interesting idea- we can't all get to conferences so this…


From Putting People First

Successful public service design must focus on human behaviour

Successful public service design must focus on human behaviour

David Halpern, director of the Behavioural Insight Team at the UK Cabinet Office (widely known as the “nudge unit”), discusses research on how subtle changes in the way public services communicate with citizens can yield significant…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

A Few Good Game Podcasts

A Few Good Game Podcasts

Now that I finally have a vehicle that can play files on a USB key, I've been able to listen to podcasts to make the most of my commuting time.  I've been focusing on game content for the most part.  Some shows have been better…


From Putting People First

New MA at UC London combining anthropology, materials and design

New MA at UC London combining anthropology, materials and design

“The material world is a world of social potential. Social scientists should be better equipped to engage with materials and objects through ethnographic, critical, analytical, presentational and collaborative skills. Designers…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Starbucks Evolving Mobile Strategy

Starbucks Evolving Mobile Strategy

Starbucks is thinking of using its ground-breaking mobile card for payment in CPG retail. This extent of this is unclear but interesting. " ... Starbucks takes 20% of all card payments via mobile, and the brand is exploring ways…


From Schneier on Security

Backdoors Built in to Barracuda Networks Equipment

Backdoors Built in to Barracuda Networks Equipment

Don't we know enough not to do this anymore?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Slides from UC Visualization Day

Slides from UC Visualization Day

The slides from two of the presentations from last weeks UC Data Visualization Day have now been posted.  Both very well done.  If you would like my impressions about the application of any of this, ask me:Stephen Few: "DataJeffrey…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Being Postdigital

Being Postdigital

A new idea to me, In a newly distruptuve era of analytics are we  ready to be 'postdigital'?  I think we are a distance from that, singularity or not.  But an interesting exercise in preparation.


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Four Computer Scientists Win Academy Award

Four Computer Scientists Win Academy Award

Four computer scientists win, the film industry’s highest honor, an Academy Award, for their technical achievement in special effects. The researchers developed a software algorithm called Wavelet Turbulence that generates turbulence…


From Schneier on Security

Complexity and Security

Complexity and Security

I have written about complexity and security for over a decade now (for example, this from 1999). Here's the results of a survey that confirms this:

Results showed that more than half of the survey respondents from mid-sized…

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