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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.

January 2020


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wal-Mart Takes Food to Car

Wal-Mart Takes Food to Car

Another look by Wal-Mart at Robo Tech and attracting consumers.  We had looked at attempts at completely automated grocery warehouse drive-throughs, but they had not succeeded.

Walmart Unveils Robot-Run Warehouse to Whisk Food…


From insideHPC

Video: Data Driven Ocean & Atmosphere Sciences at MoES in India

Video: Data Driven Ocean & Atmosphere Sciences at MoES in India

Dr. Suryachandra Rao from MoES gave this talk at the DDN User Group. "The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is mandated to provide services for weather, climate, ocean and coastal state, hydrology, seismology, and natural hazards…


From insideHPC

ORNL Tests Arm-based Wombat Platform with NVIDIA GPUs

ORNL Tests Arm-based Wombat Platform with NVIDIA GPUs

Researchers at ORNL are trying out their HPC codes on Wombat, a test bed cluster based on production Marvell ThunderX2 CPUs and NVIDIA V100 GPUs. The small cluster provides a platform for testing NVIDIA’s new CUDA software stack…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Enterprise Value from Digital Factories

Enterprise Value from Digital Factories

Via McKinsey,  innovation studies inmanufacturing.

Industry’s fast-mover advantage: Enterprise value from digital factories

Manufacturing’s leaders in applying Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) digital technologies are building…


From Putting People First

Designing for digital well-being

Designing for digital well-being

Smartphone attachment is so prevalent that the fear of being without a phone has a name: nomophobia, writes Elizabeth Churchill in Interactions. What can be done to manage such unhealthy attachments?


From Putting People First

Are smart homes undermining our sense of ‘home’?

Are smart homes undermining our sense of ‘home’?

CES indicates we're still a far way off seeing technology for the home that genuinely fosters our sense of comfort, wellbeing and community.


From Putting People First

The case for … cities that aren’t dystopian surveillance states

The case for … cities that aren’t dystopian surveillance states

We could decide to treat people as sensors, and not as things to be sensed – to observe Kant’s injunction that humans should be “treated as an end in themselves and not as a means to something else”.


From Putting People First

Tricia Wang on why the big data mentality fails – and what to do about it

Tricia Wang on why the big data mentality fails – and what to do about it

Tricia Wang of Sudden Compass pokes holes in big data hype, arguing for the course-correcting power of thick data. I share podcast highlights, such as her dismantling of "data-driven" infatuations.


From Putting People First

Human-centred policy? Blending ‘big data’ and ‘thick data’ in national policy

Human-centred policy? Blending ‘big data’ and ‘thick data’ in national policy

How might policymakers better understand citizens’ perspectives when designing policy? Put another way, how should we improve and innovate the way policy is made to ensure it becomes more human-centred?


From insideHPC

HDR 200GB/sec InfiniBand for HPC & AI

HDR 200GB/sec InfiniBand for HPC & AI

In this video from the DDN booth at SC19, Scot Schultz from Mellanox presents: Connecting Visions: HDR 200GB/sec InfiniBand. "HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand accelerates 31 percent of new InfiniBand-based systems on the current TOP500…


From insideHPC

Job of the Week: Head of Research Computing at the Norwich Biosciences Institute

Job of the Week: Head of Research Computing at the Norwich Biosciences Institute

The Norwich Biosciences Institute Partnership (NBIP) is seeking a new Head of Research Computing in our Job of the Week. "We have an exciting opportunity for a strategic High-Performance Computing (HPC) leader to take accountability…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Retail Technology at NRF

Retail Technology at NRF

A look of how retailers are using new technology from  the recent NRF conference.  Human labor and its management still a very important topic.

NRF 2020 Review: Human vs. Machine
by Ron Margulis in Retailwire  with further expert…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Quantum Machines Joins IBM Q Network

Quantum Machines Joins IBM Q Network

IBM continues to make alliances in Quantum computing.

Quantum Machines Joins the IBM Q Network
TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Quantum Machines (QM), creators of The Quantum Orchestration Platform, a complete hardware…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Improving Neural Models

Improving Neural Models

So many groups working on how to make such models smaller and faster.  Not different from the very long hunt for faster models to solve optimization problems over the years.   Discussion is technical.

A Tool to Simplify Complex…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Stats on Alexa Skills

Stats on Alexa Skills

Decrease in skill increase.  Lots of other interesting skills, in particular by language. Now lets get the quality and intelligence up

New Alexa Skill Data Show New U.S. Skills Launched in 2019 Fall to Lowest Level Since 2016
Bret…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Genome Analyzed

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Squid Genome Analyzed

This is fantastic work: In total, the researchers identified approximately 2.7 billion DNA base pairs, which is around 90 percent the size of the human genome. There's nothing particularly special about that size, especially…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AR Contact Lens: Prototype

AR Contact Lens:  Prototype

If the QR Contact lens finally here in prototype.   Has been talked about for some time.   Ultimate kind of wearable.

Tech Start-up Develops AR Contact Lenses
Financial Times
Patrick McGee

Start-up Mojo Vision is developing augmented…


From insideHPC

Groq Hardware Now Available on Nimbix Cloud for AI Workloads

Groq Hardware Now Available on Nimbix Cloud for AI Workloads

Today Groq announced that the company's tensor processing hardware is now available on the Nimbix Cloud for select partners. The Groq processor is designed specifically for the performance requirements of computer vision, machine…


From insideHPC

Podcast: Sciencetown Investigates Extreme Computing at SC19

Podcast: Sciencetown Investigates Extreme Computing at SC19

In this Sciencetown podcast, we follow experts from around the world to the epicenter of supercomputing - the annual, North American supercomputing conference or SC19. We ask them to weigh in on how the future of computers, artificial…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Allocating large blocks of memory: bare-metal C++ speeds

Allocating large blocks of memory: bare-metal C++ speeds

In a previous post, I benchmarked the allocation of large blocks of memory using idiomatic C++. I got a depressing result: the speed could be lower than 2 GB/s. For comparison, the disk in my laptop has greater bandwidth. Methodologically…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Be Hopeful about the Future

Be Hopeful about the Future

Good thoughts here, with the usual cautions coming from this source.

Pessimism dematerialized: Four reasons to be hopeful about the future

In More from Less, MIT Sloan School of Management’s Andrew McAfee argues that the “four

by…


From insideHPC

Meet the Future at the Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2020 Conference

Meet the Future at the Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2020 Conference

Supercomputing Frontiers Europe 2020 is a platform for the thought leaders from both academia and industry to interact and discuss the visionary ideas, the most important global trends and substantial innovations in supercomputing…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI for Pizza?

AI for Pizza?

Not unexpected.... classic examples of looking for patterns, then creating efficiency based predictions.  Use that to provide the right profitable incentives.  Has always been a good place to star,  even before AI.

AI… for Pizza…


From insideHPC

Supercomputing the Mysteries of Boron Carbide

Supercomputing the Mysteries of Boron Carbide

Researchers at the University of Florida are using XSEDE supercomputers to unlock the mysteries of boron carbide, one of the hardest materials on earth. The material is also very lightweight, which explains why it has been used…


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Theory of Computing

A Theory of Computing

Looks to be of interest, both technical and philosophical.  Undergrad view at least, but could inspire people to think about where all this emerging tech and hype is going once again.  The word 'Theory' scares many people,  but…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Virtual Agents

Virtual Agents

A broader take than chatbots, more addressed to solving specific customer service issues.    We used the term in loose combination with agent-models to deliver goal-specific assistants.     Was always important to have very specific…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Seeing in Higher Dimensions

Seeing in Higher Dimensions

'Seeing' is constructing useful models about spaces from sensors to understand and navigate them.   Predict current and future states. A good studey of the idea.

An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions
The laws of…


From insideHPC

200G HDR InfiniBand to Accelerate Weather Forecasting at ECMWF

200G HDR InfiniBand to Accelerate Weather Forecasting at ECMWF

Today Mellanox announced that 200 Gigabit HDR InfiniBand has been selected by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) to accelerate their new world-leading supercomputer, based on Atos’ latest BullSequana…


From The Eponymous Pickle

US Treasury Tracking Federal Grants

US Treasury Tracking Federal Grants

Novel look to track and verify activity on grants.  Testing an innovation.

US Treasury Department testing blockchain tech for tracking federal grants in TheBlockCrypto

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, which manages government…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CCC Program Associate Position Open

CCC Program Associate Position Open

The Computing Research Association (CRA) seeks a highly motivated individual to serve as a Program Associate for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) subcommittee. The program associate works closely with the CCC Director…

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