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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 2010


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: New Species of Squid Discovered

Friday Squid Blogging: New Species of Squid Discovered

New species of squid discovered in the Southern Indian Ocean.


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Value of Smart Swarms

The Value of Smart Swarms

New book in the pile and now being read: The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools, and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making, and Getting Things Done.  by Peter Miller.   We examined swarm technologies…


From Schneier on Security

Football Match Fixing

Football Match Fixing

Detecting fixed football (soccer) games.

There is a certain buzz of expectation, because Oscar, one of the fraud analysts, has spotted a game he is sure has been fixed. "We've been watching this for a couple of weeks now," …


From Wild WebMink

? Defending Wikileaks

? Defending Wikileaks

Let me say up front that I am not a massive fan of WikiLeaks. It seems to me that taking stolen correspondence and publishing it for everyone to read is a fundamentally sociopathic act, whether it is a rival’s love-letters or…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smaller Devices Taking Over

Smaller Devices Taking Over

In the NYT Bits column: Smartphones and Tablets to take over in 2011.  There seems to be a rush towards mobile computing power, combined with sensors.   Lots of room for using all of the data that will be gathered.  Business…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Trends in Shopper Behavior

Trends in Shopper Behavior

Progressive Grocer posts on some trends in shopper behavior.   " ... Consumers today want value, are less likely to be loyal to one retailer and expect friendly, educated personal service in an innovative environment, according…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Small Business Success in 2011

Small Business Success in 2011

On the steps for of small business success in 2011 from Entrepreneur magazine.


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Three of my all-time most popular blog posts

Three of my all-time most popular blog posts

Emotions killing your intellectual productivity: We all have to deal with setbacks. And even when things go our way, we can still remain frustrated. I offer pointers on how to remain productive despite your emotional state. Turn…


From Wild WebMink

? Constructive Criticism

? Constructive Criticism

An inside look at Google’s loudest critic What Court doesn’t mention in the book is that lenses can also be used to turn a very small amount of light into a raging fire. This appears to be his strategy with Google, taking nearly…


From Schneier on Security

Full Body Scanners: What's Next?

Full Body Scanners: What's Next?

Organizers of National Opt Out Day, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving when air travelers were urged to opt out of the full-body scanners at security checkpoints and instead submit to full-body patdowns -- were outfoxed by the…


From Putting People First

Emotional intelligence and product design

Emotional intelligence and product design

In a long blog post, digital product designer Daniel McKenzie makes a case for emotional and human empathy. “The ability to put oneself in another


From Putting People First

Automation suppliers strive to boost product usability

Automation suppliers strive to boost product usability

Automation World reports at length on how human-centered design techniques are gaining attention in the world of industrial controls and automation, as more users struggle with complex user interfaces. “Many of today’s industrial…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Top Read Posts from November 2010

Top Read Posts from November 2010

As with most blogs traffic here comes from two main sources. One is subscribers; people who follow the RSS feed and read regularly. I use one analytic tool to try to understand that traffic. I use another tool to try to understand…


From Putting People First

The world in 2036

The world in 2036

To mark the 25th edition of “The World in”, The Economist’s annual collection of predictions for the year ahead, the newspaper asked some people to peer 25 years ahead. Economy: Jim O


From The Noisy Channel

Follow The Data

Follow The Data

Today is my last day at Google. I have enjoyed an incredible year there, during which I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the smartest engineers on the planet. Working at Google taught me how much impact a handful of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Crowdsourcing Genetic Research

Crowdsourcing Genetic Research

Another example of a game aimed at serious work:Canadian scientists have stumbled on a novel way to conduct genetic studies: Using a game to crowdsource the deciphering of human DNA." ... The new project, Phylo, was launched


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Talking Across the K-12/Post Secondary Boundaries

Talking Across the K-12/Post Secondary Boundaries

This post is based on remarks I gave at the Town Hall session on K-12 CS-Ed at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Atlanta, October 1-2, 2010.

My job here today is to make a case for talking across boundaries…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Need Help in Increasing Readership

Need Help in Increasing Readership

I am seeking help in increasing the readership of the blog.  Currently it has a quite select but limited group of readers, largely consisting of former colleagues in the enterprise and people that attended innovation center tours…


From The Eponymous Pickle

RFID for Cold Chain Monitoring

RFID for Cold Chain Monitoring

The 'cold chain' includes the history of the changes in temperatures as products move through the supply chain.  Indicating potential damage from temperatures that are too high or low.  Sensor tagging has been used for some time…


From Schneier on Security

Close the Washington Monument

Close the Washington Monument

Securing the Washington Monument from terrorism has turned out to be a surprisingly difficult job. The concrete fence around the building protects it from attacking vehicles, but there's no visually appealing way to house the…


From Computational Complexity

A BREAKTHROUGH result on density and 3-AP's

We use the following terminology: [n] means the set {1,...,n}. k-AP means an arithmetic progression of length k. A 3-free set is one with no 3-AP.s in it. We use the following conventions: (1)all inequalities have a big-O or…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Over-normalization is bad for you

Over-normalization is bad for you

I took a real beating with my previous post where I argued against excessive normalization on the grounds that it increases complexity and inflexibility, and thus makes the application design more difficult. Whenever people get…


From The Eponymous Pickle

How to Build Predictive Models

How to Build Predictive Models

A set of simple, concise guidelines on how to build predictive models.  Yes, these are largely obvious for those with experience in analytics,  but I like their simplicity.   This is a great place to start when you are attempting…


From Schneier on Security

Brian Snow Sows Cyber Fears

Brian Snow Sows Cyber Fears

That's no less sensational than the Calgary Herald headline: "Total cyber-meltdown almost inevitable, expert tells Calgary audience." That's former NSA Technical Director Brian Snow talking to a university audience.

"It's long…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-12-02

links for 2010-12-02

Who's driving this thing? Well worth reading this explanation, and especially the Oracle VP's response. It's hard to think of a better case study for why communities should be open-by-rule. (tags: Hudson Oracle FOSS Trademark…


From Putting People First

UX efforts in a context of retail and marketing

UX efforts in a context of retail and marketing

Two new articles in UX Magazine: Crafting the UX of REI’s retail experience by Samantha Starmer Video interview (with text transcript) on the strategy, techniques and thinking behind translating REI‘s warm, hand-crafted in-store…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Characteristics of a Good Programming Project

Characteristics of a Good Programming Project

H


From Putting People First

Report calls for radical redesign of cities to cope with population growth

Report calls for radical redesign of cities to cope with population growth

The Megacities on the Move report says authorities must start planning their transport infrastructure now for a future when two thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. The Forum for the Future report devotes a lot…


From Putting People First

Creating informal learning environments

Creating informal learning environments

In the field of exhibition design, the quality of User Experience makes the difference between success and failure. When designing exhibits for museums or science centers, exhibition designers consider interaction, experience…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Fingerprinting Devices on the Web

Fingerprinting Devices on the Web

In the WSJ:  A race to build device fingerprinting methods on the Web: " ... Advertisers no longer want to just buy ads ... . They want to buy access to specific people .... ".  The privacy and intrusion implications are considerable…