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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.

June 2012


From Putting People First

Why are contextual inquiries so difficult?

Why are contextual inquiries so difficult?

Jim Ross, Principal of Design Research at Electronic Ink, thinks contextual inquiry is the most difficult user research technique to perform effectively, as it requires a difficult balance between traditional interviewing and…


From The Eponymous Pickle

New Smarter IBM Analytics

New Smarter IBM Analytics

The quantity of financial sector data is increasing at some 70% a year, says an article in CIO.  So it is clear that even if small and medium, size businesses don't have 'big data' today, it won't be long before they do.  In"The…


From Wild WebMink

It

It

Now the UK’s open standards consultation is over, let’s get back to basics. All these power plugs didn’t give us more choice – they instead inconvenienced us all as every vendor chose a different “standard” that suited them to…


From Schneier on Security

Security and Human Behavior (SHB 2012)

Security and Human Behavior (SHB 2012)

I'm at the Fifth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Security and Human Behavior, SHB 2012. Google is hosting this year, at its offices in lower Manhattan.

SHB is an invitational gathering of psychologists, computer security researchers…


From The Eponymous Pickle

SimCity and Facebook

SimCity and Facebook

I have had an interest in SimCity since its early days.  Executives came to us soon after its launch to ask if we could produce a similar simulation for the entire enterprise.  At the very least for training, and potentiallySimCity…


From The Eponymous Pickle

SAP Visual Intelligence

SAP Visual Intelligence

From SAP  " ... launched new data visualization software that taps into one of its standby BI releases and relies heavily on HANA, the in-memory database that


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Last week, the UC Berkeley’s School of Information held a forum — called the


From Schneier on Security

Interesting Article on Libyan Internet Intelligence Gathering

Interesting Article on Libyan Internet Intelligence Gathering

This is worth reading, for the insights it provides on how a country goes about monitoring its citizens in the information age: a combination of targeted attacks and wholesale surveillance.

I'll just quote one bit, this list…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

There Is More To Computing Than Computer Science

There Is More To Computing Than Computer Science

Last week Doug Peterson pointed me to an article called


From The Eponymous Pickle

MIT Tech Review Goes Digital First

MIT Tech Review Goes Digital First

I have read MIT's Digital Review for many years, it used to be my prime source for digital information, long before there was much rich forward looking content on the Web.  I received their print mag for years   Now it is reported…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Bayesian Analysis

Bayesian Analysis

For those interested in Bayesian Network Analysis as a modeling technique, I see that BayesiaLab has come out with a new version with many new capabilities.   All described in their newest newsletter.  We used Bayesian network…


From The Eponymous Pickle

You Can be too Rational

You Can be too Rational

In the Sloan Review:  I agree that you can over quantify.  But you should not ignore the numbers either.  Its also good to think about the exogenous interactions that are still beyond numbers.  Still,  I disagree with being an…


From The Eponymous Pickle

English Skills for Key Contexts

English Skills for Key Contexts

Correspondent John Lucke tells me about some of the work they are doing at Carnegie Speech to increase English proficiency among airline pilots.  This was written about in a recent NYT article. What interests me is how this approach…


From Computational Complexity

Which Books to Keep?

Moving is an excuse to go through your possessions and weed out what you don't need anymore. Over my professional life I've collected two large bookcases full of CS, Math and Econ books and all the STOC, FOCS and Complexity proceedings…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Transcendental Aspects of Turing Machines

Mathematical effects of the Hartmanis-Stearns conjecture David Champernowne is one of a select few to have a number named for him. His number is obtained by writing all the decimal natural numbers in sequence after the decimal…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

The Confusion Between Computer Science and Computer Programming

The Confusion Between Computer Science and Computer Programming

Are we getting mixed up between computer science and computer programming? Are degrees in the former trying to train more people for the latter? Is any of this a problem? Jason Gormon thinks so, and I think it's worth looking…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Diet Glasses

Diet Glasses

Another example of augmented reality.  And an application of integrating wearable devices to adjust your sensory data view.  I wonder how such a method will be tolerated.  An implanted solution might be better used here.  But…


From Wild WebMink

Standards Consultation Deadline

Standards Consultation Deadline

Please send a contribution to the UK Open Standards Consultation TODAY, before the deadline at midnight UK time. It’s really simple, as little as an e-mail if you want – see the end of today’s article in ComputerWorldUK.


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NIST Holding BIG DATA Workshop Next Week

NIST Holding BIG DATA Workshop Next Week

The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)


From Schneier on Security

The Unreliability of Eyewitness Testimony

The Unreliability of Eyewitness Testimony

Interesting article:

The reliability of witness testimony is a vastly complex subject, but legal scholars and forensic psychologists say it's possible to extract the truth from contradictory accounts and evolving memories. According…


From Schneier on Security

Flame

Flame

Flame seems to be another military-grade cyber-weapon, this one optimized for espionage. The worm is at least two years old, and is mainly confined to computers in the Middle East. (It does not replicate and spread automatically…


From BLOG@CACM

My Scientific Big Data Are Lonely

My Scientific Big Data Are Lonely

Although there are daunting technical challenges posed by big data in science and engineering, the social and economic challenges are just as difficult, though much less often discussed. Two issues merit special attention, the…


From Putting People First

UX challenges when building collaborative consumption platforms

UX challenges when building collaborative consumption platforms

Rachel Botsman, founder and chief innovator of the Collaborative Lab (part of the Collaborative Consumption movement) writes that the biggest initial barrier to implementing Collaborative Consumption ideas is typically inertia…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 4 June 2012

Interesting Links 4 June 2012

This past Saturday was my 9th anniversary working full-time for Microsoft. It


From The Eponymous Pickle

On the Limits of Anti Virus Software

On the Limits of Anti Virus Software

A telling post on the topic.  I recently had to deal with several episodes that were potentially the result of virus attacks.  My installed software apparently did not deal with the problem. A quick search of other similar events…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Waves of Motivation

Waves of Motivation

My previous note about Dan Ariely's Conscious+ App led me to reinvestigate the concept of Motivation Waves, as described by BJ Fogg in this excellent video.  He specifically uses the example of health UX design via a keynoteMore…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Technology Testing City

Technology Testing City

The establishment of a technology testing city.   " ... An international technology company is creating an empty city in New Mexico to test and evaluate emerging technologies without having to worry about interfering with human…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apps of Conscience

Apps of Conscience

Can an App significantly help you make the right choice?  Dan Ariely has published an App called Conscience+, which contains a number of simple reminders about many of the common choices in life we make every day.  I downloaded…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Bionic Brains and Beyond

Bionic Brains and Beyond

In the WSJ:   " ... High-tech implants will soon be commonplace enhancements under our skin and inside our skulls, making us stronger and smarter. Daniel H. Wilson on our 'superabled' future. .... "    And controversy, like that…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Media and Customer Service

Social Media and Customer Service

In Forbes:  Simplistic, makes some large assumptions.  But should be read by management that does not understand the power of social media.