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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.

September 2013


From Putting People First

Rebecca Solnit on the downside of social and mobile technology

Rebecca Solnit on the downside of social and mobile technology

Rebecca Solnit writes – in an excellent piece – that she feels as though she is in a bad science fiction movie where everyone takes orders from tiny boxes that link them to alien overlords. Which is what corporations are anyway…


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Book on Intelligent Data Analysis

The Book on Intelligent Data Analysis

This book was brought to my attention during our artificial intelligence days.   It has gone through another edition since I taught from it.   Profited from its clear explanations.  Admittedly with an academic bent.   Still worth…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Pictures of My New Office

Pictures of My New Office

I moved into my new office on Tuesday, and finally decorated a little bit.  Here are some photos of my new home!My teaching and office hours are now posted on the little sign outside my door.  Why, yes, I did use scrapbooking…


From Schneier on Security

The NSA is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet

The NSA is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet

The new Snoden revelations are explosive. Basically, the NSA is able to decrypt most of the Internet. They're doing it primarily by cheating, not by mathematics.

It's joint reporting between the Guardian, the New York Times…


From Schneier on Security

The Effect of Money on Trust

The Effect of Money on Trust

Money reduces trust in small groups, but increases it in larger groups. Basically, the introduction of money allows society to scale.

The team devised an experiment where subjects in small and large groups had the option to…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

U.S. Access Board Public Meeting on September 11

U.S. Access Board Public Meeting on September 11

The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency, will hold its regular public Board Meeting on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be accessible to persons with disabilities. In the morning…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

State Assessment Requirements and the CSTA Resources

State Assessment Requirements and the CSTA Resources

How have you used the resources on the CSTA website? Have you read the new reports? Are you familiar with the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards? The crosswalks to other standards and skills? I think it is important to familiarize…


From Schneier on Security

<i>Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management</i>

<i>Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management</i>

I keep getting alerts of new issues, but there are rarely articles I find interesting.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Games Engaging Customers

Games Engaging Customers

In Innovation Excellence:  About game dynamics engaging your customers.   Includes a number of examples I had not heard of.   Also makes an often forgotten point about its linkage to crowdsourcing: " ... Gamification is the use…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Gamification and Sales

Gamification and Sales

An example of using Gamification for sales support.    " .... created a remote online customer sales chat platform that implements gamification to encourage remote workers to excel, using social influence to sell. He is an expert…


From Schneier on Security

Human/Machine Trust Failures

Human/Machine Trust Failures

I jacked a visitor's badge from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, last month. The badges are electronic; they're enabled when you check in at building security. You're supposed to wear it on a chain …


From Putting People First

Pew: 86% of USA adults make efforts to hide digital footprints online

Pew: 86% of USA adults make efforts to hide digital footprints online

Pew Research Center found that 86 percent of surveyed adult Internet users in the U.S. have made efforts to obscure their “digital footprints” — which could include simple measures like clearing cookies in your browser or something…


From Putting People First

Experientia designs mobile site for UN affiliate to promote mobile learning

Experientia designs mobile site for UN affiliate to promote mobile learning

This week, the ITC-ILO, a United Nations affiliate, officially launched an Experientia-designed mobile site to promote mobile learning tools within the organisation. The mobile site is an internal communications tool to showcase…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Euler’s Constants

Having a constant named after you is cool Jeffrey Lagarias was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories for years, and later joined the math department at the University of Michigan, while still keeping…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Future of Laundry

Future of Laundry

Though it may seem an odd topic for here, have for a long time followed innovations in the process of doing the laundry.  Despite it seeming a very mundane thing, it combines advanced materials  technology, leading edge chemistry…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Air Interfaces

Air Interfaces

In GigaOM: Saw something similar at graphics show.   Required some hard to manage setup, but was impressively mysterious. But that example was display only and not interactive.  Here an  interactive display that floats in the…


From Schneier on Security

SHA-3 Status

SHA-3 Status

NIST's John Kelsey gave an excellent talk on the history, status, and future of the SHA-3 hashing standard. The slides are online.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Glass App Store

Glass App Store

In Mashable: A Google Glass App store is planned by next year.  This will be very useful indication of exactly how serious developers for this new computing format will be to deliver value.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Small Data Becoming Big Data

Small Data Becoming Big Data

In SmartData Collective, By Mark van Rijmenam" ... small data can become big data by cleverly combining various data sets with different data formats; Combine weather data with your restaurant’s sales data to discover the impact…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Robotic Cleaning

Robotic Cleaning

In IEEE Spectrum:  As might be expected we avidly explored the future of cleaning.  In particular we examined robotic approaches. Watching development and commercialization of methods like the Roomba.  In particular it is quite…


From Schneier on Security

Business Opportunities in Cloud Security

Business Opportunities in Cloud Security

Bessemer Venture Partners partner David Cowan has an interesting article on the opportunities for cloud security companies.

Richard Stiennnon, an industry analyst, has a similar article.

And Zscaler comments on a 451 Research…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Crowdsourcing Grading

Crowdsourcing Grading

I remember being part of a group that did this long before it was called crowd sourcing,   unofficially and informally checking assignments and providing help within a group.  Here in MIT Technology Review:  " ... First Trial…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

USACM Submits Comments to the FCC on Accessibility Waiver Request for E-Readers

USACM Submits Comments to the FCC on Accessibility Waiver Request for E-Readers

USACM today submitted comments to the FCC on a request by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers to exempt e-readers from the accessibility requirements under the advanced communication provisions of the Twenty-First Century…


From Geeking with Greg

More quick links

More quick links

More of what I found interesting lately:

  • The apparent philosophy of the design of biological processes: "Never refactor if you can incrementally add another mechanism, no matter how complicated." ([1] [2])
  • "Given the incredible…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Science of Human Nature and Behavior: A Master Class

    Science of Human Nature and Behavior: A Master Class

    I was reminded of this conference by a correspondent,  held in 2011:In The Edge:" ... Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman on the marvels and the flaws of intuitive thinking; Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak on the…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Probing the Hive Mind

    Probing the Hive Mind

    To what degree does the Wikipedia act as a single brain? In Sciencenews: What implied rules underlie its operation as a useful resource?  I can see this as the future of all knowledge compendiums.  The Santa Fe Institutelinks…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Virtual Reality Gaming

    Virtual Reality Gaming

    I followed VR for years, looking at the potential for using reality spaces to solve problems in abstract spaces.  Spaces that could could be used as analogs to the real world.  See in particular some of my writings about  …


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Jeff Bezos and the WaPo

    Jeff Bezos and the WaPo

    One of our little businesses uses Jeff Bezo's infrastructure. So I am always interested in his directions.   He plans a 'Golden Age', perhaps linking newspapers more directly with the Internet.  An article in the WapPo: Describes…


    From Schneier on Security

    Syrian Electronic Army Cyberattacks

    Syrian Electronic Army Cyberattacks

    The Syrian Electronic Army attacked again this week, compromising the websites of the New York Times, Twitter, the Huffington Post, and others.

    Political hacking isn't new. Hackers were breaking into systems for political reasons…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    More Devices on Order:Tablet, Glass, Watch?

    More Devices on Order:Tablet, Glass, Watch?

    In a spirited conversation with a colleague today.  On the eve of the delivery of the 'smart watch' device.   I was inspired by a current project that will look at how to deliver complex visual data for decision support on multiple…