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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.

November 2010


From The Eponymous Pickle

Holographic Videoconferencing?

Holographic Videoconferencing?

Long suggested, but still not here.   Some steps in the right direction described in Technology Review.  Is it really required to do rich communications?  I have been of the opinion that it is necessary only if you need to share…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

GENI: Toward the Future of Global Networking

GENI:  Toward the Future of Global Networking


From The Eponymous Pickle

Shop Saavy Scanning App Update

Shop Saavy Scanning App Update

I just took a quick look at the ShopSavvy barcode scanning app on my IPhone 4.  I had reviewed it previously versus RedLaser.  The new update and user interface is far easier to use versus previous versions and works quickly…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Self-Scanning at Carrefour

Self-Scanning at Carrefour

Carrefour in Belgium is offering a self-scan personal scanner device for shoppers in Beligium.  First I have seen Caffefour do this.  I still think that the future of this kind of capability is in the use of Smart Phones that…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Where Augmented Reality is Going

Where Augmented Reality is Going

An interesting and informative piece on the direction of augmented reality ideas.  I do see this as a kind of application, especially in retail, that we will see more often on the mobile platform, since we can choose our reality…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Passion and Problem Solving

Passion and Problem Solving

There's a new theme over at Comp Sci Woman about what we love, and I wrote the first post for it:

There are two things I love the most about computer science: the ability to connect it with whatever your passion is, and the…


From Schneier on Security

Did the FBI Invent the D.C. Bomb Plot?

Did the FBI Invent the D.C. Bomb Plot?

Last week the police arrested Farooque Ahmed for plotting a terrorist attack on the D.C. Metro system. However, it's not clear how much of the plot was his idea and how much was the idea of some paid FBI informants:

The indictment…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-11-03

links for 2010-11-03

FSF position on GPLv2 and current App Store terms "To summarize: * The App Store terms apply to GPLed software in the App Store. * Those terms force strict Usage Rules on customers that prohibit many activities that are allowed…


From Putting People First

Computational objects with information shadows

Computational objects with information shadows

Mike Kuniavsky, writer, designer, researcher and entrepreneur and co-founder of both ThingM, an electronic hardware design, development and manufacturing company, and Adaptive Path, has written a new book: “Smart Things: Ubiquitous…


From Wild WebMink

DRM Essay

DRM Essay

My essay explaining why DRM (Digital Restriction Measures) are toxic to culture is now available in the Essays section.


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Buying Brain

The Buying Brain

The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind, by A. K. Pradeep,   Pradeep is the CEO of probably the best known neuromarketing company: Neurofocus, in part owned by Nielsen.  Just in the process of reading this…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Paul Debevec wins Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award

Paul Debevec wins Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Scientific and Engineering Award

Congratulations to Paul Debevec — Research Associate Professor & Associate Director of Graphics Research at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies — who won an Academy Award earlier this year…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Making a Robot Dance

Making a Robot Dance

In the IEEE Spectrum.  An insightful article about how to make a humanoid robot dance.   I am not sure the goal of any robot should be to make a robot more human,  the but challenge is interesting in itself.


From Putting People First

IDEA 2010, an information architecture conference

IDEA 2010, an information architecture conference

Last month the Information Architecture Institute, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to advancing and promoting information architecture, held its yearly conference IDEA where UX professionals can exchange insights…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Video Gamer: A Piece of the K-12 Pipeline

Video Gamer: A Piece of the K-12 Pipeline

I traveled up the coast of North Carolina to a town called New Bern and had an opportunity to attend the North Carolina Art Education Association Professional Development Conference thanks to an invite from the Art Specialist…


From Wild WebMink

? Community Escrow

? Community Escrow

I’ve written previously about the freedom to leave, but there’s another value delivered by the liberties open source provides, one which it would even be worth paying extra to get. When your vendor changes direction, what do…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

How do search engines handle special characters? Should you care?

How do search engines handle special characters? Should you care?

Matt Cutts is Google’s search engine optimization expert. He runs a great YouTube channel called Google Webmaster Central.


From Computational Complexity

The revolution will be DVRed

(There are TWO theory day events in NY this semester: Thu Nov 11. and Fri Nov 12.)

BILL: Will you be going to the RALLY TO RESTORE SANITY AND/OR FEAR? (See also here.) It will be the event that defines this generation!!!!…


From Schneier on Security

Dan Geer on "Cybersecurity and National Policy"

Dan Geer on "Cybersecurity and National Policy"

Worth reading:

Those with either an engineering or management background are aware that one cannot optimize everything at once


From Putting People First

Lost the remote? Another reason to use an app

Lost the remote? Another reason to use an app

TV viewing habits are changing as more Internet and on-demand content


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Teaching real-world programming

Teaching real-world programming

The title of this post is borrowed from an article at the MIT (original article at Teaching real-world programming) about a programming course at MIT that uses professional software developers to help mentor students. The professionals…


From Putting People First

Ethnographic study on impact of social tools on sales

Ethnographic study on impact of social tools on sales

An in-depth ethnographic study of the social media habits of Blacksburg, VA, the first internet wired town in the world, demonstrates the power of consumer endorsed goods and services on sales, according to a study by OgilvyOne…


From Putting People First

Smartphone form factor

Smartphone form factor

In a previous TechRepublic column, Debra Littlejohn Shinder stated that hardware design and features are some of the many criteria to consider when deciding which smartphone model is best for you. One aspect of hardware design…


From Putting People First

Exposing the magic of design

Exposing the magic of design

Jon Kolko has published on UXMatters a sample chapter of his forthcoming book, Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner


From Putting People First

Storytelling for UX, an interview with Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks

Storytelling for UX, an interview with Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks

Daniel Szuc spoke with Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks about their new book Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design. “Daniel: Why the book? Whitney: Because thinking about user experience as a…


From Putting People First

India: Land of many cell phones, fewer toilets

India: Land of many cell phones, fewer toilets

Ravi Nessman reports from Mumbai, India. “The Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup along the rocky, pocked earth that serves as a road. No power except…


From Putting People First

The future of wired retail

The future of wired retail

In a 2010 survey of U.S. consumers conducted by Buzzback Market Research, findings showed that 88 percent of shoppers are more likely to choose a company that gives them the ability to interact via online, mobile or self-service…


From Putting People First

How the shift to mobile is revolutionising online news design

How the shift to mobile is revolutionising online news design

At the recent European Information Architecture Summit in Paris, Oliver Reichenstein, who has done several web design projects for Swiss newspapers, talked about how the traditional layout of the paper was very much wedded to…


From Putting People First

Reflections on iPad usability

Reflections on iPad usability

The former design director for the New York Times has written a blog post giving his thoughts on magazine apps for the iPad (something he clearly gets asked about a lot), reports Mathew Ingram on GigaOm. The bottom line? He hates…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Interactive Donut Charts

Interactive Donut Charts

The Donut chart is discussed in the Junk Charts blog.  A donut chart is a kind slightly re-designed pie chart.  I agree that this could have been done much more simply.  The author talks about the misleading interactive aspects…