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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.

May 2013


From The Eponymous Pickle

Whats Different about Big Data Analytics

Whats Different about Big Data Analytics

In TDWI:  Thoughtful, but also somewhat misleading piece on the subject.    Big data analytics need to work with the same assumptions that all analytics have always included.   Otherwise some very large mistakes are likely to…


From Putting People First

Write-up on Michele Visciola’s talk at iHub, Kenya

Write-up on Michele Visciola’s talk at iHub, Kenya

Michele Visciola, President and Founding Partner of Experientia, gave a talk at iHub in Nairobi, Kenya, last week (see also this earlier post). The aim of the talk was to demonstrate with actual examples how user experience principles…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Why Search Engines Can’t Replace Teachers (yet?)

Why Search Engines Can’t Replace Teachers (yet?)

My programming students are working on some projects these days. I have them working of teams of two to four. As they work I am listening to their conversations and occasionally stepping in to help with a problem they can’t figure…


From Putting People First

Talking Design With Intel’s Todd Harple

Talking Design With Intel’s Todd Harple

We cordially invite you to Experientia’s inaugural “Talking Design” evening. On Wednesday May 8th, at 18.00, we are excited to have Intel’s Todd Harple speaking at the Experientia offices, followed by a light aperitivo. The “Talking…


From My Biased Coin

A Boy and His Atom

A Boy and His Atom

Some researchers at IBM are so good at playing with atoms, they decided to make a movie (called A Boy and His Atom), by moving atoms.  Cool stuff.  Computer science connections:  implications for storage.  Personal connection…


From Schneier on Security

Details of a Cyberheist

Details of a Cyberheist

Really interesting article detailing how criminals steal from a company's accounts over the Internet.

The costly cyberheist was carried out with the help of nearly 100 different accomplices in the United States who were hired…


From Wild WebMink

Beware Zombie Legislation

Beware Zombie Legislation

I’m pleased Nick Clegg has blocked the Communications Data Bill, but if we’re to avoid the same zombie bill coming back in the night for our brains we need to fill the vacuum it leaves. I explain more on ComputerWorldUK today…


From Putting People First

London exhibition explores alternative Britain governed by four extreme lifestyle tribes

London exhibition explores alternative Britain governed by four extreme lifestyle tribes

Belching cars made of skin and bones, nuclear-powered trains in the shape of mountains and arrow-like formations of joined recumbent bicycles are just some of the ways we might travel around the country in the future, according…


From Putting People First

UK ‘Nudge Unit’ to be privatised

UK ‘Nudge Unit’ to be privatised

The UK’s Behavioural Insights Team – known as the “nudge unit” – will join with a commercial partner and become the first policy unit to be spun out of Whitehall, reports the BBC. It finds ways of “nudging” people to make better…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Chromebook can be a Kiosk

Chromebook can be a Kiosk

We examined kiosks for retail.  It is surprising the number of alterations that have to be made to deliver a secure and easily usable kiosk based on a PC or laptop.  Chromebook has made this easier.  Engadget article.


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Very First Webpage shared today on it’s 20th Anniversary!

Very First Webpage shared today on it’s 20th Anniversary!

Twenty years ago today (April 30, 2013), physicists at CERN opened the World Wide Web to everyone with a simple web page.  The actual page is long gone, but CERN has recreated it here in honor of the 20th anniversary.  The Washington…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Waiting for Strong AI

Waiting for Strong AI

Back in the 80s we were waiting, and expecting the emergence of Strong AI.  Generalized intelligent machines, that would be as intelligent as a human, and do things humans can, but faster and cheaper.  Run our plants lights-off…


From Computational Complexity

Computer Assisted Proofs- still controversial?

Kenneth Appel, of Appel-Haken Four Color Theorem Fame, died recently. See here for an obit. In 1972 I read that the four-color theorem was an open problem. From what I read it seemed like there was some progress on it (e.g…

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