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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.

October 2015


From Putting People First

[Paper] Who Benefits From Civic Technology?

[Paper] Who Benefits From Civic Technology?

Who Benefits From Civic Technology? Demographic and public attitudes research into the users of civic technologies Rebecca Rumbul, Head of Research, mySociety October 2015 mySociety, 31 pages mySociety’s longterm mission is to…


From Putting People First

How design is shaping thinking at the heart of the UK Government

How design is shaping thinking at the heart of the UK Government

Andrea Siodmok, head of the UK Cabinet Office Policy Lab explores how design is helping government think differently about future policy. Design is emerging as a significant force for change in governments across the world. What…


From Putting People First

How design is shaping thinking at the heart of the UK Government

How design is shaping thinking at the heart of the UK Government

Andrea Siodmok, head of the UK Cabinet Office Policy Lab explores how design is helping government think differently about future policy. Design is emerging as a significant force for change in governments across the world. What…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internet of Things: Why Now?

Internet of Things: Why Now?

Why now?  Because the ability to connect universally is coming into place, and the analytics to make some useful sense of it is also.  We saw the early years of it in the application of first barcodes and then RFID in retail.…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Connections: Learning Science, Games, and Apprenticeships

Connections: Learning Science, Games, and Apprenticeships

I'm working on an education project that isn't ready to announce yet. In so doing, I've been taking another look at learning theory, game-like learning, and apprenticeships. Unsurprisingly, there are many connected ideas.Close…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Guessing Conjectures

How well can we guess the right side of yes/no questions? source Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery that neutrinos have mass. Although some physicists had shown as early…


From Schneier on Security

Flash Drive Lock

Flash Drive Lock

This device is clever: it's a three-digit combination lock that prevents a USB drive from being read. It's not going to keep out anyone serious, but is a great solution for the sort of casual security that most people need...…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Cybersecurity is everywhere. Is it in your K-12 CS program?

Cybersecurity is everywhere. Is it in your K-12 CS program?

Scarcely a day goes by without the mention of cybersecurity in the news—from Edward Snowden breaching security at NSA (and now following NSA on Twitter), to customers of Target and Home Depot having their data compromised, to…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

National Institute of Justice Grant Opportunity

National Institute of Justice Grant Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking proposals for basic or applied research and development projects that will: (1) increase the body of knowledge…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cognitive Assistant for Dementia Patients

Cognitive Assistant for Dementia Patients

Today's CSIG talk.  Slides, video, discussion and more at the link.   A focused example of an intelligent assistant.Kognit - a Cognitive Assistant for Dementia Patients! Amazing research and demonstration!Daniel Sonntag, from…


From Apophenia

New book: Participatory Culture in a Networked Era by Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, and me!

New book: Participatory Culture in a Networked Era by Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito, and me!

In 2012, Henry Jenkins approached Mimi Ito and I with a crazy idea that he’d gotten from talking to the folks at Polity. Would we like to sit down and talk through our research and use that as the basis of a book? I couldn’t…


From insideHPC

Video: Debugging and Profiling Your HPC Applications

Video: Debugging and Profiling Your HPC Applications

David Lecomber from Allinea Software presented this talk at the Argonne Training Program on Extreme-Scale Computing. "From climate modeling to astrophysics, from financial modeling to engine design, the power of clusters and …


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Oculus App Brings Group Interaction

Social Oculus App Brings Group Interaction

New Alpha social version of the Oculus VR:  Could this be used to test kinds of social behavior?  Social as a new form of augmentation?   Physical space and layered social spaces.  What are the rules of behavior?


From insideHPC

Poznan Supercomputing Center Expands CoolIT Systems Liquid Cooling to 1160 Nodes

Poznan Supercomputing Center Expands CoolIT Systems Liquid Cooling to 1160 Nodes

Today CoolIT Systems announced that the Poznan Supercomputing Center has ordered its second deployment of Rack DCLC data center liquid cooling systems. Building on the success of their existing liquid cooled deployment with CoolIT…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Learning By Teaching

Learning By Teaching

One of the best things about teaching is students asking questions that never occurred to you. I learned several new things today. Students always seem to have a new take on things. They look at things differently.

I try to encourage…


From insideHPC

Pairwise DNA Optimization using Intel Xeon Phi

Pairwise DNA Optimization using Intel Xeon Phi

The Smith-Waterman algorithm is widely used for pairwise DNA sequence alignment. The computation, consisting of looking for pattern in very long strings of the DNA alphabet, is very demanding. Using the Intel Xeon Phi, tremendous…


From insideHPC

Why HPC in a Cloud Environment

Why HPC in a Cloud Environment

A recent IDC survey indicated that about 25 percent of sites that ran HPC workloads are using some sort of cloud computing, and that just over 30 percent of the HPC workloads were being performed at cloud sites. There are a number…


From insideHPC

PGI Accelerator Compilers Add OpenACC Support for x86

PGI Accelerator Compilers Add OpenACC Support for x86

“Our goal is to enable HPC developers to easily port applications across all major CPU and accelerator platforms with uniformly high performance using a common source code base,” said Douglas Miles, director of PGI Compilers …


From Putting People First

An ethnography of tax-avoidance experts

An ethnography of tax-avoidance experts

Sociologist Brooke Harrington realized that if she were ever going to understand global inequality she would have to become one of the people who helps create it. So she trained to become a wealth manager to the ultra-rich. Although…


From Putting People First

An ethnography of tax-avoidance experts

An ethnography of tax-avoidance experts

Sociologist Brooke Harrington realized that if she were ever going to understand global inequality she would have to become one of the people who helps create it. So she trained to become a wealth manager to the ultra-rich. Although…


From Computational Complexity

S. Barry Cooper (1943-2015)

Barry Cooper, a computability theorist and professor at the University of Leeds, passed away on Monday after a brief illness. Cooper was a big proponent of computability and Alan Turing in particular. He chaired the advisor…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Exploring Business Models

Exploring Business Models

In Tech Review: Good, short statement of the past and the future regarding atoms vs bits.  " ... Business Models, Information Technology, and the Company of the Future ..... " .  


From Schneier on Security

Tracking Connected Vehicles

Tracking Connected Vehicles

Researchers have shown that it is both easy and cheap to surveil connected vehicles. The second link talks about various anonymization techniques, none of which I am optimistic about....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Intelligence TV

Intelligence TV

Intelligence TV is a world‑class team of dedicated machine learning entrepreneurs, luminaries and scholars — a cogent growing force of true connoisseurs, innovative organizations and ultra-affluent leaders — offering state of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Teradata Listener

Teradata Listener

Analyzing real time streams of data,  from real systems, or from simulations or prototypes or models, is useful concept.Teradata doubles down on IoT with two new tools .... " ... The Internet of Things is a big part of what makes…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Issues with Qualitative Data

Issues with Qualitative Data

Via O'Reilly:   " ... 10 problems with qualitative data .... Pitfalls to avoid when you're dealing with qualitative information. ... "    Video by Farrah Bostic.   Some very good, but qualitative,  thoughts.   Many that are really…


From Schneier on Security

Why Is the NSA Moving Away from Elliptic Curve Cryptography?

Why Is the NSA Moving Away from Elliptic Curve Cryptography?

In August, I wrote about the NSA's plans to move to quantum-resistant algorithms for its own cryptographic needs. Cryptographers Neal Koblitz and Alfred Menezes just published a long paper speculating as to the government's real…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

The Coolest Jobs with the Federal Government

The Coolest Jobs with the Federal Government

FedScoop published a list of the thirteen coolest jobs in the federal government. Some computing-based highlights include: Buddy Bland, the Project Manager for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, Energy Department. Bland…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data as Liability vs Asset

Data as Liability vs Asset

In Adage:   " ... Why Data Can Be More of a Liability Than an Asset  ... When the Amount of Data Gets Truly Big, So Do the Problems in Managing It All   ... ".  Good general piece.   Would further consider formal risk management…


From insideHPC

European Commission Steps Up Funding of HPC

European Commission Steps Up Funding of HPC

In this special guest feature, Tom Wilkie from Scientific Computing World reports that the European Commission is funding research projects and centers of excellence as part of its strategy to coordinate European HPC efforts.…