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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 2020


From Schneier on Security

Tracking Users on Waze

Tracking Users on Waze

A security researcher discovered a wulnerability in Waze that breaks the anonymity of users:

I found out that I can visit Waze from any web browser at waze.com/livemap so I decided to check how are those driver icons implemented…


From insideHPC

PRACE Opens Nominations for Ada Lovelace Award for HPC – Deadline: Nov. 26

PRACE Opens Nominations for Ada Lovelace Award for HPC – Deadline: Nov. 26

From 22 to 26 March 2021, PRACE will organise the eighth edition of its Scientific and Industrial Conference – PRACEdays21 – as part of the EuroHPC Summit Week in Porto, Portugal. PRACE initiated the “PRACE Ada Lovelace Award…


From insideHPC

CoEC Targets Combustion Breakthroughs with Exascale Computing

CoEC Targets Combustion Breakthroughs with Exascale Computing

Barcelona, 29 October 2020 – The European Union is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To reach this goal, there is a need for coordinated research and innovation efforts to make low and zero-carbon…


From insideHPC

Zero to an ExaFLOP in Under a Second

Zero to an ExaFLOP in Under a Second

In this sponsored post, Matthew Ziegler at Lenovo discusses today's metric for raw speed of compute. Much like racing cars, servers do “time trials” to gauge their performance relative to a given workload.  There are more Spec…


From Universal Acceptance Steering Group

Making Global Progress Towards an #Internet4All | Universal Acceptance Local Initiatives

Making Global Progress Towards an #Internet4All | Universal Acceptance Local Initiatives

By Ajay Data, UASG Chair - 29 October 2020 Throughout the year, the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) spearheads global projects that raise awareness of Universal Acceptance (UA) and seek to achieve a multilingual and…


From Computational Complexity

2020 Fall Jobs Post

My annual fall jobs posts, giving advice to PhDs looking for faculty positions, were getting repetitive. See last year's post for the usual stuff and feel free to post opportunities in the comments on this post. This year let's…


From insideHPC

PNNL’S CENATE Taps ML to Guard DOE Supercomputers from Illegitimate Workloads

PNNL’S CENATE Taps ML to Guard DOE Supercomputers from Illegitimate Workloads

Pacific Northwest National Lab sent along this article today by PNNL’s Allan Brettman, who writes about the advanced techniques used by the lab’s Center for Advanced Technology Evaluation (CENATE) “to judge HPC workload legitimacy…


From Putting People First

Videos online of the anthropology and technology conference

Videos online of the anthropology and technology conference

Videos are now available of last month's Anthropology and Technology conference, dedicated to socially-responsible AI.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Estimation Theory at Work

Estimation Theory at Work

Rarely hear about this, we used it for retail analysis, it is useful to understand. Link to it below and a Wikipedia article definition. 

What makes a good estimator?

Blog post by Jasmine Nettiksimmons, Molly Davies    September…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Replaying Memory to Retain it

Replaying Memory to Retain it

 Fascinating play.   Remember this similarity being brought up in a talk about short vs long term memories.   Now being brought into play?

How a Memory Quirk of the Human Brain Can Galvanize AI  By Shelly Fan in SingularityHub


From insideHPC

Schneider Electric Partners with EdgePresence and Accu-Tech to Deploy Edge Data Centers

Schneider Electric Partners with EdgePresence and Accu-Tech to Deploy Edge Data Centers

Boston – Oct. 28, 2020 – Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, today announced its partnership with EdgePresence and Accu-Tech to deploy edge points-of presence (PoPs) to…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computing Researchers Respond to COVID-19: Uncertain Times

Computing Researchers Respond to COVID-19: Uncertain Times

This article has been adapted from one that appeared in Aeon, aeon.co. Our society is a complex system, “a system with many interacting agents, whose collective behavior is usually hard to predict.“ This makes things challenging…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

What the heck is the value of “-n % n” in programming languages?

What the heck is the value of “-n % n” in programming languages?

When coding efficient algorithms having to do with hashing, random number generations or even cryptography, a common construction is the expression “-n%n“. My experience has been that it confuses many programmers, so let us examine…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Underwater Robot Uses Squid-Like Propulsion

Friday Squid Blogging: Underwater Robot Uses Squid-Like Propulsion

This is neat:

By generating powerful streams of water, UCSD’s squid-like robot can swim untethered. The “squidbot” carries its own power source, and has the room to hold more, including a sensor or camera for underwater exploration…


From Schneier on Security

The NSA is Refusing to Disclose its Policy on Backdooring Commercial Products

The NSA is Refusing to Disclose its Policy on Backdooring Commercial Products

Senator Ron Wyden asked, and the NSA didn’t answer:

The NSA has long sought agreements with technology companies under which they would build special access for the spy agency into their products, according to disclosures by…


From insideHPC

WekaIO Announces Cloud-Native, Unified Storage Solutions for Data Lifecycle

WekaIO Announces Cloud-Native, Unified Storage Solutions for Data Lifecycle

CAMPBELL, Calif. – October 27, 2020 –  WekaIO (Weka), the leader in high-performance, scalable file storage for data-intensive applications, today announced a transformative cloud-native storage solution underpinned by the world…


From insideHPC

Sellafield Nuclear Site Extends Atos Contract

Sellafield Nuclear Site Extends Atos Contract

London, 28 October 2020 — Sellafield Ltd has signed a contract extension with Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, for a further two years, extending the long term relationship which started in 2012 into 2022. In …


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM Study on the Efficacy of Chatbots

IBM Study on the Efficacy of Chatbots

But AI is still in action, especially in speeding simpler customer interactions:

IBM study highlights rapid uptake and satisfaction with AI chatbots  in AINews

A study by IBM released this week highlights the rapid uptake of AI…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Is AI Failing to Deliver Expectations .... Again?

Is AI Failing to Deliver Expectations .... Again?

Always interesting former IBMer Irving Wladawsky-Berger talks AI hype, cycles, and lots of supporting links and observations. Been through it all, and this second spin has delivered more, but still not close to the full expectations…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Five Nonobvious Remote Work Techniques

Five Nonobvious Remote Work Techniques

Very interesting piece in Queue and the Communications of the ACM, Nov 2020,  pp 108-110.  Take the problem beyond the technical and to the collaboratively social.    From experiences at Stack Overflow.  Well Worth the read.

Five…


From insideHPC

AMD’s Su on Xilinx Acquisition: ‘We Can Define the Future of High Performance Computing’

AMD’s Su on Xilinx Acquisition: ‘We Can Define the Future of High Performance Computing’

Marking a new phase in in the re-resurrection AMD in its eternal struggle with Intel, and as reported here October 9, AMD has agreed to buy FPGA chip maker Xilinx, for $35 billion – another in a series of recent  technology industry…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Deception and Concealment Technology

Deception and Concealment  Technology

Worked with MITRE way back.  Now it is also about active defense.  Not much revealed here, but its interesting. 

MITRE Shield Matrix Highlights Deception & Concealment Technology

The role that these technologies play in the MITRE…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI, the Next Generations

AI, the Next Generations

Fairly good, short, non technical piece.    I agree with the first item mentioned:  'unsupervised learning', it is the future, and  it is hard to do generally.    But I note that I do not agree that 'supervised learning' hasThe…


From The Eponymous Pickle

MonoEye - Human Motion Capture

MonoEye - Human Motion Capture

 Most interesting approach.  The implications?  Note deep neural approach for selection of poses. Accuracy?  Gathering information for healthcare, sports, training?    Thinking possibilities.

MonoEye: A Human Motion-Capture System…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Singularity Hub Looks at GPT-3

Singularity Hub Looks at GPT-3

Out of SingularityHub.   A look at the writing AI called GPT-3.  Scopes some of the possibilities and limitations.

OpenAI’s GPT-3 Wrote This Short Film—Even the Twist at the End  By Vanessa Bates Ramirez

OpenAI’s text generating…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Assured Autonomy Workshop Report Release

Assured Autonomy Workshop Report Release

The Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is pleased to announce the release of the Assured Autonomy report, titled Assured Autonomy: Path Toward Living With Autonomous Systems We Can Trust.   The report is the result of a year…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Behold the Openbot Smart Phone

Behold the Openbot Smart Phone

 A curious and interesting thing.  Strap a smartphone to some wheels and sensors, and you have an OpenBot.  Is it a toy, a test platform, an indication where Intel is going?

How Intel's OpenBot Wants to Make Robots Out of Smartphones…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Amazon Made a Mistake with Whole Foods?

Amazon Made a Mistake with Whole Foods?

In Bob Herbold's blog, a strategic error by Amazon acquiring whole foods?   Used to go to these, not much anymore.    Yes, can see the 'cultlike' tag for its customers.   Does that not work in a pandemic?

Amazon: A Rare Strategic…


From insideHPC

The Hyperion-insideHPC Interviews: NERSC’s Jeff Broughton on the End of the Top500 and Exascale Begetting Petaflops in a Rack

The Hyperion-insideHPC Interviews: NERSC’s Jeff Broughton on the End of the Top500 and Exascale Begetting Petaflops in a Rack

NERSC’s Jeff Broughton career extends back to HPC ancient times (1979) when, fresh out of college, he was promoted to a project management role at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – a big job for a young man. Broughton …


From insideHPC

SC20: IDEAS Productivity Team Announces Software Events

SC20: IDEAS Productivity Team Announces Software Events

The IDEAS Productivity Team and others in the HPC community are organizing software-related events at SC20, Nov. 9-19. IDEAS is a family of projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy addressing challenges in HPC software…