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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 2009


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kitchen Computer 1969

Kitchen Computer 1969

I recently posted about a 'home system' being advertised by Verizon. Part of our innovation center research was to understand how specialized systems in a home could help the consumer. Based on consumer interviews the kitchen…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Redlaser Scanner Re-look

Redlaser Scanner Re-look

Redlaser has just issued an update for their IPhone barcode reader. They say it is faster than the previous version. I uploaded it and tested it on a dozen or so barcodes around the house. Worked well. It does seem to be a bit…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Run-length encoding (part 2)

Run-length encoding (part 2)

(This is a follow-up to my previous blog post.) Any run-length encoding requires you to store the number of repetitions. In my example, AAABBBBBZWWK becomes 3A-5B-1Z-2W-1K, we must store 5 counters (3,5,1,2,1) and 5 characters…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Signatures of Consciousness

Signatures of Consciousness

In the Edge: Signatures of Consciousness. Very interesting progress: Stanislas Dehaene writes:' ... For the past twelve years my research team has been using all the brain research tools at its disposal, from functional MRI…


From Schneier on Security

Fear and Public Perception

Fear and Public Perception

This 1996 interview with psychiatrist Robert DuPont was part of a Frontline program called "Nuclear Reaction."

He's talking about the role fear plays in the perception of nuclear power. It's a lot of the sorts of things I say…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Teaching Computer Science Concepts

Teaching Computer Science Concepts

I developed the below material for a workshop I gave to computer science teaching assistants today on how to teach computer science concepts. The workshop was formatted such that there were groups of two or three who got a sheet…


From Wild WebMink

? Protecting Rights

? Protecting Rights

ACTA secrecy is in fact a cynical game being played by the analogue economy (great phrase) to defend itself against us - you and me…


From [email protected]

Georgia Again "counts" Ap CS

Georgia Again "counts" Ap CS

Georgia again counts the Advanced Placement test in Computer Science towards high school grauation requirements.  The story highlights the challenges of making progress nationally in high school CS.


From Putting People First

Nokia on life among the clouds

Nokia on life among the clouds

Nafid Imran Ahmed of the Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star was just at “The Way We Live Next 3.0″ event in Helsinki and reports on the company’s vision of the future: Nokia, the world leader in mobility, gave me an opportunity…


From Putting People First

Terry Winograd video interview

Terry Winograd video interview

Terry Winograd, the famous human-computer interaction specialist, was interviewed for Digital Revolution (working title), an open source documentary, due for transmission on BBC Two in 2010, that will take stock of 20 years of…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Solicitation of Nominations for the Council of the Computing Community Consortium

Solicitation of Nominations for the Council of the Computing Community Consortium

Deadline:


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Analytics Illegal?

Google Analytics Illegal?

Google Analytics illegal, say German personal data protection analysts.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Plant Social Life

Plant Social Life

This is not in the normal realm of what I write about, but I am an amateur botanist and all things botanic do interest me. It is also an interesting lesson in experimentation. Back in the 70s there were many articles that suggested…


From Putting People First

Beyond the experience: In search of an operative paradigm for the industrialisation of services

Beyond the experience: In search of an operative paradigm for the industrialisation of services

Nicola Morelli (blog), an associate professor at the School of Architecture and Design at Aalborg University in Denmark, reflects on the two inspirations for a service design discipline: “The contributions to the definition of…


From Schneier on Security

Leaked 9/11 Text Messages

Leaked 9/11 Text Messages

Wikileaks has published pager intercepts from New York on 9/11:

WikiLeaks released half a million US national text pager intercepts. The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York…


From Return 42;

The other side of the table: Limsoon Wong

The other side of the table: Limsoon Wong

Professor and Head of Computer Science of the School of Computing at the National University of Singapore. Before that, he was the Deputy Executive Director for Research at A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research.Currently,The…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2009-11-26

links for 2009-11-26

  • "Revising a programming language that


    From CERIAS Blog

    "Verified by VISA": Still Using SSNs Online, Dropped by PEFCU

    "Verified by VISA": Still Using SSNs Online, Dropped by PEFCU

    I have written before about the "Verified by VISA" program. While shopping for Thanksgiving online this year, I noticed that Verified by Visa scripts were blocked by NoScript, and I could complete my purchases without authenticating…


    From The Noisy Channel

    Marti Hearst: Tech Talk on Search User Interfaces

    Marti Hearst: Tech Talk on Search User Interfaces


    From Computer Science Teachers Association

    Happy Holidays

    Happy Holidays

    The end of the year brings upon us the celebrations that come with the holidays. This year, we have extra reason to celebrate with an added holiday.

    The week of December 7, 2009 has been declared as Computer Science Education…


    From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

    PASS ID Moves Forward in Congress

    PASS ID Moves Forward in Congress

    PASS ID, S. 1261, is a bill introduced in June as an attempt to break through the impasse over REAL ID. That law, passed as part of a budget bill in 2005, was intended to tighten the security of drivers' licenses and state-issued…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Acquisitions as Retail Geography

    Acquisitions as Retail Geography

    A BNet article that looks at P&G past acquisitions, and speculates about future M&A in terms of retail space coverage. I like the idea of understanding products in terms of the context in which they are sold. Yet how does this…


    From Schneier on Security

    Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

    Mumbai Terrorist Attacks

    Long, detailed, and very good story of the Mumbai terrorist attacks of last year.

    My own short commentary in the aftermath of the attacks.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    IBM Crowdsourcing

    IBM Crowdsourcing

    An instructive piece on how IBM sources skills to a job. Requires registration. -


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Learning with Serious Games

    Learning with Serious Games

    On learning through games and simulations. ' ... Karl Kapp, professor, author and speaker, understands the value of games and simulations in learning. In this two-part interview, Karl covers everything from video games to virtual…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Drawing as Thinking

    Drawing as Thinking

    David Sibbet passes along a link to a video by Milton Glaser on drawing as another form of thinking.


    From [email protected]

    Games in Schools--Sugar-Coated Learning?

    Games in Schools--Sugar-Coated Learning?

    A discussion of the debate about using off-the-shelf, brain-training games in classrooms.


    From Computational Complexity

    Birthday Paradox Variance

    First a message from David Johnson for proposals on locations for SODA 2012 both in and outside the US. Here's an interesting approach to the birthday paradox using variances. Suppose we have m people who have birthdays spread…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Embracing an Innovation

    Embracing an Innovation

    A timely piece in [email protected] on choosing innovations. Something we and all enterprises struggled with under the topic of knowledge management and portfolio analysis, Aspects of it can be optimized, but the measures involved…


    From Schneier on Security

    Virtual Mafia in Online Worlds

    Virtual Mafia in Online Worlds

    If you allow players in an online world to penalize each other, you open the door to extortion:

    One of the features that supported user socialization in the game was the ability to declare that another user was a trusted friend…