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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.

December 2012


From Schneier on Security

Breaking Hard-Disk Encryption

Breaking Hard-Disk Encryption

The newly announced ElcomSoft Forensic Disk Decryptor can decrypt BitLocker, PGP, and TrueCrypt. And it's only $300. How does it work?

Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor acquires the necessary decryption keys by analyzing …


From Computational Complexity

2012 Complexity Year in Review

As we turn our thoughts from Turing to Erdős, a look back at the complexity year that was. Written with help from co-blogger Bill Gasarch. The complexity result of the year goes to Samuel Fiorini, Serge Massar, Sebastian Pokutta…


From Schneier on Security

Public Shaming as a Security Measure

Public Shaming as a Security Measure

In Liars and Outliers, I talk a lot about the more social forms of security. One of them is reputational. This post is about that squishy sociological security measure: public shaming as a way to punish bigotry (and, by extension…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Changing Perceptions of Big Data

Changing Perceptions of Big Data

From Inside Analysis.  Here I disagree in one sense and agree in another. .  It is true that it has never entirely been about the size of the data.  What we have seen is that we are moving away from the hype that has been seen…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On News Aggregation: Added Value Facts

On News Aggregation: Added Value Facts

In CACM:  News aggregation is a common thing in the internet.  Many sites and blogs find news in their specialty areas, and the results are redistributed to different markets.   This information is often commented upon and re…


From The Eponymous Pickle

$99 Tablet

$99 Tablet

Akin to the $99 laptop, the $99 tablet, which I wrote about in the enterprise some long time ago with the hope of getting some support to drive it world-wide.  Is the tablet the new standard ?  Is this the ultimate reduction…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Reinventing American Manufacturing – The Role of Innovation

Reinventing American Manufacturing – The Role of Innovation

An excellent article by MIT’s Bill Bonvillian, just out in the MIT Press journal Innovations.  Bill’s prescription: The U.S. must develop an integrated strategy if it is to reinvent its production capability. It should include…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Reorganizing the Web to Get Stuff Done

Reorganizing the Web to Get Stuff Done

A big part of this is reorganizing search, a big component of our use of the Web.  This article talks about that from the search engine Bing's perspective.   I have used Bing intermittently, but still mostly use Google.  As another…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

The Importance of Mentoring

The Importance of Mentoring

My school celebrated CS Ed Week with a visit from alumni who are working in CS-related careers. One alumnus spoke to my students over skype about his career in the area of targeted advertising for online magazines. His enthusiasm…


From The Eponymous Pickle

War Gaming Innovation Strategy

War Gaming Innovation Strategy

Battle testing an innovation strategy.  In the McKinsey  Quarterly.    This does remind me of defense department approaches, that were reimplemented in big enterprise.  Essentially a simulation approach.  Possibly  with game "…


From Schneier on Security

<i>Cryptography Engineering</i> Available as an eBook

<i>Cryptography Engineering</i> Available as an eBook

Finally, Cryptography Engineering is available as an ebook. Even better, it's today's deal of the day at O'Reilly: $27.50 (50% off) and no copy protection. (The discount won't show until you add the book to your cart.)


From updated sporadically at best

A Belated Brief on Barcelona

A Belated Brief on Barcelona

Notes from a more decadent time...Itinerary: Barcelona with Kate, April 2012.  Photos here.Day 1.  Arrive in Barcelona by plane close to midnight on a Friday evening.  Take the bus; take the train.  Arrive at train stop and realize…


From Schneier on Security

Hackers Use Backdoor to Break System

Hackers Use Backdoor to Break System

Industrial control system comes with a backdoor:

Although the system was password protected in general, the backdoor through the IP address apparently required no password and allowed direct access to the control system. "[Th]e…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Holiday Shopping Behavior

Holiday Shopping Behavior

Mintel releases some holiday shopping behavior statistics in Progressive Grocer.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year to all my readers and friends.

Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon

Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo

Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom

Joyeux…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Magazine: Driving Innovation in Big Data

Magazine: Driving Innovation in Big Data

New and appears to be quite interesting.  Including: " ... Our interview with Principal Scientist at NASA, Ashok Srivastav ... ".   Registration required.


From Schneier on Security

Peruvian Spider Species Creates Decoys

Peruvian Spider Species Creates Decoys

Clyclosa spiders create decoys to fool predators.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Storytelling Daily

Storytelling Daily

A Paper.li collection of information about storytelling ideas and technology.


From The Eponymous Pickle

B-Reel

B-Reel

Selling high tech ideas at B-Reel.  An example of using a mix of digital and other media to sell product.  Some interesting examples of 2011 are described.   Storytelling and technology, ready for 2013.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Myers-Briggs as Assessment

Myers-Briggs as Assessment

We never used the well known Myers-Briggs personality test for specific decisions.  But it was promoted as a means for self-understanding.  I was convinced it was useful for broad brush analyses, but the results were  frequently…


From Schneier on Security

Phishing via Twitter

Phishing via Twitter

Interesting firsthand phishing story:

A few nights ago, I got a Twitter direct message (DM) from a friend saying that someone was saying nasty things about me, with a link. The link was a shortened (t.co) link, so it was hard…


From Putting People First

How are students actually using IT? An ethnographic study

How are students actually using IT? An ethnographic study

This ECAR research bulletin describes an anthropological ethnographic analysis of student practices relating to the use of information technology on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) campus. Using EDUCAUSE Center for…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 24 December 2012

Interesting Links 24 December 2012

It’s the day before Christmas and at my house we have been cooking for days getting things prepared that can be prepared  early. I haven’t spent as much time on the computer as usual as it’s been family time. This week will be…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disrupt Yourself with Dreams

Disrupt Yourself with Dreams

My former colleague Julie Anixter  interviews Whitney Johnson  about using dreams as a vehicle for disruption.  "  ... Join me for the webinar interview Innovation Excellence did recently with author Whitney Johnson, whose book…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Optimizing Business Process

Optimizing Business Process

Rexamining a company, Charlotte Software Systems.  We had worked with their CEO Kevin Kostuik, when he and other people there worked with former component BiosGroup and then NuTech.  The company was bought by Netezza, which was…


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Easily Used Data Please

More Easily Used Data Please

GigaOM points to the fact that if we had more easily used data, we would not need more data scientists.  Scientists are useful, but we need the leverage of intelligent software, visualization  and easily used and adaptible infrastructure…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Passport Updates to Transform Shopping

Passport Updates to Transform Shopping

Will Apple passport updates that will include NFC wireless transform shopping?  In Mashable." ... A newly discovered patent application hints that Apple is planning to update its Passbook digital-coupon storage app with Near-Field…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Photo Integration

Photo Integration

Modeling People and places from collections of online photos.  Variants of this idea have been tried before, but this approach takes a broader view.  A good example of using accessible big data image collections.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Beyond Hadoop

Beyond Hadoop

In CACM:  Interesting thoughts on technical big data examples and solutions.   Like this: " ...When a new user visits the online music service Pandora and selects a station, the company's software immediately generates a playlist…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Twitter Does not Self Correct

Twitter Does not Self Correct

Some research is described in GigaOm. My own observations about Twitter:Its all about Memes.  We believe what we want to.  The evidence of increasing amounts of 'following' do not necessarily imply truth, only how interesting…