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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.

February 2013


From The Eponymous Pickle

Unilever Spending, Partnerships Up

Unilever Spending, Partnerships Up

In AdAge:   This looks to be a considerable development:  " ... Unilever has struck global partnerships with Samsung, Sony's Arcade Creative Group and EA Sports as the packaged-goods giant looks to expand its universe of deals…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Coding is cool! Code.org urges students to learn to code with resources + terrific new video

Coding is cool! Code.org urges students to learn to code with resources + terrific new video

Please bring the Code.org website and GREAT new inspirational video to the attention of all students, teachers, and parents you’re able to reach through your organization’s K-12 outreach efforts! The video features some of the…


From Schneier on Security

Security Lessons from the Battle of Hoth

Security Lessons from the Battle of Hoth

Someone has analyzed the security mistakes in the Battle of Hoth, from the movie The Empire Strikes Back.


From Putting People First

How ‘Minority Report’ trapped us in a world of bad interfaces

How ‘Minority Report’ trapped us in a world of bad interfaces

“There are better ways to handle spatial ideas,” writes commercial artist Christian Brown, “ways which are more in line with the way our bodies are built. Human hands and fingers are good at feeling texture and detail, and good…


From Computational Complexity

Enos, Oona, sqrt(3), and Aaronson

My darling does crossword puzzles and sometimes asks my help: Darling: Bill, Slaughter in Cooperstown- whats the answer? Bill: Enos. There was a serial murderer in a town named Cooper, and he always wrote on his victims Eternity's…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

My So Called Secret Identity

My So Called Secret Identity

Have you heard about the comic My So-Called Secret Identity? It's been making quite the buzz among many of my academic and women-in-tech friends.  I finally had a chance to read through the first (free!) issue the other day,About…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

What Most Schools Don’t Teach

What Most Schools Don’t Teach

Code.org has released their highly anticipated video to encourage more people, especially students, to learn how to code for computers. It’s one of the better videos I have seen with a lot of names and faces students will recognize…


From Putting People First

The future of lying

The future of lying

Someone told Intel’s futurist Brian David Johnson that technology could do away with all lying in the future. He was horrified by the idea and wrote this: The Future of Lying – Can society survive if computers can tell fact from…


From The Eponymous Pickle

HP Tablets

HP Tablets

In an interesting development HP plans to be planning to deliver a family of tablet style devices.  Recall the fiasco that HP had when they acquired the Palm OS.  Lots of catching up to do here.


From Schneier on Security

House Hearing: How Well Is the TSA Doing?

House Hearing: How Well Is the TSA Doing?

I would have liked to participate in this hearing: Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency: "Assessing DHS 10 Years Later: How Wisely is DHS Spending Taxpayer Dollars?" February 15,…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Attack of the Customers:

Attack of the Customers:

Colleague, correspondent and former co-fellow of mine at  SNCR Paul Gillin has written a book on customer attacks using social media:Attack of the Customers: Why Critics Assault Brands Online and How To Avoid Becoming a Victim…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Technology: Blessing or Curse? A Case Study from the Magic Kingdom

Technology: Blessing or Curse? A Case Study from the Magic Kingdom

I just got back from a week's vacation to what is supposed to be the happiest place on earth - Disneyworld. I come from a family that is not very technical or even technology oriented. Oh, they like to use it, but they have no…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On the Rise of the Swarm

On the Rise of the Swarm

Our enterprise did a number of analytics projects based on swarm technology, also called Agent Based Modeling.  We brainstormed warehouse compliance swarms.  Now,  A new survey of work underway, empowered by swarm robotics.  The…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Driven Culture for Analytics

Data Driven Culture for Analytics

Good piece in a new newsletter I get.  Business driven analytics, commentary by three analytics managers.   The federated org structure sounds the most familiar to me, although we experimented with many methods:  " ... To get…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

New NSF INSPIRE Solicitation Issued

New NSF INSPIRE Solicitation Issued

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a new solicitation – Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE) – that aims to address some of the most complicated and pressing scientific…


From Schneier on Security

Me at the RSA Conference

Me at the RSA Conference

I'll be speaking twice at the RSA Conference this year. I'm giving a solo talk Tuesday at 1:00, and participating in a debate about training Wednesday at noon. This is a short written preview of my solo talk, and this is an…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Excel and Big Data

Excel and Big Data

In GigaOm:   Walter Riker sends along this link about MS Excel and Hadoop.   A surprising amount of analytical work is done in Excel, and it is natural to see links to Big Data capabilities.


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 25

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 25

February 26 Hearing: The Research Subcommittee and the Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a joint hearing on cybersecurity research and development. 10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Team Blogging Practices

Team Blogging Practices

When I ran a multiple internal blog operation in the enterprise, the goals were knowledge retention, sharing and collaboration.  We did both internal and external facing work.  This new article looks at the practices involved…


From Putting People First

The problem with our data obsession

The problem with our data obsession

To Save Everything Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov Public Affairs Book, 2013 432 pages [Amazon] Abstract In the very near future, “smart” technologies and “big data” will allow us to make…


From Schneier on Security

Another Essay about <i>Liars and Outliers</i>

Another Essay about <i>Liars and Outliers</i>

The Montréal Review asked me to write an essay about my latest book. Not much that regular readers haven't seen before.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 25 February 2013

Interesting Links 25 February 2013

School vacation week for me this week. Trying to get some work done around the house, relax a bit, grade a bunch and of course plan for the rest of the semester. Also continue the long term thinking I am doing about curriculum…


From Putting People First

Isobel Demangeat on the UX of augmented reality

Isobel Demangeat on the UX of augmented reality

A bit of an older talk, but still quite interesting: Isobel Demangeat, UX researcher at Qualcomm Corporate R&D Cambridge (UK), spoke at MEX in December 2011 on the nuances of short-range mobile interactions through augmented…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Show Me the Numbers

Show Me the Numbers

I have been fully reading Stephen Few's book: Show me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten.  (Second Edition).  In part for preparation of some data visualization design choices, and also because the topic of…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Who Invented Boolean Functions?

Hint: I am not sure Calixto Badesa is a faculty member at the University of Barcelona. His department is called the Department of Logic, History, and Philosophy of Science. It is neat to see the idea of the “logic of science”…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Sephora Haul Addiction

Sephora Haul Addiction

Ann Althouse examines the 100,000 videos entitled "Sephora Haul' on Youtube.    Quite an interesting view of what might be called cosmetics addiction and ultimately cosmetics in retail.    Jezebel also comments.  A problem that…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Making Time For Innovation

Making Time For Innovation

In Innovation Excellence:  A former CPG innovation manager Kevin McFarthing,  talks about how people collaborate for innovation  in the big enterprise, spinning scenarios that sound very reminiscent of my own experience.  Good…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Thoughts on Grading Schemes

Thoughts on Grading Schemes

I spent my entire reading week grading an assignment from the first year game development course I TA for.  The assignment was to design a board game with rules that did not exceed two pages, a board represented on one 8.5 xGrade…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Android Robotics

Android Robotics

A good overview, with lots of pictures, of progress in android robotics in Japan.  For care giving and beyond.  The empathic and human aspects are still to be determined.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Secrets of Data Visualization

Secrets of Data Visualization

Erica Driver writes about data visualization.  Some practical and often very true thoughts.The best secret of all that I can contribute is that you have to have online and dirt easy to use method to do visualization always  available…