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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 2014


From The Eponymous Pickle

Duke Coursera Course on Data Analysis

Duke Coursera Course on Data Analysis

Pointed out to me, this course on data analytics, from Duke, which includes a free PDF text.  Examining.  " ... Data Analysis and Statistical Inference.  Part of the "Reasoning, Data Analysis and Writing" Specialization » This…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hidden Markov and More

Hidden Markov and More

A non technical description of a very technical set of methods for forecasting. Baum-Welch and Hidden Markov.  Don't know much about this direction but looks to be interesting.New ideas are sprouting up. Not too much here on…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

$30 Billion Market for Wearable Computing Devices Projected by 2018

$30 Billion Market for Wearable Computing Devices Projected by 2018

Computing is at the heart of one up-and-coming cultural trend – wearable technology. This emerging market is enabled by advances in computing, and it’s positioned to become a multi-billion dollar market in the near future. A …


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Practically P=NP?

Solving is believing Cropped from source. Boris Konev and Alexei Lisitsa are both researchers at the University of Liverpool, who work in Logic and Computation. They have recently made important progress on the Erdős Discrepancy…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Probabilities in computing: they may not mean what you think they mean

Probabilities in computing: they may not mean what you think they mean

I like to throw off my academic colleagues outside of computer science by pointing out that much of our software relies on probabilities… down to the ubiquitous hash table. They often expect software to be mostly designed around…


From Wild WebMink

OSI, FSF and the end of software patents

OSI, FSF and the end of software patents

Just as we did in the case of CPTN’s threatened acquisition of Novell’s patent portfolio in 2011, the OSI and FSF have once again collaborated to file a briefing — this time in the key software patent case CLS Bank vs Alice Corporation…


From Schneier on Security

Decoding the Voynich Manuscript

Decoding the Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript has been partially decoded. This seems not to be a hoax. And the manuscript seems not to be a hoax, either.

Here's the paper.


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G, Target and the Future of Retailing

P&G, Target and the Future of Retailing

In Retailwire:  Another indication of how the world of retail is changing.  And in particular the relationship between manufacturers and retailers.  Do also read the comments at the link, some interesting insight there.  The"…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wikipedia Editing Bots

Wikipedia Editing Bots

Editing Bots: Did not realize that so much WP editing was done with bots.  Implications and dangers are still unclear. How does it influence confidence in the knowledge provided?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cross Targeting Multiple Devices

Cross Targeting Multiple Devices

In CLickZ:  What it is and why the hype?   Most of us today use multiple devices.  " ... Cross-device targeting, the ability to serve targeted advertising to consumers across multiple digital devices, is an emerging technology…


From Schneier on Security

GENESIS: NSA Exploit of the Day

GENESIS: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

GENESIS (S//SI//REL) Commercial GSM handset that has been modified to include a Software Defined Radio (SDR) and additional system memory. …


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Look at R Histograms

A Look at R Histograms

A look at the humble histogram. In Flowingdata. There would not seem to be much to say about this, but the details are interesting.  Comparing them to the similar looking bar chart.  Also how to display them in the language R…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Swallowing Microchips for ID

Swallowing Microchips for ID

Another sensor development.    In this case for identification.  But also for reading the brain?   Overstatement I think.  " ... “This pill has a small chip inside of it with a switch,” said Dugan. “It also has what amounts to…


From Computational Complexity

Why Become a Professor

Someone took me to task because in November I posted that the CRA News had 50 pages of job ads but didn't note that very few of those ads specifically were searching for CS theory faculty. Yes, it is true that theory is not as…


From Wild WebMink

Input To UK Government

Input To UK Government

My input to the UK Government consultation on document formats: I believe it is imperative to have a single document format standard used as the benchmark for corresponding with the UK Government, rather than a named software…


From Schneier on Security

Was the iOS SSL Flaw Deliberate?

Was the iOS SSL Flaw Deliberate?

Last October, I speculated on the best ways to go about designing and implementing a software backdoor. I suggested three characteristics of a good backdoor: low chance of discovery, high deniability if discovered, and minimal…


From Wild WebMink

Surveillance Impact Not Just Personal

Surveillance Impact Not Just Personal

Originally posted on Meshed Insights & Knowledge:In her post on ComputerWorld, Alexandra makes the excellent observation that the impact of surveillance is not exclusively personal. Knowing we could be watched, as Jeremy Bentham…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

It’s OK To Make Mistakes

It’s OK To Make Mistakes

Me to a student the other day“Several other people made the same mistake. That is why I was able to spot it so quickly.” Invariably that statement gets a look of surprise. Students often think they are the only ones making mistakes…


From Wild WebMink

Facebook’s Global Telco Dream

Facebook’s Global Telco Dream

Originally posted on Meshed Insights & Knowledge:Maybe there’s more to the Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp than just the centralised consolidation of users and user information that Simon denounced in his previous InfoWorld…


From Putting People First

[Book] The Moment of Clarity

[Book] The Moment of Clarity

The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems by Christian Madsbjerg, Mikkel Rasmussen Harvard Business Review Press 2014, 224 pages Traditional problem-solving methods taught in business…


From Putting People First

[Book] The City as Interface

[Book] The City as Interface

The City as Interface How New Media Are Changing the City By Martijn de Waal nai010 Publishers 2014, 208 pages Digital and mobile media are changing the way urban life takes shape and how we experience our built environment.…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Packaging Innovation

On Packaging Innovation

Interesting viewpoint piece on innovation in packaging in CPG.  Understanding the context and consumer behavior interacting with packaging is a key function of an innovation center." ... For any consumer packaged goods (CPG)Retailers…


From Schneier on Security

ENTOURAGE: NSA Exploit of the Day

ENTOURAGE: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

ENTOURAGE (S//SI//REL) Direction Finding application operating on the HOLLOWPOINT platform. The system is capable of providing line of bearing…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

White House Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes

White House Announces New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes

This week, President Barack Obama announced two new public-private Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and launched the first of four new Manufacturing Innovation Institute Competitions. The institutes will boost advanced manufacturing…


From The Eponymous Pickle

New in Business Intelligence

New in Business Intelligence

GigaOM writes about new things in BI,  a renaissance it implies.   At least from the perspective of a VC.  Ok, lots there I had not heard of, and the descriptions are good.  Are they really new though?  Remains to be seen.  …


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Mainstream Internet of Things

A Mainstream Internet of Things

In MIIT Technology Review:  Short piece on the mainstreaming of the IOT.  I agree, starting in areas were sensors are needed to monitor and look for outliers.  The analytics will quickly combine this data with contexts and other…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Grocery Bag as an Indicator

Grocery Bag as an Indicator

In HBS Working Knowledge: An interesting example. But also an example of lack of actual causality in an indicator as well.  Still useful for understanding the multiple reasons a person comes to a conclusion.  " ... "I'm of the…


From Putting People First

What the tech business hasn’t yet grasped about human nature

What the tech business hasn’t yet grasped about human nature

Genevieve Bell, Intel’s in-house anthropologist, sees constants in our behavior that could mean big bucks for businesses that find a way to capitalize on them. C|Net reports on her talk at the Mobile World Congress yesterday.…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CISE CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

CISE CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering(CISE) will hold a one-day CAREER proposal writing workshop March 31, 2014 in Arlington, VA.  In addition to past programs…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Fraud Detection Using Big Data

Fraud Detection Using Big Data

Using Big Data to Prevent Fraud:  A fairly obvious application when you start to gather lots of operational data.    See Zylab.   " ... When it comes to data that will be analyzed and managed by outside parties, organizations…