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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 2018


From The Eponymous Pickle

Airbnb vs Hotels

Airbnb vs Hotels

Saw an early analysis that showed this.

The Airbnb Effect: Cheaper Rooms for Travelers, Less Revenue for Hotels

Hotels enjoy their highest profits when rooms are most demand, like during holidays and big events. Unfortunately for…


From insideHPC

SpaRC: Scalable Sequence Clustering using Apache Spark

SpaRC: Scalable Sequence Clustering using Apache Spark

Zhong Wang from the Genome Institute at LBNL gave this talk at the Stanford HPC Conference. "Whole genome shotgun based next generation transcriptomics and metagenomics studies often generate 100 to 1000 gigabytes (GB) sequence…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Human Touch is Essential

Human Touch is Essential

Well thought out piece.   Its not too much different than adding any kind of tech to work directly with people.  Augment their work skills.  Perhaps to the level of their replacement.   Even augment their ability to be creative…


From [email protected]

Did We Just Replace the 'Knowledge Bottleneck' With a 'Data Bottleneck'?

Did We Just Replace the 'Knowledge Bottleneck' With a 'Data Bottleneck'?

In practice, it seems that avoiding the knowledge acquisition bottleneck has not resulted in any net gain.


From The Eponymous Pickle

E Passports Don't Work

E Passports Don't Work

Remember about 10 years plus ago, being in a rush to get my passport updated before a major international business trip.   A  passport with an early version of the RFID chip.   Assumed it was much more secure and would work in…


From insideHPC

Intel’s Advanced Webinar Series for Understanding HPC Fabrics and Intel Omni-Path Architecture

Intel’s Advanced Webinar Series for Understanding HPC Fabrics and Intel Omni-Path Architecture

Intel Omni-Path ArchitectureTo help prospective customers understand Intel OPA capabilities and inform new customers of how to take advantage of all that Intel OPA has to offer, Intel began presenting a series of webinars on the fabric nearly three years…


From The Eponymous Pickle

No Conversations Yet

No Conversations Yet

Good general piece.  The assistants are remarkable, but still cannot handle a common conversation.    What the future of this.  Convenience of use is now there, I use it every day, but contextual intelligence is not.

Amazon Alexa…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Cyber Security or Just Good Program Design?

Cyber Security or Just Good Program Design?

People continue to share things that they learned at SIGCSE online. Recently Ria Galanos, from Thomas Jefferson HS, shared Cybersecurity Modules: Security Injections|Cyber4All @Towson These ae a bunch of modules for teachingFrom…


From Putting People First

Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Healthcare review coverTechnology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many…


From Putting People First

Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Designing Patient Solutions with Meaning: Review of technology and health apps for a better patient experience

Healthcare review coverTechnology is radically changing the world of healthcare and acts at different levels in support of different stakeholders. There are several digital tools on the market (e.g. wearables, virtual reality, robotics, etc.), many…


From Computational Complexity

When students are wrong but have a valid point, encourage them

I often have the class VOTE on a statement (the choices are usually TRUE/FALSE/UNKNOWN TO SCIENCE/Stewart-Colbert-2020)



I ask the students who voted incorrectly (some say anything except Stewart-Colbert-2020 is an incorrect


From insideHPC

NREL Report Evaluates LiquidCool Solutions for the Datacenter

NREL Report Evaluates LiquidCool Solutions for the Datacenter

NREL researchers are testing immersive liquid cooling technologies that could potentially bring huge energy savings to HPC datacenters. With worldwide datacenters consuming an estimated 70 billion kWh per year, a disruptive energy…


From insideHPC

Video: HPC Computing Trends

Video: HPC Computing Trends

Chris Willard from Intersect360 Research gave this talk at the Stanford HPC Conference. "Intersect360 Research returns with an annual deep dive into the trends, technologies and usage models that will be propelling the HPC community…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Revisiting Virtual Worlds

Revisiting Virtual Worlds

As I have chronicled here, we looked closely at the Virtual World Idea, with the support of some management.   But it never stuck well enough, had too many problems involved with just getting things done.  And the older generations…


From The Eponymous Pickle

MIT's Veil for Private Browsing

MIT's Veil for Private Browsing

New to me, investigated this idea for looking at 'automatic' background searches to support research topics.  This was developed much later, after work with MIT.

MIT's Veil service will make private browsing more private
Because…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Failures in the Past Year

AI Failures in the Past Year

I don't call these AI failures, because almost by definition they are not 'intelligent'.  But it does give some good examples about how things can fail,  just as people can.  Don't think we will ever rid ourselves of these. 

Artificial…


From insideHPC

HDR 200G InfiniBand: Empowering Next Generation Data Centers

HDR 200G InfiniBand: Empowering Next Generation Data Centers

HDR 200G InfiniBandThe need for faster data movement has never been more critical to the worlds of HPC and machine learning. In light of this demand, companies like Mellanox Technologies are working to introduce solutions to address the need for…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Challenging Mechanical Turk

Challenging Mechanical Turk

We did some dignificant work with Mechnical Turk, and looked for better ways, so this is particularly interesting.  Worry, though, about the crypto currency ties, can we rely on it?

 This Startup is Challenging Mechanical Turk…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hype Outrunning Reality

Hype Outrunning Reality

The Future of Artificial Intelligence: Why the Hype Has Outrun Reality

Robots that serve dinner, self-driving cars and drone-taxis could be fun and hugely profitable. But don’t hold your breath. They are likely much further off…


From insideHPC

NVIDIA Powers 22.4 Petaflop HPC4 Supercomputer at Eni

NVIDIA Powers 22.4 Petaflop HPC4 Supercomputer at Eni

Oil & Gas giant Eni of Italy has expanded the computing capacity of their Green Data Center with a massive GPU-powered system called HPC4. Built by HPE, the 22.4 Petaflop supercomputer is powered  by 3,200 Tesla GPU accelerators…


From insideHPC

Podcast: Open MPI for Exascale

Podcast: Open MPI for Exascale

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, David Bernholdt from ORNL discusses the Open MPI for Exascale project. Bernholdt is the principal investigator for the Open MPI for Exascale project, which is focusing on the communication…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Ads on Voice Devices

Ads on Voice Devices

Still looking at what it means to have effective ads on voice driven devices.

What It Would Mean for Amazon to Bring Ads to Alexa

It's inevitable for the retailer. Here's how it would change your experience.   By Christina Bonnington…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Science and Technology links (February 24th, 2018)

Science and Technology links (February 24th, 2018)

Samsung is manufacturing and will sell 30TB hard drives. That’s huge. It is enough to record everything you see and hear for three years. Of the cases of early-onset dementia, most were either alcohol-related or had an additional…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Computer Vision Assessing Cardiovascular Risk

Computer Vision Assessing Cardiovascular Risk

From Google Research, an interesting application.  With considerable detail about the experimental approach.   Instructive.   Note its about risk rather than diagnosis.   Examples of retinal images.  Would like to see more medical…


From Putting People First

[Paper] The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines

[Paper] The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines

The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines by Andrew D. Selbst (Data & Society Research Institute; Yale Information Society Project) and Solon Barocas (Cornell University) February 19, 2018, 59 pages Abstract As algorithmic…


From Putting People First

[Paper] The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines

[Paper] The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines

The Intuitive Appeal of Explainable Machines by Andrew D. Selbst (Data & Society Research Institute; Yale Information Society Project) and Solon Barocas (Cornell University) February 19, 2018, 59 pages Abstract As algorithmic…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: The Symbiotic Relationship Between the Bobtail Squid and a Particular Microbe

Friday Squid Blogging: The Symbiotic Relationship Between the Bobtail Squid and a Particular Microbe

This is the story of the Hawaiian bobtail squid and Vibrio fischeri. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered. Read my blog posting guidelines here....


From [email protected]

Massive Retaliation 2.0

Massive Retaliation 2.0

Reacting to the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which now tries to extend nuclear deterrence to cyberspace.


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Cashierless Stores Planned: New Shopping Data?

More Cashierless Stores Planned: New Shopping Data?

Amazon showing some seriousness about the test, with more locations, some word was out there to the contrary.  Now what kind of additional data will this provide to drive better shelf marketing?    These cameras are watching

Amazon…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Competing with Amazon Go

Competing with Amazon Go

Pointing to other efforts under way, such as Project Kepler.  The tech is there, will it be effectively applied to customers that will use it?

Will other Grocers Beat Amazon Go to the Punch? 

By Matthew Stern in Retailwire  with…