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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.

April 2011


From BLOG@CACM

Embracing Noise or Why Computer Scientists Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Errors

Embracing Noise or Why Computer Scientists Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Errors

Precision is not required in everything or even most things.  Failures are best handled by expecting them all the time, not treating them as exceptions.  We should expect errors and handle them routinely.  We should stop worrying…


From Schneier on Security

The Cyberwar Arms Race

The Cyberwar Arms Race

Good paper: "Loving the Cyber Bomb? The Dangers of Threat Inflation in Cybersecurity Policy," by Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins.

Over the past two years there has been a steady drumbeat of alarmist rhetoric coming out of Washington…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

The Case Against Double-blind Peer Review

The Case Against Double-blind Peer Review

Many scientific journals use double-blind peer review. That is, the authors submit their work in a way that cannot be traced back to them. Meanwhile, the authors do not know who the reviewers are. In this way, the reviewers are…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Open Access Book: Ubiquitous Computing

Open Access Book: Ubiquitous Computing

We already live in a world where there is ubiquitous computing. Yet there are many complex challenges to combine,  direct and have ubiquitous computing ideas link with a broad range of sensors, environments, people and otherMore…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Problem Solving For All Times

Problem Solving For All Times

I am not a carpenter. I know carpenters. One of my friends and co-workers is a well-trained restoration carpenter. The work he has done in his own house is to drool over. That


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Consumer Still Needs to be Touched

The Consumer Still Needs to be Touched

The sense of touch is nicely brought up in this interview with Estee Lauder.  While vision is by far the most important sense interacted with in the computer age, there is still great power in the other senses as well .." ...…


From Apophenia

Tumblr disappeared me

Tumblr disappeared me

People wonder why I have control issues. I refuse to use third party email services because I’m terrified of being locked out of my account (as I was when Yahoo! thought I was a part of a terrorist organization because I was…


From Schneier on Security

Social Solidarity as an Effect of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

Social Solidarity as an Effect of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

It's standard sociological theory that a group experiences social solidarity in response to external conflict. This paper studies the phenomenon in the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Conflict produces group…


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Retailer: Supply Chain's Last Mile: Workshop May 6

The Retailer: Supply Chain's Last Mile: Workshop May 6

Reminder: The event is free, but you MUST preregister to attend. Please RSVP to tricia.burger@uc.edu to preregister.The Department of Operations & Business Analytics at the University of Cincinnati


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

We

We

Are you working on a really exciting research project? Do you have a cool finding? Well, how about making a short video describing it — and getting paid in the process? Following up on our successful Computing Research Highlights…


From Computational Complexity

Don't Blame the Tech

Short Announcements: STOC Poster Submission Deadline is Monday. Jaime Morgenstern set up a google groups page for students to find roommates for STOC, FCRC and other theory conferences, "particularly useful for women and students…


From The Eponymous Pickle

History of the Internet Talk

History of the Internet Talk

20th Annual E. Leonard Arnoff Memorial Lecture (Repost) on the Practice of Management Science


From BLOG@CACM

Why Have There Been So Many Security Breaches Recently?

Why Have There Been So Many Security Breaches Recently?

We're only five months into this year, but there have been a large number of sensational security breaches. Why have there been so many, and what can we do about it? 


From The Eponymous Pickle

Making Work Visible

Making Work Visible

New book that looks to be of interest.  There seems to have been somewhat less interest in ethonographic research lately after a flurry of interest in the early 00s.  In Making Work Visible: Ethnographically Grounded Case Studies…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Finding Experts

Finding Experts

In the ACM: It's Who You know

Search algorithm designers have in recent years worked out ways for computers to identify experts in any particular area of knowledge. But for users who'd like those experts to actually answer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

New MIT Media Lab Director Interview

New MIT Media Lab Director Interview

We were part of the media lab for a few years and I led a number of tours through the facility.   It was good to hear of the changes.  Anything that could bring it closer to near term value for the enterprise.  Wired Interview…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cell Tower in a Suitcase

Cell Tower in a Suitcase

AT&T has started to sell what is being called a 'cell tower in a suitcase'.  At a cost of between  $15-45K, plus monthly fees. We examined something similar for campus usage a number of years ago in problematic areas.   Coverage…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

DreamSpark, AppHub and Windows Phone Development

DreamSpark, AppHub and Windows Phone Development

So are your graduating high school seniors bored? or perhaps you are still looking for things to do after the AP CS exam. or maybe you know college or high school students looking to make a few bucks writing code? (Student Develops…


From Computational Complexity

Ravi Kannan wins the Knuth Prize

Ravi Kannan will receive the 2011 Knuth Prize for his algorithmic work, including approximating volumes of high-dimensional convex objects, computing the Frobenius number and finding low-rank approximations to matrices. The techniques…


From Michael Nielsen

Polymath wiki logo

Polymath wiki logo

Many people have contributed striking logos for the Polymath wiki. It seems to me that there’s now enough suggestions to have a good conversation about which logo to use, and (perhaps) how the logos could be improved, if that’s…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

CS Sock Monkey Begins Work

CS Sock Monkey Begins Work

Today, CS Sock Monkey launched an important initiative to support and promote computer science education in K-12.

In this role, Sock Monkey will have the opportunity to meet with many leaders in our community and to provide …


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Toward an Open mHealth Ecosystem

Toward an Open mHealth Ecosystem

The following is a special contribution to this blog by Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science and Founding Director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA, and Ida Sim, Associate Professor…


From Schneier on Security

Security Risks of Running an Open WiFi Network

Security Risks of Running an Open WiFi Network

As I've written before, I run an open WiFi network. It's stories like these that may make me rethink that.

The three stories all fall along the same theme: a Buffalo man, Sarasota man, and Syracuse man all found themselves …


From The Eponymous Pickle

What Marketers Need to Know About QR Barcodes

What Marketers Need to Know About QR Barcodes

A good introduction to QR codes by Angie Schottmuller in Search Engine Watch.  Pointers to basic considerations, vendors. mobile use and cases.  Well done.


From The Eponymous Pickle

General Mills Experiments with Groupon

General Mills Experiments with Groupon

Covered broadly in the last few days.  The first consumer packaged goods company to try this.  This is an example of a manufacturer going around retailers also called dis intermediation.  Offers $40 of product for $20 and a $15…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Santa Fe Institute Looks at Behavior via Phones

Santa Fe Institute Looks at Behavior via Phones

Stan Dyck, colleague and correspondent, sends this along.  The implications for modeling behavior are very great.  Quoted from the WSJ below.  Nathan Eagle was mentioned in MIT Tech Review.' ... "We can quantify human movement…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Fabric Designs

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Fabric Designs

Some of these are actually nice.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Algorithmic Pricing on Amazon

Algorithmic Pricing on Amazon

I love the aspect of automatically building interactions.  The first step in artificial intelligence. But caution is always important.  Here is an example of building a pricing algorithm that can lead to an infinite loop, at…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Quick Ways to Liven Up Your Twitter Feed

Quick Ways to Liven Up Your Twitter Feed

Ways to liven up twitter feed, with a number of business examples. Fairly good. Though still I think mostly playing to the weaknesses of Twitter itself.


From Geeking with Greg

Resurgence of interest in personalized information

Resurgence of interest in personalized information

There has been a lot of news about personalization and recommendations of information in the last week.Google News launched additional implicit personalization of news based on your clickstream, bringing it yet another step closer…