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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.

May 2014


From Putting People First

Design thinking – what is it in practice?

Design thinking – what is it in practice?

Promoted heavily by academic institutions and consultancies alike, design thinking has been a big buzzword during the past decade, turning some people on and others off. Though design thinking has actually been around for half…


From Putting People First

The future of modern marketing is human-centered

The future of modern marketing is human-centered

Before the turn of the 20th century into the 21st century, a movement began. This movement called for a more user-centered approach, or also commonly referred to as human-centered, to designing products, software, digital interactions…


From Putting People First

[Book] Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems

[Book] Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems

Foundations for Designing User-Centered Systems: What System Designers Need to Know about People by Frank E. Ritter, Gordon D Baxter and Elizabeth F. Churchill Springer, 2014, Paperback 442 p. 108 illus. Interactive technologies…


From Putting People First

UK Government told to put people at centre of ‘digital revolution’

UK Government told to put people at centre of ‘digital revolution’

Digital services in the public sector must have user-centred design as a ‘primary focus’ if people are to benefit from IT growth, the report “Designing the Digital Economy” claims. The report, commissioned by the British Parliament’s…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Buzzradar: Social Media Captured, Visualized

Buzzradar: Social Media Captured, Visualized

Just brought to my attention:  Buzzradar  Social Media: Captured, Visualized.  " ... We monitor real-time social media content for your brand or event and visualise it in engaging, meaningful and entertaining ways. ... "  Also…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid-Shaped Pancakes

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid-Shaped Pancakes

Here are pictures of squid-shaped pancakes. As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered....


From The Eponymous Pickle

Predicting World Cup Outcome with Bayesian Networks

Predicting World Cup Outcome with Bayesian Networks

A nice example of how a Bayesian network can be used to do predictive analytics.  Much more here.  " ... Designed around a Causal Bayesian Network, and using the BayesiaLab's API, the BWCP computes each team's qualification probabilities…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Apache Spark for Hadoop

Apache Spark for Hadoop

Had not seen it before, but was recently shown an early implementation of Spark and how it could be used to efficiently drive Hadoop.  Impressed by what I saw.  It appeared that it could be used for both straightforward and relatively…


From The Eponymous Pickle

DARPA Talks Innovation Direction and Marketing

DARPA Talks Innovation Direction and Marketing

A nice piece on a recent talk by DARPA director of innovation, Dan Kaufman.    Have had a long time connection with them, from early Pentagon days, to fairly recently.  Well, then we all have been using their developments for…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Self Study Machine Learning

Self Study Machine Learning

Jason Brownlee writes about machine learning, worth a look:" ... You need a structured approach. A framework for self-studying machine learning will focus your time on very specific outcomes. A structured approach can rapidly…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Estonia as E-Society

Estonia as E-Society

In the CACM:   A survey of the use of electronic systems for commercial, social and government interactions in Estonia.   We can learn from small country experiments with technical adoption.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Media Influencing Companies

Social Media Influencing Companies

This question came up recently.  Do we have rough numbers about how much social media influence companies?  Of course it depends upon how you define influence and on what topic.  SmartKPIs takes a cut at this.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cognitive Miser Theory

Cognitive Miser Theory

The Cognitive Miser, applications to consumer engagement? : " ... an umbrella theory of social cognition that brings together previous research on heuristics and attributional biases. The theory suggests that humans, valuing…


From Putting People First

How to use ethnography for in-depth consumer insight

How to use ethnography for in-depth consumer insight

Spending a weekend sitting in someone else’s house reporting when, why and how much they ate, drank, bathed, watched TV or used their mobile phone isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time, but for a marketer it is one of the best…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Intel in Your Autonomous Car

Intel in Your Autonomous Car

Intel chips for automobiles.  A big market, so the reach is obvious.  Specifically the mention of autonomous is interesting.   What are the specific needs of such a chip.  Speed and reliability? Embedded intelligence and connectivity…


From Writing

Must-See Tech Talks for Every Programmer

Must-See Tech Talks for Every Programmer

I love a good tech talk. I like to watch them, I like to give them, and now that I have lots of free time on my hands, I've put together a list of the must-see talks for every programmer. In this list, I've avoided language or…


From Writing

Must-See Tech Talks for Every Programmer

Must-See Tech Talks for Every Programmer

I love a good tech talk. I like to watch them, I like to give them, and now that I have lots of free time on my hands, I’ve put together a list of the must-see talks for every programmer. In this list, I’ve avoided language…


From Schneier on Security

Vulnerabilities Found in Law Enforcement Surveillance System

Vulnerabilities Found in Law Enforcement Surveillance System

SEC Consult has published an advisory warning people not to use a government eavesdropping product called Recording eXpress, sold by the Israeli company Nice Systems. Basically, attackers can completely compromise the system.…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Trucks Tethered by Computer Control

Trucks Tethered by Computer Control

In Technology Review:   Would have fit right into some of our fleet simulation work.   This has the potential for saving fuel.   But also appearing frightening on the highway.   Regulation exists by US state and probably has "…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Second Annual National Day of Civic Hacking May 31-June 1

Second Annual National Day of Civic Hacking May 31-June 1

Want to help make sense of the government’s Big Data? The 2nd National Day of Civic Hacking will take place this weekend, May 31 to June 1, in cities throughout the country. Anyone willing to contribute their time and skills…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IARPA Sharp Meets Big Data

IARPA Sharp Meets Big Data

I was reminded of the IARPA Sharp project again.  To which I have a loose connection.  Some of the statements below are certainly how we define intelligence ... being adaptive under varying and often contradictory  data.  This…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Visualization Making Big Data Meaningful

Visualization Making Big Data Meaningful

In CACM:  Includes some videos of data artists at work." ... Until recently, a good spreadsheet or perhaps a pie chart might have been sufficient to get a firm grip on a dataset. However, making sense of big data requires more…


From Computational Complexity

Forgotten but not Lost in a Mapless World

Massimo Vignelli passed away on Tuesday, a visionary designer known for many things in particularly the

1970s NYC Subway Map. I used to pour over this map as a kid, finding the shortest route from my father's apartment on the…


From Schneier on Security

TrueCrypt WTF

TrueCrypt WTF

I have no idea what's going on with TrueCrypt. Good summary of story is a ArsTechnica, and SlashDot, Hacker News, and Reddit all have long comment threads. See also Brian Krebs and Cory Doctorow. Speculations include a massive…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Algorithms That Dominate the World

Algorithms That Dominate the World

A fun example list of how algorithms are being used today in just about everything we do.  At first I thought these were detail level examples, but they are more process level examples.  For example the process of Search, Adwords…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Enough with the Lecturing, Already!

Enough with the Lecturing, Already!

Findings from studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education show that fewer students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught in an active-learning style than with lectures. The study…


From Schneier on Security

Eben Moglen on Snowden and Surveillance

Eben Moglen on Snowden and Surveillance

This is well worth reading. It's based on a series of talks he gave last fall....


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Two Administration Big Data Reports Hint At Policy Challenges Ahead

Two Administration Big Data Reports Hint At Policy Challenges Ahead

In early May the White House and the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST) each issued reports on ‘big data’ as part of the Administration’s 90-day big data review.   John Holdren, co-chair of PCAST…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Consumer Goods Visionaries: Procter's 1,Consumer Place

Consumer Goods Visionaries: Procter's 1,Consumer Place

I see that Steve Aaron, former colleague, has been identified in Consumer Goods Technology as the architect of P&G's revolutionary 1, Consumer Place. See an interview with him here.   A number of interesting levels of details…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Books on my desk (May 2014)

Books on my desk (May 2014)

Manning sent me the second edition of their Hello World: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners. At less than $25 on Amazon, this 450-page color book is a great deal. The first edition got raving reviews. It is a great…