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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.

August 2010


From Computer Science Teachers Association

So What Are You Doing the Week of December 5?

So What Are You Doing the Week of December 5?

The process of starting a new school year is empowering, exhilarating, and exhausting all at the same time. Even though it's been five years since I was in the classroom, I still get the itch to make big plans and do new cool…


From The Eponymous Pickle

BI Platform is Dead: an Interactive e-book

BI Platform is Dead: an Interactive e-book

The BI Platform is Dead: A fresh look at what business analytics means for today's organizationsView this interactive eBook now (Registration with Information management required)The promise of business intelligence (BI) has…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Retailer Helpers

Retailer Helpers

In Bloomberg BusinessWeek: a Good overview article on a number of startups that are using smartphones to bring e-commerce advantages to real-world stores. Mentions a number we have looked at and some not. Some useful statements…


From My Biased Coin

Doing the Right Thing? (Quick Links Edition)

Doing the Right Thing?  (Quick Links Edition)

From Shots in the Dark, a pointer to a new "feature" -- apparently, there's not a tweet system recording and listing books checked out from Harvard libraries.  No, they're not putting names with it, just times.  But who thought…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Whorfian Hypothesis

Whorfian Hypothesis

An extensive NYT Magazine article on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis: That the language you speak effects how you think. Was often characterized by the observation that some far-northern peoples had many more words for snow, caused…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Field Agent Re-look

Field Agent Re-look

I mentioned the Field Agent IPhone App some time ago. It allows a retailer or manufacturer to pay people to perform simple tasks at a store and get paid for doing it. The companies get data about what is really on shelf and…


From The Eponymous Pickle

The RBR Group and other Sites Then and Now

The RBR Group and other Sites Then and Now

I have been loosely affiliated with the RBR group since my retirement from Procter & Gamble over two years ago. The just updated their web site with some new features and information. P&G has also updated their web site, giving…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Getting Ready for a Conference

Getting Ready for a Conference

Grace Hopper is fast approaching so I find myself, once again, madly going through my usual routine list of tasks to do before heading to a conference. Here's my process:Get funding. This comes from different sources depending…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM Makes a Nano Map

IBM Makes a Nano Map

IBM makes a clever nano world map 1000 times smaller than grain of sand . Small things can be useful.


From Wild WebMink

History In Action

History In Action

Google Code Blog: An update on JavaOne Google pulls all their people out of JavaOne. That’s going to be a big hole in the agenda since they employ all the good speakers… (well, most of them) (tags: Google Oracle Java JavaOne)…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Changing Your Privacy Mind

Changing Your Privacy Mind

EchoEcho: A startup that lets you ask of anyone: Where are you? - The receiver can provide or deny the information. The approach is different because you can change your answer each time, not set it as a forgotten parameter setting…


From The Eponymous Pickle

RFID Location of Sponges, Instruments

RFID Location of Sponges, Instruments

In RFID Journal: The FDA has approved the use of passive RFID tags for the location of instruments and sponges. I recall this being brought up in sessions ten years ago. Surprising that it has taken this long to get the approval…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Jewel of the Sea

Friday Squid Blogging: Jewel of the Sea

Pretty.


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Luring Shoppers to the Store

On Luring Shoppers to the Store

A good WSJ article on various uses of technology to get people to physical retail. This was an area we worked on extensively with a number of vendors.


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Students Need Both Knowledge and Facts

Students Need Both Knowledge and Facts

As the new school year starts, an old complaint resurfaces. A recent opinion piece has said once again that US higher education is failing US employers. Students are graduating without knowing how to write, how to do a critical…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Character Amnesia in Chinese

Character Amnesia in Chinese

Lots of thoughts out about how technology is altering aspects of literacy. This article from Language Log, about how text messaging is influencing Chinese characters. From the language log: " ... Pessimists and alarmists have…


From Schneier on Security

Me at the EastWest Institute

Me at the EastWest Institute

Back in May, I attended the EastWest Institute's First Worldwide Cybersecurity Summit in Dallas. I only had eight minutes to speak, and tried to turn the dialog to security, privacy, and the individual.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Seaswarm Spill Robotics

Seaswarm Spill Robotics

Report about an MIT project called Seaswarm. Autonomous robotics to address oil spills. Includes an interesting video. I do always wonder about the contextual complexity of a system that claims to be autonomous.


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computing Research in Astronomy

Computing Research in Astronomy

Every 10 years, U.S. astronomers come together to generate what has become a highly influential report recommending which astronomy and astrophysics projects should be funded by Federal agencies in the following decade. This…


From Schneier on Security

Is the Whole Country an Airport Security Zone?

Is the Whole Country an Airport Security Zone?

Full-body scanners in roving vans:

American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can …


From The Eponymous Pickle

Learn from Old Spice

Learn from Old Spice

This received considerable publicity. Is it for everyone? Likely not, but it does indicate what can work: What Marketers Can Learn From the Old Spice 'Your Man' Campaign Stick to P&G's Well-Stirred Mix of the Three Media: Paid…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-08-27

links for 2010-08-27

The long, sordid tale of Sun RPC, abbreviated somewhat, to protect the guily and the irresponsible. One of the long-running projects I had at Sun was to get the (pre-GPL, permissive) license on Sun RPC changed so that GNU/Linux…


From Computational Complexity

Theory Journals

I got the following request from a reader. I have a question about TCS journals. As I am trying to follow your advice on being more diligent about journalizing my papers, I realized that I am surprisingly ignorant about where…


From Wild WebMink

The debate over the demise of "Open Core" has led to a reprise of "which open source license is best" arguments again. But the real driving force is not the licence; it's the equality of participants.


From The Noisy Channel

HCIR 2010: Bigger and Better than Ever!

HCIR 2010: Bigger and Better than Ever!

Last Sunday was HCIR 2010, the Fourth Annual Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval, held at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, collocated with the Information Interaction in Context Symposium (IIiX…


From Apophenia

Regulating the Use of Social Media Data

Regulating the Use of Social Media Data

If you were to walk into my office, I’d have a pretty descent sense of your gender, your age, your race, and other identity markers. My knowledge wouldn’t be perfect, but it would give me plenty of information that I could use…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Millenials

Millenials

Paul Gillin deftly discusses Millenials Coming soon to a cubical near you. I see the same behavior in my millenial children.


From BLOG@CACM

My Top 10 Assertions About Data Warehouses

My Top 10 Assertions About Data Warehouses

Data warehouses, business intelligence, business analytics, and complex analytics are the subject of increasingly intense marketing wars, seemingly accelerated by Oracle’s recent introduction of the Exadata appliance. Here is…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Weak Link between Popularity and Influence

Weak Link between Popularity and Influence

HP Researchers find only weak link between popularity and influence. " ... It is worth emphasizing that HP's studies are designed to the highest scientific standards; they are not isolated case studies or the musings of a "social…


From Computational Complexity

Cryptography if P = NP

Bill is at Barriers II in Princeton and promises a full report upon his return. Ask many computer scientists what happens if P = NP and you'll get the response that it will kill cryptography. Let's ignore solving all optimization…