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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.

September 2012


From The Eponymous Pickle

Shopper Tracking

Shopper Tracking

One of the first technologies we experimented with in the enterprise retail laboratory was ShopperTrak.    To understand how we could use analytics generated by shopper behavior under different conditions. I see thatShopperTrak…


From Schneier on Security

Replacing Alice and Bob

Replacing Alice and Bob

A proposal to replace cryptography's Alice and Bob with Sita and Rama:

Any book on cryptography invariably involves the characters Alice and Bob. It is always Alice who wants to send a message to Bob. This article replaces the…


From Computational Complexity

Things a Complexity Theorist Should Do At Least Once

A few weeks ago, Suresh wrote a post Things a TCSer should have done at least once with the caveat

This list is necessarily algorithms-biased. I doubt you'll need many of these if you're doing (say) structural complexity. 
Basically…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cisco Location Analytics

Cisco Location Analytics

In another move, Cisco is acquiring mobility analytics and Wifi network location player Thinksmart Technologies of Dublin.  The company tracks the location of people in public venues such as retail.  Another example of how mining…


From Wild WebMink

MySQL FUD Claim Needs Action, Not Words

MySQL FUD Claim Needs Action, Not Words

  A chance encounter at the OFE Summit in Brussels, coupled with a provocative statement by an Oracle VP, lead me to believe it’s time for Oracle to come out of hiding and start working with the MySQL community – including MariaDB…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Creativity In Computer Science

Creativity In Computer Science

I was reading a blog post titled Creating creative portfolios by Deepa Muralidhar the other day that really got me thinking of this whole notion of creativity in computer science. I think it is a problem in a lot of subjects“Imagination…


From Putting People First

Aaron Marcus publishes (free) ebook about HCI in Sci-Fi

Aaron Marcus publishes (free) ebook about HCI in Sci-Fi

The Past 100 Years of the Future: Sci-Fi and HCI in Movies and Television by Aaron Marcus 2012 – 197 pages On 24 August 2012, AM+A published its first ebook, The Past 100 Years of the Future: HCI in Science-Fiction Movies and…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Value Added Showrooming

Value Added Showrooming

Good piece by David Bell of Wharton on Showrooming.    " ... With the rise in popularity of smartphones and the proliferation of online retailers, showrooming -- the practice of browsing products at one store but buying them…


From Wild WebMink

Apparently the weather is getting cooler…

Apparently the weather is getting cooler…

“Please can you find me a blanket as well?”, Welcome to Autumn. I’d sensed a chill in the air, but my cat confirmed it for me…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Rules and Decision Management

Rules and Decision Management

The large enterprise can think about how to systematize their business processes and the rules that they use to make decisions.  This has often been difficult for the midsize to smaller business.  The systems have not existed…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facebook Commerce Successful for Small Retail

Facebook Commerce Successful for Small Retail

In CIO:  The claim made here is that Facebook Commerce is becoming particularly successful for small businesses.  " ... Second-quarter profits from Facebook stores were up 38% from the first quarter for the 180,000 small to midsize…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Mozilla and NSF Announce First Round of Winners for Brainstorming Phase of Ignite Challenge

Mozilla and NSF Announce First Round of Winners for Brainstorming Phase of Ignite Challenge

As we’ve previously blogged, Mozilla and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have teamed up for a challenge, called “Mozilla Ignite“, which focuses on the development of apps for faster, smarter internet of the future. Apps…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Professional Development Benefits All

Professional Development Benefits All

Recently, Rutgers University hosted a CS4HS workshop for K-12 CS educators. With the help of a grant from Google, Rutgers CS Department planned and hosted a two-day event for local K-12 computing teachers. What a great experience…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

What About Small Data?

What About Small Data?

This is an other post along the lines of We Are Making Things Too Hard more than the more obvious Thinking About Databases. And there may perhaps be a bit of old man “get off of my yard” nonsense in it as well. Back in the day…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

How Not To Prove Integer Factoring Is In P

A possible barrier to proofs that factoring is in polynomial time Mihalis Yannakakis is a Knuth Prize-winning complexity theorist and database expert. With Christos Papadimitriou in 1988, he framed the systematic study of approximation…


From [email protected]

Research {preposition} Infrastructure

Research {preposition} Infrastructure

Computing research and advanced computing infrastructure–each is dependent on the other in a myriad of subtle and complex ways, yet each is profoundly different in culture, process, skills and metrics. As the scale, scope and…


From Schneier on Security

Using Agent-Based Simulations to Evaluate Security Systems

Using Agent-Based Simulations to Evaluate Security Systems

Kay Hamacher and Stefan Katzenbeisser, "Public Security: Simulations Need to Replace Conventional Wisdom," New Security Paradigms Workshop, 2011.

Abstract: Is more always better? Is conventional wisdom always the right guideline…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Mining for Drug Facts

Data Mining for Drug Facts

In CACM:  On the use of data mining to determine drug information about drugs  Work out of Stanford University: " ... When people with high blood pressure start taking thiazide diuretics as treatment, they are warned about possible…


From Putting People First

Alok Nandi to chair Interaction14 – February 2014 in Amsterdam

Alok Nandi to chair Interaction14 – February 2014 in Amsterdam

The IxDA Board of Directors just announced that Alok Nandi will be Chair of Interaction14, to be held February, 2014 in Amsterdam in conjunction with Utrecht School of the Arts and Delft University of Technology. Alok, an independent…


From Putting People First

Designing for Mobile, Part 1: Information Architecture

Designing for Mobile, Part 1: Information Architecture

Mobile devices come with a whole host of new constraints (and opportunities) for our designs. In this – the first part of her series on mobile design – Elaine McVicar explores a handfull of the most popular architectures for…


From Putting People First

The magic of good service

The magic of good service

THE customer is king. So some firms have started appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to serve the king more attentively. These new additions to the (already crowded) C-suite are supposed to look at the business from the…


From Putting People First

Book: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century

Book: Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century

Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century By Jeanne E. Arnold, Anthony P. Graesch, Enzo Ragazzini, and Elinor Ochs UCLA, Cotson Institute of Archaeology July 2012 Life at Home in the Twenty-First Century cross-cuts the ranks of…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Ruth Hartsook’s CS Teaching Resources

Ruth Hartsook’s CS Teaching Resources

Ruth Hartsook posted links to some interactive web based teaching resources on the Advanced Placement Computer Science discussion forums that I think are just wonderful. These can be used by a teacher in class or by studentsBoolean…


From The Eponymous Pickle

What Consumer Products Companies Know

What Consumer Products Companies Know

Gib Bassett of Teradata on What Consumer Products Companies Know About Consumers.  " ... With widespread adoption of mobile devices and participation in social media, consumers are now more accessible than ever, facts not lost…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF Awards $50 million for Cybersecure Research Projects

NSF Awards $50 million for Cybersecure Research Projects

Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $50 million for research projects designed to build a secure cyber society and protect the US infrastructure. The awards come from the Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace Program…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Pepsico Search for Tech in Brazil

Pepsico Search for Tech in Brazil

In CGT:   " ... PepsiCo is bringing PepsiCo10, its three-year-old technology incubator program, to Brazil. "Along with the search for new ideas, PepsiCo10 supports our strategy of attracting and retaining top talent by giving…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Behavior and Psychology

Behavior and Psychology

Correspondent Lisa C. Kaczmarczyk  In her Interdisciplinary Blog,  ' ...  "You can talk about behavior without knowing anything about psychology" according to Christopher Konrad, one of the panelists at the UX and Psychology…


From The Eponymous Pickle

An Easy Button for Big Data?

An Easy Button for Big Data?

Bill Franks, who has an excellent book out on big data analytics, writes about the lack of an 'easy button' for big data.  Insightful thoughts.  " ... It is good to remember in today’s hype-filled big data world that there is…


From Schneier on Security

Quantum Cryptography

Quantum Cryptography

Long article on quantum cryptography and cryptanalysis.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Can We Afford To Wait For a CS Sputnik Moment

Can We Afford To Wait For a CS Sputnik Moment

I was having a talk with a teacher online recently and he reminded me of the Sputnik scare that started a lot of renewed interest in science and math in education. All of a sudden politicians and business people were concerned…