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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.

October 2012


From Schneier on Security

Risks of Data Portability

Risks of Data Portability

Peter Swire and Yianni Lagos have pre-published a law journal article on the risks of data portability. It specifically addresses an EU data protection regulation, but the security discussion is more general.

...Article 18 …


From [email protected]

Priming, Assimilation Bias, Social Proof in Social Media

Priming, Assimilation Bias, Social Proof in Social Media

As the US election draws near, what is the role that social media play in this political process?  How do social theories and psychological tendencies affect the political discourse in these systems?


From Putting People First

Core77 report on the Design Research Conference

Core77 report on the Design Research Conference

A few days before the EPIC conference in Savannah, Chicago’s IIT Institute of Design organised and hosted its yearly Design Research conference. Although no videos seem to be available yet, Ciara Taylor provides a concise report…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Dash Boards and all that

Dash Boards and all that

Interestingly thoughts by Stephen Few. On the use of dash board displays for control. Dashboards are just simple displays.


From Schneier on Security

Weaponizing Office Supplies

Weaponizing Office Supplies

Now this is interesting.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Up again, Learning Again.

Up again,  Learning Again.

I have many close watchers who have noticed this blog has been dark for several days.  This is the first time this happened for years.   A number of people noticed and expressed concern. It turns out I was attending the Recordedfuture…


From My Biased Coin

STOC 2013 Submissions

STOC 2013 Submissions

I was asked to post the following regarding STOC 2013 submissions:

1) Please read the Call for Papers carefully and pay special attentionto length and formatting requirements, which have changed since lastyear:    a) Submissions…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Let Me Buy You a Beer: A Message from a CSTA Advocate

Let Me Buy You a Beer: A Message from a CSTA Advocate

While I'm truly honored to be the first recipient of the CSTA Leadership Cohort APP (Advocacy Points Program) award, I wish to recognize members of CSTA Chicago Chapter whose sustained advocacy efforts over the past few years…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF Announces “Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability” (XPS) Program

NSF Announces “Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability” (XPS) Program

This week, the National Science Foundation issued a solicitation for its new Exploiting Parallelism and Scalability (XPS) program. The program aims to support groundbreaking research leading to a new era of scalable computing…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

When is a bitmap faster than an integer list?

When is a bitmap faster than an integer list?

You can represent a list of distinct integers no larger than N using exactly N bits: if the integer i appears in your list, you set the i th bit to true. Bits for which there is no corresponding integers are set to false. For…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Boring Projects

Boring Projects

Recently someone I really respect posted a recommendation against using Visual Basic saying “ I find most textbooks for Visual Basic to have boring assignments like temperature conversion.  I also find little open-ended problem…


From Wild WebMink

Concentration of Power

Concentration of Power

Hearing that Amazon had remotely wiped someone’s Kindle, I decided to investigate and find out if it had actually happened. It hadn’t, but what had happened instead was perhaps as distressing and educational. I wrote about it…


From updated sporadically at best

Why Do Women Want to "Have It All?"

Why Do Women Want to "Have It All?"

Last week, former State Department director Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic piece "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" spurred a flurry of internet discussion: there was a nice response on why "having it all" is the wrong thing…


From updated sporadically at best

FAQ: Applying to Graduate School for Computer Science

FAQ: Applying to Graduate School for Computer Science

Over the years, I have gotten various e-mails asking me about what it is like to be a graduate student at MIT and how to apply.  I have compiled this list of frequently asked questions.

--
Q: What is the best school for studying…


From [email protected]

Why Isn't There More Computer Science in U.s. High Schools?

Why Isn't There More Computer Science in U.s. High Schools?

 Seems like a simple question, but there are lots of factors that prevent US high school students from getting access to computer science.


From Putting People First

How Xerox uses analytics, big data and ethnography to help government solve “big problems”

How Xerox uses analytics, big data and ethnography to help government solve “big problems”

Through the application of analytics to Big Data, as well as ethnography — the design and implementation of qualitative field studies to observe cultural patterns — Xerox is answering important questions about traffic congestion…


From Computational Complexity

Song of the Complexity Classes

I tweeted the audio of this song last week and here is the video. Recorded at Dagstuhl on October 18th. Written by Fred Green who also plays piano. Performed by David Barrington with Steve Fenner on chorus. Fred gives apologizes…


From Schneier on Security

Camera Jammer that Protects Licence Plates

Camera Jammer that Protects Licence Plates

noPhoto reacts to a camera flash, and then jams the image with a bright light.

The website makes the point that this is legal, but that can't last.


From Putting People First

Smartphone ethnography apps

Smartphone ethnography apps

The Qualitative Report website contains a very hard to find but highly recommended page on smartphone ethnography apps (or, as they call it, “Mobile and Cloud Qualitative Research Apps”). Some highlights: myServiceFellow Mobile…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 22 October 2012

Interesting Links 22 October 2012

Earthquake! Yes earthquakes are rare in New England where I live but we had one last week. Shook things up a bit. Not injuries or damage as it was a mild one as earthquakes go. Still it was the first one I have ever felt andDo…


From Wild WebMink

About OSI

About OSI

I recorded a short interview explaining OSI Membership while I was at Open World Forum. Thanks to openworldforum.tv for the opportunity to tell people how to join!


From My Biased Coin

Giving a Teleseminar

Giving a Teleseminar

The nice folks at Texas A&M asked me to give a teleseminar as part of their series.  So instead of flying all the way to Texas to give a talk, I did so from the comfort of my office, using Cisco's WebEx.  It was, I believe, the…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Algorithms At Oxford

A report on a recent workshop at Oxford University Joël Ouaknine, Georg Gottlob, and Andreas Pieris are faculty at Oxford University in St. John’s College. They recently held a workshop on algorithms to celebrate the creation…


From Wild WebMink

South Tyrol Soon

South Tyrol Soon

Coming up on 16th November:  SFSCon in Bolzano, Italy. While we wait for the details, here’s a reminder of what the place is like:  


From Computational Complexity

Short Announcements

With a shout out to the friendly folks attending FOCS this week, some short announcements. Read the STOC CFP before you submit the paper. There are significant changes to the submission format and procedure. Deadline is November…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Stereotypes That Refuse To Die

Stereotypes That Refuse To Die

One of the areas on Facebook is called Trust Me I’m an “Engineer.” where humorous (for sometimes interesting definitions of humorous) images are posted. I don’t follow it directly but from time to time images from it show upENGINEERING…


From Wild WebMink

Be Still With Me

Be Still With Me

Imogen Heap’s new song is probably the best so far on her gradually-emerging new album. Personally I’m ready for some “still” time.


From Geeking with Greg

Quick links

Quick links

What caught my attention recently: The latest Google and Microsoft earnings show damage from a tech disruption, a shift to mobile that is impacting both badly but for different reasons. Google needs to crack mobile ads. Microsoft…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Insurance

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Insurance

This was once a real insurance product. Squid Insurance Marketing was the low-end offering at Astonish, complete with the tagline "Nothing Kills a Squid!"

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security…


From Putting People First

EPIC conference videos online

EPIC conference videos online

Most of the videos of this week’s EPIC Conference, hosted by the Savannah College of Art and Design [SCAD], are now online. EPIC, which stands for Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, promotes the use of ethnographic investigations…