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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 2013


From Schneier on Security

Book Review: <i>Cyber War Will Not Take Place</i>

Book Review: <i>Cyber War Will Not Take Place</i>

Thomas Rid, Cyber War Will Not Take Place, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Cyber war is possibly the most dangerous buzzword of the Internet era. The fear-inducing rhetoric surrounding it is being used to justify major changes…


From Schneier on Security

Cognitive Biases About Violence as a Negotiating Tactic

Cognitive Biases About Violence as a Negotiating Tactic

Interesting paper: Max Abrahms, "The Credibility Paradox: Violence as a Double-Edged Sword in International Politics," International Studies Quarterly, 2013:

Abstract: Implicit in the rationalist literature on bargaining over…


From Putting People First

Sustainable living and behavioral change

Sustainable living and behavioral change

Below a selection of pieces from The Guardian’s sustainable living hub: The power of behavioural design: looking beyond nudging Christoph Burmester – 10 September 2013 Beyond nudging lies the world of applied behavioural science…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data Explored and Vindicated

Big Data Explored and Vindicated

Review of:   Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, and Kenneth Cukier.   Strongly recommended, for reading through or browsing. This books does an excellent job of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Windows 8.1 Installed by an Expert

Windows 8.1 Installed by an Expert

My long time colleague Walter Riker waxes technical about his installation of Windows 8.1  He is also an expert on Office 365 (He teaches it for companies).  and describes how the two coexist.  I installed 8.1 only a week ago…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

A Request That We Passed On

Peto de la Simons Instituto Alistair Sinclair is a “British computer scientist and computational theorist”—to quote our friends at Wikipedia. I know him more as Berkeleyan than British, but Ken knew him long ago in Britain itself…


From The Eponymous Pickle

University of Arkansas RFID Center

University of Arkansas RFID Center

From the RFID Journal:  A now dated piece, but reminded me of work we did with RFID  technology and the University of Arkansas back in 2003.  And another excellent example of how an innovation center can be designed, built and…


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Competition for Google Glass

More Competition for Google Glass

In Ars Technica:  Which reports that there are now eleven companies selling Glass-like computing headgear.  Samsung has also joined in.  Interesting array of competition.  Most look rather non chic.    Do more contenders mean…


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Wearables

More Wearables

In the Cisco Blog:  More on wearable computing.   Is Glass only an entry point?  And how personalized will computing technology get?  We have smartphones so close by atmost times that we may just as well be wearing them anyway…


From My Biased Coin

Mitzenmacher Drinking Game?

Mitzenmacher Drinking Game?

I've been visiting the Simons Institute for one of their workshops the last few days.  I got my advisor Alistair Sinclair to give me a tour.  I have to say, that's an amazing space they have.  A very nice building, and they've…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

New Awards Made by Multiple Agencies for the National Robotics Initiative

New Awards Made by Multiple Agencies for the National Robotics Initiative

In 2011, President Obama announced the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) as part of the broader effort of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative in the United States.  NRI is a multi-agency program which focuses on…


From BLOG@CACM

ACM Multimedia 2013 – The First Day

ACM Multimedia 2013 – The First Day

ACM Multimedia, the foremost conference on multimedia, has started in Barcelona (Spain). Let's see what are some highlights of the first day.


From Computational Complexity

Science and Humanities

David Hollinger, a historian, wrote a recent Chronicle Review article The Wedge Driving Academe's Two Families Apart: Can STEM and the human sciences get along?, one of a number of articles I see talking about the connections…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Sifting Data Visually for Connections

Sifting Data Visually for Connections

Another example of the use of using visualization to determine non obvious connections: " ... Hypergraph, which is now part of Recommind’s Axcelerate On-Demand SaaS package, is a tool for finding and highlighting hidden connections…


From BLOG@CACM

ACM Multimedia 2013 – Challenges and Competitions

The program of ACM Multimedia is very diverse: apart from oral and poster presentations, panels and keynotes there are challenges and competitions. Some may really help your work.


From Schneier on Security

DARPA Contest for Fully-Automated Network Defense

DARPA Contest for Fully-Automated Network Defense

DARPA is looking for a fully-automated network defense system:

What if computers had a "check engine" light that could indicate new, novel security problems? What if computers could go one step further and heal security problems…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Global Value Chains

On Global Value Chains

In Knowledge @ Wharton:  A turning point in the maturation of global value chains.  A good overview.  I note that Morris Cohen is quoted, who we did work with in our own redesign of a global supply chain: " .... “There is an…


From Putting People First

‘An Overview of Service Design for the Private and Public Sectors’ report

‘An Overview of Service Design for the Private and Public Sectors’ report

Service design is an approach to innovating both private and public sector services that places the user at the heart of the development process. Service design is concerned with the customer experience and ensuring optimal interactions…


From Putting People First

Is UX design the next big thing?

Is UX design the next big thing?

UX design explained for advertisers: “Here is where the world of communication and the world of computing starts to merge in intent. Systems are to be used. Products are to be experienced. Users and consumers are the rulers.…


From Putting People First

Four myths about UX and how to bust them

Four myths about UX and how to bust them

Brian Pagán describes four common UX myths and how to “bust” them: UX is too soft; it’s not based on anything Anyone can do UX UX is too expensive UX is just interaction design In synthesis: “UX knowledge and methods come from…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Would a TV Show Fix the CS Recruitment Program?

Would a TV Show Fix the CS Recruitment Program?

A recent article in the New York Times called “I am Woman, Watch me Hack” brought up an idea I hear expressed pretty regularly. The idea is that the right TV show or movie with the right plot and actors could change the way computer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Supports Quantum AI

Google Supports Quantum AI

Again a favorite topic.  Quantum Computing.  The interaction between modern physics and computing.  So what it all about?  How about an example of instructional games?  In the Guardian:" ... Google is hoping to inspire children's…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Linkedin Moves Mobile

Linkedin Moves Mobile

I have followed the flurry of updates to Linkedin mobile Apps.    I do find myself using it on mobile more often, as more of my work moves there.  It still has a less than complete mobile user interface.  It seems that just the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Golden Age of Television Online

Golden Age of Television Online

In Knowledge @ Wharton: Will the Next ‘Golden Age of Television’ Take Place Online?  Good forward looking piece:  As Netflix, Amazon and others transition from distributors to creators, the power of data analytics is creating…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Status of Text Analytics

Status of Text Analytics

An Update: We used it in the enterprise calling it 'content analysis'.  It has evolved into something that is much easier to use and integrate with text sensors and data.  A classic thing you want is the sentiment of mood being…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Where to Build Your Startup

Where to Build Your Startup

Lots of interesting data about startups outside the usual places.  The broad premise is that you should build your startup in Silicon Valley.  Have been involved in just such decisions.  And there are some conveniences there…


From The Eponymous Pickle

More on Store Surveillance

More on Store Surveillance

The idea of doing 'visual analytics', has been growing, a new effort: " ... Video analytics startup Prism Skylabs announced today that it has raised $15 million in Series B funding. ....  the company says it can provide graphics…


From Schneier on Security

Code Names for NSA Exploit Tools

Code Names for NSA Exploit Tools

This is from a Snowden document released by Le Monde:

General Term Descriptions: HIGHLANDS: Collection from Implants VAGRANT: Collection of Computer Screens MAGNETIC: Sensor Collection of Magnetic Emanations MINERALIZE: Collection…


From updated sporadically at best

Dual Booting Ubuntu and Windows 8

Dual Booting Ubuntu and Windows 8

This blog post commemorates the better part of a work day I spent installing a dual boot of Ubuntu Linux 13.10 and Windows 8 on my Lenovo X230 Thinkpad. I did not expect to have such trouble, but I did, and once I came out in…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CISE AD Issues Letter to the Community on Resuming Operations at NSF

CISE AD Issues Letter to the Community on Resuming Operations at NSF

The Federal Government reopened on October 17, 2013.  Farnam Jahanian, Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate (CISE) has issued a letter…