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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.

November 2009


From Wild WebMink

links for 2009-11-25

links for 2009-11-25

  • US senators, that is. I'm sure the Commission will completely ignore them.
  • Graham Allen says it as…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    fMRI used in Sentencing

    fMRI used in Sentencing

    Having just personally experienced my first fMRI, this caught my eye. Apparently the first time that this has been done in a courtroom. Not that the method is being used to determine truth/falsehood, a much tougher thing, but…


    From Computer Science Teachers Association

    Real Code is Messy

    Real Code is Messy

    Reading John Harrison's blog of November 3 got me thinking about what I am trying to teach my students in my third-semester (university) course about the development of large software systems. They seem to have a good handle…


    From Schneier on Security

    Users Rationally Rejecting Security Advice

    Users Rationally Rejecting Security Advice

    This paper, by Cormac Herley at Microsoft Research, sounds like me:

    Abstract: It is often suggested that users are hopelessly lazy and unmotivated on security questions. They chose weak passwords, ignore security warnings, and…


    From Daniel Lemire's Blog

    Run-length encoding (part I)

    Run-length encoding (part I)

    Run-length encoding (RLE) is probably the most important and fundamental string compression technique. Countless multimedia formats and protocols use one form or RLE compression or another. RLE is also deceptively simple.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    An Extra Piece of Chicken

    An Extra Piece of Chicken

    I see that Marco Marsan has set up a new site and blog for Marco Polo, his strategic innovation company. So what is this about chicken? See his great story about this aspect of under promising and over delivering. The Lagniappe…


    From Computational Complexity

    DIMACS at 20

    Last Friday DIMACS celebrated its 20th anniversary. Muthu summarizes the event.

    DIMACS has served the theoretical computer science community well over these two decades. They have hosted a number of postdocs and visitors usually…


    From My Biased Coin

    4-Year Masters

    4-Year Masters

    Harvard, like many other places, has an option by which students (with "Advanced Standing" from AP classes) can obtain a Master's (in some programs) as well as their undergraduate degree in 4 years. The School of Engineering…


    From Apophenia

    Spectacle at Web2.0 Expo... From my Perspective

    Spectacle at Web2.0 Expo... From my Perspective

    Last week, I gave a talk at Web2.0 Expo. From my perspective, I did a dreadful job at delivering my message. Yet, the context around my talk sparked a broad conversation about the implications of turning the backchannel into…


    From Schneier on Security

    Norbt

    Norbt

    Norbt (no robot) is a low-security web application to encrypt web pages. You can create and encrypt a webpage. The key is an answer to a question; anyone who knows the answer can see the page.

    I'm not sure this is very useful…


    From Wild WebMink

    links for 2009-11-24

    links for 2009-11-24

    From Forbes, no less: "In 2009, 30 million people sit unemployed in America. Yet, the speculators have managed to lift the stock market up, and the media pretends that we're having…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    IKEA and Facebook

    IKEA and Facebook

    IKEA uses facebook tagging to promote creative new store opening.-


    From Schneier on Security

    Decertifying "Terrorist" Pilots

    Decertifying "Terrorist" Pilots

    This article reads like something written by the company's PR team.

    When it comes to sleuthing these days, knowing your way within a database is as valued a skill as the classic, Sherlock Holmes-styled powers of detection. …


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    L'Oreal Case Study on Mobility

    L'Oreal Case Study on Mobility

    I see that Consumer Goods Technology will be presenting a webinar tomorrow: The Booming Value of Mobility - In the Enterprise and Beyond. L'Oreal will be among the case study presenters. Details here.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Printing all the Science News that Fits

    Printing all the Science News that Fits

    I have been a fan of NYT science writing for years. Enjoyed it and thought it was well written and mostly objective. Yet now, on particularly important topic, they refuse to publish information because it may have been inappropriately…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Smart as a Cat?

    Smart as a Cat?

    Just a while back I linked to a press release about how IBM had claimed to have created a brain simulation that had as many neurons and synapses as a cat. With the implication that we were getting close to building mammalianHere…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Smartbooks vs Notebooks

    Smartbooks vs Notebooks

    Why carry yet another unitasking device? What ultimately is the difference? Good piece on this. I would personally like it all on a smartphone device, though the physical size of fingers and acuity of eyes my prevent that, at…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Evolution of Pepsi vs Coke Logos

    Evolution of Pepsi vs Coke Logos

    Brought to my attention recently the relative evolution of Pepsi vs Coke Logos. It was later pointed out to be that this is somewhat selectively inaccurate, yet still intriguing that there was much evolution in Pepsi, and little…


    From Computational Complexity

    An Undervalued Math Problem

    An Undervalued Math Problem

    As most of you know there are 7 problems worth $1,000,000 (see here). It may be just 6 since Poincare's conjecture has probably been solved. Why are these problems worth that much money? There are other open problems that are…


    From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

    Lessons Learned for Science Outreach

    Lessons Learned for Science Outreach

    I went to my old high school last week to do some outreach for Let's Talk Science. The teacher we're partnered with requested a grade ten physics activity on optics that could be taught to grade tens in both the academic and…


    From [email protected]

    Technology

    Technology

    A short review of some of the hidden social and environmental costs of technology.


    From Schneier on Security

    Al Qaeda Secret Code Broken

    Al Qaeda Secret Code Broken

    I would sure like to know more about this:

    Top code-breakers at the Government Communications Headquarters in the United Kingdom have succeeded in breaking the secret language that has allowed imprisoned leaders of al-Qaida[…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Lining Up

    Lining Up

    A just discovered blog that covers aspects of queueing theory, both the idealized mathematical aspects and the psychological issues to discover how people relate to lines. Its a technology that I rarely used in industry after…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Augmented Reality, Head-To-Head

    Augmented Reality, Head-To-Head

    In the blog Augmented Planet a head-to-head comparison of a number of augmented reality browsers for the purpose of finding a restaurant and finding sites in London. Followed by a part 2, working with immediate surroundings.…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Things that Mobile Phones will Obsolete

    Things that Mobile Phones will Obsolete

    In Recombu: Ten Things that Mobile Phones Will Make Obsolete. I am sure we can expect others. The laptop? -


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Innovation Science Parks

    Innovation Science Parks

    Good piece in BusinessWeek on the building of innovation parks in cities. Contrary to the idea of having virtual companies powered by interconnectivity, which have their own shortcomings. Have experienced both, and there is definitely…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Steve King SNCR Fellow of the Year

    Steve King SNCR Fellow of the Year

    I see that compatriot Steve King has been named SNCR Fellow of the Year. He is a great guy, runs an excellent consultancy and blog on innovation and the issues of small business. We had him present to the enterprise a number…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Reading Barcodes

    Reading Barcodes

    Short Wired article on reading barcodes without a device, in other words with just your eyes. Cute parlor trick, but of course barcodes usually contain the code in numbers right below the bars, and numbers can already be read…


    From Wild WebMink

    links for 2009-11-21

    links for 2009-11-21

  • Until the end of January instead of the middle. At this point it's all just more blows to a bruised body.
    (tags: Sun Oracle Europe)
  • Questions for Lord Mandelson…


    From The Noisy Channel

    Can We Learn From Anti-Social Users?

    Can We Learn From Anti-Social Users?

    One of the interesting challenges we face as both developers and consumers of search technology is that social signals are a double-edged sword. On one hand, social signals have proven essential in distinguishing signal from…