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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.

December 2010


From The Eponymous Pickle

SAS Survival App

SAS Survival App

Reviewing information about wilderness camping I came upon the best selling SAS Survival Guide by John Wiseman.  It was interesting that they are pushing the associated IPhone App on the cover of the book.  Two versions exist…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CSTB Committee Emphasizes Parallel Computing Innovations

CSTB Committee Emphasizes Parallel Computing Innovations

Two very interesting reports on the future of computing were issued last week.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Bumpy Road to Private Clouds

Bumpy Road to Private Clouds

A very good article in Computer World about the complexity of setting up internal clouds.   Most of the conversation about Clouds have been those externally situated,  but concern about the security risks involved has drivenSee…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Computing's Evolution in the Enterprise

Social Computing's Evolution in the Enterprise

In Computerworld - Social computing is among the most disruptive technologies making their way into the enterprise. The ever-growing number of users in social networks (half a billion for Facebook as of last month) has the potential…


From Schneier on Security

Interview with TSA Administrator John Pistole

Interview with TSA Administrator John Pistole

He's more realistic than one normally hears:

So if they get through all those defenses, they get to Reagan [National Airport] over here, and they've got an underwear bomb, they got a body cavity bomb -- what's reasonable to[…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

CSEdWeek and Beyond

CSEdWeek and Beyond

Last week was an awesome week for Computer Science Education. A total of 1,693 people took the pledge on CSEdWeek.org to share information, participate in activities and spread the word of the essential role computing and Computer…


From Putting People First

Automakers grapple with New-Age dilemma: software or hardware?

Automakers grapple with New-Age dilemma: software or hardware?

A somewhat older but no less relevant article by Bill Visnic on how automakers are diverging around the question of how to approach the onboard “infotainment” revolution. “For each OEM, the basic decision about infotainment is…


From Putting People First

Om Malik: Google has a user experience problem

Om Malik: Google has a user experience problem

Om Malik, founder of GigaOM Network, argues in a much commented post that Google has a user experience problem: “As it looks at its future, Google needs to realize that it has a


From Wild WebMink

? FOSS is not

? FOSS is not

I keep seeing people contrasting “free/open source software” with “commercial software”. This is a really bad contrast, as in my experience almost all open source software is commercial. It’s just commercial in a different way…


From Schneier on Security

Adam Shostack on TSA Threat Modeling

Adam Shostack on TSA Threat Modeling

Good commentary:

I've said before and I'll say again, there are lots of possible approaches to threat modeling, and they all involve tradeoffs. I've commented that much of the problem is the unmeetable demands TSA labors under…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-12-22

links for 2010-12-22

OpenDJ 2.4.0 Release Notes I'm delighted to say that the first full release of the OpenDJ LDAP directory server from ForgeRock is now available. 100% Java, 100% open source. (tags: ForgeRock LDAP OpenDJ OpenDS Directory FOSS…


From Computational Complexity

America's Most Important Algorithm

Yesterday the Census Bureau announced the new apportionment of the 435 representatives to states based on the 2010 census. Illinois lost one representative. Texas gains four. Not only do these affect the makeup of the House of…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Thinking Speed over Typing Speed

Thinking Speed over Typing Speed

Last week I ran across a blog post by John D Cook titled How much does typing speed matter? that got into the debate over how fast programmers should be able to type. It was a response to Jeff Attwood who had compared programmers…


From The Noisy Channel

The Secret May Be To Keep Fewer Secrets

The Secret May Be To Keep Fewer Secrets

In light of the recent WikiLeaks saga and the various leaks that have plagued my former employer, I was musing the other day about whether leaks are inevitable as an organization grows. I started off by considering a model where…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wikipedia: Good Faith Collaboration?

Wikipedia: Good Faith Collaboration?

Cory Doctorow  review of Joseph Reagle Jr's Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia.  Many people now depend on Wikipedia for better or worse.  How does it work at all?  I have been peripherally involved in examining…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Group Dynamics Killing Innovation

Group Dynamics Killing Innovation

Provocative thoughts, from Knowledge@Wharton: " ... To come up with the next iPad or Amazon, the pacesetters of the future need solitary brainstorming time, according to new Wharton research. In a paper titled, "Idea Generation…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wal-Mart and Teradata

Wal-Mart and Teradata

Wal-Mart enhances its data warehouse agreement with Teradata.   In Consumer Goods Technology.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Value Creation

Value Creation

From Bain & Company's newsletter: Value creation becomes more important than ever by Bain partners Alan Hirzel, Charles Tillen and senior director of Bain's private equity practice, Catherine Lemire BuyoutsLeverage and ever-expanding…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Robotics Improving Egg Safety

Robotics Improving Egg Safety

A short piece on the increasing use of robotics for egg handling and examination, leading to fewer damage problems.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Music as a Gateway to AI

Music as a Gateway to AI

Does avant garde music provide a gateway to artificial intelligence?


From Wild WebMink

? Bite-Size Privacy and Anonymity

? Bite-Size Privacy and Anonymity

A discussion broke out on Identi.ca recently where it became clear that the distinction between anonymity and privacy is not clear for some people. It led to the opportunity to discuss the nature of both concepts (albeit in 140…


From Schneier on Security

Recording the Police

Recording the Police

I've written a lot on the "War on Photography," where normal people are harassed as potential terrorists for taking pictures of things in public. This article is different; it's about recording the police:

Allison


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Pushing Game Narratives Beyond Linearity

Pushing Game Narratives Beyond Linearity

I remember a student telling me the other week that she thought writing stories for games was easy, and wondered if there were jobs doing that.  I had been giving a presentation with a professor from Carleton to high school students…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM Touts Predictive Analytics

IBM Touts Predictive Analytics

Having worked in this area for years, I have to agree.  The emergence of search has sometimes inappropriately substituted fast and easy for 'right'.   Good article:IBM Touts Predictive Analytics as Key Differentiator for Businesses…


From Schneier on Security

Book Review: <i>Cyber War</i>

Book Review: <i>Cyber War</i>

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to do About It by Richard Clarke and Robert Knake, HarperCollins, 2010.

Cyber War is a fast and enjoyable read. This means you could give the book to your non-techy friends…


From Putting People First

A rich trove of articles in UX Magazine

A rich trove of articles in UX Magazine

A rich trove of articles in UX Magazine: The importance of designing an experience culture By Cynthia Thomas / December 20th 2010 The outward focus on developing good experiences for customers often overshadows the need to live…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

How not to teach programming

How not to teach programming

Through the wonders of DZone I came across a blog post called Don't teach like you code. The target audience seems to be professional coders who are teaching beginners. It


From BLOG@CACM

Santa's Outbox

Santa's Outbox

Busy as he may be, Santa is still finding time to reply to his email on computer science matters.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Facebook vs Twitter Infographic

Facebook vs Twitter Infographic

Colleague Stan Dyck sends along an infographic from digital surgeons of statistics about Facebbok versus Twitter in 2010.  Nicely done.  It catches your attention, though I still prefer a simpler comparison of this kind of data…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Nestle's Lok towards Health

Nestle's Lok towards Health

Nestle looks at deeper, health related aspects of food science.  Good detailed article in the WSJ.