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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.

April 2011


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Educational Games That Teach Computer Science

Educational Games That Teach Computer Science

There has been an increased interest in educational games lately — especially those that truly give the player a deeper understanding of a topic but are still fun in the process.  History seems to be one of the topics that games…


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Look at Nokia's Collapse

A Look at Nokia's Collapse

We visited Nokia's innovation group back in the 90s and were very impressed.  They were the big disrupters then. Yet today they have been unable to credibly respond to the smart handphone market.  HBS discusses this remarkable…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

An Interagency Multiscale Modeling Initiative

An Interagency Multiscale Modeling Initiative

The Interagency Multiscale Modeling and Analysis Group (IMAG) — comprising program staff from NIH, NSF, DoE, DoD, NASA, USDA, and the VA — announced earlier this month a new interagency funding opportunity to support the development…


From Schneier on Security

Hard-Drive Steganography through Fragmentation

Hard-Drive Steganography through Fragmentation

Clever:

Khan and his colleagues have written software that ensures clusters of a file, rather than being positioned at the whim of the disc drive controller chip, as is usually the case, are positioned according to a code. All…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 25 April 2011

Interesting Links 25 April 2011

Apparently some people actually do read this blog. I have talked to a couple of people recently who say they keep up with what I


From The Eponymous Pickle

Do the Work

Do the Work

The Kindle edition of Steve Pressfield's excellent book: Do the Work is free. " ...  Could you be getting in your way of producing great work? Have you started a project but never finished? Would you like to do work that matters…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Textbooks Online

Textbooks Online

An example of bringing textbooks online to Android.  This makes much sense.  Instructional materials are further useful if they can be connected to other resources.  But is it profitable for the publishers?


From Wild WebMink

? Document Foundation Member

? Document Foundation Member

Having applied for membership as soon as the process was announced, I’m honoured to have been accepted today as a Member of The Document Foundation. Having been associated with OpenOffice.org for over a decade in a variety of…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Decide CSTA's Future

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Decide CSTA's Future

The 2011 CSTA election is drawing to a close. As you are hopefully aware, this year's election has been run entirely online, providing unprecedented convenience to voters and significant savings to the organization compared …


From The Eponymous Pickle

People are Walking Slower Now

People are Walking Slower Now

In the WSJ,  studies indicate we walk slower now.  Implications for the modeling of retail spaces?  " ... Pedestrians need more time, too. For years, traffic lights here and nationwide were timed to the stride of the average…


From CERIAS Blog

A Cautionary Incident

A Cautionary Incident

Recently, Amazon's cloud service failed for several customers, and has not come back fully for well over 24 hours. As of the time I write this, Amazon has not commented as to what caused the problem, why it took so long to fix…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wal-Mart Tests Online Grocery Delivery

Wal-Mart Tests Online Grocery Delivery

It has been rumored for some time, now the test is to proceed in California.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Weapons of Mass Assignment

Weapons of Mass Assignment

In CACM: A Technical article, with implications for privacy-aware open source development: Weapons of Mass AssigmentA Ruby on Rails app highlights some serious, yet easily avoided, security vulnerabilities ...  In May 2010, during…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Gamification of Social Media

Gamification of Social Media

Scott Monty, the head of social media for Ford Motor Company, discusses the gamification of social media.  Gamification of business processes is a favorite topic of mine, which we experimented with in the enterprise.  Again I…


From Putting People First

Behaviour more significant than opinion when it comes to service design

Behaviour more significant than opinion when it comes to service design

Behaviour change techniques should be used to develop public services with citizens’ motivations at the heart of their design, says a leading [UK] thinktank. A report produced by the New Local Government Network argues that using…


From BLOG@CACM

The Long Road to a Seat at the Table

The Long Road to a Seat at the Table

Computer science is still a new discipline compared to the rest of STEM. It will take a while for people to know what a "computer scientist" is in the same way that they know what a "chemist" or "biologist" or "engineer" does…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Brain-Computer Interfaces

Brain-Computer Interfaces

An article and video showing an example of brain computer interfaces for communications and control. " .... Brain activity produces electrical signals detectable on the scalp, on the cortical surface, or within the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Procter & Gamble Uses Pepto Bismol Social Media

Procter & Gamble Uses Pepto Bismol Social Media

A good and detailed case study of the use of Cinco de Mayo festival and a viral YouTube App to promote a consumer packaged goods video.  Good example of how big companies are using social media for marketing, replacing some of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Links on Ubiquitous Sensors

Links on Ubiquitous Sensors

Some interesting links on ubiquitous sensors in Techdirt that attracted by attention.   Some more useful than others, but worth exploring.  It is about gathering data, analyzing it and using it to make useful predictions.  We…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Prints

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Prints

Okay, this is a little weird:

This year's Earth Day will again include the celebrated "squid printing" activity with two big, beautiful Pacific Humboldt squid donated from the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CISE Seeking SI2 Proposals

CISE Seeking SI2 Proposals

The NSF’s CISE Directorate, in partnership with the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and other directorates at the Foundation, has announced a call for Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2). In a Dear Colleague…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Will Rising Enrollments Stifle Partnerships?

Will Rising Enrollments Stifle Partnerships?

Mark Guzdial's recent blog contained an interesting article from Eric Roberts:

https://computinged.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/guest-post-eric-roberts-on-the-dangers-of-escalating-enrollments/

Eric points out that CS enrollments…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Networking for Business Collaboration?

Social Networking for Business Collaboration?

For informal communication and alerting, yes, but for ongoing collaboration?  I agree, not in its current form. In Ecommerce Times: Is 'Social' Business Collaboration Just an Expensive Fad?I'm not sure that social networking

To…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

What Can AI Offer to Biologically Inspired Sustainable Design?

What Can AI Offer to Biologically Inspired Sustainable Design?

The following is a special contribution to this blog by Ashok Goel, Associate Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science in the School of Interactive Computing and Director of the Digital Intelligence Laboratory at Georgia Tech…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Opinion Stats Done Wrong

Opinion Stats Done Wrong

A good post in the ACM blog about how opinion statistics are often done wrong.  I have seen similar things done in the enterprise.  Well worth understanding.  The comments are also worth reading.


From Putting People First

Dagstuhl UX white paper

Dagstuhl UX white paper

Thirty user experience (UX) researchers and practitioners participated in a three day seminar in Dagstuhl in order to bring clarity to the concept of user experience. The participants – who came from universities and corporations…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Ten things Computer Science Tells us About Bureaucrats

Ten things Computer Science Tells us About Bureaucrats

Originally, the term computer applied to human beings. These days, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish reliably machines from human beings: we require ever more challenging CAPTCHAs. Machines are getting so good that…


From Wild WebMink

? Transparency and Privacy Article Available

? Transparency and Privacy Article Available

I’ve edited the article that appeared here and on CWUK earlier to reflect conversations on identi.ca and elsewhere and you’ll now find it in the Essays section.


From Putting People First

Where innovation belongs in user-centered design

Where innovation belongs in user-centered design

User Experience designers have a unique opportunity to become the facilitators of holistic design and the advocates of innovation, argues Jake Truemper. By combining traditional user-centered activities with a greater emphasis…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google's Groupon Clone Goes Live

Google's Groupon Clone Goes Live

Google has released its own Groupon offering.  Having now used Groupon a number of times I can understand the attraction.  Yet I still get the feeling Groupon is sloppily done, with relatively little matching to the needs of…