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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 2013


From Putting People First

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

Steampunking interaction design and other Interaction Magazine articles

Interactions Magazine is no longer the influential voice in the interaction design community that it used to be a few years ago. Lots of the reason why has to do with the fact that the bulk of the articles are behind a membership…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Shoppers Want Mobile Empowerment

Shoppers Want Mobile Empowerment

On the Need for Mobile: " ... While American and European shoppers show little interest in purchasing groceries through mobile devices, a survey by Symphony EYC shows that solid majorities want to be able to use mobile devices…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mobile Mind Shifts

Mobile Mind Shifts

Via Josh Bernoff:  yes, have seen this in my own behavior, and its not just about retail.  I now look everything up, including information about what I encounter in the real world.  Its like I have a mega complete encyclopedia…


From Schneier on Security

Random Links on the Boston Terrorist Attack

Random Links on the Boston Terrorist Attack

Encouraging poll data says that maybe Americans are starting to have realistic fears about terrorism, or at least are refusing to be terrorized.

Good essay by Scott Atran on terrorism and our reaction.

Reddit apologizes. Icommentary…


From Putting People First

Video online of Milan debate: “The Long View of Interaction Design”

Video online of Milan debate: “The Long View of Interaction Design”

The people behind the upcoming IxDA Interaction14 conference organized on 6 April a panel discussion in Milan on the “Long View of Interaction Design”. 5 panelists debated with Interaction14 chair Alok Nandi on how to design…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Pingage Supports Pinterest

Pingage Supports Pinterest

In BizJournals: Cincinnati based startup Pingage provides analytics support for Pinterest.  " ... Three Procter & Gamble brands are among the first to try out the tool, launched publicly in March. The outdoor furniture company…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

You probably shouldn’t use a spreadsheet for important work

You probably shouldn’t use a spreadsheet for important work

Following the Reinhart-Rogoff case, where famous scientists go formulas wrong in the Excel spreadsheet that supported their research, a lot of people commented on the adequacy of a spreadsheet tool for important work. Excel does…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Science of Facebook

Data Science of Facebook

In the Wolfram Blog   A very interesting article on data visualization of anonymized contributed Facebook data.  " ... Over the decades I’ve been steadily accumulating countless anecdotal “case studies” about the trajectories…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Risk Exposure Index

Risk Exposure Index

Useful, measurement accurate and comparable indices are always useful.  " ... Risk Exposure Index Starting to Gain Traction, Change Supply Chain Thinking, David Simchi-Levi Says ... Concepts being Adopted by Companies AcrossIn…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Seven Computer Scientists Named Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Seven Computer Scientists Named Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Seven computer scientists were recently named members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious 233-year-old national honorary society of leaders from academia, business, public affairs and the humanities. The…


From Schneier on Security

Ellen on Protecting Passwords

Ellen on Protecting Passwords

Pretty good video. Ellen makes fun of the "Internet Password Minder," which is -- if you think about it -- only slightly different than Password Safe.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Telling a Story with Data

Telling a Story with Data

Quite useful view of this interaction.  Data analysis is ultimately about story telling, creating drama and then leading to decision value.  Plus modifying the story to the needs of a particular group.    I like the notion of…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Got What it Takes to Be a Technical Co-founder? Here's an Opportunity for You!

Got What it Takes to Be a Technical Co-founder? Here's an Opportunity for You!

Two recent Y Combinator graduates contacted me recently in an effort to recruit a female technical co-founder for their startup.  Although any awesome engineers would be welcome in their company, they believe that women are likely…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

An Embarrassment of Riches

An Embarrassment of Riches

It seems like hardly a week goes by without hearing of some new development tool, web site or online training course for the teaching of computer science to beginners. Last week there were two – Tynker and Hopscotch. Yesterday…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Can We Prove Better Independence Theorems?

An approach to independence with more complexity dependence Florian Pelupessy recently defended his PhD thesis at the University of Ghent in Belgium. In joint work with Harvey Friedman, he found new short proofs for two independence…


From Schneier on Security

More Plant Security Countermeasures

More Plant Security Countermeasures

I've talked about plant security systems, both here and in Beyond Fear. Specifically, I've talked about tobacco plants that call air strikes against insects that eat them, by releasing a scent that attracts predators to those…


From Wild WebMink

It Would Be Funny If It Weren’t True

It Would Be Funny If It Weren’t True

Professor Elemental builds a Great Machine for Catching Villains


From [email protected]

Simplifying Communication

Simplifying Communication

How often have you picked up a scholarly journal in a discipline far removed from your expertise, only to be stymied and mystified by the disciplinary jargon?  We cannot all be polymaths, but as writers about our research in…


From The Eponymous Pickle

How Good is Facial Recognition?

How Good is Facial Recognition?

Had followed the technology for some time.  Especially how it had been used in casino applications, to apparently great success.  But under controlled conditions.  So I watched with interest about how it was said to be successful…


From Putting People First

Plant Wars player patterns: visualization as scaffolding for ethnographic insight

Plant Wars player patterns: visualization as scaffolding for ethnographic insight

The latest contribution to Ethnomining, the April 2013 Ethnographymatters edition on combining qualitative and quantitative data, edited by Nicolas Nova, is by Rachel Shadoan and Alicia Dudek who present an interesting case study…


From Putting People First

How will Big Data change design research?

How will Big Data change design research?

Dave McColgin of Artefact writes about the relationship of design research to the ultimate outcome-focused research tool: Big Data. “Big Data [...] provides us with new resources when determining which people our products should…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cincinnati Zoo is a MidMarket Engine

Cincinnati Zoo is a MidMarket Engine

In an interesting development our local Cincinnati Zoo has been declared IBM midmarket engine of  the week.   I have been there many times, its a haven for things zoological and also botanical.  Both interests of mine.  It is…


From Schneier on Security

The Police Now Like Amateur Photography

The Police Now Like Amateur Photography

PhotographyIsNotACrime.com points out the obvious: after years of warning us that photography is suspicious, the police were happy to accept all of those amateur photographs and videos at the Boston Marathon.

Adding to the hypocrisy…


From Wild WebMink

Free Software Needs Support

Free Software Needs Support

Reblogged from Meshed Insights & Knowledge: This open letter from the director of Bytemark Hosting is a call for other hosting companies to help financially support the development of a new free email client. It asserts that…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Share your software early: the Reinhart-Rogoff case

Share your software early: the Reinhart-Rogoff case

I like stories where prestigious professors screw up spectacularly. It reminds us that everybody gets it wrong some of the time. The Reinhart-Rogoff story is one such case. Two very reputed professors at Harvard University, Carmen…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Predictive Analytics and the Organization

Predictive Analytics and the Organization

This article states it once again.  The analytics, and all analytics is predictive, must be permanently connected to important decision process.  That implies that the operation of the business must be open to the influence of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Glass in the Future

Google Glass in the Future

In CompterWorld.  An outline of the future of the head mounted display and some of the explorations being done today.  I have reviewed just a few examples, and they appear to be little different from smartphone resident augmented…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Augmented Reality for Real Estate

Augmented Reality for Real Estate

Walter Riker sends this along.   Augemented reality as a link of real spaces with information.    As an App for ease of installation and use.  Mostly used for retail information today, but this is an excellent example of other…


From Schneier on Security

Securing Members of Congress from Transparency

Securing Members of Congress from Transparency

I commented in this article on the repeal of the transparency provisions of the STOCK Act:

Passed in 2012 after a 60 Minutes report on insider trading practices in Congress, the STOCK Act banned members of Congress and senior…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Visualization and Big Data

Data Visualization and Big Data

Good piece by SAS outlining the value of visualizing data.  As the article suggests, the mere act of showing data and allowing the interactive manipulation of data can provide value in cutting through its complexity.  I always…