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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.

June 2012


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Happy Unbirthday To Turing

Happy 100th birthday to our great Machine Tools provider (src) Alan Turing was born 100 years ago yesterday. Hence today is his first unbirthday since his one hundred birthday. Per Wikipedia, an unbirthday is an event that can…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links

Interesting Links

Well I am not at ISTE this year. Sorry to miss it but in the long run it worked out as I am taking care of some important family stuff this week. If you are there I hope you will say hi to any Microsoft people you run into. Soma…


From BLOG@CACM

Preparing Computing Students For the Designer Role

Preparing Computing Students For the Designer Role

The latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predictions for the next 10 years predicts lower-than-average growth in programming jobs, but dramatic growth in designer jobs.  What are the implications for what and how we teach?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Signal and Noise

Signal and Noise

An excerpt from Nassim Taleb's  forthcoming book: Antifragile.  On order." ... When consuming information, we strive for more signal and less noise. Intuitively we feel like the more information we consume the more signal we…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

What We Think We Know

What We Think We Know

Half of my job revolves around conducting professional development for teachers. My colleagues and I have done our best to offer quality sessions that are customized to meet the needs of our audiences. And since many of us …


From The Eponymous Pickle

More on 3D Printing

More on 3D Printing

Another good piece on the status of 3D printing and remote manufacturing in GigaOM.   Some good examples of where it can be practically used. I still think its application is relatively limited.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Embedding Analytics

Embedding Analytics

A description of recent IBM work in embedding analytical methods in decision making.   In our own experience it was always a case of how analytical methods could be included as part of a decision to improve that decision. Making…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NIH Director Describes

NIH Director Describes

National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis S. Collins has penned a guest forum


From The Eponymous Pickle

Online Storefronts

Online Storefronts

Engadget asks what works.  We examined this almost a decade ago.  I thought about it for a real application.  Was there a requirement, or any value in mimic-ing a real life storefront to make them work?  I virtually watched as…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Evernote Acquires Penultimate for Handwriting

Evernote Acquires Penultimate for Handwriting

I see that the Evernote note-taking company has acquired the Penultimate handwriting capture system.  More details here.    I have used and enjoyed Evernote on tablets, phones and laptops for some time.  I have not used handwriting…


From Computational Complexity

Alan Turing (1912-1954)

Today we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, remembering his incredible life and mourning his tragic death. Alan Turing simply asked how does a mathematician solve problems. He developed such a simple…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Badgeify Acquires Gamification

Badgeify Acquires Gamification

An interesting change among gamification vendors and underlying information organization.  I have enjoyed and found useful the gamification.org wiki for examples in this technology.   But this could likely make the result less…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Re-imagining Online Advertising

Re-imagining Online Advertising

The documentary.   Google re-imagines what online advertising will become in their project Brief.     Interesting to see what they are up to, especially considering the kind of supporting data they have access to.  " ...  We…


From Wild WebMink

Whatever Happened To OpenSolaris?

Whatever Happened To OpenSolaris?

Oracle probably thought they’d killed OpenSolaris after they bought Sun and focussed so many resources on Sun’s hardware business. But that sort of thinking would betray an ignorance of the reality of open source if it was true…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Maps Coordinate

Google Maps Coordinate

New: Google mapping and location infrastructure, used to manage field crews.   An analytics application.


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Mutant Squid at the Queen's Jubilee

Friday Squid Blogging: Giant Mutant Squid at the Queen's Jubilee

I think this is a parody, but you can never be sure.

Millions of Britons turned out for the Queen


From The Eponymous Pickle

Crowdsourcing Forest Monitoring

Crowdsourcing Forest Monitoring

In Google Lat Long:  Having been involved in several crowd sourcing efforts, its always good to see further and more complex examples.  Mapping would seem to be an obvious application, when linked to alerting based on the data…


From Schneier on Security

Colbert Report on the Orangutan Cyberthreat

Colbert Report on the Orangutan Cyberthreat

Very funny video expos


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Taking Advantage of the Interest in Games

Taking Advantage of the Interest in Games

I am writing this at the Games, Learning and Society Conference (http://www.glsconference.org/2012/index.html) in Madison, Wisconsin. This is an interesting and useful conference from a CSTA point of view, but perhaps not one…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Coke's Holistic View

Coke's Holistic View

In Supermarket News:Coca-Cola is about 1


From Putting People First

Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman Studying Hacker Culture

Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman Studying Hacker Culture

As a grad student in anthropology, Gabriella Coleman was warned that studying the culture of computer hackers would make it hard to get a job teaching in a university. She went ahead anyway, becoming one of the first academics…


From Schneier on Security

Economic Analysis of Bank Robberies

Economic Analysis of Bank Robberies

Yes, it's clever:

The basic problem is the average haul from a bank job: for the three-year period, it was only


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Cricket, 400, and Complexity Theory

A random cross-section of our first 400 posts (src) Brian Lara remains the only cricket batsman to score 400 or more runs in one innings of a Test Match. In fact he scored exactly 400 not out, meaning in this case that he could…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

My STEMinist Profile

My STEMinist Profile

Back in April, I was featured on STEMinist and forgot to mention it here!Find out what my answers were to such questions as 'What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?' and 'What is the coolest project you have worked on and…


From The Eponymous Pickle

VSN Strategies

VSN Strategies

I have just become involved in a new collaboration with James Tenser of VSN Strategies.    " ... Consultant to the retail consumer products industry and author of books, blogs and analysis ... " .   See also his interesting blog…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Computer Science in the Common Core

Computer Science in the Common Core

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I really believe that we need more computer science in education long before university. The only national influence on getting any computer science often seems to be the Advanced…


From Schneier on Security

Far-Fetched Scams Separate the Gullible from Everyone Else

Far-Fetched Scams Separate the Gullible from Everyone Else

Interesting conclusion by Cormac Herley, in this paper: "Why Do Nigerian Scammers Say They are From Nigeria?"

Abstract: False positives cause many promising detection technologies to be unworkable in practice. Attackers, we…


From Apophenia

CFP: public-facing papers on Youth Movements / Youth Organizations

CFP: public-facing papers on Youth Movements / Youth Organizations

Scholars, researchers, & academics – we need your help!


From Putting People First

The Public Domain: Surveillance in Everyday Life

The Public Domain: Surveillance in Everyday Life

People create profiles on social network sites and Twitter accounts against the background of an audience. This paper by Alice Marwick argues that closely examining content created by others and looking at one


From Putting People First

Context is key to making computers better conversationalists

Context is key to making computers better conversationalists

When communicating, context is king. A breakthrough in modelling context in human communication could make computers better conversationalists, according to cognitive scientists at Stanford University. “[Michael] Frank, [head…