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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.

August 2011


From The Eponymous Pickle

Search that Includes What You Know

Search that Includes What You Know

I recall this idea brought up often in the enterprise.   A person, or an enterprise,  already knows many things.  The problem is that 'it' does not know what it knows.  If I start a search I might first want to understand what…


From Schneier on Security

Funniest Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Funniest Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Nick Helm won an award for the funniest joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

Nick Helm: "I needed a password with eight characters so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."
Note that two other jokes were about security…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Using Facial Recognition to Tailor Advertising

Using Facial Recognition to Tailor Advertising

The basic idea has been around for some time.  Recognize people's faces via a camera facing outward  on a sign and then adapt the promotional interaction based on a person's detected  gender and age. Now new advances are leading…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Nike Data Visualization Ad

Nike Data Visualization Ad

An intriguing Nike visualization ad I had not seen before.  " ...  A new ad created by Nike might lead the way in marketers using their data in entirely an entirely new manner. The ad is based on a data visualization of 12writes…


From The Eponymous Pickle

When and if Algorithms Rule the World

When and if Algorithms Rule the World

I like the fact that algorithms, a mysterious term to many, is being brought up more today.  Here is another example in a BBC article.  Like all tools they need to be used wisely and with human involvement: From the BBC:  "…


From Schneier on Security

Moving 211 Tons of Gold

Moving 211 Tons of Gold

The security problems associated with moving $12B in gold from London to Venezuela.

It seems to me that Ch


From Computer Science Teachers Association

What Does Auto-completion Say About You?

What Does Auto-completion Say About You?

Word completion is a common feature in browsers and other text entry tools. When you begin the entry of a frequently-used word, the computer automatically completes it, or proposes a list of choices (Wikipedia). Code completion…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Toothpaste, Data and People at Procter & Gamble

Toothpaste, Data and People at Procter & Gamble

An interesting and detailed article in Forbes on P&G's use of advanced data technology.  Note this work relates to another post I did about early attempts to deliver this kind of capability.  It was an idea we experimented with…


From Computational Complexity

The Not-So-Simple Path

This post was inspired by the simple functions discussion on Bill's post and this question on unique paths. A path is just a way from getting from point A to point B. A simple path is a path that doesn't cross itself. Some people…


From Schneier on Security

The Security Risks of Not Teaching Malware

The Security Risks of Not Teaching Malware

Essay by George Ledin on the security risks of not teaching students malware.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Computational Thinking Leadership Toolkit

Computational Thinking Leadership Toolkit

Computational thinking is, in my opinion at least, a lot more than the latest buzz word or fad in education. It is really at the core of what we need for success in the 21st century. So I was pleased to get the following announcement…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Predictive Perspectives with SPSS

Predictive Perspectives with SPSS

Free, Cincinnati local, half day IBM SPSS seminar on predictive analytics. More here, and registration link.

SEATING IS LIMITED, REGISTER NOW! Predictive PerspectivesCincinnatiSeptember 13, 2011 8:00 a.m.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Grocery Stores are Spreading the Apps

Grocery Stores are Spreading the Apps

A number of grocery stores are now providing their own smartphone Apps to increase engagement with their customers. An article in the Miami Herald about the efforts.


From Putting People First

Interview on Experientia

Interview on Experientia

This month’s e-Periscope review has a brief interview with Experientia partner Mark Vanderbeeken, talking about Experientia’s strategy on sustainable living in Helsinki and how its work on the Low2No project won the Italian National…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Counting Unknown Hierarchical Kinds

Counting Unknown Hierarchical Kinds

A discovered technical paper just published in  Language Log.  About how to estimate kinds of things that exist in a hierarchical organizations.  The initial posed question is:  How many species exist on earth?  We do not know…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

First Person:

First Person:

The following is a special contribution to this blog by Doug Fisher, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at Vanderbilt University. From July 2007 to August 2010, Doug served as a Program Director…


From The Eponymous Pickle

How Algorithms Shape Our World

How Algorithms Shape Our World

Interesting TED video on the advance of algorithms.  A very skeptical view of their value.  As someone who has dealt with them for a long time I see much misunderstanding.  They can be as simple as a single rule, or as complex…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2011-08-24

links for 2011-08-24

Beware: Europe's 'unitary patent' could mean unlimited software patents | Technology | guardian.co.uk Stallman is right to call the alarm on unitary patents. We need to resume the defence of the barricades against the pro-patent…


From Schneier on Security

Stealing ATM PINs with a Thermal Camera

Stealing ATM PINs with a Thermal Camera

It's easy:

Researchers from UCSD pointed thermal cameras towards plastic ATM PIN pads and metal ATM PIN pads to test how effective they were at stealing PIN numbers. The thermal cams didn't work against metal pads but on plastic…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Languages That Make You Think

Languages That Make You Think

The old joke used to be that


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Athena Project

The Athena Project

I just discovered Christian Renaud's Athena Project: " ... The Athena Project is being developed to engage 21stCentury students using virtual learning environments.  ... ".   About games and learning.  I like the idea, but have…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Public Domain Review

Public Domain Review

So with all the knowledge out there on the Web, what is really out there in the public domain?  Copyright laws continue to extend the extent of protection.  Or works are otherwise orphaned. But here is the Public Domain Review…


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Future of Tablets

The Future of Tablets

A ComputerWorld look at a number of innovations that will lead to changes in tablet design and function.


From Schneier on Security

Smartphone Keystroke Logging Using the Motion Sensor

Smartphone Keystroke Logging Using the Motion Sensor

Clever:

"When the user types on the soft keyboard on her smartphone (especially when she holds her phone by hand rather than placing it on a fixed surface), the phone vibrates. We discover that keystroke vibration on touch screens…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Patent For Data Optimization in Workplace

AI Patent For Data Optimization in Workplace

Great to hear, congratulations to Mark Montgomery,  who I have corresponded with for years.  Read the whole thing on the link below.   See also the KYield site. Kyield Founder Issued Key Artificial Intelligence Patent For Data…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Promoting Creativity

Promoting Creativity

In the Harvard Business Review Working Knowledge:  All about promoting creativity.  " ... We tend to think of the moment of insight and creativity in sudden and shocking terms: the bathtub overflowing (Archimedes), the apple…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Using Badges in Games

Using Badges in Games

Properly Using Badges To Engage Customers.  Some good thoughts on how to use the concept of 'badges' when doing gamification.   I still have my doubts about using the badge concept, but recent reading shows that it does work…


From Wild WebMink

? The Long Road To Software Freedom

? The Long Road To Software Freedom

At the Community Leadership Summit in Portland back in July, I moderated a session called “The Death Star User Group”, aimed at community managers working for large corporations in the various stages of their journey towards…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

AppInventor Goes to New Home

AppInventor Goes to New Home

My heart sank a few weeks ago when Google announced that they would be dropping AppInventor as part of their decision to get rid of Google Labs. Like many of you, I found it to be a great tool for teachers and students alike.…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CIFellow Miriah Meyer Named to TR35

CIFellow Miriah Meyer Named to TR35

Congratulations to Miriah Meyer, one of our 2009 Computing Innovation Fellows — and now faculty at the University of Utah’s School of Computing – who was just named to the Technology Review‘s annual list of 35 Innovators Under…