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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.

January 2011


From Michael Nielsen

Awesome grants

Awesome grants

Beginning this month, every month the Toronto Awesome Foundation will give away $1,000 for someone to do something that


From The Eponymous Pickle

Reality is Broken

Reality is Broken

Just brought to my attention: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World: by Jane McGonigal.   Saw some interesting things she had done at the Institute for the Future.  I am a long time practitioner…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

What Sort of Games Are In The Imagine Cup?

What Sort of Games Are In The Imagine Cup?

I get asked about what sort of games people create as part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Game division. People look for ideas of what students are capable of doing. The answer is quite impressive.

Andrew Parsons is the game captain…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wolfram Alpha API

Wolfram Alpha API

Interesting, technical discussion of Wolfram Alpha's API.  Dealing in particular with its openness.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Blogs

Data Blogs

ReadWriteWeb presents some links about blogs that discuss data.   Some I had not seen yet. 


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disconnect Between Intelligence and Analytics

Disconnect Between Intelligence and Analytics

The disconnect between intelligence and analytics? " .... Being analytics savvy is no longer an option for most businesses but a matter of survival. If a company can gain insight into customer, product, channel, pricing and supply…


From Schneier on Security

Blowfish in <i>Good Time Max</i>

Blowfish in <i>Good Time Max</i>

This screen shot is from the movie "Good Time Max." 17 minutes and 52 seconds into the movie, it shows Blowfish being used as an encryption algorithm.


From Wild WebMink

Procurement and Indemnity

Procurement and Indemnity

Legacy procurement rules that insist on indemnity from open source subscription suppliers are an unnecessary barrier to open source adoption. Read about this on ComputerWorldUK


From Wild WebMink

? Speaking at Campus Party Brasil on Saturday

? Speaking at Campus Party Brasil on Saturday

I’ve reached S


From Schneier on Security

Cyberwar is Overhyped

Cyberwar is Overhyped

A new report from the OECD says the threat of cyberwar has been grossly exaggerated. (Hey, that's what I said.)

There are lots of news articles.

Also worth reading is this article on cyberwar hype and how it isn't serving…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Teach Me How to Research

Teach Me How to Research

How many of you were formally taught how to research? I'm guessing that for many of you, like me, there was never a class or workshop available to show you how it's done.  I wish there was.Who Knows What You'll Find When You[F]oxymoron…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

R Waldo Roth

R Waldo Roth

Computer science education in 1972 was a lot different from what it is today. Back then most computers were huge, expensive, intimidating and kept locked away in climate controlled rooms. Access was strictly limited. Few hadI…


From Schneier on Security

The Legality of the Certificate Authority Trust Model

The Legality of the Certificate Authority Trust Model

Interesting research:

We looked at the standard legal documents issued by the certificate authorities or "CAs," including exemplar Subscriber Agreements (agreements between CAs and website operators); "Certification Practice…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Launching Groupon Competitor

Google Launching Groupon Competitor

Mashable reports that Google is about to launch a Groupon competitor.  A pretty obvious direction, finally happening. More detail at link.


From The Eponymous Pickle

ACM Tech Packs: Cloud Computing

ACM Tech Packs: Cloud Computing

I see that the Association of Computing Machinery has created a concept they call Tech Packs.  You have to be a member of ACM to get access to these.  Most recently they have created one on Cloud Computing that looks to be interesting…


From The Eponymous Pickle

B2B vs B2C Marketing

B2B vs B2C Marketing

Paul Gillin posts on how B2B abd B2C Marketing differ.  He also covers this in his new book:  Social Marketing to the Business Customer.  You can download a free chapter at the link.


From Schneier on Security

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Full-Body Scanners

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Full-Body Scanners

Research paper from Mark Stewart and John Mueller:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been deploying Advanced Imaging Technologies (AIT) that are full-body scanners to inspect a passenger's body for concealed…


From BLOG@CACM

How to Make a Geek Goddess Spit with Rage

How to Make a Geek Goddess Spit with Rage

 A rather grumpy review of the book How to Be a Geek Goddess.


From Computational Complexity

Does Tiger Woods know what Venn Diagram is?

In prior blogs I noted that the terms Turing Test and Prisoner's Dilemma have been used in articles for non-math people. In the age of Google people can look things up (recall that Google makes us smarter). I have since seen…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Chance to Provide Feedback on Federal CS Policies for K-12

Chance to Provide Feedback on Federal CS Policies for K-12

The federal government asks for advice about education fairly regularly. But it isn't often that it asks specifically what is needed to advance K-12 computer science education. So we were pleasantly surprised when one federal…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Alone Together

Alone Together

A teaser for a review of Sherry Turkels book: Along Together in Kurzwel AI.  I anticipate reading the book.  " ... Sherry Turkle, the widely noted MIT professor and explorer of human psychology and relationships as they are impacted…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Who Will Pay?

Who Will Pay?

Essay on who will pay for content.   Advertisers or the consumer?  Will the emergence of new devices start a move away from the free Web content model?   If the content is displayed in very high quality that looks much more like…


From The Eponymous Pickle

HBR on Managing Innovation

HBR on Managing Innovation

I have worked with many o the technologies mentioned here.  They include a number that I would call analytical, but serve to analyze proposed innovations.  These are all very useful to track what works or not. The Next Big Thing…


From Schneier on Security

Do Corporations Have a Right to Privacy?

Do Corporations Have a Right to Privacy?

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether or not corporations have the same rights to "personal privacy" that individuals do.

This is a good analysis of the case.

I signed on to a "friend of the…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Microsoft Math 4.0 and more

Microsoft Math 4.0 and more

Something for the math teachers out there


From Wild WebMink

? OSI and FSF Collaborate In DoJ Referral

? OSI and FSF Collaborate In DoJ Referral

Before Christmas I reported that the Open Source Initiative (OSI) had written to the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) asking them to investigate the acquisition of Novell assets by the CPTN Group as a possibly anti-competitive…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Starbucks Extends Mobile Payments

Starbucks Extends Mobile Payments

In Computerworld: We move towards mobile as a wallet: " ...Starbucks extends mobile payments to 7,500 stores, System scans barcodes installed on iPhone, BlackBerry smartphones for coffee payments ... "


From The Eponymous Pickle

Predictions for the Worldwide Supply Chain

Predictions for the Worldwide Supply Chain

Some predictions for the worldwide supply chain.  These are interesting not because I think they will all become true, but they cover some areas that are worth considering when thinking about the sensitivity of your models and…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Tell The Government What You Think about K-12 Computer Science Education

Tell The Government What You Think about K-12 Computer Science Education

Cameron Wilson  of the ACM has a new blog post (Let the Feds Know Your Thoughts on K-12 Computer Science Education | blog@CACM | Communications of the ACM) about the Federal government actually soliciting input on K-12 Computer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Why Companies are Ditching Spreadsheets

Why Companies are Ditching Spreadsheets

In CWorld: Short, useful piece on the move by some companies away from the use of spreadsheets.  Dangers and implications.