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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.

December 2013


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Overcoming the Isolation of the Computer Science Teacher

Overcoming the Isolation of the Computer Science Teacher

This morning I had a conversation with the other computer science teacher at my school. I told him I wasn't sure what to use for an exercise for my students in Explorations in Computer Science class. This is a brand new course…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Making a Face Memorable

Making a Face Memorable

In MIT News:   Never forget a face .... New algorithm uses subtle changes to make a face more memorable without changing a person’s overall appearance. .... Two examples of faces that have been modified from an original photo…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Interactive Story Telling and Decision Models

Interactive Story Telling and Decision Models

On interactive story telling:A paper I was pointed to that presents an expertise plus simulation based method for smart energy demand management ... With similarities to an example that we presented at an executive meeting.Working…


From The Eponymous Pickle

So What is Hadoop?

So What is Hadoop?

Forrester has a short video that explains, at a very general level, the technology behind the idea. Good as a broad description of the idea, but not something I would give to the C-Suite.  It does not cover the analytical aspect…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Classifying Data Scientists

Classifying Data Scientists

How do you classify data scientists?  A taxonomy of sorts.  Which is usually a good thing to agree on if you can.


From Schneier on Security

Eben Moglen and I Talk about the NSA

Eben Moglen and I Talk about the NSA

Last week, Eben Moglen and I had a conversation about NSA surveillance. Audio and video are online.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Misteaks During Classroom Demos

Misteaks During Classroom Demos

Most teachers make mistakes in class. I know that I do. Sometimes it is a typo. Or a slip of the tongue. Sometimes it is because we forget something and sometimes it is because we foolishly bravely try to do something we haven't…


From Putting People First

People powered data

People powered data

Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta (the UK innovation charity), writes that in 2014 the growing movement to take back control of personal data will reach a tipping point. “The next few years will bring a further explosion of data, and…


From Putting People First

Screen Life: The View from the Sofa

Screen Life: The View from the Sofa

A new study carried out for Thinkbox by COG Research and designed to help the advertising community understand the context of multi-screening (watching TV and simultaneously using an internet-connected device such as a laptop…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI as Our Final Invention

AI as Our Final Invention

In the WP:  A perhaps scary look at what AI can ultimately lead to.   This has been discussed for a long time.    I am inclined to be optimistic here.  Sure there will be problems, perhaps even disasters, but the checks will"…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computing Innovations Abundant in the CNN 10: Ideas List

Computing Innovations Abundant in the CNN 10: Ideas List

“Bold ideas are the currency of our knowledge economy and the lifeblood of our advancement as a culture.” – CNN 10: Ideas List Recently CNN put together a list of 10 emerging ideas that have the potential to change our world.…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Leveraging the Supply Chain

Leveraging the Supply Chain

In Logistics Viewpoints:Ways to best leverage supply chain as strategy, cost center When collaborating with shippers, companies should first consider how they view the supply chain, whether as a strategic function or as a cost…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Four Words of Persuasion

Four Words of Persuasion

More from Roger Dooley:    " ... Want to double your success in persuading people to do as you ask? Four simple words, and even other phrases with the same meaning, have been shown to double the success rate in dozens of studies…


From [email protected]

Csed Week 2013 Was Amazing!

Csed Week 2013 Was Amazing!

 The "Hour of Code" was a hit, with over 15 million people trying out programming.


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Final Topics for My Intro to CS Course

Final Topics for My Intro to CS Course

With the final exam over with, it's finally time to reflect on this semester's offering of my version of our 'Introduction to Computer Science I' course for non-majors, taught in Processing.  I wrote before about designing the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google and Robotics: iRobots view

Google and Robotics: iRobots view

In Mashable:  Notably Google did not buy probably the best known MIT robotics spin off: iRobot. What is iRobot's take on that?  " ... Why iRobot's CEO Welcomes Our New Google Robot Overlords ... If you were a founder in any industry…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM on Big Data

IBM on Big Data

Following is interesting, just starting to ingest:Blueprints for Value:This is Part 1 in a 14 part series that is my attempt to present, in small easily consumable bites, findings and text from IBM Institute for Business Value…


From Computational Complexity

Security Changes

A couple of policy changes recently, one that supposedly enhances privacy and another that could reduce it. Google has been implementing perfect forward secrecy since 2011 and other major Internet players, such as Facebook and…


From Schneier on Security

Acoustic Cryptanalysis

Acoustic Cryptanalysis

This is neat:

Here, we describe a new acoustic cryptanalysis key extraction attack, applicable to GnuPG's current implementation of RSA. The attack can extract full 4096-bit RSA decryption keys from laptop computers (of various…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

An Hour of Code–Now What?

An Hour of Code–Now What?

By just about any of the usual measures (people involved, media attention, VIP endorsements) this year’s CS Education Week was a huge success. We’ve had a couple of CS Ed Weeks before and they often didn’t reach beyond our own…


From updated sporadically at best

I'm Using Python Now

I'm Using Python Now

I have a confession. All these years I've been evangelizing strongly statically typed languages, I've been going home at night and using Python. Not all the time. It's more like the hungry vegetarian graduate student who comes…


From My Biased Coin

Tracking down the Harvard Non-Bomber

Tracking down the Harvard Non-Bomber

This year, (allegedly) a Harvard student performed the modern equivalent of pulling a fire alarm in order to avoid a final exam, in this case by sending an e-mail claiming that there were bombs in several building throughouthere…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wiley Big Data and Analytics Title Sampler

Wiley Big Data and Analytics Title Sampler

Brought to my attention, you can get this for the usual registration information, usually the first several chapters of each book, which can be helpful:Data Mining, Statistics, Big Data, and Data VisualizationWiley Big Data &…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Young Scientists Invited to Apply for Second Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Young Scientists Invited to Apply for Second Heidelberg Laureate Forum

Preparations for the second Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF) are in full swing, and applications from young researchers to attend the second Forum are being accepted now. The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) is looking…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neural Nets Maturing

Neural Nets Maturing

In ComputerWorld: Very broadly biologically inspired, yes.   Often replacing analogous statistcal methods.  We used them in a number of useful applications in the mid 90s.  So the success is not new.  But I don't see much more…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Amazon Does Screenplays

Amazon Does Screenplays

Storytelling has a thread in this blog, from an investigation for a startup. Now Amazon has put up a Beta for doing screenplays.  It is called Storybuilder.  Not exactly the same thing, but with some similar goals.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Knowledge Management is Broken

Knowledge Management is Broken

Unfortunately in an information minimizing slide show, but the topic is important.  " ... Five Reasons Knowledge Management is Broken ...  Knowledge management is an increasingly important focus for companies to tap their collective…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Perfect Data and Perfect Predictions

Perfect Data and Perfect Predictions

An obvious conclusion: you never get perfect answers.  Analytics depends upon the correctness if the data in context, AND the power of the model being used.  Bill Franks covers some of the landscape:  " ... Many organizations…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On the Internet of Cars

On the Internet of Cars

We will see the internet of automobiles before we see the Internet of things.  An overview in ReadwriteWeb.  The future of transportation will take us to the net.   Cars will be talking to us, to other cars and to the Web.  …


From Schneier on Security

Tor User Identified by FBI

Tor User Identified by FBI

Eldo Kim sent an e-mail bomb threat to Harvard so he could skip a final exam. (It's just a coincidence that I was on the Harvard campus that day.) Even though he used an anonymous account and Tor, the FBI identified him. Reading…