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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 2011


From The Eponymous Pickle

Unilever Exits BrainJuicer

Unilever Exits BrainJuicer

Unilever has sold off its position in online research agency BrainJuicer, after an usually lengthy eight year investment.  A quick look at BrainJuicer seems to make them be an agency using newer methods like neuroscience, sociology…


From Putting People First

Theoretical underpinnings of social interaction design

Theoretical underpinnings of social interaction design

Adrian Chan has posted what he calls a “big picture introduction” to the theory behind social interaction design. “I view social interaction design as a field that seeks user-centric descriptions of experiences and behaviors…


From Putting People First

Books on ethnography and ubiquitous computing by PARC researchers

Books on ethnography and ubiquitous computing by PARC researchers

PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, a Xerox Company), a premier center for commercial innovation, announced that Dr. Margaret Szymanski, Senior Researcher and interaction analyst on PARC


From The Eponymous Pickle

Photo Cruising in Google Earth

Photo Cruising in Google Earth

A new browsing capability has been added to Google Earth called Cruising that lets you move through posted images.  Nice idea, though it is most interesting where there are enough photos to cruise.  Good examples in the Lat/Long…


From Computational Complexity

What did Banach's Wife think of the Banach-Tarski Paradox?

I recently read and reviewed The Pea and The Sun by Leonard Wapner, which is about the Banach-Tarski Paradox. Recall that the Banach-Tarski Paradox is actually a theorem (not a paradox) that says you can take apart a ball of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tech Jobs Booming

Tech Jobs Booming

Mark Perry on booming technology jobs.  Which should lead to more training, learning and transitional opportunities.


From Wild WebMink

links for 2011-04-21

links for 2011-04-21

Here's The Real Reason Apple Is Suing Samsung I think the point in this article – which echoes the central idea in Chris Anderson's book "Free" – is much more insightful than it appears superficially. Apple and Microsoft are…


From Schneier on Security

Declassified World War I Security Documents

Declassified World War I Security Documents

The CIA has just declassified six (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) documents about World War I security techniques. (The media is reporting they're CIA documents, but the CIA didn't exist before 1947.) Lots of stuff about secret writing…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

What Are The Odds

What Are The Odds

Now I took three semesters of statistics in college. Unfortunately that was 35 years ago and not as much stuck as I would like. Embarrassing but true. So when someone suggests


From The Eponymous Pickle

IPhone Tracks Everywhere You Go

IPhone Tracks Everywhere You Go

This got lots of attention today, in the Washington Post and in The Guardian.  A file full of unencrypted GPS coordinates in your IPhone or IPad, ready to be picked.  Technical details discussed here.  A field day for attorneys…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Rethinking Performance Assessment

Rethinking Performance Assessment

An article in the HBR: " ... In a collaborative enterprise, individual capabilities become valuable only if they contribute to the success of the whole. The standard of performance shifts to the extent to which each person has…


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Robot to Staff the Production Line

A Robot to Staff the Production Line

A prototype robot, called FRIDA, which has some human characteristics, to staff the production line.  The  way I understand this, the humanoid form allows it to be used in lines already designed for humans, so it can be used…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - January 2011 (Vol. 54, No. 1)

Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - January 2011 (Vol. 54, No. 1)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the January issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next. You…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Staying Current

Staying Current

I have been struggling recently with issues of funding at my school for my program. I know all schools are facing funding issues so I am not alone. Currently the textbooks that I am using in computer science have copyright …


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CISE Announces Microsoft-NSF Cloud Computing Teams

CISE Announces Microsoft-NSF Cloud Computing Teams

The NSF’s CISE Directorate signed a memorandum of understanding with Microsoft in February 2010, facilitating free access to the Windows Azure cloud computing platform for


From Wild WebMink

? Open Source Landmark

? Open Source Landmark

News just broke jointly from the US Department of Justice and the German Federal Cartel Office that they have directed CPTN to change the way they acquire Novell’s software patents so that the open source community is protected…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Lessons from an Early 'QR Story Quest' Prototype

Lessons from an Early 'QR Story Quest' Prototype

I have been working on an iPhone app as I've had time over the last few months.  It's essentially a platform to run what I call QR Story Quests, which are somewhat like traditional QR code scavenger hunts but with more structure…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neuromarketing Challenge

Neuromarketing Challenge

Roger Dooley presents a neuromarketing challenge.  He asks for examples you can share where neuromarketing has been proved  directly valuable to industry.  Nicely done challenge.  I look forward to the results. We need more of…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Robot Baseball:

Robot Baseball:

Presidents, performers, athletes, public servants — and now “Philliebot”? That’s right — a one-armed, three-wheeled robot that can control the speed and direction of its “pitches” will enter the ranks of preeminence today when…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neuroscience Impact on Market Research

Neuroscience Impact on Market Research

Excellent Article on Neuroscience Impact on Market Research Industry, via Ron Wright, CEO of Sands's Research.  He writes: " ... Thought you might find this article article of interest.  Millward-Brown (part of Kantar / WPP)…


From Schneier on Security

Large-Scale Food Theft

Large-Scale Food Theft

A criminal gang is stealing truckloads of food:

Late last month, a gang of thieves stole six tractor-trailer loads of tomatoes and a truck full of cucumbers from Florida growers. They also stole a truckload of frozen meat. The…


From Schneier on Security

Costs of Security

Costs of Security

Interesting blog post on the security costs for the $50B Air Force bomber program -- estimated to be $8B. This isn't all computer security, but the original article specifically calls out Chinese computer espionage as a primary…


From My Biased Coin

Harvard CS -- Growth in Women Majors

Harvard CS -- Growth in Women Majors

Some good news for us.   With the growth in our introductory course, more women are declaring Computer Science as their concentration.  And we seem to be growing.Crimson article here.


From Putting People First

What can be done to make S.T.U.P.I.D. users S.M.A.R.T?

What can be done to make S.T.U.P.I.D. users S.M.A.R.T?

Stephen Turbek, Executive Director of User Experience at Morgan Stanley in New York, thinks the question whether users are smart or stupid, is really irrelevant, introduces the concept of Effective Intelligence instead, and explains…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Learning With Visualizations

Learning With Visualizations

A picture is worth a thousand words so what is a video worth? Add some music and off you go reaching today


From Putting People First

How smartphones can improve public transit

How smartphones can improve public transit

An interesting study of commuters in Boston and San Francisco found people are more willing to ride the bus or train when they have tools to manage their commutes effectively. The study asked 18 people to surrender their cars…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Dynamic Ticket Pricing

Dynamic Ticket Pricing

Ticketmaster had decided to start dynamically adjust the prices of tickets it sells, depending on demand.   This in theory will address the ticket scalping seen by many as a problem with ticket services.  It should also drive…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Towards the Retail Genome: More on Wal-Mart and Kosmix

Towards the Retail Genome: More on Wal-Mart and Kosmix

In Datawocky: On Teasing Patterns from Data, with Applications to Search, Social Media, and Advertising, Anand of Kosmix writes:  " ... At Kosmix, we


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tablets at Your Restaurant Seat

Tablets at Your Restaurant Seat

In Mashable:  About the use of tablets in commercial applications, such as on restaurant tables.  There seems to be much interest.   We experimented with similar set ups on grocery store carts for years.  Some of the learning…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Administration Issues National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

Administration Issues National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace

Last Friday the Obama Administration released its National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC), a plan to leverage private sector tools to make it easier for some kinds of transactions to happen online. This…