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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 Computational Complexity

What inspired you to work on... whatever you work on?

Grad students often wonder how people get ideas of things to work on. The usual advice I give is (1) go to talks, (2) read papers, (3) talk to people, (4) follow through on all of the above. That's fine advice as far as it goes…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

DEV 2012 Calling for Papers

DEV 2012 Calling for Papers

The organizers of the second annual symposium on Computing for Development (DEV 2012) — to be colocated with the


From Putting People First

Book: Applying Anthropology in the Global Village

Book: Applying Anthropology in the Global Village

Applying Anthropology in the Global Village Christina Wasson (Editor); Mary Odell Butler (Editor); Jacqueline Copeland-Carson (Editor) 288 pp. – Nov, 2011 Left Coast Press Hardback (978-1-61132-085-5) Paperback (978-1-61132-086…


From Schneier on Security

Security for Implanted Medical Devices

Security for Implanted Medical Devices

Worried about someone hacking your implanted medical devices? Here's a signal-jamming device you can wear.


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

There Is Research On That

There Is Research On That

Computers are good at games. Well sort of. Computers are good at following rules and making decisions based on rules that are programmed into them. These rules have to come from somewhere and that somewhere is people. That computers…


From Schneier on Security

Cheating at Casinos with Hidden Cameras

Cheating at Casinos with Hidden Cameras

Sleeve cameras aren't new, but they're now smaller than ever and the cheaters are getting more sophisticated:

In January, at the newly opened $4-billion Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas, a gang called the Cutters cheated atAfter…


From BLOG@CACM

Password Policies Are Getting Out of Control

Password Policies Are Getting Out of Control

 At least 9 characters long. No repeated characters. At least 1 number, 1 special character, and 1 capital letter. Cannot be same as last 10 passwords. Must change every 60 days. Oh, and don't write it down either, or use on…


From Putting People First

A two-year, five-campus ethnographic study on how students view and use their campus libraries showed that students rarely ask librarians for help, even when they need it. The idea of a librarian as an academic expert who is…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Harvard Innovation Lab

Harvard Innovation Lab

Harvard starts a technology lab.   There was an IBM ad some time ago which made fun of having to set aside a place to do innovation.  Certainly it can be done anywhere?  But I found in my own experience that having a lab to…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Cyber Security Data for Experimentation

Cyber Security Data for Experimentation

The NSF’s CISE Directorate has issued a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), calling to attention the outputs


From Schneier on Security

Movie-Plot Threat: Open Airplane Cockpit Doors During Bathroom Breaks

Movie-Plot Threat: Open Airplane Cockpit Doors During Bathroom Breaks

James Fallows has a nice debunking of a movie-plot threat.


From The Eponymous Pickle

We Are the Web

We Are the Web

Are we the web?   In GigaOm. 

" ... Not too long ago, Om Malik blogged 


From Schneier on Security

How Microsoft Develops Security Patches

How Microsoft Develops Security Patches

I thought this was an interesting read.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Chiquita Rio Gamification Case Study

Chiquita Rio Gamification Case Study

Met recently with Nancy Koors at Empower and she pointed me to this video case study of the Chiquita Rio gamification example that they created. Note the movie connection.   I will have some more comments on this example soon…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Linux and the financial crisis

Linux and the financial crisis

On December 2007, the New York Stock Exchange adopted Linux. In late August 2008, we saw one of the worse worldwide stock market crash of the last hundred years. This crisis was not predicted by mainstream economists and experts…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Sam Madden, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), delivered a great talk about “The Rise of Mobile Data” at the “Computation…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2011-08-22

links for 2011-08-22

Mark Shuttleworth on patents, tablets and the future of Ubuntu | TechCentral Interesting interview with Mark, who I consider one of the key thinkers of the software freedom movement. I think too many people criticise him too…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mobile Devices in the Enterprise

Mobile Devices in the Enterprise

Transcript: ACM CTO Roundtable on Mobile Devices in the Enterprise:

Finding solutions as growth and fragmentation complicate mobile device support ... 


From Schneier on Security

Pseudonymity

Pseudonymity

Long essay on the value of pseudonymity. From the conclusions:

Here lies the huge irony in this discussion. Persistent pseudonyms aren't ways to hide who you are. They provide a way to be who you are. You can finally talk about…


From BLOG@CACM

The Nastiness Problem in Computer Science

The Nastiness Problem in Computer Science

Are we malevolent grumps? Nothing personal, but as a community computer scientists sometimes seem to succumb to negativism.


From The Noisy Channel

Dream. Fit. Passion.

Dream. Fit. Passion.

A few days ago, our CEO Jeff Weiner led a session at LinkedIn on how to “close” candidates — that is, how to persuade candidates to join your team once you have found and interviewed them. Since not everyone has the opportunity…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 22 August 2011

Interesting Links 22 August 2011

No out of the area travel for me last week. It was nice to sleep in my own bed every night. This is not to say that I wasn


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Effects on Memory

Google Effects on Memory

It has been debated now for some time.  It reminds  me of the debate when calculators first became common.  Will we forget how to perform arithmetic functions if we have a calculator at hand?  Yet this is different.  Here the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Contemporary Bayes

Contemporary Bayes

New on a favorite topic: 'The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy'  by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne.  On the…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Airlines Testing Tablets as Flight Bags

Airlines Testing Tablets as Flight Bags

Delta and other are looking at tablets as a means to deliver knowledge to pilots.  More fragile than paper, need to be charged, probably lighter net than a stack of pages.  The future very likely.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Machine Learning Development Kits

Machine Learning Development Kits

More biologically inspired Intelligence, recently saw this.   Have not looked at it in any detail but the idea of plug in machine learning is something we also experimented with in the enterprise. The idea was to find lots of…


From Putting People First

A focus on qualitative research in France

A focus on qualitative research in France

In a series of blog posts Rebecca S. Kuchar of Sylver Consulting illustrates the challenges and rewards of orchestrating global and multi-cultural research. A first focus is on France and Rebecca talks with Caroline Baker, founder…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 20 August 2011

Interesting Links 20 August 2011

No out of the area travel for me last week. It was nice to sleep in my own bed every night. This is not to say that I wasn’t busy. I had some meetings with the people at FIRST robotics for example. They are doing some prettyMicrosoft…


From The Eponymous Pickle

A Colleague Mentions the Hapax Legomenon

A Colleague Mentions the Hapax Legomenon

The dreaded Hapax Legomenon is mentioned and I have to look it up.  Nothing to do with children's building blogs or Greek Gods.  Its a kind of 'black swan' of literature; Finally found it: It is the Hapax Legomenon And its …


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G Using Consumer Generated Media

P&G Using Consumer Generated Media

This has not happened very often: P&G leverages consumer-generated media "Life Opens Up," a Procter & Gamble campaign for Crest and Oral-B, uses consumer-generated media, asking users to submit videos telling how a "healthy…