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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.

September 2011


From Putting People First

Please enter your password, again and again

Please enter your password, again and again

Khoi Vinh reflects on the fact (and the user experience) that almost everything on all of his computers and all of his mobile devices can only be accessed with a password. “This is a big problem, and for lots of people. Over…


From Putting People First

Book: Mobile First

Book: Mobile First

Mobile First Luke Wroblewski A Book Apart October 2011 Abstract Our industry


From Putting People First

Reflections on the internet of things and yet another revolution

Reflections on the internet of things and yet another revolution

The internet of things and yet another revolution The “internet of things” is viewed as the next big thing, but when will it allow people to create their own stuff, asks Russell M Davies on the BBC website. “It’s a world where…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

ACM Education Policy Chair Testifies to Congress on IT Research and Development

ACM Education Policy Chair Testifies to Congress on IT Research and Development

Dr. Robert Schnabel, Dean of the School of Informatics at the University of Indiana and Chair of ACM’s Education Policy Committee, testified before the House Research and Science Education Subcommittee on Thursday. The hearing…


From The Eponymous Pickle

How Computer Scientists Can Empower Journalists

How Computer Scientists Can Empower Journalists

In CACM:  Computational Journalism:

How computer scientists can empower journalists, democracy's watchdogs, in the production of news in the public interest ...


From The Eponymous Pickle

Unilever App that Rewards Shoppers at Wal-Mart

Unilever App that Rewards Shoppers at Wal-Mart

This uses a simple check-in loyalty model at Wal-Mart and Sam's.   A collaboration with Unilever.  " ...  Unlike most location-based apps, Check In To Win focuses on real rewards that specifically benefit shoppers, such as gift…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Recent IARPA, DARPA, NIH RFPs Require Computational Expertise

Recent IARPA, DARPA, NIH RFPs Require Computational Expertise

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH)


From Schneier on Security

U.S.-Australia Cyberwar Treaty

U.S.-Australia Cyberwar Treaty

The long-standing ANZUS military treaty now includes cyberspace attacks:

According to Reuters, the decision was made in discussions between the two countries this week. The extension of the treaty would mean that a cyber-attack…


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G Shaping the Store with Virtual Reality

P&G Shaping the Store with Virtual Reality

In CGT, an excellent and fairly detailed article on Procter & Gamble's development of the virtual store concept within it's  innovation centers.   The first time I have seen this detailed publicly, including a picture of a life…


From My Biased Coin

Beyond Worst Case Analysis Workshop

Beyond Worst Case Analysis Workshop

I'm just off a plane coming home from the Beyond Worst Case Analysis Workshop at Stanford.  It went really well, and I really enjoyed it.I think a variety of things made it work.  First, and I apologize to Tim Roughgarden for…


From Wild WebMink

Open Core MySQL? Contributor Agreements!

Open Core MySQL? Contributor Agreements!

Oracle has finally done what the business management at MySQL had been asymptotically approaching for years. It’s taking MySQL open core. It’s interesting to read both Monty’s view and the comments for this one. It’s all on ComputerWorldUK……


From The Eponymous Pickle

The Enterprise and the Network: DemandTec

The Enterprise and the Network: DemandTec

I had an interesting conversation with DemandTec a few weeks ago about how they have constructed a network to help retail and manufacturing companies collaborate by using merchandising and marketing optimization tools.  Thistheir…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

LIVE Soon: Congressional Hearing on the NITRD Program

LIVE Soon: Congressional Hearing on the NITRD Program

At 2pm EDT today, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Science Education will convene a hearing about the Federal government’s Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program (NITRD)…


From Putting People First

BBC Viewpoint: Anthropology meets technology

BBC Viewpoint: Anthropology meets technology

Intel’s corporate anthropologist Genevieve Bell has written an elegant introductory article for the BBC site on the role of anthropology in the corporation – particularly aimed at a lay audience. “Ultimately, my team’s role is…


From Putting People First

Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?

Digital AlterNatives with a Cause?

Hivos (The Netherlands) and the Centre for Internet and Society (Bangalore, India) have consolidated their three year knowledge inquiry into the field of youth, technology and change in a four book collective


From Computational Complexity

Where do theorems go to die?

(Joint post by Bill Gasarch and Daniel Apon)

Recently I (Daniel) reviewed Dexter Kozen's Theory of Computation (it was AWESOME). You can find the review here. Many of the topics were standard but some we (Bill and Daniel)…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kindle Books Available from Libraries

Kindle Books Available from Libraries

Amazon has launched a Kindle book borrowing service from over 11,000 libraries. You don't need a physical Kindle, only a free App for your device and an Amazon account. .   Press release here.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Waitrose CrowdSources With its Shoppers

Waitrose CrowdSources With its Shoppers

From IdeaConnection:   The UK retailer Waitrose is using crowd sourcing techniques with its customers to develop new products.  We will continue to see more of these techniques used:  " ... In May 2011 a new product hit the shelves…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Jane McGonigal: Reality is Broken

Jane McGonigal: Reality is Broken

Jane McGonigal thinks reality is broken.  Why else would so many of us escape it to play hours and hours of video games? But among all the media hype about the bad things games supposedly to do us, have you ever considered that…


From Schneier on Security

Shifting Risk Instead of Reducing Risk

Shifting Risk Instead of Reducing Risk

Risks of teen driving:

For more than a decade, California and other states have kept their newest teen drivers on a tight leash, restricting the hours when they can get behind the wheel and whom they can bring along as passengers…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Launching a New Resource for CS Undergraduates

Launching a New Resource for CS Undergraduates

We’re launching something brand new today! The Computing Community Consortium’s Research Community & Student Outreach Subcommittee is pleased to announce a unique new website for undergraduates in computing fields hoping to learn…


From Putting People First

Green markets must be created by you

Green markets must be created by you

Tuuli Kaskinen and Roope Mokka, researchers at Demos Helsinki, argue in an essay that we need more than mere sustainable versions of everyday products: we need new products and services based on behaviour change. “Most companies…


From Putting People First

Designing social tools around user interests

Designing social tools around user interests

The key to designing social media well lies in designing it for a user


From The Eponymous Pickle

Employee Segmentation

Employee Segmentation

Bain & Company writes about Employee Segmentation:  Using employee segmentation to bring out the best in your workforce.   I had never thought about segmenting employees in quite this way,  often beyond education, specific roles…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Brandwashed Published

Brandwashed Published

Martin Lindstrom's new book: Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate our Minds and Persuade us to Buy is now available.  See this press release for much more, including excerpts and videos and ordering. See also my previous…


From Putting People First

The Language of Interfaces

The Language of Interfaces

Des Traynor recently spoke at the Content Strategy Forum in London about the importance of which words used in an interface. The difference between Facebook’s Like and Google’s +1 seems superficial, but ends up influencing the…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Emerging Knowledge Is a Private Business

Emerging Knowledge Is a Private Business

Collaboration is often encouraged in science: it is viewed as an intrinsically good thing. Yet there are downsides to collaboration. The most obvious downside is that requirement to coordinate the efforts (e.g., hold meetings)…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internal Social Software

Internal Social Software

Excellent Mashable piece on the use of social software inside the company.  I am now involved with two projects that are seriously using this concept.  It makes lots of sense to do this right.  In particular linking the networks to…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computer Scientist Among 2011 MacArthur Fellows

Computer Scientist Among 2011 MacArthur Fellows

Congratulations to Shwetak Patel, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, who has just been named a 2011


From The Eponymous Pickle

Eye Tracking for the iPad

Eye Tracking for the iPad

A useful development reported in AdAge.    GazeHawk Brings Eye-Tracking Technology to the iPad.  Heatmaps Could Help Tablet Publishers and Advertisers.  Yes, this could be big as tablets are being seen as replacements for the…