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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 2014


From Writing

A thousand lives

A thousand lives

The other day, I was going through some old files on my computer, and stumbled across a paper that blew my mind. It was a technical write up of an experiment with thermistors and Alexandrite Lasers and included discussions of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Tricorder Scanner Meets the Paper Jam

Tricorder Scanner Meets the Paper Jam

A discussion with a nurse last week about health recording devices was interesting.  Will the device of the future allow you to just wave it across the body to determine its state of health?  The device we were using had onethere…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Deeper Learning

Deeper Learning

In Innovation Excellence: On the topic of deeper learning. References a video and a MOOC course to launch soon.   worth a further look.  Not the same thing as the machine learning concept called deep learning.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Using Agile with BI

Using Agile with BI

Was introduced to Agile methods last year.  I like the approach, but not convinced of its generality. Connecting it to BI methods is worth a look.


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Making Learning Less Shattering

COLT deadline is Fri. Feb. 7 Columbia University source. Vladimir Vapnik is one of the founding visionaries of Computational Learning Theory. His papers in 1963 with his advisor Aleksandr Lerner and in 1964 with Aleksey Chervonenkis…


From Geeking with Greg

Shouldn't wearable computing let you be super human?

Shouldn't wearable computing let you be super human?

Wearable computing so far seems to be going after mimicking a tablet, but I wonder if the real success will be in augmented perception. Current smartwatches are clumsy. They require an impossible tradeoff between having enough…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hershey and 3D Chocolate Printing

Hershey and 3D Chocolate Printing

A good example of CPG delivery, here what we called late stage differentiation, a place where 3D printing can work.  It can work even better when customers can watch the process. Manufacturing as performance art?Hershey, 3D Systems…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kahn Academy on Renting vs Buying a Home

Kahn Academy on Renting vs Buying a Home

Received from the Kahn Academy. " ... The math of renting vs. buying a home. Challenging the notion that it is always better to buy. ... ". Nicely done example of how the Kahn Academy works by providing short snippets of knowledge…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Wonderlabs

Google Wonderlabs

I am always intrigued by innovation labs.  Do they work?  Certainly you do NOT need a place to innovate, it should be done anywhere, at all times.  But a place does make it easier to combine and then test innovations in the right…


From Putting People First

New XD Magazine to be launched

New XD Magazine to be launched

XD is a quarterly print magazine, to be launched from Australia in April 2014, which showcases the work of experience design practitioners and researchers from a wide range of human service industries and fields. Each issue of…


From Putting People First

[Book] Junkyard Planet

[Book] Junkyard Planet

Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade by Adam Minter Bloomsbury Publishing 2013, 304 pages [Amazon link - video] Abstract When you drop your Diet Coke can or yesterday’s newspaper in the recycling bin, where…


From Putting People First

Why the resurgence of user-centred design matters for marketers

Why the resurgence of user-centred design matters for marketers

Marc Landsberg, CEO of socialdeviant, believes that marketing departments will increasingly invest in social platforms that are committed to users’ needs and interests In his article, Landsberg considers three immutable human…


From The Eponymous Pickle

L'Oreal and Google Glass

L'Oreal and Google Glass

In Engadget:   Reminds me of work done a number of times with virtual makeover.   And related work directing complex maintenance tasks.  " ... The hair care giant (and purveyor of giant hair) just announced Matrix Class for Glass…


From Putting People First

[Book] Practical Ethnography

[Book] Practical Ethnography

Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector By Sam Ladner Left Coast Press April 2014, 200 pages [Publisher link - Amazon link] > Download free sample: pdf – kindle Abstract – Ethnography is an increasingly…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Marvin Minsky Honored

Marvin Minsky Honored

And more about AI in the MIT News.  Marvin Minsky, another inspiration for us in our AI days, has been honored for lifetime achievement.   I believe that some of his seminal work is yet to be appreciated in leading to automated…


From Putting People First

Interview with Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at UK Government Digital Services

Interview with Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at UK Government Digital Services

Tricia Wang (see also previous post) just published her interview with Leisa Reichelt, Head of User Research at UK Government Digital Services. Tricia introduced it with a kind reference to me (thank you!): “>We are excited to…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Hires more Artificial Intelligence

Google Hires more Artificial Intelligence

In Wired:  More indication that Google is very interested in the topic.  Hiring Geoff Hinton.  He was a person we watched closely during our long exploration of the use of neural nets for learning.  Was unaware of some of the…


From Putting People First

Tricia Wang: The Conceit of Oracles (talk notes)

Tricia Wang: The Conceit of Oracles (talk notes)

Sociologist and ethnographer Tricia Wang has posted the notes of “The Conceit of Oracles: How we ended up in a world in which quantitative data is more valued than qualitative data,” her inspiring and much appreciated opening…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Revolutionizing 3D Printing

Revolutionizing 3D Printing

In CWorld:  Can the use of 3D printing be generalized for many purposes?  Will we ultimately insert 3D manufacturing options into supply chain designs for many kinds of products? Would be quite a triumph."Researchers aim to revolutionize…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Registration Now Open for the 2014 CSTA Annual Conference

Registration Now Open for the 2014 CSTA Annual Conference

If you are a K-12 computer science educator there is one must attend professional development conference during the year. That is the CSTA Annual Conference. Sure SIGCSE is great and if you teach at the college/university level…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Salman Kahn on Education

Salman Kahn on Education

An interview in HBR with Salman Kahn, founder of the Kahn Academy.   Just have started to dive in.   " ... Salman Khan was working as a hedge fund analyst when he started using online tools to tutor his cousins in math. Nine…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Camouflage in Squid Eyes

Friday Squid Blogging: Camouflage in Squid Eyes

Interesting research:

Cephalopods possess a sophisticated array of mechanisms to achieve camouflage in dynamic underwater environments. While active mechanisms such as chromatophore patterning and body posturing are well known…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Online Grocery Emerging

Online Grocery Emerging

Will 2014 be the Year that online grocery will Leap forward?  Are Amazon Fresh and Pantry be our future?   Is it scale able and cost efficient?  Bloomberg Business Week takes a look.


From The Eponymous Pickle

High Stakes Decision Making

High Stakes Decision Making

On decision making in the HBR:   Is about risk and behavior.  " ... The next time you are thinking through a big-stakes decision ask yourself: “What happens first thing Monday morning?  What behaviors will have to change?” Big…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Contact Lenses

Smart Contact Lenses

And in Mashable:  Why deal with glasses when you can build the information right onto the eye?  " ... Google's new smart contact lens project that acts as a non-invasive glucose monitor could be a godsend to the millions of sufferers…


From Schneier on Security

PowerLocker uses Blowfish

PowerLocker uses Blowfish

There's a new piece of ransomware out there, PowerLocker (also called PrisonLocker), that uses Blowfish:

PowerLocker could prove an even more potent threat because it would be sold in underground forums as a DIY malware kitPowerLocker…


From Schneier on Security

STUCCOMONTANA: NSA Exploit of the Day

STUCCOMONTANA: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's implant from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

STUCCOMONTANA (TS//SI//REL) STUCCOMONTANA provides persistence for DNT implants. The DNT implant will survive an upgrade or replacement …


From The Eponymous Pickle

Micro Windmills

Micro Windmills

I like the idea of small.  Nanotechnology is a good example.  How about using small models for gathering energy?  Here proposed for charging smartphones.  Not sure if this is practical, but it bears looking at as a broad model…


From Schneier on Security

NSA-O-Matic

NSA-O-Matic

Generate your own fake NSA programs.


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Learning Form a Former Student

Learning Form a Former Student

Each year during CS Ed Week I invite alumni to return to my school to talk about their education and careers with the junior class. I open it up to any alumni who feels that Computer Science and computational thinking is a large…

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