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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.

June 2014


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Software performance is… counterintuitive

Software performance is… counterintuitive

There is a long tradition among computer scientists of counting the number of operations as a way to estimate the running cost of an algorithm. Many computer scientists and naive programmers believe that adding extra instructions…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

On Being a Software Developer

On Being a Software Developer

Recently Mark Guzdial had a post called High school CS teachers need to read and trace code, not develop software that got me thinking along some new lines. Working with students on their final projects and some other online …


From Schneier on Security

GCHQ Intercept Sites in Oman

GCHQ Intercept Sites in Oman

Last June, the Guardian published a story about GCHQ tapping fiber-optic Internet cables around the globe, part of a program codenamed TEMPURA. One of the facts not reported in that story -- and supposedly the fact that the Guardian…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Coaching Versus Managing

Coaching Versus Managing

In The HBR Blog:   " ... Ask 100 people if they have good common sense, and more than 95% will tell you they do. Ask them if they are good coaches, and almost as many will say yes. Executives we talk to assume that if they’re…


From The Eponymous Pickle

P&G, Pepsi Try Foursquare Swarm

P&G, Pepsi Try Foursquare Swarm

In Adage: Looked at Foursquare in its early days.  Interesting that some giants in marketing space are trying the new functionality. " ... Now the company is calling them "place-based ads," a rebranding that mirrors its current…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF/DIMACS Workshop for Aspiring PIs in Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace

NSF/DIMACS Workshop for Aspiring PIs in Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace

  The Center for Discrete Mathematics & Theoretical Computer Science (DIMACS), founded as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center, has announced a one-day workshop designed for researchers who aspire…


From Geeking with Greg

Quick links

Quick links

What caught my attention lately:

  • Fun data: "How to tell someone's age when all you know is her name" ([1])
  • "The possibility of proper tricorder technology in the future, scanning a bit of someone's blood and telling you if they…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Big Data, Charted, Noted

    Big Data, Charted, Noted

    A Gartner hypecycle view of Big Data, among a number of other technologies.  And Google live search summary.  Interesting, but the meaning itself is largely overblown.     " .... The Global Language Monitor site has labeled big…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Nestle Moves Towards Science

    Nestle Moves Towards Science

    In Reuters: Seems everyone is moving away from food and towards health products.  Which they oddly call science here.  There is science about food products too.


    From Apophenia

    Will my grandchildren learn to drive? I expect not

    Will my grandchildren learn to drive? I expect not

    I rarely drive these days, and when I do, it’s bloody terrifying. Even though I grew up driving and drove every day for fifteen years, my lack of practice is palpable as I grip the steering wheel. Every time I get behind the…


    From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    Computer Science Principles Summit–Virtually

    Computer Science Principles Summit–Virtually

    In case you are not a CSTA member  (why not?) and didn’t get the email this looks pretty interesting.


    In a new twist for 2014, CSTA is thrilled to invite you to our first ever virtual summit in conjunction with our annual conference…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Personal Power Plants

    Personal Power Plants

    In IEEE Spectrum:    Fascinating direction.   " .... Smart and agile power systems will let every home and business generate, store, and share electricity. ...   "


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    EU Robotics Program

    EU Robotics Program

    A new Civilian Robotics program in Europe.    " ... This initiative is expected to create over 240,000 jobs in Europe, and increase Europe’s share of the global market to 42% (a boost of €4 billion per year). The European Commission…


    From Computational Complexity

    STOC 2014

    At the just completed STOC conference I received the 2014 SIGACT Distinguished Service Prize. Part of this citation reads"His blog, and many others that followed, changes the way our field communicates, both with itself and with…


    From Schneier on Security

    Edward Snowden Wins EPIC "Champion of Freedom" Award

    Edward Snowden Wins EPIC "Champion of Freedom" Award

    On Monday I had the honor of presenting Edward Snowden with a "Champion of Freedom" award at the EPIC dinner. Snowden couldn't be there in person -- his father and stepmother were there in his place -- but he recorded this message…


    From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

    Cyber Grand Challenge Announces 1st Group of Teams

    Cyber Grand Challenge Announces 1st Group of Teams

      The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced the first group of teams from the Cyber Grand Challenge. The DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge is a tournament designed to increase the development of automated …


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    ISSIP: Services Innovation in an Interconnected World

    ISSIP: Services Innovation in an Interconnected World

    Newly brought to my attention:  ISSP:  Providing Service Innovation for our Interconnected World: " ... Service innovations improve the quality-of-life of individuals and the wealth of institutions, from businesses to nations…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    MOOCs and Traditional Business Education

    MOOCs and Traditional Business Education

    In Knowledge@Wharton:  Talk and transcript.   Interesting points are made.  Changes are occurring, but the speed and extent are still debatable.  Certainly the breadth of influence is far greater than the traditional business…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    On Big Data at Work

    On Big Data at Work

    Not a bad generalized overview of how Big Data is being used today, including some useful corporate examples.  No details, but might be useful for an executive introduction of what people are attempting to do, rather than actually…


    From Computer Science Teachers Association

    A Note from the Chair of CSTA's Board of Directors

    A Note from the Chair of CSTA's Board of Directors

    The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Lissa Clayborn as Acting Executive Director of CSTA. Lissa is CSTA's Director of Development and has worked closely with Chris Stephenson…


    From Geeking with Greg

    Project Euler and blending math and computer science for education

    Project Euler and blending math and computer science for education

    Project Euler is a simple and surprisingly good educational tool for a blend of computer science and math. Highly recommended. You are given a problem (good examples: [1] [2] [3] [4]), go off and work on it in whatever programming…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Character Animation for Story Telling

    Character Animation for Story Telling

    In the CACM: On animation, rately used, but can be powerful for making points with process and data.  Or for producing a story board of human behavior (abstract)  " ... The use of prerecorded motion clips has been a standard…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Internet Technology v Brand Loyalty

    Internet Technology v Brand Loyalty

    In the HBR: Fundamental question, with an interesting discussion.  " ...  Does Internet Technology Threaten Brand Loyalty? ... Does the ability of consumers to easily access product and company information via the Internet makes…


    From Schneier on Security

    The Human Side of Heartbleed

    The Human Side of Heartbleed

    The announcement on April 7 was alarming. A new Internet vulnerability called Heartbleed could allow hackers to steal your logins and passwords. It affected a piece of security software that is used on half a million websites…


    From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    A Matter of Focus

    A Matter of Focus

    My students are wrapping up the year with final projects. For the most part these are great learning experiences. Sometimes though students get hung up on the wrong things. For example, students can spend a lot of time getting…


    From BLOG@CACM

    Why Counting CS as Science or Math Is Not Considered Harmful

    Why Counting CS as Science or Math Is Not Considered Harmful

    On the path to computational literacy for all, we need computing in schools, under whatever category.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Robot Butlers

    Robot Butlers

    A long followed topic.  Doing common home tasks is very difficult to do robotically.  The classic 'robotic butler' task has been much talked, but rarely delivered on.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    More Cheaply Done

    More Cheaply Done

    MJ Perry describes an example where an individual has been much more efficient than the government.  Here scanning documents. Many more examples like this exist.  We have infrastructure and technology now that make it very possible…


    From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

    DARPA Launches Cyber Grand Challenge

    DARPA Launches Cyber Grand Challenge

    Today marks the start of the Cyber Grand Challenge, organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  The New York Times has a lengthy article on the challenge, which involves over 35 teams deploying automated…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Augmented Cosmetics Reality at Sephora

    Augmented Cosmetics Reality at Sephora

    Have seen this idea tried many times.  Give consumers the ability to have a mirror that shoes how cosmetics will look on their face.  'The 'magic mirror' idea.   Here a new example at Sephora.  An example of augmented reality…