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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.

October 2011


From The Eponymous Pickle

This Blog Promotes Analytics

This Blog Promotes Analytics

One of the purposes of this blog is to promote the use of analytical methods in retail, manufacturing, research, marketing and beyond.  Want to use my over thirty years experience in this space to promote your methods?  SendBusiness…


From Putting People First

Embodied interactions: in touch with the digital

Embodied interactions: in touch with the digital

Fabian Hemmert will be one of the keynote speakers at Interaction 12. In this article on Johnny Holland, he reflects on “recent developments in the research field of Human-Computer Interaction [that] point to emerging styles…


From Putting People First

Flow in design

Flow in design

Dana Chisnell reports on the importance of flow in UX design. Flow comes from focused attention, deep engagement, a feeling of mastering a challenge. The outside world ceases to exist and time fades away. Awareness heightens…


From Putting People First

The existential challenges of human-robot interaction

The existential challenges of human-robot interaction

How will we react when a loyal humanoid robot that has served us for years suddenly fails? Will we genuinely grieve for no-longer working bots that have accompanied us through so much of our lives? And when bots die, will we…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Procrastination

On Procrastination

In the HBR Blog:  What it is and how to stop it.  My experience is that everyone has it and is always looking for ways to do more of it.  Today with devices aplenty it is easier than ever.  " ... It seems that no one is immune…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wal-Mart Uses Local Messaging

Wal-Mart Uses Local Messaging

In ADAge:    An interesting and potentially historical shift: " ... Walmart is launching a Facebook app that customizes marketing for each of its nearly 3,600 U.S. stores, allowing tailored communications about local deals, events…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Five Healthcare Robotics Ideas to Appear in First RoboBowl

Five Healthcare Robotics Ideas to Appear in First RoboBowl

Later this week,


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Southern Interactive Entertainment & Game Expo 2011

Southern Interactive Entertainment & Game Expo 2011

 Last week I attended part of SIEGE 2011 (Southern Interactive Entertainment & Game Expo) in Atlanta Georgia. Before the main part of the conference started the conference hosted hundreds of high school and middle school students…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Package Scanning by Pepsi

Package Scanning by Pepsi

Another good example of the use of QR codes on packaging:" ... New Pepsi cans and bottles for The X Factor campaign are now appearing in stores. Three-hundred million cases of product will feature the new branding alongside an…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Why aren

Why aren

Bankers will tell you that to get rich, you should rely on compound interests. Save up a little bit of everything you earn, and you will soon be wealthy. What they often fail to mention is that prices may also increase exponentially…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Post Work World

Post Work World

Are we heading for a post-work world?  Are the robots or their kin taking over? Asks the Transparency Revolution.  " ... Specifically, what if post-industrial society is creating an infrastructure that just doesn


From The Eponymous Pickle

Innovation as a Day Job

Innovation as a Day Job

A good post in Innovation Excellence by Jeffrey Phillips.  I used to have innovation as my day job.  It was expected as a means to support the work in the innovation centers and to provide innovation to a broad range of people…


From [email protected]

Computers in Education Should Target Test Scores

Computers in Education Should Target Test Scores

Does it help to bring computers into the classroom? So far, there seems to be little evidence that it does.


From Computational Complexity

More than East and West

The Obama Campaign is creating a Campaign Analytics Team. Love Data, Predictive Analytics, Social Media and Politics? The Analytics team for the Obama Campaign is hiring full-time analytics engineers and scientists at our headquarters…


From My Biased Coin

Reading Confidence Men

Reading Confidence Men

My current spare time reading* is Confidence Men, Ron Suskind's book on Wall Street and the Presidency.  Without "taking sides" with regard to Larry Summers, I have to admit enjoying reading this paragraph:"It all boils downMockingjay…


From Schneier on Security

U.S. Drones Have a Computer Virus

U.S. Drones Have a Computer Virus

You'd think we would be more careful than this:

A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America


From The Eponymous Pickle

Training Bacteria to Grow Consumer Goods

Training Bacteria to Grow Consumer Goods

An approach I had not heard of before. This looks to be still in the very early stages of usefulness.  The use of the term 'provocation' here as opposed to the simpler 'experiment' is also not useful.  " ... designers at IDEO


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Interesting Links 10 October 2011

Interesting Links 10 October 2011

Last week the computing industry lost one of its great innovators in Steve Jobs. It


From Michael Nielsen

Reinventing Discovery

Reinventing Discovery

I’m very excited to say that my new book, “Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science”, has just been released! As regular readers of this blog know, the book is about networked science: the use of online tools to…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Viewing Assortment Optimization Through Shopper Decision Trees

Viewing Assortment Optimization Through Shopper Decision Trees

I was asked to take a look at DemandTec's new site and provide some commentary on the redesign  and their approaches.  I went quickly to assortment choices and shelf planning, which  are something I had examined very early on…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

First Person:

First Person:

Editor’s note: As we’ve


From The Eponymous Pickle

Whats Holding You Back?

Whats Holding You Back?

Mark Montgomery of Kyield  posts a good review of Robert Herbold's new book: Whats Holding You Back?   Herbold is the former Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft and was my boss at Procter & Gamble.  He was a big supporter of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Vision Improving App

Vision Improving App

A smartphone App that improves vision.   No review on its practicality.   " ....  Polat's software trains users to detect patterns called Gabor patches - blurry lines created by varying a grey background. In a typical training…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smellit: Remotely Generating Smells

Smellit: Remotely Generating Smells

The remote digital delivery of smells and even fragrances was something we experimented with.   The intention was to be able to dial up an aroma at the shelf and selectively engage shoppers  in retail.  Unfortunately, despite…


From My Biased Coin

Submissions, A Comparison

Submissions, A Comparison

I just got my set of NSDI papers to review, and have been looking them over.One thing that immediately strikes me as I give them a first quick pass is how nice it is that the submissions are 14 double-column pages.  The authors…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mindsign and 3D Ads

Mindsign and 3D Ads

In ReadWriteWeb:Mindsign uses fMRI to analyze Cooliris ads with neuromarketing methods. So what do they get from it?


From The Eponymous Pickle

Retailer Innovation in China

Retailer Innovation in China

MJ Perry about Innovation in China.   Where he quotes:  WSJ Asia Technology article "China Frets: Innovators Stymied Here ... How likely is it?   Our own experience with retail  innovation in China seemed to indicate their desire…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hanlon's Razor

Hanlon's Razor

Some reading reminded me of the principle of Hanlon's razorNever attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  ... Though I recall this was sometimes dangerous to invoke within some organizations.


From [email protected]

Analog Computing: Time For a Comeback?

Analog Computing: Time For a Comeback?

Use of the word "computer" conjures certain images. One of them, so deeply ingrained that we rarely question it, is that computing is digital. The alternative, analog computing, has a long and illustrious history, and hybrid…


From Wild WebMink

? Donating Money To Open Source

? Donating Money To Open Source

My short article about the best ways to support an open source project financially is now available from the Essays page.