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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.

December 2012


From The Eponymous Pickle

Make Your Data Last. Forever?

Make Your Data Last.  Forever?

In overview article on storing away data.  Just an introduction.  Its not just about doing backups.  We stored backups under mountains in the west.  But how can you make sure you have chosen the right media, the right formats…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Review / Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving

Review / Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving

Programming involves a particular flavour of problem solving. If you're a beginner trying to get better at it, an educator teaching beginners, or just someone who enjoys thinking about thinking, then I may have just the bookThink…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM/DemandTec Assortment Optimization

IBM/DemandTec Assortment Optimization

Early in my career I was given the task of how to optimize assortments under the constraints of the market shelf. On the surface the problem looks easy.  You have a set of possible products you want to place on shelf.  You have…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Ensuring Teacher Voices Are Heard

Ensuring Teacher Voices Are Heard

This is an exciting time for CS education. There seems to be a growing national consensus that achievement in the sciences is critical both for the next generation of students and the future well-being of our country. Hopefully…


From BLOG@CACM

Computer Science: Filling the Education Pipeline Gap

Computer Science: Filling the Education Pipeline Gap

Computer Science Education Week 2012 Chair Ruthe Farmer talks about the importance of CS education and looks to you to pledge your support.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Object Oriented Recipe Development

Object Oriented Recipe Development

An interesting piece out of GigaOM interviews media chef Alton Brown about using social media constructs to file and adapt food recipes.  The link points to a video that broadly outlines the idea.    I am an amateur chef, and…


From Wild WebMink

MariaDB Foundation

MariaDB Foundation

I was pleased yesterday to see the MariaDB community starting the process of creating a Foundation to host open collective governance for their community. I’ll be interviewing Monty on Monday in a live webcast at 5pm; watch my…


From Schneier on Security

Roger Williams' Cipher Cracked

Roger Williams' Cipher Cracked

Another historical cipher, this one from the 1600s, has been cracked:

Senior math major Lucas Mason-Brown, who has done the majority of the decoding, said his first instinct was to develop a statistical tool. The 21-year-old…


From Putting People First

Design patterns for mobile user interfaces targeted at older adults

Design patterns for mobile user interfaces targeted at older adults

The use of smartphones is becoming widespread among all sectors of the population. However, developers and designers do not have access to guidance in designing for specific audiences such as older adults. This study by Roxanne…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Sharing is Learning

Sharing is Learning

Last week was a great week for sharing among teachers. Microsoft ran their Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague Czech Republic. They had 500 educators from over 75 countries sharing really innovative ideas. From all reports…


From Putting People First

No one likes a city that’s too smart

No one likes a city that’s too smart

This week London hosts a jamboree of computer geeks, politicians, and urban planners from around the world. At the Urban Age conference, they will discuss the latest whizz idea in high tech, the “smart city”. “But,” writes Richard…


From Putting People First

Using ethnography to study asthma

Using ethnography to study asthma

Ethnography can be used to inform important health and policy decisions. But there are few public case studies that illustrate the value of ethnography for this specific context. When Erik Bigras of EthnographyMatters learned…


From Putting People First

What does it mean to be a digital native?

What does it mean to be a digital native?

The war between natives and immigrants is ending. The natives have won, argues Oliver Joy on the CNN website. It was a bloodless conflict fought not with bullets and spears, but with iPhones and floppy disks. Now the battle between…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Postdoc “Best Practices”

Postdoc “Best Practices”

The Computing Research Association has adopted a set of “best practices” for postdocs, the result of work done by Anita Jones and Erwin Gianchandani under the auspices of CRA’s Computing Community Consortium. Postdocs have been…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

The Amazing Zeta Code

But can it encode itself? src Sergei Voronin was an expert in analytic number theory, especially the Riemann zeta function. He proved a sense in which the Riemann Hypothesis “ain’t necessarily so.” That is, he found complex analytic…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Collaboration is the Thing

Collaboration is the Thing

In Supermarket News:   " ... Haggen and other retailers are showing how to collaborate with trading partners on mutually rewarding promotional and merchandising initiatives. ... " 


From The Eponymous Pickle

Creative Confidence

Creative Confidence

In Linkedin:  Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO on creative confidence, with some useful  links as well.   " ... creative confidence is the ability to come up with breakthrough ideas, combined with the courage to act. Individuals with creative…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Can Games Improve Vision?

Can Games Improve Vision?

I recall a conversation with an eye doctor a long time ago who swore to the use of eye exercises for improving vision.  Can games be used as simulations to specifically improve the muscles in the eye?  An exploration.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Package Goods Firms Seek Data Scientists

Package Goods Firms Seek Data Scientists

Adage makes the breathless claim that even Consumer Package Goods firms (CPGs) are now seeking data scientists.    Well excuse me, they have always used data scientists, ever since such roles have been defined. CPG companies…


From Wild WebMink

Intended to Fail?

Intended to Fail?

Was Freiburg’s cancellation of its open source migration a foregone conclusion? With friends to support my terrible German, I tried to find out – see ComputerWorldUK for more.


From Computer Science Teachers Association

The Importance of Funding

The Importance of Funding

More than five years ago, my school expressed an interest in adding computer programming classes to the curriculum. Since I had not taught programming in over ten years, I wasn't sure what languages to pursue and exactly where…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Advice to Microsoft Education Marketing–Computer Science

Advice to Microsoft Education Marketing–Computer Science

For nine years my job at Microsoft was to promote the use of Microsoft technology in computer science education. I started with universities but moved over to K12 CS education. CS education is something I feel strongly about.…


From The Noisy Channel

Continuing to Post on LinkedIn

Continuing to Post on LinkedIn

I just posted another pair of articles on LinkedIn: Understanding Relevance Relevance is Complicated I’ll continue to use The Noisy Channel as a personal blog, but I’ll be focusing my publishing efforts on LinkedIn. Hope you’ll…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Internet end of Year Status

Internet end of Year Status

Kleiner Perkins provides lots of interesting data regarding the Internet at the end of the year.   Always thought provoking and useful for presentations.


From The Eponymous Pickle

More Virtual Research

More Virtual Research

Had another excellent interaction with John Milby, CEO of the startup Full Scale Virtual Research,which uses some of the technology developed at Procter & Gamble and has extended it considerably to virtualize consumer research…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Digital and Non-Digital Research Tools

Digital and Non-Digital Research Tools

In Progressive Grocer:   On the integration of digital and non digital research.  Perhaps obvious, but it is well put here. In particular how increasingly granular data can lead us to deeper insights.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Deep Learning

Deep Learning

From KurzweilAI:  More on deep learning.    On the future of bio inspired neural network infrastructure  intelligence.   We creep closer to human intelligence by learning.   An interview with " ... Dr. Jürgen Schmidhuber is Director…


From Computational Complexity

Too Much Competition?

On Friday the New York Times ran an article on how online retailers constantly adjust prices to match their competitors. Their ability builds on many tools from computer science, from networks to algorithms, not unlike airlines…


From Schneier on Security

Feudal Security

Feudal Security

It’s a feudal world out there. Some of us have pledged our allegiance to Google: We have Gmail accounts, we use Google Calendar and Google Docs, and we have Android phones. Others have pledged allegiance to Apple: We have Macintosh…


From Putting People First

In safe hands

In safe hands

Clare Brass is the team leader of Sustain at the Royal College of Art in London, where she presides over a radical initiative to make sustainability a core issue for all students, whether they are studying architecture, textiles…