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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 2013


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Hoax Squid-Like Creature

Friday Squid Blogging: Hoax Squid-Like Creature

The weird squid-like creature floating around Bristol Harbour is a hoax.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Judging A Book By Its Coverage

Flaws in constitution Cropped from book page. Rebecca Goldstein is the author of the book Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel. She obtained her PhD in Philosophy from Princeton University, and has also written…


From Schneier on Security

New Book: <i>Carry On</i>

New Book: <i>Carry On</i>

I have a new book. It's Carry On: Sound Advice from Schneier on Security, and it's my second collection of essays. This book covers my writings from March 2008 to June 2013. (My first collection of essays, Schneier on Security…


From Schneier on Security

Bruce Schneier Facts T-Shirts

Bruce Schneier Facts T-Shirts

0-Day Clothing has taken 25 Bruce Schneier Facts and turned them into T-shirts just in time for Christmas.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Seeking Best Social Networks for Brands

Seeking Best Social Networks for Brands

What appears to be an interesting study:Study: Brands' best bet for social media is Instagram Instagram beat out Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in a study comparing how major social platforms work for brands. "With increases in…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Genetically Tailored Beverages

Genetically Tailored Beverages

More examples of personalization:Coca-Cola CTO sees genetically-tailored beverages in the future"It's not going to be that far out that we will talk about personalized beverages based on people's personal genes," said Guy Wollaert…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Will Personalization Kill Discovery?

Will Personalization Kill Discovery?

In Marketing Ying and Yang:  Will personalization kill discovery, choice and diversity of thought? blogs Yvette London.  She makes some useful points.  I worried about this in the early days of matching goods and  but have found…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Are you learning fast enough?

Are you learning fast enough?

Erik Meijer is one of the awesome people I get to meet while I worked at Microsoft. Earlier today he tweeting something that really made me think.

If you don't feel stupid, you are not learning fast enough.

— Erik Meijer (@headinthebox)…


From Putting People First

The psychology behind information dashboards

The psychology behind information dashboards

With its interactive and intuitive interface and its ability to visualize data in a single screen, the information dashboard is becoming a critical tool in the hands of the business user. Moreover, it is also making its way into…


From Schneier on Security

Telepathwords: A New Password Strength Estimator

Telepathwords: A New Password Strength Estimator

Telepathwords is a pretty clever research project that tries to evaluate password strength. It's different from normal strength meters, and I think better.

Telepathwords tries to predict the next character of your passwords…


From Putting People First

The UX explorers at Ford: an interview with Parrish Hanna and Chris Thibodeau

The UX explorers at Ford: an interview with Parrish Hanna and Chris Thibodeau

In response to the recent explosion in UX, Ford Motor Company has hired folks like Parrish Hanna and Chris Thibodeau — Global Director of Human-Machine Interface and Executive Manager of Global Product Planning for User Interface…


From Putting People First

New UK Lab to transform healthcare using design

New UK Lab to transform healthcare using design

A new centre will bring the principles of design into the heart of a leading hospital to create a global research hub for “frugal innovation and high-impact, low-cost design”, writes The Times Higher Education. Royal College…


From Putting People First

UK Cabinet Office policy lab aims to create designer public services

UK Cabinet Office policy lab aims to create designer public services

Public service design is about to hit the mainstream. In December the Cabinet Office will launch a new policy lab tasked with using design to “re-invigorate policymaking in the UK civil service”, reports The Guardian. The new…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Programming Languages for Middle School

Programming Languages for Middle School

There may be quick questions but are there any quick answers? I had the following Tweet recently.

@alfredtwo Hi Alfred! Quick question: what prog. language do you recommend MS students learn?

— David Lee EdTech (@davidleeedtech)…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Explaining Hadoop

Explaining Hadoop

In Forbes:  Hadoop came some time after I had the role, but I was often called upon to provide a minimally technical explanation of new Tech. Here is a good one about Hadoop.  Giving a talk next week at Xavier University and…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Concerns About a Computer-Based AP CS Principles Exam

Concerns About a Computer-Based AP CS Principles Exam

As you know, CSTA has given enthusiastic support for the new Computer Science Principles course but as we move toward its widespread adoption in schools. We believe this is a great course and a game-changer for high school computer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Product Development Using Structured Analogies

Product Development Using Structured Analogies

Just received this from SAS.  Note that it it is an Ad and you have to provide information to get the background paper, have not done that yet.  Click here for more.  I am intrigued because we experimented with a similar approach…


From Schneier on Security

Heartwave Biometric

Heartwave Biometric

Here's a new biometric I know nothing about:

The wristband relies on authenticating identity by matching the overall shape of the user's heartwave (captured via an electrocardiogram sensor). Unlike other biotech authentication…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Contract Compliance Solutions and Blog

Contract Compliance Solutions and  Blog

As part of my ongoing investigation of compliance solutions I spoke to Contract Guardian yesterday.  Very impressive implementation, especially in the health care industry.   They are seeking to get beyond health care.   Their…


From The Eponymous Pickle

On Evolution of Global Supply Chains

On Evolution of Global Supply Chains

Focusing on the Customer.    We were quite advanced in our enterprise, so there is nothing very new here.  But it is well stated.  " ... Ask anyone what the “next big thing” in global logistics will be and guaranteed there will…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Computer Science Education Week is Next Week

Computer Science Education Week is Next Week

Computer Science Education Week is an annual program designed to show students of all ages the importance of computer science.  It is observed each year, in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Multitasking Influencing the Brain

Multitasking Influencing the Brain

In Fast Company:  On multitasking.  Our shiny new devices allow us to do this creatively, all the time.  There has been debate about how ultimately this effects our productivity and lives.  Here new findings in this area.  Tough…


From Computational Complexity

Bitcoins Revisited

Two years ago I gave a lecture and posted about bitcoin. Of course what I didn't do was buy a bitcoin whose value back then was about $3 and today runs in the $1000 range. Bitcoins have received quite a bit of press, particularly…


From Schneier on Security

The Problem with EULAs

The Problem with EULAs

Some apps are being distributed with secret Bitcoin-mining software embedded in them. Coins found are sent back to the app owners, of course.

And to make it legal, it's part of the end-user license agreement (EULA):

COMPUTER…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

How Do You Know It Works?

How Do You Know It Works?

I have been teaching Visual Basic programming to my freshmen this week. It’s part of a course we call Explorations in Computer Science and its new this year. The students are working on a simple program to do temperature conversions…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mckinsey Quarterly

Mckinsey Quarterly

Always interesting McKinsey quarterly,  PDF Here.  Reading now.For the past month, McKinsey’s clients have been reading McKinsey Quarterly 2013 Number 4, which includes articles on making wise strategic choices, mobilizing the…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Former CIFellow Sitaram Asur Transitioned to a Career in Industrial Research

Former CIFellow Sitaram Asur Transitioned to a Career in Industrial Research

This blog is a special contribution from Sitaram Asur, a Computing Innovation Fellow from 2009-2010.  When I graduated with my PhD from the Ohio State University in June 2009, it was a very disappointing job market. The economy…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Soft Biometrics

Soft Biometrics

If face recognition fails, consider behavior biometrics:  " ... The US government is challenging researchers to use cameras to ID people by unique features like their gait or the shape of their ears ... " 


From My Biased Coin

Algorithmic Growth (Class Size)

Algorithmic Growth (Class Size)

Pre-term planning numbers are in for Harvard, and it looks like the undergrad Algorithms and Data Structures class has about 175 people planning to take the course.  That's a huge jump again over the last few years (where it's…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Retail Robot Army

Google Retail Robot Army

In Wired:    Not sure what this means, but Google is acquiring an army.   " ... The difference between Amazon’s drone stunt and Google’s retail robot skunkworks, run by Andy Rubin, is that it seems far more serious. While Amazon…