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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.

February 2012


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NAE Elects its Class of 2012

NAE Elects its Class of 2012

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has just announced the election of 66 new members and 10 foreign associates, including a number of esteemed computing researchers. Among the highest professional distinctions accorded…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Research as Exploration

Research as Exploration

Check out this talk that asks the question 'What would it take to create a moonshot factory?' It's given by Michael Crow of Arizona State University as part of the new initiative We Solve for X, "a forum to encourage and amplify…


From Schneier on Security

Security Implications of "Lower-Risk Aircraft"

Security Implications of "Lower-Risk Aircraft"

Interesting paper: Paul J. Freitas (2012), "Passenger aviation security, risk management, and simple physics," Journal of Transportation Security.

Abstract: Since the September 11, 2001 suicide hijacking attacks on the United…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wolfram Alpha Pro

Wolfram Alpha Pro

Wolfram Alpha Pro is here, and only $4 a month.  In Technology Review.  Democratizing data analaysis in some new ways, both structured and unstructured.  It has been a long time since I have looked at Alpha. When I did I wasMore…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Finding out Where an Image Originated

Finding out Where an Image Originated

Wired provides a good how-to that details some services that allow you to find out where an image on the web originated.     Useful to have at hand.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Brand Promise Health Check

Brand Promise Health Check

All about brand promise, aka brand equity.  Does it still make sense? " .. Most people want to know how to determine if they have a strong and compelling promise, and once they


From The Eponymous Pickle

Trends shaping Business Intelligence and Analytics

Trends shaping Business Intelligence and Analytics

In TDWI:   5 Macro Trends Shaping next Generation BI and Analytics.    Useful thoughts.  " .. Although the business intelligence (BI) market is growing again at a lightning-fast pace, it has so far failed to deliver a great experience…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

House Takes Another Crack at Updating NITRD

House Takes Another Crack at Updating NITRD

Yesterday the House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved legislation updating the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. That law, among other things, established the Networking and Information Technology Research…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Thoughts on CS & STEM Higher-ed Enrollments

Thoughts on CS & STEM Higher-ed Enrollments

I've recently come across two perspectives on undergraduate enrollments, one about STEM disciplines, one specifically about CS. Both warrant comment.

First, there's a recent posting on the SLATE Moneybox blog that looks at…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

Effective compression using frame-of-reference and delta coding

Effective compression using frame-of-reference and delta coding

Most generic compression techniques are based on variations on run-length encoding (RLE) and Lempel-Ziv compression. Compared to these techniques and on the right data set, frame-of-reference and delta coding can be faster for…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Looking at Text

Looking at Text

Bill Inmon takes a general, non technical look at the problem of dealing with textual data.  It remains a more difficult form of data to deal with. He introduces the use of ETL to convert text to relational databases. His introduction…


From Computational Complexity

The 17x17 problem SOLVED! (also 18x18)

THE 17x17 PROBLEM HAS BEEN SOLVED!!!!!

On Nov 30, 2009 I posted here the following challenge:

If someone emails me a 4-coloring of 17x17 with no monochromatic rectangles then I will give you $289.00

Bernd Steinbach…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NIST to Fund Pilot Projects Advancing Trusted Identities

NIST to Fund Pilot Projects Advancing Trusted Identities

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced last week a new competition to fund pilot projects that accelerate progress toward “improved systems for interoperable, trusted online credentials that go beyond…


From Schneier on Security

Solving the Underlying Economic Problem of Internet Piracy

Solving the Underlying Economic Problem of Internet Piracy

This essay is definitely thinking along the correct directions.


From The Eponymous Pickle

More on Hand Scanning at Fresh & Easy

More on Hand Scanning at Fresh & Easy

From the comments, Clive Black links to a more detailed article on the Fresh & Easy Scanning, including some pictures.  Based on the pictures shown, there were the same designs that we orginally tested in out lab for Motorola…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Hand Scanning at Fresh & Easy

Hand Scanning at Fresh & Easy

More on another test of shopper barcode hand scanning to improve the checkout process and provide targeted promotions.    Note this uses dedicated devices rather than smartphones.    The same system was tested at AHold.  We experimented…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

The New Science of Teaching and Learning

The New Science of Teaching and Learning

What do you get when you mix psychology, education, and neuroscience? For Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, you get MBE (Mind, Brain, and Education) Science.  I recently looked at her book The New Science of Learning: Using the Best. …


From The Eponymous Pickle

Turning iPhones into Microscopes

Turning iPhones into Microscopes

In GigaOm.   Or at least displays for real microscopes.  Another example of sensors linked to mobile devices.  We will continue to see more of these.  Its adding the analysis and sharing piece that will make this interesting…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Headline: Value Drives Loyalty

Headline: Value Drives Loyalty

In Mediapost: Surprise, consumer experience, especially 'delight' drives loyalty.  Nothing very new here, but the specifics of the categories and data are interesting.  In particular that emotional values continue to increase…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF Releases Report on Cloud Computing

NSF Releases Report on Cloud Computing

The National Science Foundation (NSF) yesterday released a report on its support for cloud computing, describing the outcomes of “investments in cloud computing research, recommendations for research focus and program improvements…


From Schneier on Security

Error Rates of Hand-Counted Voting Systems

Error Rates of Hand-Counted Voting Systems

The error rate for hand-counted ballots is about two percent.

All voting systems have nonzero error rates. This doesn't surprise technologists, but does surprise the general public. There's a myth out there that elections…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Tools for Teaching Adults to Program

Tools for Teaching Adults to Program

We seem to be developing tools to teach younger and younger people to program. Kodu in theory is for students 8 and older but I know that some 6 and 7 years olds do very well with it. Last week I read about Scratch Jr which will…


From Wild WebMink

How To Fight ACTA

How To Fight ACTA

Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I’ve written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an international treaty that…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Argus Insights : Product Innovation

Argus Insights : Product Innovation

Brought to my attention by a client:  Argus Insights.  " ... Products that exceed user expectations win.  Very simply, delighted customers buy more.Companies that delver products exceeding the expectation of their users win market…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Real World Retail Analytics Using Kinect

Real World Retail Analytics Using Kinect

Just brought to my attention.  Shopperception:  "  ... The Kinect sensors allow us to bring new and exciting 3D spatial recognition tools to the market research industry ...  Once in a while, a new technology disrupts a market…


From Schneier on Security

The Failure of Two-Factor Authentication

The Failure of Two-Factor Authentication

In 2005, I wrote an essay called "The Failure of Two-Factor Authentication," where I predicted that attackers would get around multi-factor authentication systems with tools that attack the transactions in real time: man-in-the…


From Computational Complexity

Competition

A few people have asked me my opinions on Oded Goldreich's essay On Struggle and Competition in Scientific Fields. I read through Oded's essay I expected to highly disagree with Oded, after all he attacks competition, which is…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big CPG Ad Spenders Plan to Ease Back

Big CPG Ad Spenders Plan to Ease Back

In Ad Age. Detailed piece on the plans of Procter & Gamble and Unilever in ad spending. Some speculation but considerable useful information.


From Wild WebMink

A New OSI For A New Decade

A New OSI For A New Decade

OSI is changing, and you can help!


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 6

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of February 6

February 7 Markup: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee will review pending legislation, including a bill to amend the High Performance Computing Act of 1991. 10 a.m., 2318 Rayburn Building February 8 Hearing: The…