Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Blogs Archive


Archives

The blog archive provides access to past blog postings from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

May 2014


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Appreciating Teachers

Appreciating Teachers

Today marks the end of National Teacher Appreciation Week and I find myself wondering how many current students or former students actually took the time to say "thank you" the teachers who have guided their learning and inspired…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

May 15 WATCH Talk: STAR-Vote – A Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable Voting System

May 15 WATCH Talk: STAR-Vote – A Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable Voting System

On May 15, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will host it’s next Washington Area Trustworthy Computing Hour (WATCH) talk. The talk will be “STAR-Vote – A Secure, Transparent, Auditable and Reliable Voting System.” The speaker…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Big Data Viewed by Philosphers of Mathematics

Big Data Viewed by Philosphers of Mathematics

In a very philosphical, long, but non technical piece from the AMS, provocative.  A methodological danger? Worth reading. 
Is Big Data Enough? A Reflection on the Changing Role of Mathematics in Applications 
Domenico Napoletani…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Truth Box

Truth Box

Dan Ariely presents the traveling truth box.     How might this create a baseline for understanding our conception of truth?   How does it change the behavioral economy? " .... The Truth Box is a traveling story booth where we…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Visualization: Food Availability

Data Visualization: Food Availability

Another interesting Tableau example.  Here food availability.  I like the interactive aspects of the visual.  " ... Graham Douglas of The Economist shows us how food availability measured in kilo-calories has changed since 1961…


From Schneier on Security

Putin Requires Russian Bloggers to Register with the Government

Putin Requires Russian Bloggers to Register with the Government

This is not good news. Widely known as the "bloggers law," the new Russian measure specifies that any site with more than 3,000 visitors daily will be considered a media outlet akin to a newspaper and be responsible for the accuracy…


From Computational Complexity

1984 + 30

Back in 7th grade we had some discussion in history class long since forgotten but was ended by the statement "Remember, 1984 is only eight years away". While the rumor had it George Orwell picked the title 1984 from switching…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Can You Explain the Binary Clock?

Can You Explain the Binary Clock?

Some years ago my wife bought me a binary clock. I have it sitting on my desk at school facing the students. It drives the students crazy.

What is it? A clock. How is that a clock? We do cover binary numbers in class. And while…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

NSF CISE Distinguished Lecture – The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

NSF CISE Distinguished Lecture – The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) is pleased to announce a Distinguished Lecture on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm (EDT) by Dr. Erik Brynjolfsson titled…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Life Forms in the Internet of Things

Life Forms in the Internet of Things

Security chief of In-Q-Tel suggests that entities in the Internet of Things are life forms.  " ... They are immortal in the sense that they can continue to function for years at an assigned task. "The longer lived these devices…


From Schneier on Security

Retelling of Stories Increases Bias

Retelling of Stories Increases Bias

Interesting experiment shows that the retelling of stories increases conflict and bias. For their study, which featured 196 undergraduates, the researchers created a narrative about a dispute between two groups of young people…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Watson Cognitive to be Included in University Curricula

Watson Cognitive to be Included in University Curricula

Press release:  " ...  In Fall, 2014, New Courses Will Inspire University Students to Build Apps Infused with Watson's Intelligence While Gaining the Entrepreneurial Vision to Deliver Their Innovations Into the Marketplace  .…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Provenance for Analytics

Data Provenance for Analytics

A short piece in the CACM that points to a larger paper.  That larger paper requires subscription.  I am using this for some work on metadata uses.  Provenance is tracking some entity, such as data, over time to understand where…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Rules for Shopper Privacy

Rules for Shopper Privacy

From the recent IDC Retail Insights, in CGT: The customer stands center stage in omnichannel retail. Earning the privilege of relationships, relevance, and reciprocity with today's informed, discriminating, and willful consumers…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

The Easiest Impossible Problem

A simple problem that seems impossible to solve Péter Frankl is a “Hungarian mathematician and street performer”—quoting our friends at Wikepedia. He is also a globetrotter, noting on his personal blog that he has visited over…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Who is a Data Scientist?

Who is a Data Scientist?

So what are they?  I have been doing work in this area for a long time, but the term for the practitioner has changed often.   Its about working with lots of data, and understanding pertinent analytics.  Also knowing the business…


From Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

The Case For Lifelong CS Education

The Case For Lifelong CS Education

I stumbled upon a really good talk by Simon Peyton Jones from Microsoft Research about teaching computer science early on today. In it he talks about some things I have been thinking a lot about myself lately. That being computer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Thinking like a Programmer

Thinking like a Programmer

In the CACM recently.  There is real value in being able to think like a programmer.  It's like being able to think like an accountant.  Logical, precision, and being able to care about how the recipients of your work will deal…


From Computational Complexity

Every Theory Grad Student should know...

This semester my Graduate Complexity Course has nine students in it. It had not been offered for two years (when it had around 20) so the demand, such as it is, should have built up. Of my 9 students only about 4 are theorists…


From Schneier on Security

Correspondence Between the NSA and Google Leaked

Correspondence Between the NSA and Google Leaked

Al Jazeera is reporting on leaked emails (not leaked by Snowden, but by someone else) detailing close ties between the NSA and Google. There are no smoking guns in the correspondence -- and the Al Jazeera article makes more of…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IT Consumerization Survey

IT Consumerization Survey

Good look at the topic.  With a slide show about the idea and a number of fallacies involved.   " .... Business and IT decision-makers have a strong preference for collaboration services delivered by internal IT organizations…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Pocket Molecular Sensor

Pocket Molecular Sensor

MJ Perry reports on this pocket spectrometer.  Connectable to a smartphone/ Another example of advanced sensors, that will eventually add additional data to the stream we can use for analysis.  First prototypes are scheduled…


From The Eponymous Pickle

See Through Augmented Reality Screens

See Through Augmented Reality Screens

A competitive approach to ideas like Google Glass.  Wearable displays with floating screens.  But with built in augmented reality implications.  From the Metaio company, who we have connected with for some time.  Examining for…


From Schneier on Security

Fearing Google

Fearing Google

Mathias Dopfner writes an open letter explaining why he fears Google: We know of no alternative which could offer even partially comparable technological prerequisites for the automated marketing of advertising. And we cannot…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

CSTB Releases a Report on Cybersecurity and Public Policy

CSTB Releases a Report on Cybersecurity and Public Policy

The Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) released a new National Academies report, At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues. As we as a nation become more dependent on information…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Conjoin Analytics

Conjoin Analytics

Was introducted to this interesting company.   " ... Cojoin: Analytics Combined! .... Cojoin combines marketing and analytics data to quickly visualize overall performance and gain new insights. ... "  


From The Eponymous Pickle

Eyes Sensing Motion

Eyes Sensing Motion

In Nature: " ... A vast project to map neural connections in the mouse retina may have answered the long-standing question of how the eyes detect motion. ... " .  How can then link to better understanding of the data involved…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Introduction to the Internet of Things

Introduction to the Internet of Things

Good overview of the topic.  We heard about this idea years ago in work with MIT.  It remains a key future concept.  But also a complex set of requirements and delivery understanding.   If you have not examined it, this is awhat…


From Apophenia

What if the sexual predator image you have in your mind is wrong?

What if the sexual predator image you have in your mind is wrong?

(I wrote the following piece for Psychology Today under the title “Sexual Predators: The Imagined and the Real.”) If you’re a parent, you’ve probably seen the creepy portraits of online sexual predators constructed by media:…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Origin of Trancendant Singularity

Origin of Trancendant Singularity

I had thought that Kurzweil was the originator of the mathematical term singularity in the Transcendence sense, but the Wikipedia writes: " ... The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John…