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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.

January 2014


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid T-Shirt

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid T-Shirt

A T-shirt with a drawing of a squid reading.

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


From Schneier on Security

IRATEMONK: NSA Exploit of the Day

IRATEMONK: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

IRATEMONK (TS//SI//REL) IRATEMONK provides software application persistence on desktop and laptop computers by implanting in the hard drive…


From Michael Nielsen

Reinventing Explanation

Reinventing Explanation

My new essay on the use of digital media to explain scientific ideas is here.


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Computer Science Has An Identity Problem

Computer Science Has An Identity Problem

Where does computer science fit? At the university level I’ve seen it in Business departments/Schools of Business. I’ve seen it in various science schools – Schools of Engineering, schools of Applied Science to name two – or …


From The Eponymous Pickle

What's Watson for Midsize Companies?

What's Watson for Midsize Companies?

Back on January 9th I attended the IBM announcement of its group for Watson applications.  I tweeted the announcement at @FranzD #IBMWatson.  Full announcement here.  The Watson group ecosystem site. It had been expected foron…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Attributing Attacks on the Internet of Things

Attributing Attacks on the Internet of Things

A discussion of the implication of security on the Internet of Things.  If everything is connected, the path to us or our households brings insecurity yet closer.     So can we attribute the source of recent attacks?  " .…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Connecting Cloud and Business

Connecting Cloud and Business

Connecting the cloud and big data for business.  A piece from Pneuron, which I am looking into.   I was struck by this statement: " ... Data is more volatile than processing. Programs change but not too frequently. Data is changing…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Systems to Prevent Deception Fail

Systems to Prevent Deception Fail

A discussion of systems that are meant to prevent deception and unethical behavior.  In Knowledge@Wharton.  A topic in any system that is meant to gather human data when there are rewards and consequences.   Will cognitive science…


From Schneier on Security

Another Credit-Card-as-Authentication Hack

Another Credit-Card-as-Authentication Hack

This is a pretty impressive social engineering story: an attacker compromised someone's GoDaddy domain registration in order to change his e-mail address and steal his Twitter handle. It's a complicated attack.

My claim was…


From Putting People First

The Facebook ethnography kerfuffle

The Facebook ethnography kerfuffle

At the center of this kerfuffle is an anthropologist, Daniel Miller, his ethnographic research with teenagers in a small town in the UK, and a press report on a blog post about his research that went viral. What’s exciting about…


From Schneier on Security

HOWLERMONKEY: NSA Exploit of the Day

HOWLERMONKEY: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

HOWLERMONKEY (TS//SI//REL) HOWLERMONKEY is a custom Short to Medium range impant RF Tranceiver. It is used in conjumction with a digital core…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Global Warming?

It snowed in Atlanta, and we are closed, for the foreseeable future—where is global warming? Atlanta is frozen. Here is what we looked like the other night. Today I thought I might talk about the weather in Atlanta, and its connection…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Meaning of Quality Assurance

Meaning of Quality Assurance

This CW article led me to the meaning of QA ... " ... Long undervalued, quality assurance is in the limelight -- and QA pros in demand -- following the disaster of the HealthCare.gov website rollout. ... "  Quality assurance…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Motivation via a Connected Cosumer

Motivation via a Connected Cosumer

Quite obvious, people are always looking at the motivation of recommendations.  Can we now get at the motivation more clearly?  (In Supermarket News, requires registration for full article.)Grocers seek customers' social promotion…


From Schneier on Security

Side-Channel Attacks on Frog Calls

Side-Channel Attacks on Frog Calls

The male túngara frog Physalaemus pustulosus uses calls to attract females. But croaking also causes ripples in the water, which are eavesdropped on -- both by rival male frogs and frog-eating bats.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Social Media in the Enterprise

Social Media in the Enterprise

Charlene Li speaks on the topic, relating to a recent study: " .... Overall, we found that investment in headcount and infrastructure have steadily grown, as companies reach “intermediate” stages of social business. Several are…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

To be smarter, try being crazier?

To be smarter, try being crazier?

Many of us want to be original in our work. For researchers, it is a job requirement. For software programmers, it makes little sense to redo what others did. Many of the men who did great things stood out by their originality…


From Schneier on Security

Catalog of Snowden Revelations

Catalog of Snowden Revelations

This looks to be very good.

Add that to these three indexes of NSA source material, and these two summaries.

This excellent parody website has a good collection of all the leaks, too.


From The Eponymous Pickle

More on DeepMind and Google

More on DeepMind and Google

In Recode:  Google continues to add AI gems to its capabilities.   Search is a part of learning, and thus enhanced by AI.   We search by pattern visually, as well as by language.  Structure always aids intelligence.   “If…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

CSTA 2014 Administration Impact Award Nominations Open

CSTA 2014 Administration Impact Award Nominations Open

The Computer Science Teachers' Association, in partnership with Code.org, has established an award to recognize an administrator who has made an outstanding contribution in K-12 computer science. The purpose of this award is …


From Computational Complexity

Snow Days

An unexpected snowstorm hits the city in the middle of a workday. The roads get hopelessly clogged and I'm lucky to get home--many others just abandoned their cars, or slept in them. I'm talking about Valentine's Day, February…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Market Research in a Big Data World

Market Research in a Big Data World

In Knowledge@Wharton.  An extensive and interesting pieceFinding a Place for Market Research in a Big Data, Tech-enabled WorldThanks to social media and other technology, a wealth of consumer opinions is at a company’s fingertips…


From Schneier on Security

GINSU: NSA Exploit of the Day

GINSU: NSA Exploit of the Day

Today's item from the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog:

GINSU (TS//SI//REL) GINSU provides software application persistence for the CNE implant, KONGUR, on target systems with the PCI bus hardware…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Presidential Commission Issues Recommendations on Improving Voting Experience

Presidential Commission Issues Recommendations on Improving Voting Experience

On January 22, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration issued the report requested of it by President Obama.  Formed after reports of long lines and other voting difficulties in the 2012 election, the Commission…


From Schneier on Security

Trying to Value Online Privacy

Trying to Value Online Privacy

Interesting paper: "The value of Online Privacy," by Scott Savage and Donald M. Waldman.

Abstract: We estimate the value of online privacy with a differentiated products model of the demand for Smartphone apps. We study the…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Progress On The Jacobian Conjecture

More on the crypto approach to the Jacobian Conjecture Arno van Essen is one of the world experts on the Jacobian conjecture (JC)—we have discussed his work before here. He has made many contributions to it, with my favorite…


From CERIAS Blog

Another Loss in the Community

Another Loss in the Community

I received news today that Yves Deswarte passed away on January 27th.

Dr. Deswarte was a notable member of the computing community, with a career of 30+ years as an educator, researcher, and manager. His career as a computingLAAS…


From CERIAS Blog

Another Loss in the Community

Another Loss in the Community

I received news today that Yves Deswarte passed away on January 27th.

Dr. Deswarte was a notable member of the computing community, with a career of 30+ years as an educator, researcher, and manager. His career as a computingLAAS…


From CERIAS Blog

Another Loss in the Community

Another Loss in the Community

I received news today that Yves Deswarte passed away on January 27th.

Dr. Deswarte was a notable member of the computing community, with a career of 30+ years as an educator, researcher, and manager. His career as a computingLAAS…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Smart Grid Needs an App Store

Smart Grid Needs an App Store

In IEEE Spectrum:  The electric grid is already an internet of things.   " ... Yet writing applications for these programmable machines is too hard, which blocks the full potential of the smart grid, says Silver Spring Networks…

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