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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 2019


From [email protected]

What Is a Variable?

What Is a Variable?

A stab at a definition, for outsiders, of what we in computing mean by the term "variable" raises more questions than it answers.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Law Compliance

Data Law Compliance

More data global data regulation and related compliance.  An example of negative value in data as an asset.   In BusinessInsider:

Russia to check P&G's compliance with local data laws
 Reuters Jan. 28, 2019, 8:26 AM
  
MOSCOW (Reuters)…


From The Eponymous Pickle

InfoQ interviews Google on Quantum Neural Nets

InfoQ interviews Google on Quantum Neural Nets

Further examination of this, based on two papers in Google Research, provides a less technical and critical view.

Exploring Quantum Neural Nets   by  Sergio De Simone in InfoQ

An important area of research in quantum computing

In…


From insideHPC

Aras Joins the Revolution in Simulation Technology Alliance

Aras Joins the Revolution in Simulation Technology Alliance

Today the Revolution In Simulation announced that the Aras Corporation has joined their technology alliance a new sponsor for 2019. "As a non-profit seeking initiative, our sponsors are critical in fueling the Democratization…


From insideHPC

Sandia steps up to New Quantum Computing Projects

Sandia steps up to New Quantum Computing Projects

Sandia National Laboratories researchers are looking to shape the future of computing through a series of quantum information science projects. As part of the work, they will collaborate to design and develop a new quantum computer…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Provability and Machine Learning

Provability and Machine Learning

Interesting point,  but the point being made is rarely useful in practical mathematics.   Just because something cannot be rigorously proved does not mean it is not practically useful.    Results that are used in AI methods are…


From Computational Complexity

Phish Before Turkey

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a story Phishing Scheme Targets Professors’ Desire to Please Their Deans — All for $500 in Gift Cards. The same thing happened to me last fall.



Twas the day before Thanksgiving…


From Schneier on Security

Security Flaws in Children's Smart Watches

Security Flaws in Children's Smart Watches

A year ago, the Norwegian Consumer Council published an excellent security analysis of children's GPS-connected smart watches. The security was terrible. Not only could parents track the children, anyone else could also track…


From insideHPC

LANL Solicits Bids for 18 MW Crossroads Supercomputer for Delivery in 2021

LANL Solicits Bids for 18 MW Crossroads Supercomputer for Delivery in 2021

The next big supercomputer is out for bid. An RFP was released today for Crossroads, an 18 Megawatt system that will support the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship Program. The RFP is a joint effort of the New Mexico Alliance for…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Computational Thinking

Computational Thinking

Computational thinking is 'thinking like a computer scientist', that is logically, effectively applied to important human goals.   I agree its a noble definition.  Its one effective way  that you can prove you know something,…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google Research in 2018

Google Research in 2018

A look back at Google emergent tech research in 2018.     Mostly nontechnical descriptions and discussion of implications, with link to more technical publications

Looking Back at Google’s Research Efforts in 2018

Posted by Jeff…


From insideHPC

HPE Scalable Storage for Lustre: The Middle Way

HPE Scalable Storage for Lustre: The Middle Way

hpe scalable storageLustre is a widely-used parallel file system in the High Performance Computing (HPC) market. It offers the performance required for HPC workloads, with its parallel design, flexibility, and scalability. This sponsored post explores…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Great Innovative Idea: Geofences in the Sky: Herding Drones with Blockchains and 5G

Great Innovative Idea: Geofences in the Sky: Herding Drones with Blockchains and 5G

The following Great Innovative Idea is from Tamraparni Dasu, Yaron Kanza, and Divesh Srivastava of AT&T Labs-Research. They were one of the Blue Sky Award winners at ACM SIGSPATIAL ’18 for their paper Geofences in the Sky: Herding…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Wharton Research on Wisdom in the Crowd

Wharton Research on Wisdom in the Crowd

Wharton research indicates there are better ways to crowdsource ideas.   Would like to see more tests of this.

Is There Really Wisdom in the Crowd?  Podcast and transcript:

Wharton's John McCoy discusses his research on a better…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

My blog can’t keep up: 500 errors all over

My blog can’t keep up: 500 errors all over

My blog is relatively minor enterprise. It is strictly non-profit (no ad). I have been posting one or two blog posts a week for about fifteen years. I have been using the same provider in all this time (csoft.net). They charge…


From ACM-W supporting, celebrating and advocating for Women in Computing

Announcing our monthly Facebook post contest!

Announcing our monthly Facebook post contest!

The Facebook contests are so much fun! We love to see what the chapters have accomplished. To encourage more FB posts, we are announcing a monthly contest. Each month we’ll choose the best post and award a $50 prize. The only…


From ACM-W supporting, celebrating and advocating for Women in Computing

Congratulations to our Best Facebook Post Winner!

Congratulations to our Best Facebook Post Winner!

We are delighted to announce the Vanderbilt Women in Computing chapter has won our best FB post contest. They sponsored the Emerge conference, which focuses on emerging technologies with Artificial Intelligence being the topic…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Experiential Retail

Experiential Retail

Been a student and customer of Jungle Jims outside Cincinnati for a long time.   Semi experiential it is.    And the idea certainly be overdone.    Make sure the store is well stocked with products and relevant ideas.     Even…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

What is the space overhead of Base64 encoding?

What is the space overhead of Base64 encoding?

Many Internet formats from email (MIME) to the Web (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) are text-only. If you send an image or executable file by email, it often first gets encoded using base64. The trick behind base64 encoding is that we use…


From insideHPC

New NVIDIA DGX-Ready Program Allows Data Centers to Deploy AI with Ease

New NVIDIA DGX-Ready Program Allows Data Centers to Deploy AI with Ease

NVIDIA is making deploying state-of-the-art AI data centers easier with their NVIDIA DGX-Ready Data Center program and the help of a growing lineup of NVIDIA partners. "With the NVIDIA DGX-Ready Data Center program, customers…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

AI Roadmap is Presented to the Community at the AAAI Conference

AI Roadmap is Presented to the Community at the AAAI Conference

The following is by CCC Director Ann Drobnis.  The Thirty-Third Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference is taking place this week in Honolulu, Hawaii. The purpose of this conference is to…


From insideHPC

Intel steps up with 28 core Xeon Processor for High-End Workstations

Intel steps up with 28 core Xeon Processor for High-End Workstations

Today Intel announced that their new 28-core Intel Xeon W-3175X processor is now available. "Built for handling heavily threaded applications and tasks, the Intel Xeon W-3175X processor delivers uncompromising single- and all…


From insideHPC

Video: EasyBuild State of the Union

Video: EasyBuild State of the Union

In this video from the 2019 EasyBuild User Meeting, Kenneth Hoste from the University of Ghent presents: EasyBuild State of the Union. "EasyBuild is a software build and installation framework that allows you to manage (scientific)…


From Schneier on Security

Security Analysis of the LIFX Smart Light Bulb

Security Analysis of the LIFX Smart Light Bulb

The security is terrible: In a very short limited amount of time, three vulnerabilities have been discovered: Wifi credentials of the user have been recovered (stored in plaintext into the flash memory). No security settings.…


From insideHPC

Video: A comprehensive Simulation of a Solar Flare

Video: A comprehensive Simulation of a Solar Flare

In this video, scientists simulate the formation of a solar flare, including for the first time the spectrum of light emissions known to be associated with such flares. "This work allows us to provide an explanation for why flares…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning

Had not heard of this concept.   Useful examples.  Thinking next Practices.

Three 'Next Practices' That Leverage AI And Machine Learning
 Forbes Technology Council,   By Ashok Santhanam

 If you are a CIO, VP of IT operations or

The…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Data Monetization Strategy

Data Monetization Strategy

Led to look at this concept again, we spent much time on the problem.

Framing a winning data monetization strategy   By Sid Mohasseb in   kpmg.com

At many forward looking organizations across the globe, an immediate and evolving…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Retraining to Recognize New Categories

Retraining to Recognize New Categories

Good to see how such technology is being integrated into assistant and smart home tech.   Also the challenge of extending classification is also expressed.

Updating Neural Networks to Recognize New Categories, with Minimal Retraining…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Seeking Cashierless

Seeking Cashierless

Continues to charge ahead, and there are still some weaknesses to the tech, but it will seen be a consumer expectations.

Retailers seek partners to match Amazon Go tech

Tech companies are increasingly being asked by retailers to…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Microsoft Teams vs Slack

Microsoft Teams vs Slack

Now been using Teams since its release, and also Slack for projects and consulting.  And have been using things like Google Drive and OneNote for similar purposes of communication sharing, information and development.    Following…

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