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

December 2009


From BLOG@CACM

The DARPA Network Challenge and the Design of Social Participation Systems

The DARPA Network Challenge and the Design of Social Participation Systems

What have we learned from the DARPA Network Challenge and the design of social participation systems?  The principal concern for designers of social participation systems is to ensure the participants both give and get something…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

The Dressing of Games

The Dressing of Games

I've been reading A Theory of Fun for Game Design by Raph Koster lately. It's a pretty different take on game design, unlike any other book on the topic I've seen so far. It was one of the titles recommended by Blair MacIntyre…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Creativity's Brief Moment

Creativity's Brief Moment

Grant McCracken on design creativity's brief moment in the sun. Now everyone is a supplier. Looking for the fundamentals. See also his book: Chief Culture Officer, still on my list.-


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Monte Carlo Simulation - Roulette

Monte Carlo Simulation - Roulette

In theory, theory and practice as the same. In practice, all too often, they are not. Sometimes running a simulation can help one separate theory and reality. For example, about a month ago I received an email that promised me…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2009-12-31

links for 2009-12-31

  • IBM is still schizophrenic on its patent policy apparently.
    (tags: IBM Patents)
  • Obama Curbs Secrecy of Classified Documents…


    From BLOG@CACM

    Tweets, Second Life, Visualisation: Student Ingenuity Will Never Cease

    Tweets, Second Life, Visualisation: Student Ingenuity Will Never Cease

     Some thoughts on using Second Life as a platform for first year CS teaching. Also raises the issue of setting appropriate challenge for brightest students.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Personal Kanban

    Personal Kanban

    Jerry Michalski is hosting a conference talk on Monday January 4 at 1:30 PM EST. Dial-in Number: 1-270-400-1500 Participant Access Code: 778778 ... Its about ' ... Personal Kanban, a way of seeing your work's shape, cadence…


    From My Biased Coin

    New Year's Again

    New Year's Again

    It's time for the annual New Year posting. Last year, I talked about the potential power of affirmations -- in the sense of thinking about concrete goals you hope to accomplish for the year. This year, I'll work in the same…


    From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

    Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - December 2009 (Vol. 52, No. 12)

    Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - December 2009 (Vol. 52, No. 12)

    Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the November issue of Communications of the ACM. As always, much of the material in CACM is premium content, and free content one month may slip behind a pay wall the next.…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Credit Card Reading with IPhone

    Credit Card Reading with IPhone

    Always interested in smartphone sensor ideas, here is another (via Stan Dyck) ... Jack Dorsey, Twitter Cofounder's new idea, a dongle type sensor that plugs into the audio jack on an Iphone and can read a mag stripe. from AP…


    From The Noisy Channel

    Forget Real-Time, Give Us Over Time!

    Forget Real-Time, Give Us Over Time!

    In a recent announcement, Twitter Platform / API Product Manager Ryan Sarver tells us that Twitter is: committed to providing a framework for any company big or small, rich or poor to do a deal with us to get access to the Firehose…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Bad Technology Predictions

    Bad Technology Predictions

    It's the time of the year for predictions. In the WSJ, some particularly bad and notorious ones I had mostly heard of before. Having lived through some of these and understanding the context at the time, they are not really as…


    From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    Keeping It Simple

    Keeping It Simple

    Sample code is a great way to learn how to do things in computer programming. The problem for many beginners is that a lot of sample code is written by professionals for professionals. This means several things both good andVisual…


    From Wild WebMink

    links for 2009-12-30

    links for 2009-12-30

    Fascinating insight gleaned from "Situations Vacant" shows just how much pain OpenOffice.org is really causing Microsoft, despite the effort their…


    From Schneier on Security

    Quantum Cryptography Cracked

    Quantum Cryptography Cracked

    Impressive:

    This presentation will show the first experimental implementation of an eavesdropper for quantum cryptosystem. Although quantum cryptography has been proven unconditionally secure, by exploiting physical imperfections…


    From Computer Science Teachers Association

    Lessons in Lego

    Lessons in Lego

    Last month the students in my high school collected cans of food for a local food bank. The cans were to be packed into boxes and distributed for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm sure this event was repeated at many elementary schools…


    From Schneier on Security

    Me and the Christmas Underwear Bomber

    Me and the Christmas Underwear Bomber

    I spent a lot of yesterday giving press interviews. Nothing I haven


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Collaborative Analytics

    Collaborative Analytics

    The emerging practice of collaborative analytics. Not a new idea, but more systematized by some vendors. Analytics have never been a solitary activity, they are always enhanced by collaborative interaction, certainly with the…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Stronger Mobile Component to Online

    Stronger Mobile Component to Online

    In Adage, a short article on where digital marketing is heading.


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Technical Analogies

    Technical Analogies

    Over the years I have frequently had to work with new hires and executives to describe changes in information technologies, especially game changing ideas like the Internet. So I liked this list of analogies you can use to make…


    From Schneier on Security

    Change Blindness

    Change Blindness

    Interesting video demonstrating change blindness: the human brain's tendency to ignore major visual changes. The implications for security are pretty serious.


    From Apophenia

    Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook's Data in Context

    Race and Social Network Sites: Putting Facebook's Data in Context

    A few weeks ago, Facebook's data team released a set of data addressing a simple but complex question: How Diverse is Facebook? Given my own work over the last two years concerning the intersection of race/ethnicity/class and…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Augmented Reality at Metaio

    Augmented Reality at Metaio

    Some interesting thoughts in ReadWriteWeb on the status of Augmented Reality leader Metaio which has the package Junaio that I have looked at on Smartphones. They are working woth enterprises on surprising marketing ideas, but…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Science of Sharing

    Science of Sharing

    Sharethis comments on the science of sharing. Some interesting, but rather self-serving statistics.


    From Michael Nielsen

    Biweekly links for 12/28/2009

    Biweekly links for 12/28/2009

    The Nobel Laureate Versus the Graduate Student

    A fascinating account of the 1962 debate between John Bardeen and Brian Josephson about Josephson’s suggestion that a superconducting current could tunnel through an insulator. …


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Quantum Machine Learning

    Quantum Machine Learning

    Google Research blog on quantum machine learning. Machine learning is the essence of artificial intelligence ... make a machine that learns and you can set it loose and wait for intelligent results. Trouble is, up to now its…


    From Schneier on Security

    "The Behavioral Economics of Personal Information"

    "The Behavioral Economics of Personal Information"

    Good survey article by Alessandro Acquisti in IEEE Computer.


    From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

    Monte Carlo Simulation

    Monte Carlo Simulation

    Random numbers are fun. Really they are. They are at the heart of gambling for sure but they are also a key part of what is called a Monte Carlo Simulation. These simulations are used for all sorts of scientific, financial, engineering…


    From Computational Complexity

    2009 Complexity Year in Review

    We go all the way back to January for the paper of the year, Mark Braverman's Poly-logarithmic independence fools AC0 circuits. Runners up include the Moser-Tardos aaLance | December 28, 2009 at 12:33 PM


    From The Noisy Channel

    Faceted Web Search?

    Faceted Web Search?

    Researchers from Microsoft say it’s very challenging. Google is trying, but there’s a long way to go. And Eric Iverson just wrote me to describe his own preliminary efforts to build faceted search on top of Yahoo! BOSS. I believe…

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