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

December 2010


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disney Crowd Control Center

Disney Crowd Control Center

I mentioned the science of queuing theory here recently.   In the late 70's I had a chance to meet with scientists at Disney theme parks to talk crowd control.  As you might expect they were very interested in the dynamics of…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Research into Squid Skin

Friday Squid Blogging: Research into Squid Skin

DoD awarded a $6M grant to study squid skin:

"Our internal nickname for this project is 'squid skin,' but it is really about fundamental research," said Naomi Halas, a nano-optics pioneer at Rice and the principal investigator…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-12-31

links for 2010-12-31

OSI Asks German FCO to Look Into the Proposed Patent Deal & You Can Too Groklaw has some useful extra information that helps cast light on the dynamics of the Novell patent sale. (tags: OSI Groklaw Novell Microsoft CPTN Patents…


From Schneier on Security

Tor Routers

Tor Routers

Home routers that automatically run Tor.


From Wild WebMink

? The Typhoid Mary of Three Strikes

? The Typhoid Mary of Three Strikes

Just before Christmas we saw the Spanish Parliament reject yet another attempt to introduce laws in Europe restricting Internet freedoms. There have been a rush of them this year, popping up in country after country, each national…


From The Noisy Channel

Reflecting on 2010: Searching for Answers

Reflecting on 2010: Searching for Answers

Yes, it’s that time of year when we take a moment to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and muse about what the next year will bring. Other than milder weather! I began this year as a Noogler and leave it as a Xoogler…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Preparing to Answer Questions You Don't Know the Answer To

Preparing to Answer Questions You Don't Know the Answer To

I'm pretty bad at answering questions on the spot unless I already know the answer (in which case I am practically no longer conscious of the good things I'm saying).  I recently asked for some advice on how to get better at:


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kurzweil Evaluates His Predictions

Kurzweil Evaluates His Predictions

Ray Kurzweil evaluates the predictions he made in his book: The Age of the Spiritual Machine. I like futurist self evaluation, and he does it frankly and well.


From Schneier on Security

Civil War Message Decoded

Civil War Message Decoded

Interesting.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Skype IPhone App Includes Video

Skype IPhone App Includes Video

Engadget post on the update of Skype App which now includes video interaction in 3G and Wifi. Depending on quality could compete strongly with FaceTime.


From The Eponymous Pickle

This Year in Mobile

This Year in Mobile

Technology Review post on important developments in 2010 in Mobile tech.


From Wild WebMink

? Imogen Heap

? Imogen Heap

It really is time Imogen Heap released an album of B-Sides And Rarities. There’s some really good stuff out there uncollected on any album of hers. I’m maintaining a track listing just in case she needs any help – I’d welcome…


From Wild WebMink

? OSI Refers Novell Transaction To Competition Authorities

? OSI Refers Novell Transaction To Competition Authorities

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) Board of Directors announced today that it has taken the unprecedented step of referring the proposed sale of Novell’s patents to the CPTN consortium (led by Microsoft and allegedly including…


From Schneier on Security

TSA Inspecting Thermoses

TSA Inspecting Thermoses

This is new:

Adm. James Winnefeld told The Associated Press Friday that the Transportation Security Administration is "always trying to think ahead." Winnefeld is the head of the U.S. Northern Command, which is charged withTSA…


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Top Ten Indications You Are A Computer Industry Newbie

Top Ten Indications You Are A Computer Industry Newbie

Just for fun and because I am old[ish]. But more seriously, because people should know the history of computer science and the computer industry so as not to repeat mistakes.

You think garbage collection came in with Java…


From The Eponymous Pickle

IBM's View of the Future

IBM's View of the Future

In Computerworld: A view of the future by IBM. Some interesting and some unusual.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Need Help?

Need Help?

Wanted to remind my readers that I am a consultant.   I have over thirty years of experience with major companies and the US government.   I have saved companies many millions of dollars in costs and  led a number of major innovation…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Analytics at Work

Analytics at Work

Late, but just brought to my attention: Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results byThomas H. Davenport , Jeanne G. Harris  and  Robert Morison


From Computational Complexity

Complexity Year in Review 2010

Complexity Theorem of the year goes to Ryan Williams for his exciting separation of NEXP from ACC0, just one of many exciting papers this year. The runner up is Arora, Barak and Steurer for their algorithm for unique games. Also…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-12-29

links for 2010-12-29

The DMCA Re-Fanged: Courts Now At Odds Over Copyright Protection for Software Security Devices Bad news here about the DMCA in America being given unwanted and unwarranted further reach, allowing corporations to control their…


From Putting People First

Videos of UX Week 2010

Videos of UX Week 2010

At the end of August Adaptive Path held its UX Week 2010 in San Francisco and uploaded videos of all the presentations a little after. I only noticed them now. Some personally selected highlights: Data informed, not data driven…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mobile Business Intelligence

Mobile Business Intelligence

Emerging Tech: Business Intelligent Apps go Mobile.  Fairly good CW overview piece that is worth a look.  Includes some simple real examples.  I agree this can be a powerful idea, especially if the analysis can be taken into…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Nivea Facebook Promotion

Nivea Facebook Promotion

An example of a contest style  Nivea Facebook promotion in Mashable.


From Schneier on Security

Terrorism Reading List

Terrorism Reading List

Interesting interview, discussing five books (none of which I've read, by the way).


From Wild WebMink

? Your Rights Or Their Copyrights?

? Your Rights Or Their Copyrights?

What crime do you have to commit where you live to be forbidden to walk on the streets? Removal of basic rights is a matter of criminal not civil law so moves to make “internet bans” easy are an unacceptable expansion into criminal…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Where in the World (of Career Clusters) is Computer Science?

Where in the World (of Career Clusters) is Computer Science?

Since I have spent most of the last twelve months of my work life aligning the proposed revision to our standard course of study to the career clusters, I seem to frame many of my thoughts around those career clusters. I can


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-12-28

links for 2010-12-28

The first truly honest privacy policy Whenever you see any claim to be respecting your privacy, this is what they actually mean. (tags: privacy, policy, satire, humour) Grow revenues before seeking VC funding This is exactly…


From The Eponymous Pickle

AI Revolution

AI Revolution

I was involved in the development of AI applications for a large company.  A dozen people developed applications for five years.   A few applications were very successful, but most failed to be what was expected.  They were not…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Snowflakes in 3D

Snowflakes in 3D

Snowflakes under an electron microscope.  No 3D glasses required, only the old eye-crossing and relaxing trick.  Phenomenal to see the details of structure there. 


From The Eponymous Pickle

Algorithms on Wall Street

Algorithms on Wall Street

In Wired: The increasing use of artificial intelligence on Wall Street.  I remember going to a number of presentations on this once before, at the Santa Fe Institute, back in the late 90s.  And wasn't that just before .... ?…

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