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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.

April 2010


From Putting People First

Design driven prison design in Belgium

Design driven prison design in Belgium

Flanders InShape, the Flemish/Belgian competence centre for product development and industrial design, is supporting a new research project on the development of a requirements programme for future prison design in Belgium. On…


From Schneier on Security

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Purity Test

Friday Squid Blogging: Squid Purity Test

I didn't know this:

A Squid is a motorcycle rider who, experienced or not, rides outside his abilities and sets poor examples by attire, propriety, and general behavior on the motorcycle.

115 questions in the test.


From Schneier on Security

Homeopathic Bomb

Homeopathic Bomb

This is funny:

The world has been placed on a heightened security alert following reports that New Age terrorists have harnessed the power of homeopathy for evil. "Homeopathic weapons represent a major threat to world peace,"…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Cuddle Hormone

Cuddle Hormone

Does the 'Cuddle Hormone' make men more empathetic? And where do such focused solutions end up? " ... "This study is the latest of several that suggest that intranasal oxytocin seems to 'sensitise' people to become more aware…


From Putting People First

Towards a Finnish user needs based service economy

Towards a Finnish user needs based service economy

Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund [disclaimer: and Experientia client] has launched a new book, After the Crisis, and a report, Finland: Wellsprings for a Vital Future, that shed light on the fundamental change Finland is going…


From The Eponymous Pickle

How Procter is Luring Back Customers

How Procter is Luring Back Customers

A WSJ piece about how P&G is luring back customers in tough times.-


From My Biased Coin

Should There Be a "PostDoc Registration" Rate?

Should There Be a "PostDoc Registration" Rate?

Most every computer science conference has (at least) two rates for registration:  students and other.  Ostensibly, this is because we want to encourage student attendance at conferences.  While it's not often put in these terms…


From Computational Complexity

The Base of Computational Complexity

In the April CACM, George V. Neville-Neil wrote a column on a question about the foundations of computer science:In most areas of science there are a few basic underlying laws that inform the rest of the study of a given subject…


From Schneier on Security

Fun with Secret Questions

Fun with Secret Questions

Ally Bank wants its customers to invent their own personal secret questions and answers; the idea is that an operator will read the question over the phone and listen for an answer. Ignoring for the moment the problem of the…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

CRA-W Grad Cohort: Tips For Finishing Your PhD

CRA-W Grad Cohort: Tips For Finishing Your PhD

What does finishing a PhD mean and what will it take? Prof. Padma Raghavan, Pennsylvania State University, gave us a fun and informative session on taking it from proposal to thesis to defence in as pain-free a way as possible…


From Wild WebMink

links for 2010-04-30

links for 2010-04-30

Digital Economy Bill – UK Election Digital Debate Hear Brown, Cameron & Clegg in their own words on the Digital Economy Act. Brown says it needs scrutiny, although he still let Mandelson ram it through. Cameron tries to defend…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Augmenting and Virtualizing the World

Augmenting and Virtualizing the World

In Gigantico, a series of videos being produced by Chris Grayson on this topic. The link here points to the first video, which specifically talks about augmented reality. A number of useful case-studies, in particular applications…


From Daniel Lemire's Blog

What is a good University?

What is a good University?

Seth Godin wrote a devastating post on the future of higher education. Unlike Godin, I fail to see an imminent crash of high education. But then, I failed to predict the recent financial market crash. However, as someone who…


From The Eponymous Pickle

World's Fair Sparks the Future

World's Fair Sparks the Future

Wired article on the technology inspirations of the 1939 World's Fair. The WP post is also interesting. Was before my time, but I was inspired by the 1964/1965 Fair, which included a database retrieval demonstration by IBM, whose…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Thank God for Out-of-Stocks

Thank God for Out-of-Stocks

I was at a training meeting at a major manufacturer this week that emphasized retail design to decrease out of stocks. Herb Sorensen sees it differently.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Enormous Promise of Location

Enormous Promise of Location

Good piece in GigaOm, on the enormous promise of location. Good as an introductory piece to forward. I have been involved in a number of mapping, Geographical and tracking systems in industry over the years. And yes, it is right…


From Putting People First

A special report on television

A special report on television

This week’s Economist contains a special report on television. The leader article presents television as the great survivor, which has coped well with technological change: “It helps that TV is an inherently lazy form of entertainment…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - April 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 4)

Policy Highlights from Communications of the ACM - April 2010 (Vol. 53, No. 4)

Below is a list of items with policy relevance from the April 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. You…


From Schneier on Security

Hypersonic Cruise Missiles

Hypersonic Cruise Missiles

The U.S. is developing a weapon capable of striking anywhere on the planet within an hour. The article talks about the possibility of modifying Trident missiles -- problematic because they would be indistinguishable from nuclear…


From The Eponymous Pickle

ZapThink on KYield

ZapThink on KYield

I mention Kyield again, with which I am involved. The IT consulting firm Zapthink just did an overview of Kyield. Mark Montgomery, CEO of Kyield gives a detailed and insightful response.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Consumer Loyalty with Foursquare

Consumer Loyalty with Foursquare

In the NYT, comments from FMI, another example of location-based loyalty: " ... Companies including PepsiCo and Starbucks are using the location-based Foursquare network to reward customer loyalty. The network gives companies…


From Computer Science Teachers Association

NJ Students Protest Budget Cuts

NJ Students Protest Budget Cuts

On April 20, 2010, the school budget in my township was PASSED. In an average year, approximately 70% of school budgets in NJ are approved. On April 20, 2010, close to 60% of the school budgets in NJ were defeated.

Politics …


From Apophenia

I gave today’s opening keynote at the WWW Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.


From Computational Complexity

STOC/CCC/EC/THEORYDAY/GRANTS

Announcements:

  • STOC Early Registration closes on April 30. STOC itself is June 6,7,8.
  • CCC Early Registration closes May 3. CCC itself is June 9,10,11.
  • EC Early Registration closes on May 6. EC itself is June 7-11.
  • The IBM…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Checking in to Objects

    Checking in to Objects

    I have mentioned the concept before, 'checking in' to objects rather than locations. Adage mentions it in a recent post. The Stickybits App is one of the first applications of this for mobile and worth taking a look at. Can change…


    From The Eponymous Pickle

    Smell Sensors

    Smell Sensors

    The idea is not new, creating a smell profile and using sensors to find it. Some new directions.


    From Wild WebMink

    ? Boosters and Detractors 2.0

    ? Boosters and Detractors 2.0

    Web 2.0 gives with one hand and takes away with the other.


    From Schneier on Security

    Frank Furedi on Worst-Case Thinking

    Frank Furedi on Worst-Case Thinking

    Nice essay by sociologist Frank Furedi on worse-case thinking, exemplified by our reaction to the Icelandic volcano:

    I am not a natural scientist, and I claim no authority to say anything of value about the risks posed by volcanic…


    From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

    CRA-W Grad Cohort: Finding a Research Topic

    CRA-W Grad Cohort: Finding a Research Topic

    What makes a topic appropriate for a PhD dissertation? What is and isn't computer science research? What should you do when you're stuck? All these questions and more were answered by Prof. Lori Pollock from University of Delaware…


    From Putting People First

    The data-driven life

    The data-driven life

    Gary Wolf reflects in the upcoming New York Times Magazine on what happens when technology can analyze “every quotidian thing that happened to you today.” “Numbers make problems less resonant emotionally but more tractable intellectually…

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