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

July 2013


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

Trick Questions Are A Bad Idea

Trick Questions Are A Bad Idea

Thanks to a post by Mark Guzdial I found What Makes Code Hard to Understand? This was a report of a study looking into what makes cade hard to understand even for professionals. I ran though one or two of the exercises and found…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Internet Policy Task Force Releases New Green Paper on Copyright Policy

Internet Policy Task Force Releases New Green Paper on Copyright Policy

The U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force today released a green paper titled “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.” The 122-page report provides an analysis of copyright policy…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Walmart Reveals Economic and Customer Trends

Walmart Reveals Economic and Customer Trends

From Consumer Goods Technology:  Some quite remarkable findings from the retail giant.   " ... A new report from retail behemoth Walmart Stores Inc. uses sales and survey data compiled in the first quarter of 2013 to identify…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Witness List for Thursday’s Hearing on “Innovation in America: The Role of Technology”

Witness List for Thursday’s Hearing on “Innovation in America: The Role of Technology”

House Hearing on “Innovation in America: The Role of Technology” House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Thursday, August 1, 2013, 9:30 a.m. ET Rayburn House Office Building –…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Demotion in Loyalty Systems

Demotion in Loyalty Systems

Loyalty systems big flaw.  Our brains in particular do not like demotion.  I remember my own particular example with Delta Airlines. After years of flying globally and reaching the highest platinum levels, I retired, minimized…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Neuromarketing for Dummies

Neuromarketing for Dummies

I see that Sands Research has recommended the NeuroMarketing for Dummies by Genco, Pohlmann and Steidel, now available for preorder:" ... Yes, a "Dummies" Book on Neuromarketing but trust us, it is full of excellent information…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Generating Infographics

Generating Infographics

Had reason to look at how to quickly generate simple infographics, and found this review and list of free options.  The intent is to use it to create examples that would later be given to a graphic artist to improve.  Still,…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Disney Captures Portrait Artist Strokes

Disney Captures Portrait Artist Strokes

More from Disney Research.  We all love the work of the sketch artist; quickly and effectively capturing both engaging art and knowledge.  Few of us can do it well.  We experimented with template based techniques   Could this…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Google+ Basics

Google+  Basics

I have been a user of Google+ since the beginning, prompted to do that by a clients use of the social technology.  Though now where near the traffic of Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook, its use has been increasing.  Especially for…


From BLOG@CACM

Towards Empirical Answers to the Core Problems of Software Engineering

Towards Empirical Answers to the Core Problems of Software Engineering

Can empirical research give us an answer to the big problems?


From Putting People First

Usman Haque: ‘Messiness will inevitably arise in spite of smart cities’

Usman Haque: ‘Messiness will inevitably arise in spite of smart cities’

No matter what attempts are made to impose order and predictability on cities of the near future, a messiness will inevitably arise, argues Usman Haque. “Grub City citizens recognise it’s through the activity of measurement,…


From Putting People First

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Rob Egerton and Jeanette Kaye of HRW write on why research needs to go beyond the individual’s perspective to get closer to the reality of behaviour. “Two important theories – which many of you may have heard of – shed new light…


From Schneier on Security

Brian Krebs Harassed

Brian Krebs Harassed

This is what happens when you're a security writer and you piss off the wrong people: they conspire to have heroin mailed to you, and then to tip off the police. And that's after they've called in a fake hostage situation.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Avoid the Soft Yes

Avoid the Soft Yes

In the HBR, Avoiding the soft yes.  Requires free registration to read in full.  Worth doing that.


From Computer Science Teachers Association

Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New

I've been programming since 1972 (junior year of high school, long before programming in high school was considered a normal course of events). Over the years I've programmed in BASIC, FORTRAN, LISP, PL/1, Scheme, Prolog, C,…


From Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

Making Choices

The Axiom Of Choice, some history, some ideas Gregory Moore is a historian of mathematical logic. One connection he has to things dear to us is that he edited the first two volumes of Kurt Gödel’s Collected Works, as well as…


From Schneier on Security

Neighborhood Security: Feeling vs. Reality

Neighborhood Security: Feeling vs. Reality

Research on why some neighborhoods feel safer:

Salesses and collaborators Katja Schechtner and César A. Hidalgo built an online comparison tool using Google Street View images to identify these often unseen triggers of our perception…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Kelloggs Loyalty Program

Kelloggs Loyalty Program

In AdAge:  A considerably complete program for tracking loyalty.    " ... Kellogg's loyalty program brings in data on 90% of its products  ... Kellogg's Family Rewards loyalty program, which counts 3.5 million members, allows…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Had not heard of this, but Microsoft Virtual Academy provides free MS package training.   This appears to be mostly advanced technology oriented.


From Schneier on Security

Really Clever Bank Card Fraud

Really Clever Bank Card Fraud

This is a really clever social engineering attack against a bank-card holder:

It all started, according to the police, on the Saturday night where one of this gang will have watched me take money from the cash point. That'sThe…


From Computer Science Teacher – Thoughts and Information From Alfred Thompson

CS Educator Interview: Peter Beens

CS Educator Interview: Peter Beens

Back to Canada for our interview today. Peter Beens teaches at Beamsville District Secondary School in a small town in Ontario. Peter is very active online but attends a lot of actual conferences as well. He often travels great…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Necessity of Encryption

Necessity of Encryption

In CIO Insight: A good overview of the reasons for using encryption with personal data.  The legal risks involved and current status of state laws in this area.


From The Eponymous Pickle

Predicting Hiring Success

Predicting Hiring Success

From Fast Company:   Every company wants to avoid expensive mistakes.  New methods of analytics with more data is leading to making better hiring choices  " ... An interesting advantage of big data is its use to dissipate workplace…


From The Computing Community Consortium Blog

Robotics and Jobs, mutually beneficial

Robotics and Jobs, mutually beneficial

Chris Isidore of CNN Money, wrote on July 29 about Amazon’s announcement to hire 7,000 new employees, 5,000 of which are for their nationwide distribution centers in an article titled Amazon hiring 7,000 workers.  Last week,…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

The Week Ahead: Congress to Hold Hearings on Copyright and Patents

The Week Ahead: Congress to Hold Hearings on Copyright and Patents

Four hearings on Capitol Hill this week will focus on intellectual property issues related to cellphone unlocking, standard essential patents, copyright, and cross-border intellectual property rights under a new trade agreement…


From U.S. Public Policy Committee of the ACM

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 29

Hill Tech Happenings, Week of July 29

July 30 Markup: The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will review pending legislation. Scheduled for consideration is a new cybersecurity bill introduced last week. 2:30 p.m., 253 Russell Building


From The Eponymous Pickle

Complimentary Webinar on Today's Marketing Strategies

Complimentary Webinar on Today's Marketing Strategies

Of interest.  by the SNCR which I worked with since its founding.  I plan to attend.Complimentary Webinar CMO 2.0: Marketing Strategies for Dealing with Today’s Marketing ChallengesTuesday, August 13, 2013 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM…


From Computational Complexity

Certifying primality in a CONSTANT number of operations

For this post I will only count the operations PLUS, MINUS, MULT. They may be done on rather large numbers. Recall that from the work coming out of Hilberts 10th problem we know the following: For every c.e. set (used to betheorem…


From The Female Perspective of Computer Science

Brenda Romero at G4C13: The Games Need to Change

Brenda Romero at G4C13: The Games Need to Change

In the games for change movement, what needs to change? Brenda Romero, designer in residence at UC Santa Cruz, thinks it's the games.

In her Games for Change 2013 keynote, Romero explains that she did not make her award-winning…


From The Eponymous Pickle

Mobile Devices and Cybercrime

Mobile Devices and Cybercrime

And more In Knowledge@Wharton on Mobile devices and crime.  Here in much more detail about the implications of mobile to cybercrime.   Your phone may be your weakest link. " ... Not only do such devices become points of access…

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