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Peter J. Denning, Editor in ChiefThe digitally connected world has become a large, swirling sea of information stripped of context. We help our readers make sense of it, find meaning in it, learn what to trust, and speculate on our future.

Peter J. Denning,
Editor-in-Chief

 

LATEST ARTICLES
department

How an ugly duckling became a swan

December 2016
by Philip Yaffe

The thrust of the "Communication Corner" is to offer step-by-step advice to help you become a better writer and speaker. However, perhaps the best way to get started is with some encouraging background. This first essay tells how Phillip Yaffe went from being a very poor writer and speaker to being a recognizably good one, almost despite himself.

Practical, step-by-step advice to help you do the same will begin next month.

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Commentary

Screwbots

October 2016
by Alessio Malizia, Alan Chamberlain

Have you ever thought of lying to your smartphone to protect your privacy? Everyday we face a dilemma about privacy: We take advantage of apps that are able to use our location or data to provide smart services at the expense of privacy (we all know our data can be supplied to third parties), or we cling on to our privacy and ignore the benefits of such smart technologies. It does not have to necessarily be like this, in this article we describe the rise of a new kind of intelligent apps we called Screwbots.

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Interview

Unums 2.0: An Interview with John L. Gustafson

September 2016
Interviewed by Walter Tichy

In an earlier interview (April 2016), Ubiquity spoke with John Gustafson about the unum, a new format for floating point numbers. The unique property of unums is that they always know how many digits of accuracy they have. Now Gustafson has come up with yet another format that, like the unum 1.0, always knows how accurate it is. But it also allows an almost arbitrary mapping of bit patterns to the reals. In doing so, it paves the way for custom number systems that squeeze the maximum accuracy out of a given number of bits. This new format could have prime applications in deep learning, big data, and exascale computing.

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Interview

Rethinking Randomness: An interview with Jeff Buzen, Part II

August 2016
Interviewed by Peter J. Denning

In Part 1, Jeff Buzen discussed the basic principles of his new approach to randomness, which is the topic of his book Rethinking Randomness. He continues here with a more detailed discussion of models that have been used successfully to predict the performance of systems ranging from early time sharing computers to modern web servers.

Peter J. Denning
Editor in Chief

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