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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

Fricative Computing

Our discipline is dedicated to reducing friction. Our goal is to reduce the friction of computing and communication as much as possible. But should zero friction really be our goal? Let's bring friction back into computing.
DEPARTMENT: From the president

ACM President's Salary Increased by 300%!

I hope this headline got your attention! Of course, as with all voluntary positions at ACM, the salary is $0.00/year. However, you gain incalculably in satisfaction when you volunteer your time in any of the myriad opportunities …

A Few Good Reasons to Publish in Communications

The relationship ACM has with the computing community itself is ultimately less important for ACM than the need to continue offering valuable services to you, the reader and member of this community.
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the Editor

Try Old Boys Security Network

Trade and professional journals tell us how to achieve information security solutions, but such advice is not supported by experience. The confidentiality needed to achieve security greatly inhibits valid research and adequate …

Encouraging IT Usage in Future Healthcare; Quality in CS Education

Jeannette M. Wing considers how technology acts as a change agent for healthcare, while Mark Guzdial ponders ways to measure quality in computer science education.

Proving Grounds

Researchers are making headway with one of quantum computing's major theoretical problems: multi-prover interactive proofs.

Vanishing Electronics

Engineers are reinventing electronics by building safe devices that dissolve in the body or within the environment. The technology could redefine everything from medicine to computing.

'Small Data' Enabled Prediction of Obama's Win, Say Economists

"Big data" from crowdsourcing resulted in more complex predictions.
COLUMN: Law and technology

Fair Use in Europe

Examining the mismatch between copyright law and technology-influenced evolving social norms in the European Union.
COLUMN: Historical reflections

Max Newman: Forgotten Man of Early British Computing

Reflections on a significant, yet often overlooked, computing pioneer.
COLUMN: Education

Human-Centered Computing: A New Degree for Licklider's World

Combining computing and psychology, J.C.R. Licklider's prescient ideas are being applied in contemporary educational settings.
COLUMN: Viewpoint

The Science in Computer Science

Computer science is in a period of renaissance as it rediscovers its science roots.

Moving from Petaflops to Petadata

The race to build ever-faster supercomputers is on, with more contenders than ever before. However, the current goals set for this race may not lead to the fastest computation for particular applications.
SECTION: Practice

Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery

Google ads, black names and white names, racial discrimination, and click advertising.

Eventual Consistency Today: Limitations, Extensions, and Beyond

How can applications be built on eventually consistent infrastructure given no guarantee of safety?

A File System All Its Own

Flash memory has come a long way and it is time for software to catch up.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Collaboration With a Robotic Scrub Nurse

Surgeons use hand gestures and/or voice commands without interrupting the natural flow of a procedure.

Strategies for Tomorrow's 'Winners-Take-Some' Digital Goods Markets

Markets characterized by multiple competing digital standards have room for more than one winner, unlike traditional analog markets.
SECTION: Review articles

The Promise of Consumer Technologies in Emerging Markets

Employees in emerging markets find their own IT devices vital to job productivity and innovation.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: The Ray-Tracing Engine That Could

It has been an open question whether it is possible to build GPU-targeted high-performance software systems that are themselves programmable. "GPU Ray Tracing" shows how to achieve both programmability and high performance …

GPU Ray Tracing

The NVIDIA OptiX ray tracing engine builds on the key observation that most ray tracing algorithms can be implemented using a small set of programmable operations.
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Ant Alice's Adventures

These three puzzles involve my favorite ant, Ant Alice.