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Communications of the ACM

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

June 2015


From ACM Opinion

Technology and The Evolution of Storytelling

Technology and The Evolution of Storytelling

It is such an exciting time to be a filmmaker.


From ACM Opinion

We Should Drop the Leap Second Before It Causes Real Damage

We Should Drop the Leap Second Before It Causes Real Damage

The latest leap second couldn’t have come at a worse time.


From ACM Opinion

How to Write About World War III

How to Write About World War III

One of us first fought World War III from the backseat of a station wagon headed toward Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For the other, it was at an island cabin on the Puget Sound waters of Washington state.


From ACM Opinion

Andre Geim: Graphene's Buzz Has Spread

Andre Geim: Graphene's Buzz Has Spread

More than 600 physicists have descended on Manchester, UK in the past few days for Graphene Week 2015.


From ACM Opinion

Sean Parker: Philanthropy for Hackers

Sean Parker: Philanthropy for Hackers

In the past several decades, there has been a monumental shift in the distribution of wealth on the planet.


From ACM Opinion

Does a Multiverse Fermi Paradox Disprove the Multiverse?

Does a Multiverse Fermi Paradox Disprove the Multiverse?

Having just orbited our way through another summer solstice, it feels like time to let slip some more speculative ideas before the hot days of the northern hemisphere shorten too much again and rational thinking returns.


From ACM Opinion

That Time the CIA Bugged a Cat to Spy on the Soviets

That Time the CIA Bugged a Cat to Spy on the Soviets

My favorite story about American spying is one I've never been able to verify with the Central Intelligence Agency, and not for lack of trying.


From ACM Opinion

6 Reasons Why We're Underhyping the Internet of Things

6 Reasons Why We're Underhyping the Internet of Things

Just when you thought the Internet of Things couldn't possibly live up to its hype, along comes a blockbuster, 142-page report from McKinsey Global Institute ("The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype") that


From ACM Opinion

'Minority Report' Interface Designer: Future Tech Needs a Better Dictionary

'Minority Report' Interface Designer: Future Tech Needs a Better Dictionary

There's this game I like to play when I'm out reporting. Whenever I’m doing an interview or attending a presentation about virtual or augmented reality, I count the time until a "Minority Report" reference.


From ACM News

Should a Driverless Car Decide Who Lives or Dies?

Should a Driverless Car Decide Who Lives or Dies?

The gearheads in Detroit, Tokyo, and Stuttgart have mostly figured out how to build driverless vehicles. Even the Google guys seem to have solved the riddle.


From ACM Opinion

What Is the Big Secret Surrounding Stingray Surveillance?

What Is the Big Secret Surrounding Stingray Surveillance?

Given the amount of mobile phone traffic that cell phone towers transmit, it is no wonder law enforcement agencies target these devices as a rich source of data to aid their investigations.


From ACM Opinion

Humans Are Tech's Next Big Thing—And That Could Be Risky

Humans Are Tech's Next Big Thing—And That Could Be Risky

Internet companies make billions of dollars by capturing one of the world's most precious commodities: your attention.


From ACM Opinion

Will Millimeter Waves Maximize 5G Wireless?

Will Millimeter Waves Maximize 5G Wireless?

Every decade or so since the first cellular networks appeared the companies that make mobile devices and the networks linking them have worked out new requirements defining transmission speeds, capacity and other technical characteristics


From ACM Opinion

A Social Network for Talkers

A Social Network for Talkers

No group needs social network software more than the elderly.


From ACM Opinion

Is Facial Recognition Tech Really a Threat to Privacy?

Is Facial Recognition Tech Really a Threat to Privacy?

Facebook has decided not to offer its photo-sharing app Moments in Europe because of regulator concerns over its facial recognition technology.


From ACM Opinion

The Moment I Decided Robots Were As Interesting As Humans

The Moment I Decided Robots Were As Interesting As Humans

When I was little, I was enamored with the idea of being a pioneer; I was drawn to the thought that I could be the first to do something—be a trailblazer, the forerunner of a movement.


From ACM Opinion

Intelligent Life in the Universe? Phone Home, Dammit!

Intelligent Life in the Universe? Phone Home, Dammit!

We've been conditioned by television and movies to accept the likelihood of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.


From ACM Opinion

Beware the Listening Machines

Beware the Listening Machines

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I'm intrigued by, but know nothing about.


From ACM Opinion

The Latest Oculus Headset Made Me Want to Throw Up. In a Good Way.

The Latest Oculus Headset Made Me Want to Throw Up. In a Good Way.

Virtual reality and its viability as a consumer technology is a huge theme at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, a Los Angeles convention for the video game industry.


From ACM Opinion

How the Astros Baseball Hack Explains Chinese Cyberespionage

How the Astros Baseball Hack Explains Chinese Cyberespionage

Two major cybersecurity scandals are currently making headlines: One is the hack of an internal network belonging to a Major League Baseball team, allegedly by officials of another team. The other is a hack of the Office of Personnel


From ACM Opinion

What's It Like at a Top-Tier Conservatory? There's an App for That

What's It Like at a Top-Tier Conservatory? There's an App for That

The world of education has become a rapidly expanding universe.


From ACM News

Who Will Own the Robots?

Who Will Own the Robots?

The way Hod Lipson describes his Creative Machines Lab captures his ambitions: "We are interested in robots that create and are creative."  


From ACM TechNews

Fixating on Exascale Performance Only Is a Bad Idea

Fixating on Exascale Performance Only Is a Bad Idea

A concentration on realizing exascale computing performance to the exclusion of all else will not address the grand societal and scientific challenges, according to Harvard University lecturer Sadasivan Shankar.


From ACM Opinion

No One Questions Google's Ability to Innovate, So Why Do Its Moonshots Look Like Money Pits?

No One Questions Google's Ability to Innovate, So Why Do Its Moonshots Look Like Money Pits?

Consider a question that we have been puzzling over at the World Economic Forum.


From ACM Opinion

EBay's Security Chief Cites Evolving Cyberthreats

EBay's Security Chief Cites Evolving Cyberthreats

It seems there's nowhere to hide these days from cyberattacks.


From ACM Opinion

Why the OPM Breach Is Such a Security and Privacy Debacle

Why the OPM Breach Is Such a Security and Privacy Debacle

If it's not already a maxim, it should be: Every big hack discovered will eventually prove to be more serious than first believed.


From ACM News

Facial Recognition Technology Is Everywhere. It May Not Be Legal.

Facial Recognition Technology Is Everywhere. It May Not Be Legal.

Being anonymous in public might be a thing of the past.


From ACM News

Americans Resigned to Giving Up Their Privacy, Says Study

Americans Resigned to Giving Up Their Privacy, Says Study

I am not fond of depressing you. So I'm going to leave it to a new study performed by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School For Communication.


From ACM Opinion

Stop Laughing at Those Clumsy Humanoid Robots

Stop Laughing at Those Clumsy Humanoid Robots

The humanoid robot, built like a linebacker with an oversized head, tiptoes on two feet through the dirt.


From ACM Opinion

What Apple's Tim Cook Overlooked in His Defense of Privacy

What Apple's Tim Cook Overlooked in His Defense of Privacy

Timothy D. Cook, Apple's chief executive, delivered a speech last week that raised some eyebrows in the technology industry.

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