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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.

October 2014


From ACM Opinion

Human Spaceflight: Find Asteroids to Get to Mars

Human Spaceflight: Find Asteroids to Get to Mars

Interplanetary flight is the next giant leap for humans in space. Yet consensus on even the smallest steps forward has proven elusive.


From ACM Opinion

Demystifying the MOOC

Demystifying the MOOC

When massive open online courses first grabbed the spotlight in 2011, many saw in them promise of a revolutionary force that would disrupt traditional higher education by expanding access and reducing costs.


From ACM TechNews

The Robot in the Cloud: A Conversation With Ken Goldberg

The Robot in the Cloud: A Conversation With Ken Goldberg

University of California, Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg is establishing a research center that will focus on developing surgical robots.


From ACM Opinion

Why All Employees Must Learn to Code

Why All Employees Must Learn to Code

The most important technological skill for all employees is being able to code.


From ACM Opinion

Why Rite Aid and CVS Stopped Taking Apple Pay

Why Rite Aid and CVS Stopped Taking Apple Pay

The introduction of Apple Pay last Monday was widely described as the dawn of a new era for smartphone payments.


From ACM Opinion

The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World

The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World

A few months ago I made the trek to the sylvan campus of the IBM research labs in Yorktown Heights, New York, to catch an early glimpse of the fast-arriving, long-overdue future of artificial intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

Vimeo Tech Chief Takes on 'Terrifying' Online Video Challenges

Vimeo Tech Chief Takes on 'Terrifying' Online Video Challenges

Think online video is old hat? Think again.


From ACM Opinion

When iPhones Ring, the Economy Listens

When iPhones Ring, the Economy Listens

Gloomy economic news and the wild swings of the stock market may be getting you down. But at least you can count on this: We’ve entered the sweet spot of the iPhone cycle.


From ACM Opinion

Could Robots Become Too Cute for Comfort?

Could Robots Become Too Cute for Comfort?

Would you share your innermost secret with a robot?


From ACM Opinion

William Gibson Writes the Future

William Gibson Writes the Future

William Gibson lives in an overwhelmingly green suburb with old-money roots south of Vancouver's downtown, and it is in this suburb that I am currently wandering, looking for William Gibson.


From ACM Opinion

Christine Kenneally's 'Invisible History of the Human Race'

Christine Kenneally's 'Invisible History of the Human Race'

Of Christine Kenneally’s father’s father—a man neither Kenneally nor her father ever knew, a man who did the deed requisite to reproduction and promptly vanished—she asks, "Did he leave anything more significant than the loud


From ACM Opinion

Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts

Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts

The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges.


From ACM TechNews

Q&A With Futurist Martine Rothblatt

Q&A With Futurist Martine Rothblatt

In an interview, satellite radio pioneer and futurist Martine Rothblatt says she believes there is little doubt humans will eventually invent ways to create virtual people and fully digital consciousnesses.


From ACM Opinion

OkCupid's XOXO for Big Surveillance

OkCupid's XOXO for Big Surveillance

Christian Rudder is a good writer—so good, in fact, it's easy for readers of Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) to be smitten by his engaging and funny stories.


From ACM Opinion

Isaac Asimov Mulls 'How Do People Get New Ideas?'

Isaac Asimov Mulls 'How Do People Get New Ideas?'

In 1959, I worked as a scientist at Allied Research Associates in Boston.


From ACM Opinion

In Conversation Marc Andreessen

In Conversation Marc Andreessen

It's not hard to coax an opinion out of Marc Andreessen.


From ACM Opinion

To Siri, With Love

To Siri, With Love

Just how bad a mother am I? I wondered, as I watched my 13-year-old son deep in conversation with Siri.


From ACM Opinion

The Holder of Secrets

The Holder of Secrets

From the garden terrace of a sixth-floor walkup on a quiet Berlin street, there was a clear view to the TV Tower, in Alexanderplatz.


From ACM Opinion

FBI Director on Privacy, Electronic Surveillance

FBI Director on Privacy, Electronic Surveillance

James Comey, the director of the FBI, says the Internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable.


From ACM Opinion

How Big Data Algorithms See Us—While They Eat Us Up

How Big Data Algorithms See Us—While They Eat Us Up

Four years ago I interviewed Sam Yagan, then CEO of OKCupid, about the mathematics underlying his free matchmaking site.


From ACM Opinion

Countering Tech's Damaging Effect on Jobs

Countering Tech's Damaging Effect on Jobs

Advances in information and communications technology are destroying more jobs in advanced economies than the advances are creating. This poses a political challenge for governments throughout the developed world.


From ACM Opinion

The Adultery Arms Race

The Adultery Arms Race

Jay's wife, Ann, was supposed to be out of town on business.


From ACM Opinion

The August Smart Lock Shows Why You Should Stick With Dumb Keys

The August Smart Lock Shows Why You Should Stick With Dumb Keys

You almost certainly don't need a digital smart lock for your front door.


From ACM Opinion

Why Germans Are Afraid of Google

Why Germans Are Afraid of Google

These days Germany is known for being many things: a leader in clean technology, a manufacturing powerhouse, Europe's foreign policy center.


From ACM Opinion

Find Out What Your ZIP Code Predicts You'll Buy

Find Out What Your ZIP Code Predicts You'll Buy

Where you live says a lot about you—and nobody knows that better than marketeers. Now, though, you can take a glimpse at what they know, using this searchable map built by software company Esri.


From ACM Opinion

5 Insights from Vint Cerf on Bitcoin, Net Neutrality and More

5 Insights from Vint Cerf on Bitcoin, Net Neutrality and More

When Vint Cerf, often called the "father of the Internet," is speaking, it's wise to listen.


From ACM Opinion

Google's Schmidt Fires Back Over Encryption

Google's Schmidt Fires Back Over Encryption

To hear Google Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt tell it, the U.S. government has only itself to blame for new efforts by Google and Apple Inc. to keep police out of suspects' smartphones.


From ACM Opinion

The Myth of the Lone Genius

The Myth of the Lone Genius

The computer and the Internet are among the most important inventions of our era, but few people know who created them.


From ACM Opinion

Should We Tailor Difficulty of a School Text to Child's Comfort Level or Make Them Sweat?

Should We Tailor Difficulty of a School Text to Child's Comfort Level or Make Them Sweat?

"A man who traveled from Liberia to visit family members in Texas tested positive for Ebola on Tuesday, marking the outbreak's first diagnosis outside of Africa, health officials said."


From ACM Opinion

The Planning Machine

The Planning Machine

In June, 1972, Ángel Parra, Chile’s leading folksinger, wrote a song titled "Litany for a Computer and a Baby About to Be Born."

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Blog at CACM
Software’s Vital Role @Japan Robot Week 2014
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Modern robots are no longer just about hardware. Software algorithms play an essential role in bringing life-like movements to industrial robots and …

What Is Your Research Culture? Part 1: The Questionnaire
What Is Your Research Culture? Part 1: The Questionnaire
10.25.2014

What kind of computer science culture reigns in your country and organization: retro, or modern? Take the questionnaire and find out.

Satya Nadella and Grace Hopper
Satya Nadella and Grace Hopper
10.16.2014

Thoughts about Satya Nadella's comments at the Grace Hopper Conference.

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