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

July 2016


From ACM Opinion

The Doom of Your Memories Doesn't Really Exist

The Doom of Your Memories Doesn't Really Exist

If you played Doom during its heyday in the 90s, I have some disappointing news: it's not as frightening as you remember.


From ACM Opinion

How Copyright Law Stifles Your Right to Tinker with Tech

How Copyright Law Stifles Your Right to Tinker with Tech

The CEO of the gadget-repair site iFixit explains why tech groups are suing the U.S. government over the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.


From ACM Opinion

WikiLeaks Has Officially Lost the Moral High Ground

WikiLeaks Has Officially Lost the Moral High Ground

What the heck is going on at WikiLeaks?


From ACM Opinion

Dark Patterns Are Designed to Trick You (and They're All Over the Web)

Dark Patterns Are Designed to Trick You (and They're All Over the Web)

It happens to the best of us. After looking closely at a bank statement or cable bill, suddenly a small, unrecognizable charge appears.


From ACM Opinion

The Science That Fed Frankenstein

The Science That Fed Frankenstein

In 1816, a teenager began to compose what many view as the first true work of science fiction—and unleashed one of the most subversive attacks on modern science ever written.


From ACM Opinion

Werner Herzog's Web

Werner Herzog's Web

Werner Herzog gazes solemnly at the metal exoskeleton. The set of robotic arms lies slumped in a laboratory on the UCLA campus, surrounded by empty cardboard boxes and abandoned shelving units.


From ACM Opinion

Could Brain Training Prevent Dementia?

Could Brain Training Prevent Dementia?

It's been a lousy couple of years for researchers who study the effects of computerized brain training.


From ACM Opinion

Americans Are Wary About Body-Enhancement Technologies

Americans Are Wary About Body-Enhancement Technologies

Emerging technologies that draw from biomedical technology, nanotechnology, information technology and other fields are developing at a rapid pace and may lead to any number of ways people might be able to "upgrade" themselves


From ACM Opinion

Microsoft's President Explains the Company's Quiet Legal War for User Privacy

Microsoft's President Explains the Company's Quiet Legal War for User Privacy

Apple's legal battle over encryption dominated headlines earlier this year, but another tech giant is fighting a quieter legal war over user privacy: Microsoft. It won a major victory last week, when the U.S. Court of Appeals


From ACM Opinion

In China, a Robot's Place Is in the Kitchen

In China, a Robot's Place Is in the Kitchen

Wang Peixin has seen the future, and he's sure it features robots serving up fried dumplings.


From ACM Opinion

A Makeover for Stodgy Federal Agencies

A Makeover for Stodgy Federal Agencies

Government needs to do away with out-of-date agencies and open ones with more relevance, like a Department of Tech Support.


From ACM Opinion

Snowden: 'I Never Thought I'd Be Saved' After NSA Leaks

Snowden: 'I Never Thought I'd Be Saved' After NSA Leaks

When Edward Snowden leaked highly classified secrets about government spying, he changed the way the world thinks of cybersecurity.


From ACM Opinion

America Wants to Believe China Can't Innovate. Tech Tells a Different Story.

America Wants to Believe China Can't Innovate. Tech Tells a Different Story.

Silicon Valley may be powered by organic kale, but when Chinese tech gurus gather at 3W, a coffee shop-slash-incubator in the Chinese capital, they want sunflower seeds. And they want them fast.


From ACM Opinion

Rise of the Ag-Bots Will Not Sow Seeds of Unemployment

Rise of the Ag-Bots Will Not Sow Seeds of Unemployment

Larry Stap's fifth-generation family dairy farm has come a long way since his great grandfather established it in Lynden, Wash., in 1910.


From ACM Opinion

How MIT Gave 'Ghostbusters' Its 'Geek Cred'

How MIT Gave 'Ghostbusters' Its 'Geek Cred'

The energetic researchers who grounded the new "Ghostbusters" in hard science—giving it "geek cred"—are using a flurry of media attention to alter public perceptions.


From ACM Opinion

Turkish Coup Plotters' Cyber Fail: Not Turning Off Internet

Turkish Coup Plotters' Cyber Fail: Not Turning Off Internet

A failed coup attempt in Turkey, which began during the evening of July 15, was apparently coordinated using the WhatsApp mobile messaging service, according to reports from Turkish media.


From ACM Opinion

This Guy Trains Computers to Find Future Criminals

This Guy Trains Computers to Find Future Criminals

When historians look back at the turmoil over prejudice and policing in the U.S. over the past few years, they're unlikely to dwell on the case of Eric Loomis.


From ACM Opinion

The Return of Arthur C. Clarke's Fantastic Vision of Jupiter

The Return of Arthur C. Clarke's Fantastic Vision of Jupiter

The Juno space probe is now in orbit around Jupiter, meaning space buffs around the world are eagerly awaiting whatever new data the probe sends back.


From ACM Opinion

Learning to Code as a 30-Year-Old Kid with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds

Learning to Code as a 30-Year-Old Kid with Apple’s Swift Playgrounds

If you've installed the iOS 10 public beta since it came out last week, you’ll know that compatible iPads come loaded with the "Swift Playgrounds" app that Apple announced at WWDC.


From ACM Opinion

Pokémon Go Will Make You Crave Augmented Reality

Pokémon Go Will Make You Crave Augmented Reality

It started as an April Fool's joke.


From ACM Opinion

Cozmo Is an Artificially Intelligent Toy Truck That's Also the Future of Robotics

Cozmo Is an Artificially Intelligent Toy Truck That's Also the Future of Robotics

Hanns Tappeiner types a few lines of code into his laptop and hits "return."


From ACM Opinion

Women in Big Data: Does Gender Matter?

Women in Big Data: Does Gender Matter?

Is it such a bad thing that women are underrepresented in tech and big data?


From ACM News

NASA's Bold Bet on Juno Will Pay Off. Stay Tuned.

NASA's Bold Bet on Juno Will Pay Off. Stay Tuned.

Memory-foam mattresses. The breathing devices firefighters wear. And infrared ear thermometers that give near-instant readings.


From ACM Opinion

In Pursuit of Planes That Think for Themselves

In Pursuit of Planes That Think for Themselves

Just how smart can an airplane be?


From ACM Opinion

Lessons From the Tesla Crash

Lessons From the Tesla Crash

A recent fatal crash in Florida involving a Tesla Model S is an example of how a new technology designed to make cars safer could, in some cases, make them more dangerous.


From ACM Opinion

Stuxnet the Movie: The U.S. Has Pwned Iran

Stuxnet the Movie: The U.S. Has Pwned Iran

The new documentary about Stuxnet, 'Zero Days,' says the U.S. had a far larger cyber operation against Iran called Nitro Zeus that has compromised the country's infrastructure and could be used as a weapon in any future war.


From ACM Opinion

Why a Killer Robot Was Likely the Only Option For Dallas Police

Why a Killer Robot Was Likely the Only Option For Dallas Police

When a police robot killed suspect Micah Johnson in Dallas early Friday morning, it was likely an unprecedented event.


From ACM Opinion

Validate Personal Air-Pollution Sensors

Validate Personal Air-Pollution Sensors

The public is increasingly aware of the health and economic costs of air pollution.


From ACM Opinion

Obama's Top Scientist Talks Shrinking Budgets, Donald Trump, and His Biggest Regret

Obama's Top Scientist Talks Shrinking Budgets, Donald Trump, and His Biggest Regret

John Holdren is no stranger to the spotlight. Over his long career in science, Holdren—a physicist by training—has worked on controversial issues such as climate change and nuclear non-proliferation.


From ACM Opinion

If To Err Is Human, Should Technology Help Us Shed Some Humanity?

If To Err Is Human, Should Technology Help Us Shed Some Humanity?

By all accounts, technology has made us safer.

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