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

July 2015


From ACM Opinion

Genomics Pioneer Jun Wang on His New AI Venture

Genomics Pioneer Jun Wang on His New AI Venture

Jun Wang is one of China's most famous scientists.


From ACM Opinion

Tony Fadell: What Will Google's $3.2bn Guru Do Next?

Tony Fadell: What Will Google's $3.2bn Guru Do Next?

When Google paid $3.2bn (£2.1bn) to buy Tony Fadell's start-up Nest in 2014, it got much more than just an internet-connected thermostat and smoke detector.


From ACM Opinion

Kepler-452b: What It Would Be Like to Live On Earth's 'Cousin'

Kepler-452b: What It Would Be Like to Live On Earth's 'Cousin'

Kepler-452b may be Earth's close cousin, but living on the newfound world would still be an alien experience.


From ACM Opinion

The Truth about the Turing Test

The Truth about the Turing Test

Alan Turing made many predictions about artificial intelligence, but one of his lesser known may sound familiar to those who have heard Stephen Hawking or Elon Musk warn about AI’s threat in 2015. 


From ACM Opinion

The Web-Connected Car Is Cool, Until Hackers Cut Your Brakes

The Web-Connected Car Is Cool, Until Hackers Cut Your Brakes

When the history of the connected car is written, this week may go down as a pivotal moment for consumers worried about security.


From ACM Opinion

Why I'm Addicted to Browsing Sepia Photos of Old-School NYC

Why I'm Addicted to Browsing Sepia Photos of Old-School NYC

It's not a game or social media site, but OldNYC.org is as addictive as Angry Birds and as time consuming as Facebook.


From ACM Opinion

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants

Decoding the Remarkable Algorithms of Ants

Ants are capable of remarkable feats of coordination.


From ACM Opinion

What Edward Snowden Has Wrought

What Edward Snowden Has Wrought

Think of Edward Snowden's vast leaks as a how-to guide for head-choppers looking to keep their own heads far from U.S. bombs.


From ACM Opinion

We Are Data: The Future of Machine Intelligence

We Are Data: The Future of Machine Intelligence

I look at apps like Grindr and Tinder and see how they’ve rewritten sex culture—by creating a sexual landscape filled with vast amounts of incredibly graphic site-specific data—and I can't help but wonder why there isn't an app


From ACM Opinion

The Martian's Andy Weir Is All Buddy-Buddy with NASA

The Martian's Andy Weir Is All Buddy-Buddy with NASA

When sci-fi author Andy Weir went to visit mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center, the International Space Station was going through a crisis—an air leak, to be precise.


From ACM Opinion

What Is a 'Computer' Anymore?

What Is a 'Computer' Anymore?

People used to be computers.


From ACM Careers

The Future, as Told by 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3'

The Future, as Told by 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3'

If you've played just one first-person shooter game it was probably in the Call of Duty series.


From ACM Opinion

Ad Tech Is Killing the Online Experience

Ad Tech Is Killing the Online Experience

There's something so wonderfully easy about reading this column in a physical newspaper.


From ACM Opinion

Pluto Is Just a Baby Step for Humankind

Pluto Is Just a Baby Step for Humankind

As it advances now beyond Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft is sending back data from its historic encounter with the dwarf planet like a long sigh of relief.


From ACM Opinion

Cli-Fi—That's Climate Fiction—Is the New Sci-Fi

Cli-Fi—That's Climate Fiction—Is the New Sci-Fi

Extreme weather events, changes in precipitation levels, species migration and extinction—climate change promises so many fun things. But why wait?


From ACM Opinion

The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car, Chapter 2

The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car, Chapter 2

Summer is one of the most dangerous times of the year on U.S. streets, as many of us spend more time behind the wheel, heading out for long road trips or local barbecues.


From ACM Opinion

A Team Member's View of All the Work on Earth It Took to Get New Horizons to Pluto

A Team Member's View of All the Work on Earth It Took to Get New Horizons to Pluto

Science is hard and good science is harder—it takes persistence and tons of patience.


From ACM News

Here are EFF's Most Influential Cases from Its First 25 Years

Here are EFF's Most Influential Cases from Its First 25 Years

On Friday, July 10, the Electronic Frontier Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.


From ACM Opinion

Passing Pluto

Passing Pluto

Soon after the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto, at 7:49 A.M. on Tuesday—seventy-two seconds ahead of schedule, after a nine-and-a-half-year journey—Bonnie Buratti, one of the mission's scientists, told


From ACM Opinion

How Worried Should You Be About Artificial Intelligence?

 How Worried Should You Be About Artificial Intelligence?

Intelligent machines come in myriad forms, so which ones pose a danger to us, and how likely are they to actually happen?


From ACM Opinion

The Reality of Cyberwar

The Reality of Cyberwar

When a series of technical glitches hit companies that ranged from United to the New York Stock Exchange this week, suspicions immediately ran to a cyber attack.


From ACM Opinion

The Social Security Number's Insecurities

The Social Security Number's Insecurities

In both the Anthem insurance hack and the two Office of Personnel Management hacks this year, attackers gained access to Social Security numbers, affecting 80 million and more than 22 million people, respectively.


From ACM Opinion

Google Search Chief Amit Singhal Talks Searching Apps

Google Search Chief Amit Singhal Talks Searching Apps

Amit Singhal, Google's search chief, has spent the past 15 years creating the miracle that is the Google search box.


From ACM Opinion

The Rise of the New Crypto War

The Rise of the New Crypto War

James B. Comey, Jr., the seventh director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is afraid of the dark.


From ACM Opinion

Here Are the 12 Most Influential Programmers Working Today

Here Are the 12 Most Influential Programmers Working Today

The apps and games you use every day don't exist in a vacuum—someone, somewhere, wrote the code.


From ACM Opinion

There May Be Infinite Universes—and Infinite Versions of You

There May Be Infinite Universes—and Infinite Versions of You

In another universe you might have become the president of Micronesia. Or a pauper, subsisting on ketchup.


From ACM Opinion

Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts

Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts

In the past decade, Moxie Marlinspike has squatted on an abandoned island, toured the U.S. by hopping trains, he says, and earned the enmity of government officials for writing software.


From ACM Opinion

The End of Encryption? NSA & FBI Seek New Backdoors Against Advice from Leading Security Experts

The End of Encryption? NSA & FBI Seek New Backdoors Against Advice from Leading Security Experts

FBI Director James Comey is set to testify against encryption before the Senate Intelligence Committee today, as the United States and Britain push for "exceptional access" to encrypted communications.


From ACM Opinion

Encryption, Public Safety, and 'Going Dark'

Encryption, Public Safety, and 'Going Dark'

I am worried we are talking past each other with respect to "Going Dark," so let me try to frame it in a way that I hope is fair-minded and provides a basis for healthy discussion.


From ACM Opinion

Saving Fuel with Software

Saving Fuel with Software

Energy efficiency isn't just a good idea from an environmental perspective; it makes business sense as well.

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