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

February 2016


From ACM Opinion

Why Robots and Smart Thermostats Keep America's Spy Chief Up at Night

Why Robots and Smart Thermostats Keep America's Spy Chief Up at Night

Some people are already used to having their personal information exposed in massive data breaches.


From ACM Opinion

Moore's Law Really Is Dead This Time

Moore's Law Really Is Dead This Time

Moore's law has died at the age of 51 after an extended illness.


From ACM Opinion

How the Microscope Redefined the Fact

How the Microscope Redefined the Fact

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the inverse is also true: A word is worth a thousand pictures.


From ACM Opinion

Y'all Have a Texas Accent? Siri (and the World) Might Be Slowly Killing It

Y'all Have a Texas Accent? Siri (and the World) Might Be Slowly Killing It

It was a simple enough question, at least in this part of the world.


From ACM Opinion

Obama's Cybersecurity Plan is Meant to Secure His Legacy

Obama's Cybersecurity Plan is Meant to Secure His Legacy

The end of White House terms are often about trying to shape historic legacies, and President Obama is out to build his in the new area of cybersecurity.


From ACM Opinion

Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy

Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy

Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain emails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online.


From ACM Opinion

Your Next New Best Friend Might Be a Robot

Your Next New Best Friend Might Be a Robot

One night in late July 2014, a journalist from the Chinese newspaper Southern Weeklyinterviewed a 17-year-old Chinese girl named Xiaoice (pronounced Shao-ice).


From ACM Opinion

Searching for the Algorithms Underlying Life

Searching for the Algorithms Underlying Life

To the computer scientist Leslie Valiant, "machine learning" is redundant.


From ACM Opinion

It's Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence

It's Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence

When digital dystopians and critics of Internet libertarians need a rhetorical dart board, they often pull out a document written by John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, a former cattle


From ACM Opinion

From Exile to Eminence: How the Alien Hunters Conquered Astronomy

From Exile to Eminence: How the Alien Hunters Conquered Astronomy

When Jill Tarter first began to look for aliens, she drew looks askance from her friends and colleagues.


From ACM Opinion

To Keep AI Safe—Use AI

To Keep AI Safe—Use AI

Software is already pervasive in our society, but artificial intelligence software raises unique concerns even among the technological elite.


From ACM Opinion

Snowden's Chronicler Reveals Her Own Life Under Surveillance

Snowden's Chronicler Reveals Her Own Life Under Surveillance

Laura Poitras has a talent for disappearing. In her early documentaries like My Country, My Country and The Oath, her camera seems to float invisibly in rooms where subjects carry on intimate conversations as if they’re not being


From ACM Opinion

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

A defining moment in modern biology occurred on July 24, 1978, when biotechnology pioneer Robert Swanson, who had recently co-founded Genentech, brought two young scientists to dinner with Thomas Perkins, the legendary venture


From ACM Opinion

AI Is Transforming Google Search. The Rest of the Web Is Next

AI Is Transforming Google Search. The Rest of the Web Is Next

Yesterday, the 46-year-old Google veteran who oversees its search engine, Amit Singhal, announced his retirement. And in short order, Google revealed that Singhal's rather enormous shoes would be filled by a man named John Giannandrea


From ACM Opinion

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome

In the great contest that is life, the common bedbugCimex lectularius, qualifies as a winner.


From ACM Opinion

Why Safe Harbor 2.0 Will Lose Again

Why Safe Harbor 2.0 Will Lose Again

Over the weekend, negotiators from the European Union's executive body, and the US Federal Trade Commission worked frantically to thrash out a deal to allow transatlantic data transfers to take place.


From ACM Opinion

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating.


From ACM Opinion

The Step Needed to Make Virtual Reality More Real

The Step Needed to Make Virtual Reality More Real

It's one thing to play the arcade game Whac-A-Mole by swinging around an oversized mallet; it's far easier to whack those moles virtually, controlling the mallet with just your gaze.


From ACM Opinion

Proposed State Bans on Phone Encryption Make Zero Sense

Proposed State Bans on Phone Encryption Make Zero Sense

American politics has long accepted the strange notion that just a pair of states—namely Iowa and New Hampshire—get an outsize vote in choosing America’s next president. The idea of letting just two states choose whether we all


From Communications of the ACM

Revealing the API Ecosystem and Enterprise Strategy via Visual Analytics

Revealing the API Ecosystem and Enterprise Strategy via Visual Analytics

Seeking better understanding of digital transformation.


From Communications of the ACM

Privacy Research Directions

Privacy Research Directions

What must we learn in order to support privacy requirements as technology advances?


From Communications of the ACM

Broadening Access to Computing Education State by State

Broadening Access to Computing Education State by State

Influencing computer science education at the state level.


From Communications of the ACM

Having a Conversation About Bulk Surveillance

Having a Conversation About Bulk Surveillance

Considering a controversial subject that extends far beyond the collection of phone metadata.


From Communications of the ACM

Lessons from the Tech Transfer Trenches

Lessons from the Tech Transfer Trenches

Moving from the research realm to real-world business application.


From Communications of the ACM

Code Hoarding

Code Hoarding

Committing to commits, and the beauty of summarizing graphs.

Blog at CACM
Review a Draft of the K-12 CS Framework
Review a Draft of the K-12 CS Framework
02.02.2016

ACM, CSTA, and Code.org are working jointly with more than 100 advisors within the computing community to steer a process …

Toward a Discourse on Cyber Strategy
Toward a Discourse on Cyber Strategy
01.15.2016

Efforts to understand how advanced information technologies will affect future conflicts seem to be missing, or are taking place far …

The Inverse Lake Wobegon Effect
The Inverse Lake Wobegon Effect
01.11.2016

Where we take a sample from a privileged group, and assume that we know the population.

View More Blog@CACM

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Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them
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How Google Searches Pretty Much Nailed the New Hampshire Primary
How Google Searches Pretty Much Nailed the New Hampshire Primary
02.12.2016

Google's ability to look into the future of political contests …

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