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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.

December 2010


From ACM Opinion

Android Programming's Ups and Downs

Android Programming's Ups and Downs

As smartphones using Google's Android operating system become mainstream, James Steele and Nelson To are in a pretty good position.


From ACM Opinion

10 Things Web Users Should Fear in 2011

As in the real world, cyberspace has bad neighborhoods. But unlike the real world, risks in cyberspace are not easy to spot—and the location of those digital bad neighborhoods can change all the time.


From ACM News

Intel: Why a 1,000-Core Chip Is Feasible

Intel: Why a 1,000-Core Chip Is Feasible

Chipmaker Intel has been investigating the issue of scaling the number of cores in chips through its Terascale Computing Research Program, which has so far yielded two experimental chips of 80 and 48 cores.


From ACM Opinion

2011 Preview: Million-Dollar Mathematics Problem

A draft solution to the so-called "P versus NP" problem generated excitement in 2010; will 2011 bring a correct proof?


From ACM News

Google's Marissa Mayer

Google's Marissa Mayer

Who says you have to be a guy to be a geek? This Google senior executive is teaching a new generation that femininity and technology are a winning formula.


From ACM Opinion

Why I Don't Want an iPad for Christmas

Why I Don't Want an iPad for Christmas

Everyone wants an iPad this Christmas, right?


From ACM News

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

How the inventor of the PalmPilot studied the workings of the human brain to help companies turn a deluge of data into business intelligence.


From ACM News

Web Giants Get Bigger, Location Takes Off

Web Giants Get Bigger, Location Takes Off

The easiest way to sum up the Web in 2010 is that it was a year of growth. The big got bigger and smaller companies came out of the woodwork with new plays on old ideas. It was also the year of location services, HTML5, and…


From ACM Opinion

Careful When Shooting the Messenger

In May 2009, The Daily Telegraph set off a political storm in Britain when it detailed widespread expense-account abuse by members of Parliament. Among the claims: £1,645, or $2,547, for a floating duck house in one lawmaker’s…


From ACM Opinion

Stuxnet's Finnish-Chinese Connection

I recently wrote a white paper entitled “Dragons, Tigers, Pearls, and Yellowcake” in which I proposed four alternative scenarios for the Stuxnet worm other than the commonly held assumption that it was Israel or the U.S. targeting…


From ACM Opinion

Time to Loosen Google's Grip?

In case you hadn't noticed, Google isn't just a Web search company any longer. In addition to online advertising, it's moving into operating system and application software, mobile telephone software, e-mail, Web browsers,…


From ACM News

Google Goes to the Cloud for New Idea in PC System

In the personal-computer industry, where things change fast, one fact has been a constant for years: There are two major, mainstream operating systems for consumers.


From ACM News

Don't Prosecute WikiLeaks

As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated…


From ACM TechNews

Why a Moore's Law for Green Tech Doesn't Compute

Why a Moore's Law for Green Tech Doesn't Compute

Expecting green technology to follow a Moore's Law-type axiom is a formula for disappointment, according to CNet's Martin LaMonica. 


From ACM TechNews

It's Time for E-Sputnik

The launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik satellite is an apt metaphor for the threat of a surprise cyberattack on the United States and as a catalyst for spurring development of effective cybersecurity, according to former U.S…


From ACM Opinion

Ubiquity Symposium: 'What is Computation?'

Ubiquity Symposium: 'What is Computation?'

A new series on ACM's Ubiquity seeks to answer the question: 'What is computation?' In this opening article, Ubiquity's editor-in-chief Peter J. Denning and co-author Peter Wegner frame the debate. The ongoing symposium is available…


From ACM News

Multitouch Pioneer Jeff Han Starts to Think Small (Devices)

Multitouch Pioneer Jeff Han Starts to Think Small (Devices)

For years now, Jeff Han has been working on large-screen multitouch displays. Han and his company, Perceptive Pixel, are best known for creating the giant touch wall that John King and others at CNN use to break down the elections…


From ACM Opinion

Prosecute Assange Under the Espionage Act

Prosecute Assange Under the Espionage Act

Just as the First Amendment is not a license to yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, it is also not a license to jeopardize national security.


From ACM Opinion

The 24-Hour Athenian Democracy

The 24-Hour Athenian Democracy

"I'm aware of your need to stay anonymous, but I have to be able to describe the scope of this movement. Can any of you tell me where you're typing from?"


From ACM Opinion

The Man Behind Tumblr

The Man Behind Tumblr

The head of the microblogging site talks about the future of social networking and whether being a 24-year-old CEO makes it harder to command respect.


From ACM Opinion

How Google Plans to Clone You

How Google Plans to Clone You

Google is working on a virtual version of you. Will you call it 'Mini-Me?'


From ACM Opinion

Everything You Need to Know About Wikileaks

Everything You Need to Know About Wikileaks

Two experts lay out the facts surrounding the controversy.


From ACM Opinion

"This Paper Should Not Have Been Published"

Scientists see fatal flaws in the NASA study of arsenic-based life.


From ACM Opinion

Seven Technologies Where China Has the U.S. Beat

Seven Technologies Where China Has the U.S. Beat

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently highlighted the growing list of sectors where China's emerging leadership threatens U.S. players.


From ACM Opinion

Why WikiLeaks Is Good for America

A truly free press—one unfettered by concerns of nationalism—is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike.


From ACM News

U.S. Chip Manufacturing in the Age of the iPad

U.S. Chip Manufacturing in the Age of the iPad

Behind the fly-off-the-shelf popularity of products like Apple's iPad and iPhone are hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs—mostly overseas. Is it possible to create more of those jobs here in the U.S. to combat chronically…


From ACM News

Every Day We Write the Book

What would happen if Facebook made its data available for research?


From ACM Opinion

Primal Rage: A Conversation with John Carmack, and a Look at id's Latest

Primal Rage: A Conversation with John Carmack, and a Look at id's Latest

If there were a Mt. Rushmore of computer gaming, John Carmack's head would not only be on it, it would have the highest polygon count.


From ACM Opinion

FTC 'Do Not Track' Plan Would Be a Google Killer

The Federal Trade Commission proposed this week that consumers should have a "do not track" option for the Internet, similar to the "do not call" list that exists to block telemarketers.


From ACM Opinion

Assange on Secrecy, China, and WikiLeaks' Growth

Assange on Secrecy, China, and WikiLeaks' Growth

"Secrecy is important for many things," said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in an interview with Time over Skype on Monday. Managing editor Richard Stengel had just asked him whether there were instances when secrecy could…

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