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

February 2015


From ACM Opinion

The World Loves the Smartphone. So How About a Smart Home?

The World Loves the Smartphone. So How About a Smart Home?

My coffee maker is texting me again. It's scheduled to make coffee tomorrow, the message says, but I need to refill its water tank.


From ACM Opinion

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality

Today, the Federal Communications Commission, by a vote of three to two, enacted its strongest-ever rules on net neutrality, preserving an open Internet by prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or slowing content that…


From ACM Opinion

Invasion of the Friendly Movie Robots

Invasion of the Friendly Movie Robots

Robots are becoming more of a reality in everyday life, and movies have started to overhaul their depiction of them. They're gentler, friendlier, and often better-looking.


From ACM Opinion

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections

Someone who knows things about us has some measure of control over us, and someone who knows everything about us has a lot of control over us.


From ACM Opinion

Jet Lag Is Worse on Mars

Jet Lag Is Worse on Mars

What would you do with an extra 40 minutes in a day?


From ACM Opinion

Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right.

Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right.

Frank Schembari loves books—printed books.


From ACM Opinion

Outing A.I.: Beyond the Turing Test

Outing A.I.: Beyond the Turing Test

Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is having a moment, albeit one marked by crucial ambiguities.


From ACM Opinion

A Plunge and Squish View of the Mind

A Plunge and Squish View of the Mind

How can we bring our knowledge to bear on a problem?


From ACM Opinion

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time

Here we go again.


From ACM Opinion

Frank Drake Thinks It's Silly to Send Messages to ET

Frank Drake Thinks It's Silly to Send Messages to ET

Making contact with aliens: the subject of many a sci-fi story, and a variety of imagined outcomes. Though no one knows what will happen if we encounter intelligent extra-terrestrial life, scientists are divided on how we should…


From ACM Opinion

The Reality of Quantum Weirdness

The Reality of Quantum Weirdness

In Akira Kurosawa's film "Rashomon," a samurai has been murdered, but it's not clear why or by whom.


From ACM Opinion

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar

Citizenfour is filmmaker Laura Poitras' account of the first meetings between herself, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden.


From ACM Opinion

What 'The Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

What 'The Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

Freeman Dyson, 91, the famed physicist, author and oracle of human destiny, is holding forth after tea-time one February afternoon in the common room of the Institute for Advanced Study.


From ACM TechNews

Q&A With UC Davis Computer Science Assistant Professor Yong Jae Lee

Q&A With UC Davis Computer Science Assistant Professor Yong Jae Lee

University of California, Davis assistant professor Yong Jae Lee discusses his computer vision research. In one study, he developed an algorithm that automatically creates a short visual summary of a very long video taken by…


From ACM Opinion

The Robot That Knows When to Swipe Right

The Robot That Knows When to Swipe Right

I have come to think of Tinder as a sort algorithm for the mind.


From ACM Opinion

How to Fight the Next $1 Billion Bank Hack

How to Fight the Next $1 Billion Bank Hack

Good news! A major hack you don't have to worry about! Unless, that is, you happen to be an executive or security employee at one of the hundreds of banks targeted by the group that's come to be known as Carbanak or Anunak.


From ACM Opinion

The Shape of Things to Come

The Shape of Things to Come

In recent months, Sir Jonathan Ive, the forty-seven-year-old senior vice-president of design at Apple—who used to play rugby in secondary school, and still has a bench-pressing bulk that he carries a little sheepishly, as if…


From ACM Opinion

Astro Teller, Google's ‘Captain of Moonshots,' on Making Profits at Google X

Astro Teller, Google's ‘Captain of Moonshots,' on Making Profits at Google X

Google is all over the place.


From ACM Opinion

Why We Should Design Some Things to Be Difficult to Use

Why We Should Design Some Things to Be Difficult to Use

The first car I ever drove was a bashed Land Rover Defender.


From ACM Opinion

Work in an Age of Robots

Work in an Age of Robots

What you are about to read was written by a human. Honest.


From ACM Opinion

Raspberry Pi 2 Review: A $35 Computer Can Do a Heck of a Lot

Raspberry Pi 2 Review: A $35 Computer Can Do a Heck of a Lot

Our computers have become too easy to use.


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Virtual Sex

The Future of Virtual Sex

Is another human being necessary for satisfying sex?


From ACM Opinion

The Technion’s Peretz Lavie on Technology and Education

The Technion’s Peretz Lavie on Technology and Education

What Stanford University is to Silicon Valley, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is to Israel’s booming tech sector.


From ACM Opinion

Google's Vint Cerf Warns of 'Digital Dark Age'

Google's Vint Cerf Warns of 'Digital Dark Age'

Vint Cerf, a "father of the internet", says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost.


From ACM Opinion

Google, Mighty Now, but Not Forever

Google, Mighty Now, but Not Forever

Technology giants often meet their end not with a bang but a whimper, a slow, imperceptible descent into irrelevancy that may not immediately be reflected in the anodyne language of corporate earnings reports.


From ACM Opinion

How Moore's Law Made Google Possible

How Moore's Law Made Google Possible

Gordon Moore's famous calculation of the gains in power and economy that would drive chip production continues to have profound implications for every enterprise, no matter what the sector. But most of us have difficulty grasping…


From ACM Opinion

Will the Internet of Things Finally Kill Privacy?

Will the Internet of Things Finally Kill Privacy?

In the internet of things, the Federal Trade Commission sees the possibility of flourishing new markets. But it also sees a prologue to Black Mirror: in a new report that probes the privacy implications of connected devices,…


From ACM Opinion

Sen. Ed Markey On Protecting Data Our Cars Are Sharing

Sen. Ed Markey On Protecting Data Our Cars Are Sharing

Cars and trucks today are computers, and a new report overseen by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., comes with a warning: As more vehicles have wireless connections, the data stored in them is vulnerable to stealing, hacking and the same…


From ACM Opinion

How to Choose the Form of an Infographic: It's All about Context

How to Choose the Form of an Infographic: It's All about Context

As a graphics designer, I have a love/hate relationship with circles.


From ACM Opinion

Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence

Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence

Years ago I had coffee with a friend who ran a startup.

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