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

April 2010


From ACM Opinion

Google's Nightmare: Facebook 'Like' Replaces Links

Facebook dropped a bombshell on the tech industry last week in the form of a Web-wide "Like" button and the launch of the "Open Graph". Using this new platform, Web sites can drive Web traffic from Facebook by including Like…


From ACM Opinion

Steve Jobs' Thoughts on Flash

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple…


From ACM Opinion

Why We Should Learn the Language of Data

Why We Should Learn the Language of Data

"How can global warming be real when there’s so much snow?" Hearing that question—repeatedly—this past February drove Joseph Romm nuts. A massive snowstorm had buried Washington, D.C., and all across the capital, politicians…


From ACM TechNews

Info Systems Must 'Connect the Dots' on Terrorism

Additional personnel alone cannot address the lapses in the U.S. intelligence community, which also needs state-of-the-art information technologies that enhance human capabilities to "connect the dots."


From ACM Opinion

Today Facebook, Tomorrow the World

With a dizzying array of announcements this week, it seems almost inevitable that the web will become, at least for the near future, an extension of Facebook. Like it or not.


From ACM Opinion

App Rejected? There's a Rule for That.

The story could have been programmed to draw media coverage, were it not for its implausibility: Apple (a reader magnet) banned a future Pulitzer Prize winner's iPhone application (invoking journalists' professional pride) because…


From ACM Opinion

Internet Age Needs Clear Regulation, Computer Law Expert Says

Internet Age Needs Clear Regulation, Computer Law Expert Says

Tracy Mitrano, Cornell University's director of IT Policy says the recent U.S. Federal Appeals Court decision in Comcast v. FCC and the FCC's efforts to enforce "network neutrality" points to a need for clear regulatory authority…


From ACM Opinion

A Less Personal Computer

A Less Personal Computer

In Web parlance, "chrome" is the part of the browser that surrounds the page: the address bar, the "Back" button, and those all-important bookmarks. Chrome is also the name of the Web browser that Google introduced back in September…


From ACM Opinion

Has Apple Reached the Limits of Industrial Design?

Has Apple Reached the Limits of Industrial Design?

The next iPhone is going to look amazing. This is as close to a truism as you get in the tech industry--it's sort of like predicting that Warren Buffett will make smart investments, or that the next Judd Apatow movie will feature…


From ACM Opinion

The 50 Most Innovative Companies 2010

The 50 Most Innovative Companies 2010

Once U.S. companies dominated Business Week's Most Innovative Companies ranking, outnumbering corporations outside of America. But for the first time ever, more companies on theTop 50 are based outside the U.S.


From ACM Opinion

So, How Real Are Robots?

So, How Real Are Robots?

Robots can do all kinds of tasks, from folding clothes to fighting wars. But a professor says we should consider the ethics of unleashing robots.


From ACM TechNews

Wendy Hall on What Web Science Could Mean for Businesses

Wendy Hall on What Web Science Could Mean for Businesses

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, who is involved in the newly founded Institute of Web Science, says the field is experiencing rapid growth as governments increasingly acknowledge the value the digital economy will bring to the developed…


From ACM Opinion

EFF Backs Yahoo! to Protect User from Warrantless Email Search

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) along with Google and numerous other public interest organizations and Internet industry associations joined with Yahoo! in asking a federal court Tuesday to block a government attempt…


From ACM TechNews

How the Internet Will Change the World

How the Internet Will Change the World

Pew Internet & American Life Project director Lee Rainie discusses the results of a survey of experts on how technology will develop and impact society in the year 2020. 


From ACM Opinion

Why NASA Is Sending a Robot to Space That Looks Like You

Why NASA Is Sending a Robot to Space That Looks Like You

A humanoid robot will visit space for the first time in September aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, NASA announced Wednesday. The Robonaut 2, which was co-developed by NASA with General Motors, will serve as an assistant to…


From ACM Opinion

Marc Maiffret: The Quick Rise of a Teen Hacker

Marc Maiffret: The Quick Rise of a Teen Hacker

For Marc Maiffret, the turning point in his life came when—at the age of 17—he woke up to an FBI agent pointing a gun at his head. A runaway and high school dropout, he had landed his first professional job but his past was…


From ACM TechNews

Challenges to Exascale Computing

Challenges to Exascale Computing

Former IBM researcher and visiting lecturer at MIT Irving Wladawsky-Berger writes that supercomputing and the IT industry must undergo a major technology and architectural transition in order to reap the benefits of exascale…


From ACM Opinion

Blogging in India and Apple's iPad

Blogging in India and Apple's iPad

Amit Agarwal, based in India, has been blogging about technology for six years. He answers a few questions on his blogging career, the future of the Internet in India and his current favorite gadget—the iPad.


From ACM Opinion

I Was Hacked in Beijing

I Was Hacked in Beijing

The reality--and my fears--dawned only slowly.

For weeks, friends and colleagues complained I had not answered their e-mail messages. I swore I had not received them.

My e-mail program began crashing almost daily. But only …


From ACM Opinion

How Science Became Cool

How Science Became Cool

The incredible ambition of the Large Hadron Collider has fired our imagination; physicists have become cult TV stars; dramatic new pictures from space grace a million computer screensavers. Is this a golden age of science?


From ACM Opinion

Rethinking a Gospel of the Web

Rethinking a Gospel of the Web

For about a decade now, ever since it became clear that the jungle of the World Wide Web would triumph over the walled gardens of CompuServe, AOL and MSN, a general consensus has solidified among the otherwise fractious population…


From ACM Opinion

The Idiocy of Text-message Adultery

The Idiocy of Text-message Adultery

"How did you fool so many people for so long?" a reporter asked Tiger Woods at his press conference Monday. Woods replied: "I fooled myself."

And how. Woods was talking about the usual self-delusions of celebrity adulterers:…


From ACM Opinion

Get Prepared for the HTML5 Revolution

HTML5 promises to revolutionize the way you build Web sites. Check out what fantastic new features are in store in the forthcoming Web standard.


From ACM Opinion

You Don't Need an iPad

You Don't Need an iPad

But once you try one, you won't be able to resist.

I picked up my iPad at a San Francisco Apple Store early on Saturday morning, and I spent the rest of the weekend putting Apple's new touch-screen computer through its paces…


From ACM Opinion

North Korea Needs to Set Up Practical IT Training and Certification Systems

North Korea Needs to Set Up Practical IT Training and Certification Systems

The promotion of the IT industry in North Korea can be done in a way that could minimize the extent of market opening.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Memories May Lead to Faster, More Secure Computers

Quantum Memories May Lead to Faster, More Secure Computers

Future communications networks could be based on quantum memories, which store data in a pulse of light and are the focus of research by University of Delaware professor Virginia Lorenz. 


From Communications of the ACM

Development 2.0: The IT-enabled Transformation of International Development

Development 2.0: The IT-enabled Transformation of International Development

The fundamental assumptions of international development are changing, increasingly putting the tools for a digital economy into the hands of the world's poor.


From Communications of the ACM

The Data-Structure Canon

The Data-Structure Canon

Data structures are part of the foundation of computer science. It pays to revisit them from time to time.


From Communications of the ACM

Q&A: Systematic Thinking

Q&A: Systematic Thinking

Andrew S. Tanenbaum talks about MINIX, microkernels, and electronic voting systems.


From Communications of the ACM

Cloud Computing and SaaS as New Computing Platforms

Cloud Computing and SaaS as New Computing Platforms

To become an industry platform, vendors must open their infrastructure technology to other product companies.

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