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

April 2015


From ACM Opinion

EFF at 25: Remembering the Case that Established Code as Speech

EFF at 25: Remembering the Case that Established Code as Speech

One of EFF's first major legal victories was Bernstein v. Department of Justice, a landmark case that resulted in establishing code as speech and changed United States export regulations on encryption software, paving the way…


From ACM Careers

Facebook Is Eating the Internet

Facebook Is Eating the Internet

Facebook, it seems, is unstoppable. The social publishing site, just 11 years old, is now the dominant force in American media.


From ACM Opinion

Statistics: P Values Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Statistics: P Values Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg

There is no statistic more maligned than the P value.


From ACM Opinion

You Can't Backdoor a Platform

You Can't Backdoor a Platform

According to law enforcement and intelligence agencies, encryption should come with a backdoor.


From ACM Opinion

Mercury Mission Set to End with Dramatic Crash

Mercury Mission Set to End with Dramatic Crash

On 30 April, after more than four years in orbit around Mercury, NASA's MESSENGER probe will plunge to its doom.


From ACM Opinion

Preparing for Warfare in Cyberspace

Preparing for Warfare in Cyberspace

The Pentagon’s new 33-page cybersecurity strategy is an important evolution in how America proposes to address a top national security threat. It is intended to warn adversaries—especially China, Russia, Iran and North Korea—that…


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Sex: It Gets Better

The Future of Sex: It Gets Better

When I was 10 years old, my friend Sarah and I found a newly minted copy of "The Joy of Sex" under her parents' bed.


From ACM Opinion

Considering 'the Philosophy of the Web'

Considering 'the Philosophy of the Web'

We associate technology with the shiny and new. But humans have been using technology to change the environment and themselves since at least the lower Paleolithic period, when our ancestors were making stone tools.


From ACM Opinion

Building an Earth-Size Telescope, 1 Station at a Time

Building an Earth-Size Telescope, 1 Station at a Time

Imagine a trio of aerobatic aircraft. Over the years they've gotten very good at their routine. But they want to add another five or six or seven members.


From ACM Opinion

Why the Entire Premise of Tor-Enabled Routers Is Ridiculous

Why the Entire Premise of Tor-Enabled Routers Is Ridiculous

Ars recently reviewed two "Tor routers," devices that are supposed to improve your privacy by routing all traffic through the Tor anonymity network. Although the initial release of Anonabox proved woefully insecure, the basic…


From ACM Opinion

The FBI's Stance on Encrypted Communications

The FBI's Stance on Encrypted Communications

Imagine an America where federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agencies cannot access critical communications, even when legally authorized to do so.


From ACM Opinion

Should Law Enforcement Have the Ability to Access Encrypted Communications?

Should Law Enforcement Have the Ability to Access Encrypted Communications?

People's distress over the privacy of their communications has never been more acute. Whether the fear is over U.S. surveillance or breaches by hackers of unknown origins, many consumers fear that there is no such thing as privacy…


From ACM Opinion

Honoring Technology's Power Couple: Moore's Law and the Network Effect

Honoring Technology's Power Couple: Moore's Law and the Network Effect

Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of Moore's Law, which I believe to be one of the most important business theorems of the last century.


From ACM Opinion

New Laws for New Threats Like Drones and Bioterrorism

New Laws for New Threats Like Drones and Bioterrorism

You walk into your shower and see a spider.


From ACM Opinion

As Moore's Law Turns 50, What Does the Future Hold for the Transistor?

As Moore's Law Turns 50, What Does the Future Hold for the Transistor?

"The future of integrated electronics is the future of electronics itself."


From ACM News

Google's Search Updated Will Remake the Web in Its Own Image

Google's Search Updated Will Remake the Web in Its Own Image

Some people are calling it Mobilegeddon.


From ACM Opinion

3 Questions on Killer Robots

3 Questions on Killer Robots

Delegates to the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons are meeting this week in Geneva to discuss fully autonomous weapons—machines that could decide to kill someone without any human input.


From ACM Opinion

Moore's Law Will Bring Emotional Machines—SoftBank CEO

Moore's Law Will Bring Emotional Machines—SoftBank CEO

Humans will face their biggest test when computers surpass human intellectual capabilities, according to Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder and CEO of SoftBank Corp., the Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant. But…


From ACM Opinion

Fateful Phone Call Spawned Moore's Law

Fateful Phone Call Spawned Moore's Law

In their new book, Moore's Law: The Life of Gordon Moore, Silicon Valley's Quiet Revolutionary, authors Arnold Thackray, David C. Brock and Rachel Jones chronicle the life and career of Intel co-founder and microprocessor prophet…


From ACM Opinion

Top 10 Hubble Images

Top 10 Hubble Images

As the famous telescope turns 25, scientists who worked on the project choose their favourite pictures. 


From ACM Opinion

Moore's Law Hits 50, but It May Not See 60

Moore's Law Hits 50, but It May Not See 60

Moore's Law turns 50 years old this Sunday. It may not make it to 60.


From ACM Opinion

The New Spam: Interactive Robo-Calls from the Cloud as Cheap as E-mail

The New Spam: Interactive Robo-Calls from the Cloud as Cheap as E-mail

It was the middle of the day, and my cell phone rang with a local number I didn't recognize.


From ACM Opinion

Case Against Google May Be Undercut by Rapid Shifts in Tech

Case Against Google May Be Undercut by Rapid Shifts in Tech

The antitrust case against Google filed by European Union regulators on Wednesday will inevitably draw comparisons to the long-running prosecution of Microsoft, in which regulators on both sides of the Atlantic pursued the software…


From ACM Opinion

Putting Technology in Its Place

Putting Technology in Its Place

Kentaro Toyama calls himself "a recovering technoholic"—someone who once was "addicted to a technological way of solving problems."


From ACM Opinion

The Inner Lives of Robots: An Interview with Filmmaker Alex Garland

The Inner Lives of Robots: An Interview with Filmmaker Alex Garland

Like self-replicating machines, robot movies are taking over Hollywood.


From ACM Opinion

Snowden's 'Sexy Margaret Thatcher' Password Isn't So Secure

Snowden's 'Sexy Margaret Thatcher' Password Isn't So Secure

Edward Snowden appears to have a thing for the late British conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher. And his obsession may even be clouding his famously paranoid sense of security.


From ACM Opinion

10 Images that Explain the Incredible Power of Moore's Law

10 Images that Explain the Incredible Power of Moore's Law

Moore's Law, which states that the number of transistors per integrated circuit will double approximately every 18–24 months, has become the defining metaphor of the modern technological age.


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Bots

Meet the Bots

The day that science fiction writers have feared for so long has finally come—the machines have risen up.


From ACM TechNews

Interview with Concepcion A. Monje, a Researcher in UC3M's Robotics Lab

Interview with Concepcion A. Monje, a Researcher in UC3M's Robotics Lab

Concepcion A. Monje, a researcher in the Robotics Lab at Carlos III University of Madrid, recently discussed the future of robotics and the science fiction film "Automata," in which humanoid robots develop intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

Why MLB Fans Should Lament the Failure of Google Glass

Why MLB Fans Should Lament the Failure of Google Glass

The consumer tech world received a jolt in January when the Wall Street Journal reported that Google executives were freezing all sales of its futuristically goofy wearable device known as Glass and, perhaps as dramatically,…

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