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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

Technology Has Social Consequences

A conference paper submission constitutes privileged communication. In theory, reviewers should immediately "forget" what they have read. How could a program committee member …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the editor

Preserve Privacy in Statistical Correlations

Many thanks for Cynthia Dwork's article "A Firm Foundation for Private Data Analysis" (Jan. 2011), explaining why, in trying to formalize what is perfect privacy, we cannot …

In the Virtual Extension

To ensure the timely publication of articles, Communications created the Virtual Extension (VE) to expand the page limitations of the print edition by bringing readers the same high-quality articles in an online-only format.
DEPARTMENT: [email protected]

Stonebraker on Data Warehouses

Data warehouses are not only increasing in size and complexity, but also in their importance to business. Michael Stonebraker shares 10 key ideas on the topic.

Let ACM Help You Find Your Next Job 'Online'

For the most coveted jobs and for organizations looking to hire experienced and talented workers, few online resources are more valuable than ACM's own Career and Job Center (, the engine driving the Careers …

Sorting Through Photos

Teaching computers to understand pictures could lead to search engines capable of identifying and organizing large datasets of visual information.

I, Domestic Robot

With recent advances in laser rangefinders, faster algorithms, and open source robotic operating systems, researchers are increasing domestic robots' semantic and situational awareness.

Data Optimization in Developing Nations

Artificial intelligence and machine learning could expand access to health care, improve the quality of education, and respond effectively to natural disasters in the developing world.

Deus Ex Machina

Computational metaphysics is helping philosophers answer age-old questions, such as whether God exists.

Web Science Meets Network Science

A pair of divergent scientific communities discusses their similarities and differences, and search for common ground.
COLUMN: Economic and business dimensions

Online Advertising, Behavioral Targeting, and Privacy

Studying how privacy regulation might impact economic activity on the advertising-supported Internet.
COLUMN: Education

Reaching Learners Beyond Our Hallowed Halls

Rethinking the design of computer science courses and broadening the definition of computing education both on and off campus.
COLUMN: Law and technology

Bell Labs and Centralized Innovation

In early 1935, a man named Clarence Hickman had a secret machine, about six feet tall, standing in his office. Hickman was an engineer at Bell Labs, and his invention was, …
COLUMN: Interview

An Interview with Steve Furber

Steve Furber, designer of the seminal BBC Microcomputer System and the widely used ARM microprocessor, reflects on his career.
COLUMN: Viewpoint

The Importance of Reviewing the Code

Highlighting the significance of the often overlooked underlying software used to produce research results.
SECTION: Practice

The One-Second War

Finding a lasting solution to the leap seconds problem has become increasingly urgent.

Mobile Application Development: Web vs. Native

Web apps are cheaper to develop and deploy than native apps, but can they match the native user experience?

Weapons of Mass Assignment

A Ruby on Rails app highlights some serious, yet easily avoided, security vulnerabilities.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Brain-Computer Interfaces For Communication and Control

The brain's electrical signals enable people without muscle control to physically interact with the world.

The Future of Microprocessors

Energy efficiency is the new fundamental limiter of processor performance, way beyond numbers of processors.

Privacy-Preserving Network Forensics

Privacy-preserving attribution of IP packets can help balance forensics with an individual's right to privacy.
SECTION: Contributed articles: Virtual extension

Challenges and Business Models For Mobile Location-Based Services and Advertising

Mobile advertising will become more pervasive and profitable, but not before addressing key technical and business challenges.

Is Open Source Security a Myth?

We became accustomed to acquiring software by procuring licenses for a proprietary,  immaterial object. However, in recent years, this habit has begun to be …

Invisible Work in Standard Bibliometric Evaluation of Computer Science

Most of a computer scientist's production can go uncounted if a standard bibliographic service is used.
SECTION: Review articles

Proving Program Termination

In contrast to popular belief, proving termination is not always impossible.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Complex Financial Products: Caveat Emptor

CDOs are examples of financial derivatives, with a value that depends on the underlying assets with which they are linked. These kinds of complex financial products are the cause célèbre of the financial crisis, and many have …

Computational Complexity and Information Asymmetry in Financial Products

Securitization of cash flows using financial derivatives transformed the financial industry over the last three decades. Derivatives have attracted criticism, but others say …

Technical Perspective: Images Everywhere Looking For Models

About 5,000 images per minute are uploaded to the photo-sharing site; over 7,000,000 a day. Such images often look …

Self-Similarity-Based Image Denoising

The search for efficient image denoising methods is still a valid challenge at the crossing of functional analysis and statistics. In spite of the sophistication of the recently proposed methods, most algorithms have not yet …
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Games, Roles, Turns

Welcome to three new puzzles. Solutions to the first two will be published next month; the third is (as yet) unsolved. In each, the issue is how your intuition matches up with the mathematics.