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How to Design a Hot Product

When Cisco killed the beloved Flip camcorder a few months ago, a lot of people were shocked and upset—including me. It just seemed like such a ham-handed, thoughtless...

A Collision of Creativity and Cash at Disney/pixar
From ACM Opinion

A Collision of Creativity and Cash at Disney/pixar

When the Walt Disney Company bought Pixar Animation Studios for $7.4 billion in 2006, there was understandable concern that the media conglomerate that drove...

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Free to Search and Seize

This spring was a rough season for the Fourth Amendment.

From ACM Opinion

Internet Piracy and How to Stop It

Online piracy is a huge business. A recent study found that Web sites offering pirated digital content or counterfeit goods, like illicit movie downloads or bootleg...

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When the Internet Thinks It Knows You

Once upon a time, the story goes, we lived in a broadcast society. In that dusty pre-Internet age, the tools for sharing information weren’t widely available....

One on One: Jaron Lanier
From ACM Opinion

One on One: Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier, a partner architect at Microsoft Research, has had a long and varied career in technology. Mr. Lanier popularized the term "virtual reality" in...

One on One: Jaron Lanier
From ACM Opinion

One on One: Jaron Lanier

Jaron Lanier, a partner architect at Microsoft Research, has had a long and varied career in technology. Mr. Lanier popularized the term "virtual reality" in...

There's No Data Sheriff on the Wild Web
From ACM Opinion

There's No Data Sheriff on the Wild Web

A company suffers a catastrophic attack on its servers. Gone are names, email addresses, home phone numbers, passwords, credit card numbers. Everything ends up...

Data Privacy, Put to the Test
From ACM News

Data Privacy, Put to the Test

To the catalog of corporate "bigs" that worry a lot of us little people, add this: Big Data.

The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories
From ACM Opinion

The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories

No sooner had President Obama released his long-form birth certificate than Orly Taitz, the doyenne of the "birther" movement, found reason to doubt it.

Your Iphone Is Tracking You. So What.
From ACM Opinion

Your Iphone Is Tracking You. So What.

Have you heard the news? Two researchers have discovered that the iPhone keeps a minute-by-minute, time-stamped log of everywhere you go. That’s right: Your phone...

Patently Obvious
From ACM Opinion

Patently Obvious

On Monday the Supreme Court will consider whether to fundamentally alter the way American patent law is litigated. Specifically, in the context of an otherwise...

From ACM Opinion

Teaching to the Text Message

I've been teaching college freshmen to write the five-paragraph essay and its bully of a cousin, the research paper, for years. But these forms invite font-size...

Another Win For Artificial Intelligence: The Turing Award
From ACM Opinion

Another Win For Artificial Intelligence: The Turing Award

It's been a banner year or so for artificial intelligence, from the recent triumph of I.B.M.'s Jeopardy-winning supercomputer to a wave of news coverage of the...

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Google Schools Its Algorithm

To humans, computer intelligence is a puzzle, as if the machines have split personalities. They can be so remarkably smart at times, yet so bafflingly dumb at...

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Have You Driven a Smartphone Lately?

I’m barreling along a rural Michigan highway at 75 miles per hour in a gray Ford Taurus X when I glance down to check a number on a screen.

From ACM Opinion

Forgive Me, Father, For I Have Linked

Our Father, who art in pixels, linked be Thy name, Thy Web site come, Thy Net be done, on Explorer as it is on Firefox.

From ACM Opinion

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

In the category "What Do You Know?," for $1 million: This four-year-old upstart the size of a small R.V. has digested 200 million pages of data about everything...

25 Years of Digital Vandalism
From ACM Opinion

25 Years of Digital Vandalism

In January 1986, Basit and Amjad Alvi, sibling programmers living near the main train station in Lahore, Pakistan, wrote a piece of code to safeguard the latest...

Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled
From ACM News

Dealing With Assange and the Secrets He Spilled

This past June, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, phoned me and asked, mysteriously, whether I had any idea how to arrange a secure communication....
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