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Cold-Calling Dennis Ritchie
From ACM Opinion

Cold-Calling Dennis Ritchie

When I was a grad student at the University of Wisconsin in 1978, I called Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs to tell him about the work I was doing with the Unix line...

From ACM Opinion

Gov. Brown: Sign Bill Outlawing Warrantless Smartphone Searches

There’s a bill sitting on the desk of California Governor Jerry Brown, which if signed would ban police from searching the mobile devices of people arrested for...

Microsoft
From ACM News

Microsoft

Reading my RSS and Twitter feeds Tuesday night, I turned to a tech writer friend and said, "the Wintel Era just ended, and half of these people are fighting over...

How 9/11 Completely Changed Surveillance in U.s.
From ACM Opinion

How 9/11 Completely Changed Surveillance in U.s.

Former AT&T engineer Mark Klein handed a sheaf of papers in January 2006 to lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, providing smoking-gun evidence that...

From ACM Opinion

Let Our Bots Do Our Tweeting For US

My tweets generally reflect a set of parochial interests I continually revisit: the shuffle function in iTunes, the Phillies’ crummy batting lineup, reviews of...

Real U.s. Stealth-Tech Advantage: Its Assembly Lines
From ACM News

Real U.s. Stealth-Tech Advantage: Its Assembly Lines

For more than 20 years, the U.S. Air Force had a world monopoly on radar-evading technology—and with it, a huge advantage over any rival. Several generations...

Lady of the Rings: Saturn Surveyor Carolyn Porco
From ACM Opinion

Lady of the Rings: Saturn Surveyor Carolyn Porco

When Carolyn Porco started exploring the outer solar system, it was all about the rings. Her 1983 doctoral thesis at Caltech focused on shifting spokes in Saturn’s...

Bill Would Keep Big Brother's Mitts Off Your Gps Data
From ACM News

Bill Would Keep Big Brother's Mitts Off Your Gps Data

The reauthorization of the Patriot Act looks like a forgone conclusion. But next month, a bipartisan band of legislators will try to mitigate a different kind...

Why Google Does Not Own Skype
From ACM Opinion

Why Google Does Not Own Skype

So Microsoft is buying Skype for $8.5 billion, its biggest deal ever. It’s too soon to make a pronouncement on whether the purchase is an idiot move, a brilliant...

Why Cisco's Flip Flopped in the Camera Business
From ACM News

Why Cisco's Flip Flopped in the Camera Business

Cisco is shutting down a business unit that it bought for over half-a-billion dollars: the Flip camcorder division. That's a shame, considering how high the Flip...

Why the Basis of the Universe Isn't Matter or Energy
From ACM Opinion

Why the Basis of the Universe Isn't Matter or Energy

Information flows everywhere, through wires and genes, through brain cells and quarks. But while it may appear ubiquitous to us now, until recently we had no...

No Moammar, No Fly: How to Stop Gadhafi
From ACM Opinion

No Moammar, No Fly: How to Stop Gadhafi

Keep the surveillance planes flying. Fry the radar. While the sun hangs in the sky, let Libya’s pilots know they’re on borrowed time if they take off.

From ACM News

The 'Panda' That Hates Farms: A Q&A With Google

Google's new update to its search engine addressed the growing complaint that low-quality content sites (derisively referred to as content farms) were ranked higher...

From ACM News

Is the Navy Trying to Start the Robot Apocalypse?

Whenever the military rolls out a new robot program, folks like to joke about SkyNet or the Rise of the Machines. But this time, the military really is starting...

From ACM News

Nsa's Home Base May Have Crappiest Web Site Ever

Through the gates of Fort George Meade pass the most powerful technical minds that the government employs. But Fort Meade's website contains pixelized, faux-shaded...

From ACM Opinion

Why Wikileaks Is Good For America

A truly free press—one unfettered by concerns of nationalism—is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike.

5 Reasons the Media Cover Apple So Much
From ACM Opinion

5 Reasons the Media Cover Apple So Much

A study published Monday drew on a host of metrics to conclude something we all already knew: The media covers Apple more than any other company.

The Itch of Curiosity
From ACM Opinion

The Itch of Curiosity

Curiosity is one of those personality traits that gets short scientific shrift. It strikes me as a really important mental habit—how many successful people are...

Search Top Secret America's Database of Private Spooks
From ACM Opinion

Search Top Secret America's Database of Private Spooks

Figuring out exactly who's cashing in on the post-9/11 boom in secret programs just got a whole lot easier.

From ACM Opinion

How to Silence the Obnoxious and Deafening Vuvuzela

Do you hear that? The hideous, piercing dirge of a B-flat drone that is the unfortunate backdrop to every single World Cup match? It’s the vuvuzela, a stupid plastic...
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