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How Facebook Changed the Spy Game
From ACM Opinion

How Facebook Changed the Spy Game

Any doubt that Russia has been running a strategically targeted disinformation campaign in the United States was erased on Wednesday, when Facebook revealed that...

The Fake-News Fallacy
From ACM Opinion

The Fake-News Fallacy

On the evening of October 30, 1938, a seventy-six-year-old millworker in Grover's Mill, New Jersey, named Bill Dock heard something terrifying on the radio.

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon
From ACM Opinion

Magical Technologies Just Over the Horizon

We the people have always been helplessly drawn to the concept of magic: the notion that you can will something to happen by wiggling your nose, speaking special...

The Attack on Global Privacy Leaves Few Places to Turn
From ACM Opinion

The Attack on Global Privacy Leaves Few Places to Turn

Digital privacy has had a very bad summer. As China and Russia move to block virtual private network services, well over a billion people face losing their best...

What Is Ray Kurzweil Up To at Google? Writing Your Emails
From ACM Opinion

What Is Ray Kurzweil Up To at Google? Writing Your Emails

Ray Kurzweil has invented a few things in his time.

Apple Is Pulling Vpns from the Chinese App Store. Here's What that Means. 
From ACM Opinion

Apple Is Pulling Vpns from the Chinese App Store. Here's What that Means. 

China's restrictive Internet policies are known for blocking Web users who want to reach Google, Facebook or other banned apps. But now some of those policies are...

What Happened to Trump's War on Data?
From ACM Opinion

What Happened to Trump's War on Data?

On May 16, three months' worth of data vanished quietly from the website of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Information Technology: A Digital Genius at Play
From ACM Opinion

Information Technology: A Digital Genius at Play

The US mathematician and electrical engineer Claude Shannon, whose life spanned the tumultuous, technologically explosive twentieth century, is often called the...

Teddy Roosevelt Wouldn't Understand the E.u.'s Antitrust Fine Against Google
From ACM Opinion

Teddy Roosevelt Wouldn't Understand the E.u.'s Antitrust Fine Against Google

Back in 1980, Milton Friedman, the University of Chicago economist, starred in a public-television series called "Free to Choose," in which he presented his free...

The President of Search Giant Baidu Has Global Plans
From ACM Opinion

The President of Search Giant Baidu Has Global Plans

Google and Facebook are household names around the world. Baidu? Not yet. Ya-Qin Zhang, president of China's leading search business, says Chinese companies can...

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest
From ACM Opinion

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest

When I saw that Google had introduced a "Classic Papers" section of Google Scholar, its search tool for academic journals, I couldn't help but stroke my chin professorially...

Building Privacy Right Into Software code
From ACM Opinion

Building Privacy Right Into Software code

When I was 15, my parents did not allow me to use AOL Instant Messenger. All of my friends used it, so I had to find a way around this rule.

Before the Internet
From ACM Opinion

Before the Internet

Before the Internet, you would just sit in an armchair with a book open on your lap, staring into space or staring at a decorative broom on the wall—kind of shifting...

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet
From ACM Opinion

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet

In 1991, most Americans had not yet heard of the internet.

The Optimistic Promise of Artificial Intelligence
From ACM Opinion

The Optimistic Promise of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence may be one of the technology world's current obsessions, but many people find it scary, envisioning robots taking over the world.

How Google Copes When Even It Can't Afford Enough Gear
From ACM Opinion

How Google Copes When Even It Can't Afford Enough Gear

Urs Hölzle has a big job.

How to Call B.s. on Big Data: A Practical Guide
From ACM Opinion

How to Call B.s. on Big Data: A Practical Guide

"Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you," the Oxford philosophy professor John Alexander Smith told...

Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future
From ACM Opinion

Google, Not the Government, Is Building the Future

One persistent criticism of Silicon Valley is that it no longer works on big, world-changing ideas.

Google and Facebook's Idealistic Futures Are Built on Ads
From ACM Opinion

Google and Facebook's Idealistic Futures Are Built on Ads

In 2011 a young computer scientist named Jeff Hammerbacher said something profound while explaining why he'd decided to leave Facebook—and the promise of a small...

The Internet of Things Needs a Code of Ethics
From ACM Opinion

The Internet of Things Needs a Code of Ethics

In October, when malware called Mirai took over poorly secured webcams and DVRs, and used them to disrupt internet access across the United States, I wondered who...
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