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Communications of the ACM

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

January 2012


From ACM Opinion

Why Windows Phones Are the Most Exciting Handsets at CES

Why Windows Phones Are the Most Exciting Handsets at CES

There's a curious thing happening in the smartphone space at this year's CES.


From ACM Opinion

Research Bought, Then Paid For

Through the National Institutes of Health, American taxpayers have long supported research directed at understanding and treating human disease.


From ACM Opinion

Why America's Spies Struggle To Keep ­p

Why America's Spies Struggle To Keep ­p

Before Sept. 11, 2011, there were 16 intelligence agencies in the United States.


From ACM Opinion

Read My Email? Get a Warrant

Read My Email? Get a Warrant

Last October the well-known hacking group Chaos Computer Club revealed that the German state police had been monitoring the computers of ordinary citizens using specially designed surveillance software.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Reinvents Wi-Fi For White Spaces

Microsoft Reinvents Wi-Fi For White Spaces

Microsoft researchers have developed WiFi-NC, a type of Wi-Fi network that runs at peak performance even when interference is present. 


From ACM Opinion

Stephen Hawking's New Pc

Stephen Hawking's New Pc

Intel application engineer Travis Bonifield has been working closely with Hawking to communicate with the world for a decade.


From ACM Opinion

China Bankrolls R&d While India Plays the Miser

Did Prime Minister Manmohan Singh underplay China's superiority over India in the field of science, research, and technology?

Analysis of new data shared at the National Science Congress shows that China has been far ahead…


From ACM Opinion

iPhone Celebrates 5th Birthday

iPhone Celebrates 5th Birthday

Gadget fans may be focused on the CES trade show this week, but there’s something else notable going on today: It’s the iPhone’s fifth birthday.


From ACM Opinion

Building the Team That Built Watson

Building the Team That Built Watson

The assignment was one of the biggest challenges in the field of artificial intelligence: build a computer smart enough to beat grand champions at the game of "Jeopardy."


From ACM Opinion

I Want to Translate the Web

I Want to Translate the Web

I want to translate the Web into every major language: every Webpage, every video, and, yes, even Justin Bieber's tweets.


From ACM Opinion

What I Learned About the Future of Computing from Delving into IT's Past

Turing, Colossus, and even the Jacquard Loom still matter to the iPad generation.


From ACM Opinion

You Need To Learn How To Program

If you're looking for a New Year's resolution, let me suggest an idea that you might not have considered: You should learn computer programming. Specifically, you should sign up for Code Year, a new project that aims to teach…


From ACM Careers

Could You Make It Past Google's Gatekeepers?

Could You Make It Past Google's Gatekeepers?

How many taxis are there in New York City? You either know how to answer that question or you don't.


From ACM Opinion

Internet Access Is Not a Human Right

From the streets of Tunis to Tahrir Square and beyond, protests around the world last year were built on the Internet and the many devices that interact with it. Though the demonstrations thrived because thousands of people…


From ACM Opinion

Four Industries Apple Can Disrupt in the Near Future

Four Industries Apple Can Disrupt in the Near Future

Over the past 10 years, Apple has done a rather amazing job of disrupting quite a few industries.


From ACM Opinion

Welcome to the 'knowosphere'

Welcome to the 'knowosphere'

Here's my take on what I've begun calling the "knowosphere"—a word intentionally echoing the more allegorical "noosphere," the "planet of the mind" of Vladimir Vernadsky and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.


From ACM Opinion

Flying Robots Build a Tower

Flying Robots Build a Tower

Construction workers please note: Somebody just built a 20-foot tower using flying robots. The demo took place in a warehouse-like art gallery called FRAC, just outside Paris.


From ACM TechNews

Kinect Weighs Astronauts Just By Looking at Them

Kinect Weighs Astronauts Just By Looking at Them

A body-tracking camera system built into Microsoft's Kinect gaming sensor could be used to monitor the weight of astronauts in space, says Eurecom computer scientist Carmelo Velardo. 


From ACM TechNews

The Next Big Thing(s) in Tech

The Next Big Thing(s) in Tech

The next big advances in technology include the replacement of desktop computers with smartphones, the emergence of nanotech batteries, and the rise of augmented reality. 


From ACM Opinion

AI Will Change Our Relationship With Tech

In 1984, Canadian movie director James Cameron imagined a world in which computers achieved self-awareness and set about systematically destroying humankind.

Skynet, the Terminator series computer network, was to go live in…


From ACM Opinion

Q&a with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto

Q&a with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto

It was a tough year for Nintendo. Revenue at the venerable game company plunged. Its stock price was cut in half. And initial sales of its new 3DS handheld game machine were so disappointing it dropped its price less than…


From ACM Opinion

10 Tech Wishes For 2012

2011 was top-notch gadget-wise, but there's always room for improvement. Here, some hopes and wants for the new year.


From Communications of the ACM

The Difference Engine

The Difference Engine

Observations on cognitive diversity and team performance.


From Communications of the ACM

The IBM PC: From Beige Box to Industry Standard

The IBM PC

Looking back at three decades of PC platform evolution.


From Communications of the ACM

The Yin and Yang of Copyright and Technology

The Yin and Yang of Copyright and Technology

Examining the recurring conflicts between copyright and technology from piano rolls to domain-name filtering.


From Communications of the ACM

An Interview with Stephen A. Cook

An Interview with Stephen A. Cook

Stephen A. Cook, winner of the 1982 A.M. Turing Award, reflects on his career.


From Communications of the ACM

Interfaces For the Ordinary User: Can We Hide Too Much?

Interfaces For the Ordinary User

Increasing the visibility and access to underlying file structure on consumer devices can vastly improve the user experience.

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