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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.

December 2012


From ACM Opinion

Video Games in 2012: Five Things We've Learned

Video Games in 2012: Five Things We've Learned

From the crowd-funding explosion to the arrival of the first "next-generation" console, the games industry has had quite a time of it this year.


From ACM Opinion

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps

There's a simple answer: people.


From ACM Opinion

I Am Not Big Brother

I've grown accustomed to reading inaccurate accounts of my day job. I'm in political data.


From ACM Opinion

Prepare For the New Cameras-Everywhere World

Prepare For the New Cameras-Everywhere World

Some questions can never be answered.


From ACM Opinion

Zeitgeist 2012: What Piqued Your Curiosity This Year?

As 2012 comes to a close, it's time for our 12th annual Year-End Zeitgeist—an in-depth look at the "spirit of the times" as seen through the billions of searches on Google over the past year.


From ACM Opinion

The Psychology of Tetris

The Psychology of Tetris

Shapes fall from the sky, all you have to do is to control how they fall and fit within each other.


From ACM Opinion

IBM Research Honcho: From the Pentagon to the 'toy Shop'

IBM Research Honcho: From the Pentagon to the 'toy Shop'

Zachary Lemnios, who was U.S. assistant secretary of defense for research and engineering, gave up his Pentagon role to become IBM's vice president of research strategy.


From ACM Opinion

Best Inventions of the Year 2012

Best Inventions of the Year 2012

That's not Photoshop.


From ACM Opinion

How Design Can Help Voice Interaction Go Big

How Design Can Help Voice Interaction Go Big

Recently there's been a lot of comparison between Apple's Siri and Google's Voice Search. Microsoft's voice breakthroughs have also captured headlines.


From ACM Opinion

Workplace Distractions: Here's Why You Won't Finish This Article

Workplace Distractions: Here's Why You Won't Finish This Article

In the few minutes it takes to read this article, chances are you'll pause to check your phone, answer a text, switch to your desktop to read an email from the boss's assistant, or glance at the Facebook or Twitter messages popping…


From ACM Opinion

The Fog of Cyberwar

The Fog of Cyberwar

In mid-2010, thousands of centrifuges, enriching uranium at Iranian nuclear research facilities, spun out of control.


From ACM Opinion

'biology Is a Manufacturing Capability'

'biology Is a Manufacturing Capability'

Soon we'll be able to engineer living things with mechanical precision, says Tom Knight, father of synthetic biology.


From ACM Careers

How London's Silicon Roundabout Really Got Started

How London's Silicon Roundabout Really Got Started

Four years ago developer Matt Biddulph jokingly coined "Silicon Roundabout" as a description of East London's small but growing startup scene—now it's become the de facto term for the area around Old Street.


From ACM Opinion

Beyond Quad-Core: What's Next For Mobile Processing Power

Beyond Quad-Core: What's Next For Mobile Processing Power

Remember when a quad-core processor was the ultimate indicator of a super-smartphone?


From ACM Opinion

How Can Computational Science Surpass the Software Error Plateau?

How Can Computational Science Surpass the Software Error Plateau?

Computation plays a crucial role in generating scientific results, but also adds to its complexity. The ability to reproduce code and data that generates results for peer review has been a problem since the 1970s and 1980s.


From ACM Opinion

No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking

No Longer Vaporware: The Internet of Things Is Finally Talking

The rise of the machines has begun: Steve Sande’s household fan is now self-aware.


From ACM Opinion

5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse

5 Reasons We May Live in a Multiverse

The universe we live in may not be the only one out there. In fact, our universe could be just one of an infinite number of universes making up a "multiverse."


From ACM Opinion

Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple Ceo Speaks

Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple Ceo Speaks

Prior to his death on Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs made sure that the elevation of Tim Cook—his longtime head of operations and trusted deputy—to Apple chief executive officer would be drama-free.


From ACM Opinion

Online Social Science: Can the Web Graduate from Digital Petri Dish to Virtual Laboratory?

Online Social Science: Can the Web Graduate from Digital Petri Dish to Virtual Laboratory?

In many ways the Internet is the ultimate virtual laboratory.


From ACM Opinion

Neil Degrasse Tyson Helps His New 'bud' Superman Get a Glimpse of Home

Neil Degrasse Tyson Helps His New 'bud' Superman Get a Glimpse of Home

DC Comics, Tyson explains, approached him for permission to use the Planetarium—as well as his likeness—in a story where Superman witnesses the destruction of Krypton, since the light from the distant planet is just now arriving…


From ACM Opinion

How the ­nited Nations Could Ruin the Internet

How the ­nited Nations Could Ruin the Internet

The Internet has sustained some pretty intense assaults in the past couple of years. There was the heavy-handed attempt to stamp out content piracy with SOPA/PIPA, the Federal Communications Commission's Net neutrality ruling…


From ACM Opinion

Planning His Legacy, Cisco Chief Maps an Expansion

Planning His Legacy, Cisco Chief Maps an Expansion

John T. Chambers has readied his last great act as the leader of Cisco Systems, fearing major changes in the technology business that could doom his company.


From ACM Opinion

ARM R&D Chief: Intel Can’t Beat ­s Without A New Business Model

ARM R&D Chief: Intel Can’t Beat ­s Without A New Business Model

Although Intel is still the undisputed king of silicon, it's a surprising fact that the ARM processor design is in more 32-bit chips than Intel’s x86 design, thanks to ARM's dominance of mobile devices and tablets.


From ACM Opinion

Intel Tech Chief Rattner Peers Into the Future

Intel Tech Chief Rattner Peers Into the Future

What does the future of computing look like? Justin Rattner has a better inkling than most.


From ACM Opinion

At Dawn We Sleep

If you read the newspapers on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, you would have been led to believe that Japan was poised to attack—but in Southeast Asia, not Pearl Harbor.


From ACM Opinion

11 Big Tech Trends You'll See in 2013

11 Big Tech Trends You'll See in 2013

Writing prediction pieces is a funny thing because there is really no such thing as "next year."


From ACM Opinion

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data

No Warrant, No Problem: How the Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data

The U.S. government isn’t allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI, to snoop on the digital trails you create…


From ACM Careers

Lenovo's Quest to Be Cool

Lenovo's Quest to Be Cool

China's Lenovo is on a roll. It has just been named the world's number one PC seller, and it has rapidly won the number two spot in mobile phones in its home market.


From ACM Opinion

Cyborg Anthropologist: We Can All Be Superhuman

Cyborg Anthropologist: We Can All Be Superhuman

Cyborg anthropology is the study of the interaction between humans and technology, and how technology affects culture.


From ACM Opinion

Nest Ceo Fadell: Internet of Things Is a Decade Away

Nest Ceo Fadell: Internet of Things Is a Decade Away

It will take 10 years before the "Internet of things" catches on widely, said Nest Labs Chief Executive Tony Fadell, whose smart-thermostat startup embodies the technology.

Blog at CACM
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