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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 2013


From ACM Opinion

Ars Editors Remember Their First Taste of Doom, 20 Years Later

Ars Editors Remember Their First Taste of Doom, 20 Years Later

On December 10, 1993, id Software uploaded the first publicly available version of Doom to a crowded BBS and FTP server, unleashing on the world the most influential game this side of Super Mario Bros.


From ACM Opinion

Why We Can't Let American Tech Take Over the World

Why We Can't Let American Tech Take Over the World

Whenever an app, a website, or a physical product like a gaming console is exported, it ships with a side of cultural influence.


From ACM Opinion

President Obama Talks About Teaching Everyone to Code. This Professor Does It.

President Obama Talks About Teaching Everyone to Code. This Professor Does It.

On Monday, President Obama kicked off computer science education week, encouraging every young person to acquire computer programming skills, even if they have no intention of becoming a software engineer.


From ACM Opinion

For Steve Ballmer, a Lasting Touch on Microsoft

For Steve Ballmer, a Lasting Touch on Microsoft

On the eve of his exit as chief executive officer of Microsoft, after more than a decade on the job, Steve Ballmer is more than ever a CEO whose image does not always reflect reality.


From ACM Opinion

Why It's a Shame that Computer Science Courses Aren't Mandatory

Why It's a Shame that Computer Science Courses Aren't Mandatory

Millions of students will learn some lessons in computer coding this week as part of "Hour of Code," a national campaign offering free tutorials.


From ACM Opinion

2013: The Year 'the Stream' Crested

2013: The Year 'the Stream' Crested

The Stream has been the organizing metaphor for the web for the past several years.


From ACM Opinion

Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet

Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet

To avoid surveillance, the first four Americans to visit Edward Snowden in Moscow carried no cell phones or laptops.


From ACM Opinion

Doom's Creator Looks Back on 20 Years of Demonic Mayhem

Doom's Creator Looks Back on 20 Years of Demonic Mayhem

At the stroke of midnight on December 10, 1993, an executive at id Software uploaded a file to an FTP site on the University of Washington's network.


From ACM Opinion

Singularity: Reading Our Genes Like Computer Code

Singularity: Reading Our Genes Like Computer Code

Raymond McCauley may go blind as he gets older.


From ACM Opinion

Will Your Next Phone Have No Screen?

Will Your Next Phone Have No Screen?

Google is predicting a generation of screenless computing devices that rely on voice recognition, a senior engineer has said, emphasising that the company encrypts users' audio data to the same standard as text-based information…


From ACM Opinion

Could a $500 Gadget Have Prevented the Metro-North Tragedy?

Could a $500 Gadget Have Prevented the Metro-North Tragedy?

Investigators are still studying what caused the derailment of a Metro-North commuter train on its way to Grand Central Terminal just over a week ago, killing four passengers and injuring 70 when the front cars of the train, 


From ACM Opinion

Falling in Love with AI Virtual Assistants: A Creepy Love Affair Nearer Than You Think

Falling in Love with AI Virtual Assistants: A Creepy Love Affair Nearer Than You Think

"I've never loved anyone the way I've loved you," swoons Joaquin Phoenix, in the movie Her.


From ACM Opinion

The Rise and Fall of Blackberry: An Oral History

The Rise and Fall of Blackberry: An Oral History

In 1984, Mike Lazaridis, an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, and Douglas Fregin, an engineering student at the University of Windsor, founded an electronics and computer science consulting company called Research…


From ACM Opinion

Why Obama Still ­ses a BlackBerry

Why Obama Still ­ses a BlackBerry

Barack Obama is the world's most prominent BlackBerry user.


From ACM Opinion

Saving the Net from the Surveillance State: Glenn Greenwald Speaks ­p

Saving the Net from the Surveillance State: Glenn Greenwald Speaks ­p

Big Brother may be watching you. But Glenn Greenwald is watching Big Brother.


From ACM Opinion

Moore's Law Isn't Making Chips Cheaper Anymore

Moore's Law Isn't Making Chips Cheaper Anymore

At a wine bar in San Francisco on Wednesday, Broadcom Chairman and CTO Henry Samueli delivered some sobering news: Moore's Law isn't making chips cheaper anymore.


From ACM Opinion

7 Epic Fails Brought to You By the Genius Mind of Thomas Edison

7 Epic Fails Brought to You By the Genius Mind of Thomas Edison

Almost everyone can name the man that invented the light bulb.


From ACM Opinion

Google Puts Money on Robots, ­sing the Man Behind Android

Google Puts Money on Robots, ­sing the Man Behind Android

In an out-of-the-way Google office, two life-size humanoid robots hang suspended in a corner.


From ACM Opinion

Is the Future of the Internet in Iceland?

Is the Future of the Internet in Iceland?

When you clicked on the link to read this article, your computer, tablet or phone sent a request that traveled hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles at the speed of light.


From ACM Opinion

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations

The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn't all bureaucratic.


From ACM Opinion

23andme Is Terrifying, But Not For the Reasons the Fda Thinks

23andme Is Terrifying, But Not For the Reasons the Fda Thinks

If there's a gene for hubris, the 23andMe crew has certainly got it.


From Communications of the ACM

Information Technology Impact Sourcing

Information Technology Impact Sourcing

New ways to contract IT work to base-of-the-pyramid suppliers.


From Communications of the ACM

Bringing Young Women Into Computing Through the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Program

Bringing Young Women Into Computing Through the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Program

A program to encourage and support girls and women in pursuing their computer science interests.


From Communications of the ACM

From MOOCs to SPOCs

From MOOCs to SPOCs

Supplementing the classroom experience with small private online courses.


From Communications of the ACM

A Lesson in Resource Management

A Lesson in Resource Management

Waste not memory, want not memory — unless it doesn't matter.


From Communications of the ACM

Patrick Blackett: Providing 'White Heat' to the British Computing Revolution

Patrick Blackett

Reflections on a Nobel Prize-winning physicist's early contributions to computing.


From Communications of the ACM

Design Thinking

Design Thinking

Design thinking is the newest fashion for finding better solutions to problems. Combining it with computational thinking offers some real possibilities for improving software design.

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