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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.

February 2016


From ACM Opinion

Snowden's Chronicler Reveals Her Own Life ­nder Surveillance

Snowden's Chronicler Reveals Her Own Life ­nder Surveillance

Laura Poitras has a talent for disappearing. In her early documentaries like My Country, My Country and The Oath, her camera seems to float invisibly in rooms where subjects carry on intimate conversations as if they’re not being…


From ACM Opinion

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

The Embarrassing, Destructive Fight Over Biotech's Big Breakthrough

A defining moment in modern biology occurred on July 24, 1978, when biotechnology pioneer Robert Swanson, who had recently co-founded Genentech, brought two young scientists to dinner with Thomas Perkins, the legendary venture…


From ACM Opinion

AI Is Transforming Google Search. The Rest of the Web Is Next

AI Is Transforming Google Search. The Rest of the Web Is Next

Yesterday, the 46-year-old Google veteran who oversees its search engine, Amit Singhal, announced his retirement. And in short order, Google revealed that Singhal's rather enormous shoes would be filled by a man named John Giannandrea…


From ACM Opinion

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome

In the great contest that is life, the common bedbugCimex lectularius, qualifies as a winner.


From ACM Opinion

Why Safe Harbor 2.0 Will Lose Again

Why Safe Harbor 2.0 Will Lose Again

Over the weekend, negotiators from the European Union's executive body, and the US Federal Trade Commission worked frantically to thrash out a deal to allow transatlantic data transfers to take place.


From ACM Opinion

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

When Will We Be Able to Vote Online?

Sooner or later everything seems to go online. Newspapers. TV. Radio. Shopping. Banking. Dating.


From ACM Opinion

The Step Needed to Make Virtual Reality More Real

The Step Needed to Make Virtual Reality More Real

It's one thing to play the arcade game Whac-A-Mole by swinging around an oversized mallet; it's far easier to whack those moles virtually, controlling the mallet with just your gaze.


From ACM Opinion

Proposed State Bans on Phone Encryption Make Zero Sense

Proposed State Bans on Phone Encryption Make Zero Sense

American politics has long accepted the strange notion that just a pair of states—namely Iowa and New Hampshire—get an outsize vote in choosing America’s next president. The idea of letting just two states choose whether we all…


From Communications of the ACM

Revealing the API Ecosystem and Enterprise Strategy via Visual Analytics

Revealing the API Ecosystem and Enterprise Strategy via Visual Analytics

Seeking better understanding of digital transformation.


From Communications of the ACM

Privacy Research Directions

Privacy Research Directions

What must we learn in order to support privacy requirements as technology advances?


From Communications of the ACM

Broadening Access to Computing Education State By State

Broadening Access to Computing Education State By State

Influencing computer science education at the state level.


From Communications of the ACM

Having a Conversation About Bulk Surveillance

Having a Conversation About Bulk Surveillance

Considering a controversial subject that extends far beyond the collection of phone metadata.


From Communications of the ACM

Lessons from the Tech Transfer Trenches

Lessons from the Tech Transfer Trenches

Moving from the research realm to real-world business application.


From Communications of the ACM

Code Hoarding

Code Hoarding

Committing to commits, and the beauty of summarizing graphs.

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