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Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


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

May 2013


From ACM Opinion

Escape Plans

Escape Plans

When the Russian asteroid became a fireball in the air over Chelyabinsk, destroying buildings and injuring hundreds, we were lucky it wasn’t worse.


From ACM Opinion

A Multi-Screen and Conversational Search Experience

A Multi-Screen and Conversational Search Experience

Search has always been about giving you the best answers quickly, regardless of what device you use.


From ACM News

Laptop ­

Laptop ­

Gregory Nagy, a professor of classical Greek literature at Harvard, is a gentle academic of the sort who, asked about the future, will begin speaking of Homer and the battles of the distant past.


From ACM Opinion

The Coming Political Battle Over Bitcoin

The Coming Political Battle Over Bitcoin

Given that Bitcoin first broke into mainstream attention when Gawker explained how to use it to buy drugs, perhaps the surprise is that it took federal regulators this long to take action against it.


From ACM Opinion

Hear Ye, Future Deep Throats: This Is How to Leak to the Press

Hear Ye, Future Deep Throats: This Is How to Leak to the Press

We now live in a world where public servants informing the public about government behavior or wrongdoing must practice the tradecraft of drug dealers and spies.


From ACM Opinion

Ok, Glass, Don't Make Me Look Stupid

Ok, Glass, Don't Make Me Look Stupid

A man sitting alone at his kitchen table pauses before eating his breakfast.


From ACM Opinion

New Android Boss Finally Reveals Plans For World's Most Popular Mobile Os

New Android Boss Finally Reveals Plans For World's Most Popular Mobile Os

For the past few years, Sundar Pichai has been part of a tag-team routine staged at Google's annual I/O developer conference.


From ACM Opinion

Tedxstanford Highlights Breakthroughs in Research and Creativity, Stanford-Style

Tedxstanford Highlights Breakthroughs in Research and Creativity, Stanford-Style

They sacrificed a spectacular sunny Saturday afternoon by the hundreds, forgoing all else to sit in a darkened hall to witness hours of intense lectures and art works. Happily. Eagerly. Hungrily.


From ACM Opinion

Why Teaching a Robot to Fetch a Cup of Coffee Matters

Why Teaching a Robot to Fetch a Cup of Coffee Matters

In robotics, as in life, it often takes small steps to reach a big goal.


From ACM Opinion

Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won't Hire You

Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won't Hire You

Dear college graduates: The next month is going to be thrilling as you cross this major milestone in your education.


From ACM Opinion

Nicole Ozer, Tech Policy Director For Aclu of Northern California

Nicole Ozer, Tech Policy Director For Aclu of Northern California

If you think you're hearing about privacy all the time, you're probably right.


From ACM Opinion

4 Big Problems with Social Security Numbers

4 Big Problems with Social Security Numbers

A Social Security number is like a skeleton key, able to unlock a kingdom of untold riches for identity thieves.


From ACM Opinion

Sal Khan: 'i Love Learning'

Sal Khan: 'i Love Learning'

"If there was a Ph.D. in learning everything, I would do that," the always-enthusiastic Sal Khan '98, MEng '98 said in a talk Wednesday at MIT's Kresge Auditorium.


From ACM Opinion

What Is the Syrian Electronic Army Trying to Accomplish, Anyway?

What Is the Syrian Electronic Army Trying to Accomplish, Anyway?

In June 2011, just a few short months after protests first erupted in Syria, the country's president, Bashar Al-Assad, made a speech in which he thanked a group called the "Syrian Electronic Army" (SEA). Calling it a "virtual…


From ACM Opinion

Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Israel's Main Infrastructure Control System

Syrian Electronic Army Hacks Israel's Main Infrastructure Control System

The Syrian Electronic Army launched a successful cyberattack on the main infrastructure system of Haifa, one of the most important ports in Israel, disrupting the operation of the servers in charge of urban management systems…


From ACM Opinion

Measuring the Benefits of Tech Tools

When I was a young reporter we could not afford cellphones.


From ACM News

Is Massively Open Online Education a Threat or a Blessing?

Is Massively Open Online Education a Threat or a Blessing?

In fall 2011, Sebastian Thrun, a research professor at Stanford, and Peter Norvig, the top scientist at Google, teamed up to develop and teach a free, online course on artificial intelligence.


From ACM Opinion

Apple: An End to Skeuomorphic Design?

Apple: An End to Skeuomorphic Design?

Why do most smartphones make a clicking noise, like a camera shutter closing, when you take a picture with them? Why do the virtual pages of a book on a tablet appear to turn as you swipe across the screen?


From ACM Opinion

Why Vertical Search Is Threatening Google's Reign

Why Vertical Search Is Threatening Google's Reign

Until recently, Google has dominated search. It has been the main stomping ground for consumers looking to buy products, visit sites, or conduct research.


From ACM Careers

Netflix, Reed Hastings Survive Missteps to Join Silicon Valley's Elite

Netflix, Reed Hastings Survive Missteps to Join Silicon Valley's Elite

On a normal weeknight, Netflix accounts for almost a third of all Internet traffic entering North American homes. That's more than YouTube, Hulu, Amazon.com, HBO Go, iTunes, and BitTorrent combined.


From ACM Opinion

Stephen Wolfram on Personal Analytics

Stephen Wolfram on Personal Analytics

Don't be surprised if Stephen Wolfram, the renowned complexity theorist, software company CEO, and night owl, wants to schedule a work call with you at 9 p.m. In fact, after a decade of logging every phone call he makes, Wolfram…


From ACM Opinion

The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest For the New AI

The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest For the New AI

There's a theory that human intelligence stems from a single algorithm.


From ACM Opinion

Bruces Sterling's Vision of the Future City

Bruces Sterling's Vision of the Future City

In 2050, the Earth's population is expected to hit 10 billion, and 75% of those people will live in cities.


From ACM Opinion

Jaron Lanier on the Cheap Treats and Religious Emotion of Moore's Law

Jaron Lanier on the Cheap Treats and Religious Emotion of Moore's Law

Moore's Law is Silicon Valley’s guiding principle, like all 10 commandments wrapped into one.


From ACM Opinion

Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans By 2100, Experts Say

Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans By 2100, Experts Say

Are you prepared to meet your robot overlords?


From ACM Opinion

Innovation Starvation

Innovation Starvation

My lifespan encompasses the era when the United States of America was capable of launching human beings into space.


From ACM Opinion

Superhero or Supervillain?

Superhero or Supervillain?

From invisibility to superhuman strength to telekinesis, a wave of emerging technologies promise to give people powers once reserved for comic-book characters.


From ACM Careers

Why iPhone Accessory Makers Love Bluetooth

Why iPhone Accessory Makers Love Bluetooth

Apple's closed ecosystem is losing the battle for how we connect our mobile devices to accessories as open solutions like Bluetooth dominate over Apple's proprietary dock connector and AirPlay standards.


From ACM Opinion

Why We Often View Digital Culture Through Insect Metaphors

Why We Often View Digital Culture Through Insect Metaphors

Swarms. Hive minds. The Web.


From ACM News

China Sees Cyberwar as Reducing ­.s. Advantage in Future Conflict

China Sees Cyberwar as Reducing ­.s. Advantage in Future Conflict

It's one thing to read news concerning the latest report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Defense on China's latest military activities. But with regard to China's evolving stance and capabilities in the cyber arena, it's…

Blog at CACM
There is More Than One Way to Become a Good Programmer
There is More Than One Way to Become a Good Programmer
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A recent Communications of the ACM article casts aspersions on the innovative concept of code academy, a fast-developing approach to …

Talented Programmers Don't Tolerate Chaos
Talented Programmers Don't Tolerate Chaos
02.11.2020

Talented programmers will strive to structure chaos and write perfect code.

Why IT Professionals Get A Bad Rap For Their Communications
Why IT Professionals Get A Bad Rap For Their Communications
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Tips for improving business IT communications.

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