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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 2014


From ACM Opinion

The Peril of Knowledge Everywhere

The Peril of Knowledge Everywhere

Thanks to advances in technology, we may soon revisit a question raised four centuries ago: Are there things we should try not to know?


From ACM Opinion

A World Digital Library Is Coming True!

A World Digital Library Is Coming True!

In the scramble to gain market share in cyberspace, something is getting lost: the public interest.


From ACM Opinion

The Not-So-Distant Future When We Can All ­pgrade Our Brains

The Not-So-Distant Future When We Can All ­pgrade Our Brains

In a decade, cognitive enhancement may have gone mainstream.


From ACM Opinion

Cassini Revisited

Cassini Revisited

When its handlers finally steer it into a collision course with Saturn in 2017, the spacecraft Cassini will have been in space for two decades, 13 of those years spent in orbit around the planet that will eventually become its…


From ACM Opinion

Here's How to Learn How Much Your Data Is Worth to Facebook and Google

Here's How to Learn How Much Your Data Is Worth to Facebook and Google

The anti-virus software company AVG has created PrivacyFix, an app to help you get a handle on just how much you're worth to big-time data players Facebook and Google.


From ACM Opinion

Former Head of the Nsa and Commander of the ­S Cyber Command, General Keith Alexander

Former Head of the Nsa and Commander of the ­S Cyber Command, General Keith Alexander

Recently retired director of the U.S. National Security Agency and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command General Keith Alexander was interviewed by Australian Financial Review contributing editor Christopher Joye. This is a full…


From ACM Opinion

The Wizard of Minecraft

The Wizard of Minecraft

It's a wet monday morning in Stockholm, and the door to Markus Persson's office is closed.


From ACM Opinion

Getting Everyday Objects to Think

Getting Everyday Objects to Think

If the so-called Internet of Things ever becomes one of those proverbial next big things in technology, Thomas Lee, a card-carrying member of the cohort of big brains who populate Silicon Valley, figures to play a pivotal role…


From ACM Opinion

The Move Toward Computing That Reads Your Mind

The Move Toward Computing That Reads Your Mind

Like many people in this modern world, I struggle with the tension between the conveniences offered by the latest technology and the loss of privacy that comes with them.


From ACM Opinion

Want to Learn Quicker? ­se Your Body

Want to Learn Quicker? ­se Your Body

Ever got to grips with a problem? Picked up a new skill? Grasped a difficult concept? The language of learning is full of references to parts of the body outside the brain.


From ACM Opinion

Computer Mice: Still a Thing

Computer Mice: Still a Thing

For decades, the mouse was a key component of how one interacted with a computer.


From ACM Opinion

4 Ways the Political Elite Try (and Fail) to Avoid Leaving a Trail of Incriminating Messages

4 Ways the Political Elite Try (and Fail) to Avoid Leaving a Trail of Incriminating Messages

The most powerful people in the country are just not as good as teenagers when it comes to being discreet. Mostly that’s by design—there are freedom of information laws meant to keep official correspondence public, to a point…


From ACM Opinion

Can an Algorithm Solve Twitter's Credibility Problem?

Can an Algorithm Solve Twitter's Credibility Problem?

On October 29, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy made landfall, I was in my Brooklyn apartment, refreshing Twitter.


From ACM Opinion

The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing

The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing

Last week, the White House released its report on big data and its privacy implications, the result of a 90-day study commissioned by President Obama during his January 17 speech on NSA surveillance reforms. Now that we've had…


From ACM Opinion

The Secret Messages Inside Chinese ­rls

The Secret Messages Inside Chinese ­rls

An American friend living in Beijing once said she refused to communicate with anyone whose email address consisted of a string of numbers, such as 62718298454@163.com.


From ACM Opinion

Eugene Kaspersky: Major Cyberterrorist Attack Is Only Matter of Time

Eugene Kaspersky: Major Cyberterrorist Attack Is Only Matter of Time

A major, global cyberterrorist attack has long been the stuff of fiction, the threat that a malevolent hacker could bring down businesses, sabotage power plants and cause widespread death and destruction by bringing down planes…


From ACM Opinion

'transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence, but Are We Taking AI Seriously Enough?'

'transcendence Looks at the Implications of Artificial Intelligence, but Are We Taking AI Seriously Enough?'

With the Hollywood blockbuster Transcendence playing in cinemas, with Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman showcasing clashing visions for the future of humanity, it's tempting to dismiss the notion of highly intelligent machines as…


From ACM Opinion

Transcending Artificial Intelligence

Transcending Artificial Intelligence

While it can be a blast going to see the latest Hollywood sci-fi thriller, watching it along with a leading expert in the science and technology fields relevant to the dystopian color and light in front of you can make it that…


From ACM Opinion

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's Future, From Virtual Reality to Anonymity

Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's Future, From Virtual Reality to Anonymity

No one ever accused Mark Zuckerberg of standing pat.


From ACM News

How Cloud Storage Complicates the Supreme Court Debate Over Cell Phone Privacy

How Cloud Storage Complicates the Supreme Court Debate Over Cell Phone Privacy

Should police be able to search the contents of your smartphone without a warrant?


From ACM Opinion

What's It Like to Consult For The Big Bang Theory?

What's It Like to Consult For The Big Bang Theory?

Now in its seventh season, the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory is more popular than ever, averaging 19.79 million viewers per episode; and it’s not going away anytime soon.


From ACM News

Cyborg Angst: 5 Ways Computers Will Perplex ­S in 2039

Cyborg Angst: 5 Ways Computers Will Perplex ­S in 2039

Brain chips mean we are struggling to distinguish our own thoughts from ideas implanted by advertisers.


From Communications of the ACM

What Happened to Video Game Piracy?

What Happened to Video Game Piracy?

How video games thrive in a world of piracy.


From Communications of the ACM

Why Bitcoin Has Value

Why Bitcoin Has Value

Evaluating the evolving controversial digital currency.


From Communications of the ACM

Tom Kilburn: A Tale of Five Computers

Tom Kilburn

Reflections on a British computer engineer who influenced several important machines, including the first stored-program computer.


From Communications of the ACM

Robots Are Coming

Robots Are Coming

Considering the societal implications of the robotics revolution.


From Communications of the ACM

Building a Virtual Community of Practice For K-12 CS Teachers

Building a Virtual Community of Practice For K-12 CS Teachers

Bringing educators together and focusing their interests toward improving computer science education in high schools.

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