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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.

June 2013


From ACM Opinion

Why Americans Don't Fear the Nsa

Why Americans Don't Fear the Nsa

Cybersnooping was always scheduled to be an important topic during President Obama’s meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping.


From ACM Opinion

How to Protect Yourself from the Online Axis of Evil

How to Protect Yourself from the Online Axis of Evil

North Korea and Iran are viewed as threats to the world because of their potential to field weapons of mass destruction, but they are far more likely to focus their malfeasance on "mass disruption" via cyber attacks.


From ACM Opinion

Dave Farber, Internet's "grandfather," Seeks to Cut Through Fog of Cyberwar

Dave Farber, Internet's "grandfather," Seeks to Cut Through Fog of Cyberwar

Over the last few years, the rhetoric if not the actuality of cyberwarfare has been escalating.


From ACM Opinion

Who's Watching You? Not Just the Nsa.

Who's Watching You? Not Just the Nsa.

While you were tweeting an Instagram of your home-cooked tikka masala last night, we learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting data on millions of Verizon customers.


From ACM Opinion

Opening Dropbox

Opening Dropbox

If you walk the halls at MIT, you may notice a lot of students wearing T-shirts bearing the Dropbox logo. It's a simple design—an opened box—but one that carries outsize significance at the Institute: Alumnus Drew Houston '05…


From ACM Opinion

Would You Go Full Cyborg?

Would You Go Full Cyborg?

It's only a matter of time, really. Google GlassEpson's Movierio, the Oculus Rift, and similar technologies are at the cutting edge of wearable technologies. Sci-fi has certainly given us a glimpse at the potential future:…


From ACM Opinion

Make Patent Trolls Pay in Court

Make Patent Trolls Pay in Court

From an early age we are taught the importance of fighting fairly.


From ACM Opinion

Our Guts May Hate Mars

Our Guts May Hate Mars

Eighty thousand people recently applied for a trip to Mars, an excursion that will allegedly be funded by selling reality-TV show rights for the voyage.


From ACM Opinion

Mit's Magic Bag Of Sand

Mit's Magic Bag Of Sand

The camera pushes in. And there, near the meridian line, you see a faint scattering of red lights. Something is in the tar. And it's glowing.


From ACM Opinion

Patent Trolls Are a Serious Threat to ­.s. Innovation

Patent Trolls Are a Serious Threat to ­.s. Innovation

At last, some good news about America's dysfunctional patent system: the White House has noticed there's a problem.


From ACM Opinion

As Facebook Grows ­p, Grand Ambitions Get Reality Check

As Facebook Grows ­p, Grand Ambitions Get Reality Check

Facebook, which once seemed poised to take over the Internet, is showing its limitations: a host of newer services are gaining ground among trend-setting youth; a much-hyped smartphone app has received a tepid response; and grand…


From ACM Opinion

The Trouble With Neuroscience

The Trouble With Neuroscience

No crevice of the human experience is safe.


From ACM Opinion

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers 'killer Existence'

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers 'killer Existence'

Few gadgets have generated as much excitement and hostility as Google Glass, a voice-activated computer-monitor combo worn on eyeglass frames.


From ACM Opinion

Google+ Isn't a Social Network; It's The Matrix

Google+ Isn't a Social Network; It's The Matrix

Pretty much everyone (myself included) has been reading Google+ wrongly.


From ACM Opinion

Senator Rand Paul Talks Tech, Civil Liberties, and Keeping the Government Out of Your Email

Senator Rand Paul Talks Tech, Civil Liberties, and Keeping the Government Out of Your Email

Rand Paul is having some problems with the jerks back at the office. So today he's bypassing them on a road trip through Silicon Valley.


From ACM Opinion

Forget Google Glass. These Are the Interfaces of the Future

Forget Google Glass. These Are the Interfaces of the Future

When we talk about design nowadays, the focus has been on the lures (or dangers) of flat design and skeumorphism; whether there should be (or really are any) intuitive interfaces; and wearable, maybe "disappearing" interfaces…


From ACM Opinion

The Fbi's New Wiretapping Plan Is Great News For Criminals

The Fbi's New Wiretapping Plan Is Great News For Criminals

The FBI wants a new law that will make it easier to wiretap the Internet.


From ACM Careers

How and Why to Teach Your Kids to Code

How and Why to Teach Your Kids to Code

Whether or not your child grows up to be the next Zuckerberg, programming is a highly useful skill for him or her to learn.


From ACM Opinion

The Banality of 'don’t Be Evil'

The Banality of 'don’t Be Evil'

"The New Digital Age" is a startlingly clear and provocative blueprint for technocratic imperialism, from two of its leading witch doctors, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, who construct a new idiom for United States global power…


From Communications of the ACM

Cybercrime, Cyberweapons, Cyber Wars: Is There Too Much of It in the Air?

Cybercrime, Cyberweapons, Cyber Wars

Where reality stops and perception begins.


From Communications of the ACM

Swamped By Automation

Swamped By Automation

Whenever someone asks you to trust them, don't.


From Communications of the ACM

Thumb Numbers

Thumb Numbers

Rules of thumb stated as numerical rules are enticing, but many are folk theorems that may not apply in your critical situation.


From Communications of the ACM

Access to the Internet Is a Human Right

Access to the Internet Is a Human Right

Connecting Internet access with freedom of expression and creativity.


From Communications of the ACM

What Is a 'Good' Estimate?

What Is a 'Good' Estimate?

Whether forecasting is valuable.


From Communications of the ACM

Learning from the Past to Face the Risks of Today

Learning from the Past to Face the Risks of Today

The Space Shuttle software program can provide guidance to today's projects.

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