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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 2015


From ACM Opinion

Will We Ever… Speak Faster Than Light Speed?

Will We Ever… Speak Faster Than Light Speed?

Light travels so fast it can make the transatlantic journey between London and New York more than 50 times each second. With speed like that, you might wonder why there's any interest at all in finding faster-than-light communication…


From ACM Opinion

The Pluto Punch-Through

The Pluto Punch-Through

On July 14, 2015 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft finally reaches Pluto. But the encounter is brief.


From ACM Opinion

Why Robots and Humans Struggled with Darpa's Challenge

Why Robots and Humans Struggled with Darpa's Challenge

When some of the world's most advanced rescue robots are foiled by nothing more complex than a doorknob, you get a good sense of the challenge of making our homes and workplaces more automated.


From ACM Opinion

How the Country's Top Privacy Cop Is Trying to Protect Consumers in the Digital Age

How the Country's Top Privacy Cop Is Trying to Protect Consumers in the Digital Age

As the digital economy has exploded, tech companies are collecting untold amounts of data on everyday Americans.


From ACM Opinion

Google on Eu Troubles: 'we Don't Always Get It Right'

Google on Eu Troubles: 'we Don't Always Get It Right'

Google is in hot water in Europe, and its head of European operations is trying to cool things off.


From ACM Opinion

The Myth of a Borderless Internet

The Myth of a Borderless Internet

Almost a decade ago now, McDonald's made a seemingly innocuous decision.


From ACM Opinion

The Good, The Bad and The Robot: Experts Are Trying to Make Machines Be 'moral'

The Good, The Bad and The Robot: Experts Are Trying to Make Machines Be 'moral'

Good vs. bad. Right vs. wrong. Human beings begin to learn the difference before we learn to speak—and thankfully so.


From ACM Opinion

It's Time to Let Edward Snowden Come Home

It's Time to Let Edward Snowden Come Home

Now that Congress has passed, and President Obama has signed, the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which places some limits on the domestic-surveillance powers of the National Security Agency, there's still unfinished business to deal with…


From ACM Opinion

Infiltrating 'the Dark Net,' Where Criminals, Trolls, and Extremists Reign

Infiltrating 'the Dark Net,' Where Criminals, Trolls, and Extremists Reign

There's a side to the Internet most people have never visited.


From ACM Opinion

The Real Winners in the Fight Over Government Surveillance

The Real Winners in the Fight Over Government Surveillance

After the Senate passed legislation aimed at reforming a program that collected data about the phone calls of millions of Americans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) quoted an Associated Press headline calling the…


From ACM Opinion

Should Google Be Forced to Offer Privacy Apps? E­ Fight Offers Test

Should Google Be Forced to Offer Privacy Apps? E­ Fight Offers Test

Disconnect, which makes an ad-blocking app, filed an EU antitrust complaint against Google.


From ACM Opinion

I Made an ­ntraceable 'ghost Gun' in My Office—and It Was Easy

I Made an ­ntraceable 'ghost Gun' in My Office—and It Was Easy

This is my ghost gun. To quote the rifleman's creed, there are many like it, but this one is mine.


From ACM Opinion

Want Your Writing to Look Like Einstein's? Computers Mimic Handwriting of the Famous

Want Your Writing to Look Like Einstein's? Computers Mimic Handwriting of the Famous

Harald Geisler wants to make you as brilliant as Albert Einstein. Or at least let you write like him. Or at least write in his handwriting.


From ACM Opinion

The Military Origins of Wearable Tech, a Century Before the Apple Watch

The Military Origins of Wearable Tech, a Century Before the Apple Watch

On July 9, 1916, The New York Times puzzled over a fashion trend: Europeans were starting to wear bracelets with clocks on them.


From ACM Opinion

Lust and the Turing Test

Lust and the Turing Test

By and large, we watch movies to be entertained, not to be provoked into deep thought. Occasionally, a film does both.


From Communications of the ACM

Created Computed ­Universe

Created Computed ­Universe

Computing crosses cosmology and makes the case for agnosticism.


From Communications of the ACM

Forgetting Made (Too) Easy

Forgetting Made (Too) Easy

Considering the implications of digital data removal implementations.


From Communications of the ACM

Lazarus Code

Lazarus Code

No one expects the Spanish Acquisition.


From Communications of the ACM

An Interview with U­.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith

An Interview with U­.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith

Recently appointed U.S. CTO Megan Smith discusses her evolving governmental role.


From Communications of the ACM

Emergent Innovation

Emergent Innovation

Fernando Flores, president of Chile's National Innovation Council for Competitiveness, discusses a new common sense about innovation.


From Communications of the ACM

Routing Money, Not Packets

Routing Money, Not Packets

Revisiting network neutrality.

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