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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.

July 2013


From ACM Opinion

Virtual Reality For Your Hands

Virtual Reality For Your Hands

Computers already have keyboards. They have mice and touch pads. They even have touch screens. But is there room for a totally new interface?


From ACM Opinion

Bradley Manning 'aiding the Enemy' Charge Is a Threat to Journalism

Bradley Manning 'aiding the Enemy' Charge Is a Threat to Journalism

Thursday, Colonel Denise Lind, the judge in the Bradley Manning court martial, refused to dismiss the "aiding the enemy" charge.


From ACM Opinion

Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning

Sebastian Thrun on the Future of Learning

Sebastian Thrun has worn many hats in the tech world: Stanford research professor, founder of Google's X Labs, where he oversaw the development of self-driving cars and Google Glass, and, most recently, passionate advocate for…


From ACM Opinion

How to Be an Email Survivalist

How to Be an Email Survivalist

In the early 2000s it was the height of geek fashion to run your own email server—then along came Gmail with two gigabytes of free storage and excellent spam filtering.


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Designer Behind Some of the Web’s Newest Killer Fonts

Meet the Designer Behind Some of the Web’s Newest Killer Fonts

Thanks to newer browsers and greater bandwidth, there's been an explosion of new Web fonts—tens of thousands of them over the last decade.


From ACM Opinion

Who Scores Games By Hand Anymore?

Who Scores Games By Hand Anymore?

The first thing Bruce Levy did upon recent entry into Yankee Stadium while accompanied by his in-laws and teenage son was to purchase a program in the area of the concourse behind home plate.


From ACM Opinion

Responding to Government Legal Demands For Customer Data

Responding to Government Legal Demands For Customer Data

Today we have asked the Attorney General of the United States to personally take action to permit Microsoft and other companies to share publicly more complete information about how we handle national security requests for customer…


From ACM Opinion

The End of Digital Tyranny: Why the Future of Computing Is Analog

The End of Digital Tyranny: Why the Future of Computing Is Analog

Our world is ruled by 1s and 0s.


From ACM Opinion

The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society

The Pros and Cons of a Surveillance Society

Here are three topics much in the news these days: Prism, the surveillance program of the national security agency; the death of Trayvon Martin; and Google Glass and the rise of wearable computers that record everything.


From ACM Opinion

Hugh Herr and the Liberating Age of Bionics

Hugh Herr and the Liberating Age of Bionics

"It's extraordinary that we live in this day and age with all our wonderful modern technology, and still we have shoes that give us blisters," says Hugh Herr, with more than a little incredulity and perhaps even fresh anger at…


From ACM Opinion

Your Brain at Work

When Apple fanatics lined up to get the new iPhone in 2011, the New York Times published an op-ed titled "You Love Your iPhone. Literally." It described an unpublished experiment in which the author scanned the brains of 16 people…


From ACM Opinion

Why Microsoft's Reorganization Closes the Books on an Era of Computing

Why Microsoft's Reorganization Closes the Books on an Era of Computing

Nothing ever stays the same. On more than one occasion, it has taken Microsoft, one of the most important engines powering the rise of the technology industry, years to understand that.


From ACM Opinion

Censoring the News Before It Happens

Censoring the News Before It Happens

Every day in China, hundreds of messages are sent from government offices to website editors around the country that say things like, "Report on the new provincial budget tomorrow, but do not feature it on the front page, make…


From ACM Opinion

Free Online MIT Courses Are An Education Revolution

Free Online MIT Courses Are An Education Revolution

Online learning is the biggest shake-up of education since the advent of the printing press, says Anant Agarwal, an MIT computing specialist.


From ACM Careers

In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

In Head-Hunting, Big Data May Not Be Such a Big Deal

Q. How is Big Data being used more in the leadership and management field? 


From ACM Opinion

Lost (and Gained) in Translation

The international movement of scientists and the internationalization of science rank among the most striking trends in today's scientific world.


From ACM Opinion

The Hut Where the Internet Began

The Hut Where the Internet Began

Let's start at the end point: what you're doing right now. You are pulling information from a network onto a screen, enhancing your embodied experience with a communication web filled with people and machines.


From ACM Opinion

The Crypto-Currency Ecosystem

Just like the IP protocol, bitcoin is the culmination of several important advancements, all combining to form a paradigm-changing innovation.


From ACM Opinion

Internet Inventor: No Technological Cure For Privacy Ills

Internet Inventor: No Technological Cure For Privacy Ills

Is there technological solution for protecting people from online surveillance?


From ACM Opinion

What Your Metadata Says About You

What Your Metadata Says About You

As recently as a few weeks ago, "metadata" was an obscure term known mainly to techies and academics.


From ACM Opinion

Edward Snowden's Nightmare Comes True

Edward Snowden's Nightmare Comes True

Snowden's worst fear, by his own account, was that "nothing will change."


From ACM Opinion

A Eulogy For Altavista, the Google of Its Time

A Eulogy For Altavista, the Google of Its Time

Goodbye AltaVista. You deserved better than this.


From ACM Opinion

Social Media Free Speech Rights Complicated For Workers

An anonymous "Suzy Citizen" leaves fliers criticizing management in a public area of the St. Cloud Public Library, and the Great River Regional Library board of trustees hires an investigator to find out if an employee is the…


From ACM Opinion

Intel's Justin Rattner on New Laser Chip Business

Intel's Justin Rattner on New Laser Chip Business

Intel came to dominate computing by consistently beating others at packing transistors ever more densely onto chips for desktop computers and servers.


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Most Important Tech Company You've Probably Never Heard Of

Meet the Most Important Tech Company You've Probably Never Heard Of

Never trust gadget-makers’ claims about battery life.


From ACM Opinion

What It's Like to Get a National-Security Letter

What It's Like to Get a National-Security Letter

In the summer of 2011, while he was fighting an indictment for alleged computer crimes, Aaron Swartz, an information activist, read Kafka’s "The Trial" and commented on it at his Web site.


From ACM Opinion

Social Media Images Form a New Language Online

Social Media Images Form a New Language Online

Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, had an epiphany about the simplicity of communication through images while wearing Google Glass, the company’s controversial high-tech glasses.


From ACM Opinion

The 12 Best Designs from the Past 100 Years

The 12 Best Designs from the Past 100 Years

Is the much-loved Piaggio Vespa more iconic than the floppy disk? Is the iPod more of a design classic than the Airbus A380?


From ACM Opinion

Apple's Power Over Design, in 4 Words

Apple's Power Over Design, in 4 Words

"Apple just permeates everything."


From ACM Opinion

The Taming of the Spook

The Taming of the Spook

On March 24, 2009, the National Security Agency’s inspector general issued a 51-page draft report on the President’s Surveillance Program, the warrantless authority under which NSA had collected phone records and email since…

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