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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.

September 2014


From ACM Opinion

It’s Tim Cook's Apple Now

It’s Tim Cook's Apple Now

The Tim Cook era at Apple emerged onto the public stage today in full force, and it bears subtle differences from Steve Jobs’s Apple.


From ACM Opinion

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away

Why I Just Asked My Students To Put Their Laptops Away

I teach theory and practice of social media at NYU, and am an advocate and activist for the free culture movement, so I’m a pretty unlikely candidate for internet censor, but I have just asked the students in my fall seminar…


From ACM Opinion

Our Cyborg Future

Our Cyborg Future

In June 2014, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Riley v. California, in which the justices unanimously ruled that police officers may not, without a warrant, search the data on a cell phone seized during an arrest…


From ACM Opinion

The Man Who Will Build Google's Elusive Quantum Computer

The Man Who Will Build Google's Elusive Quantum Computer

John Martinis is one of the world's foremost experts on quantum computing, a growing field of science that aims to process information at super high speeds using strange physics of very tiny particles such as electrons and photons…


From ACM Opinion

The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens

The Internet Power Vacuum Worsens

The United States hasn't even abandoned its Web protection yet, and authoritarian governments are already making their move.


From ACM Opinion

Want to Reform the Nsa? Give Edward Snowden Immunity

Want to Reform the Nsa? Give Edward Snowden Immunity

In 1970, Christopher Pyle disclosed in public writing that the U.S. Army was running a domestic intelligence program aimed at anti-war and civil-rights activists.


From ACM Opinion

Robot Servants Are Going to Make Your Life Easy. Then They'll Ruin It

Robot Servants Are Going to Make Your Life Easy. Then They'll Ruin It

Jibo, the "world's first family robot," hit the media hype machine like a bomb.


From ACM TechNews

Scala Founder: Language Due For 'fundamental Rethink'

Scala Founder: Language Due For 'fundamental Rethink'

Scala programming language designer Martin Odersky says he sees the industry in the midst of a paradigm shift, and Scala is leading the move toward a new balance between functional and object-oriented programming.


From ACM Opinion

The Hazards of Going on Autopilot

The Hazards of Going on Autopilot

At 9:18 P.M. on February 12, 2009, Continental Connection Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, took off from Newark International Airport.


From ACM Careers

The Coming Age of the Internet Naturalist

The Coming Age of the Internet Naturalist

Three years ago, Shaun Winterton was looking at photos of bugs on Flickr.


From ACM Opinion

The Case For Kill Switches in Military Weaponry

The Case For Kill Switches in Military Weaponry

This summer the insurgent group ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul—and along with it, three army divisions' worth of U.S.-supplied equipment from the Iraqi army, including Humvees, helicopters, antiaircraft cannons and M1…


From ACM Opinion

Why Government Researchers Think We May Be Living in a 2d Hologram

Why Government Researchers Think We May Be Living in a 2d Hologram

Operating with cutting-edge technology out of a trailer in rural Illinois, government researchers have started on a set of experiments that they say will help them determine whether or not you and me and everything that exists…


From ACM Opinion

Why Internet Governance Should Be Left to the Engineers

Why Internet Governance Should Be Left to the Engineers

As the Internet and the disruptive innovations it spawns are becoming economically, politically, and culturally vital for the world’s three billion users (and counting), there's been a worrisome though unsurprising outburst of…


From ACM Opinion

The Defenders of Anonymity on the Internet

The Defenders of Anonymity on the Internet

You may not realise it, but every time you open up your laptop or switch on your phone, you are at the heart of one of the greatest battles now taking place in our midst—what shape will the internet take in the future, and what…


From ACM Opinion

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms of Service Agreements?

Why Do We Blindly Sign Terms of Service Agreements?

Audie Cornish talks with University of Chicago Law School professor Omri Ben-Shahar about terms of service agreements for software and websites.


From ACM Opinion

How to Keep Photos of Your Naked Body Off the Internet

How to Keep Photos of Your Naked Body Off the Internet

If you've been conscious at any point during the past 48 hours, you've probably heard about the slew of raunchy celeb selfies making their way around the internet.


From ACM Opinion

Satellites: Make Earth Observations Open Access

Satellites: Make Earth Observations Open Access

Changes in land cover affect the global climate by absorbing and reflecting solar radiation, and by altering fluxes of heat, water vapour, carbon dioxide and other trace gases.


From ACM Opinion

John Walker, the Navy Spy Who Defined Crypto-Betrayal, Dead at 77

John Walker, the Navy Spy Who Defined Crypto-Betrayal, Dead at 77

This week, the man responsible for what is probably the biggest cryptographic failure in military history died—just a few months before he was due to be released from prison.


From Communications of the ACM

Q&A: Finding Themes

Q&A: Finding Themes

ACM-Infosys Foundation Award recipient David Blei recalls the origins of his famous topic model, its extensions, and its uses in areas that continue to amaze him.


From Communications of the ACM

We Have Never Been Digital

We Have Never Been Digital

Reflections on the intersection of computing and the humanities.


From Communications of the ACM

Soft Infrastructure Challenges to Scientific Knowledge Discovery

Soft Infrastructure Challenges to Scientific Knowledge Discovery

Seeking to overcome nontechnical challenges to the scientific enterprise.


From Communications of the ACM

Exploratory Engineering in Artificial Intelligence

Exploratory Engineering in Artificial Intelligence

Using theoretical models to plan for AI safety.


From Communications of the ACM

Learning For the New Digital Age

Learning For the New Digital Age

Digital machines are automating knowledge work at an accelerating pace. How shall we learn and stay relevant?


From Communications of the ACM

Accountability in Future Internet Architectures

Accountability in Future Internet Architectures

Can technical and legal aspects be happily intertwined?

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