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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.

January 2013


From ACM News

'hashtag' Is the 2012 Word of the Year

'hashtag' Is the 2012 Word of the Year

In its 23rd annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted "hashtag" as the word of the year for 2012. Hashtag refers to the practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash…


From ACM TechNews

Google Glass Features and Apps Still in Flux

Google Glass Features and Apps Still in Flux

In an interview, Google Glass project leader Babak Parviz discusses where the wearable device is heading in the near future.


From ACM TechNews

The Places You'll Go

The Places You'll Go

In an interview, Google chief technology advocate Michael Jones discusses new technology in digital mapping and how it will change travel. Jones says the major change in mapping over the last 10 years is that it has become personal…


From ACM Opinion

Six Innovators to Watch in 2013

Six Innovators to Watch in 2013

In the spirit of the post-holiday season, allow me to present my final list of 2012: six innovators who are pushing technology in fresh directions, some to solve stubborn problems, others to make our lives a little fuller.


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Medicine Is Now

The Future of Medicine Is Now

In our era of instant gratification, the world of medicine seems like an outlier.


From ACM Opinion

The Legacy of Next Lives On in Os X

The Legacy of Next Lives On in Os X

In the 1990s, Apple struggled to bring the original Mac OS—originally written in 1984 for the resource-constrained Macintosh 128K machine—up to modern operating system standards.


From ACM Careers

5 Nerds to Watch in 2013

5 Nerds to Watch in 2013

When Steve Jobs died, there was a lot of talk about who would be the next Steve Jobs. But the truth is, rarely can one person reshape the future. And breakthroughs are almost never the work of corporate titans.


From ACM Opinion

The Father of Fractals

The Father of Fractals

In nature,technology and art the most common form of regularity is repetition: a single element repeated many times, as on a tile floor. But another form is possible, in which smaller and smaller copies of a pattern are successively…


From ACM Opinion

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

What Turned Jaron Lanier Against the Web?

I couldn't help thinking of John Le Carré's spy novels as I awaited my rendezvous with Jaron Lanier in a corner of the lobby of the stylish W Hotel just off Union Square in Manhattan.


From ACM Opinion

2012: What We Learned

There's a natural inclination for people at the end of each year to look back, take stock and try to draw some grand meaning or life lessons out of the events of the past 12 months. This is a particularly risky and difficult…


From ACM Opinion

10 Raspberry Pi Creations That Show How Amazing the Tiny Pc Can Be

10 Raspberry Pi Creations That Show How Amazing the Tiny Pc Can Be

The Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit card-size computer, has lived an interesting life despite being less than a year old.


From ACM Opinion

2013: Talk Gets Cheaper, Tv Gets Smarter

2013: Talk Gets Cheaper, Tv Gets Smarter

Personal technology never stops changing.


From ACM Opinion

Marking the Birth of the Modern-Day Internet

Marking the Birth of the Modern-Day Internet

A long time ago, my colleagues and I became part of a great adventure, teamed with a small band of scientists and technologists in the U.S. and elsewhere.


From ACM Opinion

How To Charge Your Laptop

How To Charge Your Laptop

Whether they're in our computers, cell phones, or cars, the only time we think about batteries is when they're almost dead and we need to find some place to charge them—and then we're not thinking nice things.


From ACM Opinion

How Big Data Can Solve America's Gun Problem

How Big Data Can Solve America's Gun Problem

Big data might have stopped the massacres in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek.


From ACM Opinion

Five Developments That Could Rewire Your World

Five Developments That Could Rewire Your World

Google is good at doing amazing.


From Communications of the ACM

The Apple-Samsung Lawsuits

The Apple-Samsung Lawsuits

In search of a middle ground in the intellectual property wars.


From Communications of the ACM

How We Build Things: . . . and Why Things Are 90% Complete

How We Build Things

It seems to be a law of software development that things always take longer than we expect. When a project manager talks to a designer, programmer, or tester and tries to get a sense of how "complete" the assigned task is…


From Communications of the ACM

Beyond Location: Data Security in the 21st Century

Beyond Location

Viewing evolving data security issues as engineering problems to be solved.


From Communications of the ACM

What College Could Be Like

What College Could Be Like

Imagining an optimized education model.


From Communications of the ACM

Conference-Journal Hybrids

Conference-Journal Hybrids

Considering how to combine the best elements of conferences and journals.


From Communications of the ACM

Five Lessons from Really Good History

Five Lessons from Really Good History

Lessons learned from four award-winning books on the history of information technology.

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