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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.

October 2013


From ACM Opinion

Rage Against the Algorithms

Rage Against the Algorithms

When was the last time you read an online review about a local business or service on a platform like Yelp?


From ACM Opinion

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz

On the day after Aaron Swartz's death in January, President Reif and I spoke about how MIT might respond to the breaking news of his suicide.


From ACM Opinion

What the Future of Sports Games Should Look Like

What the Future of Sports Games Should Look Like

What is realism?


From ACM Opinion

How to Manage Your Digital Afterlife

How to Manage Your Digital Afterlife

After their son's suicide, one Wisconsin couple was desperate for answers.


From ACM Opinion

Putting 'quantumness' to the Test

Putting 'quantumness' to the Test

What is a quantum computer?


From ACM Opinion

Frax App Brings Fractal-Exploration Glory to iOS

Frax App Brings Fractal-Exploration Glory to iOS

In 1983, intrigued by an article on fractals, I wrote a program to display the Mandelbrot set on my family's TRS-80 Color Computer.


From ACM TechNews

The Science Author Clive Thompson Does Not Think Tech Is Ruining Your Mind

The Science Author Clive Thompson Does Not Think Tech Is Ruining Your Mind

Technology writer Clive Thompson believes technology is improving human intelligence. 


From ACM Opinion

Texan Creationism Showdown May 'contaminate' Textbook

Texan Creationism Showdown May 'contaminate' Textbook

If creationists in Texas get their way, high-school students throughout the U.S. could soon be reading biology textbooks that falsely cast doubt on the scientific validity of evolution.


From ACM Careers

Students Are 'hacking' Their School-Issued Ipads: Good For Them

Students Are 'hacking' Their School-Issued Ipads: Good For Them

Almost immediately after receiving their new school-issued iPads this fall, students in Indiana and in California (and probably elsewhere) managed to bypass the security on the devices, "hacking" them for "non-schoolwork" purposes…


From ACM Opinion

From Technology Executive to Counterterrorism Expert

From Technology Executive to Counterterrorism Expert

Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold has been anything but idle since stepping out of his role as computer technology czar, founding a controversial patent hoarding venture that is now among the world's largest owners of intellectual…


From ACM Opinion

Scientists Must Spearhead Ethical ­se of Big Data

Scientists Must Spearhead Ethical ­se of Big Data

The recent revelation that the National Security Agency collects the personal data of United States citizens, allies and enemies alike has broken the traditional erning the bond between science and society.


From ACM News

Your Digital Trail, And How It Can Be ­sed Against You

Your Digital Trail, And How It Can Be ­sed Against You

While the collection of private information by the National Security Agency is under scrutiny worldwide, a remarkable amount of your digital trail is also available to local law enforcement officers, IRS investigators, the FBI…


From ACM Opinion

Why Free Software Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

Why Free Software Is More Important Now Than Ever Before

It is now 30 years since I launched the campaign for freedom in computing, that is, for software to be free or "libre" (we use that word to emphasize that we're talking about freedom, not price).


From Communications of the ACM

When Faster Is Slower

When Faster Is Slower

How the speed of modern tools may decelerate development.


From Communications of the ACM

The Naming of Hosts Is a Difficult Matter

The Naming of Hosts Is a Difficult Matter

Also, the perils of premature rebooting.


From Communications of the ACM

Controlling For Cybersecurity Risks of Medical Device Software

Controlling For Cybersecurity Risks of Medical Device Software

Medical device hacking is a red herring. But the flaws are real.


From Communications of the ACM

Beyond Efficiency

Beyond Efficiency

Esteem for efficiency should be tempered with respect for robustness.


From Communications of the ACM

Evaluating a Startup Venture

Evaluating a Startup Venture

Considering the key elements of successful startups.

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