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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.

April 2013


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Surveillance Will Turn Society Into a Massive Online Game

The Future of Surveillance Will Turn Society Into a Massive Online Game

No matter what the future may contain, one thing is certain: just about everything in it, including us, will increasingly be under surveillance.


From ACM Opinion

The Facebook Phone Is Not As Dumb As I Thought It Was Going to Be.

The Facebook Phone Is Not As Dumb As I Thought It Was Going to Be.

People have been waiting for the Facebook Phone for years. Not real people, mind you, just technology reporters.


From ACM Opinion

Paul Mockapetris, Inventor of the Domain Name System, Wants to Filter the Web

Paul Mockapetris, Inventor of the Domain Name System, Wants to Filter the Web

Before the Internet, there was the ARPANet, a closed computer network that pretty much shut down on weekends and over holidays.


From ACM Opinion

What Big Data Will Never Explain

"She told him that she loves me, which is an important data point."


From ACM Opinion

From Touch Displays to the Surface: A Brief History of Touchscreen Technology

From Touch Displays to the Surface: A Brief History of Touchscreen Technology

It's hard to believe that just a few decades ago, touchscreen technology could only be found in science fiction books and film. These days, it's almost unfathomable how we once got through our daily tasks without a trusty tablet…


From ACM Opinion

A Leader of Obama's New Brain Initiative Explains Why We Need It

A Leader of Obama's New Brain Initiative Explains Why We Need It

Neuroscientist William Newsome of Stanford University is one of two scientists tapped by President Obama to lead a new brain research initiative, which the administration hopes to launch with $100 million of public funding and…


From ACM Opinion

The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency

The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency

A few days ago, the value of all the bitcoins in the world blew past $1 billion for the first time ever. That’s an impressive achievement, for a purely virtual currency backed by no central bank or other authority.


From ACM Opinion

Yes, You Should Care About Bitcoin, and Here's Why

Yes, You Should Care About Bitcoin, and Here's Why

Everybody's talking about Bitcoin these days, which is quite remarkable given the highly technical nature of the crypto-currency. So why is it such a big deal?


From ACM Opinion

Save a Soccer Referee. Hire a Machine to Rule on Goals.

Save a Soccer Referee. Hire a Machine to Rule on Goals.

Referees are the worst. Anyone who plays, coaches, or watches sports will agree. They call either too little or too much. They're blind, stupid, paid off, or just simply out to get us. (I know, I used to be one.)


From ACM Opinion

Interview with Computing Pioneer Alan Kay

Interview with Computing Pioneer Alan Kay

Born in 1940, computer scientist Alan Curtis Kay is one of a handful of visionaries most responsible for the concepts which have propelled personal computing forward over the past thirty years—and surely the most quotable one…


From ACM Opinion

Apple and the Mysterious Case of the Missing Moonshot

Apple and the Mysterious Case of the Missing Moonshot

When John Morrell left his post at Yale University last year and decamped to Apple, some members of the robotics community were perplexed.


From ACM Opinion

MOOCs Have Become a Straight Business Play

MOOCs Have Become a Straight Business Play

 The distinctive feature of MOOC marketing in 2013 is the shift from being an exciting experiment to being offered as a working solution to budgetary and access crises. The flaws in MOOC quality are open secrets.


From ACM Opinion

You'll Never Believe the Data 'wiped' Smartphones Store

You'll Never Believe the Data 'wiped' Smartphones Store

Few things are more precious, intimate, and personal than the data on your smartphone.


From ACM Opinion

The Child, the Tablet, and the Developing Mind

The Child, the Tablet, and the Developing Mind

I recently watched my sister perform an act of magic.


From ACM Opinion

The Story of My App

The Story of My App

Recently, I created an app called Petting Zoo. It is an interactive app for iPhones and iPads, and creating it was a difficult but interesting process.


From Communications of the ACM

Peacebuilding in a Networked World

Peacebuilding in a Networked World

Harnessing computing and communication technologies in fragile, conflict-stressed nations.


From Communications of the ACM

Cyber-Victimization and Cybersecurity in China

Cyber-Victimization and Cybersecurity in China

Seeking insights into cyberattacks associated with China.


From Communications of the ACM

The Problem with Hands-Free Dashboard Cellphones

The Problem with Hands-Free Dashboard Cellphones

Lawmakers misunderstand user experience of technology interface.


From Communications of the ACM

Are the Costs of 'Free' Too High in Online Education?

Are the Costs of 'Free' Too High in Online Education?

Considering the economic implications as educational institutions expand online learning initiatives.


From Communications of the ACM

Code Abuse

Code Abuse

One programmer's extension is another programmer's abuse.

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