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Communications of the ACM

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The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

May 2013


From ACM Opinion

Personal Information Is the Currency of the 21st Century

Personal Information Is the Currency of the 21st Century

The currency of the 21st century digital economy is your personal information. It has no transaction costs and does not decrease in value when the supply increases. Contrary to the laws of economics, it may even increase in value…


From ACM Opinion

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

When some future Mars colonist is able to open his browser and watch a cat in a shark suit chasing a duck while riding a roomba, they will have Vint Cerf to thank.


From ACM Opinion

Why Fbi and CIA Didn't Connect the Dots

Why Fbi and CIA Didn't Connect the Dots

The FBI and the CIA are being criticized for not keeping better track of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the months before the Boston Marathon bombings.


From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin vs. Ben Bernanke

Bitcoin vs. Ben Bernanke

Could a virtual currency created by an anonymous Internet hacker someday replace the U.S. dollar?


From ACM Opinion

How Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen See the Future

How Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen See the Future

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is ready for a future where his smart mattress monitors sleep patterns and alerts the curtains to allow daylight in, waking him at the exact right moment in his REM cycle.


From ACM Opinion

Let's Cut Through the Bitcoin Hype: A Hacker-Entrepreneur's Take

Let's Cut Through the Bitcoin Hype: A Hacker-Entrepreneur's Take

Bitcoin. Everybody's talking about it. What's true, and what's hype? Perhaps the only thing that's clear about Bitcoin is that it's not going away anytime soon.


From ACM Opinion

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded and Accessible to the ­.s. Government?

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded and Accessible to the ­.s. Government?

The real capabilities and behavior of the U.S. surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the U.S. government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall…


From ACM News

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind

One day in March, I was sitting across from Facebook's design director, Kate Aronowitz, at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park when she told me, "It takes a lot of work to create the perfect empty vessel."


From ACM Opinion

It's Not About New Icons: What Jony Ive Needs to Do For Apple's Ios

It's Not About New Icons: What Jony Ive Needs to Do For Apple's Ios

iOS 7 will be flat, as in flat design.


From ACM Opinion

Digital Tattoos, Mind-Reading Headphones: The Shape of Things to Come?

Digital Tattoos, Mind-Reading Headphones: The Shape of Things to Come?

Forecasting future technology has never been easy. In the 1950s, scientists and technologists envisaged that by now the world would be free from disease, traversed by flying cars, and fueled by minerals from distant planets.


From ACM Opinion

When Will Smartglasses and Other Wearable Computers Hit the Mainstream?

When Will Smartglasses and Other Wearable Computers Hit the Mainstream?

Google has stoked our collective imagination via relentless promotion of its Google Glass wearable computer in recent months.


From ACM Opinion

Graphene: The Nano-Size Material with a Massive Future

Graphene: The Nano-Size Material with a Massive Future

Ever since it was discovered in 2004, graphene has been hailed as a natural wonder of the materials world destined to transform our lives in the 21st century.


From ACM Opinion

Congress Tries to Reset Science Grants, Wants Every One to Be 'groundbreaking'

Congress Tries to Reset Science Grants, Wants Every One to Be 'groundbreaking'

Due to Congressional rules, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology had to choose new leadership this year.


From ACM Opinion

Why I Love the National Internet Sales Tax Plan

Why I Love the National Internet Sales Tax Plan

The Internet, in the popular imagination, is supposed to be free—"the last bastion of our economy untouched by the government," as they say on Fox News.


From ACM Opinion

Governments Won't Need to Issue Ids: Data Brokers Will Identify You For Them

Governments Won't Need to Issue Ids: Data Brokers Will Identify You For Them

Our government collects a lot of information about us. Tax records, legal records, license records, records of government services received—it's all in databases that are increasingly linked and correlated.


From Communications of the ACM

Max Newman: Forgotten Man of Early British Computing

Max Newman

Reflections on a significant, yet often overlooked, computing pioneer.


From Communications of the ACM

The Science in Computer Science

The Science in Computer Science

Computer science is in a period of renaissance as it rediscovers its science roots.


From Communications of the ACM

Moving from Petaflops to Petadata

Moving from Petaflops to Petadata

The race to build ever-faster supercomputers is on, with more contenders than ever before. However, the current goals set for this race may not lead to the fastest computation for particular applications.


From Communications of the ACM

Fair U­se in Europe

Fair U­se in Europe

Examining the mismatch between copyright law and technology-influenced evolving social norms in the European Union.


From Communications of the ACM

Human-Centered Computing: A New Degree For Licklider's World

Human-Centered Computing

Combining computing and psychology, J.C.R. Licklider's prescient ideas are being applied in contemporary educational settings.

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