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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.

October 2018


From ACM Opinion

Nobody's Cellphone Is Really That Secure

Nobody's Cellphone Is Really That Secure

Earlier this week, The New York Times reported that the Russians and the Chinese were eavesdropping on President Donald Trump's personal cellphone and using the information gleaned to better influence his behavior.


From ACM Opinion

What Isaac Asimov Taught Us About Predicting the Future

What Isaac Asimov Taught Us About Predicting the Future

In February, the spaceflight company founded by Elon Musk conducted a test launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket, which successfully sent its payload into orbit around the sun.


From ACM Opinion

The Russia Investigations: The U.S. Launches a Digital Offensive, Gently 

The Russia Investigations: The U.S. Launches a Digital Offensive, Gently 

Everyone knows how to picture the special operations troopers of, for example, the Army's elite Delta Force: Rough-looking customers with custom carbines and advanced night vision goggles stepping off the skids of a black helicopter…


From ACM Opinion

Author Richard K. Morgan Wants to Destroy Your Mars Fantasies

Author Richard K. Morgan Wants to Destroy Your Mars Fantasies

Richard K. Morgan has spent most of the past decade working on his fantasy trilogy A Land Fit For Heroes.


From ACM Opinion

CVPR Paper Controversy; ML Community Reviews Peer Review

CVPR Paper Controversy; ML Community Reviews Peer Review

A series of unsettling incidents and heated discussions on social media have put the peer review process itself under scrutiny.


From ACM Opinion

Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

Prepping for a Flood of Heavenly Bodies

This is a story of getting the good out of the bad, said Mario Jurić.


From ACM Opinion

My Thoughts Are My Password, Because My Brain Reactions Are Unique

My Thoughts Are My Password, Because My Brain Reactions Are Unique

Your brain is an inexhaustible source of secure passwords—but you might not have to remember anything. Passwords and PINs with letters and numbers are relatively easily hacked, hard to remember and generally insecure.


From ACM Opinion

How the Blockchain Could Break Big Tech's Hold on A.I.

How the Blockchain Could Break Big Tech's Hold on A.I.

Pairing artificial intelligence and the blockchain might be what you would expect from a scammer looking to make a quick buck in 2018.


From ACM Opinion

Artificial Intelligence Will Make You Smarter

 Artificial Intelligence Will Make You Smarter


From ACM Opinion

'This Is How Donald Trump Stays President for Four More Years'

'This Is How Donald Trump Stays President for Four More Years'

Donald Trump often claims Facebook and Google are "rigged" to favor the political left. Now he's building a 2020 campaign infrastructure that can circumvent them.


From ACM Opinion

Presenting Robots As People Stops Us Thinking Clearly About AI

Presenting Robots As People Stops Us Thinking Clearly About AI

Last week, Pepper the robot spoke before Parliament, but this kind of stunt distracts from the real issues AI provokes.


From ACM Opinion

Paper and the Case for Going Low-Tech in the Voting Booth

Paper and the Case for Going Low-Tech in the Voting Booth

In September 2017, barely two months before Virginians went to the polls to pick a new governor, the state's board of elections convened an emergency session. The crisis at hand? Touchscreen voting machines.


From ACM Opinion

I Fell for Facebook Fake News. Here's Why Millions of You Did, Too.

I Fell for Facebook Fake News. Here's Why Millions of You Did, Too.

The Facebook video is nuts, but I can't tear my eyes away. A plane, struggling in a huge storm, does a 360-degree flip before safely landing and letting out terrified passengers.


From ACM Opinion

Brain Implants: Will They Be Used to Heal or for Control?

Brain Implants: Will They Be Used to Heal or for Control?

Would you trust a Manchurian Candidate or a Terminator to heal you? Shouldn't you automatically distrust anyone who has received a brain implant by the military?


From ACM Opinion

No, A.I. Won't Solve the Fake News Problem

No, A.I. Won't Solve the Fake News Problem

In his testimony before Congress this year, Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, addressed concerns about the strategically disseminated misinformation known as fake news that may have affected the outcome of the…


From ACM Opinion

A Q&A With Micron Technology's Memory Mastermind

A Q&A With Micron Technology's Memory Mastermind

For over 50 years, the exponential shrinking of circuit components on chips predicted by Gordon Moore has allowed all sorts of modern wonders, from personal computers and mobile phones to social media and smart cars.


From ACM Opinion

Why the Search for Aliens Could Unite Us Here on Earth

Why the Search for Aliens Could Unite Us Here on Earth

If aliens are trying to talk to us (or even if they are not), Jill Tarter will be the one to find them.


From ACM Opinion

Blockchains Won't Fix Internet Voting Security, and Could Make It Worse

Blockchains Won't Fix Internet Voting Security, and Could Make It Worse

Looking to modernize voting practices, speed waiting times at the pollsincrease voter turnout and generally make voting more convenient, many government officials—and some companies hawking voting systems—are looking to an …


From ACM Opinion

Evolution Is at Work in Computers as well as Life Sciences

Evolution Is at Work in Computers as well as Life Sciences

Artificial intelligence research has a lot to learn from nature.


From ACM Opinion

Paul Allen Thought Like a Hacker and Never Stopped Dreaming

Paul Allen Thought Like a Hacker and Never Stopped Dreaming


From ACM Opinion

There May Soon Be Three Internets. America's Won't Necessarily Be the Best.

There May Soon Be Three Internets. America's Won't Necessarily Be the Best.

In September, Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive and Alphabet chairman, said that in the next 10 to 15 years, the internet would most likely be split in two—one internet led by China and one internet led by the United…


From ACM Opinion

You're Expecting Too Much Out of Boston Dynamics' Robots

You're Expecting Too Much Out of Boston Dynamics' Robots

At the WIRED25 festival in San Francisco Sunday evening, Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot got onstage and did what no other quadruped robot has done before: It danced the running man like it was born to.


From ACM Opinion

Jeff Hawkins Is Finally Ready to Explain His Brain Research

Jeff Hawkins Is Finally Ready to Explain His Brain Research


From ACM Opinion

Trolling, Hacking and the 2016 US Presidential Election

Trolling, Hacking and the 2016 US Presidential Election

Late in 2016, then-US President Barack Obama mused in an interview with The New Yorker magazine that he had probably been elected because his campaign had begun before the old media order collapsed.


From ACM Opinion

A Future Where Everything Becomes a Computer Is as Creepy as You Feared

A Future Where Everything Becomes a Computer Is as Creepy as You Feared

More than 40 years ago, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft with a vision for putting a personal computer on every desk.


From ACM Opinion

Editing the Internet's Second Screen

Editing the Internet's Second Screen

The great social media cleanup of the past two years hasn't seemed to leave it much cleaner.


From ACM Opinion

How Do You Find an Alien Ocean? Margaret Kivelson Figured It Out

How Do You Find an Alien Ocean? Margaret Kivelson Figured It Out

The data was like nothing Margaret Kivelson and her team of physicists ever expected.


From ACM Opinion

How Sci-Fi Like WarGames Led to Real Policy During the Reagan Administration

How Sci-Fi Like WarGames Led to Real Policy During the Reagan Administration

This year, John Badham's WarGames—one of the movies most beloved by hackers, techies, and tech policy wonks (like me!)—celebrates its 35th anniversary.


From ACM Opinion

Why Do Computers Use So Much Energy?

Why Do Computers Use So Much Energy?

Microsoft is currently running an interesting set of hardware experiments.


From ACM Opinion

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

Introducing the Internet Bill of Rights

Should American citizens get a new Bill of Rights for the internet?

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