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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.

December 2011


From ACM Careers

In Silicon Valley, Rose-Colored Glasses Sometimes Provide Best View

In Silicon Valley, Rose-Colored Glasses Sometimes Provide Best View

When I heard the news that Google was moving into the indoor-mapping business, I called Ankit Agarwal to offer my condolences.


From ACM News

Tech Winners in 2012 Must Possess 2020 Vision, Says Idc

Tech Winners in 2012 Must Possess 2020 Vision, Says Idc

2012 might be the most pivotal year in technology market developments in the past 25 years, with ramifications that may not be fully felt until the decade's end, according to IDC’s annual trends prediction report.


From ACM Opinion

Why Transparent Tracking Needs Its Own App

Amid widespread concern over an obscure piece of smart-phone diagnostic software that some experts say could be used to collect and transmit sensitive information, a leading academic has called on the industry to give users…


From ACM Careers

Dna: The Next Big Hacking Frontier

Dna: The Next Big Hacking Frontier

Imagine computer-designed viruses that cure disease, new bacteria capable of synthesizing an unlimited fuel supply, new organisms that wipe out entire populations, and bio-toxins that target world leaders.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computing Promises New Insights, Not Just Supermachines

Quantum Computing Promises New Insights, Not Just Supermachines

Today's quantum computer researchers have a solid blueprint for a new type of computer that could solve certain problems in seconds that would probably take millennia for conventional computers to solve, writes Massachusetts…


From ACM Opinion

Intelligence, Honesty, and (my Friend) Steve Jobs

Can there be any doubt that Steve Jobs was a modern-day Renaissance man—a latter day da Vinci, brimming with creativity, invention, aesthetic and business acumen! If Jobs had been around 200 years ago he would have designed…


From ACM Opinion

Programming Should Take Pride of Place in Our Schools

Programming Should Take Pride of Place in Our Schools

If we don't change the way ICT is thought about and taught, we're shutting the door on our children's futures.


From ACM Opinion

The Rise of the New Information Gatekeepers

The promise of the Internet age is one of unparalleled access to information of all kinds, but it has also seen the rise of some powerful gatekeepers that control our access to that information: gatekeepers like Google, Facebook…


From ACM Opinion

The Personal Computer Is Dead

Power is fast shifting from end users and software developers to operating system vendors.


From ACM TechNews

Will Microsoft's 'minority Report' ­i Leap-Frog Apple?

Will Microsoft's 'minority Report' ­i Leap-Frog Apple?

Although Apple has pioneered the mainstream multitouch user interface (UI), Microsoft could provide the next major UI breakthrough by combining voice, touch, and gesture-based commands, writes Mike Elgan. 


From ACM Opinion

Siri Means You'll (almost) Never Have to Die

Some 80 years ago, philanthropist Spencer Penrose amassed a fortune in Western gold, silver, and copper mines. After building a zoo and hospital, he decided to erect a monument to himself on a Colorado ridge.


From ACM TechNews

A High-Tech Pioneer Reflects on the Digital Revolution

A High-Tech Pioneer Reflects on the Digital Revolution

In an interview, Frederico Faggin, who led the design and development of the first microprocessor in 1970, says he sees a future in which quantum and cognitive computing are widely used. 


From Communications of the ACM

The Legacy of Steve Jobs

The Legacy of Steve Jobs

Reflecting on the career and contributions of the Apple cofounder.


From Communications of the ACM

Data Trends on Minorities and People with Disabilities in Computing

Data Trends on Minorities and People with Disabilities in Computing

Seeking a comprehensive view of minority student demographics to determine what programs and policies are needed to promote diversity.


From Communications of the ACM

Debugging on Live Systems

Debugging on Live Systems

It is more of a social than a technical problem.


From Communications of the ACM

Doctoral Program Rankings For U.S. Computing Programs: The National Research Council Strikes Out

Doctoral Program Rankings For U.S. Computing Programs

A proposal for improving doctoral program ranking strategy.


From Communications of the ACM

On Turbocharged, Heat-Seeking, Robotic Fishing Poles

On Turbocharged, Heat-Seeking, Robotic Fishing Poles

There is a well-known proverb, "If you give someone a fish, they'll eat for a day; if you teach them how to fish, they'll eat for a lifetime." The point is obvious. It also packs insights that are relevant for the technologist…


From Communications of the ACM

The Grounding Practice

The Grounding Practice

The skill of making and recognizing grounded claims is essential for professional practice. Getting objective data to support your conclusions is not enough.


From Communications of the ACM

Life, Death, and the iPad: Cultural Symbols and Steve Jobs

Life, Death, and the iPad: Cultural Symbols and Steve Jobs

In the days that followed Steve Jobs' death, he was frequently compared to Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. But Jobs was creating experiences, not technologies or products. He, and Apple, were creating a new symbolic register in…


From Communications of the ACM

The Most Ancient Marketing

The Most Ancient Marketing

Before Apple, Steve Jobs famously went to India with a college friend. While I never had occasion to talk to Jobs about it, I have a theory I wish I had a chance to try out on him. The theory is that Jobs saw gurus in India…

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Time to Assess National AI Policies
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