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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.

February 2013


From ACM Careers

The Other TED Prize

The Other TED Prize

Sergey Brin waltzed in for a try and threw up a score of 250,953, first time out of the gate and with Google Glass still perched on his face.


From ACM Opinion

On Today's Battlefield, Is Information More Important Than Firepower?

On Today's Battlefield, Is Information More Important Than Firepower?

HaloBorderlandsCall of DutyMedal of HonorBattlefieldMetal Gear Solid—these kinds of games taught a generation to see enemies as red dots on a mini-map.


From ACM Opinion

Review: Strong Passwords and Other Security Tips

Review: Strong Passwords and Other Security Tips

Rarely does a week go by without news of another hacking incident, whether it's Chinese hackers accused of breaking in to The New York Times' computer systems or Burger King finding its Twitter account taken over by pranksters…


From ACM Opinion

Hackers Could Use 'The Internet of Things' to Turn Everyday Devices into Paths of Attack

Hackers Could Use 'The Internet of Things' to Turn Everyday Devices into Paths of Attack

The "Internet of Things" is great—we'll soon be able to build apps for our cars, thermostats, refrigerators, and more. But what happens when attackers get into your company's system through an ice maker instead of the phishing…


From ACM Opinion

Interview with Creators of Romo iPhone Robot

Interview with Creators of Romo iPhone Robot

One of the biggest charmers at TED2013 so far has been Romo the Robot, who rolled and whizzed around the stage with one of his creators, Keller Rinaudo.


From ACM Opinion

Is It Time To Take Cyborg Rights Seriously? A Q&A With Neil Harbisson.

Is It Time To Take Cyborg Rights Seriously? A Q&A With Neil Harbisson.

Harbisson was born without the ability to see color, but a device he calls his "eyeborg" allows him to now "hear" color.


From ACM Opinion

The 3 Most-Important Things at Mobile World Congress

The 3 Most-Important Things at Mobile World Congress

Gadget fans walked away this week from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the annual geek fest for connected devices, grumbling about a glaring lack of breakthrough products.


From ACM Opinion

The Art of Cyberwar

The Art of Cyberwar

The New York Times’ front-page report last week that the Chinese army is hacking into America's most sensitive computer networks from a 12-story building outside Shanghai might finally persuade skeptics that the threat of "cyber…


From ACM Opinion

The Next Frontier Is Inside Your Brain

The Next Frontier Is Inside Your Brain

The Obama administration is planning a multiyear research effort to produce an "activity map" that would show in unprecedented detail the workings of the human brain, the most complex organ in the body.


From ACM Opinion

Why Marissa Mayer's Ban on Remote Working at Yahoo Could Backfire Badly

Why Marissa Mayer's Ban on Remote Working at Yahoo Could Backfire Badly

Not long after her arrival at Yahoo, new CEO Marissa Mayer started handing out carrots to her new employees, including new smartphones, free food, and other Google-style amenities.


From ACM Opinion

How Google Did the Right Thing with the NASCAR Crash Video, and Why It Matters

How Google Did the Right Thing with the NASCAR Crash Video, and Why It Matters

At a NASCAR event on Saturday, debris created by a serious crash flew into the stands and injured a number of fans.


From ACM Opinion

How Augmented-Reality Content Might Actually Work

How Augmented-Reality Content Might Actually Work

Augmented reality is very exciting. The promise of it is this: all the information on the Internet overlaid on the real world exactly where and when you need it.


From ACM Opinion

The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It's a Gadget

The AR-15 Is More Than a Gun. It's a Gadget

I was shaking as I shouldered the rifle and peered through the scope at the small steel target 100 yards downrange.


From ACM Opinion

What China's Hackers Get Wrong About Washington

What China's Hackers Get Wrong About Washington

"Start asking security experts which powerful Washington institutions have been penetrated by Chinese cyberspies," report my colleagues Craig Timberg and Ellen Nakashima, "and this is the usual answer: almost all of them."


From ACM Opinion

Steve Ballmer on the Strategy Behind His Strangest Product

Steve Ballmer on the Strategy Behind His Strangest Product

Windows 8, the most recent version of Microsoft's operating system, is the most ambitious and the strangest major product ever released by the software giant.


From ACM Opinion

Calling Out the Robocaller

Calling Out the Robocaller

Last month, the Haggler was sitting at home when the phone rang.


From ACM Opinion

The Mystery of Google Street View's Blurred Brooklyn Brownstone

The Mystery of Google Street View's Blurred Brooklyn Brownstone

We've all had shifty neighbors.


From ACM Opinion

Inside Google's Ultrabook Gambit

Inside Google's Ultrabook Gambit

Cloud computing has been around for some time now. But not many people believe they can do all their computing in the cloud. Not many, that is, outside the brainaics at the Googleplex. 


From ACM News

How Secure Is the Papal Election?

How Secure Is the Papal Election?

As the College of Cardinals prepares to elect a new pope, security people like me wonder about the process. How does it work, and just how hard would it be to hack the vote?


From ACM Opinion

The Definitive Story of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Phone Phreaking

The Definitive Story of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Phone Phreaking

Like the flap of a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane half a world away, the ripples of unintended consequences from Ron Rosenbaum's "Secrets of the Little Blue Box" continued to spread.


From ACM Careers

Private U.S. Firms Take Major Role Vs. Cyberattacks

Private U.S. Firms Take Major Role Vs. Cyberattacks

When Kevin Mandia, a retired military cybercrime investigator, decided to expose China as a primary threat to U.S. computer networks, he didn't have to consult with American diplomats in Beijing or declassify tactics to safely…


From ACM Opinion

The Newest Overhyped Mobile Industry Buzzword: LTE-Advanced

The Newest Overhyped Mobile Industry Buzzword: LTE-Advanced

Admittedly, mobile technology evolves at a very fast pace. But somewhere along the way we seem to have skipped an entire generation of networks.


From ACM Opinion

With PlayStation 4, Sony Aims for Return to Glory

With PlayStation 4, Sony Aims for Return to Glory

For the Sony Corporation, a tech industry also-ran, the moment of reckoning is here.


From ACM Opinion

Windows 8: Design Over Usability

Windows 8: Design Over Usability

Windows 8 is a computer science masterpiece trapped inside a user interface kerfuffle.


From ACM Opinion

The Brain Is Not Computable

The Brain Is Not Computable

Miguel Nicolelis, a top neuroscientist at Duke University, says computers will never replicate the human brain and that the technological Singularity is "a bunch of hot air."


From ACM Opinion

How Samsung Is Out-Innovating Apple

How Samsung Is Out-Innovating Apple

There's no arguing that Apple set the standard for modern mobile devices with the iPhone and the iPad. It didn't take long after those two products launched for competitors to rush out their own copycat devices.


From ACM Opinion

Why Mapping the Human Brain Matters

Why Mapping the Human Brain Matters

It turns out that President Barack Obama’s head-scratching mention of a project to map the human brain in his most recent State of the Union speech was more than just a casual comment.


From ACM Opinion

Sony's PlayStation 4: Five Things We Want to Know

Sony's PlayStation 4: Five Things We Want to Know

New York, 6pm Wednesday, the next generation starts.


From ACM Opinion

The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed

The Boy Wonder of BuzzFeed

"BenSmithing is now an official term!" shouted Michael Hastings, a BuzzFeed reporter and author, at his book release party in Chelsea on a subfreezing night in January.


From ACM Opinion

Why We Love Beautiful Things

Why We Love Beautiful Things

Great design, the management expert Gary Hamel once said, is like Justice Potter Stewart's famous definition of pornography—you know it when you see it.

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