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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 Opinion

Want to See in the Dark? One Day They'll Have an App For That

Want to See in the Dark? One Day They'll Have an App For That

The combination of man and machine has been so entrenched in our popular culture that for many, the idea that you could attach a sensor to a mouse brain which enables it to see infrared spectrum may not shocking.


From ACM Opinion

When Will the Internet Reach Its Limit (and How Do We Stop It from Happening)?

When Will the Internet Reach Its Limit (and How Do We Stop It from Happening)?

The number of smartphones, tablets and other network-connected gadgets will outnumber humans by the end of the year.


From ACM Opinion

Bill Gates 'not Satisfied' with Microsoft's Innovations

Bill Gates 'not Satisfied' with Microsoft's Innovations

Although Bill Gates stepped away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft nearly five years ago, he still keeps a close eye on the company he co-founded—and he isn't always happy with what he sees.


From ACM Opinion

The Trouble With Online College

The Trouble With Online College

Courses delivered solely online may be find for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with…


From ACM Opinion

Q&a with Ben Silbermann

Q&a with Ben Silbermann

Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann discusses his company's popularity, its advancement of online discovery, and how facillitating discovery will eventually help the company make money.

 


From ACM Opinion

View from Iran: World Needs Rules on Cyberattacks

The world needs a new international legal instrument on cyberspace, in light of the new waves of trans-border cyberattacks that have become a disturbing aspect of international relations in the 21st century.


From ACM Opinion

Lea Verou on Why Web Standards Matter and How You Can Help

Lea Verou on Why Web Standards Matter and How You Can Help

Web developer Lea Verou of W3C Developer Relations discusses her interest in Web standards, her work as a Web developer, and her role in organizing W3Conf and developing and promoting WebPlatform.org.


From ACM Opinion

Apple’s Next Innovation: TV

Apple’s Next Innovation: TV

Steve Jobs couldn't hide his frustration. Asked at a technology conference in 2010 whether Apple might finally turn its attention to television, he launched into an exasperated critique of TV.


From ACM Opinion

A Sterling Future for HPC

A Sterling Future for HPC

For the past decade, keynote speakers at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) have examined the major accomplishments in HPC during the preceding year. This time the talk is more ambitious. At ISC '13 in Leipzig,…


From ACM Careers

Letter 'to a Future Woman in Tech' Hopes For Long Ladies' Room Lines at Conferences

Letter 'to a Future Woman in Tech' Hopes For Long Ladies' Room Lines at Conferences

Stacey Mulcahy, who is currently a lead developer at the digital creative agency Big Spaceship, has been in the tech industry since 2001.


From ACM Careers

Cobol Will Outlive ­S All

Cobol Will Outlive ­S All

In the early 1980s, I was told that COBOL was going away and that I should quickly move toward other programming languages.


From ACM Opinion

DHS: Border Device Search Policy Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

DHS: Border Device Search Policy Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has determined that the DHS’s warrantless, and often suspicion-less, search and seizure of electronics devices at U.S. borders does not violate…


From ACM Opinion

President Obama's Cybersecurity Executive Order Scores Much Better Than CISPA On Privacy

President Obama's Cybersecurity Executive Order Scores Much Better Than CISPA On Privacy

With the reintroduction of the much-maligned Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act scheduled for the day after the State of the Union, the House of Representatives may have hoped the President's own cybersecurity initiative…


From ACM Opinion

Stupid, Stupid xBox!!

Stupid, Stupid xBox!!

I was a founder of the original xBox project at Microsoft and gave it its name.


From ACM Opinion

Tim Cook Says Apple Has No Limits

Tim Cook Says Apple Has No Limits

Don't tell Apple it can't do something.


From ACM Opinion

Bill Gates on Reddit: Thoughts on Steve Jobs, Windows, and the Next Disruption

Bill Gates on Reddit: Thoughts on Steve Jobs, Windows, and the Next Disruption

Bill Gates held court on Reddit on Monday, becoming just the latest notable figure to submit to the site's open question-and-answer sessions.


From ACM Opinion

Apple and Samsung, Frenemies For Life

Apple and Samsung, Frenemies For Life

It was the late Steve Jobs' worst nightmare. A powerful Asian manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, uses Google Inc's Android software to create smartphones and tablets that closely resemble the iPhone and the iPad.


From ACM Careers

The Threat of Silence

The Threat of Silence

For the past few months, some of the world's leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention.


From ACM Opinion

Can Machines Learn Morality?

Can Machines Learn Morality?

When John Brennan, President Obama's choice to be the next head of the CIA, appeared before a Senate committee yesterday, one question supplanted all others at his confirmation hearing: How are the decisions made to send killer…


From ACM Opinion

Texas School Board Searching For "another Side" to Theory of Evolution

We recently reviewed the documentary The Revisionaries, which chronicles the actions of the Texas state school board as it attempted to rewrite the science and history standards that had been prepared by experts in education…


From ACM Opinion

Invisible Fences

Invisible Fences

When European farmers arrived in North America, they claimed it with fences.


From ACM Opinion

­nseen, All-Out Cyber War on the ­.s. Has Begun

­nseen, All-Out Cyber War on the ­.s. Has Begun

There's a war going on, and it's raging here at home—not in the streets or the fields, but on the Internet.


From ACM Opinion

Phreaks and Geeks

Phreaks and Geeks

One of the most heartfelt—and unexpected—remembrances of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last month at the age of 26, came from Yale professor Edward Tufte.


From ACM Opinion

Don't Like Television? Then You're Not Going to Like the Future of Twitter Very Much

Don't Like Television? Then You're Not Going to Like the Future of Twitter Very Much

According to a number of anonymous reports, Twitter is in the process of buying Bluefin Labs, an analytics company that specializes in broadcast media—an acquisition that would be its largest ever.


From ACM Opinion

The Origins of 'big Data': An Etymological Detective Story

The Origins of 'big Data': An Etymological Detective Story

Words and phrases are fundamental building blocks of language and culture, much as genes and cells are to the biology of life.


From ACM Opinion

How Big Data Has Changed Dating

How Big Data Has Changed Dating

Online dating has gone mainstream. Over one third of the 90 million single adults in America have an online dating profile in any given month. And, as Match.com touts in its commercials, one in five relationships now start on…


From ACM Opinion

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties

A decade-plus of anthropological fieldwork among hackers and like-minded geeks has led me to the firm conviction that these people are building one of the most vibrant civil liberties movements we’ve ever seen.


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Data Brains Behind the Rise of Facebook

Meet the Data Brains Behind the Rise of Facebook

Jay Parikh sits at a desk inside Building 16 at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and his administrative assistant, Genie Samuel, sits next to him. Every so often, Parikh will hear her giggle, and that means…


From ACM Opinion

The Increasingly Blurry Line Between Big Data and Big Brother

The Increasingly Blurry Line Between Big Data and Big Brother

The potential benefits of "big data" have been well described, both by us and others: the ability to spot flu trends earlier and potentially save lives, for example, or to make it easier for companies to provide services in a…


From ACM Opinion

Eric Schmidt ­nloads on China in New Book

Eric Schmidt ­nloads on China in New Book

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is brutally clear: China is the most dangerous superpower on Earth.

Blog at CACM
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Time to Assess National AI Policies
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