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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 2014


From ACM Opinion

A Four-Minute Explanation of Why Innovation Is So Important to the United States

A Four-Minute Explanation of Why Innovation Is So Important to the United States

What makes America great?


From ACM Opinion

How Movies and TV Give Life to the Mundane Text Message

How Movies and TV Give Life to the Mundane Text Message

In the last decade, movies and television have sprouted a new plot weakness: if tension hinged in any way on a situation that could have been solved by a simple cell phone call or text message, the call was never placed and the…


From ACM Opinion

The Weirdest Thing About the Apple Security Bug Is How Simple It Was

The Weirdest Thing About the Apple Security Bug Is How Simple It Was

So for the past 18 months, there has been a horrific security hole in many of Apple's products that has allowed "man in the middle" attacks on supposedly secure Internet communications.


From ACM Opinion

Good Riddance to Mt. Gox

Good Riddance to Mt. Gox

It is over. Mt. Gox, bitcoin’s oldest—and once its most popular—exchange, was taken offline Monday night, leaving behind angry customers and acrimonious debate about where the world’s first popular cryptocurrency goes next.


From ACM Opinion

Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Bitcoin Crisis

Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Bitcoin Crisis

The once-popular Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has gone dark.


From ACM Opinion

Asimov's Predictions from 1964: A Brief Report Card

Asimov's Predictions from 1964: A Brief Report Card

Predictions about technology's future are almost always doomed.


From ACM Opinion

How I Quit Google

How I Quit Google

I think it was the search for "pink glitter tiny toms" that finally prompted me to quit Google.


From ACM Opinion

The Problem with Easy Technology

The Problem with Easy Technology

In the history of marketing, there's a classic tale that centers on the humble cake mix.


From ACM Opinion

Spy Chief James Clapper: We Can't Stop Another Snowden

Spy Chief James Clapper: We Can't Stop Another Snowden

Every morning at around 4:30 a.m., James Clapper wakes up and prepares for the worst job in Washington.


From ACM Opinion

Are the Robots About to Rise?

Are the Robots About to Rise?

It's hard to know where to start with Ray Kurzweil.


From ACM Opinion

How to Get a Job at Google

How to Get a Job at Google

Last June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google—i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world's most successful companies—noted that Google…


From ACM Opinion

Comcast's Deal with Netflix Makes Network Neutrality Obsolete

Comcast's Deal with Netflix Makes Network Neutrality Obsolete

For the past two decades, the Internet has operated as an unregulated, competitive free market.


From ACM Opinion

The Joy of Teaching Computer Science in the Age of Facebook

The Joy of Teaching Computer Science in the Age of Facebook

Over the last two decades, it can be argued, no area of study has seen larger growth in span and general application than computer science.


From ACM Opinion

Life Before (and After) Page Numbers

Life Before (and After) Page Numbers

Print media evolved into its present forms.


From ACM Opinion

The Interstellar Contract

The Interstellar Contract

Last September, the Times reported that Voyager 1, the hardy spacecraft launched in 1977, had exited the solar system and entered the interstellar void.


From ACM Opinion

Social Media, a Trove of Clues and Confessions

Social Media, a Trove of Clues and Confessions

It seems as if every week there's a news story about someone committing a crime and confessing to it on Facebook, bragging about it on Twitter or sharing photos of it via Instagram.


From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin's Crisis Is Turning Point for Currency

Bitcoin's Crisis Is Turning Point for Currency

Many bitcoin users are probably too young to remember the Notorious B.I.G.'s 1997 rap hit "Mo Money Mo Problems."


From ACM Opinion

An Easy Way to Improve the Olympics: Make Performance Enhancements Legal

An Easy Way to Improve the Olympics: Make Performance Enhancements Legal

In February 2013, Lindsey Vonn—perhaps the most accomplished female skier in American history—tore her anterior cruciate ligament in a crash in the mountains of Austria.


From ACM Opinion

The Political Science of Cybersecurity III—How International Relations Theory Shapes U.S. Cybersecurity Doctrine

The Political Science of Cybersecurity III—How International Relations Theory Shapes U.S. Cybersecurity Doctrine

U.S. cybersecurity officials have been much more skeptical about international cooperation than their Cold War counterparts were.


From ACM Opinion

Satya Nadella, Chief of Microsoft, on His New Role

Satya Nadella, Chief of Microsoft, on His New Role

Q. What leadership lessons have you learned from your predecessor, Steve Ballmer?


From ACM Opinion

Why the One Appealing Part of Creationism Is Wrong

Why the One Appealing Part of Creationism Is Wrong

Earlier this month, Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, in Petersburg, Kentucky, held a debate with Bill Nye at the museum.


From ACM Opinion

Are There Any Benefits to Losing Our Privacy?

Are There Any Benefits to Losing Our Privacy?

In a digital world, our every move can be tracked, collected and analysed.


From ACM Opinion

This Ingenious Touchscreen UI Should Be in Every Car

This Ingenious Touchscreen UI Should Be in Every Car

There may be no greater design crime today than putting a touchscreen in an automobile.


From ACM Opinion

Forget Its Hotels, Sochi's Tech Has Been Up for the Olympic Challenge

Forget Its Hotels, Sochi's Tech Has Been Up for the Olympic Challenge

The scale and grandeur of the Winter Olympics in Sochi is estimated to have cost Russia an astronomical $46 billion.


From ACM Opinion

Why Watson Is Real Artificial Intelligence

Why Watson Is Real Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is here now.


From ACM Opinion

Starman

Starman

It was a mild October day in Hollywood, but a trace of artificial snow remained on the ground as Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium, at the American Museum of Natural History, walked around a back lot…


From ACM Opinion

Some Predict Computers Will Produce a Jobless Future. Here's Why They're Wrong.

Some Predict Computers Will Produce a Jobless Future. Here's Why They're Wrong.

Will "smart machines" steal our jobs?


From ACM Opinion

Glass, Darkly

Glass, Darkly

Google Glass shares much of its electronics and software with the smartphone, but it's a very different machine.


From ACM Opinion

Let the NSA Keep Hold of the Data

Let the NSA Keep Hold of the Data

One of the recommendations by the president's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies on reforming the National Security Agency—No. 5, if you're counting—is that the government should not collect and store …


From ACM Opinion

Is the Universe a Simulation?

Is the Universe a Simulation?

In Mikhail Bulgakov's novel "The Master and Margarita," the protagonist, a writer, burns a manuscript in a moment of despair, only to find out later from the Devil that "manuscripts don't burn."

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