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The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

March 2012


From ACM TechNews

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Information technology is changing the way nations wage war, with philosophical and ethical perspectives struggling to keep pace with those changes.  


From ACM Opinion

Vint Cerf Attacks European Internet Policy

Vint Cerf Attacks European Internet Policy

Mr. Cerf, often called the father of the Internet, said that the so-called "right to be forgotten" online was "not possible to achieve."


From ACM Opinion

Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video

Living on a Stream: The Rise of Real-Time Video

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about streaming. I was marveling how easy it’s becoming to beam a live video feed, anywhere, not only to a friend or a group, but, essentially, the entire world.


From ACM Opinion

The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC's New Approach to Privacy

The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC's New Approach to Privacy

A mile or two away from Facebook's headquarters in Silicon Valley, Helen Nissenbaum of New York University was standing in a basement on Stanford's campus explaining that the entire way that we've thought about privacy on the…


From ACM Opinion

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

From state-sponsored cyberattacks to autonomous robotic weapons, 21st century war is increasingly disembodied.


From ACM Opinion

A Rosie Future: Jetsons-Like Gadgets with 'Ambient Intelligence' Are Key to Smart Homes and Cities

A Rosie Future: Jetsons-Like Gadgets with 'Ambient Intelligence' Are Key to Smart Homes and Cities

Fifty years after The Jetsons promised us a future of robot maids, flying cars, video phones and meals at the push of a button, it seems that reality may actually surpass this futuristic vision.


From ACM Opinion

Review: Bad Apple

Review: Bad Apple

Apple's 1997 "Think Different" marketing campaign was one of its most memorable ever.


From ACM Opinion

The Holy Cosmos: The New Religion of Space Exploration

The Holy Cosmos: The New Religion of Space Exploration

Think about how you feel when you see the Earth from space or the Apollo astronauts walking on the moon.


From ACM Opinion

DNS Changer

DNS Changer

One fine night in November 2011 I got an opportunity to get my hands dirty, working on a project for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.


From ACM Opinion

Kinect Lab Boss on the Future of Computer Interfaces

Kinect Lab Boss on the Future of Computer Interfaces

Andrew Blake is managing director of Microsoft Research Cambridge, the U.K. lab responsible for the machine learning software behind Kinect.


From ACM News

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack

The story Richard Clarke spins has all the suspense of a postmodern geopolitical thriller.


From ACM Opinion

Your Privacy Is a Sci-Fi Fantasy

The assault on personal privacy has ramped up significantly in the past few years. From warrantless GPS tracking to ISP packet inspection, it seems that everyone wants to get in on the booming business of clandestine snooping—even…


From ACM TechNews

The Grill: David D. Clark

The Grill: David D. Clark

In an interview, Massachusetts Institute of Technology research scientist David D. Clark says the Internet's biggest benefit is its intermediation of people getting to information and to each other.


From ACM TechNews

Fixing the Brain With Computers

Fixing the Brain With Computers

Disabilities such as epilepsy, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Parkinson’s disease are being treated with neuroimplants, says St. Louis University School of Medicine researcher Richard Bucholz in an interview.…


From ACM Opinion

Windows 8 a Big Misstep for Microsoft

Windows 8 a Big Misstep for Microsoft

The venerable PC is at a crossroads.


From ACM Careers

The Stanford Education Experiment Could Change Higher Learning Forever

The Stanford Education Experiment Could Change Higher Learning Forever

Stanford doesn't want me. I can say that because it's a documented fact: I was once denied admission in writing.


From ACM News

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 2

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 2

Many people don't realize that most of the censorship and surveillance in China is not being done by the government, but by companies at the behest of the government, says Rebecca MacKinnon. 


From ACM Opinion

Was Cameron's Deep Dive as Useless as Manned Space Flight?

Was Cameron's Deep Dive as Useless as Manned Space Flight?

Ninety-nine percent of what we know about the solar system came to us from unmanned probes.

 


From ACM Opinion

A National ID Card that Protects Voting Rights

A National ID Card that Protects Voting Rights

In December, the U.S. Department of Justice intervened under the Voting Rights Act to stay a South Carolina voter ID law.


From ACM Opinion

Apps Could Be Overtaking the Web

Apps Could Be Overtaking the Web

An app for weather. An app for banking. An app for news, for sports, for games, for travel, for department stores, for insurance companies, for ….wait: Who needs the Web?


From ACM Opinion

A Robot Stole My Pulitzer!

A Robot Stole My Pulitzer!

Can technology be autonomous?


From ACM Opinion

Vernor Vinge Is Optimistic About the Collapse of Civilization

Vernor Vinge Is Optimistic About the Collapse of Civilization

"I think that [civilization] coming back would actually be a very big surprise," he says. "The difference between us and us 10,000 years ago is … we know it can be done."


From ACM TechNews

Robotics Trends for 2012

Robotics Trends for 2012

IEEE's Erico Guizzo and Hizook.com founder Travis Deyle make several predictions regarding what will be big news in robotics this year.


From ACM Opinion

Dangerously Vague Cybersecurity Legislation Threatens Civil Liberties

Dangerously Vague Cybersecurity Legislation Threatens Civil Liberties

There is a spate of proposed cybersecurity legislation working its way through the House and Senate. The bills are aimed primarily at facilitating cooperation regarding so-called "cybersecurity" issues among different branches…


From ACM Opinion

Can Speech-Recognition Software Work in Mandarin?

Can Speech-Recognition Software Work in Mandarin?

In anticipation of Apple’s introduction of Siri in Chinese this year, I decided to try Dragon, a line of smartphone voice apps by Nuance Communications—the company behind the speech-recognition technology that powers Siri.


From ACM Opinion

Data Mining and Kids: Thank Goodness She Didn't Pay Cash!

Data Mining and Kids: Thank Goodness She Didn't Pay Cash!

Remember the movie The Minority Report? It is based upon a Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. Well, the movie is supposed to portray an implausible dystopian society of the future in which people’s consumer information is…


From ACM News

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 1

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 1

Rebecca MacKinnon shares insights about Internet freedom, including the roles and responsibilities of citizens, corporations, and governments.

 


From ACM Opinion

The 4G Fakeout

The 4G Fakeout

Not long ago, when desktops and laptops were the main computers we used every day, PC makers peddled what's known as the megahertz myth.


From ACM Opinion

The Personalized Web Is Just an Interest Graph Away

The Personalized Web Is Just an Interest Graph Away

You know how our social graphs are creeping into every aspect of our Web lives, from search results to coupons? Well, get ready for something a lot more personal, a lot more targeted, and, perhaps, a lot more creepy.


From ACM Opinion

Ray Ozzie on Startups, Microsoft, and What He's Dreaming Up Next

Ray Ozzie on Startups, Microsoft, and What He's Dreaming Up Next

Ray Ozzie, online collaboration pioneer and former Microsoft chief software architect, shared his thoughts on the startup climate, his tenure at Microsoft, the new tools of software and hardware development, and the impact of…

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