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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.

March 2012


From ACM Opinion

Google Adds (even More) Links to the Pentagon

Google Adds (even More) Links to the Pentagon

On Monday, the Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google. It was an unexpected move: Washington and Mountain View don’t trade top executives very often. But it shouldn’t…


From ACM Opinion

Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design

Safecast Geiger Counter Reference Design

This past weekend marked the anniversary of the Tohoku-Oki earthquake that devastated Japan.


From ACM Opinion

Xbox at 10 in Europe: How the Console Shaped Gaming History

Xbox at 10 in Europe: How the Console Shaped Gaming History

The games industry was a very different place 10 years ago. Still dominated by Japanese games and Japanese games machines, Microsoft's plans to launch its own dedicated console were met with skepticism.


From ACM Opinion

Was Our Interview with Lulzsec Hacker an Fbi Set-­p?

Was Our Interview with Lulzsec Hacker an Fbi Set-­p?

In the early hours of 30 June last year, my time spent monitoring the Anonymous chat room finally paid off: "Sabu" would grant me an interview. 


From ACM Opinion

The Technology of a Better Footnote

Footnotes—or endnotes, or just notes; whatever you want to call them—are a problem. They're a problem for writers and a problem for readers and a problem for typesetters and a problem for page designers. But maybe we're getting…


From ACM Opinion

Tv Makers Ignore Apps at Their Own Peril

Tv Makers Ignore Apps at Their Own Peril

Every night, I get home from work, drop onto the couch and sit there surfing the Web or watching videos on my 3 1/2-inch iPhone screen. My big-screen HDTV sits powered off on the other side of the room.


From ACM Opinion

The iPad Is ­nbeatable

The iPad Is ­nbeatable

Imagine you run a large technology company not named Apple.


From ACM Opinion

We'll Someday Accept Computers as Human

We'll Someday Accept Computers as Human

Any author or filmmaker seeking ideas for a sci-fi yarn about the implications of artificial intelligence—good or bad—would be smart to talk to Ray Kurzweil.


From ACM Opinion

Captain Michio and the World of Tomorrow

Captain Michio and the World of Tomorrow

By 2020, the word "computer" will have vanished from the English language, physicist Michio Kaku predicts.


From ACM Opinion

Sir Jonathan Ive: The Iman Cometh

Sir Jonathan Ive: The Iman Cometh

Sir Jonathan Ive, Jony to his friends, is arguably one of the world's most influential Londoners.


From ACM Opinion

Apple Pioneer Brings Emotion to Google+

Apple Pioneer Brings Emotion to Google+

Andy Hertzfeld was ready to retire back in 2009, following a momentous 30-year plus career where he worked side by side with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to design the revolutionary user interface of Apple's Macintosh computers…


From ACM Opinion

Reading Over Your Shoulder: Social Readers and Privacy Law

My friends, who are generally well educated and intelligent, read a lot of garbage.


From ACM Opinion

Cyberwar Is Already ­pon ­S

Cyberwar Is Already ­pon ­S

In the nearly 20 years since David Ronfeldt and I introduced our concept of cyberwar, this new mode of conflict has become a reality.


From ACM Opinion

The Personal Analytics of My Life

The Personal Analytics of My Life

One day I'm sure everyone will routinely collect all sorts of data about themselves. But because I've been interested in data for a very long time, I started doing this long ago.


From ACM Opinion

Supercomputers Can Save ­.s. Manufacturing

Supercomputers Can Save ­.s. Manufacturing

High-performance computing developed at the national labs powers much of the innovation behind the most successful U.S. commercial firms. This expertise may also offer the best chance to rescue U.S. manufacturing.


From ACM News

Your Kinect Is Watching You

Your Kinect Is Watching You

There is a wave of concern—completely justified, to my mind—over the privacy implications of our increasing reliance on Facebook and Google. What most people don’t realize, however, is that these issues are dwarfed by the potential…


From ACM Opinion

Jeff Jaffe Lights a Fire ­nder Web Standardization

Jeff Jaffe Lights a Fire ­nder Web Standardization

 It's been an action-packed two years since Jeff Jaffe took over as the World Wide Web Consortium's chief executive, but more action is the order of the day at the standards group.


From ACM Opinion

Forget The New Ipad: Why The Personal Computer Is Already An Also Ran

Forget The New Ipad: Why The Personal Computer Is Already An Also Ran

While Apple introduced a new version of the iPad Wednesday (March 7) in San Francisco, the real market shift had already happened. Smart phones outsold personal computers for the first time last year.


From ACM Opinion

Why Only Designers Can Create New Programming Languages

Compared to the versions that are hacked together late at night under insane deadline pressure, the programming languages to come out of academia are failures.


From ACM Opinion

One Thing Is Certain: Heisenberg's ­Uncertainty Principle Is Not Dead

One Thing Is Certain: Heisenberg's ­Uncertainty Principle Is Not Dead

A demonstration by experimenters at the Vienna University of Technology violates Heisenberg's original version of his uncertainty principle, but confirms a newer, clearer formulation.


From ACM Opinion

International Reactions to Google's New Privacy Policy

International Reactions to Google's New Privacy Policy

Google's new privacy policy took effect last Thursday, following several weeks campaigning to educate users on the changes. The policy will allow them to consolidate users' data across all of its services and platforms, in a…


From ACM Opinion

The Ipad 3 and the Future of the Web

The Ipad 3 and the Future of the Web

It's easy to mock the excess enthusiasm the tech community has for new Apple gadgets—Wow! Look, it’s a new computer! At the same time it's just as easy to see why that enthusiasm exists—Apple can be counted on to push the boundaries…


From ACM Opinion

Schmidt: The Web Will Dissolve National Barriers

Schmidt: The Web Will Dissolve National Barriers

Google's Eric Schmidt believes the Internet is breaking down national barriers. "Loyalty is not just to a nation but to friends and interests," Schmidt said in a speech at the CeBIT technology show. "That will change everything…


From ACM Opinion

Good Reasons Not to Force Online Teaching

Good Reasons Not to Force Online Teaching

The average teen spends 16.7 hours a week on the Internet, not counting time spent with e-mail. Yikes. It's a good thing the Indiana General Assembly dropped a plan to mandate virtual instruction for all high school students…


From ACM Opinion

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

GM's current commitment to electric vehicle technology reminds me of the introduction of the personal computer in the 1980s.


From ACM Opinion

I Love You, Killer Robots

I Love You, Killer Robots

It was way back in May 2010 that I first spotted the flying drones that will take over the world. They were in a video that Daniel Mellinger, one of the robots' apparently too-trusting creators, proudly posted on YouTube.


From ACM Opinion

Silicon Valley's Humble Billionaire

Silicon Valley's Humble Billionaire

It's a Saturday afternoon in Palo Alto, Calif., and there goes David Cheriton, navigating the Silicon Valley suburb's tony downtown on his bike.


From BLOG@CACM

COLT/ICML Open Problems and ICML Instructions

COLT/ICML Open Problems and ICML Instructions

Open problems will be presented in a joint session in the evening of the COLT/ICML overlap day. If you have a difficult, theoretically definable problem in machine learning, consider submitting it for review, due March 16.  


From ACM Opinion

Nobody Wants to Learn How to Program

Nobody Wants to Learn How to Program

Many programming tutorials begin with basic programming principles: variables, loops, data types. This is an obvious way to teach programming to adults, but not schoolchildren. Here's advice on teaching programming or creating…


From ACM Opinion

­.s. Senators: No Time to Lose on Strengthening Cybersecurity

­.s. Senators: No Time to Lose on Strengthening Cybersecurity

Four U.S. senators sound a warning on cybersecurity, comparing the present to the days prior to September 11, 2001. The system is blinking red, and we are failing to connect the dots. Again.

 

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