Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


Archives

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

April 2013


From ACM Opinion

20 Years On, the Open Web Faces Challenges

20 Years On, the Open Web Faces Challenges

For people of a certain age in the technology industry, one of the ways of establishing a connection with someone is by asking some version of the following question: How long have you been online?


From ACM Opinion

The Meaning of (Making) Life

The Meaning of (Making) Life

Christina Agapakis is a rising star among the new generation of biology researchers. Trained in the science of custom-building organisms known as synthetic biology, the UCLA researcher likes to think about the way her field intersects…


From ACM Opinion

Nate Silver: What Big Data Can't Predict

Nate Silver: What Big Data Can't Predict

Statistician Nate Silver isn't famous because he's a mathematical genius. (Although, he is.)


From ACM Opinion

Here's Why Bitcoin Is the Future of Money

Here's Why Bitcoin Is the Future of Money

The interesting thing about Bitcoin isn't what it is today. What's interesting is that this experiment is turning into a serious proving ground for the idea of "crypto-currency," digitally created currency protected by powerful…


From ACM Opinion

Christoph Bregler on the Future of Surveillance

Christoph Bregler on the Future of Surveillance

Surveillance camera images of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev catalyzed not only the manhunt which caught them, but calls for more surveillance cameras around the country.


From ACM Careers

Why the Anatomy Lab Remains a Fixture of Medicine

Why the Anatomy Lab Remains a Fixture of Medicine

For hundreds of years, physicians have been dissecting the dead to learn about the inner workings of the human body.


From ACM Opinion

The Medium of the Moment

The Medium of the Moment

After the Boston Marathon bombings, the process by which breaking news and information are generated and disseminated looked more ragged and exposed than ever: CNN stumbled, the New York Post painted a target on a high-school…


From ACM Opinion

How Boston Police Won the Twitter Wars During the Marathon Bomber Hunt

How Boston Police Won the Twitter Wars During the Marathon Bomber Hunt

The first official announcement that law enforcement agencies had concluded their manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn't come at a press conference by police commissioner Ed Davis or Mayor Tom Menino…


From ACM Opinion

Bill for Compulsory Science Fiction in West Virginia Schools

Bill for Compulsory Science Fiction in West Virginia Schools

A bill calling for science fiction to be made compulsory reading in schools has been proposed by a politician in West Virginia in order to "stimulate interest in the fields of math and science."


From ACM Opinion

How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain

How Ray Kurzweil Will Help Google Make the Ultimate AI Brain

Google has always been an artificial intelligence company, so it really shouldn't have been a surprise that Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading scientists in the field, joined the search giant late last year.


From ACM Opinion

Apple's Next Big Thing

Apple's Next Big Thing

The iPad has always labored under the shadow of its little brother the iPhone.


From ACM Opinion

Unraveling Boston Suspects' Online Lives, Link by Link

Unraveling Boston Suspects' Online Lives, Link by Link

It is America's first fully interactive national tragedy of the social media age.


From ACM Opinion

Robert Desimone on the Federal BRAIN Initiative

Robert Desimone on the Federal BRAIN Initiative

Robert Desimone, the director of MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, discusses the federal government's $100 million BRAIN Initiative and how it will affect neuroscience at MIT and beyond.


From ACM Opinion

Google Execs Say 'The Power of Information Is Underrated'

Google Execs Say 'The Power of Information Is Underrated'

"We fear that the natural action for, in particular, autocratic governments experiencing what we describe as 'virtual urbanization' will be to balkanize the Internet," says Cohen, "filtering out content so that way the Internet…


From ACM Opinion

Innovation vs. Privacy: Why We Shouldn't Fear Drones

Innovation vs. Privacy: Why We Shouldn't Fear Drones

Six new test sites will soon be announced for integrating commercial drones into U.S. airspace. Privacy advocates want drone operators in the test sites to be constrained by strict privacy policy requirements. It sounds like…


From ACM Opinion

The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution

The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution

How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet?


From ACM Opinion

The Flattening of Design

The Flattening of Design

It might sound audacious to think that Microsoft, the arbiter of uncool, was at the forefront of design a few years ago. But it was.


From ACM Opinion

CEO Brian Gentile: 'Jaspersoft Has Chosen to Disrupt'

CEO Brian Gentile: 'Jaspersoft Has Chosen to Disrupt'

"In the upcoming years, the aged proprietary vendors and the problems they solved become less common. The new problems can be solved with lighter-weight, less expensive and much simpler BI [business intelligence] tools," says…


From ACM Opinion

#Freejahar Hashtag Rallies Emerging Cult of Boston Bomb Suspect

#Freejahar Hashtag Rallies Emerging Cult of Boston Bomb Suspect

Barely two days after cops apprehended Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings, supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are rallying online.


From ACM Opinion

'Total Noise,' Only Louder

'Total Noise,' Only Louder

Kids used to ask each other: If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, does it make a sound? Now there's a microphone in every tree and a loudspeaker on every branch, not to mention the video cameras, and we've entered the…


From ACM Opinion

In New Home, Exploratorium Widens Its Interactive Appeal

In New Home, Exploratorium Widens Its Interactive Appeal

The Exploratorium science museum, which reopened Wednesday on a new nine-acre campus by the San Francisco Bay, is striking for how closely it has hewed to its quirky, interactive and "work in progress" roots.


From ACM Opinion

The $12 Gongkai Phone

The $12 Gongkai Phone

How cheap can you make a phone?


From ACM Opinion

We Need More Cameras, and We Need Them Now

We Need More Cameras, and We Need Them Now

On Thursday afternoon, the FBI released photos and video of two persons of interest in the Boston Marathon bombing.


From ACM Opinion

Geer, Thieme: Specialization and Institutionalization Have Transformed Security

Geer, Thieme: Specialization and Institutionalization Have Transformed Security

Two elders of information security came to Source Boston 2013 Wednesday morning to encourage the next generation to grab the torch from them and to urge great caution in diving too deeply into specialization.


From ACM Opinion

Mars vs. Europa: Are We Looking in the Wrong Place for Alien Life?

Mars vs. Europa: Are We Looking in the Wrong Place for Alien Life?

A British astrobiology conference has revived a years-old debate over the best place to look for life elsewhere in the solar system: Mars, or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn?


From ACM Opinion

Is High-Tech Security at Public Events Counterproductive?

Is High-Tech Security at Public Events Counterproductive?

Which is more intrusive: security screening and metal detectors every few blocks, or a drone flying high above it taking video of every little thing you do?


From ACM Opinion

The Greatest Trick the Government Ever Pulled Was Convincing the Public the 'Hacker Threat' Exists

The Greatest Trick the Government Ever Pulled Was Convincing the Public the 'Hacker Threat' Exists

The U.S. government is already fighting wars on several fronts, including the perpetual War on Terror.


From ACM Opinion

Better Computer Models Needed for Mega Wind Farms

Better Computer Models Needed for Mega Wind Farms

With wind power getting cheaper, wind farm developers are drawing up plans for farms an order of magnitude bigger than anything around today. But there's one big problem: it is difficult to model how such large wind farms will…


From ACM Opinion

How New Military Technologies Can Help Prevent the Next Boston or Newtown

How New Military Technologies Can Help Prevent the Next Boston or Newtown

This week, it's bombs. In December, it was guns.


From ACM Opinion

How Pixar Used Moore's Law to Predict the Future

How Pixar Used Moore's Law to Predict the Future

Whether you call it a data-driven prediction or think of it as a self-fulfilling prophecy, Moore's Law has been going strong.

« Prev 1 2 3 Next »
Blog at CACM
Cyber Insecurity and Cyber Libertarianism
Cyber Insecurity and Cyber Libertarianism
04.14.2017

Here we are, 70 years into the computer age and we still do not seem to know how to build …

Generation CS: When Undergraduates Realized They Needed Computing
Generation CS: When Undergraduates Realized They Needed Computing
03.28.2017

 A new Computing Research Association report describes the dramatic influx of undergraduates into computer science classes.

Cybersecurity in the Trump Era
Cybersecurity in the Trump Era
03.27.2017

Deterrence is simply the wrong way to think about cybersecurity.

View More Blog@CACM

Latest News
DNA's Secret Weapon Against Knots and Tangles
DNA's Secret Weapon Against Knots and Tangles
04.21.2017

Leonid Mirny swivels in his office chair and grabs the …

On Venus, Tectonics Without the Plates
On Venus, Tectonics Without the Plates
04.21.2017

As we've explored the Solar System, some items we're familiar …

Our Ability to Keep 'Em Guessing Peaks Around Age 25
Our Ability to Keep 'Em Guessing Peaks Around Age 25
04.21.2017

People's ability to behave randomly reaches its zenith at age …

View More News

Read CACM in a free mobile app!
Access the latest issue, plus archived issues and more
ACM Logo
  • ACM CACM apps available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and Android platforms
  • ACM Digital Library apps available for iOS, Android, and Windows devices
  • Download an app and sign in to it with your ACM Web Account
Find the app for your mobile device
ACM DL Logo