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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.

May 2009


From ACM Opinion

Confessions of a Science Librarian

I'm curious about all this and I wonder if any of the computing people out there share Moshe Yardi's ambivalence in Conferences vs. Journals in Computing Research. It's always seemed to me that the computing community's tendency…


From ACM Opinion

On Vardi's Question on Conferences

As picked up by Lance, Moshe Vardi uses his Editor's Letter in the May CACM to start up a debate on the future of conferences in CS. While I agree with the view that the conference system in CS is cracking and needs an overhaul…


From ACM Opinion

Are Conferences Worth Fixing?

Moshe Vardi uses his Editor's Letter in the May CACM to start up a debate on the future of conferences in CS. He mentions last year's Workshop on Organizing Workshops, Conferences, and Symposia for Computer Systems that focused…


From ACM Opinion

Computer Engineers Should Not Teach Computer Science

Everything started last year, when a commission created by the Minister of Higher Education in Jordan considered computer engineers unqualified to teach computer science. The decision was widely accepted by computer science departments…


From ACM Opinion

Manufacturing Jobs Are Never Coming Back

Manufacturing Jobs Are Never Coming Back

Increasingly, machines make things, not people. That's mainly because of technology. When we think of manufacturing jobs, we tend to imagine old-time assembly lines populated by millions of blue-collar workers. But that picture…


From ACM TechNews

Dawn M. Taylor on Brain-Computer Interfaces

Brain-computer interface research is finally starting to take off because the expansion of computer capacity has broadened people's ability to digitize and process numerous individual neural impulses concurrently and apply more…


From ACM Opinion

Robert Kahn: A Different Kind of Internet

Robert Kahn: A Different Kind of Internet

Robert E. Kahn of the nonprofit Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) envisions an Internet that manages information rather than just moves it around. He says this can be facilitated by Digital Object Architecture…


From ACM Opinion

Internet Scientist Says, You Can't Hack Data From Militaries. Then Who Did and How?

An acclaimed Internet scientist in China has said that there is no way hackers could access top-secret data by penetrating the firewalls of military or government networks. Former National Computer Network Emergency response…


From ACM News

The Next Best Thing to You

The Next Best Thing to You

Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once? Perhaps you've had the desire to create a copy of yourself that could stand in for you at a meeting, freeing you up to work on more pressing matters. Thanks to a research…


From ACM TechNews

'IT Will Step in on My Day Off'

'IT Will Step in on My Day Off'

In this interview, Electronic Arts senior vice-president online Nanea Reeves shares some of her predictions about the future. Reeves says that video games will have a major influence on hardware and software use by businesses…


From ACM Opinion

An Interview with Jon Kleinberg

An Interview with Jon Kleinberg

Jon Kleinberg tallied a long list of awards and achievements before being named recipient of the 2008 ACM – Infosys Foundation Award in the Computer Sciences at age 38. Kleinberg, Tisch University Professor in the Department…


From ACM TechNews

The A-Z of Programming Languages: Tcl

The A-Z of Programming Languages: Tcl

John Ousterhout is the creator of the Tcl programming language. He says that its creation came about to meet the challenge of producing and deploying a powerful command language as a library package that can be embedded within…


From ACM Opinion

Flaws in Web's Much-Touted WolframAlpha

When a free Web service called WolframAlpha launches in the coming days, the public will get to try a "computational knowledge engine" that has had technology insiders buzzing because of its oracle-like ability to spit out answers…


From ACM Opinion

Is China's 'Secure' OS a Threat to U.S Offensive Cyber Capabilities?

Is China's 'Secure' OS a Threat to U.S Offensive Cyber Capabilities?

China's development of the Kylin hardened operating system undermines U.S. offensive cyber warfare capabilities, Kevin G. Coleman of Technolytics Institute told a Congressional hearing on national security last month. But Kylin…


From ACM Opinion

25 Major Scientific Achievements of the 1950s: Can We Top Them?

25 Major Scientific Achievements of the 1950s: Can We Top Them?

The new Science race is on — just like the 1950s — but this time, the prize is not to conquer space, but to conquer pollution, carbon emissions, drought and the rapid extinction of many of life's animal species. Every time we…


From ACM TechNews

World Will Change ICANN's Future, CEO Says

World Will Change ICANN's Future, CEO Says

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, ICANN president Paul Twomey agreed with European Union commissioner Viviane Reding, who recently called on President Obama to sever ICANN's ties with the U.S. Department of Commerce…


From ACM TechNews

Inventor: SSL Not to Blame for Security Woes

Inventor: SSL Not to Blame for Security Woes

It is unfair to blame Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for security woes because system weaknesses are usually attributed to the browser, while SSL is simply a protocol between the browser and server, says SSL inventor Taher Elgamal…


From ACM TechNews

Rob Faludi Wants Your Toaster to Befriend Your Smoke Alarm

Rob Faludi Wants Your Toaster to Befriend Your Smoke Alarm

New York University professor Rob Faludi envisions a world of sociable objects that share information with each other and with people. He offers as an example of a sociable object a smoke detector that can communicate with a…


From ACM Opinion

Deficits Worry Intel Chairman Craig Barrett

Deficits Worry Intel Chairman Craig Barrett

Craig Barrett joined Intel Corp. as a technology-development manager in 1974, and rose through the ranks to become chief executive officer in 1998. In 2005, he stepped down from Intel's executive team and became chairman of the…


From ACM Opinion

Film About Kurzweil Gets Two Nano-Enhanced Cyberthumbs Up

Film About Kurzweil Gets Two Nano-Enhanced Cyberthumbs Up

I can't really give an objective review of Barry Ptolemy's new documentary film "Transcendent Man" — a treatment of the life and futurist ideas of Ray Kurzweil — because I was in the movie myself, answering 4-to-5 minutes of…


From ACM Opinion

The Downside of Friends: Facebook's Hacking Problem

The Downside of Friends: Facebook's Hacking Problem

Scammers unleashed a new attack on Facebook last week, collecting users' log-in information and passwords and pilfering victims' "friends" lists to target the next dopes. Listen up, people: Although Facebook has a reputation…


From ACM Opinion

Re-envisioning the Computer Science Curriculum

Re-envisioning the Computer Science Curriculum

Dan Garcia, a lecturer in the EECS department at UC Berkeley, talks with Intel's Paul Steinberg and Contra Costa College Professor Tom Murphy about parallelism, today's undergraduate curriculum, and the way to bring passion,…


From ACM Opinion

Gregg Favalora Talks About 3-D Imaging Breakthroughs

Gregg Favalora, the founder, president, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Actuality Medical Inc., discusses 'crystal ball' 3-D imaging, breakthrough medical applications and entrepreneurial best practices…


From Communications of the ACM

The Network Neutrality Debate Hits Europe

The Network Neutrality Debate Hits Europe

Differences in telecommunications regulation between the U.S. and the European Union are a key factor in viewing the debate over network neutrality legislation from a European perspective.


From Communications of the ACM

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Software as a Service

The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of Software as a Service

The commercial opportunities of software as a service are widely hyped these days and many think SaaS is the future of software. That might be true in the medium term, but the volatile history of remote…

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

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