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Communications of the ACM

Opinion Archive


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

May 2013


From ACM Opinion

Charlie Rose Talks to Tumblr's David Karp

Charlie Rose Talks to Tumblr's David Karp

What made you decide that this was the right time to sell—and that Yahoo! was the right buyer?


From ACM Opinion

The Quantified Brain of a Self-Tracking Neuroscientist

The Quantified Brain of a Self-Tracking Neuroscientist

Russell Poldrack, a neuroscientist at the University of Texas at Austin, is undertaking some intense introspection.


From ACM Opinion

Why the HTML5 Standard Fight Matters

Why the HTML5 Standard Fight Matters

Today, EFF announced that it was making a formal objection to including consideration of digital rights management (DRM) in the First Public Working Draft from the HTML working group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).


From ACM Opinion

Apple Has More Game-Changing Tech in the Works, Says CEO Tim Cook

Apple Has More Game-Changing Tech in the Works, Says CEO Tim Cook

Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook spent a lot of time answering questions about how Apple would be different from what it was under Steve Jobs, and just how he would continue Jobs's incredible legacy.


From ACM Opinion

Why MoMA Is Exhibiting Tetris and Pac-Man

Why MoMA Is Exhibiting Tetris and Pac-Man

Last November, the Museum of Modern Art said that it had acquired 14 videogames, adding working copies and the source code of games like Tetris and The Sims to its collection.


From ACM Opinion

Why the New Google-NASA Partnership Marks a New Era in the History of Computing

Why the New Google-NASA Partnership Marks a New Era in the History of Computing

It's easy to become jaded about announcements in the tech world.


From ACM Opinion

Search Me: Online Reputation Management

Search Me: Online Reputation Management

A few weeks ago, I Googled a pub to find out where it was.


From ACM Opinion

Government Plan to Build 'Back Doors' for Online Surveillance Could Create Dangerous Vulnerabilities

Government Plan to Build 'Back Doors' for Online Surveillance Could Create Dangerous Vulnerabilities

Recently, the FBI has been attacking the "going dark" problem—that is, its inability to read all electronic communications—from both legal and technological angles.


From ACM Opinion

Flame One Year Later

Flame One Year Later

It's been a year since the first reports of the Flame malware surfaced, and looking back at the 12 months since then, it seems more and more each day that the discovery of Flame should be seen as a seminal event in the evolution…


From ACM Opinion

Can Patents Keep Up with Technology?

Can Patents Keep Up with Technology?


From ACM News

Building Supercomputers with Raspberries

Building Supercomputers with Raspberries

At some point in the not-too-distant future, building powerful, miniature computing systems will be considered a hobby for high schoolers, just as robotics or even Lego-building are today.


From ACM Opinion

Jony Ive's New Look for iOS 7: Black, White, and Flat All Over

Jony Ive's New Look for iOS 7: Black, White, and Flat All Over

With the grand unveiling of Apple’s next operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch approaching, sources have provided detailed descriptions of what users and developers alike could expect from the software's fresh…


From ACM Opinion

Meet the Man Who Sold a Month-Old App to Dropbox for $100M

Meet the Man Who Sold a Month-Old App to Dropbox for $100M

When Mailbox sold itself to Dropbox for a reported $100 million or so this March, the month-old iPhone app wasn’t even available to the public.


From ACM Opinion

Thoughts on Pew's Latest Report: Notable Findings on Race and Privacy

Pew Internet and American Life Project (in collaboration with Berkman) unveiled a brilliant report about "Teens, Social Media, and Privacy." As a researcher who's been in the trenches on these topics for a long time now, none…


From ACM Opinion

Telecom's Big Players Hold Back the Future

Telecom's Big Players Hold Back the Future

If you were going to look for ground zero in the fight against a rapidly consolidating telecom and cable industry, you might end up on the fifth floor of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.


From ACM Opinion

Steve Jobs' Dream Device Has Arrived

Steve Jobs' Dream Device Has Arrived

Just before he died, Steve Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson about his dream for revolutionizing television.


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Propaganda: Sean Gourley on Big Data and the 'War of Ideas'

The Future of Propaganda: Sean Gourley on Big Data and the 'War of Ideas'

In 2009, Sean Gourley, an Oxford-trained physicist, gave a TED talk called "The Mathematics of War."


From ACM Opinion

Microsoft's T.J. Campana

Microsoft's T.J. Campana

The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit has been spearheading botnet takedowns and other anti-cybercrime operations for many years, and it has had remarkable success.


From ACM Opinion

Will Giving the Internet Eyes and Ears Mean the End of Privacy?

Will Giving the Internet Eyes and Ears Mean the End of Privacy?

The Internet has turned into a massive surveillance tool.


From ACM Opinion

Welcome to Google Island

Welcome to Google Island

I awoke aboard a boat, just before daybreak, which was weird.


From ACM Opinion

Is Computing Speed Set to Make a Quantum Leap?

Is Computing Speed Set to Make a Quantum Leap?

"Our imagination is stretched to the utmost," wrote Richard Feynman, the greatest physicist of his day, "not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things that are there."


From ACM Opinion

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?

Forty-five years after Intel was founded by Silicon Valley legends Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce, it is the world's leading semiconductor company.


From ACM Opinion

'Big Brother' Is Big Business?

'Big Brother' Is Big Business?

The odds are you are not just a face in the crowd any longer.


From ACM Opinion

CALEA II: Risks of Wiretap Modifications to Endpoints

CALEA II: Risks of Wiretap Modifications to Endpoints

I join a group of twenty computer scientists in issuing a report criticizing an FBI plan to require makers of secure communication tools to redesign their systems to make wiretapping easy.


From ACM Opinion

Should Patents Be Awarded to Software?

Should Patents Be Awarded to Software?

The goal of the U.S. patent system is clear: to provide individuals or companies with an incentive to innovate by offering them 20 years of exclusive rights to an invention.


From ACM Opinion

At Google Conference, Cameras Even in the Bathroom

At Google Conference, Cameras Even in the Bathroom

The future came crashing down on me this week at the Google I/O developer conference while I stood at a bathroom urinal.


From ACM Opinion

Google Glass Isn't Lame

Google Glass Isn't Lame

I've spent the last few weeks lowering my expectations for Google Glass.


From ACM Opinion

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz

Strongbox and Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz was not yet a legend when, almost two years ago, I asked him to build an open-source, anonymous in-box.


From ACM Opinion

Moshe Vardi: Robots Could Put Humans Out of Work by 2045

Moshe Vardi: Robots Could Put Humans Out of Work by 2045

Robots began replacing human brawn long ago—now they're poised to replace human brains.


From ACM Opinion

Stanford Professor (Former NASA Official) Explains How NASA Might Revive the Kepler Space Telescope

Stanford Professor (Former NASA Official) Explains How NASA Might Revive the Kepler Space Telescope

NASA officials announced Wednesday, May 15, that the Kepler space telescope—the agency's primary instrument for detecting planets beyond our solar system—had suffered a critical failure and could soon be shut down permanently…

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