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

May 2014


From ACM Opinion

China's Cyber-Generals Are Reinventing the Art of War

China's Cyber-Generals Are Reinventing the Art of War

The conventional wisdom is that the future of war will involve private robot armies, predator drones carrying out precision strikes, and maybe even the militarization of space.


From ACM Opinion

How DARPA's Augmented Reality Software Works

How DARPA's Augmented Reality Software Works

Six years ago, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) decided that they had a new dream. The agency wanted a system that would overlay digital tactical information right over the top of the physical world.


From ACM Opinion

The End Is A.I.: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

The End Is A.I.: The Singularity Is Sci-Fi's Faith-Based Initiative

In 1993, Vernor Vinge wrote a paper about the end of the world.


From ACM Opinion

Time Machines Would Run Afoul of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

We've all seen those movies where someone goes back in time and tries to change something (the classic "Grandfather Paradox": what happens if you go back in time and try to kill your grandfather?).


From ACM Opinion

Meet the People Behind the Wayback Machine, One of Our Favorite Things About the Internet

Meet the People Behind the Wayback Machine, One of Our Favorite Things About the Internet

Brewster Kahle is quick to point out that we are not standing inside a former Scientology church.


From ACM Opinion

A Summer Reading List for Innovators

A Summer Reading List for Innovators

For this summer's reading list, we bring you seven very different types of books that have been published since the start of the year, each of them exploring the future of innovation from a different perspective.


From ACM Opinion

How the U.S. Could Escalate Its Name-and-Shame Campaign Against China's Espionage

How the U.S. Could Escalate Its Name-and-Shame Campaign Against China's Espionage

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five Chinese military officers for industrial espionage, accusing them of leading attacks on the computers of U.S. companies including U.S. Steel and Westinghouse to gather…


From ACM Opinion

Man Behind the First Computer Password: It's Become a Nightmare

Man Behind the First Computer Password: It's Become a Nightmare

In the early 1960s, Fernando Corbató helped deploy the first known computer password.


From ACM Opinion

Secrets, Lies and Snowden's Email: Why I Was Forced to Shut Down Lavabit

Secrets, Lies and Snowden's Email: Why I Was Forced to Shut Down Lavabit

My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network.


From ACM Opinion

Should U.S. Hackers Fix Cybersecurity Holes or Exploit Them?

Should U.S. Hackers Fix Cybersecurity Holes or Exploit Them?

There's a debate going on about whether the U.S. government—specifically, the NSA and United States Cyber Command—should stockpile Internet vulnerabilities or disclose and fix them.


From ACM Opinion

The Internet's History Isn’t As "Open" As You Think

The Internet's History Isn’t As "Open" As You Think

This spring, the Federal Communications Commission is deciding how to regulate the "Open Internet"—a term it uses to refer to the movement for net neutrality.


From ACM Opinion

Every Little Byte Counts

Every Little Byte Counts

In "On What We Can Not Do," a short and pungent essay published a few years ago, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben outlined two ways in which power operates today.


From ACM Opinion

Three Questions with the Man Leading Baidu's New AI Effort

Three Questions with the Man Leading Baidu's New AI Effort

Artificial intelligence is guided by the far-off goal of having software match humans at important tasks.


From ACM Opinion

The Myths & Realities of How the EU's New 'Right To Be Forgotten' in Google Works

The Myths & Realities of How the EU's New 'Right To Be Forgotten' in Google Works

Is it true that anyone in the EU can have anything removed from Google and other search engines?


From ACM Opinion

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

In July of 2008, Dylan Breves, then a seventeen-year-old student from New York City, made a mundane edit to a Wikipedia entry on the coati.


From ACM Opinion

My Duolingo Learning App Can Reshape Education

My Duolingo Learning App Can Reshape Education

Duolingo users are making new courses for people who speak Asian languages like Chinese and Hindi. How does that work?


From ACM News

How Google Built Its 3-D Interactive Rubik's Cube Doodle

How Google Built Its 3-D Interactive Rubik's Cube Doodle

Today Google launched one of its coolest doodles yet: a 3-D interactive Rubik's Cube.


From ACM Opinion

Why the Death of Net Neutrality Would Be a Disaster for Libraries

Why the Death of Net Neutrality Would Be a Disaster for Libraries

The Internet's eyes turned to the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, as the panel approved a plan to consider allowing Internet service providers to charge Web sites like Netflix for higher-quality delivery of their…


From ACM Opinion

UnGoogle Me: The Case for Scrubbing Search Results

UnGoogle Me: The Case for Scrubbing Search Results

The Internet has much to say about the recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which determines that if a person wants some personal information removed from Google's search engine, that person has the right…


From ACM Opinion

Forget 'the Cloud'; 'the Fog' Is Tech's Future

Forget 'the Cloud'; 'the Fog' Is Tech's Future

I'm as big a believer in the transformational power of cloud computing as anyone you'll meet.


From ACM Opinion

"We're at Greater Risk": General Keith Alexander

"We're at Greater Risk": General Keith Alexander

Since Edward Snowden's revelations about government surveillence, we know more about how the National Security Agency has been interpreting Section 215 of the Patriot Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance…


From ACM Opinion

Who Watches the Watchers? Big Data Goes Unchecked

Who Watches the Watchers? Big Data Goes Unchecked

The National Security Agency might be tracking your phone calls. But private industry is prying far more deeply into your life.


From ACM News

Do We Need Asimov's Laws?

Do We Need Asimov's Laws?

In 1942, the science fiction author Isaac Asimov published a short story called Runaround in which he introduced three laws that governed the behaviour of robots.


From ACM Opinion

Should Young Children Learn Coding?

Should Young Children Learn Coding?

Re "Reading, Writing, Arithmetic and Now Coding" (front page, May 11): Schools and parents are really off the mark in introducing coding (and technology in general) to young children.


From ACM Opinion

A Sad Day

A Sad Day

We lost Nereus today


From ACM Opinion

Google Ruling 'Astonishing', Says Wikipedia Founder Wales

Google Ruling 'Astonishing', Says Wikipedia Founder Wales

The European Courts of Justice ruled on Tuesday that an individual could demand that "irrelevant or outdated" information be deleted from results.


From ACM Opinion

Ordering Google to Forget

Ordering Google to Forget

In a ruling that could undermine press freedoms and free speech, the highest court of the European Union said on Tuesday that Google must comply with requests from individuals to remove links on search results pages to newspaper…


From ACM Opinion

Our Smartphones Are Making Live TV Better Than Ever

Our Smartphones Are Making Live TV Better Than Ever

The history of the Internet is one of lonely ­people trying to find one another.


From ACM Opinion

Amy Robinson, Creative Director

Amy Robinson, Creative Director

Amy Robinson pulls no punches.


From ACM Opinion

Glenn Greenwald's Pulse-Pounding Tale of Breaking the Snowden Leaks

Glenn Greenwald's Pulse-Pounding Tale of Breaking the Snowden Leaks

In June 2013, Edward Snowden was sitting in his room at the Mira hotel in Hong Kong, watching the world react to the first of his explosive leaks about the NSA's out-of-control surveillance, when he was tipped off that the NSA…

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