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

July 2012


From ACM Opinion

Is Algebra Necessary?

Is Algebra Necessary?

A typical American school day finds some six million high school students and two million college freshmen struggling with algebra.


From ACM Opinion

Far from Silicon Valley, Tech Industry Finds an Oracle

Far from Silicon Valley, Tech Industry Finds an Oracle

Anand Shimpi is one of the most influential tech industry figures you've never heard of.


From ACM Opinion

E-Reading: A Midterm Progress Report

E-Reading: A Midterm Progress Report

E-readers have been around long enough now that the novelty has largely worn off.


From ACM Opinion

The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference

The Frightening Things You Hear at a Black Hat Conference

Here is a look at some of the highlights and scarier happenings taking place at the annual Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas last week.


From ACM Opinion

Tagging and Tracking Espionage Botnets

Tagging and Tracking Espionage Botnets

A security researcher who's spent 18 months cataloging and tracking malicious software that was developed and deployed specifically for spying on governments, activists, and industry executives says the complexity and scope of…


From ACM Opinion

Why Shooting Games Make Your Brain Happy

Why Shooting Games Make Your Brain Happy

Modern videogames are obsessed with guns, and there are a lot of reasons why.


From BLOG@CACM

Should Computer Scientists Change How They Publish?

Should Computer Scientists Change How They Publish?

One of the most popular panels at Snowbird was "Publication Models in Computing Research: Is a Change Needed? Are We Ready for a Change?"  


From ACM Opinion

Timing Is Everything for the Games' Chief Timer

Timing Is Everything for the Games' Chief Timer

Timing is everything for Peter Hürzeler, a man for whom "good enough" simply isn't.


From ACM Opinion

The Public Is Left in the Dark When Courts Allow Electronic Surveillance

A big part of Magistrate Judge Stephen W. Smith's job in Federal District Court in Houston is to consider law enforcement requests for cellphone and email records. It requires him to apply old laws to the digital age and balance…


From ACM Opinion

What a Win or Loss on Mars Will Mean

What a Win or Loss on Mars Will Mean

Anyone who's looked at the "Seven Minutes of Terror" trailer for next month's Mars landing might have wondered whether the planners behind NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission really knew what they were doing—and…


From ACM Opinion

Xerox: Uh, We Didn't Invent the Internet

Xerox: Uh, We Didn't Invent the Internet

Who invented the Internet?


From ACM Opinion

Obama Was Right: The Government Invented the Internet

Obama Was Right: The Government Invented the Internet

Earlier this month, President Obama argued that wealthy business people owe some of their success to the government's investment in education and basic infrastructure. He cited roads, bridges, and schools. Then he singled out…


From ACM Opinion

Russia's Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals

Russia's Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals

It's early February in Cancun, Mexico. A group of 60 or so financial analysts, reporters, diplomats, and cybersecurity specialists shake off the previous night's tequila and file into a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. At…


From ACM Opinion

What's Up With Skype?

What's Up With Skype?

Is the government listening to our Skype conversations? If so, it's not a bad thing. Here's why.


From ACM Opinion

Can Data Mining Stop the Killing?

Can Data Mining Stop the Killing?

Would Total Information Awareness have stopped James Eagan Holmes?


From ACM TechNews

One Course, 150,000 Students

One Course, 150,000 Students

MIT professor Anant Agarwal recently completed teaching Circuits and Electronics, the first course in MITx, a massive open online learning platform from MIT, which ran from March 5 to June 8 and enrolled more than 150,000 students…


From ACM Opinion

So, Who Really Did Invent the Internet?

So, Who Really Did Invent the Internet?

Gordon Crovitz of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page reopens the ancient debate over who invented the Internet with a column Monday calling out the notion that it was the government as an "urban legend." And while I'm gratified…


From ACM Opinion

WSJ Mangles History to Argue Government Didn't Launch the Internet

"It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet," writes L. Gordon Crovitz in Monday's Wall Street Journal, launching into just one of a myriad of problems with his short opinion piece.


From ACM Opinion

Who Really Invented the Internet?

Who Really Invented the Internet?

A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."


From ACM Opinion

Will Wright Wants to Make a Game Out of Life Itself

Will Wright Wants to Make a Game Out of Life Itself

For almost 30 years, Will Wright’s creations have attracted people who would never have played videogames. He's also managed the trick of developing games that enthrall hardcore fans while making rabid players out of novices.


From ACM Opinion

Taking the Cyberattack Threat Seriously

Taking the Cyberattack Threat Seriously

Last month I convened an emergency meeting of my cabinet and top homeland security, intelligence and defense officials. Across the country trains had derailed, including one carrying industrial chemicals that exploded into a…


From ACM TechNews

Imagining Tomorrow's Computers Today

Imagining Tomorrow's Computers Today

Intel principal engineer and futurist Brian David Johnson discusses his presentation at the recent Euroscience Open Forum on a future world of computers that develop relationships with the humans they serve.


From ACM Opinion

The Trouble With Online Education

The Trouble With Online Education

"Ah, you're a professor. You must learn so much from your students."


From ACM Opinion

Stuxnet Shifts the Cyber Arms Race Up a Gear

Stuxnet Shifts the Cyber Arms Race Up a Gear

Over the last 25 years we've seen a massive change in how we think about information.


From ACM Opinion

Marissa Mayer Is in Over Her Head

Marissa Mayer Is in Over Her Head

One evening in the spring of 1999, Marissa Mayer got a recruiting email from a tiny search company. "I was in a long-distance relationship at the time, so I was pathetically eating a bad bowl of pasta in my dorm room by myself…


From ACM Opinion

Why Did Reddit Succeed Where Digg Failed?

In August 2006, less than two years after its launch, the social content aggregation site Digg was an Internet darling. That month, founder Kevin Rose grinned from the cover of BusinessWeek, sporting a backwards baseball cap…


From ACM Opinion

Technology Can Be Harnessed to Fight Drug Cartels in Mexico

A couple of months ago we visited Juarez, Mexico, a city right across our border—yet so far away.


From ACM Opinion

Western Media Seeking to Play Down Iran's Cyber Capability by New Virus Story

Western Media Seeking to Play Down Iran's Cyber Capability by New Virus Story

The western media sought to play down Iran's cyber and computer software capability by releasing hundreds of reports on the discovery of a new computer virus and attributing the semi-professional malware to Iran.


From ACM Opinion

Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?

Can We Fix Computer Science Education in America?

The tech sector is set to grow faster than all but five industries by 2020. Out of those fields, half of which are related to healthcare, tech pays the best with an average salary of $78,730, according to the Bureau of Labor…


From ACM TechNews

How to Encourage Women to Consider STEM Majors

How to Encourage Women to Consider STEM Majors

AT&T Labs researcher Alicia Abella describes the challenges surrounding the inclusive nature of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, and how the effort to get more women involved may require a multifaceted…

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

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