Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Crude and Rude?

View as: Print Mobile App ACM Digital Library In the Digital Edition Share: Send by email Share on reddit Share on StumbleUpon Share on Hacker News Share on Tweeter Share on Facebook
Crude and Rude, illustration

Credit: Andrij Borys Associates / Shutterstock

Ever since the statement "Data is the new oil," widely credited to British mathematician Clive Humby,a was made in 2006, the world has experienced profound changes in the ways consumer-related digital information is used and accessed. Accordingly, it can be argued that current-generation smart devices and electronic services (including Internet service providers) are merely pieces of a pipeline in this new 'oil' business with a sole purpose of providing 'crude' for service providers to be processed and refined. In this sense, the metaphor coined by Humby (and others) is appropriate.

Taking the metaphor one step further, it must be acknowledged that the tycoons of this new 'oil' business are actually pretty smart when compared to Haroldson Hunt or Clint Murchinson, who were among the most notable businessmen during the Texas oil boom that took place in the U.S. in the early 20th century. Unlike in Texas, the 'land owners' (that is, consumers) of today pay for the gushers (smart devices), pipeline (Internet connection), and they even do the hard labor (use the services and applications).


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.