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In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging
From ACM Opinion

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging

In the four years since the car service Uber launched, it has been beset by criticism from myriad groups, including city officials annoyed by its sometimes cavalier...

Imposing Security
From ACM Opinion

Imposing Security

Three computer bugs this year exposed passwords, e-mails, financial data, and other kinds of sensitive information connected to potentially billions of people.

Do We Need Asimov's Laws?
From ACM News

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...

The Limits of Social Engineering
From ACM Opinion

The Limits of Social Engineering

In 1969, Playboy published a long, freewheeling interview with Marshall McLuhan in which the media theorist and sixties icon sketched a portrait of the future that...

From ACM Opinion

Why Google Doesn't Have a Research Lab

Research vice presidents at some computing giants, such as Microsoft and IBM, rule over divisions housed in dedicated facilities carefully insulated from the rat...

Glass, Darkly
From ACM Opinion

Glass, Darkly

Google Glass shares much of its electronics and software with the smartphone, but it's a very different machine.

Bitcoin's Political Problem
From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin's Political Problem

Money is always political.

Why Google Kept Motorola's Research Lab
From ACM Opinion

Why Google Kept Motorola's Research Lab

Google's $2.9 billion sale of Motorola Mobility to Chinese PC maker Lenovo might seem like lousy business, given Google's $12.5 billion purchase in 2012 and losses...

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations
From ACM Opinion

Diagnosis For Healthcare.gov: ­nrealistic Technology Expectations

The fiasco with the $600 million federal health insurance website wasn't all bureaucratic.

Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think
From ACM Opinion

Driverless Cars Are Further Away Than You Think

A silver BMW 5 Series is weaving through traffic at roughly 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph) on a freeway that cuts northeast through Bavaria between Munich and...

The Decline of Wikipedia
From ACM Opinion

The Decline of Wikipedia

The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10.

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz
From ACM Opinion

The Lessons of Aaron Swartz

On the day after Aaron Swartz's death in January, President Reif and I spoke about how MIT might respond to the breaking news of his suicide.

Cryptographers Have an Ethics Problem
From ACM Opinion

Cryptographers Have an Ethics Problem

Last week, I visited the MIT computer science department looking for a very famous cryptographer.

Proceed with Caution Toward the Self-Driving Car
From ACM Opinion

Proceed with Caution Toward the Self-Driving Car

Driving on Interstate 495 toward Boston in a Ford Fusion one chilly afternoon in March, I did something that would've made even my laid-back long-ago driving instructor...

Apple’s Next Innovation: TV
From ACM Opinion

Apple’s Next Innovation: TV

Steve Jobs couldn't hide his frustration. Asked at a technology conference in 2010 whether Apple might finally turn its attention to television, he launched into...

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties
From ACM Opinion

Geeks Are the New Guardians of Our Civil Liberties

A decade-plus of anthropological fieldwork among hackers and like-minded geeks has led me to the firm conviction that these people are building one of the most...

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants
From ACM Opinion

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants

If China's ultimate aim in the sphere of technology is to become completely self-sufficient, it is well on the way to achieving this ambitious goal.

How Technology Has Restored the Soul of Politics
From ACM Opinion

How Technology Has Restored the Soul of Politics

In 1979, I was an aeronautical-engineering major at San Jose State University, sneaking time in the laser lab to make holograms or running over to the computer...

China's Innovation Success Depends on Political Changes
From ACM Opinion

China's Innovation Success Depends on Political Changes

Since 1978, the Chinese economy has seen phenomenal growth. While that’s not in dispute, the reason why China has managed to grow so fast and whether it can maintain...

How a Private Data Market Could Ruin Facebook
From ACM Opinion

How a Private Data Market Could Ruin Facebook

To justify its sky-high valuation, Facebook will have to increase its profit per user at rates that seem unlikely, even by the most generous predictions.
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