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subjectPersonal Computing
authorThe Atlantic

Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism
From ACM Opinion

Welcome to the Age of Privacy Nihilism

A barista gets burned at work, buys first-aid cream at Target, and later that day sees a Facebook ad for the same product.

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data
From ACM Opinion

My Cow Game Extracted Your Facebook Data

For a spell during 2010 and 2011, I was a virtual rancher of clickable cattle on Facebook.

Retweets Are Trash
From ACM Opinion

Retweets Are Trash

A couple of months ago, I made a small tweak to my Twitter account that has changed my experience of the platform.

Russia's Troll Operation Was Not That Sophisticated
From ACM Opinion

Russia's Troll Operation Was Not That Sophisticated

It might be nice for Democrats and #NeverTrumpers to believe that Russia's troll factory brought Donald Trump the 2016 Presidential Election.

8 Overly Confident, Mostly Pessimistic Predictions About Tech in 2018
From ACM Opinion

8 Overly Confident, Mostly Pessimistic Predictions About Tech in 2018

It was a very strange year for technology companies. They have become a "bipartisan whipping boy," a new sexist institution, responsible for the muddying of the...

A ­nified Theory of Meme Death
From ACM Opinion

A ­nified Theory of Meme Death

Memes aren't built to last. This is an accepted fact of online life.

Should Children Form Emotional Bonds with Robots?
From ACM Opinion

Should Children Form Emotional Bonds with Robots?

When i brought the robot home from the Apple Store, I knew I was inviting a new kind of strangeness into our lives.

Does Facebook Even Know How to Control Facebook?
From ACM Opinion

Does Facebook Even Know How to Control Facebook?

Later today, executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter will go before the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about the ways that Russian operatives used...

What Facebook Did to American Democracy
From ACM Opinion

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

In the media world, as in so many other realms, there is a sharp discontinuity in the timeline: before the 2016 election, and after.

What, Exactly, Were Russians Trying to Do With Those Facebook Ads?
From ACM Opinion

What, Exactly, Were Russians Trying to Do With Those Facebook Ads?

Many questions remain about the ads purchased by Russian-linked accounts during the 2016 presidential election.

Is There Any Hope For Facebook's Fact-Checking Efforts?
From ACM Opinion

Is There Any Hope For Facebook's Fact-Checking Efforts?

Facebook's fact-checking efforts are on the rocks.

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer
From ACM Opinion

You Are Already Living Inside a Computer

Suddenly, everything is a computer. Phones, of course, and televisions. Also toasters and door locks, baby monitors and juicers, doorbells and gas grills. Even ...

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest
From ACM Opinion

For Google, Everything Is a Popularity Contest

When I saw that Google had introduced a "Classic Papers" section of Google Scholar, its search tool for academic journals, I couldn't help but stroke my chin professorially...

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet
From ACM Opinion

Minitel, the Open Network Before the Internet

In 1991, most Americans had not yet heard of the internet.

The Wisdom of Nokia's Dumbphone
From ACM Opinion

The Wisdom of Nokia's Dumbphone

They weighed heavy in pockets and jackets and bags, for they were thick and bulky, not lithe and narrow. 

The Cynical Gambit to Make 'fake News' Meaningless
From ACM Opinion

The Cynical Gambit to Make 'fake News' Meaningless

For a term that is suddenly everywhere, "fake news" is fairly slippery.

The Lost Civilization of Dial-­p Bulletin Board Systems
From ACM Opinion

The Lost Civilization of Dial-­p Bulletin Board Systems

I have a vivid, recurring dream. I climb the stairs in my parents' house to see my old bedroom. In the back corner, I hear a faint humming.

How to Turn Your Self-Driving Car Into a Time Machine
From ACM Opinion

How to Turn Your Self-Driving Car Into a Time Machine

The self-driving car's greatest promise is that it will buy its passengers that most precious and finite of resources: time.

Will the Constitution Protect Your Next Smartphone?
From ACM Opinion

Will the Constitution Protect Your Next Smartphone?

More than a decade ago, the keynote speaker at a major annual cybersecurity conference strode into the spotlight and predicted the death of the password.

Elegy For the Capital-I Internet
From ACM Opinion

Elegy For the Capital-I Internet

We've long stopped referring to the Internet as "the information superhighway," but there was a reason for the metaphor.
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