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Communications of the ACM

Table of Contents

Has The Innovation Cup Run Dry?

The future for continuing innovation is quite bright, according to the conventional wisdom. Recently, however, several techno-pessimists have been questioning this techno-optimism. So which way is it?
DEPARTMENT: From the president

Freedom and the Social Contract

In today's world, threats to our safety and threats to national security come from many directions. It seems fair to say the expansion of the content and tools of the Internet and computing devices in general has been accompanied …
DEPARTMENT: Letters to the Editor

For Privacy and Security, Use Public Keys Everywhere

Many ACM members concerned about the recent disclosures of massive worldwide surveillance of civilians wonder how to respond. My recommendation is to use public keys for all electronic communication and storage.

Big Data Is 'Buzzword Du Jour;' CS Academics 'Have the Best Job'

Michael Stonebraker analyzes the different varieties of Big Data, while Judy Robertson considers the rewards of teaching computer science.

Magnetic Diversion For Electronic Switches

'Chameleon processors' could function as programmable logic or nonvolatile memory.

Software-Defined Networking

Novel architecture allows programmers to quickly reconfigure network resource usage.

Ephemeral Data

Privacy issues can evaporate when embarrassing content does likewise.

Remembering Douglas Engelbart

"Inspiring," "visionary," "humble," "honest," "impeccable integrity," "passionate and stubborn about his work." Tributes poured in for Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse and an Internet pioneer, following his …
COLUMN: Law and technology

What to Do About Google?

Whether it is acting as a conduit, an editor, or an advisor, the search engine should put user interests first.
COLUMN: Historical reflections

Software and Souls; Programs and Packages

How can historians tell stories about software without focusing solely on the code itself?
COLUMN: The profession of IT

The Other Side of Language

The conversation for action gives a framework for completing professional actions effectively.
COLUMN: Viewpoint

Research and Practice: The Curious Case of 'Small' Researchers-Practitioners

Seeking a more efficient combination of the best elements of the research and practice communities in small organizations.
COLUMN: Interview

An Interview with Hadi Partovi

The founder discusses his first program, inspirations, and "seizing the day."
SECTION: Practice

The Balancing Act of Choosing Nonblocking Features

Design requirements of nonblocking systems.

20 Obstacles to Scalability

Watch out for these pitfalls that can prevent Web application scaling.

An Overview of Non-Uniform Memory Access

NUMA becomes more common because memory controllers get close to execution units on microprocessors.
SECTION: Contributed articles

Uncomfortable User Experience

How to create and resolve discomfort for a thrilling and memorable experience.

Computing with Real Numbers, from Archimedes to Turing and Beyond

How to test the usefulness of computation for understanding and predicting continuous phenomena.
SECTION: Review articles

Verifying Autonomous Systems

Exploring autonomous systems and the agents that control them.
SECTION: Research highlights

Technical Perspective: Progress in Visual Categorization

Our visual system helps us carry out our daily business. Our eyes and brain help us by measuring shapes, trajectories, and distances in world around us, and by recognizing materials, objects, and scenes. Can we reproduce these …

Visual Object Detection with Deformable Part Models

We describe a state-of-the-art system for finding objects in cluttered images. Our system is based on deformable models that represent objects using local part templates and geometric constraints on the locations of parts.
COLUMN: Last byte

Puzzled: Solutions and Sources

Last month (Aug. 2013) you needed to win several chess games in a row, alternately playing white and black, and had to decide with which color you should start.

Q&A: Big Challenge

Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat talk about scalability.