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The Surreal Task of Landing on a Comet
From ACM Opinion

The Surreal Task of Landing on a Comet

On November 12th 2014 the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission will eject the small robotic lander Philae on a trajectory that should take it down to the surface...

What Is It Like to Control a Robotic Arm with a Brain Implant?
From ACM Opinion

What Is It Like to Control a Robotic Arm with a Brain Implant?

Jan Scheuermann is not your average experimental subject.

'glass Brain' Offers Tours of the Space Between Your Ears
From ACM Opinion

'glass Brain' Offers Tours of the Space Between Your Ears

Former Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart takes pride in his brain.

A Computer Scientist Tells Mathematicians How To Write Proofs
From ACM Opinion

A Computer Scientist Tells Mathematicians How To Write Proofs

Believe it or not, I do have friends who would describe themselves as not liking math, and every so often one of them will share this meme on Facebook: And then...

Visualizing 4-Dimensional Asteroids
From ACM Opinion

Visualizing 4-Dimensional Asteroids

One of the largest treasure troves of astronomical data comes from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), an ongoing scan of the firmament that began 15 years ago...

The Case For Kill Switches in Military Weaponry
From ACM Opinion

The Case For Kill Switches in Military Weaponry

This summer the insurgent group ISIS captured the Iraqi city of Mosul—and along with it, three army divisions' worth of U.S.-supplied equipment from the Iraqi army...

Could Google Glass Ruin Your Memory?
From ACM Opinion

Could Google Glass Ruin Your Memory?

We’ve all done it: We’re at an event, we take a bunch of photos with our phones, we take a selfie and maybe one with a friend, we post all the images online,...

Beyond Classic Brain Illustrations That Make ­S Drool
From ACM Opinion

Beyond Classic Brain Illustrations That Make ­S Drool

I threw down a bit of a challenge last month at the Association of Medical Illustrators Conference in Minnesota.

Quantum Chaos: After a Failed Speed Test, the D-Wave Debate Continues
From ACM Opinion

Quantum Chaos: After a Failed Speed Test, the D-Wave Debate Continues

How hard can it be to determine whether a computer works as promised?

Time Travel: Installing an Atomic Clock at 15,000 Feet
From ACM Opinion

Time Travel: Installing an Atomic Clock at 15,000 Feet

A few months ago I went to Cambridge, Mass. to check in with the Event Horizon Telescope crew and found Shep Doeleman, the project leader, fresh off the completion...

So Far, Big Data Is Small Potatoes
From ACM Opinion

So Far, Big Data Is Small Potatoes

Is Big Data going to revolutionize science and help us make a better world? Not based on what it's done so far.

From ACM Opinion

Time Machines Would Run Afoul of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

We've all seen those movies where someone goes back in time and tries to change something (the classic "Grandfather Paradox": what happens if you go back in time...

Warp Drive Research Key to Interstellar Travel
From ACM Opinion

Warp Drive Research Key to Interstellar Travel

As any avid Star Trek fan can tell you, the eccentric physicist Zefram Cochrane invented the warp-drive engine in the year 2063.

When Big Data Marketing Becomes Stalking
From ACM Opinion

When Big Data Marketing Becomes Stalking

Many of us now expect our online activities to be recorded and analyzed, but we assume that the physical spaces we inhabit are different.

Asimov's Predictions from 1964: A Brief Report Card
From ACM Opinion

Asimov's Predictions from 1964: A Brief Report Card

Predictions about technology's future are almost always doomed.

When Big Data Marketing Becomes Stalking
From ACM Opinion

When Big Data Marketing Becomes Stalking

Many of us now expect our online activities to be recorded and analyzed, but we assume the physical spaces we inhabit are different.

'net Neutrality' Ruling Opens Door For Two-Tiered Internet Market
From ACM Opinion

'net Neutrality' Ruling Opens Door For Two-Tiered Internet Market

An "Open Internet" became endangered this week at a time when the U.S. increasingly relies on Internet services to deliver everything from education to entertainment...

Why We Don't Trust Technology Companies
From ACM Opinion

Why We Don't Trust Technology Companies

Last October, T-Mobile made an astonishing announcement: from now on, when you travel internationally with a T-Mobile phone, you get free unlimited text messages...

7 Gadgets to Watch For in 2014
From ACM Opinion

7 Gadgets to Watch For in 2014

Turn an ordinary table into a touch screen, monitor your kids' whereabouts, and place the power of 3D printing in the palm of your hand—and there’s more.

How Microsoft's 1 Percenters Balance Basic Research with Short-Term Success
From ACM Opinion

How Microsoft's 1 Percenters Balance Basic Research with Short-Term Success

When Microsoft launched its research labs in 1991, the personal computer was just beginning to blossom into a worldwide phenomenon, thanks in no small part to Windows...
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