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What Are the Odds We Are Living in a Computer Simulation?
From ACM Opinion

What Are the Odds We Are Living in a Computer Simulation?

Last week, Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and other cutting-edge companies, took a surprising question at the Code Conference, a technology...

The Coming Horror of Virtual Reality
From ACM Opinion

The Coming Horror of Virtual Reality

If Kitchen, a five-minute virtual-reality demo created by the Japanese studio Capcom, were a short film, few viewers would be moved to panic by its misery of horror...

What Would Happen If G.p.s. Failed?
From ACM Opinion

What Would Happen If G.p.s. Failed?

The radio signal that is the lifeblood of the Global Positioning System originates from a constellation of twenty-four satellites, orbiting more than twelve thousand...

Will Smell Ever Come to Smartphones?
From ACM Opinion

Will Smell Ever Come to Smartphones?

Two years ago, at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, I witnessed David Edwards receive what he claimed was the world's first transatlantic ...

Lessons from Apple vs. the F.b.i.
From ACM Opinion

Lessons from Apple vs. the F.b.i.

It's welcome news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has dropped its legal effort to force Apple to help it create a method of accessing data on a lockedSan...

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome
From ACM Opinion

Crosstown Traffic: The Bedbug Genome

In the great contest that is life, the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, qualifies as a winner.

Werner Herzog Talks Virtual Reality
From ACM Opinion

Werner Herzog Talks Virtual Reality

"I'm a skeptic of 3-D, but when I saw the paintings I knew I had to use it," Werner Herzog told Judith Thurman in 2010, after the New York première of his documentary...

Google's New Autoreply Sounds Great!!!!
From ACM Opinion

Google's New Autoreply Sounds Great!!!!

On April 1, 2009, Google unveiled Gmail Autopilot, a plug-in that promised to read and generate contextually relevant replies to the messages piling up in users'...

Tangled Up in Entanglement
From ACM Opinion

Tangled Up in Entanglement

No area of physics causes more confusion, not just among the general public but also among physicists, than quantum mechanics.

Two Paths Toward Our Robot Future
From ACM Opinion

Two Paths Toward Our Robot Future

In 1970, Life magazine published an article about a Stanford University research project that had resulted in the construction of what it called the first-ever...

A Beginner's Guide to Invisibility
From ACM Opinion

A Beginner's Guide to Invisibility

It is possible, according to many sources, to become invisible, but you must be patient, methodical, and willing to eat almost anything.

In Search of the Keys to the Virtual City
From ACM Opinion

In Search of the Keys to the Virtual City

I'm not the first man to believe that he might fix London.

What Is Elegance in Science?
From ACM Opinion

What Is Elegance in Science?

In 1957, a few years after Francis Crick co-discovered the DNA double helix and a few years before he co-won a Nobel Prize for doing so, he published a paper on...

Why Larry Page Is Stepping Away
From ACM Opinion

Why Larry Page Is Stepping Away

In the ten years that I’ve been watching him, Larry Page has always wanted to play by his own rules.

Passing Pluto
From ACM Opinion

Passing Pluto

Soon after the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto, at 7:49 A.M. on Tuesday—seventy-two seconds ahead of schedule, after a nine-and-a-half...

Project Exodus
From ACM Opinion

Project Exodus

On March 27th, an American astronaut named Scott Kelly blasted off from Earth and, six hours later, clambered onto the International Space Station.

New Ways to Crash the Market
From ACM Opinion

New Ways to Crash the Market

Five years ago, on the afternoon of May 6, 2010, the Dow and the S. & P. fell more than six per cent in a matter of minutes, losing a trillion dollars in value.

Sight ­nseen (the Hows and Whys of Invisibility)
From ACM Opinion

Sight ­nseen (the Hows and Whys of Invisibility)

It is possible, according to many sources, to become invisible, but you must be patient, methodical, and willing to eat almost anything.

Germanwings Flight 9525, Technology, and the Question of Trust
From ACM Opinion

Germanwings Flight 9525, Technology, and the Question of Trust

Shortly before the dreadful crash of Germanwings Flight 9525, I happened to be reading part of "The Second Machine Age," a book by two academics at M.I.T., Erik...

To Pi and Beyond
From ACM Opinion

To Pi and Beyond

Possibly not everyone knows that March 14th is Pi Day, in honor of the symbol used to denote the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.
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