The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
"Nothing quite like it exists yet, but we have begun building it," Henry Markram wrote in the June 2012 issue of Scientific American. He was referring to a "fantastic new scientific instrument"—a biologically realistic and detailed…
Having an extramarital affair in 2012 is not an easy task if you’re the chief of the world’s most renowned spy agency.
When it comes to the human brain, many scientists believe that we are incapable of understanding how it works because we lack the tools and intelligence to measure its mind-blowing complexity. Others are starting to question…
Tech has always played a prominent role in the Bond franchise; it's a key element of the plot formula: Bond opens with a chase scene, the core mission is revealed, and then Bond meets with Q for the latest and greatest gadgets…
Monash University researcher Kevin Korb recently discussed what stage artificial intelligence research has reached.
Bill Foster, member-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives, wants more scientists in Congress who can bring to bear an analytical mind-set to lawmaking.
Companies like Apple and Samsung are the public face of the smartphone and tablet boom, but they all rely on ARM, the British company that licenses the energy-efficient processor designs required by mobile devices.
One of the leading narratives of the 2012 campaign is that data trumped all.
Digital eye glasses like Google’s Project Glass, and my earlier Digital Eye Glass, will transform society because they introduce a two-sided surveillance and sousveillance.
When Oren Jacob was a teenager, he hung up Star Wars posters on his bedroom wall. In his early 20s at a college dorm at Berkeley, he replaced them with a small jumping desk lamp image, Pixar's famous logo.
Monday afternoon, just half a day before the polls opened, Prof. Mark Crispin Miller was feeling pessimistic about the electoral process.
Security experts are pushing back against what they see as alarmist rhetoric from U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of Defense secretary Leon Panetta, who warn about the potential…
Guess what, accurately predicting the outcomes of elections really isn't a partisan affair.
When Barack Obama was sworn in four years ago for his first term, there was genuine optimism that he would make meaningful improvements to the security of the nation's critical infrastructure as well as the policies that govern…
Not long after I began writing about cybersecurity, I became a paranoid caricature of my former self.
In late spring, the backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama's campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49.
Congratulations, Barack Obama: You have prevailed in the nerdiest election in the history of the American Republic.
Salman Khan, the amateur teacher who rocketed to fame on the Internet, tells how he'll take his free video tutorials to the next level.
For decades scientists have backed the idea of sending robots to collect Martian rocks and return them to Earth, a project that should be possible well before humans crunch their boots into the distant dunes of the Red Planet…
There's a joke running around about social media: Facebook is how you want people to see you, Twitter is how you see yourself; Tumblr is—"Hey look! Funny cat picture meme!"
Last week Apple fired Scott Forstall, the architect of its iOS platform, and handed his duties over to the company's chief industrial designer, Jonathan Ive. Ive and Forstall had an infamously chilly working relationship, and…
Seriously, did he really mean that?
If you were asked to name the most important innovation in transportation over the last 200 years, you might say the combustion engine, air travel, Henry Ford’s Model-T production line, or even the bicycle. The list goes on. Now…
Unless you've been living on the far side of the moon for the past two years, you'll know that the U.S. presidential election is next week. Now, I'm by no means going to get into politics here, but I am going to talk a little…
This week, Apple fired Scott Forstall, its longtime chief of mobile software. In the wake of the shake-up—which reportedly had to do with Forstall's refusal to sign a public apology for Apple's troubled Maps app—a strange, one…
"It’s really a little computer." You remember the first time you said it, a few years ago, when you grasped just how much a smartphone can do.
Many people cite Albert Einstein's aphorism "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." Only a handful, however, have had the opportunity to discuss the concept with the physicist over breakfast.
Assessing the first phase of the trial based on claims that Google's Android platform infringes Oracle's Java-related copyrights and patents.
It's not as simple as you might think.
Security research can be improved by more effectively sharing what is learned from attacks on information systems.
The world's largest mass-produced cylindrical slide rules come from Loga-Calculator AG in Zurich/Uster, Switzerland.
The role of early high-performance computing capabilities in World War II.
Best paper awardee at SIGCSE 2020 on the impacts on first-year students of competitive enrollment.