The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
The combination of man and machine has been so entrenched in our popular culture that for many, the idea that you could attach a sensor to a mouse brain which enables it to see infrared spectrum may not shocking.
The number of smartphones, tablets and other network-connected gadgets will outnumber humans by the end of the year.
Although Bill Gates stepped away from his day-to-day role at Microsoft nearly five years ago, he still keeps a close eye on the company he co-founded—and he isn't always happy with what he sees.
Courses delivered solely online may be find for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with…
Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann discusses his company's popularity, its advancement of online discovery, and how facillitating discovery will eventually help the company make money.
The world needs a new international legal instrument on cyberspace, in light of the new waves of trans-border cyberattacks that have become a disturbing aspect of international relations in the 21st century.
Web developer Lea Verou of W3C Developer Relations discusses her interest in Web standards, her work as a Web developer, and her role in organizing W3Conf and developing and promoting WebPlatform.org.
Steve Jobs couldn't hide his frustration. Asked at a technology conference in 2010 whether Apple might finally turn its attention to television, he launched into an exasperated critique of TV.
For the past decade, keynote speakers at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) have examined the major accomplishments in HPC during the preceding year. This time the talk is more ambitious. At ISC '13 in Leipzig,…
Stacey Mulcahy, who is currently a lead developer at the digital creative agency Big Spaceship, has been in the tech industry since 2001.
In the early 1980s, I was told that COBOL was going away and that I should quickly move toward other programming languages.
The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has determined that the DHS’s warrantless, and often suspicion-less, search and seizure of electronics devices at U.S. borders does not violate…
With the reintroduction of the much-maligned Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act scheduled for the day after the State of the Union, the House of Representatives may have hoped the President's own cybersecurity initiative…
I was a founder of the original xBox project at Microsoft and gave it its name.
Don't tell Apple it can't do something.
Bill Gates held court on Reddit on Monday, becoming just the latest notable figure to submit to the site's open question-and-answer sessions.
It was the late Steve Jobs' worst nightmare. A powerful Asian manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, uses Google Inc's Android software to create smartphones and tablets that closely resemble the iPhone and the iPad.
For the past few months, some of the world's leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention.
When John Brennan, President Obama's choice to be the next head of the CIA, appeared before a Senate committee yesterday, one question supplanted all others at his confirmation hearing: How are the decisions made to send killer…
We recently reviewed the documentary The Revisionaries, which chronicles the actions of the Texas state school board as it attempted to rewrite the science and history standards that had been prepared by experts in education…
When European farmers arrived in North America, they claimed it with fences.
There's a war going on, and it's raging here at home—not in the streets or the fields, but on the Internet.
One of the most heartfelt—and unexpected—remembrances of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide last month at the age of 26, came from Yale professor Edward Tufte.
According to a number of anonymous reports, Twitter is in the process of buying Bluefin Labs, an analytics company that specializes in broadcast media—an acquisition that would be its largest ever.
Words and phrases are fundamental building blocks of language and culture, much as genes and cells are to the biology of life.
Online dating has gone mainstream. Over one third of the 90 million single adults in America have an online dating profile in any given month. And, as Match.com touts in its commercials, one in five relationships now start on…
A decade-plus of anthropological fieldwork among hackers and like-minded geeks has led me to the firm conviction that these people are building one of the most vibrant civil liberties movements we’ve ever seen.
Jay Parikh sits at a desk inside Building 16 at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, and his administrative assistant, Genie Samuel, sits next to him. Every so often, Parikh will hear her giggle, and that means…
The potential benefits of "big data" have been well described, both by us and others: the ability to spot flu trends earlier and potentially save lives, for example, or to make it easier for companies to provide services in a…
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt is brutally clear: China is the most dangerous superpower on Earth.
How should software engineers try to classify their reflections?
To game a programmed system means thwarting non-programmed intention.
The ambitious systems that we develop today need a proper requirements structure. The plan defined here organizes requirements specification along …