The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
In its 23rd annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society voted "hashtag" as the word of the year for 2012. Hashtag refers to the practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash…
In an interview, Google Glass project leader Babak Parviz discusses where the wearable device is heading in the near future.
In an interview, Google chief technology advocate Michael Jones discusses new technology in digital mapping and how it will change travel. Jones says the major change in mapping over the last 10 years is that it has become personal…
In the spirit of the post-holiday season, allow me to present my final list of 2012: six innovators who are pushing technology in fresh directions, some to solve stubborn problems, others to make our lives a little fuller.
In our era of instant gratification, the world of medicine seems like an outlier.
In the 1990s, Apple struggled to bring the original Mac OS—originally written in 1984 for the resource-constrained Macintosh 128K machine—up to modern operating system standards.
When Steve Jobs died, there was a lot of talk about who would be the next Steve Jobs. But the truth is, rarely can one person reshape the future. And breakthroughs are almost never the work of corporate titans.
In nature,technology and art the most common form of regularity is repetition: a single element repeated many times, as on a tile floor. But another form is possible, in which smaller and smaller copies of a pattern are successively…
I couldn't help thinking of John Le Carré's spy novels as I awaited my rendezvous with Jaron Lanier in a corner of the lobby of the stylish W Hotel just off Union Square in Manhattan.
There's a natural inclination for people at the end of each year to look back, take stock and try to draw some grand meaning or life lessons out of the events of the past 12 months. This is a particularly risky and difficult…
The Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit card-size computer, has lived an interesting life despite being less than a year old.
Personal technology never stops changing.
A long time ago, my colleagues and I became part of a great adventure, teamed with a small band of scientists and technologists in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Whether they're in our computers, cell phones, or cars, the only time we think about batteries is when they're almost dead and we need to find some place to charge them—and then we're not thinking nice things.
Big data might have stopped the massacres in Newtown, Aurora, and Oak Creek.
Google is good at doing amazing.
In search of a middle ground in the intellectual property wars.
It seems to be a law of software development that things always take longer than we expect. When a project manager talks to a designer, programmer, or tester and tries to get a sense of how "complete" the assigned task is…
Viewing evolving data security issues as engineering problems to be solved.
Imagining an optimized education model.
Considering how to combine the best elements of conferences and journals.
Lessons learned from four award-winning books on the history of information technology.