The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
After months of inaction and even a warning from the Department of Homeland Security, Oracle has finally released a fix for yet another security vulnerability in its ubiquitous and notoriously buggy Java software. But there's…
Famed inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil joined Google last month to work on "some of the hardest problems in computer science," specifically machine learning and language processing.
If you buy into Ray Kurzweil's vision of the Singularity, then the future is a marvelous place where we’re all physically and mentally enhanced and living longer than ever.
I often wonder how General Billy Mitchell must have felt as he relentlessly advocated for the use of strategic airpower while surrounded by leadership who did not understand his vision.
Should data have a conscience?
There are plenty of Meg Whitman doubters out there. Some say the former EBay chief executive officer doesn't have the requisite big company experience to run a $120 billion organization like Hewlett-Packard.
Yesterday we received the shocking and terrible news that on Friday in New York, Aaron Swartz, a gifted young man well known and admired by many in the MIT community, took his own life.
A couple weeks ago, an industry friend of mine told me that the office for Vice President Joe Biden was reaching out to so-called "game industry leaders."
The strange thing about the Internet is that it went from being something exotic to something mundane almost without us noticing it.
I don't remember the first time I heard about Aaron Swartz. It probably was from reading Dave Winer's blog more than 10 years ago when I was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. The guy effused glowingly about Swartz as a young teenager…
The Internet is not so old. Its graybeards live still. Vint Cerf, author of the Internet Protocol, has been installed as Google's "chief Internet evangelist," a ceremonial title he chose himself. Tim Berners-Lee, who gave us…
The last time we heard from SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott, he talked a great deal about a then-upcoming product strategy called HANA. The idea was to move all of SAP's existing business applications into a high-performance appliance…
When Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, the giant advertising agency, visited Google this past fall, CEO Larry Page sent a car to pick him up at the Rosewood Hotel about 20 miles away. Only this was no ordinary car.
Nvidia grabbed a lot of the coveted media attention this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The world's biggest standalone graphics-chips company announced it would makeProject Shield, a portable game system…
China is no doubt the apple of Tim Cook's eye.
Click-click-click: This is what you hear when having a conversation with Stephen Hawking. No voice, no other sounds, no facial expressions.
Our world is changing faster than ever and, in recent years, a number of transformative technologies have moved from science fiction and the research and development laboratory into the realm of practical application.
Ben Horowitz may have the skeleton key to the decimation—sorry, transformation—of our economic and political lives.
When did we all become amateur typography experts?
Voices across the political spectrum are debating how to prevent mass shootings such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut.
Steve Mann built his first smart eyeglasses when he was still in high school and has continued to improve on his designs ever since—as a graduate student at MIT and now as a professor of electrical and computer engineering at…
This column will make the case that many people, including holders of graduate degrees, professional researchers, and even editors of scientific journals, can be too easily impressed by math.
Vint Cerf, co-creator of the Internet, said he is troubled by the prospect of companies like AT&T avoiding government regulation after the transition from traditional phone technology to all-IP networks.
Howie Choset, a professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, has spent years creating mechanical snakes with names such as Uncle Sam, Betsy Ross, Pepperoni, and Monster Max that can climb up poles, swim across ponds,…
The amount of time and money needed to sequence genomes continued to fall in 2012, perhaps to no one’s surprise.
When I was young, my teachers praised me for being good at math and art, but my father would always tell people, "You know, John is good at math."
If you play video games, then you've probably heard a lot about games like "Halo 4" and "Assassin's Creed III" and "Bordelands 2."
After you left Apple, you developed a "smart" thermostat. Was that always your plan?
It's hard to believe you'd have an economy at all if you gave pink slips to more than half the labor force.