The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
One of the oddest bits of news to emerge from the economic collapse of Cyprus is a corresponding rise in the value of Bitcoin, the Internet’s favorite, media-friendly, anarchist crypto-currency.
It was hard to believe, but the student insisted it was true.
Somehow even when he's sitting still, Nolan Bushnell seems to be in constant motion.
My hometown, Mountain View, Calif., has become the unofficial capital of the robotic car revolution.
When Yahoo was founded in 1995, Nick D'Aloisio wasn't even born yet. He says he taught himself to program computers using books and video tutorials.
Smartphones keep getting faster.
In a former life I was a research assistant. After painstaking weeks spent gathering data, I was tasked with putting the numbers into a statistics application that would help us deduce our trends.
This weekend’s New York Times Magazine features a fascinating, 7,200-word epic profile of Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb. Like most NYT Magazine cover stories (and most long Slate pieces), the story is broken into…
So you can’t wait for a self-driving car to take away the drudgery of driving? Me neither! But consider this scenario, recently posed by neuroscientist Gary Marcus: Your car is on a narrow bridge when a school bus veers into …
These days the future of journalism may look cloudy. But one thing about the future of the business is clear, according to ABC News. It will be full of drones.
Ken Levine is running. No really! I’m assuming on a treadmill.
The year is 1974, and Arthur C. Clarke is standing inside one of those cavernous computer centers that held the massive machines of the day.
When I worked at a startup, we jokingly referred to our "HR department"—a cardboard box that held resumes, NDAs, tax forms, whatever.
Twitter is full of weird stuff none of us ever notice because it mostly just looks like spam or nonsense.
It wasn’t just cost and Moore’s law. The graphical user interface—now known as the GUI ("gooey")—is what really made computing widespread, personal and ubiquitous.
On a chilly day last spring, a few dozen developers of children’s apps for phones and tablets gathered at an old beach resort in Monterey, California, to show off their games.
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, has described China as "the most egregious" example of a nation attempting to control the Internet, as he issued a stark warning about the safety of dissidents in the communist…
As a Dartmouth student in the early 1970s, William McDonough went, somewhat casually, to hear a lecture by a visiting celebrity. Mr. McDonough had little idea beforehand who Buckminster Fullerwas, but listening to the designer…
University of Cambridge researcher Dirk Trossen has created the AIRS app, which uses all of the sensors built into mobile devices to measure physical changes in the user. There are more than 60 values AIRS can record.
On Friday, EFF received the long-awaiting ruling on its 2011 petition to set aside a National Security Letter (NSL) issued to a telecommunications company. The petition challenged the constitutionality of one of five national…
Jaron Lanier is that rarest of rare birds—an uber-geek who is highly critical of the world created by the technology he helped to create.
The settlement last week between a group of state attorneys general and Google over the company’s improper data collection from home wireless networks shows the need to overhaul a 27-year-old federal law that is not up to the…
Samsung Electronics Co. is coming off its strongest year ever, reporting record earnings, and leapfrogging Apple Inc. to become the world's biggest smartphone maker.
PayPal co-founder Max Levchin faced some flak recently when he announced he was starting a new company in the already crowded field of digital payments.
Q-W-E-R-T-Y. Six letters that define so much of our waking lives.
It would be roughly accurate to say that there have been locks as long as there have been things humans wanted to guard.
The threat is always there—in your car, at the office, on the table next to where you sleep at night: a near-biblical plague of worms, phisher kings, identity thieves, even cyberterrorists.
Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide while facing the possibility of a felony criminal conviction, was prosecuted under a law that was never intended to cover what he was accused of doing.
Google has long pushed the envelope of data center infrastructure design, particularly when it comes to renewable energy, efficient cooling, new power electronics, and innovative building layouts.
Here we are, 70 years into the computer age and we still do not seem to know how to build …
A new Computing Research Association report describes the dramatic influx of undergraduates into computer science classes.
Deterrence is simply the wrong way to think about cybersecurity.
Leonid Mirny swivels in his office chair and grabs the …
As we've explored the Solar System, some items we're familiar …
People's ability to behave randomly reaches its zenith at age …