The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
3D printing has already changed the game for manufacturing specialized products such as medical devices but the real revolution will come when designers start to rethink the shapes of objects.
Back in 2004, I was awakened early one morning by a loud clatter. I ran outside, only to discover that a car had smashed into the corner of my house.
Looking for digital inspiration, or staring at an empty computer screen?
Harvard faculty members responded with shock after the Boston Globe revealed that theuniversity’s administration had searched 16 faculty deans’ email accounts to try to determine the source of a media leak during a cheating scandal…
Appearing like a retro-futuristic apparition, digitally transmitted through pneumatic tubes from a future that was but will never be, the disembodied head of Kim Dotcom, the Osama bin Laden of file sharing, bobbed and hovered…
As successful as Samsung's Galaxy S franchise is now, it's easy to forget the Korean consumer electronics giant's first attempt at the American smartphone market was met with an apathetic shrug.
According to Wikipedia, Ray Kurzweil is an "American author, inventor, futurist, and director of engineering at Google. Aside from futurology, he is involved in such fields as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech…
How do you build a search engine that's more attuned to natural language, capable of divining what you mean, and giving back what you want?
The Internet should be open.
Where do you go when you're arguably history’s most famous video game designer in a medium that's witnessed explosive growth since its halcyon days?
Data companies are scooping up enormous amounts of information about almost every American. They sell information about whether you're pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars…
The budget cuts that took effect last week could wipe out as much as $54 billion in federal funding of science, research, and innovation over the next five years, calculates the American Association for the Advancement of Science…
For a man that made his career out of helping millions of people find their way around, Lars Rasmussen is frank about his own navigational shortcomings.
In April 2003, British and U.S. researchers declared the Human Genome Project complete.
If you haven't heard about the excitement around Google Glass—the head-mounted glasses that can shoot video, take pictures, and broadcast what you're seeing to the world—then here's an idea of the interest in them.
Tapping your phone on a console to pay for fries and a Coke is cool. Yet until the stars align, it's not how you'll be using NFC, the Near Field Communications standard that gets devices talking to one another quickly and in…
Our users trust Google with a lot of very important data, whether it’s emails, photos, documents, posts or videos.
A few weeks ago I was standing by a railway track in the small town of Gaithersburg in Maryland as a CSX freight train blasted through the level crossing; its horn blaring and bells sounding out a warning.
Last March, I wrote in Slate about eye-tracking, which could allow computers and smartphones of the future to collect information not only about what we read, but how we read it.
Consider the tongue. It's sensitive yet muscular, packed with taste buds and nerves, and without its acrobatic ability humans wouldn’t be able to eat or talk. It's also our most versatile sense organ, and some computer engineers…
In the face of increasing government-led crackdowns on social media, Google Inc. should not force Internet users to reveal their real names for some services, including its Google+ social network, said Vint Cerf, a senior Google…
Evernote became the latest member of the "we’ve been hacked" club. And the thing is, what was once a pretty exclusive club now lets just about everyone in these days. I’m a member too.
I've spent the last few weeks creating a syllabus for myself on the world—people, techniques, theory, history—of biotechnology. I've talked with some scholars, accepted some Amazon recommendations, and done some rummaging around…
After 1,000 days in pretrial detention, Private Bradley Manning offered a modified guilty plea for passing classified materials to WikiLeaks. But his case is far from over—not for Manning, and not for the rest of the country.
To understand where teens like to spend their virtual time nowadways, just watch them on their smartphones.
I had the pleasure of spending some time with Cory Doctorow on Feb. 25 at the Jefferson Hotel here in the nation's capital.
Video games, as their name suggests, combine the ancient human practice of formal play with moving pictures, a younger form.
Mobile computers are spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history.
A month into her new job as Microsoft vice president and head of Microsoft Research International, Jeannette Wing found time for a wide-ranging discussion about her new role and what she sees ahead.
Celebrated political forecaster Nate Silver has shot to fame by letting the data speak loudly about elections.