The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to grant inventors a temporary monopoly over their creations to "promote the progress of science and useful arts."
For the past few weeks the world's attention has been focussed on the lost Malaysia Airlines plane and its 239 passengers and crew that has apparently crashed in the far reaches of the southern Indian Ocean.
Karotz is an Internet-enabled console in the shape of an abstracted rabbit.
The universe is huge.
Tuesday's announcement that Facebook is buying the virtual-reality start-up Oculus for $2 billion no doubt left many people scratching their heads.
Nate Silver doesn't look very threatening.
Danah Boyd is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research, a research assistant professor in Media, Culture and Communication at New York University, and a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center.
Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL. A tooth placed in soda will dissolve in 24 hours. Gators roam the sewers of big cities and Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen. These are just some of the most common and—let’s admit it—awesome urban…
Tragedy, when its cause and the fate of its victims are still unknown, is supposed to occasion solidarity.
Last Thursday, the underground classroom at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York was filled to capacity for a college professor's PowerPoint-aided lecture.
For years, techies have argued that getting an extra monitor or two for your desktop computer is an especially effective way to increase personal productivity.
Caltech Professor of Physics Jamie Bock and his collaborators announced on March 17, 2014 that they have successfully measured a B-mode polarization signal in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using the BICEP2 telescope at…
Facebook has built its business upon the sharing of content between people worldwide, but protecting that data is a gargantuan responsibility—one that demands an increasing amount of transparency.
Colin Angle is co-founder and CEO of iRobot in Bedford, Massachusetts.
This year's winner of the Turing Award—often referred to as the Nobel Prize of computing—was announced yesterday as Leslie Lamport, a computer scientist whose research made possible the development of the large, networked computer…
Many of us now expect our online activities to be recorded and analyzed, but we assume that the physical spaces we inhabit are different.
Research vice presidents at some computing giants, such as Microsoft and IBM, rule over divisions housed in dedicated facilities carefully insulated from the rat race of the main businesses.
What would you give for a retinal chip that let you see in the dark or for a next-generation cochlear implant that let you hear any conversation in a noisy restaurant, no matter how loud?
When Jeremy Drake was beginning his career in the late 1980s, the question of whether or not we are alone in the universe still seemed beyond the realm of scienc
Keeping track of what we reveal about ourselves each day—through email and text messages, Amazon purchases and Facebook "likes"—is hard enough.
Browsers, brokers, and BIOS: You could safely call that triumvirate the past, present, and future of security, but you'd be wrong.
We already knew that the NSA has weaponized the Internet, enabling it to "shoot" exploits at anyone it desires.
Over the past six months or so, a huge amount of attention has been paid to government snooping, and the bulk collection and storage of vast amounts of raw data in the name of national security.
There are holidays like Mother's Day, Earth Day, Thanksgiving Day. Even a Talk-Like-Shakespeare Day. But Friday is Pi Day.
At 58, Bill Gates is not only the richest man in the world, with a fortune that now exceeds $76 billion, but he may also be the most optimistic.
How can a commercial airliner go missing?
Over the past 50 years, several SETI projects have scoured the cosmos but have yet to turn up anything conclusive. What do you make of this cosmic radio-silence?
Over the next decade, approximately five billion people will become connected to the Internet.
Big data has evolved a lot of the past few years; from a happy buzzword to a hated buzzword, and from a focus on volume to a focus on variety and velocity.
I once worked with Steven Spielberg on the development of Minority Report, derived from the short story by Philip K. Dick featuring a future society that uses surveillance to arrest criminals before they commit a crime.
Knowing the notion of sufficient completeness and the theory of abstract data types helps practitioners produce better requirements.
We are celebrating the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci's death with a major exhibition of the Renaissance painter's works.
Researchers employed three-dimensional printing to manufacture complex and porous glass …
Researchers have developed a nanoscale device that is programmable with …
Scientists discovered a new underwater fault five miles off Monterey …