The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
For people of a certain age in the technology industry, one of the ways of establishing a connection with someone is by asking some version of the following question: How long have you been online?
Christina Agapakis is a rising star among the new generation of biology researchers. Trained in the science of custom-building organisms known as synthetic biology, the UCLA researcher likes to think about the way her field intersects…
Statistician Nate Silver isn't famous because he's a mathematical genius. (Although, he is.)
The interesting thing about Bitcoin isn't what it is today. What's interesting is that this experiment is turning into a serious proving ground for the idea of "crypto-currency," digitally created currency protected by powerful…
Surveillance camera images of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev catalyzed not only the manhunt which caught them, but calls for more surveillance cameras around the country.
For hundreds of years, physicians have been dissecting the dead to learn about the inner workings of the human body.
After the Boston Marathon bombings, the process by which breaking news and information are generated and disseminated looked more ragged and exposed than ever: CNN stumbled, the New York Post painted a target on a high-school…
The first official announcement that law enforcement agencies had concluded their manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev didn't come at a press conference by police commissioner Ed Davis or Mayor Tom Menino…
A bill calling for science fiction to be made compulsory reading in schools has been proposed by a politician in West Virginia in order to "stimulate interest in the fields of math and science."
Google has always been an artificial intelligence company, so it really shouldn't have been a surprise that Ray Kurzweil, one of the leading scientists in the field, joined the search giant late last year.
The iPad has always labored under the shadow of its little brother the iPhone.
It is America's first fully interactive national tragedy of the social media age.
Robert Desimone, the director of MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, discusses the federal government's $100 million BRAIN Initiative and how it will affect neuroscience at MIT and beyond.
"We fear that the natural action for, in particular, autocratic governments experiencing what we describe as 'virtual urbanization' will be to balkanize the Internet," says Cohen, "filtering out content so that way the Internet…
How do you explain to people that they are a YouTube sensation, when they have never heard of YouTube or the Internet?
It might sound audacious to think that Microsoft, the arbiter of uncool, was at the forefront of design a few years ago. But it was.
"In the upcoming years, the aged proprietary vendors and the problems they solved become less common. The new problems can be solved with lighter-weight, less expensive and much simpler BI [business intelligence] tools," says…
Barely two days after cops apprehended Suspect #2 in the Boston Marathon bombings, supporters of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are rallying online.
Kids used to ask each other: If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears, does it make a sound? Now there's a microphone in every tree and a loudspeaker on every branch, not to mention the video cameras, and we've entered the…
The Exploratorium science museum, which reopened Wednesday on a new nine-acre campus by the San Francisco Bay, is striking for how closely it has hewed to its quirky, interactive and "work in progress" roots.
How cheap can you make a phone?
On Thursday afternoon, the FBI released photos and video of two persons of interest in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Two elders of information security came to Source Boston 2013 Wednesday morning to encourage the next generation to grab the torch from them and to urge great caution in diving too deeply into specialization.
A British astrobiology conference has revived a years-old debate over the best place to look for life elsewhere in the solar system: Mars, or the moons of Jupiter and Saturn?
Which is more intrusive: security screening and metal detectors every few blocks, or a drone flying high above it taking video of every little thing you do?
The U.S. government is already fighting wars on several fronts, including the perpetual War on Terror.
With wind power getting cheaper, wind farm developers are drawing up plans for farms an order of magnitude bigger than anything around today. But there's one big problem: it is difficult to model how such large wind farms will…
This week, it's bombs. In December, it was guns.
Whether you call it a data-driven prediction or think of it as a self-fulfilling prophecy, Moore's Law has been going strong.