The opinion archive provides access to past opinion stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.
When governments undermine faith in their currencies people turn to alternatives.
Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) project, which President Obama announced in his State of the Union address in February, will be a decade-long effort to understand the nature of thought (See…
Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?
The influential head of Google, Eric Schmidt, has called for civilian drone technology to be regulated, warning about privacy and security concerns.
The Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that could decide whether it's possible to patent specific human genes that have been "snipped" out of our DNA and isolated in the laboratory.
Driving on Interstate 495 toward Boston in a Ford Fusion one chilly afternoon in March, I did something that would've made even my laid-back long-ago driving instructor spit his coffee over the dashboard: I took my hands off…
Eight years of work, thousands of researchers around the world, $1 billion spent—and finally it was done.
Is Stanford still a university?
Dr. Ivan Sutherland is the 2012 winner of the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology. The award, created by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of not one but two major Japanese companies—Kyocera and KDDI—is a Nobel-like honor given to individuals…
Type an address into your phone, and up will pop a step-by-step route from where you are to where you want to be. This is, in its way, magic—magic that has, at this point, been rubbed and polished into a simple fact of life.
Last fall, shoppers outside a Macy's store in Boston were given a chance to test drive a robot. They were invited, compliments of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to sit at a console and move the machine's arm the same way surgeons…
For the longest time in the media business, the concept of the bundle has been foundational.
Last week I attended what was, I think it is fair to say, the oddest conference I have been to yet. It was the first world congress of the Digital Olfaction Society (tagline: "The Smell of Digital"), the stated goal of which…
Anthropologist E. Gabriella Coleman, author of Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, is fascinated by hacker culture, and with its notion that software should be free and treated as free speech.
Earlier this year I started teaching a class on entrepreneurship at an after-school program in my community.
Bitcoin might be a bubble or it might be THE FUTURE, but there's one thing it's not: a currency. It's a tech stock. The question is whether it's Pets.com or Paypal.
Do you like video games? More to the point, do you like developing games and making money? Then here's some great news: The gaming boom that's been underway for the past few years is still picking up steam.
Let me begin this column with a lengthy disclosure. One morning last week, I stopped at my bank, filled out a withdrawal slip for $1,027.51, and walked away with an envelope full of cash.
Four academics from West Point and Samford University in Alabama set out to answer a seemingly simple question: how would one write a computer program to issue speeding tickets?
Visualize the TV service you've always wanted: a gorgeous interface that does away with clunky (and often ad-strewn) programming grids; a simple remote that isn't a crushing array of buttons; a cloud-based DVR that doesn't require…
Apple has removed the popular AppGratis app from its app store. This strikes me as a really sad tale of what can happen when you place all your apps in one app store's basket, so to speak.
When Apple unveiled its Retina screen on the iPhone 4, the world gasped.
Today, cyberspace is woven into the fabric of our daily lives.
When Markus Persson visited Las Vegas in 2011, for the first international convention held in honor of Minecraft, the video game he designed and built, a young mother strode up and asked him not to kiss her baby but to sign it…
Steve Jobs was a stickler for detail, requiring final approval on everything from ads to wording on his Keynote presentations. It's no surprise then that the company he built places similar attention to detail when choosing apps…
As caretaker of a service with a billion users, Mark Zuckerberg is used to sparking protest.
Last week, President Obama officially announced $100 million in funding for arguably the most ambitious neuroscience initiative ever proposed.
Last month was a bittersweet seventh birthday for Twitter.
You are the founder and C.E.O. of Zynga, a company responsible for addictive games like FarmVille and the forthcoming Draw Something 2. You know, every time I see my 4-year-old son playing Angry Birds on my phone, I imagine that…
Doom 4 is in trouble, and has been for quite some time now, according to multiple sources.