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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

October 2014


From ACM News

How Movie-Makers Read Your Mind

How Movie-Makers Read Your Mind

Why is there such interest in finding new ways to gauge audience reactions?


From ACM News

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions

Bob Foreman's architecture firm ran up a $166,000 phone bill in a single weekend last March.


From ACM News

Oldest-Known Human Genome Sequenced

Oldest-Known Human Genome Sequenced

A 45,000-year-old leg bone from Siberia has yielded the oldest genome sequence for Homo sapiens on record—revealing a mysterious population that may once have spanned northern Asia.


From ACM TechNews

Agencies Bring Energy Modeling Out of the Lab

Agencies Bring Energy Modeling Out of the Lab

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed a database and software to help building professionals manage energy upgrades. 


From ACM TechNews

Topcoder Now Has 3,700 Swift Devs

Topcoder Now Has 3,700 Swift Devs

Appirio, which owns and operates the TopCoder platform, says it has registered more than 3,700 Swift developers who are working on 2,000 projects in 110 countries. 


From ACM TechNews

Open Surveillance

Open Surveillance

A new encrypted search system could enable law enforcement officials to collect data more openly without compromising investigations.


From ACM TechNews

What Happened to All the Women in Computer Science?

What Happened to All the Women in Computer Science?

Ada Lovelace is recognized as the first computer programmer, but today computer science is overwhelmingly a male domain.


From ACM Opinion

Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts

Machine-Learning Maestro Michael Jordan on the Delusions of Big Data and Other Huge Engineering Efforts

The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes of analysis comparable to a national epidemic of collapsing bridges.


From ACM News

U.S. Government Probes Medical Devices for Possible Cyber Flaws

U.S. Government Probes Medical Devices for Possible Cyber Flaws

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment that officials fear could be exploited by hackers, a senior official at


From ACM News

Data Bank Struggles As Protein Imaging Ups Its Game

Data Bank Struggles As Protein Imaging Ups Its Game

Structural biology, the mapping of complex biological molecules such as proteins, is in the grip of a revolution.


From ACM News

U.S. National Security Prosecutors Shift Focus from Spies to Cyber

U.S. National Security Prosecutors Shift Focus from Spies to Cyber

The U.S. Justice Department is restructuring its national security prosecution team to deal with cyber attacks and the threat of sensitive technology ending up in the wrong hands, as American business and government agencies


From ACM News

Galactic Wheel of Life Shines in Infrared

Galactic Wheel of Life Shines in Infrared

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a "Chakram" weapon wielded by warriors like "Xena," from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life.


From ACM TechNews

Ask Watson or Siri: Artificial Intelligence Is as Elusive as Ever

Ask Watson or Siri: Artificial Intelligence Is as Elusive as Ever

Scientists are no closer to achieving an overall general artificial intelligence, in the sense that a computer can behave like a human.


From ACM TechNews

U.K. Child Coders Triumph in European Contest

U.K. Child Coders Triumph in European Contest

Microsoft recently brought together young programmers from across Europe for a gaming competition based on Kodu, the company's visual programming language.


From ACM TechNews

The Social Web of Things

The Social Web of Things

Federal University of Bahia researchers suggest a social Internet of Things will enable people and their devices to be more coherently connected. 


From ACM TechNews

Transforming Typewriters for the Digital Generation

Transforming Typewriters for the Digital Generation

A Plymouth University graduate has used sensors and circuit boards to convert a typewriter into an interactive social tool. 


From ACM TechNews

The Internet Isn't Broken. It's Asleep

The Internet Isn't Broken. It's Asleep

Researchers are leading an ambitious monitoring project that seeks to map out the Internet's "sleep" patterns to better discern normal downtime from major outages.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Computer Scientists Can Predict the Price of Bitcoin

MIT Computer Scientists Can Predict the Price of Bitcoin

Researchers have developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict the price of Bitcoin. 


From ACM News

If I Can Get Wi-Fi Here, I Can Get It Anywhere

If I Can Get Wi-Fi Here, I Can Get It Anywhere

New York has ambitious plans for its extensive network of pay telephones.


From ACM News

How the World Came to Be Run by Computer Code

How the World Came to Be Run by Computer Code

From the scythe to the steam engine, we've always used technology to control the world around us.


From ACM Careers

This Incredible Oculus Sim Lets Soccer Players Relive Games

This Incredible Oculus Sim Lets Soccer Players Relive Games

For many athletes, watching game film is a necessary chore.


From ACM TechNews

New High-Speed Transatlantic Network to Benefit Science Collaborations Across the U.S.

New High-Speed Transatlantic Network to Benefit Science Collaborations Across the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Energy is extending its Energy Sciences Network to Amsterdam, Geneva, and London. 


From ACM TechNews

A Better Prosthesis: Sandia Invents Sensor to Learn About Fit

A Better Prosthesis: Sandia Invents Sensor to Learn About Fit

Researchers are developing a sensor to determine how an amputated limb changes over time, and a system that automatically accommodates those changes in a prosthesis. 


From ACM TechNews

Weather History Time Machine

Weather History Time Machine

Researchers say their new spectral optimal gridding of precipitation software  democratizes the analysis of precipitation statistical models. 


From ACM News

Wearable Tech Lets Boss Track Your Work, Rest and Play

Wearable Tech Lets Boss Track Your Work, Rest and Play

Some jobs come with a uniform. For an increasing number of employees, that uniform will soon include a badge that tracks everything they do.


From ACM News

Making the world’s problem solvers 10% more efficient

Making the world’s problem solvers 10% more efficient

Ten years after a Google engineer empowered researchers with Scholar, he can’t bear to leave it.


From ACM News

The Quiet Rise of the Satellite Spy Agency

The Quiet Rise of the Satellite Spy Agency

As far as intelligence agencies go, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has remained relatively low profile—attracting neither the intrigue of, say, the CIA nor the umbrage directed toward the National Security Agency


From ACM TechNews

A Dynamic New Tool to Preserve the Friendsters of the Future

A Dynamic New Tool to Preserve the Friendsters of the Future

The constant updating of modern websites and social media platforms presents a problem to those who want to preserve the experience of using a site or service at a given moment in time. Rhizome is developing a tool it hopes will


From ACM News

All Three NASA Mars Orbiters Healthy After Comet Flyby

All Three NASA Mars Orbiters Healthy After Comet Flyby

All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars during a period of risk from dust released by a passing comet.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers to Meet With Aid Workers to Build Ebola-Fighting Robots

Researchers to Meet With Aid Workers to Build Ebola-Fighting Robots

Robotics researchers from numerous institutions are working to organize workshops that will bring together roboticists and humanitarian workers to discuss how robots could help address the needs of workers fighting the Ebola

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