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

February 2015


From ACM Careers

Virtual Creatures in a Box, Controlled by You

Virtual Creatures in a Box, Controlled by You

A Canadian startup is working to make monsters, fish, and other creatures seem to come alive inside a tabletop box.


From ACM Careers

China Draft Counterterror Law Strikes Fear in Foreign Tech Firms

China Draft Counterterror Law Strikes Fear in Foreign Tech Firms

China is weighing a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys and install security "backdoors", a potential escalation of what some firms view as the increasingly onerous…


From ACM News

How to Sabotage Encryption Software (and Not Get Caught)

How to Sabotage Encryption Software (and Not Get Caught)

In the field of cryptography, a secretly planted "backdoor" that allows eavesdropping on communications is usually a subject of paranoia and dread.


From ACM TechNews

U.N. Report Focuses on Modern Technology to Improve Peacekeeping Missions

U.N. Report Focuses on Modern Technology to Improve Peacekeeping Missions

A new report says United Nations peacekeeping missions should use technology to establish situational awareness, carry out mandates, and protect themselves.


From ACM TechNews

Changing the World One Hackathon at a Time

Changing the World One Hackathon at a Time

Sixty-six teens are taking part in the My Brother's Keeper Hackathon, a group coding competition spearheaded by Qeyno Labs CEO Kalimah Priforce. 


From ACM TechNews

Rise of the Fembots: Why Artificial Intelligence Is Often Female

Rise of the Fembots: Why Artificial Intelligence Is Often Female

A disproportionate percentage of artificial intelligence systems have female personas, and researchers have struggled to determine why this phenomenon occurs. 


From ACM TechNews

UW Researches Ways to Draw Women Toward Science Majors

UW Researches Ways to Draw Women Toward Science Majors

Female leaders at the University of Wisconsin are looking for ways to address the inequalities for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. 


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans at Classic Arcade Games

Artificial Intelligence Bests Humans at Classic Arcade Games

A recent article recounts how a team of artificial intelligence researchers trained a computer to play, and in some cases beat, human players in several arcade games. 


From ACM Opinion

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality

Why Everyone Was Wrong About Net Neutrality

Today, the Federal Communications Commission, by a vote of three to two, enacted its strongest-ever rules on net neutrality, preserving an open Internet by prohibiting broadband providers from blocking or slowing content that…


From ACM Opinion

Invasion of the Friendly Movie Robots

Invasion of the Friendly Movie Robots

Robots are becoming more of a reality in everyday life, and movies have started to overhaul their depiction of them. They're gentler, friendlier, and often better-looking.


From ACM News

Study of Atmospheric 'Froth' May Help GPS Communications

Study of Atmospheric 'Froth' May Help GPS Communications

When you don't know how to get to an unfamiliar place, you probably rely on a smart phone or other device with a Global Positioning System (GPS) module for guidance.


From ACM Opinion

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections

Surveillance-Based Manipulation: How Facebook or Google Could Tilt Elections

Someone who knows things about us has some measure of control over us, and someone who knows everything about us has a lot of control over us.


From ACM Careers

How Madden Ratings Are Made

How Madden Ratings Are Made

Hunched over a keyboard, surrounded by computer monitors, Donny Moore, 37, controls the fate of the National Football League.


From ACM News

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Drills at 'Telegraph Peak'

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Drills at 'Telegraph Peak'

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover used its drill on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called "Telegraph Peak." The target sits in the upper portion of "Pahrump Hills," an outcrop the mission has been…


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Leverages Tech to Preserve Languages at Risk of Disappearing

Microsoft Leverages Tech to Preserve Languages at Risk of Disappearing

Microsoft wants to develop software that helps lost languages maintain their relevancy in the modern age.


From ACM TechNews

Techies Take on Port Authority's Data for PATH Stations in 'Hackathon'

Techies Take on Port Authority's Data for PATH Stations in 'Hackathon'

Code of Jersey City recently held its second all-day Hackathon.


From ACM TechNews

Army Research Lab Lays Out HPC Strategy

Army Research Lab Lays Out HPC Strategy

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is utilizing supercomputing and large-scale analytics to maintain its position as the country's top laboratory for land forces. 


From ACM TechNews

How Safe Are Perl, PHP, and Ruby? The Experts Weigh In

How Safe Are Perl, PHP, and Ruby? The Experts Weigh In

Many developers of programming languages are quick to defend the security of their language. 


From ACM News

US Government and Private Sector Developing 'Precrime' System to Anticipate Cyber-Attacks

US Government and Private Sector Developing 'Precrime' System to Anticipate Cyber-Attacks

The USA's Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is soliciting the involvement of the private and academic sectors in developing a new 'precrime' computer system capable of predicting cyber-incursions before they…


From ACM News

How the Military Will Fight ISIS on the Dark Web

How the Military Will Fight ISIS on the Dark Web

The Dark Web is not so much a place as it is a method of achieving a level of anonymity online.


From ACM News

Game-Playing Software Holds Lessons for Neuroscience

Game-Playing Software Holds Lessons for Neuroscience

DeepMind, the Google-owned artificial-intelligence company, has revealed how it created a single computer algorithm that can learn how to play 49 different arcade games, including the 1970s classics Pong and Space Invaders.


From ACM News

New Display Technology Lets LCDs Produce Princess Leia-Style Holograms

New Display Technology Lets LCDs Produce Princess Leia-Style Holograms

During a famous scene in Star Wars, Princess Leia has R2D2 play a holographic video message in midair in which she pleads for help from Obi-Wan Kenobi. In the near future, smartphones and other mobile devices will have the ability…


From ACM News

Surprise! America Already Has a Manhattan Project for Developing Cyber Attacks

Surprise! America Already Has a Manhattan Project for Developing Cyber Attacks

"What we really need is a Manhattan Project for cybersecurity." It's a sentiment that swells up every few years in the wake of some huge computer intrusion—most recently the Sony and Anthem hacks.


From ACM TechNews

The Four Main Roadblocks Holding Up Self-Driving Cars

The Four Main Roadblocks Holding Up Self-Driving Cars

There are four major obstacles facing developers of autonomous vehicles. 


From ACM TechNews

Intel: Moore's Law Will Continue Through 7nm Chips

Intel: Moore's Law Will Continue Through 7nm Chips

Papers Intel plans to share this week are meant to reassure the computer industry about the viability of Moore's Law, at least for the immediate future. 


From ACM TechNews

More Watchful Eye Needed on 'Dark Web' and Cybercriminal Activities, Notes New Paper

More Watchful Eye Needed on 'Dark Web' and Cybercriminal Activities, Notes New Paper

New research calls for increased monitoring of the Dark Web by security researchers and government investigators. 


From ACM TechNews

Spy Research Agency Is Building Psychic Machines to Predict Hacks

Spy Research Agency Is Building Psychic Machines to Predict Hacks

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is working on a new contest aimed at creating a system to predict cyberthreats a network may face ahead of time. 


From ACM TechNews

What Clever Robots Mean for Jobs

What Clever Robots Mean for Jobs

For a long time economists maintained that new technology would not result in a net loss of jobs, but some economists now think the situation is more nuanced than that. 


From ACM News

The Plan to Find Alien Life in Europa's Icy Seas

The Plan to Find Alien Life in Europa's Icy Seas

How do you solve a problem like Europa?


From ACM TechNews

Professor Develops Tool to Speed Data Collection

Professor Develops Tool to Speed Data Collection

The Computer Assisted Neighborhood Visual Assessment System is a Web application that helps accelerate the collection of research data. 

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