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

September 2013


From ACM News

Seeing Light in a New Way

Seeing Light in a New Way

Scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are challenging the conventional wisdom about light, and they didn't need to go to a galaxy far, far away to do it.


From ACM News

Baseball's Beacon Trials Hint at Apple's Location Revolution

Baseball's Beacon Trials Hint at Apple's Location Revolution

As we neared the threshold of the gates in front of the walkway to the home of the New York Mets, a message popped up on developer Chad Evans' space-gray iPhone 5S.


From ACM TechNews

UK to Create New Cyber Defence Force

UK to Create New Cyber Defence Force

The United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence will recruit reservists as computer experts to work alongside regular forces in its new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit. 


From ACM News

Dawn Reality-Checks Telescope Studies of Asteroids

Dawn Reality-Checks Telescope Studies of Asteroids

Tantalized by images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based data, scientists thought the giant asteroid Vesta deserved a closer look.


From ACM News

How the FIFA 14 Soccer Video Game Finally Got Its Physics Right

How the FIFA 14 Soccer Video Game Finally Got Its Physics Right

When the soccer video game FIFA 14 went on sale last week, it boasted a ball that, at long last, could sail smartly through the air.


From ACM Opinion

Privacy Entrepreneur Turns NSA Snooping Into Profit (Q&A)

Privacy Entrepreneur Turns NSA Snooping Into Profit (Q&A)

In a double dose of irony, the National Security Agency's prying has given a big helping hand to Phil Zimmermann's business, Silent Circle.


From ACM TechNews

NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

NSA Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

The U.S. National Security Agency in 2010 started creating sophisticated graphs of some Americans' social networks.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputers Help Solve a 50-Year Homework Assignment

Supercomputers Help Solve a 50-Year Homework Assignment

A group of theoretical physicists is using supercomputers to try to understand why the early universe ended up with an excess of matter. 


From ACM TechNews

Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

Visually Impaired Turn to Smartphones to See Their World

Advocates for the visually impaired say smartphones and tablets could be the most helpful assistive aid to emerge since the invention of Braille. 


From ACM TechNews

Google's 'Hummingbird' Hatches New Search Formula

Google's 'Hummingbird' Hatches New Search Formula

The formula underlying Google's search engine has been overhauled as part of its Hummingbird update, to yield better answers to increasingly complex queries. 


From ACM TechNews

Smart Cities: Citizens Come to Their Sensors

Smart Cities: Citizens Come to Their Sensors

Santander, Spain, has become a model for high-tech smart cities worldwide.


From ACM TechNews

Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans

Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans

Roboy is a four-foot-tall humanoid robot with a set of muscles inspired by the human musculoskeletal system. 


From ACM News

Watch Out, Wall Street: Report Says Tech Is Now NYC's Second-largest Sector

New York City's economy has traditionally been dominated by finance, real estate, and media.


From ACM News

When Google Brainstorms, Online World Shudders

When Google Brainstorms, Online World Shudders

Is Google about to do to online privacy what body scanners did to airline travelers?


From ACM News

Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans

Some Robots Are Starting to Move More Like Humans

Robots usually look rigid and nonhuman, with joints engineered to avoid the elasticity that can make their movements less predictable and harder to control.


From ACM Opinion

NSA Chief Defends Collecting Americans' Data

NSA Chief Defends Collecting Americans' Data

The head of the National Security Agency delivered a vigorous defense Wednesday of his agency's collection of Americans' phone records for counterterrorism purposes, asserting that the program was helpful in investigations of…


From ACM News

Ctrl-Alt-Delete Defenders Tell Bill Gates It Wasn't A Mistake

Ctrl-Alt-Delete Defenders Tell Bill Gates It Wasn't A Mistake

The news that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates now says it was a mistake to long ago force Windows PC users to type "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" at start-up is getting tons of attention because his public mea culpas are rather rare.


From ACM News

Cache and Not Carry: Next Mars Rover to Collect Samples for Return to Earth—Someday

Cache and Not Carry: Next Mars Rover to Collect Samples for Return to Earth—Someday

Have rover, need payload. That's the state of things for NASA, which is planning to launch its next rover to Mars in 2020.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Use Math--and Computer War Games--to Show How Society Evolved

Scientists Use Math--and Computer War Games--to Show How Society Evolved

Researchers have developed mathematical formulas and computer simulations to discover how complex societies evolved. 


From ACM TechNews

Harvard Plans to Boldly Go With 'SPOCs'

Harvard Plans to Boldly Go With 'SPOCs'

Harvard University is moving beyond massive open online courses to small private online courses. 


From ACM TechNews

Creating Matter That Behaves Like Luke Skywalker’s Light Saber

Creating Matter That Behaves Like Luke Skywalker’s Light Saber

Scientists have created a new photon-based matter that is essentially like the light sabers in the movie Star Wars


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing Enables Climate Time Machine

Supercomputing Enables Climate Time Machine

Climate models are improving with each generation of supercomputer, enabling more precise predictions of extreme weather events. 


From ACM TechNews

Human Robot Getting Closer

Human Robot Getting Closer

Researchers are implementing the cognitive process of the human brain in robots, which could lead to the development of the latest version of the iCub robot. 


From ACM News

Google Introduces New 'Hummingbird' Search Algorithm

Google Introduces New 'Hummingbird' Search Algorithm

Google Inc has overhauled its search algorithm, the foundation of the Internet's dominant search engine, to better cope with the longer, more complex queries it has been getting from Web users.


From ACM News

Science Benefits From Diverse Landing Area of NASA Mars Rover

Science Benefits From Diverse Landing Area of NASA Mars Rover

NASA's Curiosity rover is revealing a great deal about Mars, from long-ago processes in its interior to the current interaction between the Martian surface and atmosphere.


From ACM News

Why Space Telescope Mirror Is Most Complex Ever Built

Why Space Telescope Mirror Is Most Complex Ever Built

"You will not be touching anything."


From ACM News

Bringing 'Common Sense' to Text Analytics

Bringing 'Common Sense' to Text Analytics

Bringing "common sense" to artificial intelligence is one of the biggest challenges in computer science: It entails equipping computers with the shared knowledge that humans use to infer meaning, make connections, and communicate…


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Engineers Build First Computer Based on Carbon Nanotube Technology

Stanford Engineers Build First Computer Based on Carbon Nanotube Technology

A team from Stanford University has built a basic computer using carbon nanotubes. 


From ACM TechNews

New Password in a Heartbeat

New Password in a Heartbeat

A new, secure method may dramatically cut the risk that an implanted medical device could be altered remotely without authorization. 


From ACM TechNews

UT Arlington Researchers Successfully Test Model for Implant Device Reactions

UT Arlington Researchers Successfully Test Model for Implant Device Reactions

A NEW computer simulation could improve the treatment of dangerous reactions to medical implants such as stents, catheters, and artificial joints. 

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