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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.

February 2019


From ACM News

The Secret History of Women in Coding

The Secret History of Women in Coding

Computer programming once had much better gender balance than it does today. What went wrong?


From ACM News

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Spotting gravitational waves is due to become an almost hourly event in the next decade. Starting around 2023, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) will undergo its most significant upgrade since 2015…


From ACM News

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News

Here's some breaking fake news … Russia has declared war on the United States after Donald Trump accidentally fired a missile in the air.


From ACM TechNews

Technology Could Make Hard Border Disappear, but at a Cost

Technology Could Make Hard Border Disappear, but at a Cost

“Hard” borders could potentially become invisible in the next few years, but practical applications could carry high costs and intrusive electronic surveillance.


From ACM TechNews

Girls Get Tech. They Just Need Others to Believe It.

Girls Get Tech. They Just Need Others to Believe It.

A survey on the use of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and gaming devices found girls on equal footing with boys in terms of technology, or exceeding them in some respects.


From ACM TechNews

Pioneering Black Scientist to Receive 'Nobel Prize of Climate Change'

Pioneering Black Scientist to Receive 'Nobel Prize of Climate Change'

Retired National Center for Atmospheric Research scientist Warren Washington will receive the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.


From ACM TechNews

Software Reads Cardiac Data, Can Predict Risk of Heart Disease

Software Reads Cardiac Data, Can Predict Risk of Heart Disease

New open source software can predict the risk of potentially deadly heart maladies.


From ACM TechNews

Pentagon Drafts AI to Fight Wildfires

Pentagon Drafts AI to Fight Wildfires

The Pentagon has launched a program to use artificial intelligence to analyze data collected by drones to improve how wildfires are fought.


From ACM News

U.S. Revives Secret Program to Sabotage Iranian Missiles and Rockets

U.S. Revives Secret Program to Sabotage Iranian Missiles and Rockets

The Trump White House has accelerated a secret American program to sabotage Iran's missiles and rockets, according to current and former administration officials, who described it as part of an expanding campaign by the United…


From ACM News

Six Things to Know About NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover

Six Things to Know About NASA's Opportunity Mars Rover

After 15 years, the mission of NASA's Opportunity rover has come to an end, but its successes on Mars have earned it a spot in the robot hall of fame. Here's what you need to know about our intrepid Martian overachiever:


From ACM News

What Is Article 13? The EU's Copyright Directive Explained

What Is Article 13? The EU's Copyright Directive Explained

The final version of a controversial new EU copyright law has been agreed after three days of talks in France.


From ACM News

Amazon Pulls Out of Planned New York City Headquarters

Amazon Pulls Out of Planned New York City Headquarters

As recently as Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo had brokered a meeting between Amazon executives and union leaders who had been resistant to the deal.


From ACM TechNews

The Internet, Divided Between U.S. and China, Has Become Battleground

The Internet, Divided Between U.S. and China, Has Become Battleground

The global Internet is splitting in two between China and most of the rest of the world.


From ACM TechNews

Making New Drugs With a Dose of AI

Making New Drugs With a Dose of AI

An artificial intelligence designed by Google's DeepMind unit recently won the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction competition.


From ACM TechNews

U.S. Defense Digital Service Looks to Retool Tech Recruitment

U.S. Defense Digital Service Looks to Retool Tech Recruitment

The U.S. Defense Department's Defense Digital Services has been tasked "to recruit non-traditional technical talent."


From ACM TechNews

Teaching Self-Driving Cars to Predict Pedestrian Movement

Teaching Self-Driving Cars to Predict Pedestrian Movement

University of Michigan researchers are teaching self-driving cars to recognize and predict pedestrian movements with greater precision than conventional systems.


From ACM News

Connecting the Disconnected

Connecting the Disconnected

The Web-based AmpleHarvest.org platform connects home and community gardeners to nearby food pantries, to help individuals in need.


From ACM News

NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End

NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End

One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA's Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA's return to…


From ACM TechNews

40 Countries Agree: Cars Must Have Automatic Braking

40 Countries Agree: Cars Must Have Automatic Braking

A 40-nation coalition has agreed to mandate the inclusion of automated braking systems in new cars and light commercial vehicles, beginning as soon as next year.


From ACM TechNews

And the Academy Award Goes to the Smiths Falls Programmer Behind This Megavillain

And the Academy Award Goes to the Smiths Falls Programmer Behind This Megavillain

Disney Research computer programmer Derek Bradley won a Technical Achievement Oscar for his work on motion-capture technology used in the film "Avengers: Infinity War."


From ACM TechNews

Drone Captures Thousands of Years of Archaeology on Remote Scottish Islands

Drone Captures Thousands of Years of Archaeology on Remote Scottish Islands

Last fall, the National Trust for Scotland commissioned a drone survey of the Small Isles archipelago, to precisely locate archaeological features.


From ACM TechNews

Russia Considers 'Unplugging' From Internet

Russia Considers 'Unplugging' From Internet

Russia is considering a brief disconnection from the worldwide Internet to test its cyber defenses.


From ACM TechNews

Retail Technology Aims to Bring Customers Back to the Store

Retail Technology Aims to Bring Customers Back to the Store

A pair of startups are developing technologies to enhance the in-store experience for customers, retailers, and manufacturers.


From ACM TechNews

IBM Develops Technology to Help Prevent Power Outages

IBM Develops Technology to Help Prevent Power Outages

A new IBM Corp. system uses data from satellites, drones, aerial flights, sensors, and weather models to monitor the state of the power grid.


From ACM News

Are Cyborg Warriors a Good Idea?

Are Cyborg Warriors a Good Idea?

You already have a lot to worry about. Climate changefake newsinequality, the stability of democracy. But I feel obliged to point out yet another threat: soldiers whose capabilities are enhanced by electronic devices implanted…


From ACM News

Scaling Up Search for Analogies Could Be Key to Innovation

Scaling Up Search for Analogies Could Be Key to Innovation

Investment in research is at an all-time high, yet the rate of scientific breakthroughs isn't setting any records. To resolve this quandary, scientists are turning to artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing for help in identifying…


From ACM TechNews

Ripple Adds 11 New University Blockchain Research Initiative Partners to Fund Research and Education

Ripple Adds 11 New University Blockchain Research Initiative Partners to Fund Research and Education

Blockchain network provider Ripple has added 11 universities to its University Blockchain Research Initiative.


From ACM TechNews

Heathrow Trials AI System for Landing Planes in Bad Weather

Heathrow Trials AI System for Landing Planes in Bad Weather

The U.K.'s National Air Traffic Services is testing an artificial intelligence system at London's Heathrow Airport to help guide airplanes in low visibility.


From ACM TechNews

New Program Reduces Spine Surgery Errors Linked to 'Wrong Level' Labeling

New Program Reduces Spine Surgery Errors Linked to 'Wrong Level' Labeling

A new computer program helps surgeons identify and label spinal segments during real-time operating room procedures, to help prevent surgical errors.


From ACM News

Software-Defined Power Cuts Costs

Software-Defined Power Cuts Costs

Hyper-scale datacenters need more efficient control of their electrical use.

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