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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 2018


From ACM TechNews

Research Team Uncovers Hidden Details in Picasso Blue Period Painting

Research Team Uncovers Hidden Details in Picasso Blue Period Painting

Researchers used multiple modes of light to reveal hidden details in a painting by Pablo Picasso during his Blue Period.


From ACM News

Open Source Powers Supercomputing

Open Source Powers Supercomputing

The Top 500 supercomputers in the world run Linux.


From ACM News

Astronomers' Dark Energy Hopes Fade to Gray

Astronomers' Dark Energy Hopes Fade to Gray

A star-crossed mission nearly 20 years in the making that was intended to seek an answer to the most burning, baffling question in astronomy—and perhaps elucidate the fate of the universe—is in danger of being canceled.


From ACM News

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets

The search for extraterrestrial life is fairly synonymous with the search for life as we know it.


From ACM News

Ocean-Wide Sensor Array Provides New Look at Global Ocean Current

Ocean-Wide Sensor Array Provides New Look at Global Ocean Current

The North Atlantic Ocean is a major driver of the global currents that regulate Earth's climate, mix the oceans and sequester carbon from the atmosphere—but researchers haven't been able to get a good look at its inner workings…


From ACM News

2 Years After FBI vs. Apple, Encryption Debate Remains

2 Years After FBI vs. Apple, Encryption Debate Remains

It's been two years since the FBI and Apple got into a giant fight over encryption following the San Bernardino shooting, when the government had the shooter's iPhone, but not the password needed to unlock it, so it asked Apple…


From ACM News

Quantum Computers 'One Step Closer'

Quantum Computers 'One Step Closer'

Quantum computing has taken a step forward with the development of a programmable quantum processor made with silicon.


From ACM TechNews

#EpicDuckChallenge Shows We Can Count on Drones

#EpicDuckChallenge Shows We Can Count on Drones

Researchers in Australia have shown that monitoring wildlife using drones is more accurate than traditional counting.


From ACM TechNews

ISTE and Code.org Partner to Advance Computer Science Education

ISTE and Code.org Partner to Advance Computer Science Education

The International Society for Technology in Education and Code.org have formed a partnership to create more opportunities for educators interested in teaching computer science.


From ACM TechNews

$1.2-million IU Project Looks Into Why Women Enter STEM Careers

$1.2-million IU Project Looks Into Why Women Enter STEM Careers

Indiana University is launching a $1.2-million project examining why women make up such a relatively small percentage of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics jobs.


From ACM TechNews

Old-Fashioned Silicon Might Be the Key to Building Ubiquitous Quantum Computers

Old-Fashioned Silicon Might Be the Key to Building Ubiquitous Quantum Computers

Scientists are investigating silicon as a key ingredient in the creation of scalable quantum computers.


From ACM TechNews

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

Smart Swarms Seek New Ways to Cooperate

Researchers are developing cooperative swarms of tiny robots called smarticles that can collectively perform complex behaviors.


From ACM News

These Perfectly Imperfect Diamonds Are Built for Quantum Physics

These Perfectly Imperfect Diamonds Are Built for Quantum Physics

In the mid-2000S, diamonds were the hot new thing in physics. It wasn't because of their size, color, or sparkle, though.


From ACM TechNews

Can a Cockroach Teach a Robot How to Scurry Across Rugged Terrain?

Can a Cockroach Teach a Robot How to Scurry Across Rugged Terrain?

Researchers aim to build robots with cockroach-inspired behavior.


From ACM TechNews

A Phone that Says 'No' to Little Kid Fingers

A Phone that Says 'No' to Little Kid Fingers

A new algorithm can identify who is swiping a smartphone screen, which could lead to child-proof devices.


From ACM News

Do Computers Really Think?

Do Computers Really Think?

Do smart assistants exhibit actual intelligence?


From ACM News

Modeling Uncertainty Helps MIT's Drone Zip Around Obstacles

Modeling Uncertainty Helps MIT's Drone Zip Around Obstacles

It's not too hard to make a drone that can fly very fast, and it's not too hard to make a drone that can avoid obstacles.


From ACM News

How Artificial Intelligence Is Edging Its Way Into Our Lives

How Artificial Intelligence Is Edging Its Way Into Our Lives

In Phoenix, Ariz., cars are self-navigating the streets. In many homes, people are barking commands at tiny machines, with the machines responding. On our smartphones, apps can now recognize faces in photos and translate from…


From ACM News

New Study Finds Sea Level Rise Accelerating

New Study Finds Sea Level Rise Accelerating

The rate of global sea level rise has been accelerating in recent decades, rather than increasing steadily, according to a new study based on 25 years of NASA and European satellite data.


From ACM TechNews

Which Programming Language Is Best for Big Data?

Which Programming Language Is Best for Big Data?

Python is currently the most popular language in the data science exploration and development stage.


From ACM TechNews

TPUs Go Public on Google Cloud

TPUs Go Public on Google Cloud

Google has announced a beta program to make its in-house Tensor Processing Units available to cloud customers.


From ACM TechNews

Technological Breakthrough for Monitoring and Predicting Landslides

Technological Breakthrough for Monitoring and Predicting Landslides

AccuMM is a new automated solution for the long-term monitoring of landslides.


From ACM TechNews

Universities Rush to Roll Out Computer Science Ethics Courses

Universities Rush to Roll Out Computer Science Ethics Courses

U.S. universities are starting to offer ethics courses relating to computer science.


From ACM TechNews

Swirly Skyrmions Could Be the Future of Data Storage

Swirly Skyrmions Could Be the Future of Data Storage

Researchers are moving toward commercializing skyrmion-based magnetic data storage by electrically detecting for the first time a single skyrmion at room temperature.


From ACM TechNews

Energy-Efficient Encryption for the Internet of Things

Energy-Efficient Encryption for the Internet of Things

A new chip performs public-key encryption while consuming only 1/400 as much power as software execution of the same protocols would.


From ACM News

After More Than a Year, Trump Still Doesn't Have a Science Adviser

After More Than a Year, Trump Still Doesn't Have a Science Adviser

More than a year after taking office, President Trump has yet to appoint a science adviser—longer than any other president since World War II, when Franklin D. Roosevelt created the position to receive technical, apolitical advice…


From ACM News

Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook, and the World

Inside the Two Years that Shook Facebook, and the World

One day in late February of 2016, Mark Zuckerberg sent a memo to all of Facebook's employees to address some troubling behavior in the ranks.


From ACM News

As China Marches Forward on A.I., the White House Is Silent

As China Marches Forward on  A.I., the White House Is Silent

In July, China unveiled a plan to become the world leader in artificial intelligence and create an industry worth $150 billion to its economy by 2030.


From ACM TechNews

Deep Neural Network Trained to Detect Early Signs of Diabetes

Deep Neural Network Trained to Detect Early Signs of Diabetes

Researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of a deep neural network programmed to detect diabetes.


From ACM TechNews

Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots Seek and Destroy Tumors

Cancer-Fighting Nanorobots Seek and Destroy Tumors

Researchers say they have successfully programmed tiny robots to destroy tumors by cutting off their blood supply.