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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.

September 2017


From ACM News

Cassini Spacecraft Makes Its Final Approach to Saturn

Cassini Spacecraft Makes Its Final Approach to Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on final approach to Saturn, following confirmation by mission navigators that it is on course to dive into the planet's atmosphere on Friday, Sept. 15.


From ACM News

Global Fingerprints of Sea-Level Rise Revealed by Satellites

Global Fingerprints of Sea-Level Rise Revealed by Satellites

As an ice sheet melts, it leaves a unique signature behind. Complex geological processes distribute the meltwater in a distinct pattern, or 'fingerprint', that causes seas to rise unevenly around the world. Now, for the first…


From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

How Apple Is Bringing Us Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology as mainly a tool of surveillance and social control—aimed by…


From ACM Opinion

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Creating noodling piano tunes and endless configurations of cat drawings with AI may not sound like an obvious project for Google, but it makes a lot of sense to Douglas Eck.


From ACM TechNews

Julia Joins Petaflop Club

Julia Joins Petaflop Club

The open source Julia programming language has been admitted into the "Petaflop Club."


From ACM TechNews

High-Speed Quantum Memory for Photons

High-Speed Quantum Memory for Photons

A new memory technology can store photons in a rubidium atomic vapor and read them out again later without significantly altering their quantum mechanical properties.


From ACM TechNews

Brain Composer: 'Thinking' Melodies Onto a Musical Score

Brain Composer: 'Thinking' Melodies Onto a Musical Score

P300 is a new brain-computer interface application that enables music to be composed by thought.


From ACM TechNews

Voting-Roll Vulnerability

Voting-Roll Vulnerability

It is relatively easy for hackers to buy enough personal information to potentially rig online voter registration information in as many as 35 states and Washington, D.C.


From ACM TechNews

China Building World's Biggest Quantum Research Facility

China Building World's Biggest Quantum Research Facility

China plans to building the world's largest quantum research facility, according to researchers and authorities involved in the initiative.


From ACM TechNews

Pacemaker Recall Exposes National Need for Research and Education in Embedded Security

Pacemaker Recall Exposes National Need for Research and Education in Embedded Security

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's first major recall of pacemakers due to a cybersecurity risk highlights a national need for research and education on embedded security.


From ACM News

Lotfi Zadeh, Father of Mathematical 'Fuzzy Logic,' Dies at 96

Lotfi Zadeh, Father of Mathematical 'Fuzzy Logic,' Dies at 96

Zadeh's theories of "fuzzy logic" rippled across academia and industry.


From ACM News

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB

Operational Limits Played Key Role in Tesla Crash on Autopilot: NTSB

The chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday "operational limitations" in the Tesla Model S played a "major role" in a May 2016 crash that killed a driver using the vehicle's semi-autonomous…


From ACM News

Cassini Makes Its 'Goodbye Kiss' Flyby of Titan

Cassini Makes Its 'Goodbye Kiss' Flyby of Titan

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is headed toward its Sept. 15 plunge into Saturn, following a final, distant flyby of the planet's giant moon Titan.


From ACM News

Will Quantum Computers Surpass Encryption?

Will Quantum Computers Surpass Encryption?

The fundamentally different paradigm of quantum computation will require fundamentally different security.


From ACM News

The Astonishing Engineering Behind America's Latest, Greatest Supercomputer

The Astonishing Engineering Behind America's Latest, Greatest Supercomputer

When the Summit supercomputer opens for business next year, it will be the United States' most powerful supercomputer, and perhaps the most powerful in the world.


From ACM News

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

As Amazon Pushes Forward With Robots, Workers Find New Roles

Nissa Scott started working at the cavernous Amazon warehouse in southern New Jersey late last year, stacking plastic bins the size of small ottomans.


From ACM News

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own

In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own

The robot was perched over a bin filled with random objects, from a box of instant oatmeal to a small toy shark.


From ACM News

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA

Geneticists Pan Paper that Claims to Predict a Person's Face from Their DNA

A storm of criticism has rained down on a paper by genome-sequencing pioneer Craig Venter that claims to predict people's physical traits from their DNA.


From ACM News

Planet 9 Is Not a Stolen Exoplanet, So What Is It?

Planet 9 Is Not a Stolen Exoplanet, So What Is It?

Scientists believe there may be a huge planet sitting at the far reaches of the solar system. Since new evidence of Planet 9's existence emerged a few years ago, experts have been weighing in on how it might have ended up in …


From ACM TechNews

New Software Can Detect When People Text and Drive

New Software Can Detect When People Text and Drive

New algorithms can accurately determine when drivers are texting or engaged in other distracting activities.


From ACM TechNews

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools

New App Could Transform Music Teaching in Schools

Syncphonia is a new application that enables a music teacher to deconstruct a piece of music into its component parts, so each player's part is displayed individually.


From ACM TechNews

Online Gaming Yields First Results for Alzheimer's Research

Online Gaming Yields First Results for Alzheimer's Research

Stall Catchers is an online computer game in which players use to analyze movies of blood flow to the brain as part of Alzheimer's disease research.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Engineers Find a Use for the Hashtag at the Nanoscale

Quantum Engineers Find a Use for the Hashtag at the Nanoscale

Researchers are building next-generation quantum-engineered devices based on quasiparticles called Majorana fermions.


From ACM TechNews

When Strangers Can Control Our Lights

When Strangers Can Control Our Lights

Researchers have discovered security problems in smart lighting systems developed by GE, IKEA, Phillips, and Osram.


From ACM News

Meet Marie desJardins, 2017 Educator ABIE Award Winner

Meet Marie desJardins, 2017 Educator ABIE Award Winner

An interview with University of Maryland educator Marie desJardins, this year's A. Richard Newton Educator ABIE Award winner.


From ACM News

For Superpowers, Artificial Intelligence Fuels New Global Arms Race

For Superpowers, Artificial Intelligence Fuels New Global Arms Race

For many Russian students, the academic year started last Friday with tips on planetary domination from President Vladimir Putin.


From ACM News

The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election

The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election

Sometimes an international offensive begins with a few shots that draw little notice.


From ACM News

After Cassini: Pondering the Saturn Mission's Legacy

After Cassini: Pondering the Saturn Mission's Legacy

As the Cassini spacecraft nears the end of a long journey rich with scientific and technical accomplishments, it is already having a powerful influence on future exploration.


From ACM TechNews

Siri and Alexa Can Be Turned Against You by Ultrasound Whispers

Siri and Alexa Can Be Turned Against You by Ultrasound Whispers

Researchers have developed a method to hijack intelligent voice assistant using sounds above the range of human hearing.


From ACM TechNews

PupilScreen Aims to Allow Parents, Coaches, Medics to Detect Concussion, Brain Injuries With a Smartphone

PupilScreen Aims to Allow Parents, Coaches, Medics to Detect Concussion, Brain Injuries With a Smartphone

The PupilScreen smartphone application can objectively detect concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.