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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.

January 2014


From ACM TechNews

Graphene Rival 'phosphorene' Is Born to Be a Transistor

Graphene Rival 'phosphorene' Is Born to Be a Transistor

Phosphorene, which is structurally similar to graphene, is a natural semiconductor that could be used in the next generation of computers.


From ACM TechNews

Bio-Inspired Robotic Device Could Aid Ankle-Foot Rehabilitation

Bio-Inspired Robotic Device Could Aid Ankle-Foot Rehabilitation

Robotics researchers have developed an active orthotic device that can duplicate the natural motions in a person's ankle.


From ACM TechNews

Tacc Addresses Need For ­ser-Friendly, Inexpensive Science Gateways

Tacc Addresses Need For ­ser-Friendly, Inexpensive Science Gateways

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has released version 2.0 of the Agave application programming interface, and Gateway DNA. 


From ACM News

Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps

Spy Agencies Tap Data Streaming From Phone Apps

When a smartphone user opens Angry Birds, the popular game application, and starts slinging birds at chortling green pigs, spies could be lurking in the background to snatch data revealing the player’s location, age, sex and…


From ACM Careers

The Race to Buy the Human Brains Behind Deep Learning Machines

The Race to Buy the Human Brains Behind Deep Learning Machines

Any aspiring science fiction writer looking for a good protagonist could do worse than ripping off the Wikipedia page for Demis Hassabis.


From ACM News

How You Might Be Tracked For Ads in a Post-Cookie World

How You Might Be Tracked For Ads in a Post-Cookie World

The Web cookie may be dying, but that doesn’t mean it is the end of consumers being tracked online.


From ACM News

How the Incite Project Allots Supercomputer Hours

How the Incite Project Allots Supercomputer Hours

Researchers vie for some of the billions of computer-hours available on two of the world’s fastest supercomputers.


From ACM Opinion

­dacity Founder: Moocs Can Help the Economy, Even If They Can't Replace College

­dacity Founder: Moocs Can Help the Economy, Even If They Can't Replace College

Sebastian Thrun was instrumental in building Google's self-driving car and Glass projects, and helped launch the company's Google X wing to spearhead "moonshot" projects like Project Loon.


From ACM News

China's Jade Rabbit Rover May Be Victim of Moon Dust

China's Jade Rabbit Rover May Be Victim of Moon Dust

A plucky bunny on the moon may have just met an untimely end.


From ACM News

The Holodeck Begins to Take Shape

The Holodeck Begins to Take Shape

Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking are playing poker together.


From ACM News

10 years of Opportunity: Celebrating the Rover’s Role on Mars and Earth

10 years of Opportunity: Celebrating the Rover’s Role on Mars and Earth

On January 25, 2004, a strange object fell out of the sky on a distant planet—and when it hit the surface, it started to bounce.


From ACM TechNews

Tech Workers' Employment Rates Beat the National Average

Tech Workers' Employment Rates Beat the National Average

Overall U.S. unemployment rates, while falling during 2013, were still double the rate for tech workers, according to the latest Tech Employment Snapshot from Dice.com. 


From ACM TechNews

Are You a Super-Spreader of Disease?

Are You a Super-Spreader of Disease?

New research could yield insight into monitoring a specific group of disease carriers to identify nascent outbreaks early and help prevent epidemics. 


From ACM TechNews

D-Wave Aims to Beat Any Classical Computer

D-Wave Aims to Beat Any Classical Computer

D-Wave says its D-Wave Two quantum computer's 509-qubit Vesuvius 6 (V6) processor can rival state-of-the-art semiconducting processors.


From ACM TechNews

Transponder Allows Cars to 'See' Pedestrians

Transponder Allows Cars to 'See' Pedestrians

Researchers have developed a method to enable driver-assistance systems in vehicles to identify pedestrians and cyclists even if they are obscured by large obstacles. 


From ACM TechNews

Space Droids Battle to Save Earth From Comet

Space Droids Battle to Save Earth From Comet

As part of the Zero Robotics tournament, students across Europe write algorithms to control autonomous satellites that hover around the International Space Station.


From ACM TechNews

Crowdsourcing a Living Map of World Health

Crowdsourcing a Living Map of World Health

A project at University of California, San Diego uses crowdsourcing to create maps of large-scale health problems and environmental damage. 


From ACM News

At Super Bowl, Detecting Threats Is Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack

At Super Bowl, Detecting Threats Is Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack

Imagine this scenario: In the course of an hour this week, four different people involved in Super Bowl setup require emergency medical assistance, all for nausea, and all in separate incidents.


From ACM Opinion

How a Database of the World's Knowledge Shapes Google's Future

How a Database of the World's Knowledge Shapes Google's Future

For all its success, Google's famous Page Rank algorithm has never understood a word of the billions of Web pages it has directed people to over the years.


From ACM TechNews

Netflix-Like Algorithm Drives New College-Finding Tool

Netflix-Like Algorithm Drives New College-Finding Tool

A computer science doctoral student has developed a recommendation algorithm to help guide high school students in their choice of colleges. 


From ACM TechNews

Big Web Crash in China: Experts Suspect Great Firewall

Big Web Crash in China: Experts Suspect Great Firewall

A massive Internet failure in China on Tuesday prevented most of the country's 500 million Internet users from accessing websites for up to eight hours.


From ACM News

The Inside Story of Tor, the Best Internet Anonymity Tool the Government Ever Built

The Inside Story of Tor, the Best Internet Anonymity Tool the Government Ever Built

Last year, Edward Snowden turned over to the Guardian, a British newspaper, some 58,000 classified U.S. government documents.


From ACM News

One Day an Elevator Might Ask—are You Getting On?

One Day an Elevator Might Ask—are You Getting On?

Microsoft researchers have enabled elevators in a company building to detect the likelihood that a person walking by will want to board it.


From ACM Opinion

The White House Is Going to Study Big Data. Here Are 5 Things It Should Know

The White House Is Going to Study Big Data. Here Are 5 Things It Should Know

The White House announced via blog post on Thursday that it's forming working group focused on understanding the promises and pitfalls of big data (with a heavy emphasis on privacy, apparently) and how they might affect government…


From ACM TechNews

Ford, Stanford, and MIT Research Giving Self-Driving Cars 'intuition'

Ford, Stanford, and MIT Research Giving Self-Driving Cars 'intuition'

Ford Motor is working with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University to give self-driving cars intuition. 


From ACM TechNews

Neural Nets: Now Available in the Cloud

Neural Nets: Now Available in the Cloud

A new system called N2Sky sets up neural networks in the cloud so their services can be shared like other computing resources. 

 


From ACM TechNews

Bringing the World Reboot-Less ­pdates

Bringing the World Reboot-Less ­pdates

The Ksplice software automatically applies patches to an operating system without having to reboot. 


From ACM TechNews

E-Whiskers: Berkeley Researchers Develop Highly Sensitive Tactile Sensors For Robotics and Other Applications

E-Whiskers: Berkeley Researchers Develop Highly Sensitive Tactile Sensors For Robotics and Other Applications

Researchers have created tactile sensors similar to the highly sensitive whiskers of cats and rats from composite films of carbon nanotubes and silver nanoparticles. 


From ACM News

Bitcoins and Virtual Currency: How Do Businesses Cope?

Bitcoins and Virtual Currency: How Do Businesses Cope?

Bitcoin speculators have made millions of pounds in the last few months as the value of the Internet-based virtual currency has exploded.


From ACM News

Fbi Warns Retailers to Expect More Credit Card Breaches

Fbi Warns Retailers to Expect More Credit Card Breaches

The FBI has warned U.S. retailers to prepare for more cyber attacks after discovering about 20 hacking cases in the past year that involved the same kind of malicious software used against Target Corp in the holiday shopping…