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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 2015


From ACM News

Nasa's New Horizons Spacecraft Zooms in on Pluto

Nasa's New Horizons Spacecraft Zooms in on Pluto

Pluto, get ready for your close­up.


From ACM News

Hunt For Philae Hangs in the Balance

Hunt For Philae Hangs in the Balance

Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are debating whether to change part of the Rosetta mission in what would probably be the last attempt to find lost comet-lander Philae—but the shift would mean sacrificing long-planned…


From ACM News

Back-­p Brains: The Era of Digital Immortality

Back-­p Brains: The Era of Digital Immortality

A few months before she died, my grandmother made a decision.


From ACM TechNews

Symposium to Focus on Future of Voting Systems

Symposium to Focus on Future of Voting Systems

A symposium on emerging trends in voting has been scheduled for Feb. 9-10 in Washington, D.C. 


From ACM TechNews

Profitable Phishing Schemes Slyly Tinker With Our Heads, Then Rip ­S Off

Profitable Phishing Schemes Slyly Tinker With Our Heads, Then Rip ­S Off

The use of information-rich phishing scams can alter recipients' cognitive processes, making them more likely to fall victim to the emails, according to a new study.


From ACM TechNews

3D Transistors Made With Molecular Self-Assembly

3D Transistors Made With Molecular Self-Assembly

IBM researchers have developed a new way to rapidly manufacture three-dimensional transistors.


From ACM TechNews

Verizon's Mobile 'supercookies' Seen as Threat to Privacy

Verizon's Mobile 'supercookies' Seen as Threat to Privacy

Long-standing concerns about the "supercookies" Verizon Wireless uses to tag its users for advertising purposes have resurfaced. 


From ACM TechNews

­bc's Robotic Sailboat Attempts to Cross Atlantic Alone

­bc's Robotic Sailboat Attempts to Cross Atlantic Alone

University of British Columbia students will launch a robotic sailboat this summer, hoping it will be the first sailbot to complete a transatlantic race. 


From ACM Opinion

Andreessen Horowitz Reveals the 16 Trends It's Closely Watching

Andreessen Horowitz Reveals the 16 Trends It's Closely Watching

It's hard to predict what startups Andreessen Horowitz wants to get behind.


From ACM News

America's Best-Selling Cars and Trucks Are Built on Lies: The Rise of Fake Engine Noise

America's Best-Selling Cars and Trucks Are Built on Lies: The Rise of Fake Engine Noise

Stomp on the gas in a new Ford Mustang or F-150 and you’ll hear a meaty, throaty rumble—the same style of roar that Americans have associated with auto power and performance for decades.


From ACM News

The Car Windshield Is Turning Into a Computer Screen

The Car Windshield Is Turning Into a Computer Screen

Cars are running out of screens.


From ACM Opinion

A Graphene Discoverer Speculates on the Future of Computing

A Graphene Discoverer Speculates on the Future of Computing

In 2010 two physicists at Manchester University in the U.K. shared a Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on a new wonder material: graphene, a flat sheet of carbon just one atom thick.


From ACM News

Hilltop Panorama Marks Mars Rover's 11th Anniversary

Hilltop Panorama Marks Mars Rover's 11th Anniversary

A panorama from one of the highest elevations that NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached in its 11 years on Mars includes the U.S. flag at the summit.


From ACM News

Rosetta Finds Out Much About a Comet, Even With a Wayward Lander

Rosetta Finds Out Much About a Comet, Even With a Wayward Lander

Photographs and data from the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft have provided an unprecedented close-up examination of a comet, but there is one thing that has not shown up yet: the small lander that bounded to the surface…


From ACM TechNews

Malware Could Steal Data From Iphones ­sing Siri

Malware Could Steal Data From Iphones ­sing Siri

A security vulnerability in the iPhone 5 series of smartphone could be exploited by malicious software and compromise a user's personal information via Siri.


From ACM TechNews

This Robot Has the Mind of a Worm

This Robot Has the Mind of a Worm

A research project dubbed Open Worm seeks to develop artificial intelligence technology by focusing on worm intelligence. 


From ACM TechNews

Fujitsu Psychology Tool Profiles ­sers for Risk of Cyberattacks

Fujitsu Psychology Tool Profiles ­sers for Risk of Cyberattacks

Fujitsu researchers are integrating psychology into profiling software to make computer security more personalized. 


From ACM TechNews

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Researchers have presented a way to generate a sequence of simplified functions that ensure the best approximation optimization algorithms can offer. 


From ACM TechNews

Atlas ­nplugged: DARPA Challenge Robot Gets Major Makeover

Atlas ­nplugged: DARPA Challenge Robot Gets Major Makeover

Boston Robotics has rebuilt its robot to be used in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotics Challenge finals in June.


From ACM Careers

Google Lunar Xprize: Testing Rovers on the Beach with Team Hakuto

Google Lunar Xprize: Testing Rovers on the Beach with Team Hakuto

Before you blast off to the moon in search of $30 million offered as part of the Google Lunar XPrize—or the juicy $20 million grand prize for being the first to get to the moon—you must make sure all your systems are ready for…


From ACM News

Nasa, Microsoft Collaboration Will Allow Scientists to 'work on Mars'

Nasa, Microsoft Collaboration Will Allow Scientists to 'work on Mars'

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens.


From ACM Opinion

How the Home Telephone Sparked the ­ser-Centered Design Revolution

How the Home Telephone Sparked the ­ser-Centered Design Revolution

Have you ever thought about why doorknobs are positioned at around two-fifths of the door's height, instead of right in the middle? Or why a washing machine is of its particular shape and size?


From ACM News

Looking and Learning: Image Identification and Enhanced Search

Looking and Learning: Image Identification and Enhanced Search

Advances in computer image recognition aspire to provide "a reasonable description in plain English."


From ACM News

Even Elusive Animals Leave Dna, and Clues, Behind

Even Elusive Animals Leave Dna, and Clues, Behind

You wouldn't think hellbenders would be hard to find: The gargantuan salamanders, the biggest amphibians in North America, can grow up to 30 inches long.


From ACM TechNews

Feds Creating Facial Recognition App to Track College Classroom Attendance

Feds Creating Facial Recognition App to Track College Classroom Attendance

A new facial recognition app will make checking attendance faster and easier for college professors. 


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Cracks Personalization Without Prying

Microsoft Cracks Personalization Without Prying

A new algorithm developed by Microsoft researchers can eliminate user tracking in Web searches without the overheads of existing technology. 


From ACM TechNews

Taking Steps to Power Wearable Tech

Taking Steps to Power Wearable Tech

Next-generation wearable electronics could be powered by a device in footwear.


From ACM TechNews

Lincoln Laboratory Hosts First 'make Your Own Wearables' Workshop For High-School Girls

Lincoln Laboratory Hosts First 'make Your Own Wearables' Workshop For High-School Girls

Mechanical engineer Kristen Railey, founder of Girls Who Build, recently hosted a pilot workshop for high school girls at a federally funded research and development center. 


From ACM News

Telescope to Seek Dust Where Other Earths May Lie

Telescope to Seek Dust Where Other Earths May Lie

The NASA-funded Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, has completed its first study of dust in the "habitable zone" around a star, opening a new door to finding planets like Earth.


From ACM News

Time to Change Global Clock Management? It's ­nder Debate

Time to Change Global Clock Management? It's ­nder Debate

Does anybody really know what time it is?