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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

January 2016


From ACM News

Marvin Minsky, Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 88

Marvin Minsky, Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence, Dies at 88

Marvin Minsky, who combined a scientist's thirst for knowledge with a philosopher's quest for truth as a pioneering explorer of artificial intelligence, work that helped inspire the creation of the personal computer and the Internet…


From ACM TechNews

Msu Computer Simulations May Help States Predict Flooding

Msu Computer Simulations May Help States Predict Flooding

Researchers are performing supercomputer simulations in an attempt to determine how much water levee systems can withstand before breaking, leading to flooding. 


From ACM TechNews

Smart Clothes Adapt So You Are Always the Right Temperature

Smart Clothes Adapt So You Are Always the Right Temperature

The U.S. Department of Energy is funding research into clothing that can change its thermal properties to adapt to the environment, as well as to the body of the wearer. 


From ACM TechNews

Defending Your Computer From Cyberattacks, Sun Tzu Style

Defending Your Computer From Cyberattacks, Sun Tzu Style

Deception has been used to thwart cyberattacks before, mostly in "honeypot" strategies, but what sets a new operating system apart is inconsistent deception. 


From ACM News

Models of Pedestrian Flow Stumble Because People Change Their Minds

Models of Pedestrian Flow Stumble Because People Change Their Minds

The flow of pedestrians is a critical part of the design of buildings, stadiums, and much more.


From ACM TechNews

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Sensing From Mobile Devices May Help Improve Bus Service

Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Sensing From Mobile Devices May Help Improve Bus Service

University of Washington researchers say they have developed a low-cost way to harness useful data from bus passengers' mobile device Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals. 


From ACM Careers

The Strange Rituals of Silicon Valley Intern Recruiting

The Strange Rituals of Silicon Valley Intern Recruiting

The Wozniak Lounge, located on the northern side of campus at the University of California, Berkeley, looks like it was decorated by engineers, to the extent that one could say it’s decorated at all.


From ACM TechNews

After 2,500 Years, a Chinese Gaming Mystery Is Solved

After 2,500 Years, a Chinese Gaming Mystery Is Solved

Computer scientist John Tromp has discovered the total number of legal positions on Go's standard 19x19 board. 


From ACM TechNews

$28m Challenge to Figure Out Why Brains Are So Good at Learning

$28m Challenge to Figure Out Why Brains Are So Good at Learning

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has invested more than $28 million in grants toward the development of advanced machine-learning algorithms. 


From ACM News

Europe's Top Digital-Privacy Watchdog Zeros In on ­.s. Tech Giants

Europe's Top Digital-Privacy Watchdog Zeros In on ­.s. Tech Giants

The latest standoff between Europe and American tech companies runs through a quiet street just north of the Louvre Museum, past chic cafes and part of the French national library, to the ornate office of Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin…


From ACM TechNews

Self-Stacking Nanogrids Could Lead to Tinier Chips

Self-Stacking Nanogrids Could Lead to Tinier Chips

Researchers have developed a new technique for using block copolymers and mesh structures to find new ways to build processors for memory and optical chips. 


From ACM TechNews

Biodegradable Bodies For More Eco-Friendly Robots

Biodegradable Bodies For More Eco-Friendly Robots

Scientists in Italy are developing "smart materials" that will enable robots to biodegrade like a human body once they have reached the end of their life span. 


From ACM TechNews

Penn Profs Work to Build Bug-Free Computer Programs

Penn Profs Work to Build Bug-Free Computer Programs

The Science of Deep Specification project is aimed at helping developers build bug-free programs.


From ACM News

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Tastes Scooped, Sieved Sand

NASA Mars Rover Curiosity Tastes Scooped, Sieved Sand

At its current location for inspecting an active sand dune, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is adding some sample-processing moves not previously used on Mars.


From ACM Careers

Why Doesn't Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?

Why Doesn't Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?

In the fall of 2013 a young software engineer named Charles Pratt arrived on Howard University's campus in Washington.


From ACM Careers

Larry Page, Google Founder, Is Still Innovator in Chief

Larry Page, Google Founder, Is Still Innovator in Chief

Three years ago, Charles Chase, an engineer who manages Lockheed Martin's nuclear fusion program, was sitting on a white leather couch at Google's Solve for X conference when a man he had never met knelt down to talk to him.


From ACM TechNews

British Voice Encryption Protocol Has Massive Weakness, Researcher Says

British Voice Encryption Protocol Has Massive Weakness, Researcher Says

A researcher charges the protocol created by a U.K. governmental group to encrypt voice calls has a weakness built into it by design that could enable mass surveillance.


From ACM TechNews

How an AI Algorithm Learned to Write Political Speeches

How an AI Algorithm Learned to Write Political Speeches

Researchers have developed an artificial intelligence machine that learned how to write political speeches that are very similar to real speeches. 


From ACM TechNews

Japan Road Tests Self-Driving Cars to Keep Aging Motorists Mobile

Japan Road Tests Self-Driving Cars to Keep Aging Motorists Mobile

Japan's automakers aim to meet the challenge of aging drivers with few transportation options by testing self-driving vehicles on roads. 


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Military Wants to Create Cyborg Soldiers

­.s. Military Wants to Create Cyborg Soldiers

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working to create a chip to implant in a soldier's brain to connect it directly to computers. 


From ACM TechNews

This Smartphone Technology 3d Maps Your Meal and Counts Its Calories

This Smartphone Technology 3d Maps Your Meal and Counts Its Calories

NutriRay3D is a new laser-mapping technology/smartphone app that lets users point a smartphone at food and get an accurate count of its total calories and nutrition. 


From ACM News

Crispr Goes Commercial

Crispr Goes Commercial

Within just three years since the discovery of its gene-editing potential, the new technique Crispr has become the hottest, and most controversial, development in genomics research. And now it's more than just a science—it's…


From ACM News

Here Come the Robots: Davos Bosses Brace For Big Technology Shocks

Here Come the Robots: Davos Bosses Brace For Big Technology Shocks

Implantable mobile phones. 3D-printed organs for transplant. Clothes and reading-glasses connected to the Internet.


From ACM News

Football Coaches Are Turning to AI For Help Calling Plays

Football Coaches Are Turning to AI For Help Calling Plays

In 1996, IBM'S Deep Blue became the first supercomputer to defeat a chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov, in a game.


From ACM News

Can Augmented Reality Make Remote Communication Feel More Intimate?

Can Augmented Reality Make Remote Communication Feel More Intimate?

Nothing beats talking to another person face-to-face, but a group of researchers are considering whether a life-size projection of a person that appears to be sitting across from you in an actual chair might be a close second…


From ACM News

Message on a Bottle: A Personalized Information Technology

Message on a Bottle: A Personalized Information Technology

A spirits company equips its bottles with customizable LED message bands.


From ACM TechNews

Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

Switchable Material Could Enable New Memory Chips

Researchers report they can control the phase and electrical properties of a thin-film material by applying a small voltage. 


From ACM TechNews

Intelligent Electronics to Become Durable, Flexible and Functional Through New Technology

Intelligent Electronics to Become Durable, Flexible and Functional Through New Technology

The VTT Technical Research Center of Finland developed the roll-to-roll overmolding manufacturing process now being used by the Printed Into Products 2 project. 


From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Helps Discover the Most Luminous Supernova in History

Machine Learning Helps Discover the Most Luminous Supernova in History

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers developed machine-learning technology that played a key role in the discovery of supernova ASASSN-15lh. 


From ACM TechNews

German ­niversity Reports Severe Software Vulnerabilities ­p in 2015

German ­niversity Reports Severe Software Vulnerabilities ­p in 2015

Fewer software security vulnerabilities were reported worldwide in 2015 than in 2014, but the number of published vulnerabilities with a high level of severity has increased.