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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.

November 2015


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Teaching Robots How to Best Reject Orders From Humans

Researchers Teaching Robots How to Best Reject Orders From Humans

As robotics researchers seek to develop more sophisticated and natural means for humans to interact with robots, they are also seeking to develop systems that will ensure these interactions do not prove dangerous for the robots…


From ACM TechNews

10 Ways Advanced Computing Catalyzes Science

10 Ways Advanced Computing Catalyzes Science

Numerous academic research projects around the U.S. and beyond rely on high-performance computing resources funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation. 


From ACM TechNews

How to Pick Out a Face in the Crowd

How to Pick Out a Face in the Crowd

A computer scientist from Sydney's University of Technology and colleagues have addressed the accuracy limitations of existing facial recognition technology. Researcher Dacheng Tao calls the team's new algorithm a major breakthrough…


From ACM TechNews

Tech's Big Gender Diversity Push, One Year In

Tech's Big Gender Diversity Push, One Year In

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the representation of women in computer and mathematical operations is slightly worse than it was in 2010, and the same holds true for the field of software developers.…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Confirm 'realistic' Answer to Quantum Network Puzzle

Researchers Confirm 'realistic' Answer to Quantum Network Puzzle

New research from the University of York supports the development of scalable and secure high-rate quantum networks.


From ACM News

A Tiny Pill Monitors Vital Signs from Deep Inside the Body

A Tiny Pill Monitors Vital Signs from Deep Inside the Body

After testing all the pieces of a tiny pill-size device, Albert Swiston sent it on a unique journey: through the guts of six live Yorkshire pigs.


From ACM News

Leap-Second Decision Delayed By Eight Years

Leap-Second Decision Delayed By Eight Years

A leap second is gone in the blink of an eye. But a long-awaited decision on whether to ditch these occasional time insertions—which ensure that official time is synced with Earth's rotation—has been delayed for at least eight…


From ACM News

Attempt No Landing There? Yeah Right—We're Going to Europa

Attempt No Landing There? Yeah Right—We're Going to Europa

It is a nightmare glacier, tormented by the giant of our Solar System ever looming on its horizon.


From ACM News

Isis' Opsec Manual Reveals How It Handles Cybersecurity

Isis' Opsec Manual Reveals How It Handles Cybersecurity

In the wake of the Paris attacks, US government officials have been vocal in their condemnation of encryption, suggesting that US companies like Apple and Google have blood on their hands for refusing to give intelligence and…


From ACM News

Paris Attacks Fan Encryption Debate

Paris Attacks Fan Encryption Debate

White House and congressional staffers have asked Silicon Valley executives for new talks in Washington, D.C., to resolve a standoff over encrypted communication tools in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, people familiar…


From ACM News

Why New York Subway Lines Are Missing Countdown Clocks

Why New York Subway Lines Are Missing Countdown Clocks

There are people who stand every morning outside the Carroll Street station in Brooklyn staring dead-eyed into the middle distance.


From ACM TechNews

Angelica Lim: Flutist. Global Roboticist. Proud Master of a Robot Dalmatian Named Sparky.

Angelica Lim: Flutist. Global Roboticist. Proud Master of a Robot Dalmatian Named Sparky.

Angelica Lim, a "developer on emotion recognition" on the Pepper robot at Aldebaran Robotics in Paris, specializes in building robots that can express emotions. 


From ACM TechNews

The Machine-Vision Algorithm For Analyzing Children's Drawings

The Machine-Vision Algorithm For Analyzing Children's Drawings

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have developed a machine-vision algorithm that can objectively analyze children's drawings. 


From ACM TechNews

Iran Demonstrates New Humanoid Robot Surena Iii

Iran Demonstrates New Humanoid Robot Surena Iii

Researchers at Iran's University of Tehran have unveiled a humanoid robot that can walk, mimic a person's arm gestures, and stand on one foot while bending backwards. 


From ACM TechNews

Bumblebees Are Teaching Smart Cars How to Drive

Bumblebees Are Teaching Smart Cars How to Drive

The U.S. National Science Foundation has allocated $300,000 to a Worcester Polytechnic Institute study of bumblebee navigation to help improve smart car safety. 


From ACM TechNews

What Are Your Apps Hiding?

What Are Your Apps Hiding?

Researchers have found the user experience is largely unaffected by much of the data transferred between the top 500 free Google Android cellphone applications. 


From ACM TechNews

Millions of Sensitive Records Exposed By Mobile Apps Leaking Back-End Credentials

Millions of Sensitive Records Exposed By Mobile Apps Leaking Back-End Credentials

Researchers have found thousands of mobile applications implement cloud-based, back-end services in a way that lets anyone access sensitive records created by users. 


From ACM TechNews

AI Advances Make It Possible to Search, Shop With Images

AI Advances Make It Possible to Search, Shop With Images

The improvement of image-recognition software via deep learning could help usher in an era of image-based Web shopping/browsing.


From ACM TechNews

U.s. Government Is Working on Making Implantable Memory Chips So We Don't Forget Anything Ever Again

U.s. Government Is Working on Making Implantable Memory Chips So We Don't Forget Anything Ever Again

The day when chips will be implanted into people's brains so they never forget anything is quickly becoming a reality. 


From ACM TechNews

Incite Grants Awarded to 56 Computational Research Projects

Incite Grants Awarded to 56 Computational Research Projects

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science announced 56 projects aimed at addressing some of the world's most challenging scientific questions. 


From ACM News

The Roots of Computing, in New York City

The Roots of Computing, in New York City

The seeds of Silicon Valley were harvested from the Big Apple.


From ACM TechNews

Nasa Gives MIT a Humanoid Robot to Develop Software For Future Space Missions

Nasa Gives MIT a Humanoid Robot to Develop Software For Future Space Missions

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is home to one of two university research groups to receive a 6-foot, 290-pound humanoid robot. 


From ACM TechNews

White, Male Tech Image Hinders Progress, Poll Finds

White, Male Tech Image Hinders Progress, Poll Finds

A new survey found parents overwhelmingly think computer science skills will help their children find careers.


From ACM TechNews

Machine Vision Algorithm Learns to Recognize Hidden Facial Expressions

Machine Vision Algorithm Learns to Recognize Hidden Facial Expressions

A new machine-vision algorithm can detect and identify microexpressions better than humans can.


From ACM TechNews

Studying Artificial 'consciousness' Could Pave the Way For Artificial Intelligence

Studying Artificial 'consciousness' Could Pave the Way For Artificial Intelligence

Researchers from Japan and Australia are collaborating to assess whether robots or computers are capable of consciousness. 


From ACM TechNews

Encrypted Messaging Apps Face New Scrutiny Over Possible Role in Paris Attacks

Encrypted Messaging Apps Face New Scrutiny Over Possible Role in Paris Attacks

The Paris attacks have revived a debate between U.S. intelligence officials and Silicon Valley over opening a "back door" to decode encrypted data and conversations.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Develop System to Control Information Leaks From Smartphone Apps

Researchers Develop System to Control Information Leaks From Smartphone Apps

Northeastern University researchers say they have found "extensive" leakage of users' information into network traffic from apps on mobile devices.


From ACM News

Communicating Supercomputer Science at Sc15

Communicating Supercomputer Science at Sc15

What is the greatest secret to connecting with the public and funders about computer science, even if its applications are clearly intended to transform and improve our lives?


From ACM TechNews

Uta Work to Safeguard Cyber-Physical Systems Made With Legacy Subsystems

Uta Work to Safeguard Cyber-Physical Systems Made With Legacy Subsystems

University of Texas at Arlington professor has received a $397,907 U.S. Air Force grant to develop formal methods for identifying cyber-physical system mismatches.


From ACM TechNews

Plant Scientists Tackle Big Data Problems at Workshop

Plant Scientists Tackle Big Data Problems at Workshop

The first Genomic and Open source Breeding Informatics Initiative workshop focused on developing a solution to handling big data in plant research programs.