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

February 2015


From ACM News

Building a Face, and a Case, on Dna

Building a Face, and a Case, on Dna

There were no known eyewitnesses to the murder of a young woman and her 3-year-old daughter four years ago. No security cameras caught a figure coming or going.


From ACM News

Python at 25

Python at 25

Guido van Rossum speaks exclusively with CACM about the computer language Python, which he created a quarter-century ago.


From ACM News

This Is Your Avatar Speaking

This Is Your Avatar Speaking

Last year, in a lab at the University of Barcelona, an anonymous woman was fitted with headphones, a microphone, a head-mounted virtual-reality display, a motion-capture suit, and a small remote-triggered vibrator, which was…


From ACM TechNews

Tracing Languages Back to Their Earliest Common Ancestor Through Sound Shifts

Tracing Languages Back to Their Earliest Common Ancestor Through Sound Shifts

A new statistical technique can detect when changes to words' pronunciations most likely occurred in the history of related languages.


From ACM TechNews

Experts: Infrastructure 'legitimate Target' in Battle For Cyber Supremacy

Experts: Infrastructure 'legitimate Target' in Battle For Cyber Supremacy

The leaders of the U.S. Defense Department, National Security Agency, and Cyber Command have all warned of the potential for a cyber 9/11.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Science and Espn: Sports and Technology Collide

Computer Science and Espn: Sports and Technology Collide

Christine Chung helped develop the K-Zone effect system, a computer-generated, on-screen rectangular box that serves as a strike zone for those watching TV. 


From ACM News

Document Reveals Growth of Cyberwarfare Between the ­.S. and Iran

Document Reveals Growth of Cyberwarfare Between the ­.S. and Iran

A newly disclosed National Security Agency document illustrates the striking acceleration of the use of cyberweapons by the United States and Iran against each other, both for spying and sabotage, even as Secretary of State John…


From ACM News

Rare Stegosaurus Skeleton Delivers Secrets Through 3D Scanning

Rare Stegosaurus Skeleton Delivers Secrets Through 3D Scanning

In 2013, London's Natural History Museum acquired a rare Stegosaurus skeleton.


From ACM Opinion

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time

Here we go again.


From ACM News

Polymers Brighten Hopes For Visible Light Communication

Polymers Brighten Hopes For Visible Light Communication

Today nearly all computers, tablets, and cell phones have Wi-Fi capabilities, receiving and transmitting data over a range of radio frequencies.


From ACM TechNews

What 'the Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

What 'the Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

"The Imitation Game" does a poor job of accurately portraying pioneer Alan Turing's contributions to computer science. 


From ACM News

Intel Forges Ahead to 10nm, Will Move Away from Silicon at 7nm

Intel Forges Ahead to 10nm, Will Move Away from Silicon at 7nm

This week at the 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Intel will provide an update on its new 10nm manufacturing process and new research on how it's maintaining the march of Moore's law to 7nm and beyond…


From ACM News

Internet of Dna

Internet of Dna

Noah is a six-year-old suffering from a disorder without a name.


From ACM Careers

Meet Kevin Ashton, Father of the Internet of Things

Meet Kevin Ashton, Father of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things started in the mid-1990s, when a quirky young brand manager in the U.K. puzzled over why a shade of brown lipstick kept disappearing from store shelves.


From ACM TechNews

Beyond Silicon: New Semiconductor Moves 'spintronics' Toward Reality

Beyond Silicon: New Semiconductor Moves 'spintronics' Toward Reality

A new semiconductor compound may be the first to incorporate spintronic properties into a material that is stable at room temperature.


From ACM TechNews

Poor Decision-Making Can Lead to Cybersecurity Breaches

Poor Decision-Making Can Lead to Cybersecurity Breaches

Michigan State University professor Rick Walsh is studying the reasoning process behind the decisions people make that lead to computer security breaches. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists' App Measures Our Online Footprints

Computer Scientists' App Measures Our Online Footprints

A new app can assess how well someone's online persona matches their true nature. 


From ACM TechNews

Radio Chip For the "internet of Things"

Radio Chip For the "internet of Things"

A new wireless transmitter design reduces off-state leakage 100-fold while providing adequate power for Bluetooth or 802.15.4 transmissions.


From ACM TechNews

Spies Can Track You Just By Watching Your Phone's Power ­se

Spies Can Track You Just By Watching Your Phone's Power ­se

A new paper from a team of researchers found it is possible to determine an Android phone's location and movement by monitoring and analyzing its power consumption. 


From ACM TechNews

Social Network Analysis Privacy Tackled

Social Network Analysis Privacy Tackled

Pennsylvania State University researchers are researching ways to maintain privacy on social networks.


From ACM Opinion

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar

Secrets Become History: Edward Snowden in Citizenfour Wins Documentary Oscar

Citizenfour is filmmaker Laura Poitras' account of the first meetings between herself, Glenn Greenwald, and Edward Snowden.


From ACM Opinion

What 'the Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

What 'the Imitation Game' Didn't Tell You About Turing's Greatest Triumph

Freeman Dyson, 91, the famed physicist, author and oracle of human destiny, is holding forth after tea-time one February afternoon in the common room of the Institute for Advanced Study.


From ACM News

Beijing Subway Swipe Data Betrays Social Class

Beijing Subway Swipe Data Betrays Social Class

Beijing is an enormous city, sprawling over an area 10 times larger than Greater London.


From ACM News

Spies Can Track You Just By Watching Your Phone's Power ­se

Spies Can Track You Just By Watching Your Phone's Power ­se

Smartphone users might balk at letting a random app like Candy Crush or Shazam track their every move via GPS. But researchers have found that Android phones reveal information about your location to every app on your device…


From ACM News

Researchers Generate a Reference Map of the Human Epigenome

Researchers Generate a Reference Map of the Human Epigenome

The sequencing of the human genome laid the foundation for the study of genetic variation and its links to a wide range of diseases. But the genome itself is only part of the story, as genes can be switched on and off by a range…


From ACM News

Is Your Toaster a Silent Recruit in a 'thingbot' Army?

Is Your Toaster a Silent Recruit in a 'thingbot' Army?

All kinds of gadgets, from toasters to sprinklers, fridges to domestic heating systems, are now boasting sensors, actuators and low-powered embedded chips.


From ACM TechNews

A Coast-to-Coast Picture of America's Cacophony of Sounds

A Coast-to-Coast Picture of America's Cacophony of Sounds

The U.S. National Park Service used algorithms to predict the loudness of a typical summer day from coast to coast. 


From ACM TechNews

How a Wedding Engagement Changes Twitter Feeds

How a Wedding Engagement Changes Twitter Feeds

A Georgia Institute of Technology researcher has studied engagement on social media, focusing on the phases people experience as they transition from singles to couples. 


From ACM TechNews

Patterns in Large Data Show How Information Travels

Patterns in Large Data Show How Information Travels

Umea University researchers have found an analysis of how people edit content on Wikipedia can reveal what matters to them and with whom they have most in common. 


From ACM TechNews

Can an Led-Filled "robot Garden" Make Coding More Accessible?

Can an Led-Filled "robot Garden" Make Coding More Accessible?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers say their new tablet-operated system serves as a visual embodiment of their latest work in distributed computing.