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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.

March 2015


From ACM Careers

Why Organism Engineering Could Be a Foodie's Dream Come True

Why Organism Engineering Could Be a Foodie's Dream Come True

Thanks to recent advances in synthetic biology—a hybrid discipline of engineering and biology that makes possible the manipulation of DNA of microorganisms such as yeast, bacteria, fungi and algae a new generation of "organism…


From ACM News

Augmented Reality Gets to Work—and Gets Past the 'glassholes'

Augmented Reality Gets to Work—and Gets Past the 'glassholes'

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that has been on the cusp of becoming the next big thing for over 20 years.


From ACM Careers

Why Kevin Mitnick, the World's Most Notorious Hacker, Is Still Breaking Into Computers

Why Kevin Mitnick, the World's Most Notorious Hacker, Is Still Breaking Into Computers

Look no further than Kevin Mitnick's business card to see how some things never change.


From ACM TechNews

New Stanford Manufacturing Process Could Yield Better Solar Cells, Faster Chips

New Stanford Manufacturing Process Could Yield Better Solar Cells, Faster Chips

Stanford University researchers have developed a manufacturing process that could significantly reduce the cost of producing gallium arsenide devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Iarpa Preps Insider Threat-Monitoring Projects

Iarpa Preps Insider Threat-Monitoring Projects

The U.S. intelligence community wants to develop insider threat-monitoring systems and new techniques for predicting cyberattacks. 


From ACM TechNews

Self-Powered Sensors That Communicate Could Warn of Bridge, Building Defects

Self-Powered Sensors That Communicate Could Warn of Bridge, Building Defects

Researchers are developing technology that would enable a bridge, dam, or building to sense a defect and alert officials before something bad occurs. 


From ACM News

One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without

One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without

Researchers have unveiled the largest ever set of full genomes from a single population: Iceland.


From ACM TechNews

Cooperative Software Framework Helps Tame 'too Big' Data

Cooperative Software Framework Helps Tame 'too Big' Data

Researchers have used a multilayer software framework for querying graph databases to customize distributed-memory high-performance computing clusters.


From ACM News

Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

A team using the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard NASA's Curiosity rover has made the first detection of nitrogen on the surface of Mars from release during heating of Martian sediments.


From ACM News

Five Medieval Alternatives to Sat Nav

Five Medieval Alternatives to Sat Nav

During the Middle Ages, the Vikings set sail in longships to raid faraway settlements and plunder their riches, but how did they find their way?


From ACM News

Extreme Cryptography Paves Way to Personalized Medicine

Extreme Cryptography Paves Way to Personalized Medicine

The dream for tomorrow's medicine is to understand the links between DNA and disease—and to tailor therapies accordingly.


From ACM TechNews

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on the Apple Watch, Electric Cars, and the Surpassing of Humanity

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak on the Apple Watch, Electric Cars, and the Surpassing of Humanity

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is concerned about what rapid advancements in artificial intelligence will mean for the future of humanity. 


From ACM TechNews

Obama, Wowed By Young Scientists, Announces New STEM Pledges

Obama, Wowed By Young Scientists, Announces New STEM Pledges

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday announced more than $240 million in pledges to boost the study of science, technology, engineering, and math. 


From ACM TechNews

Better Debugger

Better Debugger

Researchers last week unveiled a new algorithm for identifying integer-overflow bugs. 


From ACM TechNews

Smarter Smart Grids

Smarter Smart Grids

North Carolina State University researchers are using cloud computing resources to analyze smart grid data.


From ACM TechNews

Me, Myself, and Icub: Meet the Robot With a Self

Me, Myself, and Icub: Meet the Robot With a Self

Researchers at the University of Sheffield's Sheffield Robotics program are trying to give their iCub robot an artificial "self." 


From ACM News

How Crashing Drones Are Exposing Secrets About U.s. War Operations

How Crashing Drones Are Exposing Secrets About U.s. War Operations

Crashing drones are spilling secrets about U.S. military operations.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Science Surge Sparks Campus Building Boom

Computer Science Surge Sparks Campus Building Boom

Colleges and universities across the U.S. have been building new facilities to keep up with expanding science, technology, engineering, and math programs. 


From ACM News

Rewriting the Rules of Turing's Imitation Game

Rewriting the Rules of Turing's Imitation Game

We have self-driving cars, knowledgeable digital assistants, and software capable of putting names to faces as well as any expert.


From ACM News

Machine Consciousness: Big Data Analytics and the Internet of Things

Machine Consciousness: Big Data Analytics and the Internet of Things

During my visit to General Electric's Global Research Centers in San Ramon, California, and Niskayuna, New York, last month, I got what amounts to an end-to-end tour of what GE calls the "Industrial Internet."


From ACM News

Stonebraker Receives 2014 ACM A.m. Turing Award

Stonebraker Receives 2014 ACM A.m. Turing Award

MIT’s Stonebraker brought relational database systems from concept to commercial success.


From ACM News

The Waves of the Future May Bend Around Metamaterials

The Waves of the Future May Bend Around Metamaterials

Plastics. Computers. Metamaterials?


From ACM News

For a Brighter Robotics Future, It's Time to Offload Their Brains

For a Brighter Robotics Future, It's Time to Offload Their Brains

Robots already stand in for humans in some of the dullest and most dangerous jobs there are, handling everything from painting cars to drilling rocks on Mars.


From ACM News

Voice Control Will Force an Overhaul of the Whole Internet

Voice Control Will Force an Overhaul of the Whole Internet

Jason Mars built his own Siri and then he gave it away.


From ACM News

Next in Live Entertainment: Watching People Code

Next in Live Entertainment: Watching People Code

Streaming video of developers as they code is gaining a growing audience.


From ACM Opinion

What If Web Search Results Were Based on Accuracy?

What If Web Search Results Were Based on Accuracy?

Imagine, for a moment, that every Web search gave only accurate, verified information.


From ACM TechNews

New Approach Uses 'twisted Light' to Increase the Efficiency of Quantum Cryptography Systems

New Approach Uses 'twisted Light' to Increase the Efficiency of Quantum Cryptography Systems

University of Rochester researchers have developed a way to transfer 2.05 bits per photon by using "twisted light."


From ACM TechNews

How DARPA Plans to Decrypt the Languages That Computers Still Don't Understand

How DARPA Plans to Decrypt the Languages That Computers Still Don't Understand

A U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency project that will officially launch in May is an effort to aid interpreters by decrypting speech. 


From ACM TechNews

Polymorphic Security Warnings More Effective Than Same, Static Ones

Polymorphic Security Warnings More Effective Than Same, Static Ones

Polymorphic security warnings help reduce habituation in the brain, making computer users more likely to pay attention and not dismiss them outright.


From ACM News

Nasa Reformats Memory of Longest-Running Mars Rover

Nasa Reformats Memory of Longest-Running Mars Rover

After avoiding use of the rover's flash memory for three months, the team operating NASA's 11-year-old Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reformatted the vehicle's flash memory banks and resumed storing some data overnight…