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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.

May 2015


From ACM News

New Research Suggests Hackers Can Track Subway Riders Through Their Phones

New Research Suggests Hackers Can Track Subway Riders Through Their Phones

Underground subways offer no place to hide from hackers.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Find the 'key' to Quantum Network Solution

Researchers Find the 'key' to Quantum Network Solution

University of York researchers have developed a protocol to achieve key-rates over dozens of kilometers at three orders of magnitude higher than ever before. 


From ACM Opinion

Behind the Downfall at Blackberry

Behind the Downfall at Blackberry

Ever since Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down as co-chairmen and co-chief executives of BlackBerry, neither has spoken much in public about the once-dominant smartphone maker's fall into near market obscurity.


From ACM TechNews

Standard Knowledge for Robots

Standard Knowledge for Robots

A working group of 166 experts from 23 countries has developed a global standard for capturing and conveying the knowledge that robots possess. 


From ACM TechNews

STEM Gender Stereotypes Common Across the World

STEM Gender Stereotypes Common Across the World

A study published by researchers at Northwestern University found people in the Netherlands were the most likely to associate science with men more than women. 


From ACM News

Mars Rover's Laser-Zapping Instrument Gets Sharper Vision

Mars Rover's Laser-Zapping Instrument Gets Sharper Vision

Tests on Mars have confirmed success of a repair to the autonomous focusing capability of the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover.


From ACM News

Java at 20: How It Changed Programming Forever

Java at 20: How It Changed Programming Forever

Java synthesized sound ideas, repackaging them in a practical format that turned on a generation of coders.


From ACM News

Finally, Neural Networks That Actually Work

Finally, Neural Networks That Actually Work

Jeff Dean, who helped create the fundamental computing systems that underpin Google's vast online empire, has returned to the world of neural networks.


From ACM News

Boyhood

Boyhood

On the first weekend of January, many of the leading researchers in artificial intelligence traveled to Puerto Rico to take part in an unusual private conference.


From ACM News

Machine Dreams

Machine Dreams

To rescue its struggling business, Hewlett-Packard is making a long-shot bid to change the fundamentals of how computers work.


From ACM News

New Approach Trains Robots to Match Human Dexterity and Speed

New Approach Trains Robots to Match Human Dexterity and Speed

In an engineering laboratory here, a robot has learned to screw the cap on a bottle, even figuring out the need to apply a subtle backward twist to find the thread before turning it the right way.


From ACM Careers

Mit's Humanoid Robot Goes to Robot Boot Camp

Mit's Humanoid Robot Goes to Robot Boot Camp

As Russ Tedrake flings up the garage door to the dusty MIT lab, light whooshes in, revealing a 360-pound humanoid robot hanging from a rope.


From ACM News

The House Just Passed a Bill About Space Mining

The House Just Passed a Bill About Space Mining

For as long as we've existed, humans have looked up at the stars—and wondered.


From ACM TechNews

9 Programming Languages and the Women Who Created Them

9 Programming Languages and the Women Who Created Them

Women have made many important and lasting contributions to software development, including the development of programming languages. 


From ACM TechNews

With One False Tweet, Computer-Based Hack Crash Led to Real Panic

With One False Tweet, Computer-Based Hack Crash Led to Real Panic

A false tweet sent from a hacked account caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall and the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to lose more than $136 billion in seconds. 


From ACM TechNews

New Technology Could Fundamentally Change Future Wireless Communications

New Technology Could Fundamentally Change Future Wireless Communications

A new technique that can estimate and cancel out interference from a transmission allows a radio device to simultaneously transmit and receive data on the same channel. 


From ACM TechNews

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Avatar

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Avatar

Researchers have developed a system to track the facial expressions of users wearing a virtual-reality headset and transfer them to a virtual avatar. 


From ACM TechNews

Could a Computer Predict the Next Pandemic?

Could a Computer Predict the Next Pandemic?

In a new study, researchers used machine learning to make accurate forecasts of whether animals carry dangerous pathogens.


From ACM TechNews

Real-Time Data Sharing Can Make Airports Greener

Real-Time Data Sharing Can Make Airports Greener

University of Lincoln researchers have created a new framework designed to reduce delays, improve efficiency, and curb pollution at major international airports. 


From ACM TechNews

South African Scientists Create Cheap Computer

South African Scientists Create Cheap Computer

University of Witwatersrand researchers are leading a project to create inexpensive computers or tablets to potentially be used by every student in South Africa.


From ACM News

Microsoft’s Hololens Will Put Realistic 3D People in Your Living Room

Microsoft’s Hololens Will Put Realistic 3D People in Your Living Room

Demonstrations of augmented-reality displays typically involve tricking you into seeing animated content such as monsters and robots that aren’t really there.


From ACM News

How Stargazing Became a Numbers Game

How Stargazing Became a Numbers Game

People have long thought of astronomy as the science of looking to the stars, but discoveries in the cosmos increasingly come from a different kind of observational power.


From ACM News

NASA's WISE Spacecraft Discovers Most Luminous Galaxy in ­niverse

NASA's WISE Spacecraft Discovers Most Luminous Galaxy in ­niverse

A remote galaxy shining with the light of more than 300 trillion suns has been discovered using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).


From ACM TechNews

Wolfram's Id Project Launch Touts Imageidentify Function

Wolfram's Id Project Launch Touts Imageidentify Function

Wolfram Research's artificial intelligence-based Language Identification Project is equipped with an ImageIdentify function.


From ACM TechNews

Better Predicting Flu Outbreaks With Wikipedia

Better Predicting Flu Outbreaks With Wikipedia

A team of researchers has developed a method for forecasting the course of upcoming flu seasons by analyzing the views of Wikipedia articles. 


From ACM TechNews

Project Oxford Apis Offer Facial, Voice Recognition Capabilities

Project Oxford Apis Offer Facial, Voice Recognition Capabilities

Microsoft's age-guessing site, How-Old.net, is powered by Project Oxford, which now offers tools developers can use to incorporate intelligence into their apps.


From ACM TechNews

Fast Track Program Invites Non-Traditional Roboticists to Help Bolster National Security

Fast Track Program Invites Non-Traditional Roboticists to Help Bolster National Security

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Robotics Fast Track program aims to create a system for the rapid, cost-effective development of new robotics. 


From ACM News

Quantum Life Spreads Entanglement Across Generations

Quantum Life Spreads Entanglement Across Generations

Computer scientists have long known that evolution is an algorithmic process that has little to do with the nature of the beasts it creates.


From ACM News

Your Brain's ­nique Response to Words Can Reveal Your Identity

Your Brain's ­nique Response to Words Can Reveal Your Identity

Watch your language. Words mean different things to different people—so the brainwaves they provoke could be a way to identify you.


From ACM Careers

Humans Out-Play an AI at Texas Hold 'em—for Now

Humans Out-Play an AI at Texas Hold 'em—for Now

In 1997 chess master Gary Kasparov went to battle against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in a landmark match. After six games Deep Blue prevailed, marking the first time that a computer defeated a reigning world champion under…