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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 2016


From ACM News

Games that Teach Coding

Games that Teach Coding

A growing number of games seek to introduce the concepts of programming to young players.


From ACM News

Nasa Telescopes Find Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly

Nasa Telescopes Find Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly

Using data from NASA's Great Observatories, astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes.


From ACM TechNews

This Robot ­ses Machine Learning to Take Care of Absent-Minded Humans

This Robot ­ses Machine Learning to Take Care of Absent-Minded Humans

The Watch-bot robot can independently learn a user's household activity patterns to provide helpful reminders. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer App Whets Children's Appetites For Eco-Friendly Meals

Computer App Whets Children's Appetites For Eco-Friendly Meals

An educational software application is being developed to show middle-school students how their dietary choices affect climate change. 


From ACM TechNews

Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do

Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do

The Generalized Friendship Paradox stipulates that on average, a person's friends post more material and are more influential on social networks than they are. 


From ACM News

China's Scary Lesson to the World: Censoring the Internet Works.

China's Scary Lesson to the World: Censoring the Internet Works.

First there was the Berlin Wall. Now there is the Great Firewall of China, not a physical barrier preventing people from leaving, but a virtual one, preventing information harmful to the Communist Party from entering the country…


From ACM News

The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software

The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software

The legal battle between Oracle and Google is about to come to an end, and nothing less is as stake than the future of programming.


From ACM News

Physicists Discover a New Form of Light

Physicists Discover a New Form of Light

Physicists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Physics and the CRANN Institute, Trinity College, have discovered a new form of light, which will impact our understanding of the fundamental nature of light.


From ACM News

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars

Some 3.4 billion years ago, giant meteoroids slammed into a frigid ocean covering Mars's northern hemisphere. The impacts kicked up enormous waves that raced across the water and swamped the shoreline, research suggests.


From ACM TechNews

­nveiling the Hidden Layers of Deep Learning

­nveiling the Hidden Layers of Deep Learning

A new method for visualizing the mechanisms and hidden layers of neural networks could provide insights into deep learning. 


From ACM TechNews

Big Data, Better Health Care

Big Data, Better Health Care

A team of physicians and computer scientists is using merged electronic health records to improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease.


From ACM TechNews

Dartmouth Contest Shows Computers Aren't Such Good Poets

Dartmouth Contest Shows Computers Aren't Such Good Poets

In a yearlong Dartmouth College competition, a three-judge panel tried to distinguish between machine- and human-produced sonnets. 


From ACM TechNews

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence

University of Louisville researchers are studying how malevolent artificial intelligenes might be designed, and the conditions in which they might be create.


From ACM TechNews

Autonomous Mini Rally Car Teaches Itself to Powerslide

Autonomous Mini Rally Car Teaches Itself to Powerslide

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing control algorithms that enable small-scale autonomous cars to race around dirt tracks at high speeds. 


From ACM News

Dronebuster Will Let You Point and Shoot Command Hacks at Pesky Drones

Dronebuster Will Let You Point and Shoot Command Hacks at Pesky Drones

Anti-drone technology has been high on the shopping list of public safety and military organizations at least since a drunken federal employee crashed a drone onto the White House lawn.


From ACM Careers

China Quietly Targets ­.s. Tech Companies in Security Reviews

China Quietly Targets ­.s. Tech Companies in Security Reviews

Chinese authorities are quietly scrutinizing technology products sold in China by Apple and other big foreign companies, focusing on whether they pose potential security threats to the country and its consumers and opening up…


From ACM News

Light-Controlled Genes and Neurons Poised For Clinical Trials

Light-Controlled Genes and Neurons Poised For Clinical Trials

Every time something poked its foot, the mouse jumped in pain.


From ACM TechNews

Scan Your Doodles to Find the Perfect Matching Photo Online

Scan Your Doodles to Find the Perfect Matching Photo Online

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say they have developed software that can scan hand-drawn sketches and search for a photograph that looks like them. 


From ACM TechNews

Mobile Apps and Games Are Also Energy Thieves

Mobile Apps and Games Are Also Energy Thieves

Linkoping University's Ekhiotz Jon Vergara has determined the energy consumption of apps on smartphones depends the amount of data transmitted and how it is sent. 


From ACM TechNews

Shape-Shifting Modular Interactive Device ­nveiled

Shape-Shifting Modular Interactive Device ­nveiled

Cubimorph is a newly developed interactive mobile device that can change shape on demand. 


From ACM TechNews

Largest Study of Online Tracking Proves Google Really Is Watching ­S All

Largest Study of Online Tracking Proves Google Really Is Watching ­S All

Researchers at Princeton University say they have conducted the largest study yet on the technology that tracks people's movements around the Web. 


From ACM TechNews

Silicon Valley's Tech Workforce Diversity Has Long Way to Go, Say Feds

Silicon Valley's Tech Workforce Diversity Has Long Way to Go, Say Feds

Much progress remains before Silicon Valley's technology industry has a truly diverse workforce, says an analysis by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 


From ACM News

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence

The possibility that a malevolent artificial intelligence might pose a serious threat to humankind has become a hotly debated issue.


From ACM News

Want to Buy a Self-Driving Car? Big-Rig Trucks May Come First

Want to Buy a Self-Driving Car? Big-Rig Trucks May Come First

Imagine you are driving on a highway late at night when a big-rig truck closes in behind you.


From ACM Opinion

How Will Virtual Reality Change Our Lives?

How Will Virtual Reality Change Our Lives?

And it's not just gamers who are benefiting from the immersive possibilities it offers.


From ACM News

Soon We Won't Program Computers. We'll Train Them Like Dogs

Soon We Won't Program Computers. We'll Train Them Like Dogs

Before the invention of the computer, most experimental psychologists thought the brain was an unknowable black box.


From ACM TechNews

Robot's In-Hand Eye Maps Surroundings, Determines Hand's Location

Robot's In-Hand Eye Maps Surroundings, Determines Hand's Location

Researchers have developed a new technology that includes a camera attached to a robot's hand that can rapidly create a three-dimensional model of its environment. 


From ACM TechNews

Abstinence May Not Be the Best Policy For Avoiding Online Risk

Abstinence May Not Be the Best Policy For Avoiding Online Risk

A recent study found permitting teenagers to develop their own strategies for coping with risky online situations may be a better strategy than banning Internet use. 


From ACM TechNews

Gentle Strength For Robots

Gentle Strength For Robots

Researchers have developed an elastic actuator that is compliant and small enough to be integrated in robots. 


From ACM TechNews

Fighting the Zika Virus With the Power of Supercomputing

Fighting the Zika Virus With the Power of Supercomputing

Rutgers University researchers are taking a lead role in an IBM-sponsored World Community Grid project to identify potential drug candidates to cure the Zika virus.