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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.

February 2018


From ACM News

The Olympics' Never-Ending Struggle to Keep Track of Time

The Olympics' Never-Ending Struggle to Keep Track of Time

At precisely three minutes and thirty seconds before two o'clock on the afternoon of Friday, April 10, 1896, on a bridge in the Greek town of Marathon, an army officer named Papadiamantopoulos fired a revolver into the air and…


From ACM Opinion

Blockchain Explained: It Builds Trust When You Need It Most

Blockchain Explained: It Builds Trust When You Need It Most

These days, we're having a harder and harder time trusting each other.


From ACM TechNews

UN Calls for Smashing Stereotypes

UN Calls for Smashing Stereotypes

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has cited the need to support and invest in women and girls who want to pursue careers in scientific research.


From ACM TechNews

Improving Drone Performance in Headwinds

Improving Drone Performance in Headwinds

Researchers have found that angling the rotor blades of a quad-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle can reduce pitching when attempting to fly into headwinds.


From ACM TechNews

The Robots Will See You Now

The Robots Will See You Now

Researchers used advanced real-time tracking software and robotics to design and test the first closed-loop control system featuring a bioinspired robotic replica interacting in three dimensions with live zebrafish.


From ACM TechNews

Come Meet ZJU's Robot Dog 'Jueying'

Come Meet ZJU's Robot Dog 'Jueying'

Jueying is a quadruped robot dog that can run up a steep slope, walk on thick snow, and regain its balance after receiving a heavy blow.


From ACM News

Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot

Geoffrey Hinton spent 30 years hammering away at an idea most other scientists dismissed as nonsense. Then, one day in 2012, he was proven right.


From ACM News

How Quantum Dots Supercharge Farming, Medicine and Solar, Too

How Quantum Dots Supercharge Farming, Medicine and Solar, Too

What if you could grow vegetables in half the time? What if a surgeon could see cancerous cells throughout an entire operation? What if solar panels could become significantly cheaper and easier to make?


From ACM News

Early Facebook, Google Employees Form Coalition to Fight What They Built

Early Facebook, Google Employees Form Coalition to Fight What They Built

The cohort is creating a union of concerned experts called the Center for Humane Technology.


From ACM News

China: Police Using Facial-Recognition Sunglasses

China: Police Using Facial-Recognition Sunglasses

The Chinese government is equipping its police with real-time facial-recognition sunglasses to instantly locate criminals in crowds.


From ACM TechNews

Center for Machine Intelligence Launched to Help Build a Smarter and Safer Society

Center for Machine Intelligence Launched to Help Build a Smarter and Safer Society

The University of Southampton in the U.K. recently launched the Center for Machine Intelligence.


From ACM TechNews

Social Robot Developed at UNSW Set to Revolutionize Workplace Experience

Social Robot Developed at UNSW Set to Revolutionize Workplace Experience

Researchers have developed a social robot to promote creativity and collaboration in the workplace.


From ACM TechNews

Where's the Bear?

Where's the Bear?

Researchers are using machine learning to identify and classify wildlife caught on camera.


From ACM TechNews

Online Sites Fight Back Against Blocked Ads

Online Sites Fight Back Against Blocked Ads

Researchers recently examined the anti-ad blocking environment and what can be done to improve it.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Take Terahertz Data Links Around the Bend

Researchers Take Terahertz Data Links Around the Bend

A recent study demonstrated terahertz frequency data links can bounce around a room without losing too much data, which could make terahertz wireless data networks more feasible.


From ACM News

How Nuclear Weapons Research Revealed New Climate Threats

How Nuclear Weapons Research Revealed New Climate Threats

After atmospheric scientist Ivana Cvijanovic began pushing a computerized climate simulation to its limits, she noticed a disturbing result: as Arctic sea ice nearly disappeared, massive high-pressure systems built up thousands…


From ACM News

Winter Olympics’ Security on Alert, but Hackers Have a Head Start

Winter Olympics’ Security on Alert, but Hackers Have a Head Start

More than 300 Olympics-related computer systems have already been hit, with many of them compromised.


From ACM News

Mind the Gap: This Researcher Steals Data With Noise, Light, and Magnets

Mind the Gap: This Researcher Steals Data With Noise, Light, and Magnets

The field of cybersecurity is obsessed with preventing and detecting breaches, finding every possible strategy to keep hackers from infiltrating your digital inner sanctum.


From ACM News

NASA Tests Atomic Clock For Deep Space Navigation

NASA Tests Atomic Clock For Deep Space Navigation

In deep space, accurate timekeeping is vital to navigation, but many spacecraft lack precise timepieces on board.


From ACM TechNews

App Translates Lectures Into Text

App Translates Lectures Into Text

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have developed Lecture Buddy, a smartphone application that translates lectures into text using a continuous speech recognition program.


From ACM TechNews

Clemson Researchers Blaze New Ground in Wireless Energy Generation For Future Electronic Gadgets

Clemson Researchers Blaze New Ground in Wireless Energy Generation For Future Electronic Gadgets

Researchers at Clemson University have developed the ultra-simple tirboelectric nanogenerator (U-TENG) designed to take mechanical motion and transform it into electricity.


From ACM TechNews

Drones That Smash Into Obstacles Can Be a Good and Useful Thing

Drones That Smash Into Obstacles Can Be a Good and Useful Thing

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working on small aerial drones that purposefully collide with obstacles and then move on to perform various functions.


From ACM TechNews

Controlling Quantum Interactions In a Single Material

Controlling Quantum Interactions In a Single Material

An international team led by Northwestern University professor James Rondinelli has demonstrated the coexistence of multiple quantum interactions in a single material, and a means of controlling them via an electric field.


From ACM News

EFF Founder and Internet Activist John Perry Barlow Has Died

EFF Founder and Internet Activist John Perry Barlow Has Died

John Perry Barlow has one of those resumes that seems too surreal to be true: poet turned Grateful Dead lyricist; lifelong activist; columnist for Communications of the ACM; co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation—arguably…


From ACM News

Inside North Korea's Hacker Army

Inside North Korea's Hacker Army

In most respects, Jong Hyok looks like any other middle-aged male tech worker you might see on the skyscraper-shadowed streets of Seoul's Gangnam district: smartphone in hand, dark-blue winter coat over a casual, open-collared…


From ACM News

Can Computers Learn Like Humans?

Can Computers Learn Like Humans?

The world of artificial intelligence has exploded in recent years. Computers armed with AI do everything from drive cars to pick movies you'll probably like.


From ACM TechNews

Army Researchers Develop New Algorithms to Train Robots

Army Researchers Develop New Algorithms to Train Robots

Researchers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the University of Texas at Austin have developed new methods for robots or computer programs to learn how to perform tasks by interacting with a human instructor.


From ACM News

AI Just Learned How to Boost the Brain's Memory

AI Just Learned How to Boost the Brain's Memory

When it comes to black boxes, there is none more black than the human brain. Our gray matter is so complex, scientists lament, that it can't quite understand itself.


From ACM News

Newly Discovered Form of Water Ice Is 'really Strange'

Newly Discovered Form of Water Ice Is 'really Strange'

Scientists have confirmed a form of water that is simultaneously solid and liquid. It is the latest advance in the study of water, a seemingly simple substance that can shift between many different configurations.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing More Light Than Heat

Supercomputing More Light Than Heat

Researchers have used the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment to gain access to more than 975,000 compute hours on the Maverick supercomputing system.