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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.

January 2015


From ACM News

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Optimizing Optimization Algorithms

Optimization algorithms, which try to find the minimum values of mathematical functions, are everywhere in engineering. Among other things, they're used to evaluate design tradeoffs, to assess control systems, and to find patterns…


From ACM Opinion

Hands-On With Microsoft's ­nbelievable New Holographic Goggles

Hands-On With Microsoft's ­nbelievable New Holographic Goggles

It's the end of October, when the days have already grown short in Redmond, Washington, and gray sheets of rain are just beginning to let up.


From ACM News

10 Cool Network and Computing Research Projects

10 Cool Network and Computing Research Projects

If you think the latest enterprise and consumer network and computer technologies rolling into your data center and being snuck into your offices by end users are advanced, wait until you see what's cooking in the labs at universities…


From ACM News

Atlas Drc Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely ­nplugged

Atlas Drc Robot Is 75 Percent New, Completely ­nplugged

We've always known that the ATLAS DRC humanoid robot was due for some serious upgrades before the DARPA Robotics Challenge Finals, because having a robot that's tethered for power and safety is just not in the spirit of what:…


From ACM News

Astronomy: Laser Focus

Astronomy: Laser Focus

On clear, moonless evenings, most of the biggest optical telescopes around the world begin the night's observations by firing a golden laser beam at the sky.


From ACM Careers

Revealed at Last: Magic Leap’s Vision For Augmented Reality, in 32 Patent Illustrations

Revealed at Last: Magic Leap’s Vision For Augmented Reality, in 32 Patent Illustrations

A new patent application titled Planar Waveguide Apparatus with Diffraction Element(s) and System Employing Same sounds like a scientific snoozefest, but just also might provide a playbook for the next decade of interaction design…


From ACM TechNews

The New Digital Arms Race: Nsa Preps America For Future Battle

The New Digital Arms Race: Nsa Preps America For Future Battle

Documents provided by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden outline the agency's efforts to carry out covert cyberwarfare. 


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Researchers ­se Light Beams to Charge Smartphones

Microsoft Researchers ­se Light Beams to Charge Smartphones

Microsoft researchers in Beijing have developed AutoCharge, a prototype automatic wireless charging system for smartphones. 


From ACM TechNews

Rice-Sized Laser, Powered One Electron at a Time, Bodes Well For Quantum Computing

Rice-Sized Laser, Powered One Electron at a Time, Bodes Well For Quantum Computing

Princeton University researchers have developed a rice grain-sized laser powered by single electrons tunneling through artificial atoms known as quantum dots. 


From ACM TechNews

How Does a Machine Smell? Better Than It Did

How Does a Machine Smell? Better Than It Did

Researchers have developed a chemical sensor platform that can smell more accurately than humans. 


From ACM TechNews

Making the Internet Accessible to Everyone

Making the Internet Accessible to Everyone

The third pilot of the Internet accessibility CLOUD4ALL project will kick off in Athens, Berlin, and Madrid in the coming months. 


From ACM News

Cops Get Handheld Radar that Can 'detect People Breathing' Through Walls

Cops Get Handheld Radar that Can 'detect People Breathing' Through Walls

At least 50 local law enforcement agencies—and the United States Marshals—have acquired a type of handheld radar that allows cops to scan through walls to detect a human target.


From ACM News

Have We Found Alien Life?

Have We Found Alien Life?

Kenneth Nealson is looking awfully sane for a man who’s basically just told me that he has a colony of aliens incubating in his laboratory.


From ACM TechNews

Improved Interface For a Quantum Internet

Improved Interface For a Quantum Internet

University of Innsbruck researchers have improved an interface between quantum processors and optical fiber-based communication channels. 


From ACM News

The Daunting Challenge of Reporting on Cyberwar

The Daunting Challenge of Reporting on Cyberwar

The US and UK are soon to take part in cyber war games, testing each other out for when the inevitable real cyberwar kicks off.


From ACM News

Dawn Delivers New Image of Ceres

Dawn Delivers New Image of Ceres

As NASA's Dawn spacecraft closes in on Ceres, new images show the dwarf planet at 27 pixels across, about three times better than the calibration images taken in early December. These are the first in a series of images that…


From ACM News

High-Tech Warriors: A Glimpse Into the Stadium of the Future

High-Tech Warriors: A Glimpse Into the Stadium of the Future

Floor tiles that generate electricity when people walk on them. Streetlamps that transmit data to people passing beneath them.


From ACM TechNews

Wpi Awarded $4.4 Million to Help Bolster the Nation's Cybersecurity Workforce

Wpi Awarded $4.4 Million to Help Bolster the Nation's Cybersecurity Workforce

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been awarded a $4.4-million  grant to develop a program to prepare professionals to address cybersecurity challenges and threats. 


From ACM TechNews

Mathematician Tries to Solve Wave Equations

Mathematician Tries to Solve Wave Equations

University of California, Los Angeles professor Terence Tao is using computers to help him solve a tricky mathematical question.


From ACM News

Celebrations to Commemorate Boole’s 200th Birthday

Celebrations to Commemorate Boole’s 200th Birthday

 

The creator of Boolean algebra and Boolean logic is remembered.

 


From ACM News

Attempts to Predict Terrorist Attacks Hit Limits

Attempts to Predict Terrorist Attacks Hit Limits

From France to Nigeria, the world is reeling from a wave of deadly terrorist attacks.


From ACM News

Here's What Helped Sony's Hackers Break In: Zero-Day Vulnerability

Here's What Helped Sony's Hackers Break In: Zero-Day Vulnerability

The hackers behind the devastating attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment late last year exploited a previously undisclosed vulnerability in its computer systems that gave them unfettered access and enabled them to reach…


From ACM News

Artificial-Intelligence Experts to Explore Turing Test Triathlon

Artificial-Intelligence Experts to Explore Turing Test Triathlon

Intelligentsia of AI will gather to come up with a battery of alternatives to the traditional Turing test.


From ACM News

The Hidden Ways Traffic Flows Around ­s

The Hidden Ways Traffic Flows Around ­s

Get in your car and drive.


From ACM News

'lost' 2003 Mars Lander Found By Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

'lost' 2003 Mars Lander Found By Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

The Beagle 2 Mars Lander, built by the United Kingdom, has been thought lost on Mars since 2003, but has now been found in images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


From ACM News

Nasa Begins Countdown to Pluto Flyby

Nasa Begins Countdown to Pluto Flyby

Today marks the beginning of the world’s encounter with Pluto, as a NASA spacecraft that has journeyed for nine years begins its first phrase of approach to the dwarf planet.


From ACM TechNews

What Advanced Tech Will Dominate Your Car By 2025? IBM Knows

What Advanced Tech Will Dominate Your Car By 2025? IBM Knows

An IBM study on the future of automotive technologies found self-healing cars and connections to the Internet of Things are the wave of the future. 


From ACM TechNews

Cornell Research Steers Nyc Bikes to Needy Stations

Cornell Research Steers Nyc Bikes to Needy Stations

Cornell University researchers have developed algorithms and data analysis tools to help rebalance the New York City Citi Bike system as efficiently as possible. 


From ACM TechNews

Keeping Better Tabs on Suspicious Persons

Keeping Better Tabs on Suspicious Persons

A cyber security researcher wonders if information technology, the Internet, and social media could determine whether a suspicious person is likely to commit a crime.


From ACM TechNews

Fujitsu Smart Ring Lets ­ser 'write' in the Air

Fujitsu Smart Ring Lets ­ser 'write' in the Air

Fujitsu Laboratories recently demonstrated a prototype for a ring-type computing device that would enable users to "write" words in the air.