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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

February 2016


From ACM TechNews

Marvin Minsky's Legacy of Students and Ideas

Marvin Minsky's Legacy of Students and Ideas

The late computer science pioneer and ACM A.M. Turing Award recipient Marvin Minsky left behind a wealth of ideas.


From ACM TechNews

Enabling Human-Robot Rescue Teams

Enabling Human-Robot Rescue Teams

Researchers say they have developed a new way of modeling robot collaboration. 


From ACM News

Encryption Isn't at Stake, the Fbi Knows Apple Already Has the Desired Key

Encryption Isn't at Stake, the Fbi Knows Apple Already Has the Desired Key

Apple has been served with a court order at the FBI's request, demanding that it assist the government agency with unlocking an iPhone 5C that was used by Syed Rizwan Farook. Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 and…


From ACM News

John Mcafee Offers To Decrypt San Bernardino Iphone For Fbi And Save America

John Mcafee Offers To Decrypt San Bernardino Iphone For Fbi And Save America

Eccentric 'cybersecurity legend' John McAfee is on a mission to save America. How so? By cracking the code on that San Bernardino iPhone that's causing such a ruckus.


From ACM News

The Missing Link of Artificial Intelligence

The Missing Link of Artificial Intelligence

In 2012 the world learned of a surprising research project inside Google's secretive X lab.


From ACM News

Four Big Cosmology Secrets Gravitational Waves Could ­ncover

Four Big Cosmology Secrets Gravitational Waves Could ­ncover

On 11 February, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave observatory, or LIGO, announced it had spotted gravitational waves, the stretching and squeezing of space-time created by the movement of massive objects.


From ACM News

Evidence Mounts For Interbreeding Bonanza in Ancient Human Species

Evidence Mounts For Interbreeding Bonanza in Ancient Human Species

The discovery of yet another period of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals is adding to the growing sense that sexual encounters among different ancient human species were commonplace throughout their history.


From ACM TechNews

How the Open Compute Project's Telco Project Could Transform the Iot, Driverless Cars

How the Open Compute Project's Telco Project Could Transform the Iot, Driverless Cars

The Open Compute Project recently announced the Telco Project, which is focused on data center technologies for telecommunications companies.


From ACM TechNews

New Computer Vision Algorithm Predicts Orientation of Objects

New Computer Vision Algorithm Predicts Orientation of Objects

Disney researchers say they have developed a method to help computer-vision systems avoid the confusion associated with changes in perspective. 


From ACM TechNews

His Work Opens Computer Science to the Blind

His Work Opens Computer Science to the Blind

University of Nevada-Las Vegas professor Andreas Stefik spent 10 years developing Quorum, a programming language designed for visually impaired people. 


From ACM TechNews

Crunching Quantum Code

Crunching Quantum Code

Researchers have developed a quantum computer design featuring an array of superconducting islands on top of a topological insulator. 


From ACM News

Advertising via Algorithm

Advertising via Algorithm

Global programmatic advertising is projected to account for 60% of all digital display ads this year.


From ACM News

How Apple Will Fight the Doj in Iphone Backdoor Crypto Case

How Apple Will Fight the Doj in Iphone Backdoor Crypto Case

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Tuesday evening said the US government's legal position on encryption backdoors was setting "a dangerous precedent."


From ACM News

The Truth About Exoplanets

The Truth About Exoplanets

The trickle of discoveries has become a torrent.


From ACM Careers

Why Naval Academy Students Are Learning to Sail By the Stars For the First Time in a Decade

Why Naval Academy Students Are Learning to Sail By the Stars For the First Time in a Decade

Peter Hogan was surprised at how heavy the sextant felt in his hand when he squinted through its eyeglass this week, the first time he had ever held one.


From ACM News

Q&a: A Look at the Apple vs Justice Dept. Court Fight

Q&a: A Look at the Apple vs Justice Dept. Court Fight

A U.S. magistrate judge has ordered Apple to help the FBI break into a work-issued iPhone used by a gunman in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.


From ACM TechNews

Eye-Opening Optical Research Projects That Could Supercharge the Internet

Eye-Opening Optical Research Projects That Could Supercharge the Internet

Several research teams around the world are investigating optical technologies that have the potential to make networks--and the Internet--faster and more efficient.


From ACM TechNews

My Robot Valentine: Could You Fall in Love With a Robot?

My Robot Valentine: Could You Fall in Love With a Robot?

In the future, Valentine's Day for some could involve a romantic dinner with a robot, speculate Queensland University of Technology researchers.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Art Raises Questions About Human Creativity

Robot Art Raises Questions About Human Creativity

Art created by machines raises unanswered questions about its potential and whether it can truly be defined as creative or imaginative. 


From ACM TechNews

Why Sarcasm Is Such a Problem in Artificial Intelligence

Why Sarcasm Is Such a Problem in Artificial Intelligence

Researchers in India and Australia recently published a paper outlining 10 years of research efforts from groups interested in detecting sarcasm in online sources. 


From ACM TechNews

Data Analysis of Github Contributions Reveals ­nexpected Gender Bias

Data Analysis of Github Contributions Reveals ­nexpected Gender Bias

An analysis of millions of GitHub pull requests found women's contributions were accepted more frequently than men's, but only if they had gender-neutral profiles. 


From ACM TechNews

Scaanalyzer: An Award-Winning Tool to Find Computing Bottlenecks

Scaanalyzer: An Award-Winning Tool to Find Computing Bottlenecks

ScaAnalyzer is a new tool that can find elusive bugs in software and enable computers to run faster and more efficiently. 


From ACM News

Tim Cook Opposes Order For Apple to ­nlock Iphone, Setting ­p Showdown

Tim Cook Opposes Order For Apple to ­nlock Iphone, Setting ­p Showdown

Apple said on Wednesday that it would oppose and challenge a federal court order to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone used by one of the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, Calif., in December.


From ACM News

History-Making Philae Lander Faces 'eternal Hibernation' on Comet

History-Making Philae Lander Faces 'eternal Hibernation' on Comet

Exactly 15 months after it completed a seemingly impossible journey to land on the surface of a comet, the Philae lander now faces "eternal hibernation," as officials at the European Space Agency say the craft doesn't get enough…


From ACM News

Creating a Computer Voice That People Like

Creating a Computer Voice That People Like

When computers speak, how human should they sound?


From ACM News

The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science

The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science

In 2012, IBM Watson went to medical school. So said The New York Times, announcing that the tech giant’s artificially intelligent question-and-answer machine had begun a "stint as a medical student" at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner…


From ACM TechNews

Drones Learn to Search Forest Trails For Lost People

Drones Learn to Search Forest Trails For Lost People

Researchers have developed software that enables drones to autonomously detect and follow forest paths. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Engineer an Electronics First Opening Door to Flexible Electronics

Researchers Engineer an Electronics First Opening Door to Flexible Electronics

University of Alberta researchers say they have developed a transistor that could lead to flexible electronic devices with wide-ranging applications. 


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Reality Can Significantly Reduce Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Just a Month By Turning Sufferers Into Avatars

Virtual Reality Can Significantly Reduce Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in Just a Month By Turning Sufferers Into Avatars

University College London researchers have developed a virtual-reality system they say could help reduce the symptoms of depression. 


From ACM News

The Chips Are Down For Moore’s Law

The Chips Are Down For Moore’s Law

The semiconductor industry will soon abandon its pursuit of Moore's law. Now things could get a lot more interesting.