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

April 2013


From ACM News

Kepler Discovers its Smallest Habitable Zone Planets

Kepler Discovers its Smallest Habitable Zone Planets

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered two new planetary systems that include three super-Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distance from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be…


From ACM News

Ahead of the Curve: But Bendable Screens Still Seek Breakthrough

Ahead of the Curve: But Bendable Screens Still Seek Breakthrough

The touted arrival this year of wearable gadgets such as computer displays strapped to wrists and in wrap-around glasses is just a step towards a bigger revolution in screens—those that can be bent, folded and rolled up.


From ACM TechNews

Google’s Vint Cerf Explains How to Make SDN as Successful as the Internet

Google’s Vint Cerf Explains How to Make SDN as Successful as the Internet

Google chief Internet evangelist and ACM president Vint Cerf says that software-defined networking could benefit from lessons learned in creating the Internet. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Demonstrate Key Component of Quantum Machine

Scientists Demonstrate Key Component of Quantum Machine

Researchers have demonstrated a quantum bit based on the nucleus of a single atom in silicon, which could lead to mass production of quantum computers. 


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Traveller: Beam a Live, 3D You Into the World

Virtual Traveller: Beam a Live, 3D You Into the World

A new virtual reality system combines 3D glasses and a hack of Microsoft's Kinect to enable life-sized images of people to be recreated in a virtual space. 


From ACM TechNews

Competition Designed to Spread Basic Technologies

Competition Designed to Spread Basic Technologies

The World Bank's Sanitation Hackathon is designed to identify solutions to address the discrepancy in access to technologies in developing countries. 


From ACM TechNews

Nasa Launches Next Space Apps Challenge

Nasa Launches Next Space Apps Challenge

A NASA contest will present 50 challenges to developers from around the world, in the hope they will be able to develop apps for space exploration missions.


From ACM Opinion

We Need More Cameras, and We Need Them Now

We Need More Cameras, and We Need Them Now

On Thursday afternoon, the FBI released photos and video of two persons of interest in the Boston Marathon bombing.


From ACM News

Drone Medal Dumped; High-Tech Troops to Be Honored with Device

Drone Medal Dumped; High-Tech Troops to Be Honored with Device

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has decided to scrap the controversial Distinguished Warfare Medal that was intended to honor drone pilots and other high-tech troops.


From ACM News

How Wireless Carriers Are Monetizing Your Movements

How Wireless Carriers Are Monetizing Your Movements

Wireless operators have access to an unprecedented volume of information about users' real-world activities, but for years these massive data troves were put to little use other than for internal planning and marketing.


From ACM News

New Microbatteries a Boost For Electronics

New Microbatteries a Boost For Electronics

The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery—and then recharge the phone…


From ACM TechNews

The Internet Archive's Trove of Historical Software Dwarfs All Others, Archivist Claims

The Internet Archive's Trove of Historical Software Dwarfs All Others, Archivist Claims

The Internet Archive now offers the largest collection of historical software in the world, incorporating terabytes of data. 


From ACM TechNews

Tech Hosts Artificial Intelligence Competition

Tech Hosts Artificial Intelligence Competition

More than 50 teams recently competed in an artificial intelligence competition at Michigan Technological University. 


From ACM TechNews

Frog-Like Robot Will Help Surgeons

Frog-Like Robot Will Help Surgeons

Researchers are developing robots with feet similar to those of tree frogs to crawl inside patients' bodies during keyhole surgery.


From ACM TechNews

Cornell Project Uses Artificial Intelligence to Id Birds

Cornell Project Uses Artificial Intelligence to Id Birds

An artificial intelligence project could make it easier for amateur bird watchers to identify different species of birds. 


From ACM Opinion

Is High-Tech Security at Public Events Counterproductive?

Is High-Tech Security at Public Events Counterproductive?

Which is more intrusive: security screening and metal detectors every few blocks, or a drone flying high above it taking video of every little thing you do?


From ACM News

Smoke Color Is Key Clue to Analyzing Boston Marathon Bombs

Smoke Color Is Key Clue to Analyzing Boston Marathon Bombs

As a team of investigators led by the FBI begins deciphering the bombs that killed three people and wounded 150 more in Boston this week, a key clue is already in plain sight on countless videos taken during the blasts: the color…


From ACM News

How the Boston Pd Could Examine the Videos From the Bombing

How the Boston Pd Could Examine the Videos From the Bombing

As investigators try to figure out what happened during the bombings at the Boston Marathon, they'll turn to video taken at the scene of the explosions.


From ACM TechNews

­nsw Researchers Push Open Source, Android For Archeology

­nsw Researchers Push Open Source, Android For Archeology

The Federated Archeological Information Management System Project aims to develop new archeological tools compatible with Android-based mobile devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Activates Person Finder in Aftermath of Boston Marathon Bombings

Google Activates Person Finder in Aftermath of Boston Marathon Bombings

Google activated the Google Person Finder website in Boston to help people connect after the bombings at the Boston Marathon. 


From ACM TechNews

High-Speed Wi-Fi? Not So Fast

High-Speed Wi-Fi? Not So Fast

Next-generation Wi-Fi standard 802.11ac will hit the market this year, but most people will have to wait to access to the increased throughput. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Emulates Apple in Restricting Apps For Glass

Google Emulates Apple in Restricting Apps For Glass

Google is restricting apps for Glass, its Internet-linked glasses, in an effort to gradually introduce the technology to the public. 


From ACM TechNews

Military Academies Take on Nsa in Cybersecurity Competition

Military Academies Take on Nsa in Cybersecurity Competition

The Cyber Defense Exercise is an annual cybersecurity contest in which teams from U.S. military academies compete against one from the National Security Agency. 


From ACM TechNews

Engineers ­se Brain Cells to Power Smart Grid

Engineers ­se Brain Cells to Power Smart Grid

A team of engineers and neuroscientists is using neurons cultured in a dish to control simulated power grids.


From ACM News

How to Target an Asteroid

How to Target an Asteroid

Like many of his colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days.


From ACM News

AI Scientist Robert Wilensky, 1951-2013

AI Scientist Robert Wilensky, 1951-2013

One of the first computer scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, to focus on artificial intelligence, Robert Wilensky passed away recently at age 61.


From ACM News

As Boston Bombing Photos and Videos Pour In, Where Do Investigators Begin?

As Boston Bombing Photos and Videos Pour In, Where Do Investigators Begin?

When bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday, there were nearly as many camera-equipped smartphones as people there in Copley Square.


From ACM Opinion

Interview with Brain Project Pioneer: Miyoung Chun

Interview with Brain Project Pioneer: Miyoung Chun

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) project, which President Obama announced in his State of the Union address in February, will be a decade-long effort to understand the nature of thought (See…


From ACM Opinion

Will Google's Ray Kurzweil Live Forever?

Will Google's Ray Kurzweil Live Forever?

Ray Kurzweil must encounter his share of interviewers whose first question is: What do you hope your obituary will say?


From ACM News

'chinese Google' Opens Artificial-Intelligence Lab in Silicon Valley

'chinese Google' Opens Artificial-Intelligence Lab in Silicon Valley

It doesn't look like much.