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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 2013


From ACM TechNews

Security Risks Found in Sensors For Heart Devices, Consumer Electronics

Security Risks Found in Sensors For Heart Devices, Consumer Electronics

An international research team has exposed a vulnerability in the sensors used in medical devices, Bluetooth microphones, and computers. 


From ACM TechNews

Parcels Find Their Way to You Via the Crowd

Parcels Find Their Way to You Via the Crowd

A potential crowd-powered delivery system called TwedEx would deliver packages to consumers without requiring them to deviate from normal routes. 


From ACM News

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

For all the talk of artificial intelligence and all the games of SimCity that have been played, no one in the world can actually simulate living things. Biology is so complex that nowhere on Earth is there a comprehensive model…


From ACM News

The Audacious Plan to End Hunger with 3D Printed Food

The Audacious Plan to End Hunger with 3D Printed Food

Anjan Contractor's 3D food printer might evoke visions of the "replicator" popularized in Star Trekfrom which Captain Picard was constantly interrupting himself to order tea. And indeed Contractor's company, Systems & Materials…


From ACM Opinion

The Future of Propaganda: Sean Gourley on Big Data and the 'war of Ideas'

The Future of Propaganda: Sean Gourley on Big Data and the 'war of Ideas'

In 2009, Sean Gourley, an Oxford-trained physicist, gave a TED talk called "The Mathematics of War."


From ACM News

How to Hack a Nation's Infrastructure

How to Hack a Nation's Infrastructure

I'm watching a live video feed of people visiting a cafe in London.


From ACM TechNews

Principles of Ant Locomotion Could Help Future Robot Teams Work ­nderground

Principles of Ant Locomotion Could Help Future Robot Teams Work ­nderground

Researchers say they have discovered the fundamental principles of locomotion that robot teams could use to quickly travel through underground tunnels.


From ACM TechNews

Program Motivates Native Alaskans to Pursue STEM Careers

Program Motivates Native Alaskans to Pursue STEM Careers

U.S. education needs improved quality control if it is to produce better results, says the founder of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program. 


From ACM TechNews

Intel Fuels a Rebellion Around Your Data

Intel Fuels a Rebellion Around Your Data

Intel Labs is launching a data economy initiative to help consumers realize more of the value of their personal digital information. 


From ACM News

How to Make a Less Creepy Robot? Simple, Just Add Data

How to Make a Less Creepy Robot? Simple, Just Add Data

Disney’s research arm has solved a problem that you probably didn’t even know robots have—their inability to accept objects from people in a natural way.


From ACM Opinion

Is Computing Speed Set to Make a Quantum Leap?

Is Computing Speed Set to Make a Quantum Leap?

"Our imagination is stretched to the utmost," wrote Richard Feynman, the greatest physicist of his day, "not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things that are there."


From ACM News

Out with the Old

Out with the Old

Getting rid of obsolete data is getting more difficult, thanks to new regulations and more personal devices in the workplace.


From ACM News

Princeton ­niversity Celebrates the Art of Science

Princeton ­niversity Celebrates the Art of Science

Sometimes the connection between art and science is clear.


From ACM News

If Your Shrink Is a Bot, How Do You Respond?

If Your Shrink Is a Bot, How Do You Respond?

Her hair is brown and tied back into a professional-looking ponytail.


From ACM News

Helper Robots Are Steered, Tentatively, to Care For the Aging

Helper Robots Are Steered, Tentatively, to Care For the Aging

In the opening scene of the movie "Robot & Frank," which takes place in the near future, Frank, an elderly man who lives alone, is arguing with his son about going to a medical center for Alzheimer's treatment when the son interrupts…


From ACM News

Nasa Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target

Nasa Mars Rover Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland."


From ACM News

Web Browsers Are Reinvented

Web Browsers Are Reinvented

Mobile phones, wearable devices, and self-driving cars are generating buzz as the future of technology. But the old Web browser is being reinvented too, in a trend with implications for how consumers work and entertain themselves…


From ACM News

Chatting in Code on Walkie-Talkies in Pakistan's Restive Tribal Areas

Chatting in Code on Walkie-Talkies in Pakistan's Restive Tribal Areas

Sharif loves using his mukhabera. "I use it daily, mostly at night time, because signals are clear at that time," he says. "I am in touch with most of my friends this way."


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Take Data Approach to Beat Disease

Scientists Take Data Approach to Beat Disease

Researchers are using computer hardware and programming with genetic sequencing tools to help identify the sources of ailments at the genetic level.


From ACM TechNews

Badminton-Playing Robot Tests Software Designs of the Future

Badminton-Playing Robot Tests Software Designs of the Future

A badminton-playing robot demonstrates methodology and tools under development for optimizing energy flows/losses throughout a machine.


From ACM TechNews

New Imaging System 'reads' Ancient Scrolls

New Imaging System 'reads' Ancient Scrolls

A combination of x-rays and computer modeling offers historians a way to read ancient parchments so fragile they cannot be unrolled. 


From ACM TechNews

Thought Experiment: Build a Supercomputer Replica of the Human Brain

Thought Experiment: Build a Supercomputer Replica of the Human Brain

Henry Markram believes his Human Brain Project can simulate all 86 billion neurons in the human brain as well as the 100 trillion connections among them. 


From ACM TechNews

Fed Chairman: 'humanity's Capacity to Innovate' Has Never Been Greater

Fed Chairman: 'humanity's Capacity to Innovate' Has Never Been Greater

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says innovation and information technology are fueling economic change.


From ACM TechNews

Group Helps to Improve Use of Colossal Digital Library 'Europeana'

Group Helps to Improve Use of Colossal Digital Library 'Europeana'

The UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country's IXA Group has enhanced the use of the vast Europeana digital library.


From ACM TechNews

Face-Reading System Watches You Watching Ads

Face-Reading System Watches You Watching Ads

Researchers have developed a system assess how muscles in the face move in response to watching a video. 


From ACM News

Why Google and the Pentagon Want 'quantum Computers'

Why Google and the Pentagon Want 'quantum Computers'

Imagine a computer that can teach your mobile phone to recognize any object it sees, or one that can instantly find optimal travel routes for thousands of planes to avoid a snowstorm and deliver their passengers safely to a destination…


From ACM Opinion

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?

Forty-five years after Intel was founded by Silicon Valley legends Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce, it is the world's leading semiconductor company.


From ACM Opinion

Should Patents Be Awarded to Software?

Should Patents Be Awarded to Software?

The goal of the U.S. patent system is clear: to provide individuals or companies with an incentive to innovate by offering them 20 years of exclusive rights to an invention.


From ACM TechNews

Nice! The Brain as a Model For Future Supercomputers

Nice! The Brain as a Model For Future Supercomputers

The Neuro-Inspired Computational Elements workshop is aimed at finding ways to tap the brain's ability to transmit signals along massively parallel channels.


From ACM TechNews

Hospital Visits Take on New Meaning With Therapeutic Robots

Hospital Visits Take on New Meaning With Therapeutic Robots

The Multi-Robot Cognitive Systems Operating in Hospitals project gives European researchers the opportunity to examine how humans and robots interact.