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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 2015


From ACM News

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Virtual Avatar

Oculus Rift Hack Transfers Your Facial Expressions Onto Your Virtual Avatar

When Facebook bought Oculus VR back in March of 2014, many wondered exactly what the social network was going to do with it; let's face it, many of us are still wondering.


From ACM News

Quantum Physics: What Is Really Real?

Quantum Physics: What Is Really Real?

Owen Maroney worries that physicists have spent the better part of a century engaging in fraud.


From ACM News

Nasa Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations

Nasa Soil Moisture Mission Begins Science Operations

NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission to map global soil moisture and detect whether soils are frozen or thawed has begun science operations.


From ACM TechNews

New Computer Bug Exposes Broad Security Flaws

New Computer Bug Exposes Broad Security Flaws

An international team has discovered an Internet bug that enables an attacker to trick a Web browser into believing it is using a regular key rather than the export version.


From ACM TechNews

To Handle Big Data, Shrink It

To Handle Big Data, Shrink It

A new algorithm finds the smallest possible approximation of a matrix that guarantees reliable computations. 


From ACM TechNews

New Chip Architecture May Provide Foundation for Quantum Computer

New Chip Architecture May Provide Foundation for Quantum Computer

A new device that enables more electrodes to be placed on a chip could bring the field one step closer to a quantum computer that can perform complex algorithms. 


From ACM TechNews

A Nano-Transistor Assesses Your Health Via Sweat

A Nano-Transistor Assesses Your Health Via Sweat

A new ultra-low-power sensor enables real-time scanning of the contents of liquids such as perspiration. 


From ACM TechNews

The Machine Vision Algorithm Beating Art Historians at Their Own Game

The Machine Vision Algorithm Beating Art Historians at Their Own Game

Recent advances in machine learning such as deep convolutional neural networks are enabling the development of machines that perform pattern-recognition tasks. 


From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Brain

Hacking the Brain

The perfectibility of the human mind is a theme that has captured our imagination for centuries—the notion that, with the right tools, the right approach, the right attitude, we might become better, smarter versions of ourselves…


From ACM News

­.s. Science Academies Take On Human-Genome Editing

­.s. Science Academies Take On Human-Genome Editing

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will launch a major initiative to develop guidelines for editing human genomes, they said on 18 May.


From ACM TechNews

Computing at the Speed of Light

Computing at the Speed of Light

A new ultracompact beamsplitter for dividing light waves into separate channels could lead to computers that work millions of times faster than conventional machines. 


From ACM News

Predictive Analytics Provides Powerful Benefits to Healthcare

Predictive Analytics Provides Powerful Benefits to Healthcare

Medical treatment is on the verge of a "radical transformation" thanks to statistical data analysis techniques that predict future outcomes.


From ACM News

Technology Doesn't Explain the Philly Train Crash

Technology Doesn't Explain the Philly Train Crash

Cars can now drive by themselves. Automatic pilot systems can fly a jet airliner much of the time. Why is it so hard to make trains that can stop on their own?


From ACM News

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body?

How many types of cells are there in the human body? Textbooks say a couple of hundred. But the true number is undoubtedly far larger.


From ACM TechNews

Wearables May Get Boost From Boron-Infused Graphene

Wearables May Get Boost From Boron-Infused Graphene

Rice University researchers have upgraded a microsupercapacitor they say could eventually be incorporated into personal and wearable electronics. 


From ACM TechNews

Computers Harness Language Translation

Computers Harness Language Translation

Statistical machine-translation technologies developed at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have helped the Army become less reliant on human translators.


From ACM TechNews

New Options For Spintronic Devices: Switching Between 1 and 0 With Low Voltage

New Options For Spintronic Devices: Switching Between 1 and 0 With Low Voltage

Researchers have demonstrated switching ferromagnetic domains on and off with low voltage at near-room temperature in a structure made of ferroic materials. 


From ACM News

Tech Giants Don’t Want Obama to Give Police Access to Encrypted Phone Data

Tech Giants Don’t Want Obama to Give Police Access to Encrypted Phone Data

Technology companies, trade associations, and security and policy experts are urging President Obama to reject proposals to weaken security of communication devices.


From ACM Opinion

Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs

Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs

From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce.


From ACM News

Astronomers Take a New Kind of Pulse From the Sky

Astronomers Take a New Kind of Pulse From the Sky

Every night, our sky beats with the pulses of radio light waves, most of which go unseen.


From ACM Careers

How Maker Faires Are Inspiring Young 'makers' All Over the World

How Maker Faires Are Inspiring Young 'makers' All Over the World

One of the truly bright lights in tech education is the Maker Faire.


From ACM News

Blueprint For a Better Human Body

Blueprint For a Better Human Body

When Elizabeth Wright smacks her right leg on a table, she says "ow."


From ACM News

Feds Say That Banned Researcher Commandeered a Plane

Feds Say That Banned Researcher Commandeered a Plane

A security researcher kicked off a United Airlines flight last month after tweeting about security vulnerabilities in its system had previously taken control of an airplane and caused it to briefly fly sideways, according to…


From ACM TechNews

A Secure, Anonymous, Easy Way to Pay for Online Content

A Secure, Anonymous, Easy Way to Pay for Online Content

Researchers at the University of Luxembourg have developed a new way for readers, viewers, and gamers to pay for online content without making cash payments. 


From ACM TechNews

Say Hello to Machines That Read Your Emotions to Make You Happy

Say Hello to Machines That Read Your Emotions to Make You Happy

EmoSPARK is an artificial intelligence-based device that can gauge a person's mood based on what they say and how they say it. 


From ACM TechNews

Artbot Engineers the Discovery of Art

Artbot Engineers the Discovery of Art

Artbot is a new mobile website app that mines both user preferences and event tags to provide users with connections to the local art scene. 


From ACM TechNews

Google, Nasa Work Together on Disney Show to Inspire Girls Into Sciences

Google, Nasa Work Together on Disney Show to Inspire Girls Into Sciences

Disney Junior wants a new show it is developing to help bury media stereotypes about science and programmers.


From ACM TechNews

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

Autonomous Car Prototype Folds, Shrinks, Drives Sideways

A group of engineers, software developers, and designers in Germany have developed a design for a electric micro car capable of driving sideways. 


From ACM News

Liberty Science Center Bestows Genius Awards on Cerf, Bezos, Tartar

Liberty Science Center Bestows Genius Awards on Cerf, Bezos, Tartar

Liberty Science Center recently bestowed Genius Awards on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf,  and SETI astronomer Jill Tarter.


From ACM TechNews

Code.org Targets High School Computer Science

Code.org Targets High School Computer Science

Code.org is collaborating with College Board to work to increase the number of female and minority students taking computer science courses.