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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 2016


From ACM News

Europa's Ocean May Have An Earthlike Chemical Balance

Europa's Ocean May Have An Earthlike Chemical Balance

A new NASA study modeling conditions in the ocean of Jupiter's moon Europa suggests that the necessary balance of chemical energy for life could exist there, even if the moon lacks volcanic hydrothermal activity.


From ACM News

You Can Hear the Future Calling

You Can Hear the Future Calling

Hearables are not your father’s earphones, limited to taking calls and listening to music.


From ACM News

What the New Science of Touch Says About Ourselves

What the New Science of Touch Says About Ourselves

On a bitter, soul-shivering, damp, biting gray February day in Cleveland—that is to say, on a February day in Cleveland—a handless man is handling a nonexistent ball.


From ACM News

New Study Maps Rate of New Orleans Sinking

New Study Maps Rate of New Orleans Sinking

New Orleans and surrounding areas continue to sink at highly variable rates due to a combination of natural geologic and human-induced processes, finds a new NASA/university study using NASA airborne radar.


From ACM News

America Is 'Dropping Cyberbombs'—But How Do They Work?

America Is 'Dropping Cyberbombs'—But How Do They Work?

Recently, United States Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work publicly confirmed that the Pentagon’s Cyber Command was "dropping cyberbombs," taking its ongoing battle against the Islamic State group into the online world.


From ACM TechNews

We Know Where You Live

We Know Where You Live

Researchers have demonstrated that snoopers armed with little sophisticated technology can expose the home and workplace addresses of Twitter users. 


From ACM TechNews

Robots Learn How to Make Friends and Influence People

Robots Learn How to Make Friends and Influence People

Stanford University researchers have developed a computer-vision algorithm that predicts the movement of people in a busy space. 


From ACM TechNews

You Start 'doing' Diversity By ­sing the Data

You Start 'doing' Diversity By ­sing the Data

The key to instilling true workplace diversity within an organization is data, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. 


From ACM TechNews

Study of ­2 Could Help Music Fans Find What They're Looking For

Study of ­2 Could Help Music Fans Find What They're Looking For

Online music providers could use music fans' emotions to inform searches, recommendations, and playlists.


From ACM TechNews

More Than 30 States Offer Online Voting, but Experts Warn It Isn't Secure

More Than 30 States Offer Online Voting, but Experts Warn It Isn't Secure

More than 30 states will be hosting online voting systems by the time of the U.S. presidential election in November, but experts warn such systems are still insecure.


From ACM News

A Mathematical Proof Takes 200 Terabytes To State

A Mathematical Proof Takes 200 Terabytes To State

The latest example of proof by computer enters a new realm: a proof 200 terabytes in size.


From ACM TechNews

Technique Makes Holograms Highly Efficient, Secure

Technique Makes Holograms Highly Efficient, Secure

Harvard University researchers have programmed polarization into compact holograms.


From ACM News

Nsa Can Legally Access Metadata of 25,000 Callers Based on a Single Suspect's Phone

Nsa Can Legally Access Metadata of 25,000 Callers Based on a Single Suspect's Phone

Despite changes to the law, the U.S. National Security Agency can still request metadata from tens of thousands of private phones if they are indirectly connected to the phone number of a suspected terrorist, according to a new…


From ACM News

7 Cities Head For Smart City Transportation Challenge Finals

7 Cities Head For Smart City Transportation Challenge Finals

The cities continue to compete for as much as $50 million to improve safety, enhance mobility, boost economies, and address climate change.


From ACM News

Scientists Hold Secret Meeting to Consider Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

Scientists Hold Secret Meeting to Consider Creating a Synthetic Human Genome

Scientists are now contemplating the creation of a synthetic human genome, meaning they would use chemicals to manufacture all the DNA contained in human chromosomes.


From ACM News

Second Cycle of Martian Seasons Completing For Curiosity Rover

Second Cycle of Martian Seasons Completing For Curiosity Rover

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover completed its second Martian year since landing inside Gale Crater nearly four Earth years ago, which means it has recorded environmental patterns through two full cycles of Martian seasons.


From ACM TechNews

How to Make Passwords That Cannot Be Compromised By Torture or Coercion

How to Make Passwords That Cannot Be Compromised By Torture or Coercion

Researchers have hypothesized a method to measure an individual's stress levels and determine whether they are being coerced into revealing a password. 


From ACM TechNews

Phones at the Dinner Table: ­-M Study Explores Attitudes

Phones at the Dinner Table: ­-M Study Explores Attitudes

A new study investigates how people use mobile phones at the dinner table and their attitudes toward other people doing so. 


From ACM TechNews

'cardboardizer' Allows ­sers to Create Robotic Models in Minutes

'cardboardizer' Allows ­sers to Create Robotic Models in Minutes

The CardBoardiZer system developed at Purdue University allows even beginning designers to transform static three-dimensional objects into moving robotic versions.


From ACM News

Genome Reveals Why Giraffes Have Long Necks

Genome Reveals Why Giraffes Have Long Necks

Call it a tall task: researchers have decoded the genomes of the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi.


From ACM News

When Websites Won't Take No for an Answer

When Websites Won't Take No for an Answer

Harry Brignull, a user-experience consultant in Britain who helps websites and apps develop consumer-friendly features, has a professional bone to pick with sites that seem to maneuver people into signing up for services they…


From ACM News

A Few Controversial Numbers May Be Illegal to Share

A Few Controversial Numbers May Be Illegal to Share

Jon Johansen's program worked. The Norwegian teenager watched as it downloaded 200 megabytes of a recently released movie, The Matrix, from a DVD onto his computer.


From ACM Careers

Cybersecurity Sleuths Learn to Think Like Hackers

Cybersecurity Sleuths Learn to Think Like Hackers

About 35 high-school students sit at neatly arranged rows of tables in the university's gym. Another 115 college-level contestants surround the high schoolers.


From ACM TechNews

4 Big Plans to Fix Internet Security

4 Big Plans to Fix Internet Security

Inadequate security is endemic to the Internet, and solving this problem will require effective trust and security mechanisms. 


From ACM TechNews

Moore's Law Is Dead. Now What?

Moore's Law Is Dead. Now What?

The looming obsolescence of Moore's Law is forcing scientists to look for other ways to improve computer performance and innovation. 


From ACM TechNews

System Harnesses Thousands of Network Cameras For Public Safety

System Harnesses Thousands of Network Cameras For Public Safety

Purdue University researchers have developed a prototype system that can tap into thousands of cameras located in numerous venues. 


From ACM TechNews

How Toy Street Lamps Are Shedding New Light on Quantum Computing

How Toy Street Lamps Are Shedding New Light on Quantum Computing

The bulbs from toy street lamps, among other things, are helping to reveal new insights into quantum computing. 


From ACM TechNews

Your Smartphone and Tablet May Be Making You Adhd-Like

Your Smartphone and Tablet May Be Making You Adhd-Like

Smartphones and other digital technology may be inducing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-like symptoms, according to a new study.


From ACM TechNews

New Electrical Energy Transmission System Makes Distance Wireless Charging a Reality

New Electrical Energy Transmission System Makes Distance Wireless Charging a Reality

It may soon be possible to charge mobile devices without even taking them out of one's pocket. 


From ACM News

How to Hack the Hackers: The Human Side of Cyber Crime

How to Hack the Hackers: The Human Side of Cyber Crime

Say what you will about cybercriminals, says Angela Sasse, "their victims rave about the customer service".