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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.

September 2017


From ACM TechNews

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

ACM Fellow Kathy Yelick of the University of California, Berkeley, discusses the scientific applications fueling exascale computing.


From ACM TechNews

Stretchy Artificial 'skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch

Stretchy Artificial 'skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch

Rubberized electronics and sensors that function normally when stretched up to half of their length could operate as artificial skin on robots.


From ACM TechNews

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved ­sing Computer Algorithm

Congressional Redistricting Less Contentious When Resolved ­sing Computer Algorithm

Researchers at the University of Illinois have proposed a computer algorithm that could ease congressional districting and make the process fairer for constituents.


From ACM TechNews

Connecting Up the Global Quantum Internet

Connecting Up the Global Quantum Internet

Researchers say they have taken a major step in building the practical components of a global quantum Internet.


From ACM News

Back to Saturn? Five Missions Proposed to Follow Cassini

Back to Saturn? Five Missions Proposed to Follow Cassini

For 13 years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft sent back captivating observations of Saturn, and its rings and moons, solving some mysteries but raising plenty of new questions. With the spacecraft's demise on Friday, the stream of …


From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.


From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over

Artificial Intelligence Pioneer Says We Need to Start Over

Hinton suggested that, to get to where neural networks are able to become intelligent on their own, "I suspect that means getting rid of back-propagation."


From ACM News

Robot Made from a Dna Strand Could Deliver Cargo in Your Blood

Robot Made from a Dna Strand Could Deliver Cargo in Your Blood

You won't read about a smaller robot than this one any time soon. It consists of just a single strand of DNA, and moves by taking tiny 6-nanometre steps—around a hundred-millionth the size of a human step.


From ACM News

Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore

Brain-Machine Interface Isn't Sci-Fi Anymore

Thomas Reardon puts a terrycloth stretch band with microchips and electrodes woven into the fabric—a steampunk version of jewelry—on each of his forearms.

 


From ACM News

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . . How AI Protects US

Treating Cancer, Stopping Violence . . . How AI Protects US

For some, the spread of artificial intelligence and robotics poses a threat to our privacy, our jobs – even our safety, as more and more tasks are handed over to silicon-based brains.


From ACM TechNews

No Strings Attached For Underwater Video System

No Strings Attached For Underwater Video System

Researchers in Saudi Arabia say they have developed a flexible underwater wireless video system.


From ACM TechNews

Fitness Trackers Could Benefit From Better Security

Fitness Trackers Could Benefit From Better Security

A security analysis of two wearable fitness trackers revealed a technique for intercepting messages transmitted between the trackers and cloud servers.


From ACM TechNews

To Improve Smartphone Privacy, Control Access to Third-Party Libraries

To Improve Smartphone Privacy, Control Access to Third-Party Libraries

Researchers suggest controlling access to third-party libraries will help limit the undesired exposure of personal information by smartphone applications.


From ACM TechNews

Computational Tool Recognizes Filamentary Sections of Neurons and Blood Vessels

Computational Tool Recognizes Filamentary Sections of Neurons and Blood Vessels

Researchers in Singapore have developed a computational tool for faster and more reliable screening and diagnosis of vascular and neurological conditions.


From ACM TechNews

IBM Makes Breakthrough in Race to Commercialize Quantum Computers

IBM Makes Breakthrough in Race to Commercialize Quantum Computers

Recent experiments utilized a method that could enable quantum computers to perform  calculations beyond the capabilities of today's most powerful supercomputers.


From ACM News

Cassini Crashes Into Saturn but Could Still Deliver Big Discoveries

Cassini Crashes Into Saturn but Could Still Deliver Big Discoveries

At 4:55 a.m. California time on 15 September, hundreds of scientists watched their life's work go up in flames.


From ACM News

U.s. Moves to Ban Kaspersky Software in Federal Agencies Amid Concerns of Russian Espionage

U.s. Moves to Ban Kaspersky Software in Federal Agencies Amid Concerns of Russian Espionage

The U.S. government on Wednesday moved to ban the use of a Russian brand of security software by federal agencies amid concerns the company has ties to state-sponsored cyberespionage activities.


From ACM News

Spies in Our Pockets

Spies in Our Pockets

Electronic eavesdropping is becoming ever more nefarious in the age of smartphones and digital devices.


From ACM TechNews

First On-Chip Nanoscale Optical Quantum Memory Developed

First On-Chip Nanoscale Optical Quantum Memory Developed

Researchers say they have developed the first computer chip with nanoscale optical quantum memory.


From ACM TechNews

Improving Web Security Without Sacrificing Performance

Improving Web Security Without Sacrificing Performance

Researchers have developed a programming tool enabling high-performance cryptographic code to be verifiably correct and secure.


From ACM TechNews

Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Already Here

Brain-Computer Interfaces Are Already Here

A growing number of organizations are attempting to make thought-controlled sense, control, communication, and action a reality by developing brain-computer interfaces.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Devise Hopeful Defense Against Credential Spear-Phishing Attacks

Researchers Devise Hopeful Defense Against Credential Spear-Phishing Attacks

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and collaborators have proposed a method for detecting credential spear-phishing attacks.


From ACM News

Cassini Spacecraft Makes Its Final Approach to Saturn

Cassini Spacecraft Makes Its Final Approach to Saturn

NASA's Cassini spacecraft is on final approach to Saturn, following confirmation by mission navigators that it is on course to dive into the planet's atmosphere on Friday, Sept. 15.


From ACM News

Global Fingerprints of Sea-Level Rise Revealed By Satellites

Global Fingerprints of Sea-Level Rise Revealed By Satellites

As an ice sheet melts, it leaves a unique signature behind. Complex geological processes distribute the meltwater in a distinct pattern, or 'fingerprint', that causes seas to rise unevenly around the world. Now, for the first…


From ACM News

How Apple Is Bringing US Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

How Apple Is Bringing US Into the Age of Facial Recognition Whether We're Ready or Not

A whiff of dystopian creepiness has long wafted in the air whenever facial recognition has come up. Books, movies and television shows have portrayed the technology as mainly a tool of surveillance and social control—aimed by…


From ACM Opinion

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Why Google's AI Can Write Beautiful Songs but Still Can't Tell a Joke

Creating noodling piano tunes and endless configurations of cat drawings with AI may not sound like an obvious project for Google, but it makes a lot of sense to Douglas Eck.


From ACM TechNews

Julia Joins Petaflop Club

Julia Joins Petaflop Club

The open source Julia programming language has been admitted into the "Petaflop Club."


From ACM TechNews

High-Speed Quantum Memory For Photons

High-Speed Quantum Memory For Photons

A new memory technology can store photons in a rubidium atomic vapor and read them out again later without significantly altering their quantum mechanical properties.


From ACM TechNews

Brain Composer: 'thinking' Melodies Onto a Musical Score

Brain Composer: 'thinking' Melodies Onto a Musical Score

P300 is a new brain-computer interface application that enables music to be composed by thought.


From ACM TechNews

Voting-Roll Vulnerability

Voting-Roll Vulnerability

It is relatively easy for hackers to buy enough personal information to potentially rig online voter registration information in as many as 35 states and Washington, D.C.