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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.

January 2015


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon's Six-Legged 'snake Monster' Is First of New Breed of Reconfigurable Modular Robots

Carnegie Mellon's Six-Legged 'snake Monster' Is First of New Breed of Reconfigurable Modular Robots

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed the Snake Monster, a six-legged modular robot that can be reconfigured to meet a user's needs. 


From ACM Careers

Need Some Espionage Done? Hackers Are For Hire Online

Need Some Espionage Done? Hackers Are For Hire Online

A man in Sweden says he will pay up to $2,000 to anyone who can break into his landlord’s website.


From ACM TechNews

How to Predict Responses to Disease

How to Predict Responses to Disease

Researchers have developed a computer model that could help public health officials take steps to limit the dangers of a disease outbreak. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Translate App Gets an ­pgrade

Google Translate App Gets an ­pgrade

Google upgraded its Google Translate app last week, adding two new tools that expand the smartphone app's capabilities. 


From ACM News

Crystal-Rich Rock 'mojave' Is Next Mars Drill Target

Crystal-Rich Rock 'mojave' Is Next Mars Drill Target

A rock target where NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is using its sample-collection drill this week may have a salty story to tell.


From ACM News

A Speedy Wireless Protocol Is Coming to Many Gadgets

A Speedy Wireless Protocol Is Coming to Many Gadgets

Smartphones, tablets and PCs should appear this year that can send and receive data wirelessly more than 10 times faster than a Wi-Fi connection.


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Helps Stanford Physicists Predict Dangerous Solar Flares

Artificial Intelligence Helps Stanford Physicists Predict Dangerous Solar Flares

Stanford University researchers have automated analysis of the largest-ever set of solar observations to forecast solar flares using data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.


From ACM TechNews

Advanced 3D Facial Imaging May Aid in Early Detection of Autism

Advanced 3D Facial Imaging May Aid in Early Detection of Autism

Researchers at the University of Missouri have used advanced three-dimensional imaging to identify the facial traits of children with autism. 


From ACM TechNews

Software Created to Help Find a Cure For a 'great Neglected Disease'

Software Created to Help Find a Cure For a 'great Neglected Disease'

Researchers have developed software that analyzes images showing the effects of potential drugs on parasites and measures their effectiveness. 


From ACM Opinion

The Voice-Activated Video Game

The Voice-Activated Video Game

When he was in grad school, the roboticist Daniel Wilson installed 150 binary sensors in his house.


From ACM News

Nasa and Esa Celebrate 10 Years Since Titan Landing

Nasa and Esa Celebrate 10 Years Since Titan Landing

Ten years ago, an explorer from Earth parachuted into the haze of an alien moon toward an uncertain fate.


From ACM Careers

Catching ­p with Stern Pinball on Its New Spike System and Wrestlemania Limited Edition

Catching ­p with Stern Pinball on Its New Spike System and Wrestlemania Limited Edition

When we were in Las Vegas last week, we unexpectedly ran into some representatives from Stern Pinball, who said the company would be announcing a brand new game (Wrestlemania) that had been built on a brand new system (SPIKE)…


From ACM TechNews

Death By Robot

Death By Robot

Many roboticists are realizing autonomous robots  inevitably will find themselves in situations that require a moral judgment.


From ACM TechNews

Obama Calls For New Laws to Bolster Cybersecurity

Obama Calls For New Laws to Bolster Cybersecurity

President Barack Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to pass legislation designed to bolster cybersecurity across both the government and private sectors. 


From ACM TechNews

Vision System For Household Robots

Vision System For Household Robots

A new algorithm can aggregate perspectives and recognize four times as many objects as one that uses a single perspective, while reducing misidentifications. 


From ACM TechNews

Batman Lights the Way to Compact Data Storage

Batman Lights the Way to Compact Data Storage

Researchers say they have developed technology that could make data storage on hard drives faster and more efficient. 


From ACM TechNews

Colleges Rush to Create Cybersecurity Soldiers

Colleges Rush to Create Cybersecurity Soldiers

The recent increase in computer attacks at major corporations have pushed colleges and universities to educate more cybersecurity students and professionals. 


From ACM News

Tropical Paradise Inspires Virtual Ecology Lab

Tropical Paradise Inspires Virtual Ecology Lab

A paradise on Earth could soon become the first ecosystem in the world to be replicated in digital form in pain­staking detail, from the genes of its plants and animals to the geography of its landscape.


From ACM News

We Know How You Feel

We Know How You Feel

Three years ago, archivists at A.T. & T. stumbled upon a rare fragment of computer history: a short film that Jim Henson produced for Ma Bell, in 1963.


From ACM TechNews

Computers May Soon Know You Better Than Your Spouse

Computers May Soon Know You Better Than Your Spouse

Researchers say a new program analyzes a user's likes on Facebook to characterize their personality with an accuracy rivaling that of a close family member. 


From ACM News

What You 'like' on Facebook Gives Away Your Personality

What You 'like' on Facebook Gives Away Your Personality

Be careful what you "like" on Facebook. You're opening a small window on your soul.


From ACM News

License to Fly

License to Fly

Unmanned aerial vehicles, long used by the military, are entering the commercial sector in growing numbers. Who is going to fly them?


From ACM News

Machines Teach Astronomers About Stars

Machines Teach Astronomers About Stars

Astronomers are enlisting the help of machines to sort through thousands of stars in our galaxy and learn their sizes, compositions and other basic traits.


From ACM Opinion

Why the Silk Road Trial Matters

Why the Silk Road Trial Matters

Ross Ulbricht is finally getting his day in court, 15 months after plainclothes FBI agents grabbed him in the science fiction section of a San Francisco library and accused him of running the billion-dollar online drug bazaar…


From ACM News

Black Phosphorous—the Birth of a New Wonder Material

Black Phosphorous—the Birth of a New Wonder Material

In the last few years, two-dimensional crystals have emerged as some of the most exciting new materials to play with.


From ACM TechNews

Pgi Develops a 'virtual Psychiatrist'

Pgi Develops a 'virtual Psychiatrist'

Researchers in India have developed an Internet-based application that diagnoses and treats common psychiatric disorders in adults and children. 


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Takes Aim at Energy Conversion Technology

DARPA Takes Aim at Energy Conversion Technology

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is launching a program which focuses on transduction, the conversion of energy from one form to another. 


From ACM TechNews

Robotic Camera Mimics Human Operators to Anticipate Basketball Game Action

Robotic Camera Mimics Human Operators to Anticipate Basketball Game Action

A new method developed by Disney Research scientists should enable automated cameras to produce video imagery that is smooth and aesthetically pleasing. 


From ACM News

Can the Government Ban Encryption?

Can the Government Ban Encryption?

Whenever the terrorist threat is increased, as it has been since the tragic events in Paris last week, so too are the calls from politicians to increase the powers of the people they employ to protect the public from such threats…


From ACM Careers

IBM Wins Most Patents—again—but Google and Apple Climb in Rankings

IBM Wins Most Patents—again—but Google and Apple Climb in Rankings

There was little change among the largest recipients of U.S. patents in 2014. But two big Silicon Valley names—Google and Apple—continued climbing the charts.