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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.

December 2013


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Goes Public

Artificial Intelligence Goes Public

Researchers from several U.K. institutions are collaborating on a project that will use robots to serve as a proxy for people in public spaces. 


From ACM TechNews

Hundreds of Teens Attend Computer Science Education Day at Cal

Hundreds of Teens Attend Computer Science Education Day at Cal

The University of California, Berkeley held its annual Computer Science Education Day on Dec. 10, drawing hundreds of students from across the Bay Area. 


From ACM TechNews

Cloud Power Issue Looms, Says Cisco CTO

Cloud Power Issue Looms, Says Cisco CTO

Cisco Systems technologists say it is crucial for the U.S. government to fund basic research into future power consumption issues.


From ACM Opinion

President Obama Talks About Teaching Everyone to Code. This Professor Does It.

President Obama Talks About Teaching Everyone to Code. This Professor Does It.

On Monday, President Obama kicked off computer science education week, encouraging every young person to acquire computer programming skills, even if they have no intention of becoming a software engineer.


From ACM News

Bots Now 'account For 61% of Web Traffic'

Bots Now 'account For 61% of Web Traffic'

If you are visiting this page the chances are that you are not a human, at least according to research.


From ACM News

New System Allows For High-Accuracy, Through-Wall, 3D Motion Tracking

New System Allows For High-Accuracy, Through-Wall, 3D Motion Tracking

Imagine playing a video game like Call of Duty or Battlefield and having the ability to lead your virtual army unit while moving freely throughout your house.


From ACM News

Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She's A Robot

Meet the Robot Telemarketer Who Denies She's A Robot

The phone call came from a charming woman with a bright, engaging voice to the cell phone of a TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer.


From ACM Opinion

For Steve Ballmer, a Lasting Touch on Microsoft

For Steve Ballmer, a Lasting Touch on Microsoft

On the eve of his exit as chief executive officer of Microsoft, after more than a decade on the job, Steve Ballmer is more than ever a CEO whose image does not always reflect reality.


From ACM TechNews

Computational Linguists Predict Time's 'person of the Year' Using Computer Model

Computational Linguists Predict Time's 'person of the Year' Using Computer Model

Computational linguists developed a quantitative model that predicted Time's "Person of the Year" for 2013 would be President Barack Obama. 


From ACM TechNews

New App Puts Political Engagement in Your Pocket

New App Puts Political Engagement in Your Pocket

The free iCitizen app was designed to offer a quick and easy way for smartphone users to become educated on political issues of concern to them.


From ACM TechNews

Skin Pigment Could Power Safe, Implantable Battery

Skin Pigment Could Power Safe, Implantable Battery

A battery made with the skin pigment melanin could one day provide power for electronic devices installed within the human body. 


From ACM TechNews

Pioneering Path to Electrical Conductivity in 'tinkertoy' Materials to Appear in Science

Pioneering Path to Electrical Conductivity in 'tinkertoy' Materials to Appear in Science

A new method to realize electrical conductivity in metal-organic framework materials could have major implications for the future of electronics.


From ACM Opinion

Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet

Edward Snowden, The Dark Prophet

To avoid surveillance, the first four Americans to visit Edward Snowden in Moscow carried no cell phones or laptops.


From ACM News

Inside the Effort to Kill a Web Fraud 'botnet'

Inside the Effort to Kill a Web Fraud 'botnet'

For months, investigators at Microsoft Corp. hunkered down in front of their computer monitors, patiently stalking the shadowy figures behind what the company says is a major Web ad-fraud machine.


From ACM News

Nasa Jsc Unveils 'valkyrie' Drc Robot

Nasa Jsc Unveils 'valkyrie' Drc Robot

When teams participating in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) were announced last year, almost all of them provided reasonably detailed renderings that gave us a good idea of the robots that they were working on.


From ACM News

What the World Would Look Like If You Could See Cell Phone Signals

What the World Would Look Like If You Could See Cell Phone Signals

There are thousands of invisible signals bouncing around us all the time, and the world would be a very different place if we could see them.


From ACM Opinion

Doom's Creator Looks Back on 20 Years of Demonic Mayhem

Doom's Creator Looks Back on 20 Years of Demonic Mayhem

At the stroke of midnight on December 10, 1993, an executive at id Software uploaded a file to an FTP site on the University of Washington's network.


From ACM News

China Bitcoin Arbitrage Ends As Traders Work Around Capital Controls

China Bitcoin Arbitrage Ends As Traders Work Around Capital Controls

The price gap between bitcoins trading in Chinese yuan and those sold for other currencies has evaporated in recent days, highlighting the porous nature of China's capital controls.


From ACM TechNews

Moore's Law Isn't Making Chips Cheaper Anymore

Moore's Law Isn't Making Chips Cheaper Anymore

Chip makers can no longer expect to make processors smaller, faster, and less expensive with each generation by packing more transistors onto a silicon wafer. 


From ACM TechNews

Crackdown Successfully Reduces Spam

Crackdown Successfully Reduces Spam

Two Google security researchers report that a pair of authentication standards designed to help combat spam and phishing attacks are being widely adopted. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Compete to Bring Humanoid Robots to Life

Researchers Compete to Bring Humanoid Robots to Life

During the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge,  researchers will compete to enable humanoid robots to collaborate with humans. 


From ACM News

NASA Developing Natural Hazard Warning Systems

NASA Developing Natural Hazard Warning Systems

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have enhanced existing GPS technologies to develop new systems for California and elsewhere to warn of…


From ACM TechNews

Nsa ­ses Google Cookies to Pinpoint Targets For Hacking

Nsa ­ses Google Cookies to Pinpoint Targets For Hacking

Documents released by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden indicate the agency uses Internet cookies to hack indivuals' computers. 


From ACM TechNews

Running Shoe Warns of Danger

Running Shoe Warns of Danger

The European Union is backing the development of a running shoe that would help reduce injuries by providing feedback on running form and the workout routine. 


From ACM News

The Brilliant Hack That Brought Foursquare Back From the Dead

The Brilliant Hack That Brought Foursquare Back From the Dead

Dennis Crowley thought his 13-year dream might never come true. 


From ACM TechNews

Algorithms Are Watching

Algorithms Are Watching

New research involves the use of algorithms in data mining and the analysis of social networks to study how information moves within large social graphs. 


From ACM News

Simulations Back Up Theory That Universe Is a Hologram

Simulations Back Up Theory That Universe Is a Hologram

A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.


From ACM News

Fbi's Search For 'mo,' Suspect in Bomb Threats, Highlights ­se of Malware For Surveillance

The man who called himself "Mo" had dark hair, a foreign accent and—if the pictures he emailed to federal investigators could be believed—an Iranian military uniform.


From ACM Opinion

Will Your Next Phone Have No Screen?

Will Your Next Phone Have No Screen?

Google is predicting a generation of screenless computing devices that rely on voice recognition, a senior engineer has said, emphasising that the company encrypts users' audio data to the same standard as text-based information…


From ACM TechNews

An App-Led Walk Down Memory Lane

An App-Led Walk Down Memory Lane

The Memoir iPhone app accesses photos and status updates from a user's social networks based on the user's location, what is going on, and who else is around.