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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 2015


From ACM TechNews

Nanoelectronics Engineers Develop Transistor that Overcomes Fundamental Power Limitations

Nanoelectronics Engineers Develop Transistor that Overcomes Fundamental Power Limitations

Engineers at the University of California, Santa Barbara say they have made a breakthrough in addressing the fundamental power challenge of electronics.


From ACM News

Baidu's Self-Driving Car Takes On Beijing Traffic

Baidu's Self-Driving Car Takes On Beijing Traffic

Driving around Beijing often feels unnervingly like a contact sport, with vehicles recklessly plunging through thick traffic, sneaking along the shoulder, or cutting through red lights—whether pedestrians are trying to cross…


From ACM News

Why Memory and Mimicry Are The Next Big Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence

Why Memory and Mimicry Are The Next Big Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence

For the last five years the effort to teach computers to think more like humans, to learn how to recognize speech and images on their own has been the goal of deep learning.


From ACM News

A Bootstrap For STEM

A Bootstrap For STEM

The non-profit Bootstrap program teaches students to understand algebraic functions by helping them program video games.


From ACM News

New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins

New Clues to Ceres' Bright Spots and Origins

Ceres reveals some of its well-kept secrets in two new studies in the journal Nature, thanks to data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.


From ACM News

Hacker Lexicon: Malvertising, the Hack That Infects Computers Without a Click

Hacker Lexicon: Malvertising, the Hack That Infects Computers Without a Click

Malvertising is when hackers buy ad space on a legitimate website, and, as the name suggests, upload malicious advertisements designed to hack site visitor’s computers.


From ACM TechNews

Chinese Researchers Unveil Brain-Powered Car

Chinese Researchers Unveil Brain-Powered Car

Chinese researchers from Nankai University have spent the last two years developing a mind-controlled car. 


From ACM TechNews

Teaching Computers How to Give Cricket Commentary

Teaching Computers How to Give Cricket Commentary

Indian researchers have used machine-learning techniques to generate text-based cricket commentary with an accuracy rate of 90 percent. 


From ACM TechNews

As Aging Population Grows, So Do Robotic Health Aides

As Aging Population Grows, So Do Robotic Health Aides

Roboticists and doctors deployment of innovations in computerized, robotic, and Internet-connected technologies to help aging adults stay independent longer. 


From ACM TechNews

What Makes Tom Hanks Look Like Tom Hanks?

What Makes Tom Hanks Look Like Tom Hanks?

A new system uses machine-learning algorithms to construct and animate three-dimensional models of celebrities based on large numbers of photographs. 


From ACM TechNews

Want a Computer That Never Crashes? Don't Let Bugs Freak It Out

Want a Computer That Never Crashes? Don't Let Bugs Freak It Out

Developers' perception of software bugs must shift from something that must be found and removed at all costs to an unavoidable fact of life. 


From ACM News

Here's What Developers Are Doing with Google’s AI Brain

Here's What Developers Are Doing with Google’s AI Brain

An artificial intelligence engine that Google uses in many of its products, and that it made freely available last month, is now being used by others to perform some neat tricks, including translating English into Chinese, reading…


From ACM TechNews

Custom AI Programs Take on Top Ranked Humans in Starcraft

Custom AI Programs Take on Top Ranked Humans in Starcraft

In a recent contest, three Artificial Intelligence programs played against a Russian player in StarCraft: Brood War.


From ACM News

Army to Stop Putting Social Security Numbers on Dog Tags

Army to Stop Putting Social Security Numbers on Dog Tags

Soldiers' Social Security numbers will no longer be part of their dog tags, the Army announced Tuesday.


From ACM News

China Wants to Replace Millions of Workers with Robots

China Wants to Replace Millions of Workers with Robots

China is laying the groundwork for a robot revolution by planning to automate the work currently done by millions of low-paid workers.


From ACM News

To Jupiter with Junocam!

To Jupiter with Junocam!

When NASA's Juno mission arrives at Jupiter on July 4, 2016, new views of the giant planet's swirling clouds will be sent back to Earth, courtesy of its color camera, called JunoCam.


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Reality Room Facilitates New Research

Virtual Reality Room Facilitates New Research

Brown University's YURT Ultimate Reality Theater creates images viewable with three-dimensional (3D) glasses.


From ACM TechNews

Twitter Data Can Make Roads Safer During Inclement Weather

Twitter Data Can Make Roads Safer During Inclement Weather

University at Buffalo researchers are examining how weather-related tweets can improve computer models of driving during inclement weather. 


From ACM TechNews

Ornl Process Could Be White Lightning to Electronics Industry

Ornl Process Could Be White Lightning to Electronics Industry

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a virtually perfect single layer of "white graphene" (hexagonal boron nitride). 


From ACM Careers

Obama Appeals to Silicon Valley For Help with Online Anti-Extremist Campaign

Obama Appeals to Silicon Valley For Help with Online Anti-Extremist Campaign

President Barack Obama on Sunday called on Silicon Valley to help address the threat of militant groups using social media and electronic communications to plan and promote violence, setting up renewed debate over personal privacy…


From ACM News

The High-Stakes Race to Rid the World of Human Drivers

The High-Stakes Race to Rid the World of Human Drivers

The race to bring driverless cars to the masses is only just beginning, but already it is a fight for the ages.


From ACM News

IBM to Develop Hardware to Wipe Out Errors in Quantum Computing

IBM to Develop Hardware to Wipe Out Errors in Quantum Computing

The race to build a full-blown quantum computer is heating up.


From ACM News

Software-Defined Batteries Take Charge

Software-Defined Batteries Take Charge

Researchers are exploring a new generation of batteries that rely on software to define performance.


From ACM News

Crispr Gene-Editing Gets Rules. Well, Guidelines, Really

Crispr Gene-Editing Gets Rules. Well, Guidelines, Really

If you're hoping to engineer perfect babies, you're going to have to wait.


From ACM News

Japan's Venus Orbiter Makes Comeback

Japan's Venus Orbiter Makes Comeback

Japan's Akatsuki spacecraft has entered orbit around Venus, five years after its first attempt failed.


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Scientists Develop 'shazam For Earthquakes'

Stanford Scientists Develop 'shazam For Earthquakes'

The new Fingerprint And Similarity Thresholding algorithm could transform how seismologists detect temblors not strong enough to register as earthquakes. 


From ACM TechNews

Man With No Limbs Controls Robotic Hand ­sing Muscle Whispers

Man With No Limbs Controls Robotic Hand ­sing Muscle Whispers

Sam Wilson, a Ph.D. student at Imperial College London, and supervisor Ravi Vaidyanathan are designing new ways for the human body to control prostheses. 


From ACM TechNews

A Smarter Kind of Crash Test Dummy

A Smarter Kind of Crash Test Dummy

Car crash simulations are being run on a supercomputer using a combination of actual vehicle, scene, and medical data by Wake Forest University researchers. 


From ACM TechNews

When Apps Talk Behind Your Back

When Apps Talk Behind Your Back

A recent study found nearly 9% of popular apps downloaded from Google Play interact with websites that could compromise users' security and privacy. 


From ACM TechNews

Google and Facebook Race to Solve the Ancient Game of Go With AI

Google and Facebook Race to Solve the Ancient Game of Go With AI

Although software designed to play standard board games can now dominate even the best human players, the ancient game of Go has proven a much trickier challenge.