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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 News

Vision System For Household Robots

Vision System For Household Robots

For household robots ever to be practical, they'll need to be able to recognize the objects they're supposed to manipulate.


From ACM News

The Algorithm That Unscrambles Fractured Images

The Algorithm That Unscrambles Fractured Images

Take a hammer to a mirror and you will fracture the image it produces as well as the glass.


From ACM News

Nasa Mars Rover Opportunity Climbs to High Point on Rim

Nasa Mars Rover Opportunity Climbs to High Point on Rim

After completing two drives this week, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has paused to photograph the panoramic vista from the highest point the rover has reached during its 40 months of exploring the western rim of Mars'…


From ACM Opinion

Robots Are Sneaking ­p On Congress (along with Four Other Tech Trends)

Robots Are Sneaking ­p On Congress (along with Four Other Tech Trends)

One of the best Twitter accounts inside the Beltway or out—belongs to former representativeJohn Dingell (D-Mich.), who announced his retirement with self-effacing posts such as "Added the 'F' word to my Twitter bio" and "Also…


From ACM TechNews

A Bendable Implant Taps the Nervous System Without Damaging It

A Bendable Implant Taps the Nervous System Without Damaging It

A newly developed flexible electronic implant hashe same ability to bend and stretch as the membrane that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. 


From ACM TechNews

How Reverse-Engineering the Brain Could Help Machines Learn

How Reverse-Engineering the Brain Could Help Machines Learn

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity has announced a research and development program to reverse-engineer the algorithms brains use.


From ACM TechNews

No Need to Panic--Artificial Intelligence Has Yet to Create a Doomsday Machine

No Need to Panic--Artificial Intelligence Has Yet to Create a Doomsday Machine

University of Sheffield professor Tony Prescott says the day people create dangerous artificial intelligence is far off. 


From ACM TechNews

FBI Is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows

FBI Is Broadening Surveillance Role, Report Shows

Since passage of the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has played an ever-larger role in the warrantless wiretapping program.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Hard Drive Breakthrough

Quantum Hard Drive Breakthrough

Physicists from Australian National University and the University of Otago have developed a prototype quantum hard drive. 


From ACM TechNews

Nissan, Nasa Team Up For Self-Driving Car Tech

Nissan, Nasa Team Up For Self-Driving Car Tech

Nissan and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration have announced a five-year research and development partnership to produce an autonomous vehicle. 


From ACM TechNews

The 8080 Chip at 40: What's Next For the Mighty Microprocessor?

The 8080 Chip at 40: What's Next For the Mighty Microprocessor?

Descendants of the Intel 8080 microprocessor, which gave rise to the personal computer industry, promise to lead to further computer technology evolution. 


From ACM News

Language Translation Tech Starts to Deliver on Its Promise

Language Translation Tech Starts to Deliver on Its Promise

The tech industry is doing its best to topple the Tower of Babel.


From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Experts Sign Open Letter to Protect Mankind from Machines

Artificial Intelligence Experts Sign Open Letter to Protect Mankind from Machines

The Future of Life Institute wants humanity to tread lightly while on the road to really smart, and not so cuddly, robots.


From ACM News

The Leap Second Is About to Rattle the Internet. But There's a Plot to Kill It

The Leap Second Is About to Rattle the Internet. But There's a Plot to Kill It

The Qantas Airways computers started crashing just after midnight.


From ACM News

Snowden: ­.s. Has Put Too Much Emphasis on Cyber-Offense, Needs Defense

Snowden: ­.s. Has Put Too Much Emphasis on Cyber-Offense, Needs Defense

In an on-camera interview with James Bamford for an upcoming episode of PBS' NOVA, Edward Snowden warned that the U.S. Department of Defense and National Security Agency have over-emphasized the development of offensive network…


From ACM News

Scientists Pinpoint Saturn With Exquisite Accuracy

Scientists Pinpoint Saturn With Exquisite Accuracy

Scientists have paired NASA's Cassini spacecraft with the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio-telescope system to pinpoint the position of Saturn and its family of moons to within about 2 miles…


From ACM News

A Cyberattack Has Caused Confirmed Physical Damage For the Second Time Ever

A Cyberattack Has Caused Confirmed Physical Damage For the Second Time Ever

Amid all the noise the Sony hack generated over the holidays, a far more troubling cyber attack was largely lost in the chaos. Unless you follow security news closely, you likely missed it.


From ACM TechNews

Spin Designers

Spin Designers

The Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces, and Novel Architectures wants to use the spin of electrons on nanomagnets to encode zeros and ones in computers. 


From ACM TechNews

Intel Tech Brings US Closer to the World of 'minority Report'

Intel Tech Brings US Closer to the World of 'minority Report'

Technology shown by Intel at the Consumer Electronics Show is largely oriented around a depth-sensing camera that could transform human-computer interaction.


From ACM TechNews

You Will Be Able to Touch the Internet By 2035, and It Will Touch Back

You Will Be Able to Touch the Internet By 2035, and It Will Touch Back

A Dresden University of Technology professor anticipates the "Tactile Internet" as one potential result of the speed of next-generation G5 wireless technology. 


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Could Make Smart Homes Stupid--or Worse

Hackers Could Make Smart Homes Stupid--or Worse

A professor working to bolster smart-home security says now is the time to start thinking about cybersecurity nightmares.


From ACM TechNews

Adding Leap Second This Year Expected to Cause Internet Problems

Adding Leap Second This Year Expected to Cause Internet Problems

A leap second will be added to the year this summer, and many Internet companies are concerned this will cause problems for websites. 


From ACM News

Why Passenger Planes Can Still Vanish

Why Passenger Planes Can Still Vanish

By Dec. 30, when search teams began to recover debris and bodies from the apparent crash site of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the airline industry had begun to hear renewed calls from flyers and regulators for more precise, consistent…


From ACM News

This Computer Knows When to Hold 'em, Knows When to Fold 'em

This Computer Knows When to Hold 'em, Knows When to Fold 'em

Card sharks, beware. A new program cannot be beaten at a variety of poker called heads-up limit Texas Hold 'em—at least in a human lifetime—a team of computer scientists reports.


From ACM News

Computer Security: Who You Gonna Call?

Computer Security: Who You Gonna Call?

Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) stand ready to battle ever-more-sophisticated cyberthreats. 


From ACM News

A Spectacular Spiral May Encircle the Milky Way

A Spectacular Spiral May Encircle the Milky Way

Mapping a galaxy isn't easy when you live inside it.


From ACM News

Fbi Says Search Warrants Not Needed to Use 'stingrays' in Public Places

Fbi Says Search Warrants Not Needed to Use 'stingrays' in Public Places

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking the position that court warrants are not required when deploying cell-site simulators in public places.


From ACM TechNews

Cultures of Code

Cultures of Code

Computing is a fragmented field, writes Brian Hayes, looking at three professionals who use and develop software on a daily basis, from different perspectives.


From ACM TechNews

Your Computer Could Help Unlock the Universe’s Mysteries in Its Free Time

Your Computer Could Help Unlock the Universe’s Mysteries in Its Free Time

The University of California, Berkeley's Open Infrastructure for Network Computing program enables PCs to work together to create a virtual supercomputer.


From ACM TechNews

­ of R Grad's Studies ­tilize Google Glass

­ of R Grad's Studies ­tilize Google Glass

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology doctoral student is studying how Google Glass can improve the quality of life of people on the autism spectrum.