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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 2014


From ACM TechNews

Rethinking Low Completion Rates in Moocs

Rethinking Low Completion Rates in Moocs

A researcher wants to provide greater clarity about low completion rates for massively open online courses by examining the intent of those who sign up. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Review Worldwide Rise of 'network of Networks'

Scientists Review Worldwide Rise of 'network of Networks'

A new paper from scientists based in China, the U.S., and Israel examines how the world has come to be dominated by interconnected networks.


From ACM TechNews

Why Don't More Minority Students Seek STEM Careers? Ask Them.

Why Don't More Minority Students Seek STEM Careers? Ask Them.

A group of minority students identified eight major themes in ways to enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training.


From ACM TechNews

Nsa Spy Program Targets Mobile Networks

Nsa Spy Program Targets Mobile Networks

The U.S. National Security Agency has been intercepting the internal communications of operators and trade groups, and infiltrating mobile networks around the world.


From ACM TechNews

Lassie Text Home: Pooches Get Technological

Lassie Text Home: Pooches Get Technological

Projects are underway to enhance dogs' ability to interact with technology in new ways, in the hope "we'll be able to make them even better at their jobs." 


From ACM TechNews

U.s. Intelligence Wants High-Tech Access to the Most Prodigious Sensor of All: Humans

U.s. Intelligence Wants High-Tech Access to the Most Prodigious Sensor of All: Humans

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is doing research for its Future Applications of Sense Technology for Fidelitous Wearable Devices program.


From ACM TechNews

Sciserver: Big Data Infrastructure For Science

Sciserver: Big Data Infrastructure For Science

Researchers are adapting tools developed for massive astronomy data sets into online big data storage and analytics tools that can be used across scientific disciplines. 


From ACM News

Trends to Watch in 2015: From Algorithmic Accountability to the ­ber of X

Trends to Watch in 2015: From Algorithmic Accountability to the ­ber of X

Year-end technology prediction lists can be dull fodder devoted to pie-in-the-sky concepts, outlandish marketing claims or rehashes of familiar trends.


From ACM Careers

Google's Intelligence Designer

Google's Intelligence Designer

Demis Hassabis started playing chess at age four and soon blossomed into a child prodigy.


From ACM News

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in Vr

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in Vr

Feeling is believing. A system that uses sound waves to project "haptic holograms" into mid-airletting you touch 3D virtual objects with your bare hands—is poised to bring virtual reality into the physical world.


From ACM Opinion

The Last Astronauts to Fly to Hubble Talk About Their Wild Mission

The Last Astronauts to Fly to Hubble Talk About Their Wild Mission

On a sunny afternoon in May, 2009, seven astronauts strapped themselves into the space shuttle Atlantis and rocketed toward the heavens.


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Engineers Take Big Step Toward ­sing Light Instead of Wires Inside Computers

Stanford Engineers Take Big Step Toward ­sing Light Instead of Wires Inside Computers

Stanford University researchers have developed a device that can split and bend a beam of light, which they say could lead to computers that use optics to carry data. 


From ACM TechNews

A 24-Hour Social Innovation Hackathon to Fight World Hunger

A 24-Hour Social Innovation Hackathon to Fight World Hunger

In late November, people gathered at the University of California, Berkeley to participate in a Social Innovation Hackathon. 


From ACM TechNews

Cleaning Bot Operators Get Censored View of Your Home

Cleaning Bot Operators Get Censored View of Your Home

In the near future, it may be possible for household cleaning robots to be remotely controlled via the Internet, with privacy ensured by blurring the video feed. 


From ACM TechNews

How to Get More Latinas Into Tech

How to Get More Latinas Into Tech

Silicon Valley could be more innovative if it drew from an even richer pool of ideas, suggests media start-up Vyv co-founder Laura Gomez. 


From ACM TechNews

How Can the Global Internet Be Governed?

How Can the Global Internet Be Governed?

Brown University professor John Savage offered a working paper on tackling Internet governance at this week's fifth Global Cyberspace Cooperation Summit in Berlin. 


From ACM News

Hacked vs. Hackers: Game On

Hacked vs. Hackers: Game On

Paul Kocher, one of the country's leading cryptographers, says he thinks the explanation for the world's dismal state of digital security may lie in two charts.


From ACM News

Csedweek Gains Momentum

Csedweek Gains Momentum

The Hour of Code event alone could have as many as 100 million participants worldwide.


From ACM News

The Fastest Camera Ever Created Will Be Used to Study Invisibility Cloaks

The Fastest Camera Ever Created Will Be Used to Study Invisibility Cloaks

If you're wondering what scientists can do with a camera that captures 100 billion frames per second, you're not alone.


From ACM News

Ground Team Ready to Rouse Pluto Probe For Historic Flyby

Ground Team Ready to Rouse Pluto Probe For Historic Flyby

On the final stretch of a speedy nine-year trek through the solar system, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be awakened from hibernation Dec. 6 for an encounter with Pluto, a mysterious world that has captured imaginations…


From ACM Careers

A Googler's Quest to Teach Machines How to ­nderstand Emotions

A Googler's Quest to Teach Machines How to ­nderstand Emotions

Quoc Le sees the world as a series of numbers.


From ACM Opinion

Finding an Image with an Image and Other Feats of Computer Vision

Finding an Image with an Image and Other Feats of Computer Vision

"We found that people were searching for squirrels just to favorite them, just to click 'like.' And the same with buses."


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientist Researches Privacy System

Computer Scientist Researches Privacy System

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to a University of Texas at Arlington computer scientist studying ways to strengthen computer privacy. 


From ACM TechNews

Cybersecurity Concept For Unmanned Systems

Cybersecurity Concept For Unmanned Systems

Researchers have developed the System-Aware Cybersecurity concept and Secure Sentinel technology to improve defenses for unmanned drones against cyberattacks. 


From ACM TechNews

Software Speeds Detection of Diseases and Cancer-Treatment Targets

Software Speeds Detection of Diseases and Cancer-Treatment Targets

Researchers say they have developed software that can identify DNA from viruses in all parts of the Tree of Life. 


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon's Cobot Robots Reach 1,000-Kilometer Milestone of Autonomous Operation

Carnegie Mellon's Cobot Robots Reach 1,000-Kilometer Milestone of Autonomous Operation

Robots deployed at Carnegie Mellon University have collectively reached 1,000 kilometers of autonomous operation.


From ACM News

Google and Nasa Ride D-Wave to a Quantum Future

Google and Nasa Ride D-Wave to a Quantum Future

They could be the most powerful computers in the world—so perhaps it's no surprise that the biggest internet company on the planet is testing one out.


From ACM News

Physics: Quantum Computer Quest

Physics: Quantum Computer Quest

When asked what he likes best about working for Google, physicist John Martinis does not mention the famous massage chairs in the hallways, or the free snacks available just about anywhere at the company's campus in Mountain…


From ACM News

Google Can Now Tell You're Not a Robot With Just One Click

Google Can Now Tell You're Not a Robot With Just One Click

When Alan Turing first conceived of the Turing Test in 1947, he suggested that a computer program’s resemblance to a human mind could be gauged by making it answer a series of questions written by an interrogator in another room…


From ACM News

What's Next For the Rosetta Mission and Comet Exploration

What's Next For the Rosetta Mission and Comet Exploration

Somewhere dark and icy on a comet 320 million miles away, the history-making, comet-bouncing Philae spacecraft is sleeping.