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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 News

New Horizons Returns First, Best Images of Pluto

New Horizons Returns First, Best Images of Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the first in a series of the sharpest views of Pluto it obtained during its July flyby—and the best close-ups of Pluto that humans may see for decades.

 


From ACM News

Untraceable Communication—guaranteed

Untraceable Communication—guaranteed

Anonymity networks, which sit on top of the public Internet, are designed to conceal people’s Web-browsing habits from prying eyes.


From ACM News

Can’t Put Down Your Device? That's By Design

Can’t Put Down Your Device? That's By Design

Greg Hochmuth was one of the first software engineers hired at Instagram.


From ACM TechNews

Untraceable Communication Guaranteed

Untraceable Communication Guaranteed

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have unveiled an untraceable text-messaging system designed to foil even the most powerful adversaries.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook's New Tools to Help the Blind Navigate Social Media

Facebook's New Tools to Help the Blind Navigate Social Media

Engineer Matt King is blind and works on Facebook's accessibility team, which helps the service make it easier for the visually impaired to interact with it.


From ACM News

Does Encryption Really Help Isis? Here's What You Need to Know

Does Encryption Really Help Isis? Here's What You Need to Know

There's the war on terrorism, and then there's the war on how to fight the war on terrorism.


From ACM TechNews

When Your Boss Is an ­ber Algorithm

When Your Boss Is an ­ber Algorithm

Researchers say Uber and Lyft's automated management systems establish new dynamics between workers and their bosses that should garner regulatory attention.


From ACM News

Nasa Space Telescopes See Magnified Image of Faintest Galaxy from Early ­niverse

Nasa Space Telescopes See Magnified Image of Faintest Galaxy from Early ­niverse

Astronomers harnessing the combined power of NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes have found the faintest object ever seen in the early universe. It existed about 400 million years after the big bang, 13.8 billion years…


From ACM News

From AI and Data Science to Cryptography: Microsoft Researchers Offer 16 Predictions For ’16

From AI and Data Science to Cryptography: Microsoft Researchers Offer 16 Predictions For ’16

Microsoft has released a collection of predictions from 16 leaders and leading thinkers within its Technology and Research organization.


From ACM TechNews

How Supercomputing Can Survive Beyond Moore's Law

How Supercomputing Can Survive Beyond Moore's Law

Supercomputing needs to be extended beyond the limits of Moore's Law, says Sandia National Laboratories' Erik DeBenedictis.


From ACM TechNews

­w Roboticists Learn to Teach Robots From Babies

­w Roboticists Learn to Teach Robots From Babies

Babies learn by watching and imitating what adults are doing, and robots can "learn" in much the same way, according to researchers at the University of Washington.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Enlist Gamers to Find Something Fishy About Mathematical Models

Researchers Enlist Gamers to Find Something Fishy About Mathematical Models

Uppsala University researchers recently used an online game to assess how good mathematical models were at reproducing the collective motion of real fish schools. 


From ACM TechNews

Data Storage on Dna Can Keep It Safe For Centuries

Data Storage on Dna Can Keep It Safe For Centuries

Two separate recent experiments have demonstrated the possibilities of encoding information in synthetic DNA molecules. 


From ACM News

What Makes Paris Look Like Paris? Let an Algorithm Tell You

What Makes Paris Look Like Paris? Let an Algorithm Tell You

Sure, you might be able to tell whether a city is a city by just looking at it. But can you train a machine to be even better than humans at recognizing them?


From ACM News

Gene-Editing Summit Supports Some Research in Human Embryos

Gene-Editing Summit Supports Some Research in Human Embryos

Gene-editing technology should not be used to modify human embryos that are intended for use in establishing a pregnancy, an international summit declared in a statement issued on 3 December.


From ACM News

Patients Favor Changing the Genes of the Next Generation with Crispr

Patients Favor Changing the Genes of the Next Generation with Crispr

Jeff Carroll inherited the DNA mutation that causes Huntington's disease.


From ACM News

Alan Turing: Never-Before-Seen Pictures of Manchester Computer Genius Revealed

Alan Turing: Never-Before-Seen Pictures of Manchester Computer Genius Revealed

Unseen photographs of Alan Turing are to be published for the first time as part of a new biography written by his nephew.


From ACM News

Zero to Expert in Eight Hours: These Robots Can Learn For Themselves

Zero to Expert in Eight Hours: These Robots Can Learn For Themselves

A yellow robotic arm pauses over a pile of metal cylinders, snaps a photo, then proceeds to confidently pick pieces out of the jumble.


From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Ethics a New Focus at Cambridge ­niversity

Artificial Intelligence Ethics a New Focus at Cambridge ­niversity

A new center to study the implications of artificial intelligence and try to influence its ethical development has been established at the U.K.'s Cambridge University, the latest sign thatconcerns are rising about AI's impact


From ACM TechNews

Could We Soon All Have Quantum Computers on Our Desks? Scientists Claim to Have Cracked the Problem of How They Store Data

Could We Soon All Have Quantum Computers on Our Desks? Scientists Claim to Have Cracked the Problem of How They Store Data

The creation of a stable quantum bit by Northwestern University researchers may bring quantum computers closer to practical realization. 


From ACM TechNews

Telepresence Robot For the Disabled Takes Directions from Brain Signals

Telepresence Robot For the Disabled Takes Directions from Brain Signals

Italian and Swiss researchers have created an experimental telepresence robot that can be operated by disabled people via brain signals. 


From ACM TechNews

App to Improve Monitoring of Psychotic Patients' Mental State and Treatment Adherence

App to Improve Monitoring of Psychotic Patients' Mental State and Treatment Adherence

A new mobile app enables doctors to remotely monitor psychotic outpatients' mental states and improve their adherence to treatment plans. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Tech to Help Autonomous Cars Communicate With Pedestrians

Google Tech to Help Autonomous Cars Communicate With Pedestrians

Google has been granted a patent on technology that would attempt to help its autonomous vehicles communicate their "intentions" to pedestrians. 


From ACM News

'improving' Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Argument Among Scientists

'improving' Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Argument Among Scientists

"Today we sense we are close to be being able to alter human heredity," Nobel Laureate and California Institute of Technology virologist David Baltimore said December 1 at the opening of a much-anticipated human gene editing taking…


From ACM News

A Digital Agent to Manage Your Travel

A Digital Agent to Manage Your Travel

A prototype digital travel agent uses machine learning and optimization techniques, among others, to develop personalized travel "trajectories."


From ACM News

Statisticians' Plea: Please Pick Up the Phone

Statisticians' Plea: Please Pick Up the Phone

In the era of big data, when demand for statistics is higher than ever, a shadow of danger looms over the numbers revolution: People are increasingly refusing to provide them.


From ACM News

Teaching AI to Play Atari Will Help Robots Make Sense of Our World

Teaching AI to Play Atari Will Help Robots Make Sense of Our World

Google is teaching machines to play Atari games like Space InvadersVideo Pinball, andBreakout. And they're getting pretty good.

 


From ACM News

'li-Fi 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi'

'li-Fi 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi'

A new method of delivering data, which uses the visible spectrum rather than radio waves, has been tested in a working office.


From ACM TechNews

Engineers Create Droid That Could Replace Firefighters, Soldiers, and Bomb Disposal Experts

Engineers Create Droid That Could Replace Firefighters, Soldiers, and Bomb Disposal Experts

Researchers say they have developed a humanoid robot that can operate tools and interact with its environment the same way a person would. 


From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning and Big Data Know It Wasn't You Who Just Swiped Your Credit Card

Machine Learning and Big Data Know It Wasn't You Who Just Swiped Your Credit Card

Financial companies are turning to machine learning and cloud computing to deal with a flood of big data from a multitude of transactions.