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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.

April 2018


From ACM TechNews

­sing Biomimicry to Detect Outbreaks Faster

­sing Biomimicry to Detect Outbreaks Faster

Researchers have been working to enhance the U.S. biosurveillance system, which alerts authorities to disease outbreaks.


From ACM News

Mercury in Retrograde Now, Stumping Scientists Always

Mercury in Retrograde Now, Stumping Scientists Always

Until April 15, here's a convenient excuse for any troubles in your life: It's all the fault of a quirk of the planetary dance that constantly unfolds across our solar system.


From ACM News

A Tough Task for Facebook: European-Type Privacy for All

A Tough Task for Facebook: European-Type Privacy for All

Next month, a comprehensive new data protection law goes into effect in the European Union, placing greater requirements on how companies like Facebook and Google handle users' personal information. It also strengthens individuals'…


From ACM TechNews

Smart Ink Adds New Dimensions to 3D Printing

Smart Ink Adds New Dimensions to 3D Printing

A new smart ink turns three-dimensionally-printed structures into objects that change shape and color.


From ACM TechNews

Ancient Paper Art Poised to Improve Smart Clothing

Ancient Paper Art Poised to Improve Smart Clothing

Researchers have used kirigami in their execution of a project to build malleable electronic circuits, which could enhance smart apparel.


From ACM TechNews

Crypto Crumpling Could Solve the Encryption Conundrum

Crypto Crumpling Could Solve the Encryption Conundrum

Researchers say a new encryption method that maximizes mobile device security for users still gives authorities a way to gain "exceptional access" in special circumstances.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Devise Novel Laser Steering for Autonomous Cars

Researchers Devise Novel Laser Steering for Autonomous Cars

Researchers say they have discovered a novel laser light sensing technology that is more robust and less expensive than conventional systems.


From ACM TechNews

A 200-Year-Old Idea Offers a New Way to Trace Stolen Bitcoins

A 200-Year-Old Idea Offers a New Way to Trace Stolen Bitcoins

Researchers are using an 1816 legal precedent to track down stolen bitcoins.


From ACM TechNews

Migration Forecasts Could Help Prevent Wind Turbines and Buildings From Killing Millions of Birds

Migration Forecasts Could Help Prevent Wind Turbines and Buildings From Killing Millions of Birds

A team of researchers have constructed a computer model of weather and bird migration to help prevent bird deaths by wind farms and buildings.


From ACM News

Beijing Launches Pioneering Brain-Science Centre

Beijing Launches Pioneering Brain-Science Centre

Beijing has announced plans to build a brain-science centre that will rival in size some of the world's largest neuroscience organizations. It will also serve as a core facility for the country's long-awaited brain project—China's…


From ACM News

A Brain-Boosting Prosthesis Moves From Rats to Humans

A Brain-Boosting Prosthesis Moves From Rats to Humans

The shape on the screen appears only briefly—just long enough for the test subject to commit it to memory. At the same time, an electrical signal snakes past the bony perimeter of her skull, down through a warm layer of graybrain…


From ACM News

The Quest to Map the Mysteries of the Ocean Floor

The Quest to Map the Mysteries of the Ocean Floor

Geologists have charted mountain ranges and forests and desert tundras, astronomers the heavens above, yet our planet's oceans remain largely unexplored; it's often said that we have a more complete understanding of the Moon …


From ACM News

Your Alexa and Fitbit Can Testify Against You in Court

Your Alexa and Fitbit Can Testify Against You in Court

Ross Compton had no idea his pacemaker would finger him for arson.


From ACM News

How Human is Your Robot?

How Human is Your Robot?

A Brown University team develops a way to 'score' robots for being more (or less) like people.


From ACM News

The Next NSA Chief Is More ­sed to Cyberwar Than Spy Games

The Next NSA Chief Is More ­sed to Cyberwar Than Spy Games

After sailing through two friendly Senate hearings—one so uncontroversial that only six senators tops bothered to even show up at any given point in the hour—Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone seems set for confirmation as the …


From ACM News

John Bolton, Cyber Warrior

John Bolton, Cyber Warrior

John Bolton has spent years imploring the U.S. to go on the attack in cyberspace—a stance that some digital warfare experts caution could set up the nation for a conflict it would be better off avoiding.


From ACM News

Hubble ­ncovers the Farthest Star Ever Seen

Hubble ­ncovers the Farthest Star Ever Seen

More than halfway across the universe, an enormous blue star nicknamed Icarus is the farthest individual star ever seen.


From ACM TechNews

What People See in 157 Robot Faces

What People See in 157 Robot Faces

A study of robot faces across 76 dimensions found that robots whose faces were rated less-friendly lacked a mouth and pupils, but had eyelids.


From ACM TechNews

Blue Waters Supercomputer Brings Subatomic Resolution to Computational Microscope

Blue Waters Supercomputer Brings Subatomic Resolution to Computational Microscope

A new "computational microscope" can model the atomic and subatomic forces driving molecular interactions.


From ACM TechNews

Digital Life Team Creates Animated 3D Models of Sea Turtles From Live Specimens

Digital Life Team Creates Animated 3D Models of Sea Turtles From Live Specimens

The Digital Life team at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has unveiled three-dimensional models of a loggerhead and a green sea turtle.


From ACM TechNews

Twisting Graphene Into Spirals

Twisting Graphene Into Spirals

Researchers in Japan have synthesized helical nanographene, a breakthrough that could lead to nanoscale induction coils and molecular springs for use in nanomechanics.


From ACM TechNews

Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence Leading the Way to Smart Houses

Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence Leading the Way to Smart Houses

Researchers are studying deep learning, with a focus on improving medical imaging and advancing the future of truly smart houses that will perform manual labor for occupants.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computing Can Go Chemical With Molecular Qubits

Quantum Computing Can Go Chemical With Molecular Qubits

Northwestern University researchers are making qubits out of organometallic molecules.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Professor Who Developed Wi-Fi-like Device That 'Sees Through Walls' to Receive ACM Prize in Computing

MIT Professor Who Developed Wi-Fi-like Device That 'Sees Through Walls' to Receive ACM Prize in Computing

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Dina Katabi has been named recipient of the 2017 ACM Prize in Computing.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists ­se AI to Predict Biological Age Based on Smartphone, Wearables Data

Scientists ­se AI to Predict Biological Age Based on Smartphone, Wearables Data

Researchers in Russia have demonstrated that physical activity data obtained from wearable computing devices can be used to generate digital biomarkers of aging and frailty.


From ACM TechNews

DevOps, Machine Learning Dominate Technology Opportunities This Year

DevOps, Machine Learning Dominate Technology Opportunities This Year

Programming languages and frameworks associated with DevOps and machine learning are on the rise, and developers working in these areas garner the highest salaries.


From ACM News

Tech Thinks It Has a Fix for the Problems It Created: Blockchain

Tech Thinks It Has a Fix for the Problems It Created: Blockchain

Entrepreneurs, companies, and governments look to use databases like Blockchain—often independent of Bitcoin—to solve some of the most intractable issues facing society.


From ACM News

Military Documents Reveal How the ­S Army Plans to Deploy AI in Future Wars

Military Documents Reveal How the ­S Army Plans to Deploy AI in Future Wars

Tomorrow's wars will be fought with a lethal combination of soldiers, drones, and AI-powered systems. The Internet of Battle Things, as it's being called, is a vast battlefield network of machines and humans—and the US Army is…


From ACM News

Robots Augment Surgeons

Robots Augment Surgeons

Automation that helps doctors perform surgery also will help them learn to be better surgeons.


From ACM TechNews

To Speed ­p AI, Mix Memory and Processing

To Speed ­p AI, Mix Memory and Processing

The University of Illinois' Naresh Shanbhag is pushing for a new computer architecture that blends computing and memory so devices can be smarter without consuming more energy.