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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.

July 2014


From ACM TechNews

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting

A team of researchers is developing algorithms to let photographers use camera-mounted controls to guide drone-mounted lights into just the right position. 


From ACM TechNews

First Major Redesign of Rasberry Pi Unveiled

First Major Redesign of Rasberry Pi Unveiled

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has released the first major redesign of Raspberry Pi, its credit card-sized computer. The new model is known as B+.


From ACM Opinion

Nsa Implementing Fix to Prevent Snowden-Like Security Breach

Nsa Implementing Fix to Prevent Snowden-Like Security Breach

A year after Edward Snowden's digital heist, the NSA's chief technology officer says steps have been taken to stop future incidents. But he says there's no way for the NSA to be entirely secure.


From ACM TechNews

'nano-Pixels' Promise Thin, Flexible High-Res Displays

'nano-Pixels' Promise Thin, Flexible High-Res Displays

Researchers say they have developed a phase change material that could eventually lead to low-energy, thin, flexible displays. 


From ACM TechNews

A Speech Synthesizer Direct to the Brain

A Speech Synthesizer Direct to the Brain

A San Francisco neurosurgeon says he is working toward building a wireless brain-machine interface that could translate brain signals directly into audible speech. 


From ACM TechNews

'Telekinetic' App Controls Google Glass With Your Mind

'Telekinetic' App Controls Google Glass With Your Mind

A "telekinetic" app has been launched to enable Google Glass users to control the device using only their thoughts. 


From ACM Opinion

Harnessing the Speed of Light

Harnessing the Speed of Light

The fields of data communication, fabrication, and ultrasound imaging share a common challenge when it comes to improving speed and efficiency: light's diffraction limit. Nicholas Fang thinks his group at MIT might have found…


From ACM News

Israeli Rocket Defense System Is Failing at Crucial Task, Expert Analysts Say

Israeli Rocket Defense System Is Failing at Crucial Task, Expert Analysts Say


From ACM TechNews

IBM Spending $3 Billion to Rethink Decades-Old Computer Design

IBM Spending $3 Billion to Rethink Decades-Old Computer Design

IBM plans to spend $3 billion over the next five years to research and develop new fundamental computing technologies, focusing specifically on the possibilities of using graphene and carbon nanotubes as replacements for silicon…


From ACM TechNews

Most With College STEM Degrees Go to Work in Other Fields, Survey Finds

Most With College STEM Degrees Go to Work in Other Fields, Survey Finds

Students who graduate with a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are more likely than other graduates to be employed, but also are unlikely to have a job in a STEM field, according to a new…


From ACM TechNews

Bell Labs Transmits Data at 10 Gbits/second Over Copper Lines

Bell Labs Transmits Data at 10 Gbits/second Over Copper Lines

Researchers at Bell Labs have developed a technology that enables them to transmit data over traditional copper telephone lines at a record speed of 10 Gbits/second, using two pairs of 30-meter-long standard phone cables.


From ACM Opinion

How Not to Build a Brain

How Not to Build a Brain

Building a brain sounds like a worthy goal, one that makes it seem as though the future is within reach.


From ACM TechNews

Own Your Own Data

Own Your Own Data

MIT researchers have developed openPDS (personal data store), a prototype system that stores data from digital devices in a single location specified by the user.


From ACM TechNews

Academics Get Personal Over Big Data

Academics Get Personal Over Big Data

Princeton University computer science professors Arvind Narayanan and Edward Felten have published a rebuttal to a June paper which concluded de-identification tools did a sufficient job of ensuring data privacy.


From ACM News

Disco-Era Spacecraft Not Dead, Just Out of Gas

Disco-Era Spacecraft Not Dead, Just Out of Gas

A citizen science effort to revive a middle-aged spacecraft has come to a close after the probe's rockets failed to fire.


From ACM Opinion

Early-­niverse Explorer Looks For Answers

Early-­niverse Explorer Looks For Answers

On March 17, a panel of four astrophysicists held a press conference at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., to announce that they had discovered features in the cosmic microwave background (CMB)…


From ACM News

MIT Finger Device Reads to the Blind in Real Time

MIT Finger Device Reads to the Blind in Real Time

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.


From ACM Careers

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will

Washington DC-area residents with a hankering for lion meat lost a valuable source of the (yes, legal) delicacy last year when a restaurant called the Serbian Crown closed its doors after nearly 40 years in the same location.


From ACM Careers

Restoring Active Memory Program Poised to Launch

Restoring Active Memory Program Poised to Launch

DARPA has selected two universities to initially lead the agency's Restoring Active Memory program, which aims to develop and test wireless, implantable "neuroprosthetics" that can help servicemembers, veterans, and others overcome…


From ACM News

Microsoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus

Microsoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent an email to all employees today outlining the company’s ambitions for the new financial year.


From ACM News

Scientists Create a New Type of Ultra-High-Res Flexible Display

Scientists Create a New Type of Ultra-High-Res Flexible Display

We are surrounded by imperfect screens.


From ACM Opinion

Forget Turing, the Lovelace Test Has a Better Shot at Spotting AI

Forget Turing, the Lovelace Test Has a Better Shot at Spotting AI

When a chatbot called Eugene Goostman passed Alan Turing's famous measure of machine intelligence in June by posing as a Ukrainian teenager with questionable language skills, the world went nuts for about an hour before realizing…


From ACM TechNews

Heads Up, World Cup Teams: The Robots are Coming

Heads Up, World Cup Teams: The Robots are Coming

The RoboCup international robot soccer tournament aims to create a robot soccer team that can defeat the human World Cup champions by 2050. 


From ACM TechNews

Traffic Lights: There's a Better Way

Traffic Lights: There's a Better Way

A new means of computing the optimal timings for city stoplights can significantly reduce drivers' average travel times. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Shares Research Findings With Scientific World

Google Shares Research Findings With Scientific World

Google is sharing some its most influential research papers to expand discussions and observations on topics being studied around world. 


From ACM TechNews

Speeding Up Data Storage By a Thousand Times With 'spin Current'

Speeding Up Data Storage By a Thousand Times With 'spin Current'

Newly developed technology allows the spin of electrons to be used to boost the speed of data storage.


From ACM News

A Speech Synthesizer Direct to the Brain

A Speech Synthesizer Direct to the Brain

Could a person who is paralyzed and unable to speak, like physicist Stephen Hawking, use a brain implant to carry on a conversation?


From ACM News

Intel, Qualcomm and Others Compete For 'internet of Things' Standard

Intel, Qualcomm and Others Compete For 'internet of Things' Standard

If the stakes are big enough, companies will compete even for something that is supposed to be free to all comers.


From ACM Careers

Nypd's Facebook Page Shares Its Triumphs

Nypd's Facebook Page Shares Its Triumphs

The New York Police Department's Facebook page has taken on a role that was once largely limited to the city's press corps: publishing news articles.


From ACM TechNews

When a Computer Ages You

When a Computer Ages You

Researchers are hoping to harness facial-recognition and age-progression technology to estimate people's life spans and future health based on a photograph.