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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 2015


From ACM News

Minecraft Shows Robots How to Stop Dithering

Minecraft Shows Robots How to Stop Dithering

The computer game Minecraft, which depicts a world made up of retro, pixelated blocks that can be modified and rearranged in endless architectural configurations, has been praised for teaching young players about creativity,…


From ACM TechNews

CMU Leads Google Expedition to Create Technology For 'internet of Things'

CMU Leads Google Expedition to Create Technology For 'internet of Things'

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Google are collaborating to turn the college campus into a living laboratory. 


From ACM News

Nasa's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches Historic Encounter

Nasa's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches Historic Encounter

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is at Pluto.


From ACM TechNews

Mapping Tools Show Boston's Disparity

Mapping Tools Show Boston's Disparity

Daniel Hartman, a Web developer for the MIT Technology Review, has used new mapping tools to provide a better view of the economic disparities in Boston.


From ACM TechNews

National Security Agency Funds ­c Berkeley Cybersecurity Summer Camp For High School Students

National Security Agency Funds ­c Berkeley Cybersecurity Summer Camp For High School Students

The University of California, Berkeley is hosting a camp called CY-BEAR to teach 22 high school students about cybersecurity.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Research: Making the Wearable Battery Last Longer By Lightening Its Load

Microsoft Research: Making the Wearable Battery Last Longer By Lightening Its Load

Microsoft Research has developed WearDrive, technology designed to extend the life of batteries used to power fitness bands.  


From ACM News

How Big Is Pluto? New Horizons Settles Decades-Long Debate

How Big Is Pluto? New Horizons Settles Decades-Long Debate

NASA's New Horizons mission has answered one of the most basic questions about Pluto—its size.


From ACM News

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet.

An Algorithmic Sense of Humor? Not Yet.

In recent months, artificial-intelligence researchers have made giant strides in matching human performance in all kind of tasks that had, until recently, been thought of as almost impossible for computers. Things like face and…


From ACM Opinion

The Social Security Number's Insecurities

The Social Security Number's Insecurities

In both the Anthem insurance hack and the two Office of Personnel Management hacks this year, attackers gained access to Social Security numbers, affecting 80 million and more than 22 million people, respectively.


From ACM TechNews

The Real Threat Posed By Powerful Computers

The Real Threat Posed By Powerful Computers

Computer specialists are less concerned about computers doing away with the human race than with the threat of programs rapidly overdoing a single task. 


From ACM TechNews

Internet Voting Not Ready Yet, but Can Be Made More Secure

Internet Voting Not Ready Yet, but Can Be Made More Secure

Online voting systems lack sufficient security to ensure accurate vote counts, but election officials could take steps to improve their security and transparency.


From ACM TechNews

Unc Explores Future of Transportation

Unc Explores Future of Transportation

University of North Carolina researchers are working with General Motors to create data for a more reliable, safe, and less expensive autonomous car. 


From ACM TechNews

Collaborative Photography App Allows Smartphones to Record 'bullet Time'

Collaborative Photography App Allows Smartphones to Record 'bullet Time'

Anyone can now create "bullet-time" movies using collaborative photography techniques on their smartphones. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Build First Working Memcomputer Prototype

Researchers Build First Working Memcomputer Prototype

Researchers say they have built the first working prototype of a memory-crunching computer (memcomputer). 


From ACM TechNews

Study: Smartphone Use May Be Detrimental to Learning

Study: Smartphone Use May Be Detrimental to Learning

A year-long study of first-time smartphone users by Rice University and the U.S. Air Force found users believed the devices were detrimental to their ability to learn. 


From ACM TechNews

And Now, the Hopping Robot

And Now, the Hopping Robot

Using three-dimensional printing, engineers at Harvard University have developed a robot that integrates rigid and soft materials and can move autonomously. 


From ACM News

Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts

Moxie Marlinspike: The Coder Who Encrypted Your Texts

Dreadlocked programmer has spooked the FBI by creating a tool that police cannot crack.


From ACM News

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens.


From ACM TechNews

The Rapid Rise of Neural Networks and Why They'll Rule Our World

The Rapid Rise of Neural Networks and Why They'll Rule Our World

Neural network technology has advanced to the point where it underpins cutting-edge speech, text, and image-recognition systems, and scientists such as the University of Montreal's Yoshua Bengio believe the next frontier is human…


From ACM News

Nasa Missions Have Their Eyes Peeled on Pluto

Nasa Missions Have Their Eyes Peeled on Pluto

What's icy, has "wobbly" potato-shaped moons, and is the world's best-known dwarf planet?


From ACM TechNews

Cutting Cost and Power Consumption For Big Data

Cutting Cost and Power Consumption For Big Data

Researchers from MIT are developing a new system that could enable flash-based servers to perform as well as RAM-based servers, but at less cost and using less energy.


From ACM TechNews

Project Jupyter Gets $6M to Expand Collaborative Data-Science Software

Project Jupyter Gets $6M to Expand Collaborative Data-Science Software

An open source platform known as Project Jupyter will receive $6 million in grants over three years to strengthen the tool's capabilities for collaborative data science.


From ACM TechNews

How the Audacious Pentagon Agency That Invented the Internet Is Now Trying to Save It

How the Audacious Pentagon Agency That Invented the Internet Is Now Trying to Save It

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is rethinking the underlying mechanisms of cybersecurity to focus on preventive measures instead of simply breach detection.


From ACM Opinion

Here Are the 12 Most Influential Programmers Working Today

Here Are the 12 Most Influential Programmers Working Today

The apps and games you use every day don't exist in a vacuum—someone, somewhere, wrote the code.


From ACM TechNews

IBM Researchers Try to Measure Employee Well-Being Using Technology

IBM Researchers Try to Measure Employee Well-Being Using Technology

Researchers at IBM and the Delft University of Technology are working to develop computer systems that could help foster well-being among employees. The project is focused on creating systems that can help ensure employees are…


From ACM Opinion

There May Be Infinite ­niverses—and Infinite Versions of You

There May Be Infinite ­niverses—and Infinite Versions of You

In another universe you might have become the president of Micronesia. Or a pauper, subsisting on ketchup.


From ACM Careers

Toss Your Manual Overboard; Augmented Reality Aims at Big Industry

Toss Your Manual Overboard; Augmented Reality Aims at Big Industry

For better or for worse, augmented reality (AR) is charging forward in the consumer space—but there's a place for AR in the industrial world as well.


From ACM News

Nasa's New Horizons: A 'heart' from Pluto as Flyby Begins

Nasa's New Horizons: A 'heart' from Pluto as Flyby Begins

After a more than nine-year, three-billion-mile journey to Pluto, it's show time for NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, as the flyby sequence of science observations is officially underway.


From ACM News

Manhattan Da: Iphone Crypto Locked Out Cops 74 Time

Manhattan Da: Iphone Crypto Locked Out Cops 74 Time

The debate over encryption and backdoors for law enforcement has long had a surplus of opinions and a deficit of data.


From ACM TechNews

Survey: Moocs Supplement Traditional Higher Ed

Survey: Moocs Supplement Traditional Higher Ed

Youngsters, retirees, and other non-traditional student populations have embraced massive open online courses (MOOCs), according to a new survey. Students reported taking MOOCs in topics not taught in their schools and to explore…