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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.

May 2013


From ACM Opinion

The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest For the New AI

The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest For the New AI

There's a theory that human intelligence stems from a single algorithm.


From ACM News

Smartphones Put a Translator in Your Pocket

Smartphones Put a Translator in Your Pocket

The days of madly flipping through bilingual phrase books while trying to converse with somebody in another language is fast giving way to a technological alternative developed in the Bay Area and elsewhere.


From ACM News

My Big Fat European Family: What Genomics Tell ­s About Shared Ancestors

My Big Fat European Family: What Genomics Tell ­s About Shared Ancestors

Last month, a trio of engineers debuted an app that allows Icelanders to determine if they’re actually related to a potential date.


From ACM TechNews

Older Is Wiser: Study Shows Software Developers' Skills Improve Over Time

Older Is Wiser: Study Shows Software Developers' Skills Improve Over Time

A new study suggests older programmers are keeping up with changes in the field and even have a slight edge over younger peers, in some cases. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Glass Picks Up Early Signal: Keep Out

Google Glass Picks Up Early Signal: Keep Out

Privacy concerns are mounting about Google Glass to the point that it has been preemptively banned in some locations, even though it's not yet available. 


From ACM TechNews

Mood-Tracking App Paves Way for Pocket Therapy

Mood-Tracking App Paves Way for Pocket Therapy

Emotion Sense is a new smartphone app that mines a user's cellphone data to track their feelings and determine what might be triggering peaks in their mood. 


From ACM TechNews

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

Google chief Internet evangelist and ACM president Vint Cerf has been working on an interplanetary Internet, with protocols capable of handling a space environment. 


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Is Weighing Wide Overhaul of Wiretap Laws

­.s. Is Weighing Wide Overhaul of Wiretap Laws

The Obama administration reportedly is ready to back an FBI plan to overhaul surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet. 


From ACM TechNews

Living in 'the Matrix' Requires Less Brain Power

Living in 'the Matrix' Requires Less Brain Power

Neurons called place cells in rat brains function differently when the animals are in virtual reality than when they are in the real world. 


From ACM Opinion

Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans By 2100, Experts Say

Intelligent Robots Will Overtake Humans By 2100, Experts Say

Are you prepared to meet your robot overlords?


From ACM News

China Sees Cyberwar as Reducing ­.s. Advantage in Future Conflict

China Sees Cyberwar as Reducing ­.s. Advantage in Future Conflict

It's one thing to read news concerning the latest report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Defense on China's latest military activities. But with regard to China's evolving stance and capabilities in the cyber arena, it's…


From ACM News

Nasa's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish

Nasa's Spitzer Puts Planets in a Petri Dish

Our galaxy is teeming with a wild variety of planets.


From ACM News

Linguists Identify 15,000-Year-Old 'ultraconserved Words'

Linguists Identify 15,000-Year-Old 'ultraconserved Words'

You, hear me! Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes!


From ACM TechNews

Robots Able to Reach Through Clutter With Whole-Arm Tactile Sensing

Robots Able to Reach Through Clutter With Whole-Arm Tactile Sensing

A new robot control method works with robotic joints and tactile sensing, keeping a robot's arm flexible and giving it a sense of touch across its entire arm. 


From ACM TechNews

Insect Eye-Inspired Camera Captures Wide Field of View with No Distortion, According to Study Co-Led By Cu-Boulder

Insect Eye-Inspired Camera Captures Wide Field of View with No Distortion, According to Study Co-Led By Cu-Boulder

An experimental digital camera can take exceptionally wide-angle photos without distorting the image by mimicking the bowl-shaped eyes of insects. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Suggest New Spin on Origins of Evolvability

Computer Scientists Suggest New Spin on Origins of Evolvability

Researchers have developed a simulated model of the way organisms evolve, which they say offers insights about evolvability over generations. 


From ACM Opinion

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

Google's Chief Internet Evangelist on Creating the Interplanetary Internet

When some future Mars colonist is able to open his browser and watch a cat in a shark suit chasing a duck while riding a roomba, they will have Vint Cerf to thank.


From ACM News

Here's How Smartphones, Tablets, and Huge Databases Will ­pend Market Research

Here's How Smartphones, Tablets, and Huge Databases Will ­pend Market Research

If you're tired of those annoying 8 p.m. phone calls asking questions about where you shop, or of carrying an Arbitron sensor to provide radio ratings, your omnipresent smartphone or tablet might well turn out to be your savior…


From ACM Opinion

Why Fbi and CIA Didn't Connect the Dots

Why Fbi and CIA Didn't Connect the Dots

The FBI and the CIA are being criticized for not keeping better track of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in the months before the Boston Marathon bombings.


From ACM TechNews

Cheetah-Cub Quadruped Robot Learns to Walk, Trot Using Gait Patterns From Real Animal

Cheetah-Cub Quadruped Robot Learns to Walk, Trot Using Gait Patterns From Real Animal

Researchers say the Cheetah-Cub robotic quadruped proves that gait primitives from the motion capture of an animal can be adapted to a robot. 


From ACM TechNews

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

How to Get More Followers on Twitter

Researchers found that informational content attracts Twitter followers at a rate 30 times higher than content focused on the tweeter. 


From ACM TechNews

­pc Develops an Advanced Traffic Management System to Reduce Costs and Pollution

­pc Develops an Advanced Traffic Management System to Reduce Costs and Pollution

A new information system based on intelligent data processing is designed to improve the mobility management of people and vehicles. 


From ACM TechNews

Finding a Gecko in the Crowd

Finding a Gecko in the Crowd

The SLOOP software system is designed to automate part of the process of matching images of animals in massive catalogs. 


From ACM TechNews

AI Card Game Knows How to Bend the Rules

AI Card Game Knows How to Bend the Rules

A new artificial intelligence system generates new card games from scratch. 


From ACM TechNews

Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

Los Alamos National Labs has been running a quantum Internet that can transmit perfectly secure messages for more than two years. 


From ACM TechNews

Emerging Technologies at SC13: A Chat With the Chairs

Emerging Technologies at SC13: A Chat With the Chairs

SC13's new Emerging Technologies program will focus technologies that could potentially shape computing and society as a whole. 


From ACM Opinion

Bitcoin vs. Ben Bernanke

Bitcoin vs. Ben Bernanke

Could a virtual currency created by an anonymous Internet hacker someday replace the U.S. dollar?


From ACM News

Commercial Drones Take Flight

Commercial Drones Take Flight

Commercial drones are poised to revolutionize a wide range of industries, though regulatory and privacy concerns have created some resistance.


From ACM News

How Today's Sensors Could Make Tomorrow's Cars Safer

Driverless cars haven’t hit the roads yet, but computers are already helping to slow down or stop a car in situations when a crash is imminent.


From ACM News

After an iPhone Is Snatched, a High-Speed Chase

After an iPhone Is Snatched, a High-Speed Chase

The woman was talking on her iPhone, and never saw coming her induction into a large and growing subset of crime victims.