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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 TechNews

Computer Scientist Helps Researchers Track Honey Bee Health

Computer Scientist Helps Researchers Track Honey Bee Health

Computer science has played a key role in an initiative to track the health of honeybees across the U.S. The Bee Informed Partnership, a project involving scientists from eight universities, is tracking hive loss and documenting…


From ACM TechNews

Tiny Wires Could Provide a Big Energy Boost

Tiny Wires Could Provide a Big Energy Boost

MIT researchers have found a new approach to deliver the short but intense bursts of power needed by wearable electronic devices for health and fitness monitoring.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Offers Researchers $500k to Work on Hololens

Microsoft Offers Researchers $500k to Work on Hololens

Microsoft is looking for new ideas on potential uses for its HoloLens augmented reality headgear. The company recently issued a request for proposals seeking projects to help "better understand the role and possible applications…


From ACM News

IBM Discloses Working Version of a Much Higher-Capacity Chip

IBM Discloses Working Version of a Much Higher-Capacity Chip

IBM said on Thursday that it had made working versions of ultradense computer chips, with roughly four times the capacity of today's most powerful chips.


From ACM News

The 24/7 Search For Killer Quakes

The 24/7 Search For Killer Quakes

At 17 minutes past midnight on Saturday 25 April, Rob Sanders's computer started chiming with alerts.


From ACM News

Introducing the Astronaut Clothing of the Future

Introducing the Astronaut Clothing of the Future

A crew member aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is performing routine maintenance.


From ACM News

FBI Chief Warns Encryption Emboldens Would-Be Islamic State Attackers

FBI Chief Warns Encryption Emboldens Would-Be Islamic State Attackers

Barring law enforcement authorities' access to encrypted communications would make it easier for Islamic State sympathizers to attack the United States, FBI Chief James Comey told Senate lawmakers on Wednesday.


From ACM TechNews

Elon Musk Gives $10 Million in Grants to Study Safe AI

Elon Musk Gives $10 Million in Grants to Study Safe AI

Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk has given the Future of Life Institute $10 million to be distributed as 37 grants to research projects designed to keep artificial intelligence "robust and beneficial."


From ACM TechNews

Bbc Offers Free Tiny Computers to ­.k. Students

Bbc Offers Free Tiny Computers to ­.k. Students

The BBC is partnering with more than two dozen companies and organizations to provide at least 1 million British school children with a free pocket-sized computer called the BBC micro:bit.


From ACM TechNews

Project ­ses Crowdsourced Computing to Improve Water Filtration

Project ­ses Crowdsourced Computing to Improve Water Filtration

Researchers and more than 150,000 volunteers used crowdsourced computing to simulate the flow of water molecules flowing through nanotubes.


From ACM TechNews

Hi-Tech Harness Lets Owners Communicate With Canine Companions

Hi-Tech Harness Lets Owners Communicate With Canine Companions

A dog harness outfitted with sensors and a computer developed by researchers at North Carolina State University is equipped with speakers and vibrating pads to enable owners to communicate with their pets.


From ACM TechNews

Sounds Bad

Sounds Bad

University of Southern California's Stefan Scherer and Carnegie Mellon University's Louis-Philippe Morency are seeking to use computers to diagnose depression.


From ACM TechNews

Researcher's Interface Allows Analysts to Visualize, Interact With Images

Researcher's Interface Allows Analysts to Visualize, Interact With Images

U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) scientists say they have developed a user interface that facilitates the visualization, navigation, and manipulation of tens of thousands of images.


From ACM News

Almost Time For Pluto's Close-Up

Almost Time For Pluto's Close-Up

The pictures coming back from Pluto are still a bit fuzzy. But just wait.


From ACM News

Code Specialists Oppose U.S. and British Government Access to Encrypted Communication

Code Specialists Oppose U.S. and British Government Access to Encrypted Communication

An elite group of code makers and code breakers is taking American and British intelligence and law enforcement agencies to task in a new paper that evaluates government proposals to maintain special access to encrypted digital…


From ACM TechNews

How to Stop Virtual Reality From Making You Want to Puke

How to Stop Virtual Reality From Making You Want to Puke

Stanford University professor Gordon Wetzstein and his colleagues are developing a virtual reality headset that is designed to solve one of the persistent problems of modern VR technology: its tendency to make some people nauseous…


From ACM TechNews

Seahorse Tails Could Inspire New Generation of Robots

Seahorse Tails Could Inspire New Generation of Robots

Clemson University researchers have developed a 3-D printed model based on the square prism of a seahorse tail, as well as a hypothetical cylindrical version. They found the square prototype was stiffer, stronger, and more resilient…


From ACM TechNews

IBM Makes Lake George World's Smartest Lake

IBM Makes Lake George World's Smartest Lake

Researchers at IBM, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the Fund for Lake George have collaborated to use Internet of Things technology to turn New York State's Lake George into a "smart lake" to get a clearer picture of…


From ACM News

Leap Motion's Augmented-Reality Computing Looks Stupid Cool

Leap Motion's Augmented-Reality Computing Looks Stupid Cool

We have a habit of filling new technologies with old ideas.


From ACM News

Car Dashboards That Act Like Smart Phones Raise Safety Issues

Car Dashboards That Act Like Smart Phones Raise Safety Issues

When it comes to dashboard displays that are more like smart phones, two things are clear: Customers want them, and automakers are intent on supplying them.


From ACM News

Google's Deep Learning Machine Learns to Synthesize Real World Images

Google's Deep Learning Machine Learns to Synthesize Real World Images

Google Street View offers panoramic views of more or less any city street in much of the developed world, as well as views along countless footpaths, inside shopping malls, and around museums and art galleries.


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Challenge Greatly Propelled Humanoid Robotics

DARPA Challenge Greatly Propelled Humanoid Robotics

The DARPA Robotics Challenge has significantly advanced the field of humanoid robotics thanks to contributions from academia, including the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, whose team finished in the top third of the challenge's…


From ACM TechNews

Dartmouth Contests Experiment With 'human-Quality,' Computer-Generated Creativity

Dartmouth Contests Experiment With 'human-Quality,' Computer-Generated Creativity

Dartmouth College is pushing the limits of what artificial intelligence is capable of with a trio of new contests to see if algorithms can produce creative works indistinguishable from those made by human beings.


From ACM News

Pluto Spacecraft Temporarily Loses Contact with Earth

Pluto Spacecraft Temporarily Loses Contact with Earth

Ten days before its historic flyby of Pluto, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft lost contact with mission control, for unknown reasons, for an hour and 21 minutes on 4 July.


From ACM TechNews

Cooperative Driving Will Become Common as Data Exchange Between Vehicles Increases

Cooperative Driving Will Become Common as Data Exchange Between Vehicles Increases

The international Celtic Plus CoMoSeF project recently concluded, yielding a communication system linking cars and drivers with a host of road-side devices that provide information on weather, road conditions, and traffic incidents…


From ACM TechNews

Eu Open Source Software Project Receives Green Light

Eu Open Source Software Project Receives Green Light

The European Union's Framework 2020 program has provided 7.6 million euros (U.S. $8.4 million) to help fund an open source software project that will extend the capacity of computational mathematics and interactive computing…


From ACM TechNews

Google's AI System Gets Its Snark From Humans

Google's AI System Gets Its Snark From Humans

A recent study by Google scientists details how their machine-learning and natural-language research project trained a computer to answer various questions by feeding it a database of movie scripts. Some of the system's resulting…


From ACM News

Machine Ethics: The Robot's Dilemma

Machine Ethics: The Robot's Dilemma

In his 1942 short story 'Runaround', science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov introduced the Three Laws of Robotics—engineering safeguards and built-in ethical principles that he would go on to use in dozens of stories and novels.


From ACM News

The Computers of Our Wildest Dreams

The Computers of Our Wildest Dreams

One of the first electronic, programmable computers in the world is remembered today mostly by its nickname: Colossus.


From ACM TechNews

The Reality of Problem Solving

The Reality of Problem Solving

A new adaptive importance sampling algorithm can help generate more accurate predictions than a data assimilation algorithm when uncertainty is involved.