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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.

March 2016


From ACM News

Log In to Your Phone with a Finger-Drawn Doodle Instead of a Password

Log In to Your Phone with a Finger-Drawn Doodle Instead of a Password

Rather than painstakingly typing in passwords on your smartphone, you may eventually just swipe a shape or other pattern on its display to authenticate yourself for everything from mobile banking to shopping. 


From ACM News

A New Look at Ancient Mars

A New Look at Ancient Mars

Among Earth/s planetary neighbors, Mars has been the one on which humanity has most often, and most variously, projected its hopes and fears.


From ACM News

Defense Secretary Favors Strong Encryption, Not 'back Doors'

Defense Secretary Favors Strong Encryption, Not 'back Doors'

Declaring that strong encryption is essential to the nation's security, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a tech industry audience Wednesday that he's "not a believer in back doors," or encryption programs that leave openings…


From ACM TechNews

IBM Expands Watson Analytics Program, Creates Citizen Data Scientists

IBM Expands Watson Analytics Program, Creates Citizen Data Scientists

IBM is expanding its Watson Analytics academic program and launching a new student version of Watson Analytics. 


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon's Pokerbot Models Asymmetric Data

Carnegie Mellon's Pokerbot Models Asymmetric Data

Carnegie Mellon University's Pokerbot won first place at the Annual Computer Poker Competition in the total bankroll category. 


From ACM TechNews

An Algorithm For Teamwork

An Algorithm For Teamwork

A team of University of Victoria students took first place at the third annual BattleSnake competition hosted by the university.


From ACM TechNews

Getting From Here to There

Getting From Here to There

University of Delaware researchers have developed a method to reduce the amount of data associated with intelligent transportation systems. 


From ACM News

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help

It's a showdown that has the country mesmerized.


From ACM News

Tiny Cameras to See in the Intestines

Tiny Cameras to See in the Intestines

The digestive tract can be inhospitable terrain to examine.


From ACM News

Advertising Company Will ­se Its Billboards To Track Passing Cellphones

Advertising Company Will ­se Its Billboards To Track Passing Cellphones

Clear Channel Outdoor—one of the largest outdoor advertising companies in the U.S.—is starting a new program called Radar that will use billboards to map real-world habits and behaviors from nearby consumers.


From ACM News

Isis Turns to Foreign Encryption Products as Apple-Fbi Fight Rages in ­.s.

Isis Turns to Foreign Encryption Products as Apple-Fbi Fight Rages in ­.s.

FBI and Apple officials spent Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill, debating American encryption laws with members of Congress. Prompted by a case related to the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack in San Bernardino, the intense discussion…


From ACM TechNews

New Circuit Material Can Be Stretched and Twisted Like Chewing Gum

New Circuit Material Can Be Stretched and Twisted Like Chewing Gum

Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne researchers say they have developed a new material that enables electronics to be stretched up to four times their original length. 


From ACM TechNews

Google: Self-Driving Car Followed 'the Spirit of the Road' Before Accident

Google: Self-Driving Car Followed 'the Spirit of the Road' Before Accident

Google says it has gained insights concerning a Feb. 14 accident in which one of its autonomous vehicles collided with a city bus in Mountain View, CA. 


From ACM TechNews

Tech Workers Increasingly Look to Leave Silicon Valley

Tech Workers Increasingly Look to Leave Silicon Valley

A growing number of technology professionals from the San Francisco Bay area are looking to leave Silicon Valley for other technology hubs, according to Indeed.com.


From ACM TechNews

How to Tame Your Robot

How to Tame Your Robot

Carnegie Mellon University researcher Madeline Gannon has created the means to instruct a robot to perform tasks by following a human coder's motions.


From ACM TechNews

Iarpa Wants Smarter Algorithms--Not More of Them

Iarpa Wants Smarter Algorithms--Not More of Them

U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity program manager Jacob Vogelstein discusses the economics of his agency using previously rejected algorithms.


From ACM News

White House Officials Soften Approach at Rsa Conference

White House Officials Soften Approach at Rsa Conference

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch joined a parade of Obama administration officials to tech's home turf on Tuesday. Their message: National security depends on the industry’s cooperation.


From ACM TechNews

In Emergencies, Should You Trust a Robot?

In Emergencies, Should You Trust a Robot?

Georgia Institute of Technology researchers report humans may put too much faith in robots for their own safety. 


From ACM News

Et Search: Look For the Aliens Looking For Earth

Et Search: Look For the Aliens Looking For Earth

By watching how the light dims as a planet orbits in front of its parent star, NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered more than 1,000 worlds since its launch in 2009. Now, astronomers are flipping that idea on its head in the…


From ACM News

In Fighting FBI, Apple Says Free Speech Rights Mean No Forced Coding

In Fighting FBI, Apple Says Free Speech Rights Mean No Forced Coding

The Justice Department wants Apple to write special software to help it break into the iPhone used by one the San Bernardino terrorists.


From ACM TechNews

New Gpu Memory Standards to Supercharge Graphics

New Gpu Memory Standards to Supercharge Graphics

The increasing popularity of life-like games and virtual reality technology is pushing the computing industry to develop better graphics technology. 


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Dot Solids: This Generation's Silicon Wafer?

Quantum Dot Solids: This Generation's Silicon Wafer?

Quantum dot solids, or crystals made out of crystals, have the potential to usher in a new era in electronics. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Grow Cyberforests to Predict Climate Change

Researchers Grow Cyberforests to Predict Climate Change

A new computer simulation grows realistic forests to determine how drought, warmer weather, and other climate-related changes will affect forests across North America. 


From ACM News

Cryptography Pioneers Receive ACM A.m. Turing Award

Cryptography Pioneers Receive ACM A.m. Turing Award

Diffie and Hellman’s invention of public-key cryptography and digital signatures revolutionized computer security and made Internet commerce possible.


From ACM News

Ny Judge: ­S Cannot Make Apple Provide Iphone Data

Ny Judge: ­S Cannot Make Apple Provide Iphone Data

A federal judge ruled Monday that the U.S. Justice Department cannot use a 227-year-old law to force Apple to provide the FBI with access to locked iPhone data, dealing a blow to the government in its battle with the company…


From ACM News

In Memoriam: Edward J. Mccluskey 1929 – 2016

In Memoriam: Edward J. Mccluskey 1929 – 2016

"A storied engineer who made some of the most important and early contributions to computer hardware design," McCluskey died recently at the age of 86.


From Communications of the ACM

Deep or Shallow, NLP Is Breaking Out

Deep or Shallow, NLP Is Breaking Out

Neural net advances improve computers' language ability in many fields.


From Communications of the ACM

Rich Data, Poor Fields

Rich Data, Poor Fields

Diverse technologies help farmers produce food in resource-poor areas.


From Communications of the ACM

Peter Naur: 1928-2016

Peter Naur

Peter Naur, a Danish computer scientist and 2005 recipient of the ACM A.M. Turing Award, died recently after a brief illness.


From Communications of the ACM

When Computers Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

When Computers Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

Classification algorithms can lead to biased decisions, so researchers are trying to identify such biases and root them out.

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