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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.

January 2016


From ACM News

Scientists Decode Brain Signals Nearly at Speed of Perception

Scientists Decode Brain Signals Nearly at Speed of Perception

Using electrodes implanted in the temporal lobes of awake patients, scientists have decoded brain signals at nearly the speed of perception.


From ACM News

New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres

New Animation Takes a Colorful Flight Over Ceres

A colorful new animation shows a simulated flight over the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft.


From ACM News

Babylonian Astronomers Used Geometry to Track Jupiter

Babylonian Astronomers Used Geometry to Track Jupiter

A reanalysis of markings on Babylonian tablets has revealed that astronomers working between the fourth and first centuries bc used geometry to calculate the motions of Jupiter—a conceptual leap that historians thought had not…


From ACM TechNews

Are We Thinking About Artificial Intelligence All Wrong?

Are We Thinking About Artificial Intelligence All Wrong?

Computer scientist and author Jerry Kaplan contends a rethink of artificial intelligence may be necessary.


From ACM TechNews

Companies Find Tech Talent in Robust Freelance Market

Companies Find Tech Talent in Robust Freelance Market

Companies are turning to private marketplaces of software developers to assemble teams for specific projects, rather than hiring permanent personnel. 


From ACM TechNews

Alphabet Program Beats the European Human Go Champion

Alphabet Program Beats the European Human Go Champion

The AlphaGo program beat European Go champion Fan Hui in a series of five matches and achieved a 99.8-percent winning rate against other Go programs. 


From ACM TechNews

Recognizing Correct Code

Recognizing Correct Code

A new machine-learning system can analyze repairs made to open source programs, learn their general properties, and produce new repairs for other programs. 


From ACM TechNews

CSI: Cyberattack Scene Investigation--a Malware Whodunit

CSI: Cyberattack Scene Investigation--a Malware Whodunit

Forensic probes of cyberattacks can uncover their modus operandi and severity, but finding perpetrators is a difficult proposition. 


From ACM News

NSA Hacker Chief Explains How to Keep Him Out of Your System

NSA Hacker Chief Explains How to Keep Him Out of Your System

It was the talk most anticipated at this year's inaugural Usenix Enigma security conference in San Francisco and one that even the other speakers were eager to hear.


From ACM News

The Top TechNews Stories of 2015

The Top TechNews Stories of 2015

ACM sent more than 1,800 news abstracts to around 100,000 of its members last year via email, in the form of TechNews.


From ACM News

Massive Space Telescope Is Finally Coming Together

Massive Space Telescope Is Finally Coming Together

This week, NASA is set to reach a milestone on one of its most ambitious projects. If all goes to plan, workers will finish assembling the huge mirror of the James Webb Space Telescope—an $8 billion successor to the famous Hubble…


From ACM News

Glowing 4D-Printed Flowers Could Pave Way for Replacement Organs

Glowing 4D-Printed Flowers Could Pave Way for Replacement Organs

This delicate, glowing flower could one day save your life. It’s the latest example of "4D printing"–3D printed objects that change their shape over time—and it can move in a way that mimics natural processes.


From ACM News

Google AI Algorithm Masters Ancient Game of Go

Google AI Algorithm Masters Ancient Game of Go

A computer has beaten a human professional for the first time at Go—an ancient board game that has long been viewed as one of the greatest challenges for artificial intelligence (AI).


From ACM TechNews

The Neural Network That Remembers

The Neural Network That Remembers

A recurrent neural network developed at the University of California, San Diego can mine patterns in reviews and write its own contextually relevant reviews. 


From ACM TechNews

Living in the '90s? So Are Underwater Wireless Networks

Living in the '90s? So Are Underwater Wireless Networks

The speed of today's underwater communication networks is comparable to the sluggish dial-up modems from 1990s.


From ACM TechNews

NDSU Research Could Change Wind Power Grid

NDSU Research Could Change Wind Power Grid

North Dakota State University researchers are exploring the possibility of using direct current wind power grids. 


From ACM TechNews

Future Delivery Drones Start Learning How to Fly on Their Own

Future Delivery Drones Start Learning How to Fly on Their Own

Boston University researchers are developing ways to enable drones to learn how to fly on their own. 


From ACM News

CERN Engineers Have to Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables

CERN Engineers Have to Identify and Disconnect 9,000 Obsolete Cables

In the past, when parts of the accelerators have been upgraded or added to, engineers would often additionally replace the cables that connected them.


From ACM News

Is Blockchain the Most Important IT Invention of Our Age?

Is Blockchain the Most Important IT Invention of Our Age?

There are not many occasions when one can give an unqualified thumbs-up to something the government does, but this is one such occasion.


From ACM News

A Bright Approach to Brain Implants

A Bright Approach to Brain Implants

The brain was once considered a "black box," a device so mysterious that you could only guess what it was doing by observing human behavior.


From ACM Opinion

Go Players React to Computer Defeat

Go Players React to Computer Defeat

For decades, the ancient game of Go has stood out as the one board game that computers couldn't crack.


From ACM TechNews

Wee ARCHIE: Digital Dinos Put Bite-Sized Supercomputer Through Its Paces

Wee ARCHIE: Digital Dinos Put Bite-Sized Supercomputer Through Its Paces

University of Edinburgh researchers have developed Wee ARCHIE, a miniature supercomputer that powers virtual dinosaur races. 


From ACM TechNews

Mechanical Quanta See the Light

Mechanical Quanta See the Light

Researchers say they have taken a first step toward a universal quantum connection based on a nanomechanical device's quantum-mechanical vibrations. 


From ACM TechNews

Scenic Sat-Nav Will Take You on the Prettiest Route

Scenic Sat-Nav Will Take You on the Prettiest Route

Autobahn is an artificial intelligence system that can use Google Street View images to optimize a driving route for a particular type of scenery. 


From ACM TechNews

Who Needs a Computer Science Degree These Days?

Who Needs a Computer Science Degree These Days?

An increasing number of software developers are entering the job market lacking degree-level training, according to a VisionMobile survey.


From ACM TechNews

Wanted: Agile Robots

Wanted: Agile Robots

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology plans a contest to make robots more agile, removing "a major obstacle" to their adoption by manufacturers. 


From ACM TechNews

If Killer Robots Arrive, the Terminator Will Be the Least of Our Problems

If Killer Robots Arrive, the Terminator Will Be the Least of Our Problems

Experts warned of the threat of autonomous weaponry at last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 


From ACM News

In Memoriam: Marvin Minsky 1927-2016

In Memoriam: Marvin Minsky 1927-2016

A pioneer in artificial intelligence, Minsky's impact was enormous.


From ACM News

Next Big Test for AI: Making Sense of the World

Next Big Test for AI: Making Sense of the World

A few years ago, a breakthrough in machine learning suddenly enabled computers to recognize objects shown in photographs with unprecedented—almost spooky—accuracy.


From ACM News

That 'Gut Feeling' Can Now Be Measured

That 'Gut Feeling' Can Now Be Measured

The next generation of multi-purpose ingestible technologies is emerging in proof-of-concept studies.

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