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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.

October 2016


From ACM News

Beyond Silicon: Squeezing More Out of Chips

Beyond Silicon: Squeezing More Out of Chips

Ali Farhadi holds a puny $5 computer, called a Raspberry Pi, comfortably in his palm and exults that his team of researchers has managed to squeeze into it a powerful program that can recognize thousands of objects.


From ACM News

New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Flyby Data to Earth

New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Flyby Data to Earth

Having traveled from the New Horizons spacecraft over 3.4 billion miles, or 5.5 billion kilometers (five hours, eight minutes at light speed), the final item—a segment of a Pluto-Charon observation sequence taken by the Ralph…


From ACM News

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'Big Data' to Rate Everyone

 China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'Big Data' to Rate Everyone

Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how "trustworthy" you are.


From ACM Careers

The Stakes Are Rising in Google's Antitrust Fight With Europe

The Stakes Are Rising in Google's Antitrust Fight With Europe

Google is locked in a six-year battle with Europe's antitrust officials. And the stakes for both sides are getting higher.


From ACM TechNews

You Are Less Anonymous on the Web Than You Think--Much Less

You Are Less Anonymous on the Web Than You Think--Much Less

A user's anonymous browsing history, tweets, emails, and cookies can be used to piece together their identity.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Learns to Play With Lego by Watching Human Teachers

Robot Learns to Play With Lego by Watching Human Teachers

Researchers from the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany have trained a robot to play with Legos by having it observe two people build a Lego rocket.


From ACM TechNews

Supporting Prospective Women in STEM Starts With Accessible Mentors

Supporting Prospective Women in STEM Starts With Accessible Mentors

A University of Washington study found an unwelcoming culture and a lack of mentors were the main deterrents to women considering science-related careers.


From ACM TechNews

Finding Patterns in Corrupted Data

Finding Patterns in Corrupted Data

A new set of algorithms developed is capable of efficiently model-fitting probability distributions to high-dimensional data.


From ACM TechNews

New UTSA Study Describes Method to Detect Dishonesty Online

New UTSA Study Describes Method to Detect Dishonesty Online

A new study describes a method for detecting people dishonestly posting online content across multiple accounts.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Are Teaching Artificial Intelligence How to Terrify Humans

Researchers Are Teaching Artificial Intelligence How to Terrify Humans

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have trained a computer to produce scary images.


From ACM Opinion

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.

Nate Silver is on the downtown 1 train. Possibly because he looks like a (modestly) hip math teacher, and hardly looks up from his phone, he goes unrecognized until he reaches the PlayStation Theater in Times Square.


From ACM News

Your Home's Online Gadgets Could Be Hacked By Ultrasound

Your Home's Online Gadgets Could Be Hacked By Ultrasound

This may have happened to you. You idly browse a pair of shoes online one morning, and for the rest of the week, those shoes follow you across the Internet, appearing in adverts across the websites you visit.


From ACM News

How AI Is Shaking Up the Chip Market

How AI Is Shaking Up the Chip Market

In less than 12 hours, three different people offered to pay me if I'd spend an hour talking to a stranger on the phone.


From ACM News

Google Teaches 'AIs' to Invent Their Own Crypto and Avoid Eavesdropping

Google Teaches 'AIs' to Invent Their Own Crypto and Avoid Eavesdropping

Google Brain has created two artificial intelligences that evolved their own cryptographic algorithm to protect their messages from a third AI, which was trying to evolve its own method to crack the AI-generated crypto.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientist Ross Tate Working to Tame Java 'Wildcards'

Computer Scientist Ross Tate Working to Tame Java 'Wildcards'

Cornell University professor Ross Tate has discovered that the Java programming language, designed to be safe, is actually quite insecure.


From ACM TechNews

Robotic Tutors for Primary School Children

Robotic Tutors for Primary School Children

Researchers in Spain have developed an integrated computational architecture for use with software applications in schools.


From ACM TechNews

A New Class of Materials Could Realize Quantum Computers

A New Class of Materials Could Realize Quantum Computers

Researchers at Switzerland's Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne identified materials whose electronic properties could be ideal for spintronics.


From ACM TechNews

Precise Quantum Cloning: Possible Pathway to Secure Communication

Precise Quantum Cloning: Possible Pathway to Secure Communication

Researchers from The Australian National University and University of Queensland have produced near-perfect clones of quantum information.


From ACM TechNews

Making It Easier to Collaborate on Code

Making It Easier to Collaborate on Code

A team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an interface that addresses many of the core problems of the powerful open source tool Git.


From ACM News

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy

Federal officials delivered a landmark ruling in favor of online privacy Thursday, limiting how Internet providers use and sell customer data, while asserting that customers have a right to control their personal information.


From ACM News

Twitter's 'Firehose' of Tweets Is Incredibly Valuable, and Just as Dangerous

Twitter's 'Firehose' of Tweets Is Incredibly Valuable, and Just as Dangerous

There are half a billion tweets a day. For the company, they’re sellable data. For despots, they’re a great way to hunt dissidents.


From ACM News

Chips in the Old Block

Chips in the Old Block

Exploring the benefits of nascent implantable technologies.


From ACM TechNews

Electric Motors Find New Roles in Robots, Ships, Cars, and Microgrids

Electric Motors Find New Roles in Robots, Ships, Cars, and Microgrids

About 40% of electric power generated is used to drive motors, and that figure is expected to grow.


From ACM TechNews

Rice's Energy-Stingy Indoor Mobile Locator Ensures User Privacy

Rice's Energy-Stingy Indoor Mobile Locator Ensures User Privacy

A new system developed by Rice University researchers could enable mobile users to quickly determine their location indoors.


From ACM TechNews

New Method Reduces Amount of Training Data Needed for Facial Performance Capture System

New Method Reduces Amount of Training Data Needed for Facial Performance Capture System

Disney Research has developed a facial-capture system that uses a sample of actors' recordings to synthetically generate the data needed to train the system.


From ACM TechNews

Massive Cyberattack Poses Policy Dilemma, Stanford Scholar Says

Massive Cyberattack Poses Policy Dilemma, Stanford Scholar Says

Last week's cyberattack that affected several prominent websites reveals weaknesses in the Internet of Things that need to be addressed.


From ACM News

Your DVR Didn't Take Down the Internet, Yet

Your DVR Didn't Take Down the Internet, Yet

Last week ended with a mid-level internet catastrophe. You may have noticed that for most of Friday popular sites like Netflix, Twitter, Spotify (and yes, WIRED) were inaccessible across the East Coast and beyond.


From ACM News

Further Clues to Fate of Mars Lander, Seen From Orbit

Further Clues to Fate of Mars Lander, Seen From Orbit

The most powerful telescope orbiting Mars is providing new details of the scene near the Martian equator where Europe's Schiaparelli test lander hit the surface last week.


From ACM News

Women in Computing to Decline to 22% by 2025, Study Warns

Women in Computing to Decline to 22% by 2025, Study Warns

New research warns the number of women in the computing workforce will decline if nothing is done to encourage more to study computer science.


From ACM News

It Ain't Me, Babe: Researchers Find Flaws In Police Facial Recognition Technology

It Ain't Me, Babe: Researchers Find Flaws In Police Facial Recognition Technology

Nearly half of American adults have been entered into law enforcement facial recognition databases, despite problems with the accuracy of the technology.

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