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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 2016


From ACM News

Tech Turns to Biology as Data Storage Needs Explode

Tech Turns to Biology as Data Storage Needs Explode

Researchers have decoded the genomes of mammoths and a 700,000-year-old horse using DNA fragments extracted from fossils in the past few years. DNA clearly persists far longer than the bodies for which it carries the genetic…


From ACM News

Rosetta's Comet Contains Ingredients for Life

Rosetta's Comet Contains Ingredients for Life

Ingredients regarded as crucial for the origin of life on Earth have been discovered at the comet that ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has been probing for almost two years.


From ACM News

NASA Radar Finds Ice Age Record in Mars' Polar Cap

NASA Radar Finds Ice Age Record in Mars' Polar Cap

Scientists using radar data from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have found a record of the most recent Martian ice age recorded in the planet's north polar ice cap.


From ACM News

Two-Hundred-Terabyte Maths Proof Is Largest Ever

Two-Hundred-Terabyte Maths Proof Is Largest Ever

Three computer scientists have announced the largest-ever mathematics proof: a file that comes in at a whopping 200 terabytes1, roughly equivalent to all the digitized text held by the US Library of Congress.


From ACM TechNews

Self-Driving Truck Acts Like an Animal

Self-Driving Truck Acts Like an Animal

The traditional way of developing vehicles may not work when developing future autonomous vehicles.


From ACM TechNews

The Pipes Powering the Internet Are Nearly Full--What Do We Do?

The Pipes Powering the Internet Are Nearly Full--What Do We Do?

The optical fibers that transmit data throughout the Internet have almost reached their capacity limits.


From ACM TechNews

Shoot an Atom Into Silicon, and You May Have the Beginnings of a Quantum Computer

Shoot an Atom Into Silicon, and You May Have the Beginnings of a Quantum Computer

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories say they have devised a possible first step toward the creation of a practical quantum computer. 


From ACM TechNews

Using Cellphone Data to Study the Spread of Cholera

Using Cellphone Data to Study the Spread of Cholera

Researchers recently led a study showing how human mobility patterns contributed to the spread of a cholera epidemic in Senegal in 2005. 


From ACM TechNews

The Algorithm That Can Predict When a Tsunami Will Strike

The Algorithm That Can Predict When a Tsunami Will Strike

Australian National University researchers have developed an algorithm that can recreate the movements of a typical tsunami to determine its threat level.


From ACM News

Push for Encryption Law Falters Despite Apple Case Spotlight

Push for Encryption Law Falters Despite Apple Case Spotlight

After a rampage that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, key U.S. lawmakers pledged to seek a law requiring technology companies to give law enforcement agencies a "back door" to encrypted communications and electronic devices…


From ACM News

Google beats Oracle as U.S. jury declares ‘fair use’ of Java in Android

 Google beats Oracle as U.S. jury declares ‘fair use’ of Java in Android

A U.S. jury handed Alphabet’s Google a major victory in a long-running copyright lawsuit against Oracle Corp.


From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Is Far From Matching Humans, Panel Says

Artificial Intelligence Is Far From Matching Humans, Panel Says

Never mind Terminator-like killer robots. Artificial intelligence researchers are grappling with more realistic questions like whether their creations will take too many jobs from humans.


From ACM News

On Your Mark. Get Set. Print!

On Your Mark. Get Set. Print!

Athletic footwear is about to be customized in the extreme, through a combination of computer vision-enabled scanning and three-dimensional printing.


From ACM News

Illuminating Life's Building Blocks

Illuminating Life's Building Blocks

Biophysicist Joerg Bewersdorf says that 2006 was fluorescence microscopy's annus mirabilis—a 'miraculous year' as momentous in its own way as 1905, when Albert Einstein revolutionized physics in the realms of relativity, quantum…


From ACM News

Meet Terrapattern, Google Earth's Missing Search Engine

Meet Terrapattern, Google Earth's Missing Search Engine

"Why don't you click on the tennis court?" Golan Levin, an associate professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University, suggested.

 


From ACM TechNews

Japanese-Language MyShake App Crowdsources Earthquake Shaking

Japanese-Language MyShake App Crowdsources Earthquake Shaking

Researchers have released a Japanese version of an application that crowdsources ground-shaking information from smartphones to detect earthquakes. 


From ACM TechNews

Mental Health Alerts via Facebook?

Mental Health Alerts via Facebook?

Social media data could be used to detect and track at-risk youth and mental health patients.


From ACM TechNews

Shortened URLs May Open a Window on Your Life

Shortened URLs May Open a Window on Your Life

The trend of using shortened URLs offers a new opportunity for hackers to invade users' privacy, according to Cornell Tech researchers. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Create 'Rewritable Magnetic Charge Ice'

Scientists Create 'Rewritable Magnetic Charge Ice'

Researchers have created rewritable magnetic charge ice, which could lead to new computing technologies. 


From ACM Careers

How the Constant Threat of War Shaped Israel's Tech Industry

How the Constant Threat of War Shaped Israel's Tech Industry

Unit 8200 is Israel's most mysterious agency. No one outside knows exactly how it operates, who works there, or how they learn.


From ACM News

IBM Memory Advances Could Speed Up Your Phone

IBM Memory Advances Could Speed Up Your Phone

Ever wanted to pound your PC as it crawls through a restart or fumed that your phone takes much too long to launch an e-book app?

 


From ACM News

Face Recognition App Taking Russia by Storm May Bring End to Public Anonymity

Face Recognition App Taking Russia by Storm May Bring End to Public Anonymity

If the founders of a new face recognition app get their way, anonymity in public could soon be a thing of the past.


From ACM TechNews

East Meets West: 'We Are Alfred'

East Meets West: 'We Are Alfred'

An interactive virtual reality simulation allows users to inhabit the perspective of a 74-year-old man with sensory impairments. 


From ACM TechNews

Computing a Secret, Unbreakable Key

Computing a Secret, Unbreakable Key

Researchers say they have developed the first available software to evaluate the security protocol for Quantum Key Distribution.


From ACM TechNews

Study Reveals Only 1 in 6 Drivers Want Fully-Autonomous Vehicles

Study Reveals Only 1 in 6 Drivers Want Fully-Autonomous Vehicles

Most U.S. drivers do not want to own a fully self-driving car in the future, according to a University of Michigan survey. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Teaching Robots to Feel and React to Pain

Researchers Teaching Robots to Feel and React to Pain

Researchers  are developing an "artificial robot nervous system to teach robots how to feel pain" and quickly react in order to avoid potential damage. 


From ACM News

1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility

1,500 Scientists Lift the Lid on Reproducibility

More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments. Those are some of the telling figures that emerged from Nature…


From ACM TechNews

Automatic Bug Finder

Automatic Bug Finder

Researchers have moved closer to enabling symbolic execution of applications written via programming frameworks. 


From ACM TechNews

Checklist of Worst-Case Scenarios Could Help Prepare for Evil AI

Checklist of Worst-Case Scenarios Could Help Prepare for Evil AI

University of Louisville researcher Roman Yampolskiy and hacktivist Federico Pistono are examining worst-case scenarios for a potential malevolent artificial intelligence. 


From ACM News

Four Wild Technologies Lawmakers Want NASA to Pursue

Four Wild Technologies Lawmakers Want NASA to Pursue

Imagine a tissue-box sized device, with blades a few feet long, whirring to life after charging for a full Sol on Mars.

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