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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 2017


From ACM News

Software Simplified

Software Simplified

In 2015, geneticist Guy Reeves was trying to configure a free software system called Galaxy to get his bioinformatics projects off the ground.


From ACM News

Cassini Finds Saturn Moon May Have Tipped Over

Cassini Finds Saturn Moon May Have Tipped Over

Saturn's icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus may have tipped over in the distant past, according to recent research from NASA's Cassini mission.


From ACM News

How a Supreme Court Ruling on Printer Cartridges Changes What It Means to Buy Almost Anything

How a Supreme Court Ruling on Printer Cartridges Changes What It Means to Buy Almost Anything

Last week, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to corporations that try to use patent law as a weapon against other firms, saying that companies can only be sued for patent infringement in the places they actually do business…


From ACM TechNews

Here's How to Track the Smartphone Apps That Are Tracking You

Here's How to Track the Smartphone Apps That Are Tracking You

Two complementary research projects plan to cooperate further to help smartphone users monitor how apps handle their personally identifiable information.


From ACM TechNews

Faster, More Nimble Drones on the Horizon

Faster, More Nimble Drones on the Horizon

Researchers have developed an algorithm to tune a Dynamic Vision Sensor camera to detect only specific changes in brightness that matter for a particular system.


From ACM TechNews

A New Spin on Electronics

A New Spin on Electronics

Researchers at the University of Utah found perovskites permit easily controllable electron spin and have a sufficiently long spin lifetime to transport information.


From ACM TechNews

Shedding Light on How Humans Walk…With Robots

Shedding Light on How Humans Walk…With Robots

Researchers have discovered that humans whose lower limbs are fastened to a typical clinical robot only modify their gait if the forces the robot applies threaten their walking ability.


From ACM TechNews

A Network of Crystals for Long-Distance Quantum Communication

A Network of Crystals for Long-Distance Quantum Communication

Researchers have demonstrated a protocol for long-distance quantum communication using a network of crystals.


From ACM TechNews

Google DeepMind's AlphaGo Is Retiring After Beating the World's Best Human Players

Google DeepMind's AlphaGo Is Retiring After Beating the World's Best Human Players

Google's DeepMind unit has announced the retirement of its AlphaGo software after it won a three-game match against Chinese Go champion Ke Jie.


From ACM News

High-Silica 'Halos' Shed Light on Wet Ancient Mars

High-Silica 'Halos' Shed Light on Wet Ancient Mars

Pale "halos" around fractures in bedrock analyzed by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover contain copious silica, indicating that ancient Mars had liquid water for a long time.


From ACM Careers

Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.?

Is China Outsmarting America in A.I.?

Sören Schwertfeger finished his postdoctorate research on autonomous robots in Germany, and seemed set to go to Europe or the United States, where artificial intelligence was pioneered and established.


From ACM News

New Scaling Law Predicts How Wheels Drive Over Sand

New Scaling Law Predicts How Wheels Drive Over Sand

When engineers design a new aircraft, they carry out much of the initial testing not on full-sized jets but on model planes that have been scaled down to fit inside a wind tunnel.


From ACM News

Heads Up: Augmented Reality Prepares for the Battlefield

Heads Up: Augmented Reality Prepares for the Battlefield

At last week's Pentagon Lab Day in Washington, DC, the Army's Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center (CERDEC) and Army Research Lab demonstrated a prototype of technology straight out of first…


From ACM News

Russian Hackers Are Using 'Tainted' Leaks to Sow Disinformation

Russian Hackers Are Using 'Tainted' Leaks to Sow Disinformation

Over the past year, the Kremlin's strategy of weaponizing leaks to meddle with democracies around the world has become increasingly clear, first in the US and more recently in France.


From ACM News

What Self-Driving Cars See

What Self-Driving Cars See

Giant tech companies are fighting over the technology in court. Start-ups around the world are racing to develop new versions of it. And engineers say it is essential to making autonomous cars safe.


From ACM TechNews

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

The Russian Quantum Center announced the creation of the first quantum-safe blockchain for securing cryptocurrencies and classified government communications and other sensitive digital transactions.


From ACM TechNews

Waltzing Robot Teaches Beginners How to Dance Like a Pro

Waltzing Robot Teaches Beginners How to Dance Like a Pro

Researchers at Tohoku University in Japan have developed a robotic dance instructor.


From ACM TechNews

NSA Says New Encryption Standards Needed to Resist Quantum Computing

NSA Says New Encryption Standards Needed to Resist Quantum Computing

The U.S. National Security Agency is developing encryption standards to withstand quantum computing.


From ACM TechNews

Toward Mass-Producible Quantum Computers

Toward Mass-Producible Quantum Computers

Researchers have developed a new method that could help lead to the development of practical, diamond-based quantum computing devices.


From ACM TechNews

Google Plans to Demonstrate the Supremacy of Quantum Computing

Google Plans to Demonstrate the Supremacy of Quantum Computing

Google researchers say they plan to demonstrate "quantum supremacy" by year's end.


From ACM News

When Hatred Goes Viral: Inside Social Media's Efforts to Combat Terrorism

When Hatred Goes Viral: Inside Social Media's Efforts to Combat Terrorism

On New Year's Eve in 2015 local and federal agents arrested a 26-year-old man in Rochester, N.Y., for planning to attack people at random later that night using knives and a machete.


From ACM News

A Whole New Jupiter: First Science Results from NASA's Juno Mission

A Whole New Jupiter: First Science Results from NASA's Juno Mission

Early science results from NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the…


From ACM News

That Time the Soviets Bugged Congress, and Other Spy Tales

That Time the Soviets Bugged Congress, and Other Spy Tales

During a private meeting in the Oval Office earlier this month, President Donald Trump is understood to have disclosed highly classified intelligence to two senior Russian diplomats.


From ACM TechNews

How to Prevent 3D Printing Hacks? Install Secret Flaws and Share the Decoder Ring

How to Prevent 3D Printing Hacks? Install Secret Flaws and Share the Decoder Ring

Researchers say they have developed techniques manufacturers can use to thwart intellectual property thieves.


From ACM TechNews

UIUC Gets $100K Grant for Supporting Women in Computer Science

UIUC Gets $100K Grant for Supporting Women in Computer Science

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently received the $100,000 grand prize of the National Center for Women in Information Technology NEXT Award.


From ACM TechNews

Emojis: How We Assign Meaning to These Ever-Popular Symbols

Emojis: How We Assign Meaning to These Ever-Popular Symbols

Researchers have analyzed the use of emojis by 1 million users via more than 1.2 billion messages.


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Scholars, Researchers Discuss Key Ethical Questions Self-Driving Cars Present

Stanford Scholars, Researchers Discuss Key Ethical Questions Self-Driving Cars Present

Stanford University scholars discuss the challenging ethical ramifications of driverless vehicles.


From ACM News

Lawmakers Seek to Expand Repair Options

Lawmakers Seek to Expand Repair Options

End-users want to be able to repair their expensive electronics; manufacturers disagree.


From ACM News

Detecting Life In Space: The Red Edge

Detecting Life In Space: The Red Edge

The universe's "most interesting star" just started acting up again.


From ACM Careers

Silicon Valley's Big Three vs. Detroit's Golden-Age Big Three

Silicon Valley's Big Three vs. Detroit's Golden-Age Big Three

Over the last 20 years, the technology industry has become the most powerful industry in the world, boasting seven of the 20 most profitable companies.

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