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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.

June 2015


From ACM News

NASA Explains Why June 30 Will Get Extra Second

NASA Explains Why June 30 Will Get Extra Second

The day will officially be a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30, 2015, because an extra second, or "leap" second, will be added.


From ACM News

Computers Read the Fossil Record

Computers Read the Fossil Record

For a field whose raison d'être is to chronicle the deep past, palaeontology is remarkably forward-looking when it comes to organizing its data.


From ACM News

The Computer Chip That Never Forgets

The Computer Chip That Never Forgets

In 1945, mathematician John von Neumann wrote down a very simple recipe for a computer.


From ACM TechNews

Making a Better Semiconductor

Making a Better Semiconductor

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a method for changing the electronic properties of materials that could lead to new, improved semiconductors. 


From ACM TechNews

ASU Professor Develops Artificial Intelligence Tools for Environmental Research

ASU Professor Develops Artificial Intelligence Tools for Environmental Research

Artificial intelligence tools developed by researchers at Arizona State University could tell scientists and environmental planners everything they want to know about terrain. 


From ACM TechNews

Discovery Paves Way for New Kinds of Superconducting Electronics

Discovery Paves Way for New Kinds of Superconducting Electronics

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a new way to control the transport of electrical currents through high-temperature superconductors.


From ACM Careers

MIT’s Bitcoin-Inspired 'Enigma' Lets Computers Mine Encrypted Data

MIT’s Bitcoin-Inspired 'Enigma' Lets Computers Mine Encrypted Data

The cryptography behind bitcoin solved a paradoxical problem: a currency with no regulator, that nonetheless can't be counterfeited.


From ACM News

Warrantless Phone Tapping, Email Spying Inching to Supreme Court Review

Warrantless Phone Tapping, Email Spying Inching to Supreme Court Review

In 2013, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a once-clandestine warrantless surveillance program that gobbles up Americans' electronic communications—a project secretly adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks on…


From ACM News

ACM Europe Helps Guide Elements of Horizon 2020

ACM Europe Helps Guide Elements of Horizon 2020

ACM Europe contributes to the successful implementation of Europe’s largest research program in several ways.


From ACM News

June Will End with a Rare 61-Second Minute

June Will End with a Rare 61-Second Minute

We'll need to wait for July just a shade longer, as the world's timekeepers have added a leap second June 30—to officially keep Earth and our precise, atomic clocks in sync.


From ACM News

Watch: Black Hole Sim Whips Dark Matter Into a Frenzy

Watch: Black Hole Sim Whips Dark Matter Into a Frenzy

Dark matter is to astrophysicists what sex is to kids in junior high school: Everybody is really interested, but nobody really knows what it looks like.


From ACM News

When a Company Is Put Up for Sale, in Many Cases, Your Personal Data Is, Too

When a Company Is Put Up for Sale, in Many Cases, Your Personal Data Is, Too

The privacy policy for Hulu, a video-streaming service with about nine million subscribers, opens with a declaration that the company "respects your privacy."


From ACM TechNews

UW Researchers Demonstrate System to Transmit Power Over Wi-Fi

UW Researchers Demonstrate System to Transmit Power Over Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi can power connected devices using a new system developed by a team at the University of Washington.


From ACM TechNews

Breakthrough in Graphene Production Could Trigger Revolution in Artificial Skin Development

Breakthrough in Graphene Production Could Trigger Revolution in Artificial Skin Development

University of Exeter researchers say they have discovered a new way to produce graphene that is significantly less expensive, and easier, than previous methods. 


From ACM TechNews

Widespread Backing for U.K. Robotics Network

Widespread Backing for U.K. Robotics Network

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has launched the U.K. Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network to boost Britain's robotics research. 


From ACM TechNews

Hospital ICUs Mine Big Data in Push for Better Outcomes

Hospital ICUs Mine Big Data in Push for Better Outcomes

Some hospitals are using a big-data approach to mine intensive-care unit data to help providers and patients realize improved outcomes. 


From ACM TechNews

What 24,000 Facebook Confession Posts Tell Us About College

What 24,000 Facebook Confession Posts Tell Us About College

A Tufts University study analyzed about 24,000 Facebook posts on the Tufts Confessions page dating back to late 2013.


From ACM TechNews

IU Researchers Participate in LinkedIn Project to Tackle Economic, Employment Challenges

IU Researchers Participate in LinkedIn Project to Tackle Economic, Employment Challenges

The LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge invites researchers, academics, and others to propose strategies for using LinkedIn data to address major economic problems. 


From ACM News

Automatic Bug Repair

Automatic Bug Repair

At the Association for Computing Machinery's Programming Language Design and Implementation conference this month, MIT researchers presented a new system that repairs dangerous software bugs by automatically importing functionality…


From ACM News

A Computer's Heat Could Divulge Top Secrets

A Computer's Heat Could Divulge Top Secrets

The most secure computers in the world can't "Google" a thing—they are disconnected from the Internet and all other networks.


From ACM TechNews

Watson's Next Feat? Taking on Cancer

Watson's Next Feat? Taking on Cancer

IBM's Watson supercomputer is being trained to find personalized cancer treatments. 


From ACM News

Pluto-Bound Probe Faces Its Toughest Task: Finding Pluto

Pluto-Bound Probe Faces Its Toughest Task: Finding Pluto

Some 4.7 billion kilometres from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft is heading for a historic rendezvous with Pluto. To achieve this, it will need to hit a very small target: an imaginary rectangle in space measuring just 100…


From ACM News

Automakers Tackle the Massive Security Challenges of Connected Vehicles

Automakers Tackle the Massive Security Challenges of Connected Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is accelerating its efforts to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle communications, a step that could help lower the number of traffic deaths in the U.S., but also creates a major challenge…


From ACM News

The Secret Codes of British Banknotes

The Secret Codes of British Banknotes

A brand-new Xerox colour photocopier had just arrived at one of Cambridge's industrial labs.


From ACM TechNews

Wozniak Talks: Self-Driving Cars, Apple Watch, and How AI Will Benefit Humanity

Wozniak Talks: Self-Driving Cars, Apple Watch, and How AI Will Benefit Humanity

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he envisions artificial intelligence eventually controlling the world for the betterment of humanity.


From ACM TechNews

How Machine Vision Solved One of the Great Mysteries of 20th-Century Surrealist Art

How Machine Vision Solved One of the Great Mysteries of 20th-Century Surrealist Art

A pair of identical paintings attributed to Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte has long mystified art experts as to which one is the original. 


From ACM TechNews

Clarkson University Professor Says Iris Recognition Gives Smartphone Users More Security Options

Clarkson University Professor Says Iris Recognition Gives Smartphone Users More Security Options

Iris-recognition technology could improve the security of smartphones, says Clarkson University professor Stephanie Schuckers. 


From ACM TechNews

Iowa State Engineers Develop Micro-Tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Iowa State Engineers Develop Micro-Tentacles So Tiny Robots Can Handle Delicate Objects

Iowa State University researchers have developed spiraling microrobotic tentacles which they say will enable robots to handle delicate objects.


From ACM TechNews

Girls Who Code From Around Globe

Girls Who Code From Around Globe

Iridescent's Technovation World Pitch Challenge is an opportunity for pre-college girls with an interest in technology entrepreneurship to win $20,000 in seed funding. 


From ACM News

Storing Digital Data for Eternity

Storing Digital Data for Eternity

Vint Cerf is sometimes called the "father of the Internet." He helped develop TCP/IP (the communications protocol for the Internet) and later became chairman of ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers,…

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