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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.

August 2014


From ACM News

Baby X, The Intelligent Toddler Simulation, Is Getting Smarter Every Day

Baby X, The Intelligent Toddler Simulation, Is Getting Smarter Every Day

Holding a children's picture book up to his computer screen, a researcher for the Auckland Bioengineering Institute Laboratory for Animate Technologies in New Zealand coos and croons into the microphone and webcam.


From ACM News

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is a Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is a Hologram

The search for the fundamental units of space and time has officially begun.


From ACM TechNews

Bombarded By Information, Scientists Review New Ways to Analyze Big Data

Bombarded By Information, Scientists Review New Ways to Analyze Big Data

The big data era is being propelled by massive amounts of unstructured data, continuously produced and stored at a decreasing cost. That has resulted in scientific advances that are more data-driven, researchers say.


From ACM TechNews

Let the Hacking Begin: NYU Launches Largest Cyber Security Student Contests

Let the Hacking Begin: NYU Launches Largest Cyber Security Student Contests

Registration has begun for New York University's Polytechnic School of Engineering Cyber Security Awareness Week, which the school says is the largest set of student cybersecurity competitions in the world.


From ACM TechNews

Looking to the Future of Data Science

Looking to the Future of Data Science

Dueling keynote speeches opening the first two days of ACM's Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining conference in New York this week demonstrated different visions of what the future of data science should look like.


From ACM TechNews

Spherical Display Lets You See 3-D Animations from Any Angle

Spherical Display Lets You See 3-D Animations from Any Angle

Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo and the University of British Columbia have developed Spheree, a spherical display that enables users to see and interact with three-dimensional objects.


From ACM TechNews

Chameleon: Cloud Computing for Computer Science

Chameleon: Cloud Computing for Computer Science

The U.S. National Science Foundation recently announced a new $10 million project to create a cloud computing testbed called Chameleon, an experimental platform for cloud architecture and applications.


From ACM TechNews

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two

College students across the United States have been developing their own apps, sometimes to great success. 


From ACM TechNews

Beyond Silicon: Transistors for the Future

Beyond Silicon: Transistors for the Future

A prototype transistor can operate on lower voltage than standard CMOS devices while maintaining high performance and power efficiency. 


From ACM News

NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

NASA Telescopes Uncover Early Construction of Giant Galaxy

Astronomers have for the first time caught a glimpse of the earliest stages of massive galaxy construction.


From ACM News

How Social Media Silences Debate

How Social Media Silences Debate

The Internet might be a useful tool for activists and organizers, in episodes as momentous as the Arab Spring or as trivial as the Ice Bucket Challenge. But overall, it has largely diminished rather than enhanced political participation…


From ACM News

Entangled Photons Make a Picture from a Paradox

Entangled Photons Make a Picture from a Paradox

Physicists have devised a way to take pictures using light that has not interacted with the object being photographed.


From ACM Opinion

Why Big Data Has Some Big Problems When It Comes to Public Policy

Why Big Data Has Some Big Problems When It Comes to Public Policy

For all the talk about using big data and data science to solve the world’s problems—and even all the talk about big data as one of the world’s problems—it seems like we still have a long way to go.


From ACM News

Beer Taps the Internet of Things

Beer Taps the Internet of Things

Industry-specific technology tracks how quickly kegs are drained and help purveyors charge for every last drop.


From ACM TechNews

VALERI: Robots Lending a Helping Hand to Build Planes

VALERI: Robots Lending a Helping Hand to Build Planes

Researchers on the Validation of Advanced, Collaborative Robotics for Industrial Applications project are trying to incorporate robots into the building of airplanes. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Craft Atomically Seamless, Thinnest-Possible Semiconductor Junctions

Scientists Craft Atomically Seamless, Thinnest-Possible Semiconductor Junctions

University of Washington researchers believe they have developed the thinnest-possible semiconductor.


From ACM TechNews

Android Flaw Might Also Affect iOS, Windows

Android Flaw Might Also Affect iOS, Windows

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in the Android mobile operating system that could permit attacks on apps running on the same device. 


From ACM TechNews

USM Will Teach Students How to Hack, and How to Stop It

USM Will Teach Students How to Hack, and How to Stop It

The University of Southern Maine has launched a cybersecurity curriculum that will examine issues relevant to the collection, sharing, and theft of sensitive data. 


From ACM News

Looking to the Future of Data Science

Looking to the Future of Data Science

The Association for Computing Machinery, a leading professional association in computer science, is holding its annual conference this week, focusing on what we’re now calling data science — though the ACM still clings to the…


From ACM News

Sleeping with the Enemy

Sleeping with the Enemy

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, is a large, mostly glass building shaped a bit like a banana.


From ACM Opinion

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging

In the four years since the car service Uber launched, it has been beset by criticism from myriad groups, including city officials annoyed by its sometimes cavalier attitude toward regulation and taxi companies annoyed by increased…


From ACM TechNews

Hacking Gmail With 92 Percent Success

Hacking Gmail With 92 Percent Success

A weakness believed to exist in Android, Windows, and iOS mobile operating systems could be used to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users. 


From ACM TechNews

Helping Researchers Cope With the Medical Literature Knowledge Explosion

Helping Researchers Cope With the Medical Literature Knowledge Explosion

The new Knowledge Integration Toolkit will help research scientists make better use of the massive volumes of scientific research that is available in public databases. 


From ACM TechNews

How an Algorithm Detected the Ebola Outbreak a Week Early, and What It Could Do Next

How an Algorithm Detected the Ebola Outbreak a Week Early, and What It Could Do Next

HealthMap, an international mapping tool that detects and tracks diseases, identified the Ebola virus just over a week before it spread. 


From ACM TechNews

Can Computers Replace Historians?

Can Computers Replace Historians?

A researcher suggests computers have the potential to sift through the big data of history to help spot patterns.


From ACM TechNews

Skype's Real-Time Translator Learns How to Speak From Social Media

Skype's Real-Time Translator Learns How to Speak From Social Media

Microsoft says its upcoming Skype Translator app will translate multilingual conversations in real time. 


From ACM Careers

Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds

Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds

Birds are nice enough, unless you work at places like airports, farms, and landfills, in which case they’re the sworn enemy.


From ACM News

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a "Google-like" search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations…


From ACM TechNews

Smartphones Set Out to Decipher a Cryptographic System

Smartphones Set Out to Decipher a Cryptographic System

Researchers have developed an Android app to crack a cryptographic system by enabling thousands of smartphones to work together on the task. 


From ACM News

For Sale: Systems that Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

For Sale: Systems that Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.

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