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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 2018


From ACM TechNews

How a Computer Learns to Dribble: Practice, Practice, Practice

How a Computer Learns to Dribble: Practice, Practice, Practice

Researchers have developed a physics-based, real-time method for controlling animated characters that can learn basketball dribbling skills from experience.


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Chains in Graphene Nanoribbons

Quantum Chains in Graphene Nanoribbons

Researchers at Empa and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have succeeded in adjusting the electronic properties of graphene nanoribbons by varying their shape, a process that could generate specific local quantum …


From ACM TechNews

Georgia Tech Creates Cybersecurity Master's Degree Online for Less Than $10,000

Georgia Tech Creates Cybersecurity Master's Degree Online for Less Than $10,000

The Georgia Institute of Technology will offer an online cybersecurity master's degree that will cost students less than $10,000, in collaboration with edX.


From ACM TechNews

RPI Scientists Develop VR Surgery to Feel Real

RPI Scientists Develop VR Surgery to Feel Real

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have developed a virtual reality system to add realism to virtual surgical training.


From ACM TechNews

Millions of Businesses Vulnerable to Fax-Based Cyberattack

Millions of Businesses Vulnerable to Fax-Based Cyberattack

Fax machines still in use by millions of organizations worldwide could be exploited by hackers to launch cyberattacks.


From ACM TechNews

IBM Has a Watson Dilemma

IBM Has a Watson Dilemma

IBM's Watson system is falling short of some expectations for its outcomes in the fight against cancer, with many users citing inaccuracy, susceptibility to error, and the evolution of cancer therapies.


From ACM News

Spectre-Like Flaw ­ndermines Intel Processors' Most Secure Element

Spectre-Like Flaw ­ndermines Intel Processors' Most Secure Element

A team of researchers has found a Spectre-like vulnerability that specifically undermines the most secure element of recent Intel chips.


From ACM News

How Hacked Water Heaters Could Trigger Mass Blackouts

How Hacked Water Heaters Could Trigger Mass Blackouts

When the cybersecurity industry warns about the nightmare of hackers causing blackouts, the scenario they describe typically entails an elite team of hackers breaking into the inner sanctum of a power utility to start flipping…


From ACM News

Banks and Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe and Tap

Banks and Retailers Are Tracking How You Type, Swipe and Tap

When you're browsing a website and the mouse cursor disappears, it might be a computer glitch—or it might be a deliberate test to find out who you are.


From ACM TechNews

Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It or Not

Google Tracks Your Movements, Like It or Not

Researchers have confirmed that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store location data, even if the user selects a setting that purports to prevent tracking.


From ACM TechNews

Introducing the Latest in Textiles: Soft Hardware

Introducing the Latest in Textiles: Soft Hardware

Researchers have embedded high-speed optoelectronic semiconductor devices within fibers woven into soft, washable fabrics, and converted them into communication systems.


From ACM TechNews

Big Data Analytics to Automatically Detect Events in Smart Cities

Big Data Analytics to Automatically Detect Events in Smart Cities

Researchers used big data analytics to detect spatio-temporal events around London, testing the potential of the technology to harness live information.


From ACM News

Here Come the Drones

Here Come the Drones

The U.S. is getting serious about filling the skies with unmanned aircraft.

 


From ACM News

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

Martin Vassilev makes a good living selling fake views on YouTube videos. Working from home in Ottawa, he has sold about 15 million views so far this year, putting him on track to bring in more than $200,000, records show.


From ACM News

Campaigns and Candidates Still Easy Prey for Hackers

Campaigns and Candidates Still Easy Prey for Hackers

Some bathrooms have signs urging people to wash their hands. But at the Democratic National Committee, reminders hanging in the men's and women's restrooms address a different kind of hygiene.


From ACM TechNews

Meet the Guy With Four Arms, Two of Which Someone Else Controls in VR

Meet the Guy With Four Arms, Two of Which Someone Else Controls in VR

Fusion is a robotic project to explore how people may be able to work together to control, or augment, a person's body.


From ACM TechNews

Alexa, Be My Friend: Children Talk to Technology, But How Does It Respond?

Alexa, Be My Friend: Children Talk to Technology, But How Does It Respond?

Voice interfaces that repeat or prompt users to communicate could be more useful to children than currently available technologies.


From ACM TechNews

Zen and the Art of Data Structures: From Self-Tuning to Self-Designing Data Systems

Zen and the Art of Data Structures: From Self-Tuning to Self-Designing Data Systems

Harvard University's Stratos Idreos is using what he calls a periodic table of data structures to map those structures and their characteristics and to probe their many combinations.


From ACM TechNews

Samsung Galaxy S7 Smartphones Vulnerable to Hacking

Samsung Galaxy S7 Smartphones Vulnerable to Hacking

Researchers say they have determined a way to exploit a microchip security flaw in Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones.


From ACM TechNews

AI for Social Good: Addressing the Need for Women in Tech

AI for Social Good: Addressing the Need for Women in Tech

May's AI for Social Good Lab initiative provided 30 undergraduate women from across Canada the opportunity to use artificial intelligence to address a social issue of their choice.


From ACM TechNews

Tying Electrons Down With Nanoribbons

Tying Electrons Down With Nanoribbons

Researchers have used graphene nanoribbons to corral electrons for potential quantum computing applications.


From ACM News

The Sensors That Power Smart Cities Are a Hacker's Dream

The Sensors That Power Smart Cities Are a Hacker's Dream

At this point, it seems like every so-called consumer smart device—from routers and baby monitors to connected thermostats and garage door openers—has been shown to have vulnerabilities.


From ACM News

CRISPR 'Barcodes' Map Mammalian Development in Exquisite Detail

CRISPR 'Barcodes' Map Mammalian Development in Exquisite Detail

For the first time, scientists have wielded CRISPR to track a mammal's development from a single egg into an embryo with millions of cells.


From ACM TechNews

New ACM Breakthrough in Computing Award

New ACM Breakthrough in Computing Award

ACM has established a new biennial award for a surprising or disruptive breakthrough in computing concepts or technologies.


From ACM TechNews

­.S. Defense Department Produces First Tools for Catching Deepfakes

­.S. Defense Department Produces First Tools for Catching Deepfakes

U.S. Defense researchers say they have created the first forensic tools for catching fake videos, known as "deepfakes," created with artificial intelligence.


From ACM TechNews

Decoding the Pipeline for Tech's 'Hidden Figures'

Decoding the Pipeline for Tech's 'Hidden Figures'

Researchers are working to acknowledge and understand the "double-bind" for women of color in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.


From ACM TechNews

Smart Wristband With Wireless Link Could Monitor Health, Environmental Exposures

Smart Wristband With Wireless Link Could Monitor Health, Environmental Exposures

Researchers say they have created a wireless smart wristband that will enable a new era of personal health and environmental monitoring devices.


From ACM TechNews

Exoskeletons Debut at Ford Factories

Exoskeletons Debut at Ford Factories

Ford plans to offer exoskeleton technology to its factory employees worldwide.


From ACM News

Watch a Sporty AI Teach Itself to Dribble Better Than You

Watch a Sporty AI Teach Itself to Dribble Better Than You

I'm not what you'd call a coordinated man, so basketball horrifies me. All the dribbling, all the shooting—all while running and dodging people trying to smack the ball out of your hands.


From ACM News

Robots Are Getting More Social. Are Humans Ready?

Robots Are Getting More Social. Are Humans Ready?

Personal home robots that can socialize with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are humans ready to invite them into their lives?