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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

October 2011


From ACM News

Headless, Humanoid Robot Preps for Army Duty

Sauntering toward you like a mechanized zombie is the Army’s newest recruit: a robot with a blinking red light where its head should be.


From ACM TechNews

To Diagnose Heart Disease, Visualization Experts Recommend a Simpler Approach

To Diagnose Heart Disease, Visualization Experts Recommend a Simpler Approach

Harvard University researchers have developed HemoVis, a method for visualizing human arteries that, in clinical testing, increased diagnostic accuracy from 39 percent to 91 percent. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientist Seeks the Real Meaning of Language

Computer Scientist Seeks the Real Meaning of Language

Researchers at Columbia University and the City University of New York are developing computational methods to detect deception in English, Mandarin Chinese, and Arabic speakers. 


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Offers $50,000 Prize If You Can Figure Out These Shredded Puzzles

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced the $50,000 Shredder Challenge, which asks participants to devise new methods or techniques for piecing together a series of shredded documents. 


From ACM TechNews

New Tool Clears the Air on Cloud Simulations

New Tool Clears the Air on Cloud Simulations

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers and international collaborators have developed the Cloud-Feedback-Model Intercomparison Project Observation Simulator Package, which will enable scientists to better represent…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Create Transistors From Natural Cotton Fibers

Researchers Create Transistors From Natural Cotton Fibers

Cornell University professor Juan Hinestroza was part of an international team that recently developed transistors using natural cotton fibers. 


From ACM News

A Deeper Look into Space

A Deeper Look into Space

NASA hopes the James Webb Space Telescope, which can detect ancient light that its predecessors can’t, will reveal more information about the origins of the universe than the Hubble Space Telescope currently can.


From ACM News

China Tangles with Internet Access

China Tangles with Internet Access

Internet giants like Google and Twitter have had to beat a retreat from China after being blocked or restricted, and now, some tech lobbies are stepping up pressure on Congress and the White House to do more. They say companies…


From ACM News

In Surprise, China Unveils Supercomputer Based on Its Own Chips

China has made its first supercomputer based on Chinese microprocessor chips, an advance that surprised high-performance computing specialists in the United States.


From ACM News

The Making of Arduino

The Making of Arduino

How five friends engineered a small circuit board that’s taking the DIY world by storm.


From ACM Opinion

The Genius of Jobs

One of the questions I wrestled with when writing about Steve Jobs was how smart he was. On the surface, this should not have been much of an issue.


From ACM News

Kevin Mitnick Rates Today's Blackhats

Kevin Mitnick was hacking when the LulzSec kids were still in training pants.


From ACM News

IBM Simulates 4.5% of the Human Brain, and All of the Cat Brain

Supercomputers can store more information than the human brain and can calculate a single equation faster, but even the biggest, fastest supercomputers in the world cannot match the overall processing power of the brain. Andas…


From ACM TechNews

Can Software Patch the Ailing Power Grid?

Can Software Patch the Ailing Power Grid?

A consortium providing the technology for a large-scale smart grid project says the software is nearly complete. 


From ACM TechNews

New Technology Pinpoints Anomalies in Complex Financial Data

New Technology Pinpoints Anomalies in Complex Financial Data

Battelle researchers at the U.S. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed Anomalator, analytical software designed to recognize anomalous information that can help regulators, investors, and advisers better manage…


From ACM TechNews

Lack of Confidence as Professionals Spurs Women to Leave Engineering, Study Finds

Lack of Confidence as Professionals Spurs Women to Leave Engineering, Study Finds

Women who start college aiming to become engineers are more likely than men to change their major and choose another career because they lack confidence, according to a recent American Sociological Review paper. 


From ACM TechNews

Wholesome Data: Using IT to Promote Healthy Behaviors

Wholesome Data: Using IT to Promote Healthy Behaviors

Edmund Seto, a researcher at the University of California, Davis,  develops censor and cell phone technologies to connect people to relevant, real-time data about themselves and their environments. 


From ACM TechNews

XML Encryption Cracked, Exposing Real Threat to Online Transactions

XML Encryption Cracked, Exposing Real Threat to Online Transactions

Ruhr-University Bochum researchers have demonstrated a technique for breaking the encryption used to secure data in online transactions, posing a serious threat on all currently used implementations of XML encryption. 


From ACM News

Apple Patent Uses 3D Gestures to Control an iPad

Apple Patent Uses 3D Gestures to Control an iPad

Forget relying solely on touch to control your Apple device. On future iPads, you may be able to control your tablet from across the room using 3D gestures, such as a swirl or swipe of the hand.


From ACM News

Is Checking Sports Scores or Personal Email at Work a Crime?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to reconsider a 2-1 ruling issued in April that critics said made it a crime to violate an employer's computer access policy.


From ACM News

Microsoft Sees Screens Everywhere in Futuristic Video

Microsoft Sees Screens Everywhere in Futuristic Video

Say what you will about Microsoft's execution in developing cool products and services consumers want, where rivals such as Apple and Google have stolen a beat or three on the software giant. One thing Microsoft doesn't lack…


From ACM News

A Social-Media Decoder

A Social-Media Decoder

From his 24th-floor corner office in midtown Manhattan, the veteran CBS research chief David Poltrack can gaze southward down the Avenue of the Americas, its sidewalks teeming.


From ACM Opinion

Ice Cream Sandwich: A Deep-Dive Tour With Android

Ice Cream Sandwich: A Deep-Dive Tour With Android

There are few things in this world I despise more than software updates. Downloading hundreds of files, waiting for the progress bar to fill, restarting the device—it’s all a thankless chore. Usually.


From ACM News

NASA in Final Preparations for Nov. 8 Asteroid Flyby

NASA in Final Preparations for Nov. 8 Asteroid Flyby

NASA scientists will be tracking asteroid 2005 YU55 with antennas of the agency's Deep Space Network at Goldstone, Calif., as the space rock safely flies past Earth slightly closer than the moon's orbit on Nov. 8. Scientists…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Couple Printed Logic With Printed Memory

Researchers Couple Printed Logic With Printed Memory

Transistors have been combined with memory in a printed electronic device that offers an affordable way to read, write, and process small amounts of data by Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and Thinfilm Electronics. 


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Hackers: Cracking the Uncrackable Code

Quantum Hackers: Cracking the Uncrackable Code

Norwegian University of Science and Technology researcher Vadim Makarov has developed a quantum cryptography method to defend against attacks of quantum key distribution systems. 


From ACM News

How Yahoo Spawned Hadoop, the Future of Big Data

How Yahoo Spawned Hadoop, the Future of Big Data

The email went to Eric14. His real name is Eric Baldeschwieler, but no one calls him that. At fourteen letters, Baldeschwieler is a mouthful, and he works in a world where a name takes a backseat to an online handle.


From ACM TechNews

Science Fiction-Style Sabotage a Fear in New Hacks

Science Fiction-Style Sabotage a Fear in New Hacks

The U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a nonprofit group that helps the U.S. government identify vulnerabilities for cyberattacks, has replicated the recent attack that sabotaged centrifuges used in Iran's nuclear program. 


From ACM TechNews

Professor Steven Bellovin Discusses Computer Security

Professor Steven Bellovin Discusses Computer Security

Columbia University professor Steven Bellovin says in an interview that he is working on the idea of private search, which allows users to work together, but not know what each person is specifically searching for. 


From ACM News

Why CGI Humans Are Creepy, and What Scientists Are Doing about It

Why CGI Humans Are Creepy, and What Scientists Are Doing about It

A century ago, psychologists identified "the uncanny" as an experience that seems familiar yet foreign at the same time, causing some sort of brain confusion and, ultimately, a feeling of fear or repulsion. Originally no more…

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