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

November 2009


From ACM News

Open Source as a Model for Business Is Elusive

SAN FRANCISCO — In many ways, MySQL embodies the ideals of the populist software movement known as open source, in which a program’s creator releases it to the world free of charge, and legions of volunteers contribute improvements…


From ACM TechNews

Cell Phones to Provide Picture of Human Interaction

Cell Phones to Provide Picture of Human Interaction

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) researchers are studying how emotions, physical health, and personal interactions affect individuals and those they interact with over the course of the day using real-time reports of interpersonal…


From ACM TechNews

Magic Box for Mission Impossible

Magic Box for Mission Impossible

Inspired by the struggles rescue workers faced following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, researchers in Norway, Spain, and Finland launched the CELTIC project DeHiGate to develop technology that ensures the use of phones…


From ACM TechNews

Human Brains Emulated in the Computer World

Lulea University of Technology researchers have developed a computer-based architecture that mimics human brain functions and could lead to systems capable of detecting and compensating for their own shortcomings or reducing…


From ACM TechNews

Building Real Security With Virtual Worlds

Building Real Security With Virtual Worlds

University of Maryland (UM) researchers are combining computerized modeling and group behavior predictions with video-game graphics to create virtual worlds that defense analysts can use to predict the results of military and…


From ACM TechNews

Proper Use of English Could Get a Virus Past Security

Johns Hopkins University security researcher Josh Mason says hackers could potentially evade most existing antivirus programs by hiding malicious code within ordinary text. Mason and colleagues have discovered how to hide malware…


From ACM TechNews

University Unites Industry, Gov to Tighten Energy Sector Cybersecurity

A Rice University program created to engage the energy industry and government about protecting power plants from cyberattacks hosted Dale Meyerrose, former CIO for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. University…


From ACM TechNews

Breakthrough in 'Spintronics' Can Lead to Energy Efficient Chips

Breakthrough in 'Spintronics' Can Lead to Energy Efficient Chips

Scientists from the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at University of Twente, and from the FOM Foundation, have successfully transferred magnetic information directly into a semiconductor at room temperature. The researchers…


From ACM News

Message Gone Viral? Blame Altruistic, Image-Conscious 'E-mavens'

Message Gone Viral? Blame Altruistic, Image-Conscious 'E-mavens'

Why do some online ad campaigns go viral while other online marketing messages gather "cyber-dust" on the information superhighway? The key may lie in the motivation of Internet users to email that content to their social network…


From ACM News

Stony Brook University Students Win SC09 Cluster Competition

A team of six computer-savvy Stony Brook University undergraduates won first place honors in the SC09 Student Cluster Competition during the annual, internationally-acclaimed Supercomputing Conference held at Portland, Ore.,…


From ICT Results

Project Formalizes Semantic Search Ontologies

Project Formalizes Semantic Search Ontologies

European researchers have created new tools for semantic technology development which are helping to set the next generation of official standards. The tools also unblock some key bottlenecks in semantic technology.


From ACM TechNews

Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages

Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages

Despite being the fifth-most popular Web site in the world, Wikipedia, which receives about 325 million visitors each month, is losing unprecedented numbers of its volunteers, who write, edit, and police its content. In the…


From ACM TechNews

New Computer Cluster Gets Its Grunt From Games

New Computer Cluster Gets Its Grunt From Games

A new graphics processing units (GPUs) computer cluster will process CSIRO research data thousands of times faster and more efficiently than a desktop PC as a complementary system to the supercomputing resources available to…


From ACM TechNews

'SnowFlock' Project Tackles VM Management

University of Toronto computer science researchers at the school's recent Research In Action event demonstrated a cross-section of the exploratory technology projects being conducted by about 50 faculty and 300 graduate students…


From ACM TechNews

New Standard Lets Browsers Get a Grip on Files

The World Wide Web Consortium has published File API, an interface draft that Web browsers can use to better manipulate files and is part of a larger effort to provide a better foundation for interactive applications. 


From ACM TechNews

Game On at Kingston University

Game On at Kingston University

A new state-of-the-art gaming facility should help Kingston University produce industry leaders in game development. Every desk in the laboratory has an Xbox and a handheld Sony PSP game console, and development hardware links…


From ACM TechNews

Smart Homes

Case Western Reserve University researchers are preparing to launch an 18-month project that will transform 104 homes in impoverished Cleveland neighborhoods into "smart homes," which will be powered by a super-high-speed network…


From ACM News

Lean, Green Machines

Lean, Green Machines

Designers of the German supercomputers that won the latest Green500 prize, which rewards not just computing power but energy efficiency, did not set out to win the award, but they did think carefully about energy consumption.…


From ACM News

Unflattening Touch-Screen Buttons

Ever wish the flat touch screen buttons on your phone felt more like physical buttons?

Chris Harrison and Prof. Scott Hudson at Carnegie Mellon have developed a simple technology that turns touch-screen buttons into physical…


From ACM TechNews

Research Team Wins SC09 'Storage Challenge' Award

A research team from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego and the University of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory won the Storage Challenge competition at the recent…


From ACM TechNews

A Translator Tool With a Human Touch

A Translator Tool With a Human Touch

Nearly 100 IBM researchers are working on n.Fluent, a project to create an automatic translation tool that is fast and accurate enough to be used in instant-messaging between speakers using two different languages. 


From ICT Results

Taking the Drudgery Out of Software Development

Taking the Drudgery Out of Software Development

Software developers will no longer have to reinvent the wheel when writing new programs and applications thanks to a clever new set of tools and a central repository of "building blocks."


From ACM News

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons

A man lies comatose on an operating table. The enormous spider that hangs above him has plunged four appendages into his belly. The spider, made of white steel, probes around inside the man's abdomen then withdraws one of its…


From ACM TechNews

New Step for the Future Web

New Step for the Future Web

The Semantic Evaluation At Large Scale (SEALS) project will develop a new research infrastructure dedicated to the evaluation of semantic technologies. The infrastructure, developed jointly by the Universidad Politecnica de…


From ACM TechNews

Ten Emerging Technologies to Watch in 2010

The editors at EE Times have compiled a list of 10 emerging technologies to watch in 2010. 


From ACM TechNews

White House Pushes Science and Math Education

White House Pushes Science and Math Education

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday (November 23) announced Educate to Innovate, a campaign to enlist companies and nonprofit groups to donate time and money to encourage students, particularly middle and high school students…


From ACM TechNews

Tim Berners-Lee Launches 'WWW Foundation' at IGF 2009

Sir Tim Berners-Lee used the recent Internet Governance Forum to announce the launch of the World Wide Web Foundation, which he says will be an incubator for transformative programs that will advance the Web as a medium and empower…


From ACM TechNews

Shared Supercomputing and Everyday Research

Shared Supercomputing and Everyday Research

Recent advancements in supercomputer design coupled with falling prices are breaking down the barriers that have traditionally surrounded computing-intensive research, which could give ordinary users with a novel idea the opportunity…


From ACM TechNews

Equal Opportunities Through Technology Education

Academy of FinlandThe international Understanding and Providing a Developmental Approach to Technology Education (UPDATE) project is studying more effective methods of technology education to increase the number of women in the…


From ACM TechNews

German Research Computer QPACE Is the Most Energy Efficient in the World

German Research Computer QPACE Is the Most Energy Efficient in the World

At the recent SC09 supercomputing conference, the QCD Parallel Computing on the Cell (QPACE) was recognized as the world's most energy-efficient supercomputer. QPACE was developed by an academic consortium of universities, research…

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