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

December 2012


From ACM TechNews

Computer Code Frees Us to Think in New Ways

Computer Code Frees Us to Think in New Ways

Throughout this past year, U.K. Education Secretary Michael Gove was on a campaign to replace the British schools' ICT curriculum with a computer science program in an attempt to teach students to use technology AND write the…


From ACM TechNews

Free Search Engine Connects Classrooms With Science and Technology

Free Search Engine Connects Classrooms With Science and Technology

A mobile version of the Gooru educational search engine, which is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, is now available. The Gooru Collections iPad app is designed to provide thousands of multimedia resources to teachers…


From ACM TechNews

Who Needs Magic Carpet? TMU Has Virtual Body Chair

Who Needs Magic Carpet? TMU Has Virtual Body Chair

 Virtual body technology developed at the Tokyo Metropolitan University uses the five senses to recreate experiences such as feeling the wind, stepping on the ground, or smelling food. 


From ACM News

Scientists Construct First Map of How the Brain Organizes Everything We See

Scientists Construct First Map of How the Brain Organizes Everything We See

Our eyes may be our window to the world, but how do we make sense of the thousands of images that flood our retinas each day?


From ACM News

University Wins Record $1.17 Billion Verdict Against Marvell Semiconductor

University Wins Record $1.17 Billion Verdict Against Marvell Semiconductor

A Pittsburgh jury found that hard drive control chips made by Marvell Semiconductor infringe two patents owned by Carnegie Mellon University.


From ACM News

Classical Computing Embraces Quantum Ideas

Classical Computing Embraces Quantum Ideas

Someday, quantum computers may be able to solve complex optimization problems, quickly mine huge data sets, simulate the kind of physics experiments that currently require billion-dollar particle accelerators, and accomplish…


From ACM Opinion

Ford Engineers Have 3D Printers on Their Desks. When Will You Get One?

Ford Engineers Have 3D Printers on Their Desks. When Will You Get One?

Ford has caught the DIY revolution and now puts 3D printers at workstations for its engineers.


From ACM News

China Tightens Internet Controls, Legalizes Post Deletion

China Tightens Internet Controls, Legalizes Post Deletion

China unveiled tighter Internet controls on Friday, legalizing the deletion of posts or pages which are deemed to contain "illegal" information and requiring service providers to hand over such information to the authorities…


From ACM TechNews

Engineers Working to Prevent Heat Buildup Within 3-D Integrated Circuits

Engineers Working to Prevent Heat Buildup Within 3-D Integrated Circuits

University of Texas Arlington researchers are working to minimize the heat generated by silicon chips, and will then develop nano-windows that allow the heat to dissipate before it causes any damage. 


From ACM TechNews

Loreto College Pioneering Best-Practice in Computer Science Education

Loreto College Pioneering Best-Practice in Computer Science Education

Loreto College in Northern Ireland recently hosted a Java programming course for teachers. The course is a response to a growing demand from pupils and the information technology industry for more programming to be taught in…


From ACM TechNews

Simulating the Future of Fuel

Simulating the Future of Fuel

University of Texas at Austin researchers are using first-principles-based, atomic-level computer simulations to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. 


From ACM TechNews

Cloud-Powered GPS Chip Slashes Smartphone Power Consumption

Cloud-Powered GPS Chip Slashes Smartphone Power Consumption

Microsoft researchers have developed CLEO, a cloud-based global positioning system that collects only a few milliseconds of the most important information from satellites, thereby dramatically reducing the power consumption of…


From ACM TechNews

All Systems Go for Highest Altitude Supercomputer

All Systems Go for Highest Altitude Supercomputer

The U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory has installed and tested in Chile the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, the most elaborate ground-based telescope in history.


From ACM TechNews

Proving the Need for Quantum Computers

Proving the Need for Quantum Computers

University of Queensland researchers aim to prove the need for quantum computers by finding a problem that can be mathematically proven to be unsolvable by classical computers. 


From ACM News

Real and Virtual Firearms Nurture a Marketing Link

Real and Virtual Firearms Nurture a Marketing Link

As Electronic Arts prepared to market Medal of Honor Warfighter, the latest version of its top-selling video game released in October, it created a Web site that promoted the manufacturers of the guns, knives and combat-style…


From ACM Opinion

Why Everybody Wants a Slice of Raspberry Pi

Why Everybody Wants a Slice of Raspberry Pi

In a world where computers are increasingly powerful and are concealed within ever more glossy slabs of aluminum, the Raspberry Pi offers surprising proof for the virtue of moderation.


From ACM TechNews

Revealed: NSA Targeting Domestic Computer Systems in Secret Test

Revealed: NSA Targeting Domestic Computer Systems in Secret Test

The U.S. National Security Agency has launched Perfect Citizen, a program to find security vulnerabilities in the computerized systems that control utilities. The research could be used to defend the U.S. against cyberattacks…


From ACM Opinion

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants

Why China's Homemade Microchips Will Struggle to Displace Western Giants

If China's ultimate aim in the sphere of technology is to become completely self-sufficient, it is well on the way to achieving this ambitious goal.


From ACM News

Iran Repels New U.S. Cyber Attack

Iran Repels New U.S. Cyber Attack

Iran announced that it has thwarted a second cyber attack on one of its Culture Ministry institutes.


From ACM Opinion

Forget YOLO: Why 'Big Data' Should Be the Word of the Year

Forget YOLO: Why 'Big Data' Should Be the Word of the Year

"Big Data" hasn't made any of the words-of-the-year lists I've seen so far. That's probably because it didn't get the wide public exposure given to items like "frankenstorm," "fiscal cliff," and YOLO.


From ACM News

Cassini Instrument Learns New Tricks

Cassini Instrument Learns New Tricks

For seven years, a mini-fridge-sized instrument aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft reliably investigated weather patterns swirling around Saturn; the hydrocarbon composition of the surface of Saturn's moon Titan; the aerosol layers…


From ACM Opinion

Who Owns the Content You Upload Online?

Who Owns the Content You Upload Online?

The outrage over Instagram's announcement that it is changing its terms and conditions has turned the spotlight on the relationship between websites and users who upload content, whether it is photos, video, blogs, or even games…


From ACM TechNews

Keep It Simple: Bring Software Complexity Under Control

Keep It Simple: Bring Software Complexity Under Control

European Union-funded researchers working on the DEPLOY project have developed an approach for building software systems that is safer, less expensive, and more robust than alternate methods. 


From ACM TechNews

Research Outlays to Decline Next Year

Research Outlays to Decline Next Year

Research and development spending by governments and corporations in the Unites States and Europe could decline in 2013 as a result of weak economies and large national debts, according to a Battelle Memorial Institute forecast…


From ACM TechNews

Online Translation Breaks Language Barriers

Online Translation Breaks Language Barriers

Free online translation services are improving thanks to better data and more sophisticated algorithms.  Google Translate currently has more than 200 million users worldwide accessing the service each month. 


From ACM News

Cybersleuths Try to Mine Newtown Killer Adam Lanza's Hard Drive

Cybersleuths Try to Mine Newtown Killer Adam Lanza's Hard Drive

Some of the most important clues about what drove Adam Lanza to mass murder probably sit on the computer that the reclusive, technical-minded 20-year-old used as one of his main contacts with the world, law enforcement authorities…


From ACM News

Computer Engineering: Feeling the Heat

Computer Engineering: Feeling the Heat

A laptop computer can double as an effective portable knee-warmer—pleasant in a cold office.


From ACM News

Learn English Online: How the Internet Is Changing Language

Learn English Online: How the Internet Is Changing Language

Online, English has become a common language for users from around the world. In the process, the language itself is changing.


From ACM TechNews

'Pinch-and-Paste' App Boosts Your Interior Design Skills

'Pinch-and-Paste' App Boosts Your Interior Design Skills

An augmented reality app could one day enable tablets and smartphones to show how a living room would look like with a tiger-print shag-pile carpet or other modifications and tweaks.


From ACM TechNews

NIST Nobel Winner Leads Work on Code-Breaking Computer

NIST Nobel Winner Leads Work on Code-Breaking Computer

Research by U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology physicist David Wineland is part of an international race to develop quantum computers.

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