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

February 2010


From ACM News

Sat-Nav Systems Under Growing Threat from 'Jammers'

  Sat-Nav Systems Under Growing Threat from 'Jammers'

Technology that depends on satellite-navigation signals is increasingly threatened by attack from widely available equipment, experts say.

While "jamming" sat-nav equipment with noise signals is on the rise, more sophisticated…


From ACM News

Making Sense of Mountains of Data

Making Sense of Mountains of Data

"How do you take a big collection of things and make sense out of it?" asks Gary Flake, founder and director of Microsoft Live Labs, a division of the software giant that designs experimental Web tools. The problem is becoming…


From ACM TechNews

The Internet Can Make You Smarter, Experts Say

The Internet Can Make You Smarter, Experts Say

A Pew Internet survey of 900 scientists, business leaders, and technology developers found that most thought that the Internet can improve humanity's overall grasp of knowledge. 


From ACM TechNews

Optimization Server Reaches Two Million Milestone

Two million problems have now been submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy's Networked-Enabled Optimization System (NEOS). A decade ago, there were less than 18,000 submissions for the NEOS technology. 


From ACM News

Larger Threat Is Seen in Google Case

Larger Threat Is Seen in Google Case

Three Google executives were convicted of violating Italian privacy laws on Wednesday, the first case to hold the company’s executives criminally responsible for the content posted on its system.

The verdict, though subject…


From ACM News

Take a Nanooze Break

Take a Nanooze Break

A new exhibition at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL, will bring visitors face to face with the nanoworld. Take a Nanooze Break features interactive displays that allow visitors to manipulate models of molecules…


From ACM News

Optical System Promises to Revolutionize Undersea Communications

Optical System Promises to Revolutionize Undersea Communications

In a technological advance that its developers are likening to the cell phone and wireless Internet access, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists and engineers have devised an undersea optical communications…


From ACM News

Coming Ssoon: Emotion Detector for Babies

Coming Ssoon: Emotion Detector for Babies

Parents-to-be can take a breather: It may soon be possible to translate infant cries, all thanks to Japanese scientists who have come up with a statistical computer program that can analyze a baby's crying.


From ACM News

They bring their cell phones to bed with them. They admit to texting while driving. They're almost certain to have a profile on social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook or Twitter.

You likely already know them, but in …


From ACM TechNews

Experts Warn of Catastrophe From Cyberattacks

Experts Warn of Catastrophe From Cyberattacks

A panel of experts told U.S. senators at a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that the United States would be defeated in an all-out cyberwar, and reducing this vulnerability will…


From ACM TechNews

Near-Threshold Computing Could Enable Up to 100x Reduction in Power Consumption

University of Michigan researchers are developing near-threshold computing (NTC) technology, which could allow electronic devices to operate at lower voltages than normal. The researchers say that NTC could enable future computer…


From ACM News

The Unused Cellphone App: 'Calling'

The Unused Cellphone App: 'Calling'

Harvard University senior Drew Robb is so attached to his cellphone that he keeps it by his bedside at night and in his front jeans pocket every day. He uses the Apple iPhone to check email, text his friends and play games, pretty…


From ACM TechNews

Light-Based Computing, Quick as a Thought

Light-Based Computing, Quick as a Thought

A consortium of European research institutions is working on a new, photonic computing model under the aegis of the PHOCUS project. The system envisioned by the project uses light to communicate, potentially raising energy efficiency…


From ACM TechNews

Stopping Stealthy Downloads

SRI International and Georgia Tech researchers have developed Block All Drive-By Download Exploits (BLADE), free software that can stop Internet attacks brought on by visiting a Web site. 


From ACM TechNews

Photos of the Future

Photos of the Future

Stanford University researchers are developing the Frankencamera, an open source digital camera that they hope will lead to a computational photography revolution. 


From ACM News

Photonic Material May Facilitate All-Optical Switching

Photonic Material May Facilitate All-Optical Switching

A class of molecules whose size, structure and chemical composition have been optimized for photonic use could provide the demanding combination of properties needed to serve as the foundation for low-power, high-speed all-optical…


From ICT Results

In Networks We Trust

In Networks We Trust

European researchers are proposing a paradigm-shifting solution to trusted computing that offers better security and authentication with none of the drawbacks that exist in the current state of the art.


From ACM News

Computer Scientist To Address Congress on Privacy Issues and Location-Based Services

Computer Scientist To Address Congress on Privacy Issues and Location-Based Services

Carnegie Mellon University's Lorrie F. Cranor will discuss the risk and benefits of online services that collect and use location information to joint meetings of the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer…


From ACM News

Augmented Identity

Augmented Identity

An application that lets users point a smart phone at a stranger and immediately learn about them premiered last Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Developed by The Astonishing Tribe (TAT), a Swedish …


From ACM News

Computers Turn Flat Photos into 3-D Buildings

Computers Turn Flat Photos into 3-D Buildings

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but in cyberspace it might be.

Computer science researchers at the University of Washington and Cornell University are deploying a system that will blend teamwork and collaboration with powerful graphics…


From ACM Opinion

NHTSA Has No Software Engineers or EEs To Analyze Toyotas

NHTSA Has No Software Engineers or EEs To Analyze Toyotas

A report in The Washington Post on the Congressional investigation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's response to multiple reports of Toyota safety problems says that "NHTSA officials told investigators that…


From ACM News

Intel Alliance to Invest $3.5 Billion in U.S. Tech

Intel President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Otellini wants to see the U.S. more competitive and has announced plans for a new alliance to invest $3.5 billion in fledgling U.S. technology companies over the next two years…


From ACM TechNews

3-D Chip Design Challenges

3-D Chip Design Challenges

Engineers from the European research agency IMEC discussed the design challenges of stacking layers of silicon dies using vertical copper interconnects, or through-silicon vias, at the recent International Solid-State Circuit…


From ACM TechNews

SFU Develops Super Sensor Devices

Simon Fraser University's Center for Integrative Bio-Engineering Research (CiBER) continues to improve its next-generation wireless sensor technology. CiBER's sensors now offer secure document storage and transmission. 


From ACM News

Putting Data Centers on a Low-Energy Diet

Putting Data Centers on a Low-Energy Diet

A holistic approach to data centers could result in millions of dollars of savings and a  smaller carbon footprint for the ever-expanding universe of information technology.


From ACM News

Is That a 'Black Box' in Your Car?

Just a few miles east of Los Angeles International Airport, a Chevy Tahoe barreled its way through a residential neighborhood on a Sunday evening. The driver lost control of the SUV, slid into the opposite lane and plowed head…


From ACM News

For Chip Makers, the Next Battle Is in Smartphones

For Chip Makers, the Next Battle Is in Smartphones

The going rate for a state-of-the-art chip factory is about $3 billion. The plants typically take years to build. And the microscopic size of chip circuitry requires engineering that practically defies the laws of physics.

Over…


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Software Is Gaining the Sophistication to Comprehend What Humans Write

Stanford Software Is Gaining the Sophistication to Comprehend What Humans Write

Stanford University professor Chris Manning is working to enable computers to process human language well enough to use the information it conveys. Manning says that as computers improve, and are better able to understand online…


From ACM TechNews

Truly Random Numbers

Truly Random Numbers

German researchers have developed a random number generator that uses a computer memory element, a flip-flop, to create an extra layer of randomness. 


From ACM TechNews

Clemson Researchers Develop Hands-Free Texting Application

Clemson University researchers have developed VoiceTEXT, an application that could make it safer for people to engage in cell phone texting while driving. VoiceTEXT provides a hands-free alternative to texting that enables drivers…

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