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

May 2009


From ACM TechNews

Faster Internet on the Road

Faster Internet on the Road

Researchers at Rutgers University's Winlab and NEC Laboratories have developed R2D2, a system designed to improve Wi-Fi wireless Internet access when traveling. R2D2 features special antennas and software that integrate directionality…


From ACM TechNews

Personal Discrimination on the Web

Researchers in India and Japan say they have discovered an automatic way of differentiating between Web sites that express personal opinions and corporate marketing Web sites that were designed to trick users into thinking they…


From ACM TechNews

Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Computer Wars

Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Computer Wars

The U.S. Pentagon is planning to establish a new cyberwarfare command as a complement to a soon-to-be-announced civilian computer network safety overhaul, according to administration officials. They say President Obama will…


From ACM TechNews

Craigslist Founder to Keynote Computer Policy Conference

Craigslist Founder to Keynote Computer Policy Conference

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark will give the keynote address at ACM's 2009 Conference on Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP), which takes place from June 1-4 at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In addition…


From ACM TechNews

FCC Develops Strategy for Rural Broadband

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a broadband strategy for the rural United States that cautions against relying on a single technology. "Rural broadband likely will include a variety of different…


From ACM TechNews

In Search of a Do-It-Yourself Wall-E

In Search of a Do-It-Yourself Wall-E

There has been an explosion in hobbyist or do-it-yourself (DIY) robotics, with one recent example being a 16,000-member community attempting to individually create a live version of the robot Wall-E from the movie of the same…


From ACM News

Computex to Present Design Awards

Computex Taipei will present awards in five different categories on Monday (June 1) to top international innovators and designers in the field of information technology, the Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA)…


From ACM News

Japan University Gives Away iPhones to Nab Truants

Japan University Gives Away iPhones to Nab Truants

A prestigious Japanese university is giving away hundreds of iPhones, in part to use its Global Positioning System to nab students that skip class. Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo is giving Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G to 550 students…


From ACM TechNews

Web 2.0 Application Developed to Recommend Television Programs

Web 2.0 Application Developed to Recommend Television Programs

Researchers from the Interactive Digital Television Laboratory at Spain's University of Vigo have developed queveo.tv, a Web 2.0 application that filters the programming schedules of hundreds of TV channels to identify and recommend…


From ACM TechNews

Tech Field Seeks More Women

Tech Field Seeks More Women

Although more women are pursuing degrees in math, physics, computer science, engineering, biochemistry, and other technology-centric fields than ever before, enrollment rates are still not as high as some expected after decades…


From ACM TechNews

NASA Launches 'Nebula' Compute Cloud

NASA is developing Nebula, an open source-based cloud computing initiative that would support space missions and as well as an overhaul of the agency's Web sites. "It provides high-capacity computing, storage, and network connectivity…


From ACM News

SIGGRAPH 2009 Papers Focus on Technology, Advanced Techniques

SIGGRAPH 2009 Papers Focus on Technology, Advanced Techniques

The SIGGRAPH 2009 Technical Papers program is the premier global forum presenting groundbreaking research from today's leading international organizations. Topics will feature the latest computer graphic innovations from a detailed…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Simulation Captures Immune Response to Flu

Researchers at the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling (CBIM) at the University of Rochester Medical Center have tested a computer simulation of major portions of the body's immune reaction to influenza type A, potentially…


From ACM TechNews

How IBM Plans to Win Jeopardy!

How IBM Plans to Win Jeopardy!

IBM researchers are developing Watson, a natural-language processing system that will compete against human players in a game of Jeopardy! Demonstrations of the system will take place throughout the year, and a final televised…


From ACM TechNews

Europe's Fastest Computer Unveiled in Julich

Europe's Fastest Computer Unveiled in Julich

The German supercomputing center in Julich has added three supercomputers, including the fastest machine in Europe. The new supercomputer at Forschungszentrum Julich, JUGENE, is capable of performing 1 petaflop/second, or a trillion…


From ACM TechNews

Online Life Can Be Convenient as Well as Dangerous

Online Life Can Be Convenient as Well as Dangerous

The rapid growth of technology and the cyberworld has made today's youth excellent technological multitaskers, and created entirely online businesses, but cyberspace also presents dangers to unwary users. Nielsen Online and…


From ACM TechNews

Viral Epidemics Poised to Go Mobile

A research team led by Northeastern University Center for Complex Network Research director Albert-Laszlo Barabasi set out to investigate why smartphone and mobile device users have been largely unaffected by computer viruses…


From ACM News

Sluggish Data Transport is Faster Than ADSL

Sluggish Data Transport is Faster Than ADSL

Researchers in Israel have concluded that their SNAP (snail-based data transfer protocol) system is the fastest available "last-mile" communications technology in terms of bit-per-second performance. Cognitive limitations have…


From ACM News

Could Budget Cuts Cost Pentagon Its High-Tech Edge?

Could Budget Cuts Cost Pentagon Its High-Tech Edge?

Futuristic military projects outlined in the just-issued Strategic Plan 2009 of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) include planes that stay aloft for five years, vaccines that take only weeks to develop, and…


From ACM TechNews

New Memory Material May Hold Data for One Billion Years

Alex Zettl and colleagues say enclosing an iron nanoparticle in a hollow carbon nanotube could serve as the foundation for a memory material for the next generation of iPods, smartphones, and other mobile devices. The scientists…


From ACM TechNews

Hi-Tech Aims to Improve Lifestyle

Hi-Tech Aims to Improve Lifestyle

A three-year project is exploring how people react and behave when information on their energy use and activity levels are presented to them through mobile phones, energy meters, and online social networks. Previous research…


From ACM TechNews

Tongue in Check

The growth of the Web has facilitated a revolution in translation technologies that are primarily based not on language rules but on vast volumes of text translated by humans into different languages. For example, Google's Translate…


From ACM TechNews

Robot Warriors Will Get a Guide to Ethics

Robot Warriors Will Get a Guide to Ethics

Georgia Institute of Technology professor Ronald Arkin is developing what he calls "ethical governor" software and hardware that will tell military robots when to use their weapons. Arkin argues that not only can robots be programmed…


From ACM TechNews

OpenViBE: French Software Program Enables 'Action Through Thought'

French research agencies have perfected a brain-computer interface four years after launching the OpenViBE project. INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control, and Inserm, the French national…


From ACM TechNews

Obama Set to Create a Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate

Obama Set to Create a Cybersecurity Czar With Broad Mandate

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce that he will create a cyberczar position, adding a senior White House official who will have broad authority to develop strategy to protect the U.S.'s government-run and private…


From ACM News

Fake Web Traffic Can Hide Secret Chat

The Internet's underlying technology can be harnessed to let people exchange secret messages, perhaps allowing free, coded speech under oppressive regimes. So says a team of steganographers at the Institute of Telecommunications…


From ACM News

New Puzzles That Tell Humans From Machines

New Puzzles That Tell Humans From Machines

To stay one jump ahead of fraudsters and their automated rogue programs, researchers are devising more versions of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) puzzles to help Web sites…


From ACM News

Every Move You Make: Smart Phone App Helps Burn Calories

Every Move You Make: Smart Phone App Helps Burn Calories

Thanks to a University of Houston professor, the iPhone can now count how many calories you've burned in a given day. A new, free download called Walk n' Play is available from Apple's "App Store" that allows users to have fun…


From ACM News

It's Not Just TV Anymore: The Promises and Perils of Children's Technological Environments

It's Not Just TV Anymore: The Promises and Perils of Children's Technological Environments

Today's children are coming of age immersed in video gaming, Web browsing, and instant messaging. Many have cell phones, laptops, and hand-held video games. Others have created avatars of themselves, and some are raising robot…


From ICT Results

Mobile Services Made Simple

European researchers believe they have achieved what has remained an almost impossible dream in the wireless world: powerful mobile services that work simply, seamlessly and intuitively. They have developed a mobile services…

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