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

May 2011


From ACM News

Intel Anthropologist: Fieldwork with the Silicon Tribe

Intel Anthropologist: Fieldwork with the Silicon Tribe

Anthropologist Genevieve Bell gives the chip maker insight into how people experience new technologies.


From ACM TechNews

Encrypted VoIP Not as Secure as It Sounds

Encrypted VoIP Not as Secure as It Sounds

Skype and other services that offer voice conversations over the Internet are vulnerable to eavesdropping even though they use both encoding and encryption, according to University of North Carolina researchers.


From ACM TechNews

W3C Officially Opens HTML5 to Scrutiny

W3C Officially Opens HTML5 to Scrutiny

The World Wide Web Consortium recently announced that HTML5 has reached last call status, which opens the standard to industry scrutiny.


From ACM News

Stuxnet Attack Forced Britain to Rethink the Cyber War

Stuxnet Attack Forced Britain to Rethink the Cyber War

The pieces of the puzzle began to take shape, and then fall into place, on 17 June last year, when Sergey Ulasen was emailed by a dealer in Tehran about an irritating problem some of his clients were having with their computers…


From ACM News

Cyber Combat: Act of War

The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.


From ACM News

Bill Would Keep Big Brother's Mitts Off Your GPS Data

Bill Would Keep Big Brother's Mitts Off Your GPS Data

The reauthorization of the Patriot Act looks like a forgone conclusion. But next month, a bipartisan band of legislators will try to mitigate a different kind of damage done to civil liberties: the government’s warrantless…


From ACM News

Why Has H-1B Visa Demand Plummeted?

Why Has H-1B Visa Demand Plummeted?

The once-coveted H-1B visa that enables skilled non-citizens to work legally in the U.S. is not the prize it once was. What’s happened?


From ACM News

Apple of My Eye? U.S. Fancies a Huge Metaphor Repository

Researchers with the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity want to build a repository of metaphors. You read that right. Not just American/English metaphors mind you but those of Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish…


From ACM News

Honing Household Helpers

Honing Household Helpers

Imagine a robot able to retrieve a pile of laundry from the back of a cluttered closet, deliver it to a washing machine, start the cycle and then zip off to the kitchen to start preparing dinner.


From ACM News

Funny Science Sparks Serious Spat

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., issued a 73-page report, "The National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope," after months of signals from GOP leaders that the agency's programs would be targeted.


From ACM TechNews

Gaming the Archives

Gaming the Archives

Dartmouth College researchers have developed Metadata Games, an experiment that uses crowdsourcing to create archival metadata. 


From ACM TechNews

Home-Computer Users at Risk Due to Use of 'Folk Model' Security

Home-Computer Users at Risk Due to Use of 'Folk Model' Security

Most home computer users attempt to secure their machines based on folk models, or their beliefs about hackers or viruses, according to new research by Michigan State University professor Rick Wash. 


From ACM TechNews

New Bandwidth Management Techniques Boost Operating Efficiency in Multi-Core Chips

North Carolina State University researchers have developed two techniques that make semiconductor bandwidth allocation and data prefetching more efficient. 


From ACM News

What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters

What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters

Recent weeks have been exciting for a relatively new kind of currency speculator. In just three weeks, the total value of a unique new digital currency called Bitcoin has jumped four times, to over $40 million. Bitcoin is…


From ACM News

Code-Cracking Machine Returned to Life

Code-Cracking Machine Returned to Life

The National Museum of Computing has finished restoring a Tunny machine—a key part of Allied code-cracking during World War II.


From ACM News

Automotive Black Boxes, Minus the Gray Area

Automotive Black Boxes, Minus the Gray Area

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will later this year propose a requirement that all new vehicles contain an event data recorder, known more commonly as a "black box." The device, similar to those found in…


From ACM News

New 3D Map of Universe Is Best One Yet

New 3D Map of Universe Is Best One Yet

Astronomers have created the most complete 3D map of our local universe, revealing new details about our place in the cosmos. The map shows all visible structures out to about 380 million light-years, which includes about…


From ACM TechNews

WebP, Google's Answer to JPEG, Gets Better Quality

WebP, Google's Answer to JPEG, Gets Better Quality

Google has improved the quality of WebP, an Internet image format that Google says will make the Web faster, but now the company must convince people to use it instead of JPEG. 


From ACM TechNews

Mathematically Ranking Ranking Methods

A paper on an effort to mathematically analyze three commonly-used ranking methods appears this month in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing. 


From ACM TechNews

In Brazil, an Explosion in Computing Power Is Revolutionizing Weather Prediction

In Brazil, an Explosion in Computing Power Is Revolutionizing Weather Prediction

Rio de Janeiro recently launched a new command center, equipped with IBM's Deep Thunder supercomputer, dedicated to developing more advanced weather prediction models. 


From ACM News

DARPA Challenge Offers Public $100,000 for Small Unmanned Aircraft

If you think you can build the next generation of unmanned flying aircraft, the scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency want to hear from you. DARPA and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center want "everyone…


From ACM News

How Drudge Has Stayed on Top

For most big news Web sites, about 60 percent of the traffic is homegrown, people who come directly to the site by dint of a bookmark or typing in www.latimes.com or www.huffingtonpost.com. The other critical 40 percent comes…


From ACM TechNews

Google Search Patterns Could Track MRSA Spread

Google Search Patterns Could Track MRSA Spread

Google searches might enable public health experts to better fight drug-resistant staph infections, according to the University of Chicago's Diane Lauderdale.


From ACM TechNews

Blind Children of India Helping Scientists See Into the Brain

Blind Children of India Helping Scientists See Into the Brain

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers are working with 300,000 blind children living in the Indian subcontinent to treat their blindness and learn more about how the brain processes visual information.


From ACM TechNews

Homemade Cyberweapon Worries Federal Officials

Homemade Cyberweapon Worries Federal Officials

Security researchers Dillon Beresford and Brian Meixell recently developed a cyberweapon similar to the Stuxnet computer worm that disrupted Iran's nuclear program computer systems last year.


From ACM TechNews

Tim Berners-Lee Calls for 'Sophisticated' Social Network

Tim Berners-Lee Calls for 'Sophisticated' Social Network

Academics and scientists should have a next-generation social network for sharing knowledge more efficiently and collaborating on projects, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee.


From ACM News

Tracking the Flow of Knowledge

Tracking the Flow of Knowledge

Do scientists' job locations have any impact on the way their work spreads? Or, in today’s highly networked world, does research flow around the globe without regard to its point of origin?


From ACM TechNews

U.S. International Cyberspace Policy Sounds Good; Will Be Hard to Implement

Although ambitious, the White House's recently issued International Strategy for Cyberspace could be difficult to deploy as some of its objectives conflict and pose seemingly unbeatable technical challenges, according to several…


From ACM News

The Best Error Pages on the Web

The Best Error Pages on the Web

Anyone who has spent enough time online has at one point reached a dead end–known in Internet parlance as a 404 page. So what causes them? Web designers are coming up with all kinds of creative and funny answers to give people…


From ACM News

New Ports Give PCs More Speed and Flexibility

New Ports Give PCs More Speed and Flexibility

Computer shoppers are used to considering features such as design, processor speed, memory, battery life, and hard-disk size. But there's something else they might want to think about when shopping for computers these days…

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