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

August 2013


From ACM TechNews

Strands Project Develops Robot Security Guards

Strands Project Develops Robot Security Guards

The European Union's Seventh Framework Program is funding the Strands project, which is developing software for robot brains that can be used as security guards and care assistants.


From ACM TechNews

A Robot to Beat Humans at Foosball

A Robot to Beat Humans at Foosball

Students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have developed a foosball-playing robot. The machine uses one computer to control the movement of its robotic arm and another to provide information about the…


From ACM News

The Insane and Exciting Future of the Bionic Body

The Insane and Exciting Future of the Bionic Body

Bertolt Meyer pulls off his left forearm and gives it to me.


From ACM News

How 'Cell Tower Dumps' Caught the High Country Bandit—and Why It Matters

How 'Cell Tower Dumps' Caught the High Country Bandit—and Why It Matters

On February 18, 2010, the FBI field office in Denver issued a "wanted" notice for two men known as "the High Country Bandits"—a rather grandiose name for a pair of middle-aged white men who had been knocking down rural banks …


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Creates Cloud Using Smartphones

DARPA Creates Cloud Using Smartphones

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing new software-based approaches for creating cloud-like computing networks using smartphones and radios.


From ACM TechNews

U.S. Appetite for Internet User Data Not Unique

U.S. Appetite for Internet User Data Not Unique

Despite recent concerns about information collection by the United States, law enforcement agencies in Europe and other nations appear to gather equal or greater volumes of data, according to a whitepaper by law firm Hogan Lovells…


From ACM TechNews

ADEPT Emphasizes Energy-Efficient Parallelism

ADEPT Emphasizes Energy-Efficient Parallelism

The European Union-funded ADEPT project is exploring the energy-efficient use of parallel technologies. ADEPT aims to help high-performance computing software developers exploit parallelism for performance and assist with managing…


From ACM TechNews

Nissan Plans to Offer Affordable Self-Driving Cars by 2020

Nissan Plans to Offer Affordable Self-Driving Cars by 2020

Nissan says it is on track to begin selling self-driving cars by the end of this decade. 


From ACM TechNews

3-D Mapping in Real Time, Without the Drift

3-D Mapping in Real Time, Without the Drift

A new mapping algorithm that creates real-time, detailed three-dimensional maps of indoor and outdoor environments. 


From ACM Careers

Vending Machines Get Smart to Accommodate the Cashless

Vending Machines Get Smart to Accommodate the Cashless

More than 40 percent of U.S. adults say they can go a week without paying for something with cash, according to a survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports last year, but most of the roughly 5 million vending machines in the U.S.…


From ACM News

Inside the Response to the New York Times Attack

Inside the Response to the New York Times Attack

Late Tuesday morning, one of the engineers in CloudFlare's San Francisco office saw a message on Twitter saying that the New York Times Web site was down. Minutes later, more messages appeared, as security researchers and others…


From ACM News

The Proof in the Quantum Pudding

The Proof in the Quantum Pudding

In early May, news reports gushed that a quantum computation device had for the first time outperformed classical computers, solving certain problems thousands of times faster.


From ACM News

A Camera That Sees like the Human Eye

A Camera That Sees like the Human Eye

The retina is an enormously powerful tool. It sorts through massive amounts of data while operating on only a fraction of the power that a conventional digital camera and computer would require to do the same task.


From ACM TechNews

HTML5 Now Neck and Neck With Native Apps for Developer Love

HTML5 Now Neck and Neck With Native Apps for Developer Love

More developers will trade a superior native experience for the lower cost of maintaining a common code base using HTML5 code in a native app container. 


From ACM TechNews

New Tool Enhances the Search for Genetic Mutations

New Tool Enhances the Search for Genetic Mutations

New software uses statistical probabilities to help identify mutations and more accurately pinpoint their source and their possible significance for health. 


From ACM TechNews

'Zero Knowledge' May Answer Computer Security Question

'Zero Knowledge' May Answer Computer Security Question

A new protocol for the creation of a "zero-knowledge proof" involves answering questions that depend on having a secret bit of knowledge. 


From ACM TechNews

Scientist Creates Solution for Looming Broadband Shortage

Scientist Creates Solution for Looming Broadband Shortage

A new method to solve the approaching broadcast spectrum deficit examines how cell networks could optimize spectrum use. 


From ACM News

How Syrian Hackers Found the New York Times's Australian Weak Spot

How Syrian Hackers Found the New York Times's Australian Weak Spot

A hacking attack launched by the Syrian Electronic Army may have targeted the New York Timesand other U.S. media companies, but the weak link was Melbourne IT (MLB:AU), a domain registrar that directs Internet traffic to theTimes…


From ACM News

Think You Can Drive a Bulldozer?

Think You Can Drive a Bulldozer?

As he closed the door, leaving me alone at the controls of a 41,000-pound bulldozer with list price of nearly $432,000, a Komatsu Ltd. executive shouted, "No worries!"


From ACM News

Plan B for Navigation

Plan B for Navigation

Scientists and engineers are exploring alternative navigation systems against the possibility of GPS failing.


From ACM Careers

Here's How One Hacker Is Waging War on the Syrian Government

Here's How One Hacker Is Waging War on the Syrian Government

As President Obama weighed U.S. air strikes in Syria this week, a lone American hacker was waging his own attack on the Syrian government.


From ACM News

Researcher Controls Colleague's Motions in First Human Brain-to-Brain Interface

Researcher Controls Colleague's Motions in First Human Brain-to-Brain Interface

University of Washington researchers have performed what they believe is the first noninvasive human-to-human brain interface, with one researcher able to send a brain signal via the Internet to control the hand motions of a…


From ACM News

NASA'S Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

NASA'S Mars Curiosity Debuts Autonomous Navigation

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used autonomous navigation for the first time, a capability that lets the rover decide for itself how to drive safely on Mars.


From ACM News

How Scholars Hack the World of Academic Publishing Now

How Scholars Hack the World of Academic Publishing Now

If you want to understand the modern academy, it wouldn't hurt to start at "impact factor."


From ACM News

The New York Times Web Site Was Taken Down by DNS Hijacking. Here's What That Means.

The New York Times Web Site Was Taken Down by DNS Hijacking. Here's What That Means.

Just weeks after The Washington Post had our own run-in with the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), the New York Times is down, and the SEA is claiming responsibility.


From ACM TechNews

Princeton Researchers Use Mobile Phones to Measure Happiness

Princeton Researchers Use Mobile Phones to Measure Happiness

Researchers used mobile phones to capture information in a study exploring the connection between environment and happiness. 


From ACM TechNews

A Glimpse Into the Future of Robotic Technology

A Glimpse Into the Future of Robotic Technology

The European Union-funded EYESHOTS project has developed a model robot that can acquire awareness of its surroundings and use its memory to reach for objects. 


From ACM TechNews

Hacked Feature Phone Can Block Other People's Calls

Hacked Feature Phone Can Block Other People's Calls

A few changes to a standard phone can block calls and text messages intended for nearby users of the same GSM cellular network.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Science Teacher Certification 'Deeply Flawed,' Report Says

Computer Science Teacher Certification 'Deeply Flawed,' Report Says

State systems for certifying computer science teachers are fundamentally flawed, according to a report from the Computer Science Teachers Association. 


From ACM TechNews

iOS and Android Weaknesses Allow Stealthy Pilfering of Website Credentials

iOS and Android Weaknesses Allow Stealthy Pilfering of Website Credentials

A weakness in both the iOS and Android mobile operating systems makes it possible for hackers to steal sensitive user data and login credentials. 

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