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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Netflix Challenge Ends, But Winner Is in Doubt
From ACM TechNews

Netflix Challenge Ends, But Winner Is in Doubt

Netflix's $1 million contest to design a better movie preference-matching algorithm ended on July 26th, with two teams in a near tie and the outcome of the contest...

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man
From ACM TechNews

Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) have spurred a group of computer scientists to consider whether research that might lead to a loss of human control over...

Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds
From ACM TechNews

Stock Traders Find Speed Pays, in Milliseconds

Practitioners of high-frequency trading use powerful computers to transmit millions of orders at incredible speed, and critics warn that the method could be used...

Digital Eyes Will Chart Baseball's ­nseen Skills
From ACM TechNews

Digital Eyes Will Chart Baseball's ­nseen Skills

The game of baseball could be significantly affected by a new camera and software system capable of recording the precise speed and location of the ball and every...

From ACM TechNews

E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress

A National Security Agency (NSA) operation involving surveillance of American residents' communications, especially domestic email, is fueling debate in the U.S...

Data Center Overload
From ACM News

Data Center Overload

Much of the daily material of our lives is now dematerialized and outsourced to a far-flung, unseen network. The stack of letters becomes the e-mail database on...

Opening Doors on the Way to a Personal Robot
From ACM TechNews

Opening Doors on the Way to a Personal Robot

The ability to open doors is a significant step forward for robotics and an important milestone toward a personal robot industry. Such a milestone has been reached...

The Bar Code Is Taking a Leap Forward
From ACM News

The Bar Code Is Taking a Leap Forward

Look closely at recent supermarket coupons, and you may see some new markings on them near the traditional bar code: sets of neat black bars stacked in two rows...

From ACM News

The Wars of Words on Wikipedia's Outskirts

It is an interesting twist about Wikipedia that the most controversial, most heavily trafficked articles — on abortion, politics, virgin birth — are often the most...

From ACM TechNews

Department Tackles Visa Delay for Researchers

The U.S. State Department has added workers and developed new procedures in an attempt to speed up the visa process for foreign graduate students and post-doctoral...

Pc Touch Screens Moving Beyond Mere Curiosity
From ACM News

Pc Touch Screens Moving Beyond Mere Curiosity

The computer industry has a lot riding on your fingers. Companies have dabbled with the touch-screen technology for years. Apple elevated such technology from a...

From ACM TechNews

Obama Outlines Coordinated Cyber-Security Plan

U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the country's disjointed efforts to "deter, prevent, detect, and defend" against cyberattacks will now be run by the...

Contractors Vie For Plum Work, Hacking For U.s.
From ACM News

Contractors Vie For Plum Work, Hacking For U.s.

The U.S. government’s urgent push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. The...

Pentagon Plans New Arm to Wage Computer Wars
From ACM TechNews

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...

New Puzzles That Tell Humans From Machines
From ACM News

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...

IBM Unveils Real-Time Software to Find Trends in Vast Data Sets
From ACM TechNews

IBM Unveils Real-Time Software to Find Trends in Vast Data Sets

IBM has unveiled System S, stream processing software capable of receiving huge volumes of data from numerous sources and quickly identifying correlations within...

Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness
From ACM TechNews

Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness

The Internet is rife with cybercriminals and online eavesdroppers, and countering this threat is the job of cybersleuths. One of the key tools in cybersleuths'...

From ACM News

'kill Switch' Disables Stolen Laptops

A lost or stolen laptop or notebook computer is replaceable; the stolen data inside it may produce real owner's anxiety. Which makes Fujitsu's newly announced "security...

Cadets Trade the Trenches For Firewalls
From ACM TechNews

Cadets Trade the Trenches For Firewalls

Throughout the U.S. military there is heightened awareness that the threat of a computer attack is just as urgent as a physical attack, and that military units...

From ACM News

In Cellphone, India Reveals an Essence

Sometimes a technology comes along and crystallizes a cultural moment. Not since the automobile and the American in the 1950s, perhaps, have a technology and a...
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