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Communications of the ACM

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

October 2013


From ACM TechNews

100 Percent of an Image Is Restored Using a Reduced Version of the Original

100 Percent of an Image Is Restored Using a Reduced Version of the Original

University of Navarre researchers have developed algorithms to reduce and optimize images. Using a reduced image with between 1 and 10 percent of the original information, the researchers say the algorithms enable 100 percent…


From ACM News

Germany Wants a German Internet as Spying Scandal Rankles

Germany Wants a German Internet as Spying Scandal Rankles

As a diplomatic row rages between the United States and Europe over spying accusations, state-backed Deutsche Telekom wants German communications companies to cooperate to shield local Tnternet traffic from foreign intelligence…


From ACM News

Can Technology Help Avoid Stampedes?

Can Technology Help Avoid Stampedes?

It seems the cruellest and most unnecessary of deaths—to be crushed in the midst of a crowd.


From ACM TechNews

Why Google's Rapid Growth Means Faster Search

Why Google's Rapid Growth Means Faster Search

USC has released a study showing that Google search has greatly expanded and increased in speed over the past 10 months. Google search has increased by about 600 percent the number of worldwide locations from which it serves…


From ACM TechNews

Sharing the Power of the Crowd

Sharing the Power of the Crowd

Three years ago, McGill University researchers launched Phylo, an online puzzle game with more than 300,000 users worldwide that helped with genomic research. Now the researchers are making this crowd of players available to…


From ACM TechNews

Angry Birds – The Rise of the Machines

Angry Birds – The Rise of the Machines

A research team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology won an international artificial intelligence contest at a recent conference with software that replicates a human-like way of playing the Angry Birds video game.


From ACM Opinion

The Information-Gathering Paradox

The Information-Gathering Paradox

Consumer trust is a vital currency for every big Internet company, which helps to explain why the giants of Silicon Valley have gone to great lengths in recent months to show how hard they are fighting back against government…


From ACM TechNews

Killer Apps That Could Keep You Healthy

Killer Apps That Could Keep You Healthy

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently hosted a competition in which graduate students designed two mobile apps, called FoodFeed and FL•U, to fight the threats of food-related illnesses and the flu, respectively.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Draw Romantic Insights From Maps of Facebook Networks

Researchers Draw Romantic Insights From Maps of Facebook Networks

The shape of a person's social network is a powerful signal that can identify one's spouse or romantic partner, according to Cornell University's Jon Kleinberg and Facebook engineer Lars Backstrom.


From ACM News

Cassini Swings Above Saturn to Compose a Portrait

Cassini Swings Above Saturn to Compose a Portrait

It's a view as good as gold. A loop high above Saturn by NASA's Cassini spacecraft revealed this stately view of the golden-hued planet and its main rings.


From ACM Opinion

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

"It depends on what you mean by artificial intelligence."


From ACM News

Haunted House Business Gets Boost As Techs ­p Thrill Ante

Haunted House Business Gets Boost As Techs ­p Thrill Ante

Ed Terebus was an 18-year-old high school student when he and his big brother Jim, a laid-off auto worker, decided to build their first haunted house 34 years ago.


From ACM News

Roller Coaster Technology: 'bigger! Faster! Scarier!'

Roller Coaster Technology: 'bigger! Faster! Scarier!'

Alton Towers in Staffordshire has just opened the world's first 14-loop roller coaster, called The Smiler, while in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World claims to have the world's fastest coaster.


From ACM TechNews

Smuggler-Spotting Software Sniffs Out Dodgy Shipments

Smuggler-Spotting Software Sniffs Out Dodgy Shipments

Machine intelligence could make it easier to spot illicit cargo among the goods that move through the world's ports. 


From ACM TechNews

Synthetic Biology Ramps Semiconductors

Synthetic Biology Ramps Semiconductors

Researchers in the initial phase of the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology program will distribute $2.25 million in funding over three years.


From ACM TechNews

Why Facebook Is Teaching Its Machines to Think Like Humans

Why Facebook Is Teaching Its Machines to Think Like Humans

Facebook is turning to deep learning to teach computers to more closely imitate the human brain, with the goal of gaining greater insight into individual users. 


From ACM TechNews

Technology Mimics the Brushstrokes of Masters

Technology Mimics the Brushstrokes of Masters

Emerging printing technologies are enabling high-quality reproductions of art masterpieces that copy color, brushstrokes, and paint thickness precisely.


From ACM Opinion

­.k. Official ­rges ­.s. Government to Adopt a Digital Core

­.k. Official ­rges ­.s. Government to Adopt a Digital Core

When he read about the technical failures plaguing HealthCare.gov, Mike Bracken said it felt like a real-life version of the movie Groundhog Day.


From ACM TechNews

Noise Pollution Maps Crowdsourced From Smartphone Data

Noise Pollution Maps Crowdsourced From Smartphone Data

Researchers say they have developed an improved method of creating noise pollution maps that uses crowdsourced smartphone data. 


From ACM News

Study: 80% of College Students Say They Text in Class

Study: 80% of College Students Say They Text in Class

From the front of his classroom, University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor Barney McCoy noticed that students’ smart phones were making regular appearances during his classes.


From ACM News

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft

It's hard to miss the rocket engine in Paulo Lozano's MIT office.


From ACM News

Nasa Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

Nasa Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second…


From ACM News

In Cyberarms Race, North Korea Emerging As a Power, Not a Pushover

In Cyberarms Race, North Korea Emerging As a Power, Not a Pushover

Often dismissed as a laggard in the global cyberarms race, North Korea has long been seen as a chronic cyber-superpower wannabe.


From ACM News

The Secrets of Online Money Laundering

The Secrets of Online Money Laundering

Money laundering is increasingly becoming a cybercrime.


From ACM TechNews

Google's 'project Shield' Will Offer Free Cyberattack Protection to Hundreds of At-Risk Sites

Google's 'project Shield' Will Offer Free Cyberattack Protection to Hundreds of At-Risk Sites

Google Shield, a product of the Google Ideas initiative, will offer certain websites free protection from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. 


From ACM TechNews

Interview With 13-Year-Old MIT App Inventor Winner Arjun Kumar

Interview With 13-Year-Old MIT App Inventor Winner Arjun Kumar

A chat with Arjun Kumar, winner of the 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology App Inventor contest in the K-8 division for his EZ School Bus Locator.


From ACM TechNews

Two-Legged Robots Learn to Walk Like a Human

Two-Legged Robots Learn to Walk Like a Human

An international team of researchers from seven institutions are teaching two-legged robots a stable, robust human way of walking. 


From ACM TechNews

Mozilla Launches Real-Time Web Collaboration Framework

Mozilla Launches Real-Time Web Collaboration Framework

Mozilla recently launched TogetherJS, a JavaScript framework designed to simplify the process of adding real-time collaboration features to Web pages. 


From ACM Careers

The Cybersecurity Industry Is Hiring, But Young People Aren't Interested

The Cybersecurity Industry Is Hiring, But Young People Aren't Interested

Check it out, I'm working on a reboot of The Graduate, set in 2013.


From ACM News

Shall We Play a Game?

Shall We Play a Game?

Gamification, the use of game mechanics and game design techniques in non-gaming contexts, is beginning to grab hold in many industries.