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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.

December 2009


From ACM News

Prototype Laser System Lets ­sers Feel Remote Objects

Prototype Laser System Lets ­sers Feel Remote Objects

The haptics feedback technology on touchscreen phones uses vibrating pulses to replace the tactility of, for example, pressing a physical button. At the recent computer graphics event SIGGRAPH Asia 2009, a team of researchers…


From ACM TechNews

Disentangling a Billion Dollar Opportunity

Leading representatives from academia, government, and industry recently met at the Institute of Physics to discuss the most recent advances in quantum information processing (QIP) and how to make the most of new opportunities…


From ACM TechNews

Ntu and Edb Launch S$50 Million Ic Design Research Centre

Ntu and Edb Launch S$50 Million Ic Design Research Centre

Nanyang Technological University and Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) have launched the Integrated Circuit (IC) Design Center of Excellence. The center, named VIRTUS, aims to further the development of ultra-low-power…


From ACM News

MIT Breaks New Ground in Gesture Control

A group of MIT researchers claims to have made a significant leap in gesture-controlled computing, due to a new kind of LCD screen configuration they describe as a "lenseless camera." Leveraging recent advances in LCD technology…


From ACM News

Our Devices Will Spin Denser Webs of Data in 2010

Our Devices Will Spin Denser Webs of Data in 2010

Over the next decade, the evolution of computing and the Internet will produce faster, increasingly intelligent devices. More of our possessions will contain sensors and computers that log our activities, building digital dossiers…


From ICT Results

Smarter Cars Are Gaining Traction

Smarter Cars Are Gaining Traction

Lives can depend on a vehicle’s moment-by-moment traction. New European technology promises to make cars as good as experienced, alert drivers at sensing and adjusting to wet, snowy or icy roads.


From ACM TechNews

Machine Visually Inspects and Sorts Strawberry Plants

Machine Visually Inspects and Sorts Strawberry Plants

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) have developed a machine that uses computer vision and machine learning to inspect, grade, and sort strawberries. The researchers say the…


From ACM TechNews

Mit's Big Wheel in Copenhagen

Mit's Big Wheel in Copenhagen

A bicycle wheel developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers features a hub packed with electronics that can perform multiple unique functions. The wheel is capable of storing energy every time the rider…


From ACM TechNews

New Game For Playstation 3: Crunching Numbers

New Game For Playstation 3: Crunching Numbers

Researchers and some government agencies are using Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to process data using the game machine's powerful Cell processor. For example, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's Cyber…


From ACM TechNews

World Champion in Automatic Image and Video Search

World Champion in Automatic Image and Video Search

A search system developed by researchers at the University of Amsterdam has the potential to make it easier to find an image or video on the Internet or in large databases such as YouTube without providing a text description.…


From ACM TechNews

Less Clumsy Code For the Cloud

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are working on a project called BOOM, which is developing new programming techniques for cloud computing. BOOM researchers hope to make cloud computing more efficient by…


From ACM TechNews

Translation Technologies Advancing Rapidly, Expert Says

Translation Technologies Advancing Rapidly, Expert Says

Automatic translation technologies are swiftly advancing to the point where a classroom of speakers of different languages could hear the lecture in their native dialect, according to Carnegie Mellon University professor Alexander…


From ACM TechNews

Launch of First Operating System For Smart Grid Home Automation

The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) has founded the Open Gateway Energy Management Alliance (OGEMA) to promote an open energy management software platform that connects a customer's loads…


From ACM News

Racing, Shooting, and Zapping Your Way to Better Visual Cognition Skills

Regular video gamers are fast and accurate information processors, not only during game play, but in real-life situations as well, according to a new study in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association…


From ACM News

Virginia Tech Team to Build Battlefield Robots For 2010 Competition

Virginia Tech Team to Build Battlefield Robots For 2010 Competition

The roving, walking robotic soldiers of the "Terminator" films are becoming less sci-fi and more certain future every day. Now, a team of robotics researchers from the Virginia Tech College of Engineering will build a team of…


From ACM News

Insurgents Hack ­.s. Drones

Insurgents Hack ­.s. Drones

Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.

Senior defense…


From ACM News

Augmented Reality Gets Ready For Work

Augmented Reality Gets Ready For Work

Much of the work on augmented reality (AR) has focused on applying computer-generated virtual imagery to video games and other consumer applications, but the technology also shows promise for the workplace, experts say. Researchers…


From ACM TechNews

NexGen Air Transport System to ­ltimately Succeed, Computer Scientist Predicts

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has begun implementing the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NexGen) across the United States. University of Alabama professor David Brown predicts NexGen will succeed…


From ACM TechNews

Google Collaborates With D-Wave on Possible Quantum Image Search

Google Collaborates With D-Wave on Possible Quantum Image Search

Google has developed new search technology that recognizes images significantly faster than the computers currently used in its data centers. The image search uses the quantum adiabatic algorithms discovered by Edward Farhi…


From ACM TechNews

Growing Europe's Nanowires

Growing Europe's Nanowires

European researchers engaged in the NODE project have devised a cutting-edge technology for "growing" nanowires in a vertical configuration, which could lead to faster, smaller microchips designed to satisfy integrated circuit…


From ACM News

Advancing STEM Education

Advancing STEM Education

Seven institutions received funding in fiscal year 2009 through Innovation through Institutional Integration, or I3 — an effort intended to link institutions' existing U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded projects in…


From ACM TechNews

­niversity of Toronto Physicists Lay the Groundwork for Cooler, Faster Computing

Researchers at the University of Toronto (UT) have discovered new behaviors of light that could lead to faster optical information processing and compact computers that do not overheat. 


From ACM TechNews

Surgery on Beating Heart Thanks to Robotic Helping Hand

Researchers at France's Montpellier Laboratory of Informatics, Robotics, and Microelectronics have developed a computerized three-dimensional (3D) model that enables surgeons to use robots to operate on a beating heart. The…


From ACM TechNews

Tenure-O-Meter

Tenure-O-Meter

Indiana University computer scientists have developed the Tenurometer, a tool for evaluating the impact of scholars in their field. Tenurometer counts the number of contributions to the literature and how frequently articles…


From ACM TechNews

Five Ways to Revolutionize Computer Memory

Five Ways to Revolutionize Computer Memory

Various technologies are under development in labs worldwide to dramatically enhance computer memory capacity beyond that of flash memory. 


From ACM TechNews

Glasgow's Joking Computer

A computer that is capable of using simple language rules and a large vocabulary to generate cracker-style jokes, based on puns, is the subject of a new exhibit at the Glasgow Science Center in Scotland. 


From ACM TechNews

New Open Source Stack Saves Money

Vienna University of Technology researchers have created the Open Source EtherNet/IP Adapter Stack for connecting a wide range of industrial products that already follow open Ethernet communication standards. The stack's small…


From ACM TechNews

Computing With a Wave of the Hand

Computing With a Wave of the Hand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab researchers have devised a way to turn liquid crystal displays (LCDs) into lens-less cameras through the use of embedded optical sensors. At ACM's SIGGRAPH Asia conference on Dec…


From ACM News

A Deluge of Data Shapes a New Era in Computing

A Deluge of Data Shapes a New Era in Computing

In a speech given just a few weeks before he was lost at sea off the California coast in January 2007, Jim Gray, a database software pioneer and a Microsoft researcher, sketched out an argument that computing was fundamentally…


From ACM TechNews

Wales Gets

The Welsh Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has announced HPC Wales, a new high-performance computing (HPC) institute that will provide the industrial community with access to supercomputing resources.