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

December 2010


From ACM News

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills

Video Games Boost Brain Power, Multitasking Skills

Parents, the next time you fret that your child is wasting too much time playing video games, consider new research suggesting that video gaming may have real-world benefits for your child's developing brain.


From ACM TechNews

Augmented Gps Could Transmit Emergency Information Around U.s.

Augmented Gps Could Transmit Emergency Information Around U.s.

University of Rhode Island professor Peter Swaszek has modified a global positioning system so that it can be used to concurrently transmit emergency messages and other relevant data for government agencies. 


From ACM News

Connecting Kinects For Group Surveillance

Connecting Kinects For Group Surveillance

A doctoral student at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has patented a new algorithm that leverages multiple Microsoft Kinect interface devices to track groups of people even in the dark.


From ACM News

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

The Brainy Learning Algorithms of Numenta

How the inventor of the PalmPilot studied the workings of the human brain to help companies turn a deluge of data into business intelligence.


From ACM News

Web Giants Get Bigger, Location Takes Off

Web Giants Get Bigger, Location Takes Off

The easiest way to sum up the Web in 2010 is that it was a year of growth. The big got bigger and smaller companies came out of the woodwork with new plays on old ideas. It was also the year of location services, HTML5, and…


From ACM News

Your Apps Are Watching You

Your Apps Are Watching You

A WSJ Investigation finds that iPhone and Android apps are breaching the privacy of smartphone users.


From ACM News

The Top 11 Technologies of the Decade

The Top 11 Technologies of the Decade

The January 2011 issue of IEEE Spectrum reviews the most important innovations that came of age in the past 10 years, based on their influence, usefulness, and sheer technical coolness.


From ACM News

Word Lens: Augmented Reality App Translates Street Signs Instantly

Word Lens for the iPhone is one of the most amazing apps we have ever seen. Take a look at this video, but put down any hot liquids first.


From ACM TechNews

Road to a Safer Future

Road to a Safer Future

EUREKA is sponsoring a collaborative research effort called E! 4160 VICATS, which is developing a traffic surveillance system that needs minimal human intervention. The researchers say the system could lead to a new type of…


From ACM TechNews

For Software Developers, More Speed and Mobility

Northeastern University researchers have developed a program that enables software developers to save their work and relaunch the project instantly from another computer. Developers can save their work on a USB drive and resume…


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Professor Uses Social Media to Promote Bone Marrow Donations

Stanford Professor Uses Social Media to Promote Bone Marrow Donations

Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker is leading One Hundred Thousand Cheeks, a campaign to encourage a sweeping search for bone marrow donors through social media. 


From ACM TechNews

Jason: Science of Cyber Security Needs More Work

The JASON independent scientific advisory panel has produced a report on cyber security for the U.S. Department of Defense that says a fundamental understanding of the science of cyber security is needed to improve the country's…


From ACM News

Monitoring America

Monitoring America

Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and…


From ACM News

The Clock Is Ticking on Encryption

Today's secure cipher-text may be tomorrow's open book.


From ACM News

Cognitive Robotics Lab Tests Theories of Human Thought

Cognitive Robotics Lab Tests Theories of Human Thought

In a new Cognitive Robotics Lab at Rensselaer, students are exploring how human thought outwits brute force computing in the real world. The lab's 20 robots allow students to test the real-world performance of computer models…


From ACM News

Sun's Gravity Could Be Tapped to Call E.t.

Sun's Gravity Could Be Tapped to Call E.t.

Since massive stars cause light to bend, focal points may be found.


From ACM News

Virtual Spheres Speed Up Skimming Through Mobile Video

With more than 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube each minute, finding the right video without downloading it first is difficult. And video searching on mobile devices with slow internet connections can be frustrating.…


From ACM News

Word-Wide Web Launches

Word-Wide Web Launches

New Google database puts centuries of cultural trends in reach of linguists.


From ACM News

Raising a Botnet in Captivity

Raising a Botnet in Captivity

Researchers created their own, imprisoned, network of zombie computers to better learn how to take down those at large on the Internet.


From ACM News

'Synthetic Biology' Holds Promise, But Vigilance Needed

'Synthetic Biology' Holds Promise, But Vigilance Needed

Far more promise than peril lurks in "synthetic biology," the emerging technology of man-made life, a presidential panel reports yesterday.


From ACM News

Tracking Trick Shows the Web Where You Are

Tracking Trick Shows the Web Where You Are

A new technique from Microsoft Research Silicon Valley could be used to target advertising to users' surroundings without their knowledge.


From ACM News

Congress Hears Wikileaks Is 'fundamentally Different' From Media

Congress Hears Wikileaks Is 'fundamentally Different' From Media

The Justice Department would have no problem distinguishing WikiLeaks from traditional media outlets, if it decides to charge WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with violating the Espionage Act, a former federal prosecutor told…


From ACM News

To Attract the Next Google, the City Seeks a New College

Worried that New York City is not spawning enough technology-based start-up companies with the potential to become big employers like Google, city officials are inviting universities around the world to create an engineering…


From ACM TechNews

It Needs Fundamental Shift to Continue Rapid Advances in Computing

The pace of advances in information technology could slow unless the United States aggressively commits to fundamental research and development in parallel computing, according to a National Research Council report. 


From ACM TechNews

Best Colleges For Women and Minorities in STEM

Best Colleges For Women and Minorities in STEM

Westminster College ranked first for graduating women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, according to a Forbes study. The best school for minorities in STEM fields is Saint Mary's University of Minnesota…


From ACM TechNews

President's Advisory Group Finds Most Federal IT Funds Being Misused

U.S. federal agencies are using only about 4 percent to 11 percent of the funds they receive for R&D of IT on advancing network communications within the agencies, according to a new report from the President's Council of Advisors…


From ACM News

Obama Administration Calls For 'privacy Bill of Rights'

The Obama administration released recommendations Thursday to better protect consumer privacy on the Internet, creating baseline guidelines for how companies treat user data and emboldening federal agencies to enforce privacy…


From ACM News

Cyber Corps Enlists CS Students to Protect National Security

Cyber Corps Enlists CS Students to Protect National Security

Nearly 60 Florida State University graduate students in computer science will serve on the front line of defense in protecting the United States' information infrastructure from cyberterrorism.


From ACM News

Computer Spin Memory: Physicists Read Data Stored in Atomic Nuclei

Computer Spin Memory: Physicists Read Data Stored in Atomic Nuclei

University of Utah physicists stored data for 112 seconds in the "spins" of atomic nuclei. Their work is a step toward using spin memory for faster conventional and superfast "quantum" computers.


From ACM News

An Exhibition That Gets to the (square) Root of Sumerian Math

An Exhibition That Gets to the (square) Root of Sumerian Math

Papyrus, parchment, paper ... videotape, DVDs, Blu-ray discs—long after all these materials have crumbled to dust, the first recording medium of all, the cuneiform clay tablet of ancient Mesopotamia, may still endure.