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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 2011


From ACM News

The Tevatron's Enduring Computing Legacy

The Tevatron's Enduring Computing Legacy

Few laypeople think of computing innovation in connection with the Tevatron particle accelerator, which shut down earlier this year. Mention of the Tevatron inspires images of majestic machinery, or thoughts of immense energies…


From ACM News

Amazon Builds World's Fastest Nonexistent Supercomputer

Amazon Builds World's Fastest Nonexistent Supercomputer

The 42nd fastest supercomputer on earth doesn’t exist.


From ACM News

How to Ace a Google Interview

Imagine a man named Jim. He's applying for a job at Google. Jim knows that the odds are stacked against him. Google receives a million job applications a year.


From ACM News

Bouncing Data Would Speed Up Data Centers

Inside the huge data centers operated by Internet companies like Google, Amazon, and Facebook, information is processed at blistering speed, but it still has to be moved between different machines through relatively slow wiring…


From ACM TechNews

Google Awards $1.5 Million to Code For America

Google Awards $1.5 Million to Code For America

Code for America plans to expand its fellowship program and offer two new pilot programs--the Civic Startup Seed Accelerator and the CIA Brigade--using a $1.5 million grant from Google.


From ACM News

Mystery Men Forge Servers For Giants of Internet

Mystery Men Forge Servers For Giants of Internet

If you drive down highway 880 from Oakland, Calif., take an exit about 30 miles south, and snake past a long line of car dealerships, you’ll find an ordinary office building that belongs to a company you’ve never heard of.


From ACM News

Mp: U.s. Forced Back By Iran's Cyber Power

A member of the Iranian parliament lauded the country's armed forces for downing a hi-tech US stealth drone through a cyber attack earlier this month, and said Iran's cyber power has forced Washington to step back and postpone…


From ACM News

Spying on Your Buying

Monograms don't usually make me cry. But there in my room at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, embroidered in cursive on the king-size pillowcase, were two beautiful and baffling letters: an H and an F. What was this cryptic message…


From ACM News

Spies Fail to Escape Spyware in $5 Billion Bazaar For Cyber Arms

The intelligence operative sits in a leather club chair, laptop open, one floor below the Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s convention rooms, scanning the airwaves for spies.


From ACM Careers

In Russia, the Lost Generation of Science

For the past decade, Russia has been pouring money into scientific research, trying to make up for the collapse of the 1990s, but innovation is losing out to exhaustion, corruption, and cronyism.


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Scientists' Computer Models Help Predict Tsunami Risk

Stanford Scientists' Computer Models Help Predict Tsunami Risk

Stanford University researchers are using computational models to predict tsunami risk. 


From ACM TechNews

FTC Tells Global Internet Body to Cut Back Domain Name Plan

FTC Tells Global Internet Body to Cut Back Domain Name Plan

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has asked the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers not modify its plan to begin accepting applications for new generic top-level domains in Jan. 2012. 


From ACM News

How the 10,000-Year Clock Measures Time

How the 10,000-Year Clock Measures Time

Ten thousand years is about the age of civilisation. Archaeologists have a few relics that have spanned this period, mostly stone tools and works of art. But most evidence of the earliest civilisations has long crumbled into…


From ACM News

Why We Don't Have Domestic Robots Yet

Why We Don't Have Domestic Robots Yet

On The Jetsons, Rosie was the robot maid with a heart of silicon and the voice of an aging cocktail waitress. She did everything: cook, clean, take care of the kids. Today, a robot can help you disarm a bomb in Afghanistan…


From ACM Opinion

Why Apple's Acquisition of Anobit Matters

Why Apple's Acquisition of Anobit Matters

Apple reportedly acquired the Israeli flash memory design firm Anobit in a deal that cost the company $500 million.


From ACM News

IBM Predicts Home Electricity From Your Bike, Mind-Reading Computers

There's something about the year-end reflective state of mind that causes tech companies and institutions (and pundits) to make predictions about what they think is plausibly in our near future.


From ACM News

Quantum Computing with Holograms

Light is one of the most promising carriers of quantum information. It is robust against decoherence because it does not interact with stray electric and magnetic fields and passes unscathed through transparent matter.


From ACM TechNews

FCC Commissioner Delivers Warning on Threat to 'internet Freedom'

FCC Commissioner Delivers Warning on Threat to 'internet Freedom'

The United States is not ready for the battle over whether the Internet will remain free from government regulations or fall under the control of emerging global powers, says the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's Robert…


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computing Has Applications in Magnetic Imaging, Say Pitt Researchers

Quantum Computing Has Applications in Magnetic Imaging, Say Pitt Researchers

University of Pittsburgh researchers are developing a nanoscale magnetic imager made of single electrons encased in a diamond crystal. 


From ACM News

Touchless Smartphones and Tvs Could Be on Sale in 2012

Touchless Smartphones and Tvs Could Be on Sale in 2012

So you've lost your TV remote control. Again.


From ACM News

Pick Up the Phone, Nfl: The Future Is Calling

Pick Up the Phone, Nfl: The Future Is Calling

On the sidelines during every game, New York Jets cornerback Donald Strickland performs a trick familiar to any toddler who has ever held a flip book.


From ACM News

Prof Promises Supercomputer on Every Desktop

Prof Promises Supercomputer on Every Desktop

When Wu Feng looks at an iPad, he sees something more than a great way to play Fruit Ninja.


From ACM News

Need a New Material? New Tool Can Help

Need a New Material? New Tool Can Help

Thanks to a new online toolkit developed at MIT and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, any researcher who needs to find a material with specific properties—whether it's to build a better mousetrap or a better battery—will…


From ACM News

Google 'majel' May Answer Apple Siri

Apple's Siri voice assistant software has spurred Google to tack natural language processing onto its Voice Actions voice command application, a project code-named "Majel."


From ACM TechNews

Wearing Your Computer on Your Sleeve

Wearing Your Computer on Your Sleeve

Google and Apple researchers are developing projects that might result in wearable computers, with smartphones acting as the hub for information sharing. 


From ACM TechNews

Feds Launch 'healthy App Challenge'

The ONC has partnered with the U.S. Surgeon General to launch the Healthy App Challenge, which invites developers to submit health, wellness, and fitness apps that promote nutrition and interactive health. 


From ACM News

Driverless Car: Google Awarded ­.s. Patent For Technology

Driverless Car: Google Awarded ­.s. Patent For Technology

The intellectual rights relate to a method to switch a vehicle from a human-controlled mode into the state where it takes charge of the wheel.


From ACM TechNews

R&d Spending to Continue Climbing

R&d Spending to Continue Climbing

The United States, Europe, and Asia are expected to boost spending on R&D a combined 5.2 percent to $14 trillion in 2012, according to a Battelle Memorial Institute report. 


From ACM TechNews

Forrester's Five Futuristic Computing Form Factors

Forrester's Five Futuristic Computing Form Factors

Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps says five computing form factors could gain momentum in the near future. 


From ACM TechNews

Educators Look For Resources, New Programs Amid STEM Push

Educators Look For Resources, New Programs Amid STEM Push

U.S. President Obama's push to prepare 100,000 new STEM educators over the next 10 years, the effort by the National Science Teachers Association to have science standards included in the Common Core State Standards, and the…