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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 2013


From ACM News

Into the Bitcoin Mines

Into the Bitcoin Mines

On the flat lava plain of Reykjanesbaer, Iceland, near the Arctic Circle, you can find the mines of Bitcoin.


From ACM News

How Rodents and Coffee Could Shape Future Space Robots

How Rodents and Coffee Could Shape Future Space Robots

What do artificial whiskers and coffee-filled balloons have in common?


From ACM TechNews

Japanese Team Dominates Competition to Create Generation of Rescue Robots

Japanese Team Dominates Competition to Create Generation of Rescue Robots

The Schaft robot developed by Japanese researchers dominated the U.S. Pentagon's Defense Advance Research Projects Agency's Robotics Challenge 2013 Trials. 


From ACM TechNews

Research Trio Crack Rsa Encryption Keys By Listening to Computer Noise

Research Trio Crack Rsa Encryption Keys By Listening to Computer Noise

It is possible to crack 4,096-bit RSA encryption keys by using a microphone to listen to high-pitched noises generated by internal computer components. 


From ACM TechNews

Go Easy on Moocs

Go Easy on Moocs

A new report recommends the federal government not interfere with massive open online course vendors and providers. 


From ACM TechNews

Cornell Researchers Print 3D Speaker

Cornell Researchers Print 3D Speaker

Researchers have successfully fabricated a working loudspeaker using a three-dimensional printer.


From ACM TechNews

Wikipedia's Secret Multilingual Workforce

Wikipedia's Secret Multilingual Workforce

Versions of Wikipedia content in different languages have little overlap, with the English edition, for example, containing just 51 percent of the articles in German. 


From ACM News

Curiosity Team Upgrades Software, Checks Wheel Wear

Curiosity Team Upgrades Software, Checks Wheel Wear

The team operating NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has completed a software upgrade on the vehicle and is next planning a check of wear and tear on the rover's wheels.


From ACM News

Japanese Team Dominates Competition to Create Rescue Robots

Japanese Team Dominates Competition to Create Rescue Robots

An international competition to pave the way for a new generation of rescue robots was dominated by a team of Japanese roboticists who were students in the laboratory of a pioneer in the design of intelligent humanoid machines…


From ACM TechNews

New Data Compression Method Reduces Big-Data Bottleneck; Outperforms, Enhances Jpeg

New Data Compression Method Reduces Big-Data Bottleneck; Outperforms, Enhances Jpeg

A new method of data compression outperforms existing techniques and could eventually be integrated into medical, scientific, and video-streaming applications. 


From ACM News

How One Publisher Is Stopping Academics from Sharing Their Research

How One Publisher Is Stopping Academics from Sharing Their Research

One of the world's largest academic publishers has launched a wide-ranging takedown spree, demanding that several different universities take down their own scholars' research.


From ACM News

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.s. Credit Card Security Lags

Outdated Magnetic Strips: How U.s. Credit Card Security Lags

Criminals may have stolen information from 40 million credit and debit cards used at Target.


From ACM News

Darpa's Robotic Gladiators Will Battle on This Disaster Course

Darpa's Robotic Gladiators Will Battle on This Disaster Course

In a robotic twist on American Gladiators, 17 robots and their teams will descend upon Florida this week to see which ones have the greatest superhero potential.


From ACM News

First Completely 3D-Printed Working Loudspeaker Built

First Completely 3D-Printed Working Loudspeaker Built

Researchers for the first time have used 3D printing to make a consumer electronic device, a loudspeaker ready for use almost as soon as it comes off the printer.


From ACM TechNews

Apps Make Sense of Social Media 'noise'

Apps Make Sense of Social Media 'noise'

Researchers have developed two applications that could transform New Yorkers' social media activity into viable data. 


From ACM TechNews

Biologically Inspired: How Neural Networks Are Finally Maturing

Biologically Inspired: How Neural Networks Are Finally Maturing

Neural networks modeled on the human brain have advanced over the past 20 years and are now making their way into mainstream computing.


From ACM TechNews

Never Forget a Face

Never Forget a Face

A new algorithm makes subtle changes to various points on a face to make it more memorable without changing the subject's overall appearance. 


From ACM TechNews

3D Technology From Film Industry Improves Rehabilitation For Stroke Patients

3D Technology From Film Industry Improves Rehabilitation For Stroke Patients

Researchers are using three-dimensional technology traditionally used in the film industry to analyze the everyday movements of stroke patients.


From ACM TechNews

Innovative Technology Addresses Wireless Interference

Innovative Technology Addresses Wireless Interference

Dina Katabi is leading a team working to create tools and programs to improve the speed, efficiency, and security of wireless data transmissions. 


From ACM News

Liftoff for ESA's Billion-Star Surveyor

Liftoff for ESA's Billion-Star Surveyor

Gaia is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way.


From ACM News

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound

Computers Can Be Hacked Using High-Frequency Sound

Using the microphones and speakers that come standard in many of today's laptop computers and mobile devices, hackers can secretly transmit and receive data using high-frequency audio signals that are mostly inaudible to human…


From ACM TechNews

Nmsu Professor Shows There's More to Computer Science Than Gaming Careers

Nmsu Professor Shows There's More to Computer Science Than Gaming Careers

New Mexico State University researchers recently used real and computer-generated data to develop a software system to study biological systems. 


From ACM Careers

Nasa's Deep Space Network Turns 50

Nasa's Deep Space Network Turns 50

NASA's Deep Space Network, the world's largest and most powerful communications system for "talking to" spacecraft, will reach a milestone on Dec. 24: the 50th anniversary of its official creation.


From ACM TechNews

Cobol Still Integral to Government Systems

Cobol Still Integral to Government Systems

Many of the U.S. government's older mission-critical systems continue to run on a programming language developed in 1959. 


From ACM TechNews

Ohio Builds Awesim Web-Based Supercomputing Apps

Ohio Builds Awesim Web-Based Supercomputing Apps

AweSim is a Web-based app store that will offer high-performance computing tools to small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. 


From ACM TechNews

Bots Now 'account For 61 Percent of Web Traffic'

Bots Now 'account For 61 Percent of Web Traffic'

Nearly 62 percent of all website traffic is currently produced by automated software tools, according to an Incapsula study. 


From ACM News

The Geeks on the Front Lines

The Geeks on the Front Lines

Inside a darkened conference room in the Miami Beach Holiday Inn, America's most badass hackers are going to war—working their laptops between swigs of Bawls energy drink as Bassnectar booms in the background.


From ACM News

Gov’t Review Panel Suggests NSA Stop Holding Massive Phone Database

Gov’t Review Panel Suggests NSA Stop Holding Massive Phone Database

The panel set up by President Barack Obama to review widespread National Security Agency surveillance has produced a report in remarkably short order, and it contains a surprising suggestion: the NSA should stop collecting its…


From ACM News

Dawn Creates Guide to Vesta's Hidden Attractions

Dawn Creates Guide to Vesta's Hidden Attractions

Some beauty is revealed only at a second glance.


From ACM News

Bitcoin Collides With Government Concerns

Bitcoin Collides With Government Concerns

If Bitcoin is a bubble, as its critics contend, it is showing signs of deflation.