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

February 2011


From ACM News

Facebook Officials Keep Quiet on Its Role in Revolts

Facebook Officials Keep Quiet on Its Role in Revolts

With Facebook playing a starring role in the revolts that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, you might think the company’s top executives would use this historic moment to highlight its role as the platform for democratic…


From ACM TechNews

Too Much Hysteria Over Cyberattacks

Too Much Hysteria Over Cyberattacks

Internet security initiatives could be obstructed by hype that is distorting the threat of cyberattacks, according to experts speaking at the recent RSA computer security conference.


From ACM TechNews

­CLA Advance with New Nanomaterials Good News For Next-Generation Electronic Devices

University of California, Los Angeles researchers have demonstrated how surface-conduction channels in topological nanoribbons made of bismuth telluride can be turned on and off depending on the position of the Fermi level.


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Launches Federal R&d Dashboard

­.s. Launches Federal R&d Dashboard

The U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is launching a new online dashboard that will enable people to track federal spending on research and development.


From ACM News

2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

On Feb. 15, 1965, a diffident but self-possessed high school student named Raymond Kurzweil appeared as a guest on a game show called I've Got a Secret. He was introduced by the host, Steve Allen, then he played a short musical…


From ACM News

The Secret World of Printing Concept Cars in 3D

The Secret World of Printing Concept Cars in 3D

The work that goes into building a physical model of a concept car is usually hidden behind closed doors, known only to engineers sworn to secrecy and similarly tight-lipped subcontractors.


From ACM News

Light-Emitting Rubber Could Sense Structural Damage

Light-Emitting Rubber Could Sense Structural Damage

Researchers at Princeton University have built a new type of sensor that could help engineers quickly assess the health of a building or bridge. The sensor is an organic laser, deposited on a sheet of rubber: when it's stretched—by…


From ACM News

On 'jeopardy,' Watson's a Natural

On 'jeopardy,' Watson's a Natural

In the end, the humans on "Jeopardy!" surrendered meekly.


From ACM TechNews

­niversity Professor Creates Facebook-Like Traffic Site

The On-Line Network-Enabled Intelligent Transportation Systems (ONE-ITS), a new social media platform for sharing information about traffic problems in a city, is open to anyone who wants to join.


From ACM TechNews

Rivest ­nlocks Cryptography's Past, Looks Toward Future

Rivest ­nlocks Cryptography's Past, Looks Toward Future

Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Ronald Rivest recently gave a speech about the history of the RSA cryptographic system, which is currently used to secure most financial transactions and communications over the…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Crushes Human 'jeopardy!' Champs

Computer Crushes Human 'jeopardy!' Champs

IBM's Watson supercomputer trounced human champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in the second round of a Jeopardy! match, beating the duo to the buzzer on 24 out of 30 questions.


From ACM News

Government Employs Hackers in Brave New Scheme

Since the dawn of computing there's been a cold war between those who run computer systems and those who attack them. And never the twain shall meet—at least until now.


From ACM News

Iran's Natanz Nuclear Facility Recovered Quickly from Stuxnet Cyberattack

In an underground chamber near the Iranian city of Natanz, a network of surveillance cameras offers the outside world a rare glimpse into Iran's largest nuclear facility. The cameras were installed by U.N. inspectors to keep…


From ACM News

Aiming to Power Ever More Complex Graphics, Nvidia Plans Quad-Core Mobile Chip This Year

Chipmaker Nvidia plans this year to introduce a four-core processor, code-named Project Kal-El, that should offer roughly five times the processing power of its existing Tegra chip and, what it says, has significantly more…


From ACM News

Mature Mobile Industry Moves to Keep Customers It Has

In the pioneer days of the mobile phone industry, wireless carriers raced to put phones in the hands of the unconnected masses. With cellphones now ubiquitous and most markets saturated, the competition is to see which industry…


From ACM News

Stuxnet Virus Targets and Spread Revealed

Stuxnet Virus Targets and Spread Revealed

A powerful internet worm repeatedly targeted five industrial facilities in Iran over 10 months, ongoing analysis by security researchers shows.


From ACM TechNews

Taiwan to Launch New Supercomputer in July

Taiwan expects to have a new supercomputer up and running in July. Working at 170 trillion floating point calculations per second, the newest Taiwanese supercomputer should rank between the 51st and 55th most powerful computers…


From ACM TechNews

Testing Technicolor Physics

Testing Technicolor Physics

The Large Hadron Collider is attempting to produce the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle that scientists believe gives matter its mass and is a central feature of the Standard Model. 


From ACM TechNews

Maryland Agencies Hope to Expand Cybersecurity Talent Pool

Maryland is home to several key U.S. cybersecurity agencies, and Maryland government and industry officials are increasing their efforts to cultivate new employees with math, science, and engineering skills to work in the cybersecurity…


From ACM News

Does Sex Discrimination in Science Keep Women Down?

Does Sex Discrimination in Science Keep Women Down?

Today, more than half of all Ph.D.s in the life sciences are awarded to women, compared to a measly 13% bestowed upon women in 1970. However, women still lag far behind men in full professorships and tenure track positions…


From ACM News

Progress in Artificial Intelligence Brings Wonders and Fears

Progress in Artificial Intelligence Brings Wonders and Fears

At the dawn of the modern computer era, two Pentagon-financed laboratories bracketed Stanford University. At one laboratory, a small group of scientists and engineers worked to replace the human mind, while at the other, a…


From ACM News

Better Than Human? What's Next for Jeopardy! Computer

Better Than Human? What's Next for Jeopardy! Computer

A medical robot; a Google-killer; a financial advisor; a tool for trawling legal documents; an aide for the intelligence services. These are just some of the careers that could be in store for Watson, a supercomputer created…


From ACM News

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

The Dirty Little Secrets of Search

Pretend for a moment that you are Google’s search engine. Someone types the word “dresses” and hits enter. What will be the very first result?


From ACM TechNews

A Father Knows Best: Vint Cerf Re-Thinks the Internet in Stanford Talk

A Father Knows Best: Vint Cerf Re-Thinks the Internet in Stanford Talk

Google's  Vint Cerf, who helped develop the Internet in the 1970s, recently discussed the need to rethink the Internet to handle the growing demand of smartphones and the emerging Internet of things, in which nearly every electronic…


From ACM TechNews

'rural Sourcing' Offers Way to Keep Jobs at Home

Rural Sourcing Inc. represents a growing trend that is helping to keep information technology jobs in the United States by locating them in smaller cities instead of outsourcing them to foreign countries. 


From ACM TechNews

The Cyberweapon That Could Take Down the Internet

The Cyberweapon That Could Take Down the Internet

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a cyberweapon that turns the structure of the Internet against itself, but ultimately could be used to make the Internet more secure. 


From ACM TechNews

Electronic Mining of Published Research May Lead to New Scientific Breakthroughs

Electronic Mining of Published Research May Lead to New Scientific Breakthroughs

University of Chicago researchers are exploring how metaknowledge can be used to better understand science's social context and the biases that can affect research findings. 


From ACM News

Report: Stuxnet Hit 5 Gateway Targets on Its Way to Iranian Plant

 Report: Stuxnet Hit 5 Gateway Targets on Its Way to Iranian Plant

Attackers behind the Stuxnet computer worm focused on targeting five organizations in Iran that they believed would get them to their final target in that country, according to a new report from security researchers.


From ACM News

Nasa

Nasa

The last time NASA visited the Tempel 1 comet, it was with fireworks, on July 4, 2005. On that day, the Deep Impact spacecraft slammed an 820-pound projectile into Tempel 1, excavating a plume of ice and dust.


From ACM News

Wireless Advances Could Mean No More Cell Towers

As cell phones have spread, so have large cell towers—those unsightly stalks of steel topped by transmitters and other electronics that sprouted across the country over the last decade. Now the wireless industry is planning…