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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.

April 2010


From ACM News

Cash, Check or Charge? How About Cellphone?

Cash, Check or Charge? How About Cellphone?

You win a bet, but the loser does not have enough cash on him to settle it. If he has a credit card, and most people usually do, there is finally a solution. A number of big and small companies--including eBay’s PayPal unit,VeriFone…


From ACM News

Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld

Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld

The Pentagon is looking to better train its troops--by scanning their minds as they play video games.


From ACM TechNews

Point and Click Your Phone to Get the Inside Dope on Just About Anything

Point and Click Your Phone to Get the Inside Dope on Just About Anything

Researchers at Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design are developing augmented reality applications for use on mobile phones. 


From ACM News

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Powerpoint

We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Powerpoint

 Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the leader of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was shown a PowerPoint slide in Kabul last summer that was meant to portray the complexity of American military strategy, but looked more like…


From ACM News

Putting the Touch Into Touchscreens

Putting the Touch Into Touchscreens

Your eyes tell you that your hand is locked in a vice-like mechanical device, but your fingertips tell you you're stroking fur. Welcome to the world of haptics, where nothing is quite how it feels.


From ACM News

Web Security Attack 'makes Silicon Chips More Reliable'

An attack on a widely used web security system could soon help make silicon chips more powerful and reliable.


From ACM News

Defense-Scale Supercomputer Supports Alternative Energy Research

Defense-Scale Supercomputer Supports Alternative Energy Research

A new supercomputer that more quickly models the most efficient ways to harness energy from the sun, wind and other renewable resources is now operating at Sandia National Laboratories.


From ACM News

Sony to End Production of Floppy Disks

Sony to End Production of Floppy Disks

The end of an icon approaches as Sony prepares to end production of the 3.5-inch floppy disk, made obsolete by networking technology and the rise of USB storage devices.


From ACM TechNews

Why the Iphone Could Be Bad News For Computer Science

Why the Iphone Could Be Bad News For Computer Science

Robert Harle of the University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory says the closed philosophy of devices such as the iPhone discourages the kind of tinkering that encouraged generations of computer scientists in the past. 


From ACM TechNews

Car Steered With Driver's Eyes

Car Steered With Driver's Eyes

Researchers at the Freie Universitat Berlin's Artificial Intelligence Group have developed eyeDriver, software that enables users to steer a car with their eyes. 


From ACM TechNews

Minput Makes Movement a New Way to Control Small Electronics

Minput Makes Movement a New Way to Control Small Electronics

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute have developed Minput, a proof-of-concept miniature input device that provides mouse control and optical tracking for handheld devices. 


From ACM TechNews

German It Body

Finding young women to fill tech jobs continues to be a problem for the German information technology (IT) industry, according to a new study from German technology and telecoms association Bitkom and research firm Forsa.


From ACM News

Inside NASA's World-Class Supercomputer Center

Inside NASA's World-Class Supercomputer Center

If you're a materials scientist at NASA's Glenn Research Center, or an engineer at the Johnson or Marshall Space Centers studying Space Shuttle flow-control valves, or any one of countless others in the agency needing a supercomputer…


From ACM News

Spammers Pay Others to Answer Security Tests

Spammers Pay Others to Answer Security Tests

Faced with stricter Internet security measures, some spammers have begun borrowing a page from corporate America’s playbook: they are outsourcing. The going rate for solving captchas like this ranges from 80 cents to $1.20 for…


From ACM News

Students' Auction Technology Helps Raise Record Funds for Charity

Software developed by students in the Computer and Information Science Department at Westfield State College in Massachusetts helped the local Kiwanis Club raise record funds at its annual auction for charitable community work…


From ACM News

Researchers Develop New Brain-Like Molecular Processor

An international research team from Japan and Michigan Technological University have demonstrated a molecular circuit that can evolve continuously to solve complex problems that challenge today's supercomputers.


From ACM News

Nsa's Boot Camp For Cyberdefense

Nsa's Boot Camp For Cyberdefense

If you're the kind of person who worries about the security of computer networks, you should know that the National Security Agency is worrying about it too. Since Tuesday, the NSA has been conducting its 10th annual Cyber Defense…


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Cryptography Hits the Fast Lane

Quantum Cryptography Hits the Fast Lane

Toshiba researchers have developed a quantum cryptography system they say is fast enough to encrypt a video transmission. 


From ACM TechNews

A Report From the Visions and Grand Challenges Conferences

The ACM-BCS Visions of Computer Science 2010 and UKCRC Grand Challenges conferences featured invited plenaries and submitted talks focusing on research visions for the future. 


From ACM TechNews

Schrodinger's Cash: Minting Quantum Money

Schrodinger's Cash: Minting Quantum Money

MIT researcher Scott Aaronson has brought quantum money a step closer to reality by outlining a computationally secure quantum money scheme founded on the type of asymmetric mathematics underlying public key cryptography. 


From ACM TechNews

EU Invests

The European Union is spearheading the European Commission's Future and Emerging Technologies program by proposing an investment of roughly €500 million in exploratory research into high-risk future information and communication…


From ACM TechNews

Touch, Gesture, Speak, Scan: A 'nui' For Enterprise It

Touch, Gesture, Speak, Scan: A 'nui' For Enterprise It

Microsoft's Natal natural user interface (NUI) features heat-sensing displays and an infrared camera and is designed to work as a game controller for the Xbox. 


From ACM News

For Web

For Web

Mark Brooks wants the whole Web to know that he spent $41 on an iPad case at an Apple store, $24 eating at an Applebee’s, and $6,450 at a Florida plastic surgery clinic for nose work. Too much information, you say? On the Internet…


From ACM TechNews

Peeking Into Users' Web History

In a test of Google's privacy protections, European researchers were able to hijack Google's personalized search suggestions to reconstruct users' Web search histories. 


From ACM TechNews

IBM Creates 1:5 Billion Scale Model of the Matterhorn

IBM Creates 1:5 Billion Scale Model of the Matterhorn

IBM researchers have demonstrated a patterning technique capable of creating structures as small as 15 nanometers, and say the technology is a simpler and less expensive way to make nanostructures in semiconductors and other…


From ACM News

Sandia Receives National Electronics Reuse/recycling Award

Sandia Receives National Electronics Reuse/recycling Award

Sandia National Laboratories was one of eight winners among government agency sites competing in the Fiscal Year 2009 Electronics Reuse and Recycling Campaign. Sandia contributed 400,119 pounds of electronics in the challenge…


From ACM News

WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code

WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code

The U.S. White House released some of the custom code behind its website on Thursday (April 22) for the open source community to review, use or improve.


From ACM News

Facebook v Google for Web Control

Facebook v Google for Web Control

Mark Zuckerberg will soon hit the ripe old age of 26. And despite his youth, he clearly possesses no fear as he sets his company's sights on trying to wrest control of the internet from the search giant Google.


From ACM TechNews

Math Software to Help Plan Astronaut, Shift Worker Schedules

Math Software to Help Plan Astronaut, Shift Worker Schedules

National Space Biomedical Research Institute researchers have developed software that uses mathematical models to help astronauts and ground support workers adjust to shifting work and sleep schedules. 


From ACM TechNews

Mit Researchers Boost Efficiency of Wireless Power

Wireless power transmission systems become increasingly efficient as more devices are being powered, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.