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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 2011


From ACM News

Car Computer Controls Could Be Vulnerable to Hackers

Car Computer Controls Could Be Vulnerable to Hackers

Researchers claim to wirelessly break into automobile networks to take control of brakes and steering as the automobile industry shores up defenses.


From ACM News

Michigan Police Use Device to Download Cellphone Data; Aclu Objects

Michigan Police Use Device to Download Cellphone Data; Aclu Objects

A high-tech gadget that can quickly download information from a cellphone is at the center of a controversy that's pitting civil liberties advocates against state police in Michigan.


From ACM News

How People Broadcast Their Locations Without Meaning To

How People Broadcast Their Locations Without Meaning To

Smartphones include geotagging features many people aren't aware of.


From ACM News

Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves

Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves

Like Schrödinger's cat, teleported light is both dead and alive.


From ACM News

See Ancient Earth from Space

See Ancient Earth from Space

Over the past 750 million years, our blue marble has gone through remarkable changes; continents have shifted, ice ages have come and gone, sea levels have risen and fallen, and one-time deserts have turned green, allowing…


From ACM TechNews

Tech Jobs Boom Like It's 1999

Tech Jobs Boom Like It's 1999

Technology companies recently have been on the biggest hiring binge in more than 10 years, with potential employees are being lured with big contracts, bonuses, and perks.


From ACM News

What Location Data, Exactly, Does an Iphone Reveal?

On Wednesday, security researchers demonstrated that the certain versions of the iPhone and iPad were logging and storing location data about their owners. Long story short, your iPhone is watching you. But what exactly can it…


From ACM TechNews

Csail Researcher Creates Customizable Buttons

Csail Researcher Creates Customizable Buttons

New technology developed by a systems robotics engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory can be used to do everything from "Minority Report"-like interfaces…


From ACM TechNews

Meet the Fastest Public-Key Algorithm Few Have Even Heard Of

Meet the Fastest Public-Key Algorithm Few Have Even Heard Of

The Accredited Standards Committee X9 has approved NTRUEncrypt, a public-key algorithm that  is considered to be faster than both elliptic-curve cryptography and RSA.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Browser Would Offer Personalization Along With Privacy Protection

Microsoft Browser Would Offer Personalization Along With Privacy Protection

Microsoft researchers have developed RePriv, a browser that analyzes users' online behavior and controls how their personal information is released to sites that want to offer them services.


From ACM TechNews

Online Cash Bitcoin Could Challenge Governments, Banks

Online Cash Bitcoin Could Challenge Governments, Banks

Bitcoin is an open source distributed and anonymous digital currency created by Satoshi Nakamoto to enable people to exchange money without being traced.


From ACM News

In Online Games, a Path to Young Consumers

In Online Games, a Path to Young Consumers

Deep into one of her favorite computer games, Lesly Lopez, 10, moves her mouse to click on a cartoon bee. She drags and drops it into an empty panel, creating her own comic strip.


From ACM News

The World's Most Complicated Rube Goldberg Machine

The World's Most Complicated Rube Goldberg Machine

At an annual contest for Rube Goldberg machines at Purdue University, the home team wins with a contraption that smashes the requirement to perform a simple task using at least 20 steps—by hundreds more steps, setting a new…


From ACM News

The Botnets That Won't Die

New communications schemes could make zombie PC networks far more difficult to shut down.


From ACM News

Covert Hard Drive Fragmentation Embeds a Spy's Secrets

Good news for spies. There is now a way to hide data on a hard drive without using encryption. Instead of using a cipher to scramble text, the method involves manipulating the location of data fragments.


From ACM News

This Tech Bubble Is Different

This Tech Bubble Is Different

Tech bubbles happen, but we usually gain from the innovation left behind. This one—driven by social networking—could leave us empty-handed.


From ACM TechNews

New Site to Use Crowd-Sourcing as Means to Translate the Internet

New Site to Use Crowd-Sourcing as Means to Translate the Internet

Carnegie Mellon University crowdsourcing researchers are setting up a Web site that will enable people who are learning foreign languages to translate Web content.


From ACM TechNews

European E-Science Group Extends Cloud Focus

European E-Science Group Extends Cloud Focus

The e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), which consists of more than 100 members from European institutions, has issued a draft report illustrating how cloud computing options are figuring into existing grid and distributed…


From ACM Opinion

Are You Following a Bot?

Are You Following a Bot?

How to manipulate social movements by hacking Twitter.


From ACM News

Nasa's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with 'rose' of Galaxies

Nasa's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with 'rose' of Galaxies

To celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope's deployment into space, astronomers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., pointed Hubble's eye at an especially photogenic pair of interacting…


From ACM News

The Search Engine That Predicts What You Want

In the future the news will find you—at least according to Futureful, a Finnish startup building a predictive discovery iPad app that will deliver personalised information. The company's mission is to "give you what you want…


From ACM Opinion

Got an Iphone or 3g Ipad? Apple Is Recording Your Moves

Got an Iphone or 3g Ipad? Apple Is Recording Your Moves

A hidden file in iOS 4 is regularly recording the position of devices.


From ACM News

CIA Recipe For Invisible Ink Among Newly Released Wwi-Era Documents

So you want to open sealed envelopes without getting caught? Here’s the secret, according to one of the six oldest classified documents in possession of the Central Intelligence Agency: "Mix 5 drams copper acetol arsenate.…


From ACM TechNews

New Spin on Graphene

New Spin on Graphene

University of Manchester researchers have shown that electric current can magnetize graphene, a potential breakthrough for spintronics.


From ACM TechNews

Open Source Programming Tools on the Rise

Several open source programming tools are gaining in popularity as developers seek new ways to revise, fix and extend their codes.


From ACM News

Justices Question Microsoft's Vision of Patent Law

U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned Monday whether they should side with Microsoft and weaken the legal standard needed to invalidate a patent, with some justices suggesting there are alternatives to changing established…


From ACM News

Remembering Jean Bartik

Remembering Jean Bartik

Jean Bartik, notable to computer historians as one of the original six programmers on the ENIAC project, died on March 23, 2011.


From ACM News

Busy Job of Judging Video-Game Content to Be Ceded to Machines

The little E's, T's, and M's that appear on the covers of video games get there the old-fashioned way: People working for the Entertainment Software Rating Board look at the games, decide how gory, sexy, or potty-mouthed they…


From ACM News

The Marketing Gadget That Tracks Brainwaves As You Watch Tv

Would you feel comfortable if market researchers could know your every thought? A headband designed by San Francisco firm EmSense can sense your brainwaves as you have reactions to watching something and then record the data…


From ACM News

Like Europa, Titan May Have a Giant Subsurface Ocean

Like Europa, Titan May Have a Giant Subsurface Ocean

In the seven years Cassini has spent orbiting Saturn, the spacecraft has sent back mountains of data that has changed our view of the ringed planet and its moons. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has been a particular focus of…