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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 2013


From ACM Careers

A Simple Way to Turn Any Lcd Into a Touch Screen

Electromagnetic interference can screw up cell phone and radio reception. But it may also be the key to cheaply transforming regular LCD screens into touch- and gesture-sensing displays, according to recent research.


From ACM Careers

With Wave of the Hand, Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create Touch-Based Interfaces

With Wave of the Hand, Carnegie Mellon Researchers Create Touch-Based Interfaces

Researchers previously have shown that a depth camera system, such as Kinect, can be combined with a projector to turn almost any surface into a touchscreen. But now researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have demonstrated…


From ACM News

Nasa Invites the Public to Fly Along with Voyager

Nasa Invites the Public to Fly Along with Voyager

 A gauge on the Voyager home page, http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov, tracks levels of two of the three key signs scientists believe will appear when the spacecraft leave our solar neighborhood and enter interstellar space.


From ACM TechNews

New System to Combat Online Banking Fraud

New System to Combat Online Banking Fraud

University of Cambridge spinoff Cronto is helping to protect customers against the threat posed by man-in-the-browser Trojan malware. 


From ACM TechNews

Next-Gen ­SB SuperSpeed to Eliminate Power Cords

Next-Gen ­SB SuperSpeed to Eliminate Power Cords

Upgrades to the Thunderbolt and USB SuperSpeed specifications will double data transfer speeds and boost power transfer in both directions 10-fold.


From ACM TechNews

From Eardrums to Electromagnetics, Demkowicz Hears the Problems

From Eardrums to Electromagnetics, Demkowicz Hears the Problems

A University of Texas at Austin professor says his study of adaptive finite elements may be applied to math and software related to wave propagation. 


From ACM TechNews

Taking the Pulse of the Crowd

Taking the Pulse of the Crowd

A new system of heart-rate monitors may be connected to a mobile phone system to monitor the collective heart rate of a crowd. 


From ACM News

The Martian Chroniclers

The Martian Chroniclers

There once were two planets, new to the galaxy and inexperienced in life. Like fraternal twins, they were born at the same time, about four and a half billion years ago, and took roughly the same shape.


From ACM Careers

In the Virtual Cockpit: What It Takes to Fly a Drone

In the Virtual Cockpit: What It Takes to Fly a Drone

Drone pilots escape the physical demands and dangers of a traditional cockpit. There's no g-force pinning them to their seats, no uncomfortable pressure suit to wear and no panic because the aircraft they are sitting in is spiraling…


From ACM TechNews

Making Sense of Medical Sensors

Making Sense of Medical Sensors

MIT's Imaging Group is studying the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to identify chemical compounds.


From ACM TechNews

New Computational Model Can Predict Breast Cancer Survival

New Computational Model Can Predict Breast Cancer Survival

A new computational model uses the presence of attractor metagenes to predict breast cancer survival.


From ACM TechNews

Georgia Tech ­ses 'big Data' Algorithm to Customize Video Game Difficulty

Georgia Tech ­ses 'big Data' Algorithm to Customize Video Game Difficulty

A new algorithm  forecasts player performance in video games and adjusts the challenge accordingly to help players learn new skills more quickly. 


From ACM TechNews

Why Are Micro Movies So Popular These Days?

Why Are Micro Movies So Popular These Days?

Online micro videos are enjoying a surge in popularity, despite a lack of advanced technology. 


From ACM TechNews

System Allows Multitasking Runners to Read on a Treadmill

System Allows Multitasking Runners to Read on a Treadmill

A new system adjusts text on a monitor to counteract the bobbing motion of a the head of a runner on a treadmill, so the text appears still. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Glass's Word on the Street Now Easier to Read

Google Glass's Word on the Street Now Easier to Read

Wearable displays post information in users' field of view, but the text will need to stand out from the constantly changing background. 


From ACM TechNews

Rock Snot Genomics

Rock Snot Genomics

Researchers are using the Ranger supercomputer to analyze diatom DNA data to help them understand what the diatom's original ancestor might have looked like. 


From ACM TechNews

Crowd Diagnosis Could Spot Rare Diseases Doctors Miss

Crowd Diagnosis Could Spot Rare Diseases Doctors Miss

A new Web-based tool  uses crowdsourcing techniques to help solve difficult medical cases. 


From ACM TechNews

The ­pc Builds a New High-Performance Cave Automatic Virtual Environment That Functions With Gesture Recognition

The ­pc Builds a New High-Performance Cave Automatic Virtual Environment That Functions With Gesture Recognition

In a new multi-projector cave automatic virtual environment, users interact wirelessly with objects and the virtual environment through their gestures. 


From ACM News

Software Engineer David Notkin, 1955 – 2013

Software Engineer David Notkin, 1955 – 2013

David Notkin, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, recently passed away after a long battle with cancer.


From ACM News

A Digital Eye to Watch Soccer's Trouble Spots

A Digital Eye to Watch Soccer's Trouble Spots

The organization at the heart of international soccer’s technological advancement is located in a generic two-story building just off the A4 highway here, a few steps up the street from a kitchen-design firm and a quick turn…


From ACM Careers

The Digital Public Library of America: Adding Gravitas to Your Internet Search

The Digital Public Library of America: Adding Gravitas to Your Internet Search

One year ago, a group of professors, librarians, and futurists gathered in San Francisco to discuss how they would go about building a Digital Public Library of America.


From ACM TechNews

Harvard Global Grid Computing Project Will Help Create Printable Solar Cells

Harvard Global Grid Computing Project Will Help Create Printable Solar Cells

Harvard University's Clean Energy Project soon will release a list of organic compounds that could be used to make inexpensive, printable photovoltaic cells. 


From ACM TechNews

Kissing Cousins? In Close-Knit Iceland, App Helps Prevent Incest

Kissing Cousins? In Close-Knit Iceland, App Helps Prevent Incest

An app making the Islendingabok (Book of Icelanders) available to Android phones notifies Icelanders when people they meet are too closely related to date. 


From ACM TechNews

Wireless 'smart Skin' Sensors Could Provide Remote Monitoring of Infrastructure

Wireless 'smart Skin' Sensors Could Provide Remote Monitoring of Infrastructure

Wireless technology under development will monitor structures for strain, stress, and early crack formation using low-cost, low-power wireless sensors.

 


From ACM TechNews

Future Challenges of Large-Scale Computing

Future Challenges of Large-Scale Computing

Similar processor requirements in high-performance computing, Web servers, and big data will lead to a convergence on heterogeneous multicore processors. 


From ACM TechNews

Security Holes in Smartphone Apps

Security Holes in Smartphone Apps

Popular Android apps have security flaws that could expose private information or allow forged fraudulent messages to be posted. 


From ACM TechNews

Linked Smartphones Catch the Action From All Angles

Linked Smartphones Catch the Action From All Angles

A new software system that wirelessly links smartphones together enables multiple users to share their phones' features with other devices around them. 


From ACM TechNews

Space Telescopes and Human Genomes: How Researchers Share Petabyte Data Sets

Space Telescopes and Human Genomes: How Researchers Share Petabyte Data Sets

Computational research is evolving as organizations seek to eliminate barriers that prevent collaborative teams from accessing data. 


From ACM News

Battery Backups Can Lower Datacenter Energy Costs

Battery Backups Can Lower Datacenter Energy Costs

Researchers at Penn State say that datacenters can cut up to 40 percent off their energy costs by provisioning UPS battery backup devices to meet peak energy requirements that may never occur.


From ACM News

Tech-Savvy Public Plays Key Role in Hunt For Bombing Suspects

Tech-Savvy Public Plays Key Role in Hunt For Bombing Suspects

Since the bombs went off in Boston's Copley Square on Monday, the FBI and Boston Police Department have been enlisting the public's help with what may be the world's most crowd-sourced terrorist hunt, taking to Twitter and other…