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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.

June 2012


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Wants Inventive Ways to Get Research Out of ­niversity Labs and Into the Real World

­.s. Wants Inventive Ways to Get Research Out of ­niversity Labs and Into the Real World

A recent hearing of the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation focused on ways to enhance collaboration between commercial and nonprofit organizations, as well as promote the use of inventions…


From ACM TechNews

Forget Movie Critics, Mindless Internet Chatter Predicts Blockbusters and Bombs

Forget Movie Critics, Mindless Internet Chatter Predicts Blockbusters and Bombs

Japanese physicists have developed a model that strongly reflects the box office performance of movies based on the number of times a film is mentioned in blog posts and social media.  


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Advance Biometric Security

Researchers Advance Biometric Security

A biometric security system developed by researchers at the University of Calgary can simulate the way the brain makes decisions about information from different sources. 


From ACM News

Turing Awardees Pay Tribute to

Turing Awardees Pay Tribute to

The Turing Centenary Celebration featured the first gathering, in one place, of 33 of the 39 living ACM A.M. Turing Award laureates. 


From ACM News

Digital Domain Grapples With Fur, Feathers

Digital Domain Grapples With Fur, Feathers

You may not have heard of the special-effects studio Digital Domain, but you've probably seen their work. They sank the Titanic for James Cameron; they aged Brad Pitt backward in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Most recently…


From ACM News

Iran Asks For Critiquing Western Computer Games

Iran Asks For Critiquing Western Computer Games

Iran's culture minister on Saturday called for a precise analysis and critique of western computer games to reveal the underlying goals pursued by developing such software.


From ACM TechNews

Finalists in Microsoft's $250k Contest Take on 'most-Pressing' Exploit Tactic

Finalists in Microsoft's $250k Contest Take on 'most-Pressing' Exploit Tactic

Microsoft announced that each of the three finalists in its $250,000 BlueHat Prize security contest came up with different solutions for blocking return-oriented programming, a technique often used to get around data execution…


From ACM TechNews

Department of Energy Creates Online-Learning Platform for Technical Training

Department of Energy Creates Online-Learning Platform for Technical Training

The U.S. Department of Energy has unveiled the National Training and Education Resource, an open source online learning platform to facilitate technical training. 


From ACM TechNews

Confusion Can Be Beneficial For Learning: Study

Confusion Can Be Beneficial For Learning: Study

Confusion when learning can be beneficial if it is properly induced, effectively regulated, and ultimately resolved, according to a University of Notre Dame study.


From ACM TechNews

Three Questions For Patti Maes

Three Questions For Patti Maes

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Patti Maes recently spoke with Technology Review to discuss the future of mobile technology.  


From ACM TechNews

For Minority College Students, STEM Degrees Pay Big

For Minority College Students, STEM Degrees Pay Big

USC researchers recently completed a study showing that minority college students who major in STEM fields earn at least 25 percent more than students who study humanities or education.  


From ACM News

Statistics ­nmask Phony Online Reviews

Statistics ­nmask Phony Online Reviews

Searching for hotels in cities they've never visited, people often turn to customer-written reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor. But how do they know those reviews weren't written by the hotel manager, or by someone paid…


From ACM News

What Nasa's Next Mars Rover Will Discover

What Nasa's Next Mars Rover Will Discover

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory is on its way. In a little more than a month, the 1-ton rover, whichlaunched in November, will descend to the Martian surface.


From ACM News

U.s. Military Hunts For Safe Smartphones For Soldiers

U.s. Military Hunts For Safe Smartphones For Soldiers

The military has long needed computers that are tough enough on the outside to withstand the rough and tumble of the battlefield. Now, with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the hands of soldiers, those devices …


From ACM News

Infinite-Capacity Wireless Vortex Beams Carry 2.5 Terabits Per Second

Infinite-Capacity Wireless Vortex Beams Carry 2.5 Terabits Per Second

American and Israeli researchers have used twisted, vortex beams to transmit data at 2.5 terabits per second. As far as we can discern, this is the fastest wireless network ever created—by some margin.


From ACM News

Researchers Amplify Variations in Video, Making the Invisible Visible

Researchers Amplify Variations in Video, Making the Invisible Visible

At this summer's Siggraph—the premier computer-graphics conference—researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will present new software that amplifies variations in successive frames of video…


From ACM Opinion

What, Exactly, Is a Supercomputer?

What, Exactly, Is a Supercomputer?

It's official: The United States is home to the world's fastest supercomputer. But what exactly are supercomputers and why should we care about them? I decided to go straight to the source—Mike McCoy, program director for advanced…


From ACM Opinion

Microsoft's Research Boss Celebrates Legacy of Alan Turing

Microsoft's Research Boss Celebrates Legacy of Alan Turing

What does Alan Turing mean to Microsoft and the rest of the modern tech world? Rick Rashid can tell you.


From ACM TechNews

Exascale Computing: The View From Argonne

Exascale Computing: The View From Argonne

In an interview, U.S. Argonne National Laboratory directors Rick Stevens, Michael Papka, and Marc Snir contextualize the challenges and advantages of developing exascale supercomputing systems.  


From ACM News

Intel Reveals Neuromorphic Chip Design

Intel Reveals Neuromorphic Chip Design

The brain is the most extraordinary of computing machines. It carries out tasks as a matter of routine that would fry the circuits of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet: walking, talking, recognising, analysing, and…


From ACM TechNews

P2p Comes to the Rescue of Internet Video

P2p Comes to the Rescue of Internet Video

VTT Technical Research Center of Finland researchers, working with a consortium of 20 industrial partners on the P2P-Next project, have developed NextShare, an open source peer-to-peer (P2P) video-streaming platform.  


From ACM TechNews

­niversity of Waterloo Engineers ­nveil Two-Way Wireless Breakthrough

­niversity of Waterloo Engineers ­nveil Two-Way Wireless Breakthrough

University of Waterloo engineering researchers have developed technology that enables wireless signals to be simultaneously sent and received on a single radio channel frequency. 


From ACM TechNews

In This Online University, Students Do the Teaching as Well as the Learning

In This Online University, Students Do the Teaching as Well as the Learning

Although free online courses have been enticing students with the opportunity to learn from world-class professors at prestigious colleges, Peer 2 Peer University is questioning whether instructors are even necessary.  


From ACM TechNews

Study: Wikipedia Perpetuates Political Bias

Study: Wikipedia Perpetuates Political Bias

Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Southern California say the collective intelligence used to create Wikipedia articles generally produces biased information.  


From ACM News

Minister: Iran Ready to Repel Enemies' Cyber Attacks

Minister: Iran Ready to Repel Enemies' Cyber Attacks

Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi underscored on Thursday that the country is completely ready for defending its sensitive facilities against enemies' cyber attacks.


From ACM Opinion

Why Faces Matter to Facebook

Why Faces Matter to Facebook

Facebook really wants to know what you look like.


From ACM News

Next Cameras Come Into View

Next Cameras Come Into View

Scientists at Duke University have built an experimental camera that allows the user—after a photo is taken—to zoom in on portions of the image in extraordinary detail, a development that could fundamentally alter the way images…


From ACM News

Research Reveals Why Spammers Claim They're Nigerian

Research Reveals Why Spammers Claim They're Nigerian

Most of us know the signs: stilted English, "Dear Sir/Madam," a particular fondness for exclamation points.


From ACM TechNews

How to Fix the Gender Gap in Technology

How to Fix the Gender Gap in Technology

Women currently hold 27 percent of all computer science jobs, down from 30 percent 10 years ago, and they account for just 20 percent of undergraduate computer science majors, compared with 36 percent in 1986.  


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Develop Optical Displays From Water and Air

Researchers Develop Optical Displays From Water and Air

Aalto University researchers have developed a concept of writing and displaying information on surfaces using just water.