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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.

July 2010


From ACM TechNews

A Smoother Street View

A Smoother Street View

Microsoft researchers have developed Street Slide, street-level imaging software that could help people find locations more quickly on the Web, as well as leave new space for online advertising. 


From ACM News

Defcon Ninja Party Badge

Defcon Ninja Party Badge

A hacker group known as the Ninjas has created what may be the best DefCon badge ever. The badge allows wireless ninja battle between badge holders. Unlike the official badge, attendees can’t buy this one: it’s free.


From ACM News

Snapshot of Global Internet Speeds Revealed

A report based on analysis of huge amounts of net traffic has revealed the state of the Internet around the globe.


From ACM News

A Smoother Street View

A Smoother Street View

Microsoft's new toy allows for a more seamless walk down an online avenue.


From ACM News

Device Lets Disabled Steer Wheelchair, Communicate By Sniffing

Device Lets Disabled Steer Wheelchair, Communicate By Sniffing

Weizmann Institute scientists have invented a unique device, based on sniffing, that permits disabled persons to navigate wheelchairs and communicate. Sniffing technology is being investigated for other uses as well, such as…


From ACM News

Researcher Develops ­nderground Wireless Communication For Mines

Researcher Develops ­nderground Wireless Communication For Mines

Thanks to the work of Ryerson University researcher Xavier Fernando, countless miners' lives could be saved in the future with state-of-the-art technology that makes wireless communication possible deep within the Earth's crust…


From ACM News

Cheaper Substrates Made of Oxide Materials

Researchers at Taiwan's National Chiao Tung University have made a discovery that opens the door to building cheaper electronic components like diodes on a variety of substrates—materials like plastic, paper, or fabric.


From ACM News

High-Speed Laser Chips Move Data at 50 Gbps

High-Speed Laser Chips Move Data at 50 Gbps

A new research breakthrough from Intel combines silicon chips and lasers to transmit data at 50 gigabits per second—and someday, maybe as fast as a terabit per second.


From ACM News

Acrobatic Robots

Acrobatic Robots

Dennis Hong is living his dream, in a lab filled with wacky robots. He is director of Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory, which is filled with robots that would fit right into a "Star Wars" sequel.


From ACM TechNews

Polymer Synthesis Could Aid Future Electronics

Polymer Synthesis Could Aid Future Electronics

Canadian and Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a process that could lead to the development of brighter, clearer, and more energy-efficient TV and computer screens.


From ACM News

How Will the Smart Grid Handle Heat Waves?

Pretty well, once the technology to automatically respond to peak demand and store renewable energy matures.


From ACM News

Technology Not a Key Differentiator in Modern War, Historian Says

Technology Not a Key Differentiator in Modern War, Historian Says

Despite the U.S. military's increasing reliance on technologies like aerial drones and global positioning systems, technology is not a decisive factor in modern warfare, says military historian John C. McManus.


From ACM News

So Many Bugs, So Little Time

Tools that find serious bugs automatically could lead to safer, more stable software.


From ACM News

In Ruling on Iphones, Apple Loses a Bit of Its Grip

In Ruling on Iphones, Apple Loses a Bit of Its Grip

Apple likes to maintain tight control over what programs can appear on the iPhone—a task that just became a little bit harder.


From ACM News

Perfecting Synthetic Sounds For Animated Worlds

Perfecting Synthetic Sounds For Animated Worlds

If computers can generate the imagery in animated movies like Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me, why can't they also generate the sound effects to go with them?


From ICT Results

Cut-and-Paste Simplicity For Computer Animation

Cut-and-Paste Simplicity For Computer Animation

Tools developed by European researchers bring cut-and-paste simplicity to gaming and animation. Users will be able to cut-and-paste complex elements like emotion, tone of voice and facial expression, to create compelling new…


From ACM News

Bringing Data Mining into the Mainstream

Plumbing the world’s ever-growing pools of digitized information—on the Web, in corporate databases, generated by scientific research—for wisdom and profit is a growth industry today. The geeky field even has a shorthand name…


From ACM TechNews

Nanowick at Heart of New System to Cool 'power Electronics'

Purdue University researchers have developed an advanced cooling technology that can handle about 10 times the heat generated by conventional computer chips. 


From ACM TechNews

Saving Lives at Rail Crossings

Saving Lives at Rail Crossings

La Trobe University researchers have developed a wireless system that enables cars and trains to communicate with each other and avoid collisions at rail crossings. The researchers say the system could save an average of 37…


From ACM TechNews

Xml Pioneer Pitches Functional Programming For Concurrency

Xml Pioneer Pitches Functional Programming For Concurrency

XML co-inventor Tim Bray says that functional programming, rather than threads, is the best option for programmers developing code for multicore processors. 


From ACM News

The Technical Muscle Behind Wikileaks

WikiLeaks isn't much to look at. The Website's homepage is largely composed of a plain-text logo and a giant hyperlink that simply says: "Submit documents."


From ACM News

Wikileaks: Hard Facts and a Hacker Ethos

Wikileaks: Hard Facts and a Hacker Ethos

Julian Assange has been hailed as a hero of investigative journalism and condemned as a risk to national security. Wikileaks, the site of which he is director, has been publishing "sensitive documents" through what it calls "principled…


From ACM News

Asu Camera Yields Best Red Planet Map Ever

Asu Camera Yields Best Red Planet Map Ever

The best Mars map ever made is now available online for planetary scientists and armchair astronauts alike. And citizen scientists invited to help make it even better.


From ACM News

New Languages, and Why We Need Them

New Languages, and Why We Need Them

Creators of two dozen new programming languages—some designed to enable powerful new Web applications and mobile devices—presented their work last week in Portland, OR. The reason for the gathering was the first Emerging Languages…


From ACM News

Scientists Take Aim at Website Hackers

Scientists Take Aim at Website Hackers

With support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, a team of computer scientists is using a novel, two-pronged approach to protect websites from hackers.


From ACM News

Military Testing Afghan Language Translation Mobiles For U.s. Troops

"How can we communicate?" the alien being asks Captain James Kirk in a vintage edition of Star Trek. "My thoughts ... you are hearing them? This is interesting."


From ACM News

Social Web: The Great Tipping Point Test

Social Web: The Great Tipping Point Test

Every move you make, every twitter feed you update, somebody is watching you. You may not think twice about it, but if you use a social networking site, a cellphone or the internet regularly, you are leaving behind a clear digital…


From ACM News

Hackers With Enigmatic Motives Vex Companies

The world of hackers can be roughly divided into three groups. "Black hats" break into corporate computer systems for fun and profit, taking credit card numbers and email addresses to sell and trade with other hackers, while…


From ACM News

Your Groups Tell Hackers Who You Are

Your Groups Tell Hackers Who You Are

A malicious site can find out what social-networking groups you belong to--and then figure out your identity.


From ACM TechNews

3-D Gesture-Based Interaction System ­nveiled

3-D Gesture-Based Interaction System ­nveiled

Fraunhofer FIT has developed a next generation touch system that enables users to interact with objects on a display without making physical contact.