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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 2012


From ACM Opinion

Timing Is Everything For the Games' Chief Timer

Timing Is Everything For the Games' Chief Timer

Timing is everything for Peter Hürzeler, a man for whom "good enough" simply isn't.


From ACM TechNews

The Latest Threat: A Virus Made Just For You

The Latest Threat: A Virus Made Just For You

Georgia Tech's Paul Royal has shown that a newly refined technique could make automated analysis of malware nearly impossible, and he plans to reveal his work at the upcoming Black Hat conference.  


From ACM Opinion

What a Win or Loss on Mars Will Mean

What a Win or Loss on Mars Will Mean

Anyone who's looked at the "Seven Minutes of Terror" trailer for next month's Mars landing might have wondered whether the planners behind NASA's $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory mission really knew what they were doing—and…


From ACM TechNews

Scalable Device for Quantum Information Processing

Scalable Device for Quantum Information Processing

National Physical Laboratory researchers have developed a monolithic 3D ion microtrap array that could be scaled up for use in quantum computing to run quantum algorithms. 


From ACM TechNews

Madi Malware: Advanced Persistent Threat or Just a Threat?

Madi Malware: Advanced Persistent Threat or Just a Threat?

When Kaspersky Labs announced its discovery and monitoring of the Madi malware, it was quickly labeled by many as an advanced persistent threat, which initiated a semantic argument about the use of the term.  


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Find New Principle For Spin Transistor

Scientists Find New Principle For Spin Transistor

Electron spin could be used to control electron current in a transistor-like structure and improve the performance of electronics.  


From ACM News

DARPA-Funded Researcher Can Take Over Android And Nokia Phones By Merely Waving Another Device Near Them

DARPA-Funded Researcher Can Take Over Android And Nokia Phones By Merely Waving Another Device Near Them

Smartphones' growing adoption of so-called "near field communications" promises to let the device in your pocket wirelessly make payments, beam info to other phones, and seamlessly sync with nearby computers. It might also let…


From ACM Opinion

Xerox: ­h, We Didn't Invent the Internet

Xerox: ­h, We Didn't Invent the Internet

Who invented the Internet?


From ACM News

Micro-Drones: The New Face of Cutting-Edge Warfare

Micro-Drones: The New Face of Cutting-Edge Warfare

Micro-aerial vehicles (MAVs) with uncanny navigation and real-time mapping capabilities could soon be zipping through indoor and outdoor spaces, running reconnaissance missions that others cannot.


From ACM Opinion

Obama Was Right: The Government Invented the Internet

Obama Was Right: The Government Invented the Internet

Earlier this month, President Obama argued that wealthy business people owe some of their success to the government's investment in education and basic infrastructure. He cited roads, bridges, and schools. Then he singled out…


From ACM TechNews

Software Detects Motion That the Human Eye Can't See

Software Detects Motion That the Human Eye Can't See

MIT researchers have developed the Eulerian video magnification process, a set of software algorithms that can amplify certain aspects of a video and reveal what is normally undetectable to the human eye.


From ACM TechNews

New Lab Working on Security Shoe Sole to ID People

New Lab Working on Security Shoe Sole to ID People

Carnegie Mellon University researchers are developing shoe insoles that can help monitor access to high-security areas. Sensors in the "bio-soles" check the pressure of the wearer's feet, monitor their gait, and use a computer…


From ACM Opinion

Russia's Top Cyber Sleuth Foils ­S Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals

Russia's Top Cyber Sleuth Foils ­S Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals

It's early February in Cancun, Mexico. A group of 60 or so financial analysts, reporters, diplomats, and cybersecurity specialists shake off the previous night's tequila and file into a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. At…


From ACM TechNews

­.k. Government Calls on Academia to Train Tomorrow's Cyber Security Experts

­.k. Government Calls on Academia to Train Tomorrow's Cyber Security Experts

The U.K. government's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council has invited universities to apply for grants to run two new dedicated Centers for Doctoral Training, which will train postgraduates to maintain the U.K.'s…


From ACM TechNews

First GraphLab Workshop on Large-scale Machine Learning

First GraphLab Workshop on Large-scale Machine Learning

The recent First GraphLab Workshop on Large-scale Machine Learning brought together industry and academic professionals to explore the state-of-the-art on the development of machine-learning techniques for working with huge data…


From ACM TechNews

Study: Twitter Analysis Can Be Used to Detect Psychopathy

Study: Twitter Analysis Can Be Used to Detect Psychopathy

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University, the Online Privacy Foundation, and Kaggle recently invited computer scientists to develop models that can identify psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism through people's Twitter…


From ACM News

Apple Warms Up to Hackers, Plans Presentation at Black Hat

Apple Warms Up to Hackers, Plans Presentation at Black Hat

In the 15 years that computer hackers have gathered in Las Vegas for the Black Hat conference, an event where unknowns can become stars and tech heavyweights are skewered for security failures, one company has been noticeably…


From ACM News

Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device

Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device

Stuart Crabb, a director in the executive offices of Facebook, naturally likes to extol the extraordinary benefits of computers and smartphones. 


From ACM Opinion

Can Data Mining Stop the Killing?

Can Data Mining Stop the Killing?

Would Total Information Awareness have stopped James Eagan Holmes?


From ACM TechNews

One Course, 150,000 Students

One Course, 150,000 Students

MIT professor Anant Agarwal recently completed teaching Circuits and Electronics, the first course in MITx, a massive open online learning platform from MIT, which ran from March 5 to June 8 and enrolled more than 150,000 students…


From ACM TechNews

Million-Year Storage Solution Is Set in Stone

Million-Year Storage Solution Is Set in Stone

Patrick Charton of the French nuclear waste management agency ANDRA presented a sapphire storage data solution at a recent forum. Information engraved on a sapphire hard disk that has the potential to last 1 million years.


From ACM News

Nothing But Net? Basketball Science Has More Answers

Nothing But Net? Basketball Science Has More Answers

In a multibillion-dollar sport like basketball, one might expect that trainers had figured out every nuance of aerodynamics, mechanics and all things Newtonian to increase the rate at which the ball goes through the hoop.


From ACM News

Apple v. Samsung: The Patent Trial of the Century

Apple v. Samsung: The Patent Trial of the Century

Samsung Electronics Co. recently leapfrogged Apple Inc. as the world's largest seller of smartphones.


From ACM News

Mystery Tug on Spacecraft Is Einstein's 'i Told You So'

Mystery Tug on Spacecraft Is Einstein's 'i Told You So'

It's been a bad year to bet against Albert Einstein.


From ACM TechNews

College Degrees, Designed By the Numbers

College Degrees, Designed By the Numbers

Colleges are starting to tap opportunities inherent in big data, using insights mined from information about students' performance to tailor courses and degrees. For example, Arizona State University has a system that tracks…


From ACM News

Intel Fights to Keep Hp, Dell, and Other Customers from Defecting

Intel Fights to Keep Hp, Dell, and Other Customers from Defecting

Some of chip colossus Intel's biggest customers and partners are exploring a competing microprocessor design, signaling the start of a much-anticipated tech donnybrook that analysts say could trigger a dramatic shift in the computer…


From ACM News

Robot Swarms Aim to Bring Buildings to Life

Robot Swarms Aim to Bring Buildings to Life

Meet the man who wants to create architecture that understands everything about us — down to our emotional states — and learns from its mistakes.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Squeeze Gpu Performance From 11 Big Science Apps

Researchers Squeeze Gpu Performance From 11 Big Science Apps

The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility published a report in which researchers documented that GPU-equipped supercomputers increased application speeds by a factor of between 1.4 and 6.1 across a range of science applications…


From ACM TechNews

Nacl to Give Way to Rocksalt

Nacl to Give Way to Rocksalt

Harvard University researchers have developed RockSalt, software that can boost the security and enhance the performance of commonly used Web and mobile applications.


From ACM TechNews

A Texas Hold 'em Tournament For Ais

A Texas Hold 'em Tournament For Ais

This year's Annual Computer Poker Competition includes three poker games, including heads-up limit, heads-up no limit, and three-player limit Texas Hold 'Em.