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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.

August 2009


From ACM TechNews

Online Social Networks Leak Personal Information to Third-Party Tracking Sites

Online Social Networks Leak Personal Information to Third-Party Tracking Sites

A Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) study by professor Craig Wills found that the practices of many popular social networking sites can make personal information shared by users on their pages available to companies that…


From ACM TechNews

The Evolution of Retweeting

The Evolution of Retweeting

Twitter has announced that it will establish a set format for retweeting, or reposting another user's message, for use within the micro-blogging service. Retweeting serves as a way to quickly spread ideas and comments to new…


From ACM TechNews

Fujitsu Aims For 10-Petaflop Supercomputer

Fujitsu Aims For 10-Petaflop Supercomputer

Fujitsu is building a 10-petaflop supercomputer based on its upcoming Sparc64 VIIIfx processor. The new processor has eight processor cores, with each running at 2 GHz and accessing 5MB of L2 cache memory. The update to the…


From ACM TechNews

Women in It: Success and Struggle

Women in It: Success and Struggle

Female participation in the information technology (IT) industry is growing and women now account for 15 percent to 25 percent of technical professionals, although only about 8 percent of management positions. 


From ACM TechNews

Robot's Gentle Touch Aids Delicate Cancer Surgery

Robot's Gentle Touch Aids Delicate Cancer Surgery

Canadian researchers have developed a robot capable of detecting tumor tissue in half the time it takes a human surgeon and with 40 percent greater accuracy while causing less tissue damage. The researchers, from the University…


From ACM TechNews

Worldwide Battle Rages For Control of the Internet

Worldwide Battle Rages For Control of the Internet

Governments in the Middle East and north Africa routinely block and censor Web sites to control political discussions, according to a new report on the region by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), a collaboration of researchers based…


From ACM TechNews

W3c Bridging Knowledge Organization Systems to Linked Data

W3c Bridging Knowledge Organization Systems to Linked Data

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has introduced a new standard designed to make it easier to search for documents and information. The Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) serves as a model for expressing basic structure…


From ACM TechNews

Brighter Idea For Bendable Displays

Brighter Idea For Bendable Displays

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor John Rogers has led the development of a new technique for manufacturing tiny inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that enables them to be attached to materials such as glass…


From ACM TechNews

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts

Opinions expressed on the Internet can determine the eventual success or failure of a product, and tools stemming from the emergent field of sentiment analysis could not only help businesses bolster their revenues, but ultimately…


From ACM TechNews

Web Tools Help Protect Human Rights Activists

Web Tools Help Protect Human Rights Activists

A new generation of Internet privacy tools is being developed to prevent governments from gathering data, such as where users access the Internet from. One tool, called Tor, scrambles information before sending it over the Web…


From ACM TechNews

Grid Computing, the New Commodity

Grid Computing, the New Commodity

The European Union-funded GridEcon project has developed a platform for trading computing resources and buying and selling standardized computing resources. GridEcon's commodity market platform allows users to bid on available…


From ACM TechNews

A-Z of Programming Languages: Scala

A-Z of Programming Languages: Scala

The Scala programming language, which runs on the Java Virtual Machine, could become the preferred language of the modern Web 2.0 startup, according to a Twitter developer. Scala creator Martin Odersky says the name Scala "means…


From ACM News

Competitions Aim to Create Interest in Cybersecurity

Competitions Aim to Create Interest in Cybersecurity

U.S. government, industry, and academia are using cybersecurity competitions to interest high school and college students about the career opportunities in cybersecurity.  


From ACM TechNews

Study Finds that Online Education Beats the Classroom

Study Finds that Online Education Beats the Classroom

Students' performance in online education settings tended to trounce that of those receiving face-to-face instruction, according to a study SRI International carried out for the U.S. Education Department. The study analyzed the…


From ACM TechNews

Nuclear Fusion Research Key to Advancing Computer Chips

Nuclear Fusion Research Key to Advancing Computer Chips

Scientists at Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory are adapting the same methods used in fusion-energy research to develop a new class of nanolithography for use in the creation of…


From ACM TechNews

Robots 'evolve' the Ability to Deceive

Robots 'evolve' the Ability to Deceive

Robots programmed to find food concealed their performance from other robots by the 50th generation in a research project at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.


From ACM TechNews

Nist Reorganization Plan Would Shutter It Lab's Computer Security Division

Nist Reorganization Plan Would Shutter It Lab's Computer Security Division

A proposed plan to reorganize the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) IT Laboratory would close the Computer Security Division and distribute its resources and functions throughout the lab, despite…


From ACM TechNews

Wi-Fi via White Spaces

Wi-Fi via White Spaces

The transition from analog to digital broadcasts has opened up radio spectrum that could be used to deliver long-range, low-cost wireless Internet service using white spaces, which are empty fragments of the spectrum scattered…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Scale 'Layer 2' Data Center Networks to 100,000 Ports and Beyond

Computer Scientists Scale 'Layer 2' Data Center Networks to 100,000 Ports and Beyond

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) researchers have developed software designed to enable data centers to function as single, scalable, plug-and-play networks. The PortLand software system is a fault-tolerant, layer 2…


From ACM TechNews

Desktop Multiprocessing: Not So Fast

Desktop Multiprocessing: Not So Fast

The continuance of Moore's Law—the axiom that the number of devices that can be economically installed on a processor chip doubles every other year—will mainly result in a growing population of cores, but the exploitation of…


From ICT Results

Tiny Robots Get a Grip on Nanotubes

Tiny Robots Get a Grip on Nanotubes

How do you handle the tiny components needed for constructing nanoscale devices? A European consortium has built two microrobotic demonstrators that can automatically pick up and install carbon nanotubes thousands of times thinner…


From ACM TechNews

Pay-Per-Email Plan to Beat Spam and Help Charity

Pay-Per-Email Plan to Beat Spam and Help Charity

Yahoo! researchers are testing a scheme in which users pay one cent for each email message they send, with the money going to charity, in an effort to cut back on spam. Yahoo! Research's CentMail trial is based on the theory…


From ACM TechNews

Mobile Data Show Friend Networks

Mobile Data Show Friend Networks

A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that friendships can be inferred with 95% accuracy by studying cellphone call records and the proximity of users. "We gave out a set of phones that were…


From ACM TechNews

Making Android More Secure

Making Android More Secure

Google developed a new approach to mobile phone security with its open source Android operating system. Android developer Rich Cannings says there must be a balance between being open and being secure. Instead of eliminating…


From ACM TechNews

The Corporate Lab as Ringmaster

The Corporate Lab as Ringmaster

The advent of the Internet era is shrinking the role of corporate research and development laboratories in the innovation process, according to experts. Michael Schrage with the Center for Digital Business at the Massachusetts…


From ACM TechNews

Doing What the Brain Does--How Computers Learn to Listen

Doing What the Brain Does--How Computers Learn to Listen

Researchers at Germany's Leipzig Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging in London have developed a mathematical model that could significantly improve computers'…


From ACM TechNews

Nsf Awards ­CLA Engineering $10m to Create Customized Computing Technology

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Expeditions in Computing program has awarded the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science a $10 million grant to work on a new…


From ACM TechNews

Energy-Aware Internet Routing

Energy-Aware Internet Routing

A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon University, and Akamai indicates an Internet-routing algorithm that tracks electricity price fluctuations could save major Internet companies millions…


From ACM TechNews

Harvard Research Team Receives $10m Nsf Grant to Develop Small-Scale Mobile Robotic Devices

Harvard Research Team Receives $10m Nsf Grant to Develop Small-Scale Mobile Robotic Devices

A Harvard University-led, multidisciplinary team of computer scientists, engineers, and biologists have received a $10 million U.S. National Science Foundation Expeditions in Computing grant to develop small-scale robotic devices…


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Stole Ids For Attacks

Russian hackers stole U.S. identities and software tools for use in a cyberattack against Georgian government Web sites during the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008, according to a new report by the U.S. Cyber Consequences…