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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 2010


From ACM TechNews

Secrets of the Gecko Foot Help Robot Climb

Secrets of the Gecko Foot Help Robot Climb

Stanford University engineer Mark Cutkosky has led the development of Stickybot, a robot that can climb up smooth surfaces with feet modeled on the design of gecko toes. 


From ACM TechNews

Shake to Adjust Your Smartphone's Privacy Settings

Open University's Lukasz Jedrzejczyk led the development of Privacy Shake, an application that enables users with global positioning system-enabled smartphones to adjust their privacy levels for their location services.


From ACM News

Court Allows Agents to Secretly Put GPS Trackers on Cars

Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person's car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California.


From ACM News

Searching For Fun

Searching For Fun

Research suggests that search engines could tap into users' need to be entertained.


From ACM News

Apple Reinvents the Audio Jack

Although Apple is known for filing patents on complex multi-touch algorithms, anti-piracy measures and advanced user interfaces, it still has a focus on basic hardware engineering. One U.S. patent application filed this week…


From ACM News

Now You Can Earn Virtual Currency By Watching Ads

Now You Can Earn Virtual Currency By Watching Ads

You know the type—social game addicts who pepper your Facebook page with updates about the wine recipe they created playing "FarmVille," or the gem broker they robbed on "Mafia Wars." To fuel their gaming, those same people…


From ACM News

Nsf Awards San Diego Supercomputer Center $2.8 Million For Trestles System

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, $2.8 million to build and deploy a new high performance computer system called Trestles.


From ACM News

Virtual Farm Games Absorb Real Money, Real Lives

Virtual Farm Games Absorb Real Money, Real Lives

Last century's cash crops included tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane. Now we have magic cauliflower and super berries, too—and even though they can't be sold at market, some people still toil from dawn to dusk cultivating them…


From ACM News

China Limits Use of Foreign Computer Security Technology

China Limits Use of Foreign Computer Security Technology

China has ordered its banks and other major companies to limit use of foreign computer security technology, setting up a possible trade clash with the United States and Europe while adding to strains over high-tech secrecy…


From ACM News

Lenovo to Develop Game Console

Lenovo Group Ltd. is investing in the development of a new videogame console, part of a broader push by the Chinese personal-computer company to branch out into new product categories including tablet-style PCs and smartphones…


From ICT Results

Rational Design Process Produces Enhanced Optoelectronics Materials

Rational Design Process Produces Enhanced Optoelectronics Materials

European researchers have combined computer modelling of quantum mechanics and precision fabrication processes to create novel transparent conductive oxides made to order for a wide range of scientific and consumer applications…


From ACM News

Telepresence Robot Replaces Editor at Ieee Spectrum

With several companies offering telepresence robots to act as people's proxies at the office, IEEE Spectrum magazine investigated their use earlier this year by having one replace an associate editor for a week.


From ACM News

Google Gives Real-Time Search Its Own Page

Google is digging deeper into real-time search, with a new search page that displays only results from timely sources, like updates from Twitter and other social networks.


From ACM TechNews

The Fast Track From Code to Cloud

Combining emerging technologies such as dynamic language platforms, cloud computing, and agile development practices has led to a new paradigm for software development, according to ISO managing architect Nigel DeFreitas. 


From ACM TechNews

Heady Days of Nanotech Funding Behind It, the ­.s. Faces Big Challenges

Heady Days of Nanotech Funding Behind It, the ­.s. Faces Big Challenges

Despite the U.S.'s lead in patenting nanotechnology inventions, it has not been able to translate that success into the marketplace, which has enabled other countries to challenge the United States for nanotechnology supremacy…


From ACM TechNews

A Search Service that Can Peer Into the Future

Yahoo!'s Barcelona research lab has developed Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine that generates timelines that stretch into the future as well as the past. 


From ACM News

Luring Shoppers to Stores

Luring Shoppers to Stores

Marketers try interactive mirrors, discounts via scanners.


From ACM News

Wikipedia Age Challenges Scholars

For professors, publishing in elite journals is an unavoidable part of university life. The grueling process of subjecting work to the up-or-down judgment of credentialed scholarly peers has been a cornerstone of academic…


From ACM News

Software Helps Scientists Conduct Hurricane Research

Software Helps Scientists Conduct Hurricane Research

Scientists studying how and why Atlantic hurricanes form will have a better chance of getting the data they need thanks to flight planning software developed at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.


From ACM News

Sizing Samples

Sizing Samples

Many scientific disciplines use computers to infer patterns in data. But how much data is enough to ensure that the inferences are right?


From ACM News

U.S. Cyber Defense Needs to Focus on Superior Technology, Official Says

With India and China poised to over take the United States in the training of proficient computer scientists, a top U.S. Defense official has said that America must confront the cyber defense challenge with a focus on superior…


From ACM News

Insiders Doubt 2008 Pentagon Hack Was Foreign Spy Attack

Insiders Doubt 2008 Pentagon Hack Was Foreign Spy Attack

In the fall of 2008, a variant of a three year-old, relatively benign worm began winding its way through the U.S. military's networks, spread by troops using thumb drives and other removable storage media. Now, the Pentagon…


From ACM News

U.s. Funds Improve Broadband Connectivity to Foster Scientific Collaboration

U.s. Funds Improve Broadband Connectivity to Foster Scientific Collaboration

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million to universities in 17 states to improve inter- and intra-campus cyber connectivity.


From ACM News

A Search Service that Can Peer into the Future

Showing news stories on a timeline has been tried before. But Time Explorer, a prototype news search engine created in Yahoo's Barcelona research lab, generates timelines that stretch into the future as well as the past.


From ACM News

Supercomputers Supermodel Supermassive Black Holes

Supercomputers Supermodel Supermassive Black Holes

What happens when two black holes smash into each another? They form an even larger black hole while driving jets of relativistic matter into the far reaches of the cosmos. New complex computer simulations have attempted to…


From ACM News

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime

It’s 1 p.m. on a Thursday and Dianne Bates, 40, juggles three screens. She listens to a few songs on her iPod, then taps out a quick e-mail on her iPhone and turns her attention to the high-definition television.


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Router Smashes Speed Records

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a networking router that transmits data at nearly 40 gigabytes per second, significantly faster than the previous record for such devices. 


From ACM TechNews

'spintronics' Breakthrough Holds Promise For Next-Generation Computers

'spintronics' Breakthrough Holds Promise For Next-Generation Computers

University of Kansas (KU) researchers have discovered a way to recognize currents of spinning electrons, or spintronics, within a semiconductor using powerful lasers, which could lead to the development of advanced computers…


From ACM TechNews

­.K. Researchers Tap Semantic Web for Business Intelligence Innovation

­.K. Researchers Tap Semantic Web for Business Intelligence Innovation

SAP is leading a European research project that will combine semantic technologies with business intelligence in a system to help business users make better sense of their data. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Work to Protect, Restore Vulnerable Networks

Researchers Work to Protect, Restore Vulnerable Networks

The University of Arizona is collaborating with researchers at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a project which is developing ways to prevent a telecommunications meltdown in the event of an…