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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 2011


From ACM News

Ben Fry, Information Designer

Ben Fry, Information Designer

In the golden age of data visualization, he helps designers think like programmers, and vice versa.


From ACM TechNews

Human Gait Could Soon Power Portable Electronics

Human Gait Could Soon Power Portable Electronics

The energy of human motion could be used soon to power cell phones and other portable devices, according to University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor. 


From ACM TechNews

Personal Security

Personal Security

Researchers have developed a laptop-sized device that emits a jamming signal whenever it detects an unauthorized wireless link being established between a medical implant and a remote terminal, in an attempt to stop hackers from…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Improving Gps Accuracy in the 3rd Dimension

Researchers Improving Gps Accuracy in the 3rd Dimension

Ohio State University researchers have developed software that can fix global positioning system errors by taking a more accurate measurement of altitude. 


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Touch Helps Keyhole Surgeons to 'feel' Tumours

Virtual Touch Helps Keyhole Surgeons to 'feel' Tumours

Leeds University researchers have developed tactile feedback technology that combines computer virtualization with a hand-held haptic device that gives doctors a virtual sense of feeling tumors during an operation. 


From ACM News

When Algorithms Control the World

When Algorithms Control the World

If you were expecting some kind warning when computers finally get smarter than us, then think again.


From ACM News

IBM Work With World's Thinnest Material Seen Creating Faster Pcs

A one-atom-thick layer of carbon may one day help International Business Machines Corp. and the U.S. military build more precise radar and computers that operate at near the speed of light.


From ACM TechNews

New Tool Allows First Responders to Visualize Post-Event Disaster Environments

New Tool Allows First Responders to Visualize Post-Event Disaster Environments

During the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Level Exercise 2011, emergency preparedness officials and first responders used iPads and SUMMIT, which allowed them to view and modify accurate models of building…


From ACM TechNews

The New Big Data

The New Big Data

Industry research and academic labs will present the latest big data techniques during the 17th ACM conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD). 


From ACM TechNews

Better 'photon Loops' May Be Key to Computer and Physics Advances

University of Maryland, Harvard University, and U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers are close to developing a method for steering photons accurately through microchips, which could lead to more efficient…


From ACM TechNews

Could A Crypto-Computer in Your Pocket Replace All Passwords?

Could A Crypto-Computer in Your Pocket Replace All Passwords?

Cambridge University researcher Frank Stajano recently presented a paper on the Pico, a tiny, portable computer that functions as the authenticator for potentially thousands of different services or devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Computational Method Predicts New Uses For Existing Medicines

Computational Method Predicts New Uses For Existing Medicines

A recent National Institutes of Health-funded computational study analyzing genomic and drug data has been able to predict new uses for existing medicines. 


From ACM News

Judge Says Warrant Required For Cell Phone Location Data

Judge Says Warrant Required For Cell Phone Location Data

In recent years, the courts have struggled to decide whether the government needs a warrant to access historical records about a cell phone user's location. Some courts have found that when users turn on their cell phones,…


From ACM News

Robonaut Wakes Up In Space

Robonaut Wakes Up In Space

After months of patiently snoring away in its storage bag, Robonaut 2—the first dexterous humanoid robot in space—finally got its wakeup call on Monday.


From ACM Opinion

A Turbulent End to the Pc Era

The personal computer recently celebrated its 30th birthday. Then last week, Silicon Valley staged the PC's funeral.


From ACM News

Six Computer Labs that Gave Birth to the Digital World

Six Computer Labs that Gave Birth to the Digital World

Throughout history there is a recurring theme of like-minded individuals coming together to create a shared "hive mind" intelligence that is greater than its constituent parts.


From ACM TechNews

'endless Forms' Uses the Web to Breed 3-D Printable Objects

'endless Forms' Uses the Web to Breed 3-D Printable Objects

Cornell University researchers are using their new, interactive EndlessForms.com Web site to allow anyone online to guide the evolution of printable, three-dimensional objects in an attempt to revolutionize the design of art,…


From ACM TechNews

Free Computer Science Courses, New Teaching Technology Reinvent Online Education

Stanford professors will offer popular computer science courses online for free in the autumn, and are launching an experiment that could radically change the delivery of online education. 


From ACM TechNews

Antennas in Your Clothes? New Design Could Pave the Way

Antennas in Your Clothes? New Design Could Pave the Way

Ohio State University researchers are working on a new way to incorporate radio antennas directly into clothing, in an effort to improve communications reliability and the mobility of soldiers. 


From ACM News

Trust Develops 'science Base' For Cybersecurity

Trust Develops 'science Base' For Cybersecurity

University of California, Berkeley's TRUST is developing a cybersecurity "science base"– a principled approach to developing trustworthy systems in which security is an integral part and not "bolted on like an afterthought."


From ACM News

Motorola

Motorola

Hundreds of framed patents hang on two separate walls at the headquarters of Motorola Mobility in Libertyville, IL. They testify to the pride in innovation at Motorola, a luminary of American business that has survived corporate…


From ACM Opinion

Why Google Had to Have Motorola Mobility

For several years now, Google has been following a vow made by former CEO Eric Schmidt: mobile first. New CEO Larry Page is taking that dictum to a new level by announcing a deal to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5bn.


From ACM News

Intel Recruits Sci-Fi Writers to Dream Up Future Tech

Intel Recruits Sci-Fi Writers to Dream Up Future Tech

Chip maker Intel has commissioned leading science fiction authors to pen short stories that imagine future uses for the firm's technology.


From ACM News

Court Says Only Hard Math Is Patentable

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected a patent on a method of detecting credit card fraud. The result was unsurprising, but the court broke new ground with its reasoning. Citing the Supreme Court's…


From ACM News

Nasa and Tor-Forge Books Partner in Themed Science Fiction Works

In an effort to introduce, inform, and inspire readers about NASA, the agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, has partnered with Tor-Forge Books to develop and publish a series of science-fiction-themed books…


From ACM TechNews

Wire Robot Yanks Your Golf Game Into Shape

Wire Robot Yanks Your Golf Game Into Shape

University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a haptics-based robotic wire system designed to help golfers with putting. 


From ACM TechNews

Mediocre Hackers Can Cause Major Damage

Mediocre Hackers Can Cause Major Damage

Even minimally competent hackers can hijack the computer systems that control critical industrial machinery to deadly effect, according to security researchers. 


From ACM TechNews

W3c Ignites Developer Participation in Web Standards Process

W3c Ignites Developer Participation in Web Standards Process

The World Wide Web Consortium recently announced a new track, called W3C Community Groups, that makes it easier for developers and businesses to create Web technology within W3C's international community of experts. 


From ACM TechNews

Taking a Disruptive Approach to Exascale

Taking a Disruptive Approach to Exascale

A recent U.S. Department of Energy workshop concentrating on exascale challenges and current gaps in research and ideology offered insight for those seeking a disruptive approach to exascale computing. 


From ACM TechNews

Research Team Develops Face-Mapping App For Global Smartphone Searching

Rice University researchers have developed a smartphone application that allows users to search images on other users' phones that have been transmitted by a centralized server.