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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.

September 2009


From ICT Results

The Sum of Knowledge

The Sum of Knowledge

European researchers are creating new technology that could, ultimately, make accessible the sum of humankind’s knowledge. Hundreds of organisations and millions of documents are already linked to this “United Nations of knowledge”…


From ACM News

Pentagon

The creation of a cyborg insect army has just taken a step closer to reality.

A research team at the University of California Berkeley recently announced that it has successfully implanted electrodes into a beetle allowing scientists…


From ACM TechNews

Control of Internet Is at Issue

The U.S. Commerce Department's Joint Project Agreement (JPA) with ICANN is set to expire on Sept. 30. As that date approaches, Commerce is under increasing pressure from Europe, China, and ICANN itself to terminate the agreement…


From ACM News

Internet Addiction Center Opens In ­.s.

Internet Addiction Center Opens In ­.s.

Ben Alexander spent nearly every waking minute playing the video game "World of Warcraft." As a result, he flunked out of the University of Iowa.Alexander, 19, needed help to break an addiction he calls as destructive as alcohol…


From ACM TechNews

Visualizing the Aztecs

Visualizing the Aztecs

University of Utah professor Antonio Serrato-Combe has created a British Museum exhibition that allows visitors to digitally explore the empire of the last elected Aztec Emperor, Moctezuma II. The exhibit presents the ancient…


From ACM TechNews

Mobile Phones Present Improved, Augmented Reality

Mobile Phones Present Improved, Augmented Reality

New mobile phones could make it possible for augmented reality (AR) — real-world views overlaid with digital information — to trump virtual reality, which lacks a convincing sense of immersion.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Creates Hybrid Chip For Faster Processors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have combined silicon and gallium nitride to create a hybrid microchip that they say is smaller, faster, and more efficient than today's chips. "We won't be able to continue…


From ACM News

Infoglut: The Disease of the New Millennium

Infoglut: The Disease of the New Millennium

Information, the very thing that makes it possible to be an engineer, a doctor, a lawyer, or any other kind of information worker, is threatening our ability to do our work. How's that for irony?


From ACM News

Rfid Technology May Help in Keeping Foods Safe

Rfid Technology May Help in Keeping Foods Safe

RFID technology has led to better safety handling of raw materials and finished products in the food industry, which is also using the technology to speed up the processing of manufactured goods and materials, according tothe…


From ACM TechNews

How the Netflix Prize Was Won

The secret to the success of BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble, first- and second-place winners of the Netflix Prize, was teamwork.

The Netflix Prize offered $1 million to the team that could improve its movie recommendation…


From ACM TechNews

Two Berkeley Faculty Members Receive Macarthur 'genius' Award

Two Berkeley Faculty Members Receive Macarthur 'genius' Award

University of California, Berkeley professors Maneesh Agrawala and Lin He have been named MacArthur Fellows, which provides them with five-year, $500,000 grants to work on independent projects. Agrawala, the recipient of ACM's…


From ACM TechNews

Rethinking the Long Tail Theory: How to Define 'hits' and 'niches'

The Long Tail theory suggests that the Internet drives demand away from popular products with mass appeal and directs it to more obscure niche offerings as it eases distribution and uses cutting-edge recommendation systems, but…


From ACM TechNews

President Obama Touts Role of Basic Research in Innovation

In his recent address at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., U.S. President Barack Obama cited the need for the United States to strengthen its commitment to basic research, which he says is vital to the country's…


From ACM TechNews

Minority Students Needed in Math and Science to Combat 'brain Drain,' Professors Say

Minority Students Needed in Math and Science to Combat 'brain Drain,' Professors Say

Three mathematics and science professors called on the U.S. government to support institutional programs that have succeeded in attracting and retaining minority students during a recent Congressional briefing session. Arizona…


From ACM TechNews

Controlling the Language of Security

A security policy specification that guarantees the reliability and availability of home networks has been developed by computer scientists at Kyungpook National University and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research…


From ACM TechNews

IBM Develops Denser, Faster Chip Memory

IBM Develops Denser, Faster Chip Memory

IBM says it has developed a prototype of the densest and fastest on-chip memory. The prototype consists of embedded dynamic random access memory (eDRAM) that is integrated on the same die as a multicore processor. IBM used…


From ACM TechNews

Moving Toward a New Vision of Education

Moving Toward a New Vision of Education

Researchers from the University of Basque Country have finished a 10-year study examining the effects of information and communications technologies (ICT) in the classroom. Study co-author Asun Martinez says "the studies carried…


From ICT Results

'Triple Space' Offers Web for Web Services

'Triple Space' Offers Web for Web Services

What the World Wide Web is to humans, the Triple Space could become for machines, say European researchers who have helped lay the foundations for this innovative integration of Web services, semantic Web and tuple space technologies…


From ACM News

Computer Model Shows Changes in Brain Mechanisms For Cocaine Addicts

Computer Model Shows Changes in Brain Mechanisms For Cocaine Addicts

University of Missouri researchers Ashwin Mohan and Sandeep Pendyam, doctoral students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are utilizing computational models to study how the brain's chemicals and synaptic…


From ACM TechNews

Technology Shows What's on a Customer's Mind

Technology Shows What's on a Customer's Mind

Foviance founder Catriona Campbell, an expert on human-computer interaction, provides clients with research studies that measure Internet users' subconscious, emotional responses to Web site content using electroencephalography…


From ACM TechNews

Let's Talk About Sex . . . With Robots

Let's Talk About Sex . . . With Robots

Interactions between humans and machines are evolving to the point where they could include having sexual relations, says David Levy, who won the 2009 Loebner prize for the most human-like chatbot. 


From ACM TechNews

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help

Willow Garage researchers are developing robots that ask human for help when they cannot recognize objects. Willow Garage computer scientist Alan Sorokin has designed a system for the company's Personal Robot 2 (PR2) that connects…


From ACM News

Materials Restore Functionality in a Snap

Materials Restore Functionality in a Snap

Researchers are working on "self-healing" electronic materials that could lead in time to computer components that can fix themselves when they break.


From ACM News

Netflix Awards $1 Million Prize and Starts a New Contest

Netflix, the movie rental company, has decided its million-dollar-prize competition was such a good investment that it is planning another one. 

The company’s challenge, begun in October 2006, was both geeky and formidable:recommendation…


From ACM News

New Ranking Algorithm Separates Digital Wheat from Chaff

New Ranking Algorithm Separates Digital Wheat from Chaff

The ranking algorithm called SPEAR (SPamming-resistant Expertise Analysis and Ranking), developed by PhD candidates Ching Man Au Yeung of the University of Southampton and Michael G. Noll of Hasso Plattner Institute, uses mutual…


From ACM News

Quantum Computers Are Coming

WHATEVER happened to quantum computers? A few years ago, it seemed, it was just a case of a tweak here, a fiddle there, and some kind of number-crunching Godzilla would be unleashed upon us.

Just as digital processors changed…


From ACM News

World's Talent Opts to Leave ­sa

World's Talent Opts to Leave ­sa

The United States will lose many skilled workers over the next five years as 100,000 immigrants from India and 100,000 immigrants from China return home, warns Duke University's Vivek Wadhwa. The loss of immigrants who have worked…


From ACM TechNews

Surveillance Software Solves Security Snag

University of Adelaide researchers have developed software that eliminates the need for security personnel at large public venues to search for suspicious activity among hundreds of different video screens. The program streamlines…


From ACM TechNews

Eu Funding 'orwellian' AI Plan to Monitor Public For 'abnormal Behavior'

Eu Funding 'orwellian' AI Plan to Monitor Public For 'abnormal Behavior'

The European Union-funded Project Indect is developing software that monitors and processes information collected from Web sites, discussion forums, file servers, peer-to-peer networks, and individual computers in an effort to…


From ACM TechNews

City 2.0: It Will Make Cities More Engaging and Energy-Efficient

Cities will be transformed by WiMax, smart grids, social networks, and other emerging technologies, once they are cohesively integrated. WiMax is seen as a critical tool for supporting city-wide wireless services. WiMax offers…