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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 2011


From ACM News

Data Mining ­ncovers New Connections Between Health Problems

Data Mining ­ncovers New Connections Between Health Problems

Researchers in Denmark are using data mining techniques to uncover new connections between health problems as seemingly unrelated as migraines and hair loss.


From ACM News

Drone Makers Seek Out New Targets

Almost a century after the first pilot-less plane was test launched from the back of a truck in the English village of Upavon, unmanned aircraft vehicles, or drones, are smarter, more lethal... and seeking new growth drivers…


From ACM News

Dhs Thinks Some Scada Problems Are Too Big To Call "bug"

The Stuxnet worm may be the most famous piece of malicious software ever written. When it was first detected, a little over a year ago, the worm sounded a warning to nations around the world that critical infrastructure systems…


From ACM News

Security Expert: ­.s. 'leading Force' Behind Stuxnet

Security Expert: ­.s. 'leading Force' Behind Stuxnet

German cybersecurity expert Ralph Langner warns that U.S. utility companies are not yet prepared to deal with the threat presented by the Stuxnet computer worm, which he says the U.S. developed.


From ACM TechNews

New Mathematical Model to Enable Web Searches For Meaning

New Mathematical Model to Enable Web Searches For Meaning

University of Hertfordshire computer scientist Daoud Clarke has developed a mathematical model based on a theory of meaning that could revolutionize artificial intelligence technologies and enable Web searches to interpret the…


From ACM TechNews

'stampede's' Comprehensive Capabilities to Bolster ­.s. Open Science Computational Resources

'stampede's' Comprehensive Capabilities to Bolster ­.s. Open Science Computational Resources

The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center announced that it will deploy and support Stampede, a new supercomputer that will offer data-intensive computing and visualization capabilities for the open…


From ACM News

Net Neutrality Rules Published, Lawsuits Soon to Follow

Net Neutrality Rules Published, Lawsuits Soon to Follow

The FCC has finally officially published long-delayed rules prohibiting cable, DSL, and wireless internet companies from blocking Web sites and requiring them to disclose how they slow down or throttle their networks.


From ACM TechNews

Software Upgrades Could Produce Self-Tuning Wireless Access Points, Researchers Say

Software Upgrades Could Produce Self-Tuning Wireless Access Points, Researchers Say

University of Wisconsin, Madison researchers have developed Airshark, software that enables wireless access points to automatically detect radio-frequency interference and make adjustments to preserve the quality of Wi-Fi connections…


From ACM News

Setting Boundaries For Internet Privacy

Watchful European privacy regulators are wielding increasing influence beyond the Continent’s borders.


From ACM TechNews

New Targets For the Control of Hiv Are Predicted ­sing a Novel Computational Analysis

New Targets For the Control of Hiv Are Predicted ­sing a Novel Computational Analysis

Virginia Tech researchers have developed a computational approach that can predict several human proteins that the human immunodeficiency virus requires to replicate itself. 


From ACM TechNews

Sdsc Announces Scalable, High-Performance Data Storage Cloud

Sdsc Announces Scalable, High-Performance Data Storage Cloud

The University of California, San Diego's San Diego Supercomputer Center recently launched an academic-based cloud storage system designed specifically for researchers, students, academics, and industry users who need to store…


From ACM News

Inside Facebook's Bid to Reinvent Music, News, and Everything

Inside Facebook's Bid to Reinvent Music, News, and Everything

Earlier this year, Daniel Ek, the CEO of the music service Spotify, was in a car with Mark Zuckerberg. Ek was visiting the Facebook founder in California while the two companies were working together on what eventually would…


From ACM News

Policing the Digital Storage Landscape

Policing the Digital Storage Landscape

Cyberlockers are the next frontier for storing music, movies, and other personal files on the Internet, but the entertainment industry wants lawmakers to ensure this digital storage landscape is made safe for copyright enforcement…


From ACM News

Smarter Robot Arms

Smarter Robot Arms

A combination of two algorithms developed at MIT allows autonomous robots to execute tasks much more efficiently—and move more predictably.


From ACM News

'stingray' Phone Tracker Fuels Constitutional Clash

'stingray' Phone Tracker Fuels Constitutional Clash

For more than a year, federal authorities pursued a man they called simply "the Hacker." Only after using a little known cellphone-tracking device—a stingray—were they able to zero in on a California home and make the arrest…


From ACM TechNews

Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

Traction for the free-network movement is growing as activists, scholars, and entrepreneurs pursue efforts to repurpose existing online networks or create parallel networks to fight corporate or governmental repression. 


From ACM News

Scientists ­se Brain Imaging to Reveal the Movies in Our Mind

Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one’s own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are bringing…


From ACM News

Will We All Be Tweaking Our Own Genetic Code?

Will We All Be Tweaking Our Own Genetic Code?

You have to wonder what's going on in the DNA of Harvard genetics professor George Church. What extra bit of code does he have that the rest of us don't? If genes tell the story of a person's life, then some altered sequence…


From ACM News

Mining Data For Better Medicine

The antidepressant Paxil was approved for sale in 1992, the cholesterol-lowering drug Pravachol in 1996. Company studies proved that each drug, on its own, works and is safe. But what about when they are taken together?


From ACM TechNews

Fraunhofer SCAI Successfully Completes Pilot Project on Information Extraction from Chinese Scientific Literature

The Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing recently completed a pilot Chinese text mining project. 


From ACM TechNews

App Lets ­niversity Students Send Video Instantly to Police

App Lets ­niversity Students Send Video Instantly to Police

The University of Maryland at College Park has launched a phased rollout of a smartphone app that can provide students, faculty, and staff with a direct and instantaneous line of communication to campus police and dispatch. 


From ACM TechNews

Technically, Science Will Be Less Lonely For Women When Girls Are Spurred Early

Girls are being sent a message at a young age that careers in math and science are marked by social isolation and will make them seem less attractive. However, peer pressure and cultural expectations of femininity can be overcome…


From ACM News

Will We Ever Learn to Live with Artificial Humans?

Will We Ever Learn to Live with Artificial Humans?

How Japan's AKB48 has created a new level of artificial human—and what it tells us about the infamous Uncanny Valley.


From ACM News

The War on Red-Light Cameras

The War on Red-Light Cameras

Late last month, after a drawn-out battle dating back to November, Houston finally turned off its 70 red-light cameras. City residents voted them down in a referendum during the midterm elections, then a federal judge deemed…


From ACM Opinion

Google Searching For New Ideas

Google Searching For New Ideas

If anyone can preview the future of computing, it should be Alfred Spector, Google's director of research. Spector's team focuses on the most challenging areas of computer science research with the intention of shaping Google's…


From ACM TechNews

Call It Your Online Driver's License

Call It Your Online Driver's License

The White House's National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace encourages the private-sector creation and public adoption of online user authentication systems. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers to Detail Hole in Web Encryption

Researchers to Detail Hole in Web Encryption

Security researchers Juliano Rizzo and Thai Duong will demonstrate an attack that compromises Transport Layer Security 1.0 at the Ekoparty conference in Argentina. 


From ACM TechNews

Intel Runs PC on CPU Powered by Solar Cell

Intel Runs PC on CPU Powered by Solar Cell

Intel recently demonstrated Claremont, an experimental low-power processor the size of a postage stamp that could run PCs using solar power by dropping energy consumption to under 10 milliwatts. 


From ACM TechNews

Information Technologies Can Foster Freedom or Reinforce Repression

New communication tools such as text messaging and social networks my not be as uniformly beneficial or as robust as suggested by the media, which portrays them as powerful ways to enhance freedom, according to Penn State University…


From ACM TechNews

Mining Data For Better Medicine

Mining Data For Better Medicine

Researchers are utilizing digital medical records to conduct wide-ranging studies on the effects of certain drugs and how they relate to different populations.