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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.

November 2013


From ACM TechNews

Nsa Leaks Could Inspire a Global Boom in Intrusive Surveillance

Nsa Leaks Could Inspire a Global Boom in Intrusive Surveillance

The recent leaks of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs could inspire authoritarian governments in developing economies to boost NSA-style data collection programs, according to a recent report.


From ACM Opinion

Will Ibm's Watson ­sher in a New Era of Cognitive Computing?

Will Ibm's Watson ­sher in a New Era of Cognitive Computing?

Computers as we know them have are close to reaching an inflection point—the next generation is in sight but not quite within our grasp.


From ACM Opinion

Blinded By the Light

Blinded By the Light

The probe sails through space, traveling the distance of the LA-to-Chicago red-eye in a minute.


From ACM News

Google Books Ruling Is a Huge Victory For Online Innovation

Google Books Ruling Is a Huge Victory For Online Innovation

 It's taken almost a decade, but the courts have finally handed down a ruling on Google's audacious project to scan millions of books to build a book search engine.


From ACM TechNews

MIT Big Data Initiative Launches Transportation Challenge, Privacy Working Group

MIT Big Data Initiative Launches Transportation Challenge, Privacy Working Group

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab's Big Data Initiative recently announced two new activities aimed at improving the use and management of big data.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook Releases Query Engine to Open Source Community

Facebook Releases Query Engine to Open Source Community

Facebook has developed Presto, a distributed SQL query engine optimized for running ad-hoc interactive analytic queries against data sources ranging in size from gigabytes to petabytes.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Find Way to Increase Range of Wireless Frequencies in Smartphones

Researchers Find Way to Increase Range of Wireless Frequencies in Smartphones

Researchers have developed a method for tuning the radio frequency in smartphones and other wireless devices that reduces costs and improves the performance of semiconductors used in defense, satellite, and commercial communications…


From ACM News

The Computer That Got Down to Business

The Computer That Got Down to Business

A U.K. museum's quest to get a 5.5-ton computer up and running is about more than preserving a piece of computing history; it's about understanding the constraints of programming a 50-year-old system.


From ACM News

Intelligence Agency Seeks Facial Recognition ­pgrade

Intelligence Agency Seeks Facial Recognition ­pgrade

The U.S. intelligence community is pushing a leap forward in facial recognition software that will enable it to determine better the identity of people through a variety of photographs, video, and other images.


From ACM News

Ibm to Announce More Powerful Watson via the Internet

Ibm to Announce More Powerful Watson via the Internet

Welcome to the age of supercomputing for everyone.


From ACM News

The Daunting Challenge of Secure Email

The Daunting Challenge of Secure Email

When users of Lavabit, an encrypted e-mail service, logged on to the site this past August, they found a bewildering letter on the site's main page.


From ACM Careers

Big Data's Little Brother

Big Data's Little Brother

David Soloff is recruiting an army of "hyperdata" collectors.


From ACM TechNews

Tech Firms Furious After Denied Full View of Government Reply to Fisa Court

Tech Firms Furious After Denied Full View of Government Reply to Fisa Court

Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn said in a court filing that the U.S. government has offered them only a "heavily redacted version" of its response to the FISA Court with regards to the companies' request for…


From ACM TechNews

Delving Into Digital Learning

Delving Into Digital Learning

Carnegie Mellon University has announced the Simon Initiative, which will publicly launch the world's largest student learning database to determine best practices and standards for the use of technology in the classroom.


From ACM TechNews

Program Seeks to Nurture 'data Science Culture' at Universities

Program Seeks to Nurture 'data Science Culture' at Universities

Academia at New York University, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Berkeley are collaborating on the Sloan Foundation's five-year Digital Information Technology program to create a data science culture…


From ACM TechNews

Internet Security: Besieged

Internet Security: Besieged

The Internet Engineering Task Force recently met to discuss concerns about recent reports of the U.S. National Security Agency undermining cryptographic software and standards.


From ACM Opinion

The Head of Google X Thinks We're All Too Risk-Averse

The Head of Google X Thinks We're All Too Risk-Averse

Google X is responsible for some of Google's most literally fantastic projects: Google Glass, self-driving cars, gigantic inflatable balloons that beam Internet down to the disconnected.


From ACM TechNews

Social Media Helps Aid Efforts After Typhoon Haiyan

Social Media Helps Aid Efforts After Typhoon Haiyan

In the wake of typhoon Haiyan, disaster relief teams are descending on the Philippines from all over the world, trying to aid the victims. Volunteers are mining social media to provide aid workers with real-time maps to show…


From ACM News

Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger Lhc

Physicists Plan to Build a Bigger Lhc

When Europe's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) started up in 2008, particle physicists would not have dreamt of asking for something bigger until they got their US$5-billion machine to work.


From ACM TechNews

Ieee Wants the Cloud to Grow Like the Internet

Ieee Wants the Cloud to Grow Like the Internet

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is developing an Intercloud Testbed to show how various types of cloud computing environments can combine and exchange data.


From ACM News

Stores Sniff Out Smartphones to Follow Shoppers

Stores Sniff Out Smartphones to Follow Shoppers

You've just tossed a jar of peanut butter in your grocery cart when your smartphone buzzes.


From ACM News

Sunny Fix Would Let Defunct Kepler Hunt Planets Again

Sunny Fix Would Let Defunct Kepler Hunt Planets Again

NASA's champion planet-hunter, which recently suffered a fatal breakdown, is now looking on the sunny side.


From ACM News

Nasa Cassini Spacecraft Provides New View of Saturn and Earth

Nasa Cassini Spacecraft Provides New View of Saturn and Earth

NASA has released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible.


From ACM TechNews

Enhancing Security in Apple Devices

Enhancing Security in Apple Devices

Apple addressed some complicated security issues before releasing iOS 7 in September, thanks to A*STAR's Institute for Infocomm Research.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Develop At-Home 3-D Video Game For Stroke Patients

Researchers Develop At-Home 3-D Video Game For Stroke Patients

A new three-dimensional video game developed by Ohio State University researchers should make it easier for stroke patients to receive constraint-induced movement therapy at home.


From ACM TechNews

New Game App Keeps Teens on Track Taking Their Asthma Medicine

New Game App Keeps Teens on Track Taking Their Asthma Medicine

Researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago are testing a game-based asthma application designed for teenagers. Young people seem to be responding well, says Giselle Mosnaim, co-principal investigator for the…


From ACM News

Social Media Helps Aid Efforts After Typhoon Haiyan

Social Media Helps Aid Efforts After Typhoon Haiyan

Ten million people affected. Half a million displaced. Ten thousand feared dead.


From ACM News

Ads Could Soon Know If You're an Introvert (on Twitter)

Ads Could Soon Know If You're an Introvert (on Twitter)

Trying to derive a person's wants and needs—conscious or otherwise—from online browsing and buying habits has become crucial to companies of all kinds.


From ACM News

How Corporate America Fights Hackers

How Corporate America Fights Hackers

To defend themselves against hackers, some of America's largest corporations have adopted shadowy tactics usually reserved for government spies.


From ACM Opinion

Nest's Tony Fadell on Smart Objects, and the Singularity of Innovation

Nest's Tony Fadell on Smart Objects, and the Singularity of Innovation

Tony Fadell is the founder and chief executive of Nest, a company that is trying to bring a high-end technology experience to some of the most prosaic areas of the home.