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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.

December 2009


From ACM TechNews

Pandemic Toolkit Offers Flu With a View

Pandemic Toolkit Offers Flu With a View

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are developing the Pandemic Influenza Planning Tool, an analytic toolkit designed to help health officials create response strategies…


From ACM News

Of Girls and Geeks: Why Women Don't Like Computer Science

Of Girls and Geeks: Why Women Don't Like Computer Science

The stereotype of computer scientists as nerds who stay up all night coding and have no social life may be driving women away from the field, according to a new study published this month. This stereotype can be brought to mind…


From ACM News

China Ready For Humanoid Robot Olympics

China Ready For Humanoid Robot Olympics

In an effort to strengthen achievements in the technology sector, China will hold a special olympics event for robots. The International Humanoid Robot Olympic Games competition will only involve human-like robots. The event…


From ACM TechNews

Southampton Supercomputer to Crunch Computations

Southampton Supercomputer to Crunch Computations

The new University of Southampton supercomputer, which will go live in January 2010, will enable students in the school's Institute for Complex Systems Simulation (ICSS) to run a battery of tests and simulations that have never…


From ACM TechNews

Motion-Sensing Phones That Predict Your Every Move

Motion-Sensing Phones That Predict Your Every Move

Technical University of Delft researchers have developed a smartphone program that learns users' behavior patterns to provide better cell phone service. The program uses predictable actions to create an electronic signature…


From ACM TechNews

With Draft Standard, 3d Web Closer to Reality

The Khronos Group and Mozilla have announced the release of WebGL, a new standard for enabling Web browsers to support three-dimensional (3D) graphics. The draft standard is based on the Khronos Group's OpenGL graphics interface…


From ACM TechNews

Learning Computer Science From Scratch

Learning Computer Science From Scratch

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researcher Mitchel Resnick and colleagues at the MIT Media Lab have enjoyed great success with Scratch, a computer programming language geared toward children ages eight to 16. Scratch…


From ACM TechNews

Wigig Fast Wireless Group Finishes Standard

A standard for a technology to deliver as much as 7 gigabits per second (Gbps) over an extremely high unlicensed frequency band has been completed by the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance. The group says that WiGig will be capable…


From ICT Results

Benchmarking Tools Compare Robot Algorithms

Benchmarking Tools Compare Robot Algorithms

"What does the world look like?" and "Where am I?" are two questions robots must solve if they are to act autonomously in an unknown environment. Work by European researchers will help future robot generations provide smarter…


From ACM News

Team Wins Insights and Second Place in DARPA Network Challenge

Team Wins Insights and Second Place in DARPA Network Challenge

A national competition aimed at quickly locating 10 red weather balloons tethered at locations across the United States netted a second-place finish for a Georgia Tech team — along with a set of new insights into the use of social…


From ACM News

Interactive Animations Give Science Students a Boost

Interactive Animations Give Science Students a Boost

A new study shows that university science students who supplement their studies with interactive, game-like computer animations retain a much better understanding of a scientific concept than those who don't.  The findings inform…


From ACM News

IBM Sets Up Centers of Excellence in Karnataka

IBM has established Centers of Excellence (CoE) in 10 colleges across Karnataka, India, aimed at creating a platform for the development of software skills among the students. "IBM CoEs are an extension of IBM's commitment to…


From ACM News

Ta University, Saudi Researchers Collaborate on Computer 'bot' Problem

Internet users must often identify and key in a collection of distorted letters and numbers to get entrance to various Web sites. These are called Captcha — meant to be a barrier that prevents computer automatons ("bots") from…


From ACM TechNews

Network Analysis Reveals True Connections

Network Analysis Reveals True Connections

Northwestern University researchers have developed a universal method that can correctly analyze a variety of complex networks. The researchers tested their method on a range of five networks, introducing errors to each and…


From ACM TechNews

Smart Cctv Learns to Spot Suspicious Types

Smart Cctv Learns to Spot Suspicious Types

An international team of computer scientists at Queen Mary, University of London are developing intelligent video-surveillance software designed to spot suspicious individuals for a next-generation closed-circuit television system…


From ACM TechNews

Scientists, IT Community Await Exascale Computers

The information technology (IT) industry discussed the challenges it faces in developing exascale systems, a new generation of supercomputers that promise to be far more powerful than existing technology, during the recent SC09…


From ACM TechNews

Bristol Postdoc Shares in High-Performance Computing Prize

Bristol Postdoc Shares in High-Performance Computing Prize

University of Bristol postdoctoral researcher Rio Yokota was a member of the team that won the first Gordon Bell prize in the price per performance category of high-performance computing since 2001 at the recent SC09 conference…


From ACM TechNews

A Week to Focus on Computer Science Education

The U.S. House of Representatives has designated Dec. 6-12 Computer Science Education Week to help raise awareness of the dearth of computer science in grades K-12 and the need to remedy the situation. 


From ACM TechNews

So, That Explains the Headache

So, That Explains the Headache

A new University of California, San Diego (UCSD) study found that the average U.S. citizen consumes 34 gigabytes of information per day outside of the workplace, and overall U.S. households consumed approximately 3.6 trillion…


From ACM News

Physicist Thinks Small and Big with Cern Large Hadron Collider Research

Physicist Thinks Small and Big with Cern Large Hadron Collider Research

New York City College of Technology Physics Professor Giovanni Ossola is currently developing a new tool that will lead to more precise computations involving the actions of particles in the world's largest particle accelerator…


From ACM News

'one Keypad Per Child' Lets Schoolchildren Share Screen to Learn Math

'one Keypad Per Child' Lets Schoolchildren Share Screen to Learn Math

University of Washington computer science undergraduates have developed a system that lets up to four students share a single computer to do interactive math problems. Early tests show that elementary school students using the…


From ACM News

Locating Ieds with Scare Technology

Locating Ieds with Scare Technology

University of Maryland researchers have developed and successfully tested new computer software and computational techniques to analyze patterns of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations…


From ACM News

Popeye, the Robot with Brains Not Brawn

European researchers have developed a new approach to artificial intelligence that could empower computers to respond intelligently to human behaviour as well as commands.

The dramatic rise in raw computing power due to parallel…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Science, Engineering Job Ads Increase in November

The number of online job ads increased by 35,400 for computer scientists and mathematicians in November, according to the Conference Board, and online postings for engineers and architects rose by 2,600, that category's first…


From ACM News

Pneumatic Ball-Levitating Robot Wins at Beer Pong

Pneumatic Ball-Levitating Robot Wins at Beer Pong

A pair of grad students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are using a computer-controled gimbaled air-jet system with two degrees of motion to not only "levitate" two different-sized balls at once, but also to make…


From ACM News

22 Stories Underground: Iron Mountain's Experimental Room 48

Down a road that winds through the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, just across from a cow pasture, the bucolic scenery of Butler County is interrupted by a high chain-link fence topped with razor wire.

Cars entering…


From ACM News

At a Loss For Words? Google Offers Search By Sight

Google's first search engine let people search by typing text onto a Web page. Next came queries spoken over the phone.

On Monday, Google announced the ability to perform an Internet search by submitting a photograph.

The experimental…


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Promise an End to Web Attacks

Scientists Promise an End to Web Attacks

Research on new encryption technology that has the potential to make cyberattacks "computationally impossible" will be presented at the ASIACRYPT 2009 security and cryptology conference in Japan. 


From ACM TechNews

African Computer Scientists Recognized

The Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), and Microsoft Research have awarded the inaugural TWAS-AAS-Microsoft Award for Young Scientists to recognize the work of young researchers that…


From ACM TechNews

Scientists, Lawyers Mull Effects of Home Robots

Scientists and legal scholars are studying the likely effects of the inevitable bond that will form between humans and robots in the coming decade. Although robots have been interacting with humans outside the home for years…