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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 2012


From ACM News

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Gets Closer Than Ever to Human Limb

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm Gets Closer Than Ever to Human Limb

Researchers in the United States have developed a robotic arm controlled directly by thought with a level of agility closer than ever to a normal human limb.


From ACM News

Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare

Hacking the Human Brain: The Next Domain of Warfare

It's been fashionable in military circles to talk about cyberspace as a "fifth domain" for warfare, along with land, space, air, and sea.


From ACM News

Google Gets a Second Brain, Changing Everything About Search

Google Gets a Second Brain, Changing Everything About Search

In the 1983 sci-fi/comedy flick The Man with Two Brains, Steve Martin played Michael Hfuhruhurr, a neurosurgeon who marries one of his patients but then falls in love with the disembodied brain of another woman, Anne.


From ACM News

A Brooklyn Protester Pleads Guilty After His Twitter Posts Sink His Case

A Brooklyn Protester Pleads Guilty After His Twitter Posts Sink His Case

In the end, the tweets told the tale.


From ACM TechNews

­.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens

­.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens

The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center implemented a new program in March that allows the agency to copy entire government databases and examine information about U.S. citizens in order to detect possible terrorist activity…


From ACM TechNews

IBM Paves Way For Wearable Electronics, Folding Displays

IBM Paves Way For Wearable Electronics, Folding Displays

IBM says it has developed a low-cost technique for manufacturing silicon-based electronics on a flexible plastic substrate.


From ACM TechNews

Science,technology Will Suffer If ­.s. Goes Over Fiscal Cliff

Science,technology Will Suffer If ­.s. Goes Over Fiscal Cliff

With the looming fiscal cliff, the big issue for the IT industry is that the sequestration cuts affect all aspects of the government, including the NSF and the NIH, which award grants and drive the IT industry in the United States…


From ACM Opinion

This Real-Life Pixar Lamp Cutely Refuses to Let You Turn It Off

This Real-Life Pixar Lamp Cutely Refuses to Let You Turn It Off

Design-class projects have come a long way. That's the only conclusion I can draw from this brilliant video of a robotic desk lamp that squeaks, swivels, and mugs for attention like the Pixar mascot come to life.


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Rejects Telecommunications Treaty

­.s. Rejects Telecommunications Treaty

The United States, Canada, and several European countries formally rejected a treaty proposed by Russia, China, and several developing countries that would have altered how international communications are governed.


From ACM TechNews

­.s. Sees Tech's 'center of Gravity' Shifting to Asia

­.s. Sees Tech's 'center of Gravity' Shifting to Asia

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence recently released a report that outlines potential worldwide scenarios over the next 15 to 20 years. It predicts that by 2030 Asia will have surpassed North America and…


From ACM News

Has Apple Lost its Mojo?

Has Apple Lost its Mojo?

Cracks have begun to appear on Apple's road to invincibility.


From ACM News

Robots Ride the Ocean Blue

Robots Ride the Ocean Blue

When superstorm Sandy was rampaging across the Caribbean and mid-Atlantic, heralded by gale force winds, torrential rain, and surging tides, people rushed to get out of its way.


From ACM News

Microsoft Retools in Fight Against China Pirates

Microsoft Retools in Fight Against China Pirates

For pirates in China, where illegal software sales greatly outmatch legal ones, a new version of Windows typically means a new treasure ship to plunder.


From ACM News

China Looks to Lead the Internet of Things

China Looks to Lead the Internet of Things

When architect James Law looks in the mirror each morning his reflection is not all that greets him—he can also see the weather report, email messages, and his heart rate.


From ACM News

25-Gpu Cluster Cracks Every Standard Windows Password in <6 Hours

25-Gpu Cluster Cracks Every Standard Windows Password in <6 Hours

A password-cracking expert has unveiled a computer cluster that can cycle through as many as 350 billion guesses per second.


From ACM News

Can Disguises Fool Surveillance Technology?

Can Disguises Fool Surveillance Technology?

Stick on a fake moustache. Add some glasses. Dye your hair. And perhaps pop on a hat.


From ACM TechNews

IEDM: Moore's Law Seen Hitting Big Bump at 14-nm Node

IEDM: Moore's Law Seen Hitting Big Bump at 14-nm Node

The lack of next-generation lithography could mean that chips made at the 14-nm process node will deliver as little as half the performance boost of a new node and still come with a significant cost premium, according to researchers…


From ACM TechNews

High-Tech Glasses Wow With New Advances

High-Tech Glasses Wow With New Advances

Researchers are making strides in developing wearable computer technology, particularly high-tech glasses that double as computer displays.


From ACM Opinion

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps

There's a simple answer: people.


From ACM TechNews

Business Opportunities Come From Big Data

Business Opportunities Come From Big Data

Big data offers vast potential to disrupt existing businesses and create new ones, but to realize its potential inexpensive storage, faster processing, smarter software, and larger and more diverse data sets are needed.


From ACM TechNews

Research Seeks to Refine Data Transmission for Medical Diagnoses

Research Seeks to Refine Data Transmission for Medical Diagnoses

University of Texas at Dallas professor Xiaohu Guo is researching the theoretical foundations of a type of spectral transformations for 3-D models and is developing techniques to enable more efficient transmission of 3-D and…


From ACM News

7 Secret Ways America's Stealth Armada Stays Off the Radar

7 Secret Ways America's Stealth Armada Stays Off the Radar

It's no secret how America's stealth warplanes primarily evade enemy radars.


From ACM News

More Radar, Less Radio for Safer Takeoffs And Landings

More Radar, Less Radio for Safer Takeoffs And Landings

US Airways Flight 27 was roaring down Runway 15R at Boston's Logan Airport when a pickup truck suddenly pulled into its path.


From ACM News

Learning to Accept, and Master, a $110,000 Mechanical Arm

Learning to Accept, and Master, a $110,000 Mechanical Arm

After the explosion, Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos awoke to see the October sun glinting through the water, an image so lovely he thought he was dreaming.


From ACM News

China Developing GPS-on-a-Shoestring Plan

China Developing GPS-on-a-Shoestring Plan

When it comes to satellite navigation systems, everybody's gotta have one.


From ACM News

An Accelerometer So Good That Only Quantum Mechanics Limits It

An Accelerometer So Good That Only Quantum Mechanics Limits It

We take it for granted now, but the fact that you can flip your phone from portrait to landscape mode depends on accelerometers. As everyone knows, though, the damn things often get it wrong, leaving you staring at a screen that…


From ACM TechNews

Is the Pixel About to Die?

Is the Pixel About to Die?

University of Bath researchers say they have developed a vector-based video codec that could lead to the death of the pixel within five years.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Develop Featherweight Chips That Dissolve in Water

Researchers Develop Featherweight Chips That Dissolve in Water

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed integrated circuits that can stick to the skin and in some cases dissolve in water when they are no longer needed.


From ACM TechNews

By 2020, There Will Be 5,200 Gbytes of Data For Every Person on Earth

By 2020, There Will Be 5,200 Gbytes of Data For Every Person on Earth

Over the next eight years more than 40 zettabytes of digital data will be produced, which is equal to 5,200 gigabytes of data for every person on Earth, according to IDC's latest Digital Universe study.


From ACM TechNews

Study: Tech Job Growth Strong

Study: Tech Job Growth Strong

Engine Advocacy and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute have released a report that details key findings on how technology sector jobs impact the overall U.S. economy.