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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.

February 2013


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Wants Teeny-Tiny Fluids to Cool Down Next-Gen Microchips

DARPA Wants Teeny-Tiny Fluids to Cool Down Next-Gen Microchips

DARPA researchers want to embed stacked microchips with tiny fluid channels to circulate small drops of water as microfluidic cooling systems.


From ACM TechNews

Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain

Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain

The Obama administration is planning a project to create a comprehensive map of the human brain. 


From ACM TechNews

Future Science: ­sing 3D Worlds to Visualize Data

Future Science: ­sing 3D Worlds to Visualize Data

Researchers are conducting experiments with CAVE2, a virtual world consisting of eight-foot-high screens and 72 stereoscopic LCD panels. 


From ACM TechNews

Picture-Perfect

Picture-Perfect

MIT researchers have developed a processor chip that can quickly create more realistic or enhanced lighting in a photograph. 


From ACM TechNews

Work-Force Demand For STEM Students Spurs Efforts at Community Colleges

Work-Force Demand For STEM Students Spurs Efforts at Community Colleges

Community colleges are stepping up efforts to turn out science, technology, engineering, and math graduates. 


From ACM Careers

Data Mining Is New Lobbying Gold

Data Mining Is New Lobbying Gold

A congressman gets an earful from his neighbor after church about a tax bill. A senator suddenly finds old high school classmates calling her about an upcoming vote on a small business bill.


From ACM Opinion

When Will the Internet Reach Its Limit (and How Do We Stop It from Happening)?

When Will the Internet Reach Its Limit (and How Do We Stop It from Happening)?

The number of smartphones, tablets and other network-connected gadgets will outnumber humans by the end of the year.


From ACM News

The Road to Uncovering a Wartime Colossus

The Road to Uncovering a Wartime Colossus

The story of how the Colossus computer at Bletchley Park aided the allied code-cracking effort during World War II is becoming well known. Its claim to be a forerunner of modern-day computers is also well established.


From ACM News

DARPA Wants Teeny-Tiny Fluids to Cool Down Next-Gen Microchips

 DARPA Wants Teeny-Tiny Fluids to Cool Down Next-Gen Microchips

The Pentagon's mad scientists have concocted a plan to keep the miniature, stacked brains of tomorrow's advanced computers cool enough to power next-gen technological advances.


From ACM News

Software that Tracks People on Social Media Created By Defence Firm

Software that Tracks People on Social Media Created By Defence Firm

A multinational security firm has secretly developed software capable of tracking people's movements and predicting future behaviour by mining data from social networking websites.


From ACM TechNews

'slow Light' Advance Could Speed Optical Computing, Telecommunications

'slow Light' Advance Could Speed Optical Computing, Telecommunications

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers have demonstrated rapidly switching on and off "slow light" in specially designed materials at room temperature. 


From ACM TechNews

Combining Quantum Information Communication and Storage

Combining Quantum Information Communication and Storage

Aalto University researchers have taken the first step toward creating exotic mechanical quantum states. 


From ACM TechNews

Crowds Prowl Google Street View to Speed Road Repairs

Crowds Prowl Google Street View to Speed Road Repairs

Software developed by a team at the University of Maryland at College Park makes use of crowdsourcing to report road problems to local governments. 


From ACM News

Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.s.

Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.s.

On the outskirts of Shanghai, in a run-down neighborhood dominated by a 12-story white office tower, sits a People's Liberation Army base for China’s growing corps of cyberwarriors.


From ACM News

Brown Mooc to Lure High School Students to STEM

Brown Mooc to Lure High School Students to STEM

Brown University will offer a massive open online course (MOOC) aimed at drawing high school students to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.


From ACM News

New High-Tech Warfare Medal Draws Backlash

New High-Tech Warfare Medal Draws Backlash

The Pentagon sparked an uproar among troops and veterans when it revealed that a new high-level medal honoring drone pilots will rank above some traditional combat valor medals in the military’s "order of precedence."


From ACM TechNews

Hidden System Makes It Easier For Elderly People to Live at Home

Hidden System Makes It Easier For Elderly People to Live at Home

A new assistive system to help senior citizens live at home embeds a tablet computer in the wall for centralized information access. 


From ACM News

The Drones of the Future May Build Skyscrapers

The Drones of the Future May Build Skyscrapers

Drones can't just destroy, they can create.


From ACM News

Why Didn't We Know the Russian Meteor Was Coming?

Why Didn't We Know the Russian Meteor Was Coming?

Thomas Pynchon said it best, years before: "A screaming comes across the sky." Midmorning today, near the city of Chelyabinsk in western Siberia, a meteor came in from the northeast.


From ACM News

Nasa to Chronicle Close Earth Flyby of Asteroid

Nasa to Chronicle Close Earth Flyby of Asteroid

NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing Crucial to Clean Energy Production

Supercomputing Crucial to Clean Energy Production

The U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory has acquired a 500-teraflop SGI supercomputer to advance energy and environmental research. 


From ACM TechNews

Robots With Lift

Robots With Lift

Harvard University researchers have developed a soft robot that can leap up to one foot in the air using small explosions. 


From ACM TechNews

Mapping the Underworld

Mapping the Underworld

The Mapping the Underworld project is developing a multi-sensor platform that can locate, map in three dimensions, and record the position of buried utility assets. 


From ACM TechNews

Self-Driving Car Given Uk Test Run at Oxford University

Self-Driving Car Given Uk Test Run at Oxford University

Oxford University researchers have developed a self-driving car that uses lasers and small cameras, rather than GPS, to direct the vehicle along regular routes. 


From ACM Careers

Amid the Patent Wars, a Powerful Pact of Non-Aggression

Amid the Patent Wars, a Powerful Pact of Non-Aggression

The Open Invention Network, a community set up by an IBM-led consortium in 2005 to foster a safe patent environment for developers and users of the free, open-source software operating system Linux, now has more than 500 signatories…


From ACM TechNews

Why We're Building a 1-Billion Euro Model of a Human Brain

Why We're Building a 1-Billion Euro Model of a Human Brain

A 1-billion euro research prize will be dedicated to the Human Brain Project, aimed at recreating the human brain in a supercomputer to advance neuroscience.


From ACM TechNews

Moshers, Heavy Metal and Emergent Behavior

Moshers, Heavy Metal and Emergent Behavior

Researchers say the collective movement of concert-goers in a mosh pit is mathematically similar to that of a disordered 2-D gas. 


From ACM News

Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex

Welcome to the Malware-Industrial Complex

Every summer, computer security experts get together in Las Vegas for Black Hat and DEFCON, conferences that have earned notoriety for presentations demonstrating critical security holes discovered in widely used software. But…


From ACM News

Silicon Valley and Immigrant Groups Find Common Cause

Silicon Valley and Immigrant Groups Find Common Cause

What do computer programmers and illegal immigrants have to do with each other?


From ACM News

Simulation of a One-Two Punch that Nearly Destroyed the Asteroid Vesta

Simulation of a One-Two Punch that Nearly Destroyed the Asteroid Vesta

The large asteroid Vesta is a true relic of our Solar System's early history.