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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.

March 2012


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Puts Finger on 1ms Touchscreen

Microsoft Puts Finger on 1ms Touchscreen

Microsoft researchers are studying how touchscreen users could have a better experience by improving a device's latency.  


From ACM News

Snowflake Growth Successfully Modeled from Physical Laws

Snowflake Growth Successfully Modeled from Physical Laws

Windswept from cloud to cloud until they flutter to Earth, snowflakes assume a seemingly endless variety of shapes.


From ACM News

Surprise! Astronomers Spot Life on Earth

Surprise! Astronomers Spot Life on Earth

No one knows when we'll spot life on another world, but everyone knows how it will happen.


From ACM News

U.s. Accelerating Cyberweapon Research

The Pentagon is accelerating efforts to develop a new generation of cyberweapons capable of disrupting enemy military networks even when those networks are not connected to the Internet, according to current and former U.S. officials…


From ACM News

Rebecca Mackinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 1

Rebecca Mackinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 1

Rebecca MacKinnon shares insights about Internet freedom, including the roles and responsibilities of citizens, corporations, and governments.

 


From ACM TechNews

Bypassing the Password

Bypassing the Password

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency wants to see an alternative to passwords and is supporting work that would confirm a computer user's identity by the way he or she types on a keyboard.


From ACM TechNews

Cryptography Pioneer: We Need Good Code

Cryptography Pioneer: We Need Good Code

Whitfield Diffie, a pioneer of public-key cryptography, told the recent Black Hat Europe conference that a good plan to secure software is needed in the age of the Internet.


From ACM TechNews

Software Automatically Transforms Movie Clips Into Comic Strips

Software Automatically Transforms Movie Clips Into Comic Strips

Hefei University of Technology researchers have developed Movie2Comics, software that can automatically transform movie scenes into comic strips, without the need for human intervention.


From ACM TechNews

Brain Drain: Where Cobol Systems Go From Here

Brain Drain: Where Cobol Systems Go From Here

A recent Computerworld survey of 357 IT professionals found that 46 percent of respondents are noticing a shortage of Cobol programmers, and 50 percent said the average age of their Cobol staff is 45 or older.


From ACM TechNews

­sing Virtual Worlds to 'soft Control' People's Movements in the Real One

­sing Virtual Worlds to 'soft Control' People's Movements in the Real One

Northwestern University researchers have found they can influence smartphone users' movements by creating mobile games with incentives designed to steer user behavior, leading to opportunities to collect huge amounts of data.


From ACM TechNews

Poll Consensus on Million-Dollar Logic Problem

Poll Consensus on Million-Dollar Logic Problem

University of Maryland, College Park computer scientist William Gasarch has re-run his poll on the biggest problem in computer science.


From ACM TechNews

Ccc Launches Nitrd Symposium Website

Ccc Launches Nitrd Symposium Website

The CCC recently announced the launch of a Web site that makes available a large corpus of materials from a symposium held Feb. 16 that covered 20 years of coordinated federal investment in networking and information technology…


From ACM TechNews

Google Programming Languages Failing to Gain Traction

Google Programming Languages Failing to Gain Traction

Although Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple have all developed successful programming languages, Google has yet to produce a language that ranks prominently in the Tiobe Programming Community Index, which measures a program's popularity…


From ACM News

Guiding Robot Planes with Hand Gestures

Aircraft-carrier crew use a set of standard hand gestures to guide planes on the carrier deck. But as robot planes are increasingly used for routine air missions, researchers at MIT are working on a system that would enable them…


From ACM News

Drones Over America: What Can They See?

Drones Over America: What Can They See?

Unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, have long played a role in military operations. But imagine thousands of drones flying over U.S. skies—something we may see in just a few years.


From ACM News

Wireless Medical Monitors Transforming Patient Care

Wireless Medical Monitors Transforming Patient Care

It's hard to find a better example of how technology is revolutionizing patient care than the tiny edible sensor Proteus Biomedical of Redwood City plans to begin selling this fall in the United Kingdom.


From ACM News

Google Gives Search a Refresh

Google Gives Search a Refresh

Google Inc. is giving its tried-and-true Web-search formula a makeover as it tries to fix the shortcomings of today's technology and maintain its dominant market share.


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Meets Star Trek With Universal Translator

Microsoft Meets Star Trek With Universal Translator

A new system from Microsoft can automatically translate documents in one language to any other language. Translator Hub makes use of a translation engine that resides on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.  


From ACM TechNews

Ietf Explores New Working Group on Identity Management in the Cloud

Ietf Explores New Working Group on Identity Management in the Cloud

The Internet Engineering Task Force is considering approving the Simple Cloud Identity Management scheme, which manages user identity in cloud-based applications and is supported by security software vendors, as a working group…


From ACM TechNews

Tech Industry Climbs Out of Silicon Valley, Moves Abroad

Tech Industry Climbs Out of Silicon Valley, Moves Abroad

Washington, D.C., has replaced Silicon Valley as the locus for technology jobs as non-tech industries continue to add tech professionals, according to Dice.com.  


From ACM News

U.s. Army to Soldiers: 'check-Ins' Can Kill

U.s. Army to Soldiers: 'check-Ins' Can Kill

While the U.S. Army knows its soldiers live in the modern world and carry location-aware, socially networked smartphones, it is reiterating the dangers of broadcasting too much information, because oversharing could cost lives…


From ACM Opinion

Xbox at 10 in Europe: How the Console Shaped Gaming History

Xbox at 10 in Europe: How the Console Shaped Gaming History

The games industry was a very different place 10 years ago. Still dominated by Japanese games and Japanese games machines, Microsoft's plans to launch its own dedicated console were met with skepticism.


From ACM News

Work on Causality Causes Judea Pearl to Win Prize

Work on Causality Causes Judea Pearl to Win Prize

Humans have always made inferences about causes and effects, sometimes based on scanty information. Many machines do now, too, and Judea Pearl is frequently cited as a cause. 


From ACM News

New Interest in Hacking as Threat to Security

New Interest in Hacking as Threat to Security

During the five-month period between October and February, there were 86 reported attacks on computer systems in the United States that control critical infrastructure, factories, and databases, according to the Department of…


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Tap the Genius of Babies and Youngsters to Make Computers Smarter

Scientists Tap the Genius of Babies and Youngsters to Make Computers Smarter

University of California, Berkeley researchers are studying how babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn in order to program computers to think more like humans.


From ACM News

Arm Wants to Put the Internet in Your ­mbrella

Arm Wants to Put the Internet in Your ­mbrella

Chip designer ARM wants to put the internet in your fridge. And it insists this cliche of tech prognostication is no longer just talk. Really.


From ACM TechNews

Tracking Pedestrians Indoors Using Their Smart Phones

Tracking Pedestrians Indoors Using Their Smart Phones

The embedded inertial sensors in many smartphones could be used to track the movement of smartphone users when indoors, even without global positioning systems.


From ACM TechNews

Simulations and Mathematics Suggest That There Always Be a Facebook

Simulations and Mathematics Suggest That There Always Be a Facebook

National Center for Nuclear Research scientists are conducting research that could lead to the development of a field of mathematics focused on the theory of minority games. 


From ACM News

Life on Mars? Funds to Find Answer Fade

Life on Mars? Funds to Find Answer Fade

Just as NASA is on the cusp of answering the most fascinating questions about Mars—is there, was there or could there be life there?—the money needed to provide the answers is about to be abruptly withdrawn, a victim of President…


From ACM News

Berkeley Supports It Startups High Atop the Campus

Berkeley Supports It Startups High Atop the Campus

High above the University of California, Berkeley campus, IT entrepreneurs are being given the opportunity to grow their startups in the four-month-old Skydeck startup incubator/accelerator.