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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.

May 2009


From ACM TechNews

A Technological Eye on Criminal Behavior

Researchers are developing surveillance camera systems capable of autonomously detecting illegal activities, such as when a cashier is giving friends free items or if someone is about to commit a violent act. For example, the…


From ACM News

The Next Best Thing to You

The Next Best Thing to You

Have you ever wished you could be in two places at once? Perhaps you've had the desire to create a copy of yourself that could stand in for you at a meeting, freeing you up to work on more pressing matters. Thanks to a research…


From ACM TechNews

A Third Dimension for Mobile Phones

A Third Dimension for Mobile Phones

Three-dimensional (3D) television and film has been a niche application partly because of cost, but mobile devices equipped with simpler and less expensive 3D technology could help it break out. The core components of next-generation…


From ACM TechNews

Are Your 'secret Questions' Too Easily Answered?

Are Your 'secret Questions' Too Easily Answered?

The "secret questions" that protect online accounts and passwords may be far less secure than commonly believed, largely because their answers are often far too simple, researchers say. Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft…


From ACM TechNews

Superstumble For Japan's Supercomputer

Two private companies have recently withdrawn from a Japanese consortium established to build the world's fastest supercomputer. The Next-Generation Supercomputer is a seven-year, $1 billion national project funded by Japan's…


From ACM TechNews

Saudi Arabia and Intel Plan R&d Center

Saudi Arabia and Intel Plan R&d Center

In an effort to strength the Middle East's technical work force, Intel will help establish a nanoelectronics research center at the King Abdul-Aziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Center of…


From ACM TechNews

City 2.0: Using Tech Building Blocks in Tomorrow's Urban Centers

Ubiquitous wireless networks, sustainable data centers, the development of the smart energy grid, and the commonality of city-supplied social networks are bringing the dream of City 2.0 closer to fruition, with the next step…


From ACM TechNews

A Blueprint to Stop Browser Attacks

A Blueprint to Stop Browser Attacks

University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) researchers will present a new way of defending against cross-site scripting attacks at the upcoming IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. The new defense enables a Web site to control…


From ACM TechNews

Is the ­U.S. Ready For Government-Sponsored Cyberattacks?

A recently published report from the National Research Council (NRC) contends that there has to be more public disclosure and informed debate about cyberarms and cyberwarfare. The report draws a comparison between the unchecked…


From ACM TechNews

Simulator of Human Nervous System Will Aid Disease Research, Test Medicines

University of Granada researchers have developed EDLUT, an event-driven, lookup-table-based simulator that can reproduce any part of the human body's nervous system. EDLUT can simulate hundreds of thousands neurons at the same…


From ACM News

House Passes Bill to Strengthen Planning, Coordination of It R&d

House Passes Bill to Strengthen Planning, Coordination of It R&d

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2020, the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act of 2009 by a voice vote on Tuesday (May 12).


From ACM News

Daskalakis Wins ACM Award For Advances in Analyzing Behavior in Conflict Situations

Daskalakis Wins ACM Award For Advances in Analyzing Behavior in Conflict Situations

Constantinos Daskalakis has won the 2008 Doctoral Dissertation Award from ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) for his work on behavior in complex networks of interacting individuals, such as those enabled and created…


From ACM News

Pentagon Preps Soldier Telepathy Push

Pentagon Preps Soldier Telepathy Push

Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other's minds. At least, that's the hope of researchers at the Pentagon's DARPA…


From ACM TechNews

Google Labs Cooks Up New Recipes For Web Wandering

Google has revealed an array of new search tools--Search Options, Wonder Wheel, Rich Snippets, and Google Squared--that enable users to combine options for displaying and studying results that go beyond the traditional listing…


From ACM News

Test Facility Aims to Improve Land Mine Detection Equipment

Test Facility Aims to Improve Land Mine Detection Equipment

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built a test facility to evaluate and enhance sensors designed to detect buried land mines. The unique automated system measures the response of individual electromagnetic…


From ACM TechNews

Study: More Is Not Better in Search Engine ­se

Study: More Is Not Better in Search Engine ­se

Fewer items on the results page of a Web search might be more appropriate for certain situations and users, according to a new study from researchers at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) in Finland. Working…


From ACM News

Italy Aims to Send Spider-Bot Swarm to Moon

Italy Aims to Send Spider-Bot Swarm to Moon

Nearly 40 years after Americans first set foot on the moon, a host of private rocketeers are hoping to follow to win a $30 million prize. Team Italia, one of 17 teams competing for the Google Lunar X Prize, is driven by the vision…


From ACM News

Sensors See More Productivity in Workers ­sing Face-to-Face Interactions

Office workers who make time to chat face to face with colleagues may be far more productive than those who rely on e-mail, the phone, or Facebook, suggests a study carried out by researchers at MIT and New York University. The…


From ACM News

Virtual Smart Home Is Controlled By Thoughts

Virtual Smart Home Is Controlled By Thoughts

Light switches, TV remote controls and even house keys could become a thing of the past thanks to brain-computer interface (BCI) technology being developed in Europe that lets users perform everyday tasks with thoughts alone.…


From ACM TechNews

China Develops Quantum Cryptography Network

China Develops Quantum Cryptography Network

Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China say they have developed the first optical quantum cryptography network. The quantum communication system enables three users to speak in real time with telephones…


From ACM TechNews

Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness

Tracking Cyberspies Through the Web Wilderness

The Internet is rife with cybercriminals and online eavesdroppers, and countering this threat is the job of cybersleuths. One of the key tools in cybersleuths' arsenal is sniffer programs that can sort out and decode scores…


From ACM TechNews

Intel Launches Visual Computing Institute

Intel and Germany's University of Saarland have launched Intel VCI, a new visual computing institute that will focus on software architectures and algorithms for visual computing, including new user interfaces and visualizing…


From ACM TechNews

Mathematical Advances Strengthen It Security

Mathematical Advances Strengthen It Security

A new cryptography approach based on the mathematical theory of elliptic curves is considered a leading candidate to replace the widely used RSA public key security system. Elliptic curves could enable more efficient cryptography…


From ACM TechNews

Ensuring Universal Access in Digital Homes

Ensuring Universal Access in Digital Homes

The EUREKA ITEA software Cluster ANSO project is working to integrate domestic networked multimedia, home control, and communications devices. The digital home project wants to create intelligent sensors, actuators, wireless…


From ACM TechNews

Icann Heading to a Fork in the Road

As the expiration of ICANN's agreement with the U.S. Commerce Department approaches, stakeholders are weighing in on the fate of the organization. European Union officials have come out in support of a restructuring of the organization…


From ACM TechNews

Online System Rates Images By Aesthetic Quality

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) has launched the Aesthetic Quality Inference Engine (ACQUINE), an online system for determining the aesthetic quality of an image. The online photo-rating system helps establish the foundation…


From ACM News

'kill Switch' Disables Stolen Laptops

A lost or stolen laptop or notebook computer is replaceable; the stolen data inside it may produce real owner's anxiety. Which makes Fujitsu's newly announced "security chip" for PCs a most intriguing proposition. It's sort of…


From ACM TechNews

Cutting-Edge Robots Show Off in Japan

Cutting-Edge Robots Show Off in Japan

Researchers from around the world are meeting at a conference in Kobe, Japan, to discuss recent advancements in robotics. Among those on display will be RiSE, a four-legged robot developed by University of Pennsylvania researchers…


From ACM News

Energy-Efficient Technology Seen Providing Saving For Decades

While Americans may worry about having to give up their beloved flat screen TVs, computers and other high-tech devices in the home and workplace in an energy-constrained future, that is the reverse of what is likely to happen…


From ACM News

China Has Developed Its Own Operating System For Cyber War With U.S.

A leading cyber security specialist said last week that China has developed its own ultra-secure operating system for a strategic edge in its cyber warfare with U.S. computer systems. Kevin G. Coleman, a specialist with the Technolytics…