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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.

June 2010


From ACM TechNews

­sing the Wisdom of Crowds to Translate Language

­sing the Wisdom of Crowds to Translate Language

Linguists are attempting to harness the power of crowdsourcing to help machines achieve perfect translations. 


From ACM TechNews

Presidential Committee on Innovation Hosts First Meeting to Boost Promising Tech, Jobs

New products and jobs could be created through government support for the synthesis of IT, nanotechnology, and biotechnology, according to experts gathered at the inaugural meeting of the President's Innovation and Technology…


From ACM TechNews

Trumping the Trumpets: How Audio Engineering Helps Tone Down Vuvuzela Disruption

Trumping the Trumpets: How Audio Engineering Helps Tone Down Vuvuzela Disruption

A new filter will enable soccer fans watching the 2010 World Cup online to remove the sounds of vuvuzelas playing in South Africa's stadiums. 


From ACM TechNews

Is Cloud Computing Fast Enough For Science?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Magellan cloud computing testbed has shown that commercially available clouds suffer in performance when operating message passing interface applications such as weather calculations. 


From ACM TechNews

Robocup 2010: Could Robot Versus Human Be Far Behind?

Robocup 2010: Could Robot Versus Human Be Far Behind?

The goal of the RoboCup 2010 competition in Singapore is to advance the real-world applications of robotics and eventually to build a robot team that can beat the human World Cup champions. 


From ACM News

Hackers Aren't Only Threat to Privacy

Sophisticated hackers aren't the only ones gaining access to sensitive data on the Internet. A large amount of personal information is being left exposed or poorly protected by companies and governments.


From ACM TechNews

Silicon Chips to Enter World of High Speed Optical Processing

Silicon Chips to Enter World of High Speed Optical Processing

University of Sydney physicists have developed an on-chip, all-optical temporal integrator on a complementary metal oxide semiconductor, a development that eventually could enable all-optical computing and information processing…


From ACM TechNews

­sing Science Against Suicide Bombs

­sing Science Against Suicide Bombs

Software that models the effects of suicide bombings has been developed by computer scientist Zeeshan-ul-Hassan Usmani, whose expertise could help inform the construction of a planned software park in Lahore, Pakistan.


From ACM TechNews

Blogs and Tweets Could Predict the Future

Blogs and Tweets Could Predict the Future

Forecasts about social and economic trends could be generated through the analysis of blogs and tweets, building on earlier research by Google and others to mine the frequency of specific search terms to outline purchasing patterns…


From ACM News

Researchers Develop New Method For Mass-Producing Graphene

Researchers Develop New Method For Mass-Producing Graphene

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a simple new method for producing large quantities of the promising nanomaterial graphene. The new technique paves the way for cost-effective mass production of graphene…


From ACM News

Liquid Crystals Light Way to Better Data Storage

As cell phones and computers continue to shrink, many companies are seeking better ways to store hundreds of gigabytes of data in small, low-power devices. A special type of liquid crystal, similar to those used in computer…


From ACM TechNews

Flexible Touch Screen Made With Printed Graphene

Flexible Touch Screen Made With Printed Graphene

Researchers at Samsung and Sungkyunkwan University have developed a graphene-based flexible touch screen that eventually could lead to transparent electronics. 


From ACM News

Marines to Use Autonomous Vehicles Built By Virginia Tech Students

Marines to Use Autonomous Vehicles Built By Virginia Tech Students

Four unmanned autonomous vehicles designed and built by a team of engineering students at Virginia Tech are headed to Hawaii to participate in the 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) war games in July.


From ACM News

Diamond-Like Material Shows Superhard, Superconducting Potential

BC5, a diamond-like material with an extremely high boron content, offers exceptional hardness and resistance to fracture, but unlike diamond, it is a superconductor rather than an insulator.


From ACM News

Microsoft's Kinect Isn't Just For Games

Microsoft's long-awaited body-sensing technology, Project Natal, got a new name last week at the E3 expo in Los Angeles. Kinect, as it is now called, is a set-top add-on for the Xbox 360 console that allows gamers to become the…


From ACM News

Inside the Military-Robotics Complex

Inside the Military-Robotics Complex

Robots are already in use by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their variety and use is only growing.


From ACM News

Why Mobile Innovation Is Blowing Away Pcs

Why Mobile Innovation Is Blowing Away Pcs

It seems like mobile devices and platforms are innovating at about five times the pace of personal computers. There are deeper fundamentals driving the breathtaking pace of smartphone advancement.


From ACM TechNews

Fears Over Dearth of Engineers in Europe

Fears Over Dearth of Engineers in Europe

The European Roundtable of Industrialists says that Europe needs to take action to encourage people to become engineers or risk losing out to India and China. 


From ACM News

Wanted: Young Cyberexperts to Defend Internet

The federal government, education officials and giant military contractors are collaborating to recruit a new class of tech professional specifically trained to battle data thieves, online scammers and cyberspies.


From ACM TechNews

Group Demonstrates Self-Healing For Electronics

Group Demonstrates Self-Healing For Electronics

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have applied the concept of self-healing materials to small-scale electronics. 


From ACM TechNews

The A-Z of Programming Languages: Objective-C

Brad Cox, creator of the Objective-C programming language, says he co-developed the language with partner Tom Love as a reaction to the C language and its limitations for constructing reusable elements. 


From ACM TechNews

How to Prevent Language Extinction

How to Prevent Language Extinction

Two-thirds of the world's languages are being nudged toward oblivion and are in danger of extinction. A new mathematical model of language competition indicates that this threat can be countered. 


From ACM TechNews

Why Can't Johnny Develop Secure Software?

Despite a wealth of security knowledge and developers' access to advanced tools, many software security risks remain. Analysts say that many software developers do not understand how to build security into their code. 


From ACM TechNews

Clouds Add Depth to Computer Landscapes

Clouds Add Depth to Computer Landscapes

Nathan Jacobs and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis have used a single camera to create a depth map, which records the geography of a three-dimensional landscape and represent it in two dimensions.


From ACM News

Missouri S&T Taps Royalty Income to Commercialize Technologies

In an effort to move more technology out of the laboratories and into the marketplace, Missouri University of Science and Technology is reinvesting its earnings from patents into research projects that hold promise for commercialization…


From ACM News

Nanotubes Give Batteries a Jolt

Nanotubes Give Batteries a Jolt

Lithium-ion batteries with nanotube electrodes could go longer between charges.


From ACM News

Insects Inspire Robot Design

Insects Inspire Robot Design

Oregon State University professor John Schmitt and his colleagues look to cockroaches and guinea hens as locomotion models for future robots that can easily run over rough surfaces.


From ACM TechNews

18th-Century Painters Give Photography New Perspective

18th-Century Painters Give Photography New Perspective

Software engineer Thomas Sharpless and colleagues have developed Panini, software that can make wide-angled digital photos with perfect perspective using a technique first developed by 18th-century painters. 


From ACM TechNews

White House Seeks Input on It, Science

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is seeking public input on how the U.S. government can best use information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology—what it calls the "golden triangle" of modern…


From ACM TechNews

FCC Moves to Expand Role in Broadband

FCC Moves to Expand Role in Broadband

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission wants to overturn a 2002 commission ruling that designated broadband transmission as a lightly regulated service and instead classify it as a telecommunications service, which is more…