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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 2012


From ACM TechNews

Mozilla Thimble Makes Html Coding Easy

Mozilla Thimble Makes Html Coding Easy

Mozilla recently launched Thimble, an HTML tool designed to make it easy for novices to create Web sites.  


From ACM TechNews

Captcha-Busting Villains Branch Out From Spam Into Id Theft

Captcha-Busting Villains Branch Out From Spam Into Id Theft

A recent Imperva study found that cybercriminals are using Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart circumvention techniques in attacks to harvest financial and other personal data.  


From ACM News

­.S., Israel Developed Flame Computer Virus to Slow Iranian Nuclear Efforts, Officials Say

­.S., Israel Developed Flame Computer Virus to Slow Iranian Nuclear Efforts, Officials Say

The United States and Israel jointly developed a sophisticated computer virus nicknamed Flame that collected intelligence in preparation for cyber-sabotage aimed at slowing Iran's ability to develop a nuclear weapon, according…


From ACM News

Bravely Going Where Pixar Animation Tech Has Never Gone

Bravely Going Where Pixar Animation Tech Has Never Gone

As people, we understand instinctively what flowing hair looks like. Or the way layers of clothes move on someone's body, or how water would splash when a bear runs through it.


From ACM News

The Highly Productive Habits of Alan Turing

The Highly Productive Habits of Alan Turing

June 23 marks the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. If I had to name five people whose personal efforts led to the defeat of Nazi Germany, the English mathematician would surely be on my list. Turing's genius played a key role in…


From ACM TechNews

How the White House Is Aiming the X Prize Model at Big Problems

How the White House Is Aiming the X Prize Model at Big Problems

The U.S. government recently held Collaborative Innovation: Public Sector Prizes, a one-day forum in which public-sector employees, as well as representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors, discussed high-impact incentive…


From ACM TechNews

Algorithm Beats Jigsaw-Solving Record

Algorithm Beats Jigsaw-Solving Record

Cornell University's Andrew Gallagher has developed an algorithm that set a jigsaw puzzle-solving record by sorting through 10,000 pieces in 24 hours, surpassing last year's record of 3,300 pieces.  


From ACM TechNews

How the U.S. Can Avoid a 'Cyber Cold War'

How the U.S. Can Avoid a 'Cyber Cold War'

Former White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt says there is a fine line to negotiate between pushing central values such as freedom of speech without ceding progress in other cyber issues in which common ground…


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Computers Could Help Search Engines Keep Up With Internet

Quantum Computers Could Help Search Engines Keep Up With Internet

University of Southern California researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of using quantum computers to accelerate the process of executing a search engine's page-ranking algorithm.  


From ACM News

Flame Malware Required World-Class Crypto Abilities

Flame Malware Required World-Class Crypto Abilities

Flame appears to be the first public example of malware “in the wild” using a cryptanalytic attack on digital signatures using the MD-5 hash function.


From ACM News

War With Friends: Pentagon Eyes a Drone App Store

War With Friends: Pentagon Eyes a Drone App Store

The U.S. military has dozens of different types of drones in its arsenal. Each one has its own unique controller. And each of those various controllers flies a single robot.


From ACM News

You For Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome

You For Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome

It knows who you are. It knows where you live. It knows what you do.


From ACM News

Google Reports 'alarming' Rise in Government Censorship Requests

Google Reports 'alarming' Rise in Government Censorship Requests

Western governments, including the United States, appear to be stepping up efforts to censor Internet search results and YouTube videos, according to a "transparency report" released by Google.


From ACM TechNews

New Software Forecasts Noise Levels in a Street

New Software Forecasts Noise Levels in a Street

University of Granada researchers are using neural networks to help predict and analyze urban noise.  


From ACM TechNews

'No-Sleep Energy Bugs' Drain Smartphone Batteries

'No-Sleep Energy Bugs' Drain Smartphone Batteries

Purdue University researchers have proposed a method for automatically detecting software glitches in smartphones known as "no-sleep energy bugs," which can completely drain batteries when the phones are not in use.  


From ACM TechNews

Honeynet Project Tackles Usb-Carried Malware Like Flame

Honeynet Project Tackles Usb-Carried Malware Like Flame

The Honeynet Project has launched an initiative to build technology that traps malware spread from PC to PC via USB storage.  


From ACM TechNews

Why Do Some Programming Languages Live and Others Die?

Why Do Some Programming Languages Live and Others Die?

Researchers at Princeton University and the University of California, Berkeley are trying to determine why some programming languages become popular while others do not.


From ACM TechNews

'facebook For Animals' Tested on Birds

'facebook For Animals' Tested on Birds

Oxford University researchers have developed a way of analyzing the social networks that link individual animals to each other via their study of around one million observations of wild great tits (Parus major).  


From ACM Opinion

What Have We Learned: Flame Malware

What Have We Learned: Flame Malware

When the news about the Flame malware first broke several weeks ago, people from all parts of the security community, political world and elsewhere quickly began trying to figure out what the significance of the tool was and…


From ACM Opinion

Inside Google's Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever

Inside Google's Plan to Build a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever

The ugly truth is that computers don't know anything. They have no common sense.


From ACM News

How Depressives Surf the Web

How Depressives Surf the Web

In what way do you spend your time online? Do you check your email compulsively? Watch lots of videos? Switch frequently among multiple Internet applications—from games to file downloads to chat rooms?


From ACM News

Verifying Ages Online Is a Daunting Task, Even For Experts

Verifying Ages Online Is a Daunting Task, Even For Experts

Just how hard can it be to verify the age of a person online?


From ACM News

Why You Should Care About Robocup

Why You Should Care About Robocup

This month, soccer fans are glued to Euro 2012. But another prestigious championship is about to kick off, too. The game is slower—much slower—and the players fall down a lot, but they're still the best of the best in their corner…


From ACM Careers

New Grad Looking For a Job? Pentagon Contractors Post Openings For Black-Hat Hackers

New Grad Looking For a Job? Pentagon Contractors Post Openings For Black-Hat Hackers

Mikko Hypponen enjoys his position as the chief research officer at the Helsinki-based security firm F-Secure. He has no intention of leaving. But lately, he's been spending a lot of time looking at job openings.


From ACM TechNews

Looking For the Perfect Tweet

Looking For the Perfect Tweet

Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and Hewlett-Packard's HP Labs have developed an algorithm that weighs factors such as an article's subject matter and source to determine its likely popularity on Twitter…


From ACM TechNews

Incentives For Drivers Who Avoid Traffic Jams

Incentives For Drivers Who Avoid Traffic Jams

Stanford University researchers have developed the Congestion and Parking Relief Incentives system, which enables people driving in congested areas to enter a daily lottery and possibly win money by changing their commute to…


From ACM TechNews

The New Science of Computational Advertising

The New Science of Computational Advertising

University College London researchers recently conducted a review of computational advertising technology and outlined the challenges that it faces.  


From ACM TechNews

'moneyball' For Basketball: Using Science to Change the Nba

'moneyball' For Basketball: Using Science to Change the Nba

USC researchers are using SportVU optical tracking data, which uses video cameras installed in participating basketball arenas to capture real-time video footage, to compile more than one million data records per game to analyze…


From ACM TechNews

British Authorities Unveil Plan For Mass Electronic Surveillance

British Authorities Unveil Plan For Mass Electronic Surveillance

British authorities have unveiled a plan to compile details about every email, phone call, and text message in the United Kingdom.  


From ACM Careers

­.s. Needs Another 600 Humans to Fly Its Robot Planes

­.s. Needs Another 600 Humans to Fly Its Robot Planes

The Pentagon doesn't have nearly enough people to operate its growing fleet of flying robots. Right now, the U.S. Air Force is short nearly 600 drone pilots and sensor operators. And that’s before the military carries out its…