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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.

August 2011


From ACM News

Air Force Eyes Micromachine Bugs That Can Spy

Air Force Eyes Micromachine Bugs That Can Spy

At the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, some Ph.D. candidates are working on micro air vehicles, or tiny flying machines that are remotely piloted. The micromachines are often "bio-inspired"—study a bird or…


From ACM News

Face Recognition Technology Fails to Find U.k. Rioters

Face Recognition Technology Fails to Find U.k. Rioters

The response was as aggressive and swift as the riots themselves. Within a few hours of the worst of the looting across London and other English cities, attempts were being made to use CCTV footage to track down the individuals…


From ACM News

Red-Light Cameras Throughout Nyc Are Bringing in $52 Million from Speedy City Drivers

Red-Light Cameras Throughout Nyc Are Bringing in $52 Million from Speedy City Drivers

Lights, cameras, cash. New York's driver nanny cams are working, generating more than $52 million in fines last year from unsuspecting motorists who blew through red lights while the cameras were rolling, records show.


From ACM News

Big Silicon Valley Demand For Analog Engineers' 'black Art'

Big Silicon Valley Demand For Analog Engineers' 'black Art'

You want a good look at Silicon Valley's bipolar job market? Step into the 11th-floor office of Young Sohn. The CEO of Santa Clara-based Inphi is tearing his hair out trying to hire the engineers he needs to design the chips…


From ACM News

A Bull Market in Tech Patents

Google was willing on Monday to pay $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility in no small part because of its stockpile of 17,000 patents. The patent portfolio, some analysts estimate, could represent more than half of the value…


From ACM TechNews

Parc Hosts Summit on Content-Centric Nets

Parc Hosts Summit on Content-Centric Nets

Xerox PARC is planning an event focused on content-centric networking, a new approach to organizing Internet traffic that could provide greater security and faster connections to popular content, but will require new protocols…


From ACM TechNews

Latest in Web Tracking: Stealthy 'supercookies'

Latest in Web Tracking: Stealthy 'supercookies'

It is almost impossible for computer users to detect new, legal techniques employed by major Web sites that track people's online activities through the installation of files called supercookies. 


From ACM TechNews

Romance vs. STEM

Romance vs. STEM

State University of New York at Buffalo professor Lora Park recently completed a series of research projects, the results of which suggest that when college-age women think about romance, they become less interested in studying…


From ACM TechNews

The Public, Playing a Molecule-Building Game, Outperforms Scientists

Researchers at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon universities are using EteRNA, a Web-based crowdsourcing game, to understand how RNA molecules fit together. The researchers designed EteRNA so that the intellectual legwork behind…


From ACM News

Remembering Franz Alt

Franz Alt, one of the founders of ACM and its president from 1950 to 1952, died July 21, 2011 at the age of 100.


From ACM News

Ibm's New Chips Compute More Like We Do

A microchip with about as much brain power as a garden worm might not seem very impressive, compared with the blindingly fast chips in modern personal computers. But a new microchip made by researchers at IBM represents a…


From ACM News

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course

A free online course at Stanford University on artificial intelligence, to be taught this fall by two leading experts from Silicon Valley, has attracted more than 58,000 students around the globe—a class nearly four times…


From ACM TechNews

Pretty Good Democracy Suggests Path to Internet Elections

Pretty Good Democracy Suggests Path to Internet Elections

University of Melbourne fellow Vanessa Teague says that Internet voting systems cannot provide both high levels of privacy and vote verifiability, and she is an advocate of the Pretty Good Democracy online voting system. 


From ACM TechNews

Icann Chief to Leave at End of Term

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) president Rod Beckstrom is planning to leave the agency after his three-year term is up in July 2012. 


From ACM News

Face Recognition Ids Chimps from Photos

Face Recognition Ids Chimps from Photos

Facial recognition isn't just for humans anymore; similar programs run on apes could help park rangers help identify chimps and gorillas, scientists have found.


From ACM News

Robot 'mission Impossible' Wins Video Prize

You could call it Mission Impossible: Robot Library Heist. An army of flying, rolling, and climbing robots have been taught to work together to find and snatch a book from a high shelf.


From ACM News

Milestone For MIT Press's Bestseller

Milestone For MIT Press's Bestseller

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the MIT Press held a party in MIT's Stata Center to celebrate the sale of the 500,000th copy of the textbook Introduction to Algorithms. Written by two MIT professors of computer science and two graduates…


From ACM TechNews

Creating Ag Extension Agent For Cyber

Creating Ag Extension Agent For Cyber

Eugene H. Spafford, the executive director of Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, is calling for the creation of a national cybersecurity extension service. 


From ACM TechNews

Software Predicted Virus Risk in California Epidemic

Software Predicted Virus Risk in California Epidemic

Brown University researchers have developed DYCAST, a computerized epidemiological model that was able to predict the spread of the West Nile virus in California in 2005 with 81.6 percent accuracy. 


From ACM TechNews

Datacasting: What Will You Buy Tomorrow?

Forecasters increasingly are employing sophisticated tools to analyze vast volumes of data to make predictions. To test the latest forecasting technology, New Scientist recently recruited teams of researchers to predict the…


From ACM TechNews

It's All About the Team For Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology

It's All About the Team For Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology

The Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST) is a university and industry consortium that studies cybersecurity issues related to health care, national infrastructures, law, and other issues facing the general…


From ACM TechNews

Few Data Scientists Happy With Current State of 'big Data' Analytics

Few Data Scientists Happy With Current State of 'big Data' Analytics

Big data analytics technology is not meeting enterprise needs, according to 97%  of data scientists polled by Revolution Analytics at the recent Joint Statistical Meeting. 


From ACM News

The Public, Playing a Molecule-Building Game, Outperforms Scientists

A Web-based game that uses the brainpower of biology novices to understand molecules key to life and disease is producing working designs of those molecules in a Stanford University laboratory—a process that could influence…


From ACM News

Bart Protests: San Francisco Transit Cuts Cellphones to Thwart Demonstrators; First Amendment Debate

San Francisco's BART—the Bay Area Rapid Transit system—has clashed with demonstrators again over a First Amendment issue: whether it can legally cut off cellphone service on subway platforms.


From ACM News

Solar Activity Increases Odds of Disruptions on Earth

Solar Activity Increases Odds of Disruptions on Earth

The sun has entered a cycle of increasingly powerful flares and eruptions, catapulting to Earth high-energy particles capable of wreaking havoc on electronic and communication systems that support our high-tech civilization…


From ACM TechNews

'global Camera' Links Photos Taken By Thousands

'global Camera' Links Photos Taken By Thousands

Cornell University professor Noah Snavely is leading an effort to develop a "global camera," software that mines pictures from Flickr and combines them to create three-dimensional models of landmarks from around the world. 


From ACM TechNews

The Diamond's Quantum Memory

Vienna University of Technology researchers have joined a microwave quantum system with a diamond quantum system, taking the most useful features from each to create the next step toward feasible quantum-computer chips. 


From ACM TechNews

Google, Mozilla Team Up to Create a Smarter, Action-Based Web

Google, Mozilla Team Up to Create a Smarter, Action-Based Web

A new meta-Web site application programming interface from Google will make it easier for Web sites to pass data back and forth. Web Intents is designed for its Chrome Web browser, and connects applications and sites across…


From ACM News

New Police Scanner Raises 'facial Profiling' Concerns

New Police Scanner Raises 'facial Profiling' Concerns

Beginning this fall, police officers across the nation will have a new weapon holstered onto their belts: A small attachment that weighs about 12 ounces turns an ordinary iPhone into a state-of-the-art biometric scanner.


From ACM News

Sending the Police Before There's a Crime

Sending the Police Before There's a Crime

The arrests were routine. Two women were taken into custody after they were discovered peering into cars in a downtown parking garage in Santa Cruz, Calif. One was found to have outstanding warrants; the other was carrying…