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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.

September 2011


From ACM News

Astronomers Plead For Space Telescope's Life

Astronomers Plead For Space Telescope's Life

NASA officials and leading astronomers say the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, should still fly despite mounting criticism, cost increases, and disagreements within the astronomy community…


From ACM News

Schmidt Avoids a Gates-Like Disaster in D.c.

Schmidt Avoids a Gates-Like Disaster in D.c.

Eric Schmidt cut a confident figure today prior to his testimony before U.S. lawmakers, who later appeared determined to find out if Google abuses its supremacy on the Web.


From ACM News

Privacy at Risk: Who's Watching You?

The notion of Big Brother has been around for decades, but technology has long lagged behind the Orwellian imagination. Not any more; in the era of smartphones, face recognition, and the omnipresent Internet, the stakes are…


From ACM TechNews

Gamers Succeed Where Scientists Fail

Gamers Succeed Where Scientists Fail

Gamers have produced an accurate model of the structure of a retrovirus enzyme within three weeks, according to University of Washington researchers. 


From ACM TechNews

Data May Not Compute

Data May Not Compute

The fast pace of technology's advance has left some data behind as data stored on tapes, floppy disks, and other media that is now unreadable by modern computers is essentially lost. 


From ACM TechNews

5 More Tech Breakthroughs: Innovations in Access, Power and Control

Five new technology breakthroughs could change the way users power and interact with their devices and access the Internet. 


From ACM TechNews

White House Targets Innovative Education Technologies

White House Targets Innovative Education Technologies

The White House has formed a nonprofit organization, Digital Promise, to create new learning technologies that will help improve the performance of U.S. students. 


From ACM TechNews

Escaping Legacy It Systems

Escaping Legacy It Systems

MIT researchers have developed a computer model of a corporate information infrastructure that could help information technology managers predict the effects of changes to their networks. 


From ACM News

Submarine Cable Map

Submarine Cable Map

TeleGeography’s interactive submarine cable map is based on TeleGeography's authoritative Global Bandwidth research and depicts 188 active and planned submarine cable systems and their landing stations.


From ACM News

Turn Your Smart Phone Into a Robot Remote Control

Android and iPhone users alike are newly empowered over robots, in two very different ways.


From ACM News

Nasa Announces Two Game-Changing Space Technology Projects

Nasa Announces Two Game-Changing Space Technology Projects

NASA has selected two game-changing space technology projects for development. The selections are part of the agency's efforts to pursue revolutionary technology required for future missions, while proving the capabilities…


From ACM News

News Mining Might Have Predicted Arab Spring

News Mining Might Have Predicted Arab Spring

You could have foreseen the Arab Spring if only you'd been paying enough attention to the news. That's the claim of a new study that shows how data mining of news reportage can reveal the possibility of future crises well…


From ACM News

A Future For Drones: Automated Killing

One afternoon last fall at Fort Benning, GA, two model-size planes took off, climbed to 800 and 1,000 feet, and began criss-crossing the military base in search of an orange, green, and blue tarp.


From ACM News

The No-Name Companies Selling More Phones Than Samsung, Lg, and Apple Combined

MicroMax. Spice. Tianyu. Maxx Mobile. Videocon. Karbonn. These are some of the hundreds of small cell phone makers that are eating up market share across the developing world.


From ACM News

­nbridled Ingenuity at Maker Faire

­nbridled Ingenuity at Maker Faire

Around noon this past Sunday, I found myself asking a young girl why, even though the music-producing device she and her family had made was called "Slugophone," the small display box at their booth contained a caterpillar…


From ACM TechNews

Synchronized Swimming: Patrolling For Pollution with Robotic Fish

Synchronized Swimming: Patrolling For Pollution with Robotic Fish

Michigan State University researchers want to develop robotic fish that can navigate underwater and patrol for pollution in oceans, lakes, and rivers. 


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Sequence Dark Matter of Life

Researchers Sequence Dark Matter of Life

University of California, San Diego researchers have developed a method to sequence the genomes of thousands of bacteria species, including microorganisms that produce antibiotics and microbes that live in the human body. 


From ACM TechNews

Could Silicon Be Ideal in Quantum Computing?

Sandia National Laboratory researchers have found that one way to reduce noise in a quantum system is to use silicon. 


From ACM TechNews

Caring, Empathetic Robots the Goal of Ou Professor's Research

Caring, Empathetic Robots the Goal of Ou Professor's Research

University of Oklahoma professor Dean Hougen is studying whether robots can learn to care for one another, and possibly humans. 


From ACM News

Blood Vessels from Your Printer

Blood Vessels from Your Printer

Researchers have been working at growing tissue and organs in the laboratory for a long time. These days, tissue engineering enables us to build up artificial tissue, although science still hasn’t been successful with larger…


From ACM News

Printing Off the Paper

Printing Off the Paper

Imagine being able to "print" an entire house. Or a four-course dinner. Or a complete mechanical device such as a cuckoo clock, fully assembled and ready to run. Or a printer capable of printing …  yet another printer?


From ACM News

Shwetak Patel: 2011 Macarthur Fellow

Shwetak Patel: 2011 Macarthur Fellow

Shwetak Patel is a computer scientist who has invented a series of sensor technology systems for home environments with the goal of saving energy and improving daily life through a broad range of applications. Much of his…


From ACM News

Kinect Assists At-Risk Older Adults

Kinect Assists At-Risk Older Adults

Kinect and other computer technology, like Doppler radar, are being used to detect the early onset of illness and the risk of falling in older adults.


From ACM News

The Last Days of the Old Parking Meter

The Last Days of the Old Parking Meter

Motorists' bane, magnet for thieves, and memorialized in the Beatles' "Lovely Rita," the diminutive parking meter has led an outsize life. But its days in New York City are about to expire.


From ACM TechNews

Smartphone Battery Life Could Dramatically Improve With New Invention

Smartphone Battery Life Could Dramatically Improve With New Invention

University of Michigan researchers have developed the Energy-Minimizing Idle Listening system, which features a subconscious mode for smartphones and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices that could extend battery life by more than 50…


From ACM News

The America Invents Act and the Individual Inventor

Much has been said about how the newly passed patent reform legislation, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, benefits large corporations. While that argument certainly can be made, Congress did not forget the individual inventor…


From ACM TechNews

5 Game-Changing Ideas For Federal Cyber R&d

5 Game-Changing Ideas For Federal Cyber R&d

The Leap-Ahead R&D & Coordination program is one of 12 initiatives included in the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiatitive, which consists of several mutually reinforcing efforts to help secure the U.S. in cyberspace…


From ACM TechNews

Monitoring Patients ­sing Intelligent T-Shirts

Monitoring Patients ­sing Intelligent T-Shirts

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid researchers have developed an intelligent t-shirt that monitors human vital signs, such as body temperature and heart rate, and can locate patients within a hospital. 


From ACM TechNews

Schoolchildren to Be Taught How to Write Software

The British government has decided to start teaching pre-General Certificate of Secondary Education students how to write software as part of its effort to transform information technology education in schools. 


From ACM TechNews

'internet of Things' Is Set to Come

'internet of Things' Is Set to Come

Oxfam charity shops will use technology developed by a U.K. consortium to create an Internet of things this fall.