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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.

October 2011


From ACM News

Making Cars More Hacker-Proof

Computer security companies and researchers have dedicated a lot of time and money to testing the virtual padlocks on your online accounts. Some are now focusing on a new threat vector: your car.


From ACM News

Transcending Borders but Not Laws

As cloud computing spreads data around the globe, a haze of legal and privacy questions follows.


From ACM News

Preventing a Pearl Harbor of Cyberspace

Preventing a Pearl Harbor of Cyberspace

At a time when the Internet has been inextricably linked to our national infrastructure, there are understandably serious concerns about the ability of the U.S. power grid to withstand a coordinated attack from hackers in…


From ACM News

The Quest For the Holy Grail of Storage

The cloud has a big problem on its hands: Cloud storage is failure-prone, slow, and infinitely quirky.


From ACM News

Microsoft Embraces Elephant of Open Source

Microsoft Embraces Elephant of Open Source

It took more than three years, but Microsoft has finally learned to stop worrying and love Hadoop.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing's Exascale Arms Race

Supercomputing's Exascale Arms Race

The United States wants to achieve exaflop speeds for supercomputing, but China, the European Union, India, Japan, and Russia also have set their sights on exascale computing. 


From ACM TechNews

Table Salt Found to Boost Data Storage Density

Table Salt Found to Boost Data Storage Density

Table salt could be used to increase the capacity of hard drives from as much as 4 Tbytes today to more than 21 Tbytes, according to researchers at the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering. 


From ACM TechNews

Survey: Java Losing Popularity Among Developers

Survey: Java Losing Popularity Among Developers

The downward trend in the use of Java continues, according to Tiobe Software's latest monthly assessment of programming languages, and the company's Paul Jansen believes Java is facing a long-term slide. 


From ACM News

­.s. Debated Cyberwarfare in Attack Plan on Libya

Just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March, the Obama administration intensely debated whether to open the mission with a new kind of warfare: a cyberoffensive to disrupt and even disable the Qaddafi government’s…


From ACM News

Seeing Through Walls

Seeing Through Walls

Researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab have developed new radar technology that provides real-time video of what’s going on behind solid walls.


From ACM News

Instant Health Checks For Buildings and Bridges

Instant Health Checks For Buildings and Bridges

During 2011's deadly onslaught of earthquakes, floods and tornadoes, countless buildings had to be evacuated while workers checked to make sure they were stable. The events served as a reminder that most structures are still…


From ACM News

Clamping Down on High-Speed Stock Trades

Clamping Down on High-Speed Stock Trades

Regulators in the United States and overseas are cracking down on computerized high-speed trading that crowds today’s stock exchanges, worried that as it spreads around the globe it is making market swings worse.


From ACM News

Steve Jobs's Patents

The 317 Apple patents that list Steven P. Jobs among the group of inventors offer a glimpse at his legendary say over the minute details of the company's products—from the company's iconic computer cases to the glass staircases…


From ACM News

Zot! Uc Irvine Team Proves Stellar at Mapping Dark Matter

Zot! Uc Irvine Team Proves Stellar at Mapping Dark Matter

When David Kirkby and Daniel Margala entered a contest to find out who could most accurately map dark matter in the universe, the first algorithm they submitted failed to crack the top 10 among a field of more than 100 engineers…


From ACM News

Light Is Not Fast Enough For High-Speed Stock Trading

Every microsecond counts in stock trading. The New York Stock Exchange handles a third of the world's stock trading—around 22 billion messages a day. But NYSE Euronext, which operates the exchange, wants it to get even faster…


From ACM TechNews

Knowledge Mining Resource Accelerates Science, Technology Education, Research

Knowledge Mining Resource Accelerates Science, Technology Education, Research

Virginia Tech researchers have created the Virginia Tech Knowledge Networks, a repository of more than 5,000 publications by the College of Engineering faculty, which enables researchers to test ideas and discover different kinds…


From ACM TechNews

Experimental Mathematics: Computing Power Leads to Insights

Experimental Mathematics: Computing Power Leads to Insights

In a forthcoming article, "Exploratory Experimentation and Computation," American Mathematical Society researchers will describe how modern computer technology has expanded society's ability to discover new mathematical results…


From ACM TechNews

Robot Biologist Solves Complex Problem From Scratch

Robot Biologist Solves Complex Problem From Scratch

Researchers at Vanderbilt and Cornell universities have demonstrated that a computer can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates…


From ACM TechNews

Software to Prevent Abuse at the Click of a Mouse

Software to Prevent Abuse at the Click of a Mouse

The State Office of Criminal Investigations in Berlin is using desCRY, a new system for detecting child-pornographic images in field tests. 


From ACM TechNews

Mass. Schools Team Up For Supercomputer Center

Mass. Schools Team Up For Supercomputer Center

The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computer Center aims to capitalize on the huge boost in the amount of computer power available for academic research. 


From ACM TechNews

Georgia Tech Releases Cyber Threats Forecast For 2012

Georgia Tech Releases Cyber Threats Forecast For 2012

A new report warns that 2012 will feature new and increasingly sophisticated means to capture and exploit user data, as well as escalating battles over the control of online information that threatens to compromise content and…


From ACM TechNews

Robot Car to Cut Jams & Crashes

Robot Car to Cut Jams & Crashes

Oxford University researchers have installed robotic technology in a Wildcat vehicle built by BAE Systems that transforms the vehicle into an autonomous car. The researchers' goals include making roads safer, less congested,…


From ACM News

Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer's Apprentice at Apple

Scott Forstall, the Sorcerer's Apprentice at Apple

The deteriorating health of Steve Jobs loomed over Apple’s Oct. 4 press event at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. Apple wanted the day to be all about its new iPhone 4S, but the absence of the company’s charismatic…


From ACM News

Researchers Merge Art and Science

Researchers Merge Art and Science

Researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are turning their attention to something even the most advanced telescopes can’t detect: the art in their science.


From ACM TechNews

Founding Father Wants Secure 'internet 2'

Founding Father Wants Secure 'internet 2'

A new version of the Internet might be the best way to defend against cyberattacks, says Internet co-founder Vint Cerf. 


From ACM TechNews

Computational Model of Peace Predicts Social Violence, Harmony

Computational Model of Peace Predicts Social Violence, Harmony

New England Complex Systems Institute researchers have developed a computational model that analyzes census data to identify potential areas of civil violence, based on the premise that community-level violence is a function…


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Summer Course Yields Touchscreen Braille Writer

Stanford University's Army High-Performance Computing Research Center has developed a Braille writer that is simpler and less expensive than previous models. 


From ACM TechNews

Google Launches Dart as a Javascript Killer

Google Launches Dart as a Javascript Killer

Google announced the launch of a preview version of Dart, an object-oriented Web programming language that has capabilities that resemble those of JavaScript but also addresses some of its scalability and organizational shortcomings…


From ACM TechNews

"ghostwriting" the Torah?

"ghostwriting" the Torah?

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a computer algorithm that could help identify the different sources that contributed to the individual books of the Bible. 


From ACM News

Cops on the Trail of Crimes that Haven't Happened

The patrol car comes to a stop in a sleepy neighbourhood of small, earth-coloured homes. A woman saunters past pushing a stroller. It is daytime in the artsy beach town of Santa Cruz but I am still a little spooked.