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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.

November 2010


From ACM TechNews

Chinese Supercomputer Overtakes Jaguar

China's National University of Defense Technology's Tianhe-1A supercomputer has taken the top ranking from Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer on the latest Top500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers…


From ACM TechNews

Reaching for Sky Computing

Reaching for Sky Computing

Researchers are developing tools to combine independent cloud computing environments to form an architectural concept dubbed sky computing by researchers at the Universities of Chicago and Florida in a recent paper. 


From ACM TechNews

Army Avatars Join the Battle For Hearts and Minds

Researchers at the University of Southern California are developing realistic, immersive virtual-reality programs for the U.S. military in which the soldiers are trained by being presented with avatars that behave like people…


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputers 'will Fit in a Sugar Cube,' Ibm Says

Supercomputers 'will Fit in a Sugar Cube,' Ibm Says

IBM researchers led by Bruno Michel have developed a water-cooling method for creating supercomputer processors that could shrink them to the size of a sugar cube. 


From ACM TechNews

Cerf Warns Over Address Space Squeeze

Cerf Warns Over Address Space Squeeze

Google chief Internet evangelist Vint Cerf is raising the alarm about the effect the impending depletion of IPv4 addresses will have on the Internet. Once IPv4 addresses are gone, it will be difficult to add new users or devices…


From ACM TechNews

R&d Gap Between Advanced, Emerging Economies Narrows: ­nesco

The science/technology gap between emerging and developed economies is closing due to increased R&D investment, according to UNESCO's 2010 Science Report. 


From ACM News

Twitter Can Increase Student Engagement, Boost Grades

Twitter Can Increase Student Engagement, Boost Grades

Using a social networking platform such as Twitter as a tool in university courses can increase student engagement and boost grades. That's the conclusion of a study involving university students published in the Journal of Computer…


From ACM News

China Supercomputer Is Probably World's Fastest . . . But Not for Long

China Supercomputer Is Probably World's Fastest . . . But Not for Long

In late October, China unveiled the world's "fastest" supercomputer, the Tianhe 1A. But around the world there are several systems currently being planned or under construction that will surpass the Tianhe 1A in power and…


From ACM News

Hold the Phone: Prolonged Cell Phone Use Can Trigger Allergic Reaction

Allergists are seeing increasing numbers of patients allergic to their cell phones. The culprit is nickel, a common contact allergen, which affects up to 17 percent of women and 3 percent of men.


From ACM TechNews

All Optical Transistor

All Optical Transistor

Researchers at EPFL have built a device that acts like an optical transistor. The device uses an optical microresonator to trap light in a tiny glass structure that guides the light into a circular pattern, causing the structure…


From ACM News

Cameras to Catch Terrorists Triple in New York With Bomb Plots

Cameras to Catch Terrorists Triple in New York With Bomb Plots

New York City is almost halfway to its goal of installing 3,000 cameras as part of a network to monitor signs of terrorism, about triple the number it had in June.


From ACM News

Future Soldiers May Be Wearing 'iron Man' Suits

Future Soldiers May Be Wearing 'iron Man' Suits

A lunchtime crowd is gathering beside the parking lot at Raytheon Sarcos, the defense contractor, on a recent day in Salt Lake City. White-collar workers from nearby office parks stand with their yogurt cups and sandwiches…


From ACM TechNews

IBM, 15 European Partners to Develop 'Smart' Cloud

IBM is leading a joint research effort with 15 European partners to develop an object-based standardized smart cloud storage architecture. The project is called VISION Cloud—Virtualized Storage Services for the Future Internet…


From ACM TechNews

The Ethical Robot

The Ethical Robot

University of Connecticut professor Susan Anderson and University of Hartford computer scientist Michael Anderson have programmed a robot to behave ethically. Their work is part of a relatively new field of known as machineIncludes…


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputing Fest Will Spotlight World's Fastest Computers, High-Performance Issues

The SC10 supercomputing conference to be held in New Orleans will highlight high-performance computing advances in computation, networking, storage, and analysis. It will also include the unveiling of the latest Top 500 list.


From ACM TechNews

European Cyber Defenses 'Must Improve,' Tests Show

European Cyber Defenses 'Must Improve,' Tests Show

European Union (EU) member states need to do more to prepare for cyberattacks, concludes a report of Cyber Europe 2010, a simulation of how EU countries would react to a sustained attack on their networks. 


From ACM TechNews

Algorithm Pioneer Wins Kyoto Prize

Algorithm Pioneer Wins Kyoto Prize

Eotvos Lorand University professor Laszlo Lovasz, who has solved several information technology (IT) problems using graph theory, has been awarded the Kyoto Prize, a $550,000 award with Nobel-like stature. 


From ACM TechNews

Part Moth, Part Machine: Cyborgs Are on the Move

Researchers are developing methods to produce complex behavior from robots by tapping into the nervous system of living organisms and using algorithms that already exist in nature. 


From ACM TechNews

Web Developers Tackle Advanced Font Controls

Web Developers Tackle Advanced Font Controls

The Cascading Style Sheets Web formatting standard is benefiting from new font technology, which is enabling developers to increasingly use a more polished look for advanced digital publishing applications. 


From ACM News

Nsa: Our Development Methods Are in the Open Now

Despite its reputation for secrecy, the U.S. National Security Agency doesn't have a set of secret practices that make its applications and systems bulletproof. In fact, most of the agency's app development "is in the open…


From ACM News

At&t Prepares For the End to Iphone Exclusivity

At&t Prepares For the End to Iphone Exclusivity

The end of 2010 is close and it looks like AT&T is beefing up its device portfolio and app offerings for a day when it isn't the only U.S. operator offering the Apple iPhone.


From ACM News

Improved Simulations May Help Harness Electrical Power From Sea Water

Improved Simulations May Help Harness Electrical Power From Sea Water

A new X-ray imaging capability has taken pictures of a critical instability at the heart of Sandia's huge Z accelerator. The effort may improve computer simulations and help harness nuclear fusion to generate electrical power…


From ACM News

Nsa: Our Development Methods Are in the Open Now

Despite its reputation for secrecy and technical expertise, the National Security Agency doesn't have a set of secret coding practices or testing methods that magically make their applications and systems bulletproof. In fact…


From ACM News

New Class of Malware Attacks Specific Chips

Computer scientists reveal malware that attacks specific processors rather than the operating system that runs on them.


From ACM News

Nist Tool Uses Combination Testing to Catch Software Bugs

Nist Tool Uses Combination Testing to Catch Software Bugs

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have released a computer system testing tool that can cut costs by more efficiently finding software bugs. A tutorial on using the tool has also been released…


From ACM TechNews

Improving Emergency Evacuation Planning With Decision-Making Simulation

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a disaster-response planning tool that uses real-time human decision-making to determine effective law-enforcement strategies during evacuations. 


From ACM TechNews

Top Software Designer Promotes '21st Century' Techniques

Top Software Designer Promotes '21st Century' Techniques

At the recent QCon software development conference, ThoughtWorks chief scientist Martin Fowler hailed concepts such as domain specific languages, continuous integration, and event sourcing as key programming techniques. 


From ACM TechNews

Researcher's App Will Let Students Call in an Emergency Via Videophone

Computer scientists at the University of Maryland at College Park, led by professor Ashok Agrawala, have worked with campus police on developing Video 911, a smartphone app that serves as an emergency response system.


From ACM News

How Android Conquered the Mobile World in Just Three Years

The advent of the Droid seen by many as turning point for Google in mobile market.


From ACM News

­niversities May Be Failing to Sufficiently Teach Basic Research Skills

Colleges and universities may be failing to prepare students for today's information-driven workplace where research skills and collaborative learning are becoming more and more important.