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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.

December 2011


From ACM TechNews

Brain-Computer Interface Plays Music Based on Person's Mood

Brain-Computer Interface Plays Music Based on Person's Mood

A brain-computer interface that plays music based on the mental state of the user is the focus of a new four-year project by researchers at the universities of Reading and Plymouth. 


From ACM News

Seven Ways to Get Yourself Hacked

Seven Ways to Get Yourself Hacked

In recent months, I've met at least three people who have been the victim of hackers who've taken over their Gmail accounts and sent out emails to everyone in the address book.


From ACM News

Spam Works

Every day three-quarters of all e-mail that flies across the Internet is spam. Some of it tricks customers into installing a virus or forking over personal information to use illicitly. But many spam messages are advertisements…


From ACM News

Meet Sopa Author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's Favorite Republican

Meet Sopa Author Lamar Smith, Hollywood's Favorite Republican

Rep. Lamar Smith, whose congressional district in Texas encompasses the cropland and grazing land stretching between Austin and San Antonio, might seem like an unlikely ally for Hollywood on Internet piracy.


From ACM News

How ­seful Is a Captured Drone?

How ­seful Is a Captured Drone?

An American surveillance drone has been captured and filmed in Iran, where experts are apparently examining it.


From ACM News

Quantum Pagerank Algorithm Outperforms Classical Version

Google's PageRank algorithm is the idea that the importance of a Webpage can be measured by the number of important papers that point toward it.


From ACM TechNews

Streamlining Chip Design

Streamlining Chip Design

MIT researchers have developed a system that enables hardware designers to specify, in a single programming language, all of the functions they want a device to perform. 


From ACM TechNews

System Would Monitor Feds for Signs They're 'Breaking Bad'

System Would Monitor Feds for Signs They're 'Breaking Bad'

Georgia Tech researchers are developing the PRODIGAL system, which is designed to scan up to 250 million text messages, emails, and file transfers to identify insider threats or employees that are about to turn against the organization…


From ACM TechNews

New '3-D' Transistors Promising Future Chips, Lighter Laptops

New '3-D' Transistors Promising Future Chips, Lighter Laptops

Researchers at Harvard and Purdue universities have developed a type of transistor made from indium-gallium-arsenide, a material that could replace silicon and have a three-dimensional structure. 


From ACM TechNews

Cities Fail to Recognize Full Potential of Smart Technologies

Cities Fail to Recognize Full Potential of Smart Technologies

Opening up data and digital assets is critical to accelerating low-carbon cities, according to a recent University of Nottingham report. 


From ACM News

Zynga's Ipo Will Make Mark Pincus Silicon Valley's Next Billionaire

Zynga, the maker of Mafia Wars and FarmVille, is about to go public in the biggest tech stock offering since Google.


From ACM News

7 Real, Functional Robots You Can Buy Right Now

7 Real, Functional Robots You Can Buy Right Now

You don't need top military clearance or a degree from MIT to use some of today's most advanced robots.


From ACM Opinion

Carrier Iq Gets Transparent About Its Mobile Monitoring

Carrier Iq Gets Transparent About Its Mobile Monitoring

It's been a tumultuous few weeks for Carrier IQ, the mobile analytics outfit at the center of a continuing privacy brouhaha over what its diagnostic software does and does not do.


From ACM News

Putting the 'art' in Artificial Intelligence

Putting the 'art' in Artificial Intelligence

Like many kids, Antonio Torralba began playing around with computers when he was 13 years old. Unlike many of his friends, though, he was not playing video games, but writing his own artificial intelligence programs.


From ACM News

Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera

Speed of Light Lingers in Face of New Camera

More than 70 years ago, the MIT electrical engineer Harold (Doc) Edgerton began using strobe lights to create remarkable photographs: a bullet stopped in flight as it pierced an apple, the coronet created by the splash of…


From ACM Careers

Flight of the Warbots

Flight of the Warbots

How a save-the-earth maker of solar-powered aircraft became the world's most prolific manufacturer of military drones.


From ACM News

The Cyber Security Industrial Complex

Documents point to a huge industry that provides online surveillance tools to governments and police agencies.


From ACM TechNews

Renci and Duke to Build Experimental Networking Infrastructure

Renci and Duke to Build Experimental Networking Infrastructure

Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Duke University, and IBM are leading a project to build a nationwide testbed for networking and networked cloud computing. 


From ACM TechNews

Cyber-Intruder Sparks Massive Federal Response

Cyber-Intruder Sparks Massive Federal Response

The 2008 discovery that a rogue program had penetrated a classified U.S. military network containing sensitive secrets by piggybacking on a thumb drive has had dramatic repercussions. 


From ACM TechNews

White House Sets Cybersecurity R&d Priorities

White House Sets Cybersecurity R&d Priorities

The White House has published a cybersecurity research and development roadmap developed by the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy. 


From ACM TechNews

Computational Modeling For Biotechnology: Predictions For Optimal Production

Computational Modeling For Biotechnology: Predictions For Optimal Production

The BioPreDyn project aims to develop computational tools that integrate and analyze the large amounts of data in biology and biotechnology, focusing on improving biotechnological processes and applications. 


From ACM TechNews

Avatars Develop Real World Skills

Avatars Develop Real World Skills

Virtual worlds do not disengage young people from real life, but rather provide unique environments for learning and negotiating new situations, according to academics participating in the Inter-Life project. 


From ACM News

What Is the Higgs Boson and Why Does It Matter?

As the world awaits news of the possible discovery of the Higgs boson, there remains a lot of confusion about what it is, why we have had to work hard to find it—and why we should care.


From ACM News

Tech Winners in 2012 Must Possess 2020 Vision, Says Idc

Tech Winners in 2012 Must Possess 2020 Vision, Says Idc

2012 might be the most pivotal year in technology market developments in the past 25 years, with ramifications that may not be fully felt until the decade's end, according to IDC’s annual trends prediction report.


From ACM News

It Won't Be Easy For Iran to Dissect, Copy ­.s. Drone

It Won't Be Easy For Iran to Dissect, Copy ­.s. Drone

Prepare the dissection table. Iran says it’s planning to disassemble its prized acquisition: a CIA-operated drone that apparently crashed in its territory. Its goal: to learn how the drone, apparently a stealth RQ-170 Sentinel…


From ACM News

Face Recognition Technology Comes to Malls and Nightclubs

Face Recognition Technology Comes to Malls and Nightclubs

The privacy concerns around the tracking of consumers and targeted advertising online may be coming to the physical world.


From ACM TechNews

Cryptographers Believe 'size Does Matter' to Stay Safe Online

Cryptographers Believe 'size Does Matter' to Stay Safe Online

Royal Holloway, University of London researchers are analyzing the Transport Layer Security system to identify weaknesses. 


From ACM TechNews

Finding Meaning in Massive Datasets

Finding Meaning in Massive Datasets

Researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center are exploring data-driven science, and early projects are showing the benefits of using advanced computing to find meaning in massive datasets.


From ACM TechNews

In Race For Fastest Supercomputer, China Outpaces U.s.

In Race For Fastest Supercomputer, China Outpaces U.s.

China is outpacing the United States in terms of supercomputer development. In November the Chinese debuted the Tianhe-1A, a supercomputer with five times the processing power of the biggest computer at the U.S.'s Lawrence Livermore…


From ACM TechNews

Vast and Fertile Ground in Africa For Science to Take Root

Vast and Fertile Ground in Africa For Science to Take Root

Uganda's growing economy has produced an expanding middle class that wants advanced training in science and engineering.