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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.

May 2009


From ACM TechNews

The Future of Gadget Interaction

Many innovative technologies funded by the European Commission (EC) were spotlighted at the Science Beyond Fiction conference in Prague. The EC announced in April that it would boost its investment in user-device interaction…


From ACM TechNews

Research Gives Clues For Self-Cleaning Materials, Water-Striding Robots

Research Gives Clues For Self-Cleaning Materials, Water-Striding Robots

Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and Japan's RIKEN institute recently completed research that could lead to self-cleaning walls, counter tops, and fabrics, or micro-robots capable of walking on water. The…


From ACM TechNews

World Will Change Icann's Future, Ceo Says

World Will Change Icann's Future, Ceo Says

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, ICANN president Paul Twomey agreed with European Union commissioner Viviane Reding, who recently called on President Obama to sever ICANN's ties with the U.S. Department of Commerce…


From ACM Careers

Students Excel in New-Age Crime Technology

Hacking has become an attractive subject for many students. The first day of the Security and Identity Management (SIM) conference in Ahmedabad saw paper presentations from students of various national universities in fields…


From ACM News

Stanford's Startup Culture Stronger Than Ever

Stanford's Startup Culture Stronger Than Ever

Stanford University's 100-year tradition of entrepreneurialism, which has spawned such tech giants as Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Google, Sun, and Yahoo!, has been recognized as a catalyst to Silicon Valley's emergence as the globe's…


From ACM TechNews

Flexible Displays May Be Stretched Over Curved Surfaces

Flexible Displays May Be Stretched Over Curved Surfaces

A team of University of Tokyo researchers led by professor Takao Someya has engineered a stretchable display by linking organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic transistors with a printable elastic conductor. "Printing…


From ACM TechNews

Students Build Hand-Gestural Pc Interface

Students Build Hand-Gestural Pc Interface

Controlling applications with hand gestures is a more natural way to communicate with computers, according to a team of engineering students at Northeastern University. With a PC interface developed by the team, users move a…


From ACM TechNews

'smart Cameras' to Help Monitor Elderly People Who Live Alone

Yale University researchers Eugenio Culurciello and Andreas Savvides are developing smart camera technology to help monitor older adults who live alone. "Approximately one third of individuals who are 65 and older fall each…


From ACM TechNews

Cadets Trade the Trenches For Firewalls

Cadets Trade the Trenches For Firewalls

Throughout the U.S. military there is heightened awareness that the threat of a computer attack is just as urgent as a physical attack, and that military units must be trained to counter it. In April, cadets at West Point and…


From ACM TechNews

Mobile Apps Open Source Middleware

The MUSIC Consortium has released a preliminary version of a language tool and middleware environment for developing next-generation mobile applications and services. The MUSIC platform would facilitate the development of applications…


From ACM TechNews

EC Wants Software Makers Held Liable for Code

The European Commission is proposing that the European Union's consumer protections for physical products also cover software. Commissioners Viviane Reding and Meglena Kuneva say making software companies responsible for the…


From ACM News

Color E-Paper That Rivals the Real Thing

A new approach electronic-paper developed by Philips offers fresh hope for color e-paper displays that are so bright and clear that even traditional liquid crystal displays (LCDs) will pale in comparison. Kars-Michiel Lenssen…


From ACM News

Hackers Attack ­c Berkeley Databases

The University of California, Berkeley, began notifying students, alumni and others on Friday (May 8) that their personal information may have been stolen after hackers attacked restricted computer databases in the campus's health…


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Cocoon Could Simulate Five Senses

Virtual Cocoon Could Simulate Five Senses

Research teams from York University and Warwick University, along with experts from the universities of Bangor, Bedford, and Brighton, are working to create new virtual reality systems. The researchers are currently working…


From ACM TechNews

Professor Wants Exemption to Study Video Game Anti-Piracy Software

Professor Wants Exemption to Study Video Game Anti-Piracy Software

University of Michigan professor Alex Halderman wants to research whether the anti-piracy software built into computer games makes computers more vulnerable to hackers. He would have to break the law to do that. Halderman will…


From ACM News

A Nimbus Rises in the World of Cloud Computing

A Nimbus Rises in the World of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a hot topic in the technology world these days, called by television and business magazines the way of the future. While it's difficult to predict the future, a cloud computing infrastructure project developed…


From ACM TechNews

Examining Social Networking to Find People Behind Terrorist Attacks

Inderscience PublishersSocial Design Group's Yoshiharu Maeno and University of Tokyo professor Yukio Ohsawa have developed a new approach to analyzing social networks that could help find the covert connections between the people…


From ACM TechNews

How to Make (robot) Friends and Influence People

How to Make (robot) Friends and Influence People

A team from the Interactive Robots and Media Lab at the United Arab Emirates University has created a robot with its own Facebook page in an effort to enable the robot to build stronger connections with humans. The robot isView…


From ACM TechNews

Make Brighter, Full-Color Electronic Readers? Brilliant!

An international collaboration that includes the University of Cincinnati has announced the development of Electrofluidic Display Technology (EFD), which they say is the first technology to electrically switch the appearance…


From ACM TechNews

The Next Age of Discovery

The Next Age of Discovery

Teams of computer scientists, conservationists, and scholars are rushing to digitally save and preserve the world's literary treasures. Advanced technology is enabling researchers to scan ancient texts that were previously unreadable…


From ACM TechNews

When Virtual Reality Feels Real

Researchers in the European Union-funded Presenccia project are conducting experiments to understand why humans interpret and respond to virtual stimuli and to learn how to make those virtual experiences more real and intense…


From ACM TechNews

New York Times Graphics Director Selected For Siggraph Keynote

New York Times Graphics Director Selected For Siggraph Keynote

The New York Times graphics director Steve Duenes, a leader in transforming complex data into understandable graphic journalism, will be the keynote speaker for ACM's SIGGRAPH 2009, the 36th International Conference and Exhibition…


From ACM TechNews

Software Development Gender Gap Pondered

A panel of women developers at the recent RailsConf 2009 conference in Las Vegas held a session entitled "Women in Rails" to discuss the issues that cause software development to be a male-dominated profession. The panelists…


From ACM TechNews

Shedding Light on the Catacombs of Rome

Shedding Light on the Catacombs of Rome

Researchers have completed a three-year project to create the first comprehensive, three-dimensional (3D) image of the Catacombs in Rome. The project used laser scanners to create moving images of the entire underground system…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Step Toward Faster Chips

Scientists and engineers from the University of Florida, Stanford University, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created a basic type of semiconductor from graphene, a single atom-thick layer of graphite. The…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Take Over Dangerous Botnet

University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) researchers temporarily commandeered an infamous botnet known for stealing financial data and found that the threat it represents is even greater than had been originally assumed.…


From ACM News

Warp Speed? Two Physicists Report on Method That Could Make It Happen

Warp Speed? Two Physicists Report on Method That Could Make It Happen

With the new movie "Star Trek" opening in theaters across the nation, one thing moviegoers will undoubtedly see is the Starship Enterprise racing across the galaxy at the speed of light. But can traveling at warp speed ever become…


From ACM News

Videoconferencing Technology Possible For Cell Phones, Pdas

A new low-bandwidth, high-frame-rate videoconferencing technology that creates the appearance of three-dimensionality and a strong sense of co-presence without the use of expensive motion-tracking devices or multi-camera arrays…


From ACM News

In Cellphone, India Reveals an Essence

Sometimes a technology comes along and crystallizes a cultural moment. Not since the automobile and the American in the 1950s, perhaps, have a technology and a people wedded as happily as Indians and their cellphones. And neither…


From ACM News

The Rise and Rise of E-Readers

The Rise and Rise of E-Readers

Amazon's launch of its first dedicated e-reader for newspapers, magazines, and textbooks points to a future when digital and analog publishing begins to merge. With increased graphics resolution and a 9.7-inch diagonal screen…