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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.

June 2013


From ACM TechNews

Data Highways For Quantum Information

Data Highways For Quantum Information

Vienna University of Technology researchers have developed a quantum technique that makes it possible to store quantum information over a sufficiently long period, and could be used to help develop global quantum networks based…


From ACM TechNews

Google to Use Balloons to Provide Free Internet Access to Remote or Poor Areas

Google to Use Balloons to Provide Free Internet Access to Remote or Poor Areas

Google plans to provide free Internet access to disaster-stricken, rural, or poor areas using giant helium balloons that beam Wi-Fi signals to the ground below. 


From ACM TechNews

Danger Maps Backed By Alibaba Pinpoint Chinese Pollution

Danger Maps Backed By Alibaba Pinpoint Chinese Pollution

Danger Maps, a crowdsourced mapping project, is helping users locate China's high pollution areas.


From ACM News

Computer Memory Can Be Read with a Flash of Light

Computer Memory Can Be Read with a Flash of Light

Modern computer-memory technologies come with a trade-off. There is speedy but short-term storage for on-the-fly processing—random-access memory, or RAM—and slow but enduring memory for data and programs that need to be stored…


From ACM TechNews

Making Online Translation Accurate, Reliable, and Efficient

Making Online Translation Accurate, Reliable, and Efficient

The European Union is funding Multilingual On-Line Translation, a project designed to create an online tool that will enable Web-content providers to automatically produce high-quality translations without specific training.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Reveal Next-Generation Emergency Response Technology

Researchers Reveal Next-Generation Emergency Response Technology

New smartphone apps can virtually place 9-1-1 operators at the scene of an emergency. The software enables operators to remotely control smartphone cameras so they can view an emergency scene.


From ACM News

Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind

Secret Court Ruling Put Tech Companies in Data Bind

In a secret court in Washington, Yahoo's top lawyers made their case.


From ACM News

CIA Releases Analyst's Fascinating Tale of Cracking the Kryptos Sculpture

CIA Releases Analyst's Fascinating Tale of Cracking the Kryptos Sculpture

It took eight years after artist Jim Sanborn unveiled his cryptographic sculpture at the CIA's headquarters for someone to succeed at cracking Kryptos's enigmatic messages.


From ACM News

China Could Supplant U.S. as the Supercomputing Superpower

China Could Supplant U.S. as the Supercomputing Superpower

Two weeks ago, Jack Dongarra flew to Changsha, China for a meeting with researchers at the National University of Defense Technology, home to the country's top supercomputing program.


From ACM News

Now Hear This: Navy Abandons All Caps

Now Hear This: Navy Abandons All Caps

MESSAGES SENT WITHIN THE U.S. NAVY NO LONGER HAVE TO BE WRITTEN OUT IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.


From ACM TechNews

New Tasks Become as Simple as Waving a Hand With Brain-Computer Interfaces

New Tasks Become as Simple as Waving a Hand With Brain-Computer Interfaces

People could learn to control robotic or prosthetic limbs without ongoing concentration, thanks to the way the human brain approaches brain-computer interfaces. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Grapple With How to Manage the Digital Legacy of the Departed

Computer Scientists Grapple With How to Manage the Digital Legacy of the Departed

Current concerns for privacy and access shows a disconnect between the disposition of digital legacies and the technological advancements for generating them.


From ACM TechNews

Big Data: When Cars Can Talk

Big Data: When Cars Can Talk

The technologies already exist to allow vehicles to communicate with each other, with an ultimate benefit of safer roads. 


From ACM TechNews

The Body Electric: Researchers Move Closer to Low-Cost, Implantable Electronics

The Body Electric: Researchers Move Closer to Low-Cost, Implantable Electronics

Technology currently under development could lead to low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the human body. 


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon Method Uses Network of Cameras to Track People in Complex Indoor Settings

Carnegie Mellon Method Uses Network of Cameras to Track People in Complex Indoor Settings

Researchers have developed a method for tracking the locations of multiple individuals in complex, indoor settings using a network of video cameras. 


From ACM News

The Remarkable Properties of Mythological Social Networks

The Remarkable Properties of Mythological Social Networks

Ten years ago, few people would have heard of a social network.


From ACM Careers

Study Gauges Value of Technology in Schools

With school districts rushing to buy computers, tablets, digital white boards, and other technology, a new report questions whether the investment is worth it.


From ACM Opinion

Why Google Is the Big Data Company That Matters Most

Why Google Is the Big Data Company That Matters Most

Every now and then, someone asks "Who’ll be the Google of big data?"


From ACM News

Quantum Invisibility Cloak Hides Objects from Reality

Quantum Invisibility Cloak Hides Objects from Reality

Invisibility cloaks are all the rage these days.


From ACM TechNews

Study Suggests Second Life For Possible Spintronic Materials

Study Suggests Second Life For Possible Spintronic Materials

Researchers have made two important changes that will allow them to combine manganese and gallium nitride, which could allow them to create spintronics. 


From ACM TechNews

Graffiti Codes Let You Surf With a Wave of Your Phone

Graffiti Codes Let You Surf With a Wave of Your Phone

Researchers want to enable people to create quick response (QR) codes on the spot, like graffiti. 


From ACM TechNews

Graphene and Semiconductor Technology Together: Smaller, Cheaper, Better

Graphene and Semiconductor Technology Together: Smaller, Cheaper, Better

Researchers are developing semiconductors grown on graphene, which is 200 times stronger than steel, conducts electricity 100 times faster than silicon, and is the best known material for conducting heat.


From ACM TechNews

NIST Researchers Offer Tool to Aid Standards Development, Implementation

NIST Researchers Offer Tool to Aid Standards Development, Implementation

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology are creating a computer-aided method for developing standards.


From ACM News

Supreme Court Says Human Genes Aren't Patentable

Supreme Court Says Human Genes Aren't Patentable

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that human genes isolated from the body can't be patented, a victory for doctors and patients who argued that such patents interfere with scientific research and the practice of medicine…


From ACM News

The Nsa Could Collect Far More Than Your Phone Records from Mobile Operators

The Nsa Could Collect Far More Than Your Phone Records from Mobile Operators

The revelation that the National Security Agency is collecting our phone records has generated considerable outrage, but phone call metadata is just the beginning of what our nation’s spooks could gather from our mobile carriers…


From ACM News

­sing Robots to Treat Autism

­sing Robots to Treat Autism

Therapists and researchers are experimenting with robots to interact with children with autism; the technology, and the technique, could revolutionize the field.


From ACM News

How Thoughts Can Control a Flying Robot

How Thoughts Can Control a Flying Robot

It's a staple of science fiction: people who can control objects with their minds.


From ACM News

New Tasks Become As Simple As Waving a Hand with Brain-Computer Interfaces

New Tasks Become As Simple As Waving a Hand with Brain-Computer Interfaces

Small electrodes placed on or inside the brain allow patients to interact with computers or control robotic limbs simply by thinking about how to execute those actions.


From ACM News

Big Data Sleuthing, 1960s Style

Big Data Sleuthing, 1960s Style

America's intelligence agencies have long prodded the frontiers of computing and data analysis as the most demanding of customers, willing to pay whatever it takes for advanced surveillance technology.


From ACM News

'chinese Google' ­nveils Visual Search Engine Powered By Fake Brains

'chinese Google' ­nveils Visual Search Engine Powered By Fake Brains

Chinese search giant Baidu has served up its first ever visual search engine, which allows users to finally query the web using only images as input instead of keywords.