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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.

August 2009


From ICT Results

Semantics-Based Software Boosts Company Performance

New semantics-based software tools that accelerate the speed companies can develop or adjust their processes—while slashing costs—have resulted from a major European research project.


From ACM News

Cornell's Robotic Submarine Wins International Competition

Cornell's Robotic Submarine Wins International Competition

Months of meticulous testing, refining and retesting has paid off for Cornell University's Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team. With a flawless 11.5-minute run through a complex course of underwater tasks in the final round, the…


From ACM News

Sustained Quantum Processing Demo Seen as Step Toward Quantum Computers

Sustained Quantum Processing Demo Seen as Step Toward Quantum Computers

Raising prospects for building a practical quantum computer, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated sustained, reliable information processing operations on electrically charged…


From ACM TechNews

The Group That Holds the Internet Together

ICANN remains under international pressure to sever ties with the United States government when its current contract expires in September 2009. The pressure comes primarily from the concern that countries, particularly China…


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Game a Multiplayer World

Hackers Game a Multiplayer World

Two programmers have hacked the World of Warcraft online game environment with a set of programs that automate in-game characters, which game developer Blizzard Entertainment has thus far failed to detect. Programmer Christopher…


From ACM TechNews

Internet Society Honors CSNET Designers

Internet Society Honors CSNET Designers

The Internet Society has honored the designers of an early computer network with its 2009 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award. The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Lawrence Landweber, Purdue University's Peter Denning, the University…


From ACM News

Mining Virtual Worlds to Better ­nderstand Reality

Mining Virtual Worlds to Better ­nderstand Reality

Hugely popular online virtual worlds such as World of Warcraft and Second Life offer social scientists unprecedented views of gamers' behavior, and may be used as a model for their decisions in the real world. A team of social…


From ACM News

­C San Diego Launches Triton Resource Supercomputer

­C San Diego Launches Triton Resource Supercomputer

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has officially launched the Triton Resource, an integrated, data-intensive computing system primarily designed to support UC San Diego and…


From ACM TechNews

Five Futuristic Interfaces on Display at Siggraph

Five Futuristic Interfaces on Display at Siggraph

ACM's SIGGRAPH 2009 conference will showcase a quintet of innovative interface models. University of Tokyo researchers have created a touchable holographic interface featuring virtual airborne objects that deliver a tactile…


From ACM TechNews

Intel Taps Facebook Multitudes For Massive Research Efforts

Intel Taps Facebook Multitudes For Massive Research Efforts

Intel has launched Progress Thru Processors, a new Facebook application that provides users with an interface to donate their unused computer processing time to worthy causes. Progress Thru Processors runs as a background process…


From ACM TechNews

Behavior of Building Block of Nature Could Lead to Computer Revolution

Physicists from the Universities of Cambridge and Birmingham have demonstrated that electrons in narrow wires can split into two new particles called spinons and holons. Like-charged electrons repel each other and must adjust…


From ACM TechNews

Programming Tools Tap Video Game Processors For Defense Needs

Programming Tools Tap Video Game Processors For Defense Needs

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology Research Institute (GTRI) are developing a programming tool that will enable defense industry engineers to use graphics processing units (GPUs) without having to learn to program…


From ACM TechNews

Dna Computation Gets Logical at the Weizmann Institute

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered a way to make biomolecular computers fashioned from DNA and other biological molecules more user friendly while executing highly complex computations and answering…


From ACM TechNews

Top Cybersecurity Aide at White House Resigns

Top Cybersecurity Aide at White House Resigns

Melissa E. Hathaway, the Obama administration's senior aide on cybersecurity, is stepping down from her role due to delays in the choosing of an administrator to lead the government's initiative to fortify the U.S.'s cyberinfrastructure…


From ICT Results

Healthcare, The Road to Robotic Helpers

Healthcare, The Road to Robotic Helpers

Robots are whirring away in factories all over the world, building cars, phones and cookers. Yet they can do so much more. Robotics for healthcare has been tipped as the next big wave, and Europe should be poised to ride it,…


From ACM News

Computer Graphics Innovator Wins ACM Siggraph Research Award

Computer Graphics Innovator Wins ACM Siggraph Research Award

ACM SIGGRAPH has awarded its 2009 Significant New Researcher Award to Wojciech Matusik for his original contributions to accurately capturing and representing real world data that portray material properties and human poses.…


From ACM TechNews

Is the Future of Healthcare Online?

Is the Future of Healthcare Online?

An international coalition of medical and technology companies called the Continua Health Alliance is encouraging the migration of healthcare to the Web, as remote care becomes increasingly feasible and desirable with the burgeoning…


From ACM News

Wiring Rural America: Which Technology Is Best?

Wiring Rural America: Which Technology Is Best?

Reaching the most remote rural customers with high-speed Internet access can be prohibitively expensive. Consider the case of Hill Country Telephone Cooperative in Ingram, Tex. The small provider is undertaking a $57 million…


From ACM News

Does This Avatar Make Me Look Fat?

Does This Avatar Make Me Look Fat?

Creating a Second Life avatar, or virtual representation of oneself, that is thin and physically fit may encourage individuals to become healthier and more physically fit in their real lives, according to a study by researchers…


From ACM News

Creator of Cloth Simulation Software Tapped for ACM SIGGRAPH Award

Creator of Cloth Simulation Software Tapped for ACM SIGGRAPH Award

ACM SIGGRAPH  has awarded its 2009 Computer Graphics Achievement Award to Michael Kass, who designed a software program that replicates the movement of clothing, hair, and fur on animated characters used in the movie "Monsters…


From ACM TechNews

Robotics Insights Through Flies' Eyes

Robotics Insights Through Flies' Eyes

Researchers at the Munich-based Cognition for Technical Systems excellence cluster have developed a flight simulator for flies to determine the insect's neural activity while in flight in order to gain knowledge that could apply…


From ACM TechNews

Yawn Alert For Weary Drivers

Yawn Alert For Weary Drivers

An in-car system for detecting driver fatigue has the potential to reduce traffic accidents caused by tired drivers, according to Aurobinda Mishra of Vanderbilt University, Mihir Mohanty of ITER in India, and Aurobinda Routray…


From ACM TechNews

Future Tech on Show at 36th Siggraph

Mk Haley, a juror for the Emerging Technologies area of SIGGRAPH 2009, says an ear-tugging navigator is the type of exhibit that will get people thinking and talking. Developed by researchers at the University of Electro-Communications…


From ACM TechNews

Halted '03 Iraq Plan Illustrates ­.s. Fear of Cyberwar Risk

Halted '03 Iraq Plan Illustrates ­.s. Fear of Cyberwar Risk

At the core of the U.S. Obama Administration and its Pentagon leadership's efforts to develop rules governing cyberwarfare is the question of whether offensive measures could result in unintended damage to civilians and civilian…


From ACM TechNews

Nurses Open to Idea of Robots

Nurses Open to Idea of Robots

A study performed by SINTEF for the Norwegian Association of Local Regional Authorities found that nurses and care-sector employees would welcome sensor and robot technology to help them in nursing homes and home care for the…


From ACM News

Green500 List: Supercomputer Efficiency Continues to Improve

Green500 List: Supercomputer Efficiency Continues to Improve

The fifth edition of Virginia Tech's Green500 List shows that supercomputers continue to use less power even as their capacity soars. Computers raking in top spots a year ago are falling by the wayside to newer models. "The average…


From ACM TechNews

A Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking and Cracking

A Police Woman Fights Quantum Hacking and Cracking

Quantum computing will give people and institutions an enormous amount of computing power, but it will also make their data vulnerable to attack. For Julia Kempe of Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik School of Computer Science,…


From ACM News

ACM Siggraph Honors Rob Cook For Advances in Computer Graphics Imaging

ACM Siggraph Honors Rob Cook For Advances in Computer Graphics Imaging

ACM SIGGRAPH will present its 2009 Steven Anson Coons Outstanding Service Award on Monday (August 3, 2009) to Rob Cook for his pioneering technical contributions to generating computer synthesized images. Cook, Vice President…


From ACM News

Nist Releases Cybersecurity Recommendations For Federal Government

he U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released on Friday (July 31) its final version of a publication that represents a major step toward building aunified information security…


From Communications of the ACM

Face Recognition Breakthrough

Face Recognition Breakthrough

By using sparse representation and compressed sensing, researchers have been able to demonstrate significant improvements in accuracy over traditional face-recognition techniques.