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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

December 2012


From ACM TechNews

House Approves Resolution to Keep Internet Control Out of Un Hands

House Approves Resolution to Keep Internet Control Out of Un Hands

The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed a resolution that calls on the U.S. government to oppose a United Nations effort to control the Internet.


From ACM News

Nasa-Noaa Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night

Nasa-Noaa Satellite Reveals New Views of Earth at Night

Scientists unveiled today an unprecedented new look at our planet at night.


From ACM News

What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?

What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?

When, a few weeks ago, astronomers announced that an Earth-sized planet had been detected orbiting a Alpha Centauri B, a star in the closest system of stars to our own, and that this planet might, just might, mean that there…


From ACM TechNews

How Tin Whiskers Screw Up Everything From Servers to Smartphones

How Tin Whiskers Screw Up Everything From Servers to Smartphones

Tin whiskers are tiny metal filaments that grow inside electronic devices, and they have been known to contribute to problems since the 1940s. New research sheds light on why they have interfered with everything from satellites…


From ACM TechNews

Illinois Robotics Lab's Hytaq Moves in Air, Rolls on Land

Illinois Robotics Lab's Hytaq Moves in Air, Rolls on Land

Illinois Institute of Technology researchers have developed the Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotator (HyTAQ), a robotic vehicle that can move on land and through the air.


From ACM TechNews

3-D Print Yourself Something Big, Piece By Piece

3-D Print Yourself Something Big, Piece By Piece

Princeton University's Linjie Luo and colleagues have developed Chopper, software that could enable home 3-D printers to print larger and more useful objects.


From ACM Careers

Michael Bloomberg Wants to Do Something Cool with New York's Phone Booths

Michael Bloomberg Wants to Do Something Cool with New York's Phone Booths

Just 15 years ago, New York City had 35,000 phone booths. Thanks to cell phones it now has just 11,000, most of which serve little purpose for anyone but Clark Kent. Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to change that.


From ACM TechNews

App Tracks Air Quality; Instant Data For People With Respiratory Issues

App Tracks Air Quality; Instant Data For People With Respiratory Issues

University of Alabama in Huntsville researchers have developed the Mobile Air Quality Index (MobileAQI), a free mobile phone application that provides instant up-to-date local reports on key air pollutants.


From ACM News

Whither Nasa?

Whither Nasa?

Two years ago, President Obama told a crowd of more than 200 people assembled in Cape Canaveral, Fla., that a manned mission to an asteroid by 2025 would be among one of NASA's goals.


From ACM News

Death By Algorithm: West Point Code Shows Which Terrorists Should Disappear First

Death By Algorithm: West Point Code Shows Which Terrorists Should Disappear First

Paulo Shakarian, a professor at West Point's Network Science Center, has an algorithm that might one day help dismantle al-Qaida — or at least one of its lesser affiliates.


From ACM News

Leaping Into the Gesture-Control Era

Leaping Into the Gesture-Control Era

A trip to any big electronics store this fall will tell you that computer makers from Samsung to Microsoft think laptop and desktop computers need touch screens. But that notion could seem outdated by early next year—thanks to…


From ACM News

Hacker Locates John Mcafee Through Smartphone Tracks

Hacker Locates John Mcafee Through Smartphone Tracks

Weeks of international intrigue about the whereabouts of tech millionaire John McAfee ended Tuesday after the Internet pioneer made an elementary digital mistake that highlighted the fraught relationship Americans have with what…


From ACM TechNews

Smartphones Might Soon Develop Emotional Intelligence

Smartphones Might Soon Develop Emotional Intelligence

University of Rochester researchers say they have developed software that gauges human feelings through speech, with significantly greater accuracy than conventional approaches.


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Program Aims to Find, Shut Backdoor Malware Holes in Commercial It Devices

DARPA Program Aims to Find, Shut Backdoor Malware Holes in Commercial It Devices

DARPA's Vetting Commodity IT Software and Firmware program aims to develop systems that can verify the security of commercial IT devices.


From ACM TechNews

Preventing 'cyber Pearl Harbor'

Preventing 'cyber Pearl Harbor'

Human factors/ergonomics researchers Varun Dutt, Young-Suk Ahn, and Cleotilde Gonzalez say the key to protecting online operations is a high degree of cybersecurity awareness. Their computer model gauges security analysts' ability…


From ACM TechNews

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have developed milli-motein, a tiny robot that could lead to future devices that can fold themselves into almost any shape.


From ACM Careers

Texas Teen Wins $100,000 National Science Prize

Texas Teen Wins $100,000 National Science Prize

A high school student from Texas has won a $100,000 scholarship for a developing a computer algorithm that helps robots navigate around obstacles, an algorithm that could be used in applications like driverless cars.


From ACM TechNews

A Computer For Your Car's Windshield

A Computer For Your Car's Windshield

General Motors and Daimler AG are developing new windshields that use augmented reality to display driving directions, text messages, or oncoming hazards, all without requiring the driver to look away from the road.


From ACM News

Nasa Voyager 1 Encounters New Region in Deep Space

Nasa Voyager 1 Encounters New Region in Deep Space

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft has entered a new region at the far reaches of our solar system that scientists feel is the final area the spacecraft has to cross before reaching interstellar space.


From ACM News

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife

The Robotic Equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife

The device doesn't look like much: a caterpillar-sized assembly of metal rings and strips resembling something you might find buried in a home-workshop drawer.


From ACM News

For Lonely Astronauts, a Robotic Companion

For Lonely Astronauts, a Robotic Companion

You know the only thing lonelier than Sgt. Pepper's Hearts Club Band, and the Heartbreak Hotel, and the number one? Being alone and also not on Earth.


From ACM TechNews

Naval Academy to Add Cybersecurity Major

Naval Academy to Add Cybersecurity Major

The U.S. Naval Academy plans to offer an accredited cybersecurity major by 2016, and also wants to build a $100 million cybersecurity facility on campus, says Vice Adm. Michael Miller.

The Naval Academy would be one of …


From ACM Careers

The ­ps and Downs of Making Elevators Go

The ­ps and Downs of Making Elevators Go

You press a button and wait for your elevator. How long before you get impatient and agitated? Theresa Christy says 20 seconds.


From ACM News

Silencing the Voices of Militants on Twitter

Silencing the Voices of Militants on Twitter

Twitter, perhaps more than any other social media outlet, has become one of the most powerful tools to promote democracy in the Middle East.


From ACM TechNews

For Syria’s Rebel Movement, Skype Is a ­seful and Increasingly Dangerous Tool

For Syria’s Rebel Movement, Skype Is a ­seful and Increasingly Dangerous Tool

Syrian rebels responded to the recent nationwide Internet shutdown by relying on satellite technology to coordinate within the country and to communicate with foreign activists.

The rebels have spent months smuggling communications…


From ACM News

Nasa Mars Rover Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples

Nasa Mars Rover Fully Analyzes First Soil Samples

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has used its full array of instruments to analyze Martian soil for the first time, and found a complex chemistry within the Martian soil.


From ACM Opinion

How Martin Odersky Rewrote the Rules of Coding For a Mobile World

How Martin Odersky Rewrote the Rules of Coding For a Mobile World

Next time you pull out your smartphone to use a popular application—whether it's to price check items in a store, to tweet or to check your cloud-based calendar—you might thank Martin Odersky.


From Communications of the ACM

Zoom In, Zoom Out

Zoom In, Zoom Out

Drilling down to more detail on a computer screen, or moving out to see the context, is basic. But it's hardly simple and, after 20 years, innovations are still occurring.


From Communications of the ACM

Quantum Quests

Quantum Quests

Three breakthrough experiments involving photons have extended coherence times and indicated scalable production.


From Communications of the ACM

In the Year of Disruptive Education

In the Year of Disruptive Education

As college tuitions soar, various online models vie to educate college students worldwide — at no cost.

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