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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 2010


From ACM TechNews

Bat Studies to Aid Roving Robots

Bat Studies to Aid Roving Robots

Researchers at the University of Southampton, Leeds University, and the University of Strathclyde are studying the use of ultrasonic transducers that can be used in small robotic vehicles, which could go to places that are too…


From ACM TechNews

Lining Up 'nanodot' Memory

Lining Up 'nanodot' Memory

North Carolina State University researchers have developed a method for growing magnetic nanoparticles that could lead to much more dense computer memory devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Improved Online Security for a Tenth of the Cost

Computer scientists in the United Kingdom are developing a system that would offer a high level of security at one-tenth the cost of existing systems using specialized quantum technology. 


From ACM TechNews

Hot New Material Can Keep Electronics Cool

Hot New Material Can Keep Electronics Cool

University of California, Riverside researchers led by professor Alexander Balandin have developed technology that could keep laptops and other electronics from overheating. 


From ACM News

Sandia Workshop Aids Photovoltaic Systems Integrators

 Sandia Workshop Aids Photovoltaic Systems Integrators

Sandia National Laboratories researchers and the U.S. Department of Energy recently hosted a workshop for photovoltaic systems integrators to identify and address the industry's reliability challenges.


From ACM News

Quantum Move Toward Next Generation Computing

Quantum Move Toward Next Generation Computing

Physicists at McGill University have developed a system for measuring the energy involved in adding electrons to semiconductor nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots—a technology that may aid the development of silicon chip…


From ACM News

Twitter a Decent Stand-In For Public Opinion Polls

Twitter a Decent Stand-In For Public Opinion Polls

The next time you're low on cash and need to get a quick read on the public's feeling on politics or current events, consider sampling Twitter.


From ACM News

New Mathematical Method May Help Tame Big Data

New Mathematical Method May Help Tame Big Data

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill mathematicians and colleagues have developed a new technique for examining networks to help identify patterns and see how connections evolve.


From ACM News

Microsoft Attempts to Predict the Future

Don’t worry about Microsoft trying to follow your every move. The company probably already knows what you will do next.


From ACM News

Patient's Social Network Predicts Drug Outcomes

Patient's Social Network Predicts Drug Outcomes

Earlier this month, the journal Lancet Neurology published a study showing that the generic drug lithium did nothing to slow the course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating neurological disease. The findingsPatientsLikeMe…


From ACM TechNews

New Research Could Push Hard Drives Into the Multi-Terabytes

A new Ars Technica research paper in Nature Photonics implies that hard drives with terabytes-per-square-inch areal densities may soon emerge—and with them, a dramatic explosion in capacities.


From ACM News

Crumbling Labs Could Clip Nasa's Wings

Crumbling Labs Could Clip Nasa's Wings

Years of neglect have left many NASA labs that might be used for breakthrough technology research in rough shape, says a report from the U.S. National Academies of Science.


From ICT Results

New Probe Promises to Reveal Brain's Mysteries

New Probe Promises to Reveal Brain's Mysteries

New cures for neurological disease and a better understanding of how the brain works are among the dozens of potential applications awaiting a new neurological probing platform developed by European scientists.


From ACM News

Over $50 Billion Lost to Software Piracy: Report

Over $50 Billion Lost to Software Piracy: Report

Software piracy cost technology companies more than $50 billion around the world last year. For every $100 of legitimate software sales in 2009, another $75 worth of unlicensed programs were sold,  a Business Software Alliance…


From ACM News

The Cybersecurity Boom

The Cybersecurity Boom

When cybersecurity firm Triumfant was founded in late 2002, it developed software meant to assist help desks in managing information technology problems. The company soon found a more valuable use for its software: detecting…


From ACM News

Why Labs Love Gaming Hardware

Why Labs Love Gaming Hardware

Blasting zombies may seem to have little to do with serious research, but video game hardware is helping scientists in a variety of ways including helping them to unravel the mysteries of the brain.


From ACM News

Court Says Internet Filtering in Public Libraries Not Censorship

A Washington state supreme court issued a decision yesterday [May 6, 2010] supporting a public library's decision to fully filter Internet content, stating that such filtering could be considered "collection development".


From ACM TechNews

Robot-Inflicted Injuries Studied

Robot-Inflicted Injuries Studied

German researchers have developed a prototype safety system that would reduce the injuries of humans working alongside robots using household tools. 


From ACM TechNews

A 3-D Environment Model Enhances Collaboration During Learning

Universidad Politecnica de Madrid researchers have developed a model for three-dimensional virtual learning environments using an autonomous virtual tutor that detects collaboration. 


From ACM TechNews

Data Analysis System Could Do Double Duty

Data Analysis System Could Do Double Duty

A new system that analyzes behavioral data to identify potential Internet threats, which may also have application in areas such as health-care monitoring, is under development at the University of Texas at Dallas.


From ACM TechNews

Ibm, Ntu Announce Collaborative Effort to Converge Hpc and Cloud Computing

IBM and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) announced a joint effort to research and develop a platform for the convergence of cloud computing and high performance computing (HPC).


From ACM TechNews

Seeing the Forest For the Trees

Seeing the Forest For the Trees

New object recognition systems that deconstruct images into ever smaller elements, using methods developed at MIT and UCLA, should be much more efficient than previous systems and may yield insights on brain behavior.  


From ACM TechNews

Is Water the Key to Cheaper Nanoelectronics?

Is Water the Key to Cheaper Nanoelectronics?

Researchers have developed a way to use water to transfer layers from one surface to another by exploiting the fact that different materials have different hydrophilicity, a discovery that could lead to lower manufacturing costs…


From ACM TechNews

Stimulus Funds Bring Supercomputer to Pittsburgh Area

Stimulus Funds Bring Supercomputer to Pittsburgh Area

D.E. Shaw Research will house Anton, its new 512-node supercomputer, at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center beginning next fall. 


From ACM News

Survey Finds Parents Need Help Encouraging Their Kids in Science

Survey Finds Parents Need Help Encouraging Their Kids in Science

Having trouble encouraging your child to follow you into the sciences? You're not alone. A new survey finds that 53 percent of parents of school-aged children admit that they could use more help to support their child's interest…


From ACM News

Computer Pioneer Palevsky Was Wary of Google, Games, Pcs

Computer Pioneer Palevsky Was Wary of Google, Games, Pcs

Max Palevsky, the computer industry pioneer and early investor in Intel who died at age 85 last week, had, ironically, a fairly well-documented skepticism of computers, cells phones, Google, and games later in his life.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Program Turns Complex Data Into Brilliant Images

Computer Program Turns Complex Data Into Brilliant Images

University of Utah scientists Jens Krueger and Tom Fogal have developed ImageVis3D, a 3-D imaging program that converts complex data into colorful pictures that can be viewed with an iPhone or iPad. 


From ACM TechNews

Students Develop Software to Detect Hearing Problem

Computer science students from Dubai's University of Wollongong took fourth place at the Microsoft Gulf Imagine Cup for developing Ear It, software that turns a mobile device into a tool for conducting a hearing test. 


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Researches Low Latency Operating System For Multicores

Microsoft Researches Low Latency Operating System For Multicores

The Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge, England, has developed BarrelFish, an operating system designed to overcome the latency problem in multi-core computers. 


From ACM TechNews

White House Offers $1 Million Innovation Prize

To encourage the commercialization of new technology, the U.S. Department of Commerce's i6 Challenge gives innovative thinkers the chance to win up to $1 million in prize money.