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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 2011


From ACM TechNews

On Its Own, Europe Backs Web Privacy Fights

On Its Own, Europe Backs Web Privacy Fights

European regulators are increasingly embracing the concept of giving people the right to be forgotten on the Web by providing them with greater control over their Internet data. 


From ACM TechNews

Los Alamos Builds Time Machine to the Way the Web Was

Los Alamos Builds Time Machine to the Way the Web Was

Researchers at the Los Alamos Research Library and Old Dominion University have developed Memento, a technical specification that embeds the concept of time into Internet applications and could enable users to see Web pages as…


From ACM TechNews

New Way to Manage Energy in the Smart Grid

New Way to Manage Energy in the Smart Grid

University of Southampton researchers have developed a decentralized control mechanism for managing micro-storage in the smart grid that can produce savings of up to 16 percent in energy costs for consumers. 


From ACM TechNews

Ieee to Create Anti-Malware 'packer' Validation System

Ieee to Create Anti-Malware 'packer' Validation System

The IEEE has launched a system for tracing the output of all certified binary packers to verify which license was used to create an executable file. 


From ACM TechNews

Tracking Crime in Real Time

Tel Aviv University researchers are using digital activities to catch criminals and strengthen homeland security efforts against terrorists. 


From ACM News

Police to Track Rioters Who Used Blackberrys

Police to Track Rioters Who Used Blackberrys

Police investigating those responsible for the London riots will be able to track down and arrest them based on their BlackBerry Messenger communication with others who took part.


From ACM News

London Police Use Flickr to Identify Looters

London Police Use Flickr to Identify Looters

As rioting continues to roil the streets of London, local police forces are turning to the Web to help unmask those involved in the torching and looting.  On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Police of London posted a set of photos…


From ACM News

Defcon Opens Its Doors to Pre-Teen and Teen Hackers

Defcon Opens Its Doors to Pre-Teen and Teen Hackers

DefCon, the conference where hackers and the people who monitor them get together to trade the latest in hacking and tracking data, had some new attendees: children and teenagers.


From ACM News

Mobilizing Help for People Accused of Hacking

Mobilizing Help for People Accused of Hacking

When Senator Joseph R. McCarthy held hearings in the 1950s to question witnesses about their supposed ties to communism, critics accused him of fomenting a Red Scare hysteria. Decades later, the term Green Scare was used to…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Show Off Homemade Spy Drone at Black Hat

Researchers Show Off Homemade Spy Drone at Black Hat

Security researchers Mike Tassey and Richard Perkins recently unveiled the Wi-Fi Aerial Surveillance Platform, a remote controlled unmanned aerial vehicle that can crack Wi-Fi passwords and exploit weak wireless access points…


From ACM TechNews

Nmsu Las Cruces Program Helps Women Break Into Computer Science

Nmsu Las Cruces Program Helps Women Break Into Computer Science

New Mexico State University's Young Women in Computing  program is designed to cultivate interest in computer science among middle and high school girls and to provide them with hands-on experience with animation, robotics, and…


From ACM TechNews

Computers Are Not Humans

Computers Are Not Humans

The meaning that humans associate with words, phrases, sentences, and stories is grounded in human experience, writes David Ferrucci, lead researcher for IBM's Watson project. 


From ACM TechNews

Perfect Communication With Imperfect Chips

Perfect Communication With Imperfect Chips

Massachusetts Institute of Technology research affiliate Lav Varshney has shown that some of the most commonly used codes in telecommunications can guarantee the reliable transmission of information even when the decoders are…


From ACM News

Why Has BlackBerry Been Blamed for the London Riots?

Why Has BlackBerry Been Blamed for the London Riots?

The whole of London is taking stock after outbreaks of violence and looting across the capital. Ealing, Camden, Peckham, Clapham, Lewisham, Woolwich, and Hackney have all provided a location for young rioters intent on stealing…


From ACM News

Network Effects: Social Media's Role in the London Riots

Facebook and Twitter can fuel uprisings by allowing participants to coordinate action and to see themselves as part of a larger movement.


From ACM News

Blue Waters ­pdate

Effective August 6, 2011, IBM terminated its contract with the University of Illinois to provide the supercomputer for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications' Blue Waters project.


From ACM News

Sysadmin Day Goes Global

Sysadmin Day Goes Global

It’s not unusual for system administrators to spend long days in the office—and even wind up sleeping in them overnight. Or get paged at 2 A.M. or on Thanksgiving after a server crashes.


From ACM News

Web Tracking Has Become a Privacy Time Bomb

For more than a decade, tracking systems have been taking note of where you go and what you search for on the Web—without your permission. Today many of the personal details you voluntarily divulge on popular websites and…


From ACM TechNews

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Researchers Develop Webcam Tool to Improve Posture of Office Workers

A multidisciplinary team at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has developed a desktop Webcam tool that could help improve the ergonomic posture of office workers and reduce their risk of musculoskeletal disorders. 


From ACM TechNews

The Science of Cyber Security

The Science of Cyber Security

The University of California, Berkeley's Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST) is developing cybersecurity science and technology designed to change how organizations design, build, and operate trustworthy…


From ACM TechNews

Caltech-Led Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology

Caltech-Led Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology

California Institute of Technology researchers have created a method to isolate light signals on a silicon chip, which they say could lead to the development of photonic computer chips. 


From ACM TechNews

Smart Software Spots Swaying Risk of a Crushing Crowd

The Fraunhofer Institute's Barbara Krausz has developed a system for determining when crowds have become too large by observing the way people sway slowly from side to side to keep their balance when they become trapped in…


From ACM TechNews

A Cloud That Can't Leak

A Cloud That Can't Leak

Microsoft researchers have developed a prototype data security system designed to ensure that information can only escape in an encrypted form that would be nearly impossible for hackers to decode without the decryption key. 


From ACM TechNews

DARPA Funds Hackers to Innovate Military Tech

DARPA Funds Hackers to Innovate Military Tech

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) recently launched Cyber Fast Track, a program that will fund innovative cybersecurity efforts by groups and people that do not usually work for the government, including…


From ACM TechNews

Above the Clouds: An Interview With Armando Fox

Above the Clouds: An Interview With Armando Fox

University of California, Berkeley professor Armando Fox, co-founder of the Reliable, Adaptive, and Distributed Systems Laboratory, co-wrote a paper that outlined some early challenges and advantages of high performance computing…


From ACM News

Black Hat: Legal Pitfalls of Investigating Mobile

Hackers today are testing mobile devices ever more strenuously, but the work often stands on shaky legal ground, according to Jennifer Granick, an attorney for ZwillGen, a law firm that specializes in legal issues related…


From ACM News

Building Robots that Understand Human Emotions and Make People Healthier

Building Robots that Understand Human Emotions and Make People Healthier

 For most of us, the closest we get to a robot in daily life is a Roomba. But Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change that. "I haven't given up that dream of the robot…


From ACM News

Nasa Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars

Nasa Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars

Observations from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have revealed possible flowing water during the warmest months on Mars.


From ACM News

Your Smartphone: A New Frontier For Hackers

Last week, security researchers uncovered yet another strain of malicious software aimed at smartphones that run Google's popular Android operating system. The application not only logs details about incoming and outgoing…


From ACM News

At a Hacker Conference, Plenty of Friendly Feds

 Why are the Feds hobnobbing with hackers? Defcon, a convention of computer hackers here, was crawling with federal agents on Friday. They smiled, shook hands, handed out their business cards, spoke on a panel called “Meet the…