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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

Google Facial Password Patent Aims to Boost Android Security

Google Facial Password Patent Aims to Boost Android Security

A recent Google patent application suggests users stick out their tongue in place of a password, to keep the Face Unlock facility from being fooled by photos.


From ACM TechNews

How Big Data Helps Big Cities

How Big Data Helps Big Cities

June 1 marked the first National Day of Civic Hacking, during which cities across the United States invited programmers to come together and improve local government. 


From ACM News

China Is Victim of Hacking Attacks

China Is Victim of Hacking Attacks

China has been the target of serious cyberattacks from the United States, but Beijing has never blamed Washington or the Pentagon because such accusations would be "technically irresponsible," Chinese Internet insiders said.


From ACM News

Contact Lens Computer: Like Google Glass, Without the Glasses

Contact Lens Computer: Like Google Glass, Without the Glasses

For those who find Google Glass indiscreet, electronic contact lenses that outfit the user’s cornea with a display may one day provide an alternative.


From ACM News

President Obama: 'right Balance' on Surveillance

President Obama: 'right Balance' on Surveillance

President Barack Obama defended his administration’s data-gathering programs Friday, calling them necessary for national security and well within the bounds of the law, and saying he believed his administration had "struck the…


From ACM News

Google Says It Can Guess Movie Box Office Hauls—with 94% Accuracy

Google Says It Can Guess Movie Box Office Hauls—with 94% Accuracy

Google released a research paper this week showing that the frequency of a movie being searched for on Google and YouTube is a surprisingly accurate indicator of how well it will do at the box office. The research won't improve…


From ACM TechNews

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers “killer Existence”

Wearable Computing Pioneer Says Google Glass Offers “killer Existence”

Google's Project Glass technical lead Thad Starner believes people can truly integrate Glass into their routine activities. 


From ACM TechNews

Research Examines the Structure of Video Games

Research Examines the Structure of Video Games

Analysis of the content of video games and their interaction with the player can help the video game industry find new ways to improve their products. 


From ACM TechNews

Thought-Powered Helicopter Takes Off

Thought-Powered Helicopter Takes Off

Experimental subjects have powered a remote-controlled helicopter through an obstacle course with their thoughts. 


From ACM News

U.S. Spy Chief Clapper Defends PRISM and Phone Surveillance

U.S. Spy Chief Clapper Defends PRISM and Phone Surveillance

U.S. spy chief James Clapper has strongly defended government surveillance programmes after revelations of phone records being collected and internet servers being tapped.


From ACM TechNews

Teaching Old Microphones New Tricks

Teaching Old Microphones New Tricks

Mobile phone software under development can be trained to identify stress in the human voice.


From ACM TechNews

Cormoran Project Exploring Ways to Improve Cooperation In and Between Wireless Body Area Networks

Cormoran Project Exploring Ways to Improve Cooperation In and Between Wireless Body Area Networks

The French National Research Agency is funding research on new forms of cooperation in and between wireless body area networks.


From ACM News

Just Tap Here: Technology and Travel

Just Tap Here: Technology and Travel

Goodbye, plastic hotel room key. So long, wallet. Farewell, camera.


From ACM News

How You and I Could Become Nodes in the Internet of Things

How You and I Could Become Nodes in the Internet of Things

Ever wonder what the network infrastructure of the future will be? Try looking in the mirror.


From ACM News

5 Things You Need to Know About NSA Phone Tracking

5 Things You Need to Know About NSA Phone Tracking

The revelation that the Obama administration is pursuing a massive surveillance program that tracks countless U.S. and international phone calls has brought privacy, spying, and civil liberties right back into the spotlight.


From ACM News

A Day in the Life of the Relentlessly Tracked

A Day in the Life of the Relentlessly Tracked

Controversy is raging over a court order allowing the FBI and the National Security Agency to seize aggregate information of millions of Verizon customer phone calls.


From ACM TechNews

Google Making It Easier For Developers to Build Mobile Apps

Google Making It Easier For Developers to Build Mobile Apps

The Google Mobile Backend Starter makes it easier for developers to build and sell their apps by automating the backend of apps development.


From ACM TechNews

Printing Innovations Provide 10-Fold Improvement in Organic Electronics

Printing Innovations Provide 10-Fold Improvement in Organic Electronics

A new printing process may be used to produce thin films capable of conducting electricity far more efficiently than those created using conventional methods. 


From ACM TechNews

Hogwarts For Hackers: Inside the Science and Tech School of Tomorrow

Hogwarts For Hackers: Inside the Science and Tech School of Tomorrow

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy public live-in high school for students who excel at math and science, allows students at their own pace.


From ACM TechNews

Paypal's $100,000 Battle Hack Competition Wants Cool Social Apps

Paypal's $100,000 Battle Hack Competition Wants Cool Social Apps

In PayPal's software-coding competition, Battle Hack, software developers vie to create a socially beneficial application that uses PayPal payment processing. 


From ACM News

How Can Computing Become More Accessible?

How Can Computing Become More Accessible?

A growing number of tools and strategies are available to make computers and digital content accessible to people with disabilities.


From ACM News

Nasa Spacecraft Sees Tornado's Destructive Swath

Nasa Spacecraft Sees Tornado's Destructive Swath

A new image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft shows the extent of destruction from the deadly Newcastle-Moore tornado that ripped through central…


From ACM News

Nsa Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily

Nsa Collecting Phone Records of Millions of Verizon Customers Daily

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.


From ACM News

Wisee ­ses Wi-Fi Signals to Recognize Body Gestures

Wisee ­ses Wi-Fi Signals to Recognize Body Gestures

Researchers say they have found a way to detect and recognize human gestures based on how they affect Wi-Fi signals.


From ACM News

They're Coming for Your DNA

They're Coming for Your DNA

DNA analysis is the major crime-solving advance of our time.


From ACM Opinion

Mit's Magic Bag Of Sand

Mit's Magic Bag Of Sand

The camera pushes in. And there, near the meridian line, you see a faint scattering of red lights. Something is in the tar. And it's glowing.


From ACM TechNews

Cerf Sees a Problem: Today's Digital Data Could Be Gone Tomorrow

Cerf Sees a Problem: Today's Digital Data Could Be Gone Tomorrow

Google chief Internet evangelist and ACM president Vint Cerf worries that much of the data generated since the Internet's beginning will be lost over time. 


From ACM TechNews

Researcher Cracks the Code on What Makes a Tweet Popular

Researcher Cracks the Code on What Makes a Tweet Popular

Researchers have built a model to predict how many retweets any given tweet on Twitter will receive. 


From ACM TechNews

This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds

This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds

A new program called Plan X is designed to facilitate cyberwarfare executed in a manner similar to playing a video game. 


From ACM TechNews

Robot Arm Wrapped in Sensitive Skin Has Gentle Touch

Robot Arm Wrapped in Sensitive Skin Has Gentle Touch

Researchers have developed a robot arm that navigates by using the sense of touch, rather than trying to avoid bumping into people and objects.