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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 2013


From ACM News

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind

One day in March, I was sitting across from Facebook's design director, Kate Aronowitz, at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park when she told me, "It takes a lot of work to create the perfect empty vessel."


From ACM TechNews

Kinect Plus Projector Makes Anything a Remote Control

Kinect Plus Projector Makes Anything a Remote Control

WorldKit is a system under development that combines cameras, projectors, and computers to allow everyday surfaces to host controllers for electronic devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Flexible, Networked E-Ink Displays Mimic Physical Documents

Flexible, Networked E-Ink Displays Mimic Physical Documents

Researchers at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Paris unveiled electronic ink displays that can bend as a form of input. 


From ACM TechNews

Emerging Protocol Can Help Manage the Internet of Things

Emerging Protocol Can Help Manage the Internet of Things

The MQTT protocol for telemetry messaging could help address the significant challenge of enabling all types of smart devices to communicate with one another.


From ACM TechNews

It’s Not the Jetsons, But It May Be Coming Soon

It’s Not the Jetsons, But It May Be Coming Soon

Advances in technologies will transform what manufacturers can produce, the worker's role, and the products available to consumers. 


From ACM TechNews

New Research Could Let Vehicles, Robots Collaborate with Humans

New Research Could Let Vehicles, Robots Collaborate with Humans

Researchers are developing robotic systems that can negotiate with people to determine the best way to achieve their goals.


From ACM Opinion

Digital Tattoos, Mind-Reading Headphones: The Shape of Things to Come?

Digital Tattoos, Mind-Reading Headphones: The Shape of Things to Come?

Forecasting future technology has never been easy. In the 1950s, scientists and technologists envisaged that by now the world would be free from disease, traversed by flying cars, and fueled by minerals from distant planets.


From ACM News

Intel's High-Performance, Low-Power Secret: The Haswell Soc

Intel's High-Performance, Low-Power Secret: The Haswell Soc

In the semiconductor world, integration is omnipresent, driven by Moore's Law. Integration reduces power and cost while increasing performance. The latest realization of this trend is the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) approach pervasive…


From ACM Careers

New Chief at Intel Aims to Expand Chip Making

New Chief at Intel Aims to Expand Chip Making

Brian M. Krzanich, who on Thursday was named Intel's next chief executive, knows he faces a hefty challenge when he takes over the world's biggest maker of semiconductors.


From ACM Opinion

When Will Smartglasses and Other Wearable Computers Hit the Mainstream?

When Will Smartglasses and Other Wearable Computers Hit the Mainstream?

Google has stoked our collective imagination via relentless promotion of its Google Glass wearable computer in recent months.


From ACM Careers

How One College Is Closing the Computer Science Gender Gap

How One College Is Closing the Computer Science Gender Gap

There are still relatively few women in tech. Maria Klawe wants to change that. As president of Harvey Mudd College, a science and engineering school in Southern California, she's had stunning success getting more women involved…


From ACM TechNews

E-Tattoo Monitors Brainwaves and Baby Bump

E-Tattoo Monitors Brainwaves and Baby Bump

A transparent patch containing electronic circuits as thin as a human hair  could be used to monitor rudimentary brain activity. 


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop Zooming Technique for Entering Text Into Smartwatches, Ultra-Small Computers

Carnegie Mellon Researchers Develop Zooming Technique for Entering Text Into Smartwatches, Ultra-Small Computers

The iterative zooming technique ZoomBoard could be used to enter text into ultra-small computers, such as smartwatches. 


From ACM TechNews

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Lawrence Livermore Scientists Set a New Simulation Speed Record on the Sequoia Supercomputer

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Lawrence Livermore Scientists Set a New Simulation Speed Record on the Sequoia Supercomputer

Computer scientists have reached a record simulation speed of 504 billion events per second on the Sequoia Blue Gene/Q supercomputer. 


From ACM News

High-Tech Camera Acts Like a Bug's Eye

High-Tech Camera Acts Like a Bug's Eye

The next generation of digital cameras could show us how bugs see the world.


From ACM TechNews

Seahorse's Armor Gives Engineers Insight Into Robotics Designs

Seahorse's Armor Gives Engineers Insight Into Robotics Designs

A team of engineers plan to use a structure that is similar to the armored tail of a seahorse to create a flexible robotic arm with muscles made out of polymer. 


From ACM News

Skinny Rfid Tags Could Soon Show Up Embedded in Paper

Skinny Rfid Tags Could Soon Show Up Embedded in Paper

Two new developments in RFID research could pave the way for tags that are thinner, cheaper, and more versatile. Using new materials and cutting-edge laser fabrication, engineers at North Dakota State University have made RFID…


From ACM News

Perpetual Motion Test Could Amend Theory of Time

Perpetual Motion Test Could Amend Theory of Time

In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea.


From ACM Opinion

Graphene: The Nano-Size Material with a Massive Future

Graphene: The Nano-Size Material with a Massive Future

Ever since it was discovered in 2004, graphene has been hailed as a natural wonder of the materials world destined to transform our lives in the 21st century.


From ACM News

It Jobs Market: The Trends Behind the Statistics

It Jobs Market: The Trends Behind the Statistics

Today's IT jobs market is far from uniform, but some trends stand out. Employers are under pressure to fill positions, salaries are being pushed up, and tony tech firms are going all out with perks to attract and retain talent…


From ACM TechNews

Engaging Online Crowds in the Classroom Could Be Important Tool For Teaching Innovation

Engaging Online Crowds in the Classroom Could Be Important Tool For Teaching Innovation

Input from social media and crowdsourcing can help students identify needs for products or services, generate ideas, and more easily test those ideas. 


From ACM TechNews

Students’ Lofty Goal Is Clear

Students’ Lofty Goal Is Clear

WashBOT is a multiyear project to automate the process of cleaning recessed windows in buildings that present problems for human and machine-based washers. 


From ACM TechNews

Battery and Memory Device in One

Battery and Memory Device in One

Resistive memory cells are not purely passive components, but should be regarded as tiny batteries. 


From ACM TechNews

IBM Brings Augmented Reality, Robotics to Field Engineers

IBM Brings Augmented Reality, Robotics to Field Engineers

Researchers have developed a new system to deliver information and remote expertise to field engineers performing maintenance and repairs on critical equipment. 


From ACM TechNews

Brain Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream

Brain Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream

Increasingly sophisticated brain computer interfaces might soon allow users to interact with smart devices using only their minds. 


From ACM Opinion

Congress Tries to Reset Science Grants, Wants Every One to Be 'groundbreaking'

Congress Tries to Reset Science Grants, Wants Every One to Be 'groundbreaking'

Due to Congressional rules, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology had to choose new leadership this year.


From ACM TechNews

Revolutionizing Tornado Prediction

Revolutionizing Tornado Prediction

Researchers are developing a tornado modeling and simulation system that aims to explain why some storms generate tornadoes, while others do not. 


From ACM News

Valuing Versatility

Valuing Versatility

It's often said that we live in an age of increased specialization: physicians who treat just one ailment, scholars who study just one period, network administrators who know just one operating system.


From ACM News

Brain Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream

Brain Computer Interfaces Inch Closer to Mainstream

Last week, engineers sniffing around the programming code for Google Glass found hidden examples of ways that people might interact with the wearable computers without having to say a word.


From Communications of the ACM

Proving Grounds

Proving Grounds

Researchers are making headway with one of quantum computing's major theoretical problems: multi-prover interactive proofs.