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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.

October 2009


From ACM TechNews

Professor Working to Advance Computing as a Science

Professor Working to Advance Computing as a Science

University of Arizona professor Richard T. Snodgrass has received a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to promote computation as a true science. "The problem with computer science is that a few people think it equals programming…


From ACM TechNews

MIT Researchers Developing Robotic Driving Companion

MIT Researchers Developing Robotic Driving Companion

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are developing the Affective Intelligent Driving Agent (AIDA), a robot that would act as a helpful companion for drivers. The robot would be capable of picking up…


From ACM TechNews

Defense University Builds China's Fastest Supercomputer

Defense University Builds China's Fastest Supercomputer

China's National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) has unveiled the Tianhe supercomputer, the fastest supercomputer in China. Tianhe runs at 563.1 teraflops on the Linpack benchmark and is theoretically capable of petaflop…


From ACM TechNews

Open Source Identity: Ruby on Rails Creator David Heinemeier Hansson

Open Source Identity: Ruby on Rails Creator David Heinemeier Hansson

One of the most popular and successful open source software development initiatives is Ruby on Rails, created by David Heinemeier Hansson. "I think the fundamental thing that set Rails apart was a culture of putting the programmer…


From ACM TechNews

Muscle-Bound Computer Interface

Muscle-Bound Computer Interface

Researchers at Microsoft, the University of Washington, and the University of Toronto have developed a human-computer interface that uses muscle movement for hands-free, gestural interaction. The researchers say the technology…


From ACM News

Cell Phones Become Data Collection Tools for Global Development

Cell Phones Become Data Collection Tools for Global Development

Computer scientists at the University of Washington have used the Android open-source mobile operating system to turn a cell phone into a versatile data-collection device.  For the past year UW computer science and engineering…


From ICT Results

Listen, Watch, Read

Listen, Watch, Read

European researchers have created the first integrated semantic search platform that integrates text, video and audio. The system can 'watch' films, 'listen' to audio and 'read' text to find relevant responses to semantic search…


From ACM TechNews

UC Researchers Create All-Electric Spintronics

UC Researchers Create All-Electric Spintronics

University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers have developed a way to control an electron's spin orientation using only electrical means. Previous methods to develop spin transistors incorporated local ferromagnets into devices,…


From ACM TechNews

Virtual Surgery Aims to Replace Risky Training

A new haptically enabled computer simulation system is undergoing clinical trials at Cork University Hospital in Ireland and Pecs University in Hungary. The virtual-reality technology could potentially be used by medical students…


From ACM TechNews

Bogus E-Mails From FDIC Link Computer Users to Viruses, Expert Says

Bogus E-Mails From FDIC Link Computer Users to Viruses, Expert Says

Computer forensics researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have been tracking new spam that claims to come from the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and uses a virus to steal sensitive personal…


From ACM News

Darpa Looks to Send the Internet Into Orbit

There’ve been satellites orbiting Earth for half a century. But getting information to and from them is still a pain. Which is why Pentagon research arm Darpa is looking to finally hook the orbiting spacecraft up with reliable…


From ACM TechNews

Semantic Integration: Meeting the Challenge

Interoperability between data sources is the fundamental challenge of data integration, and NASA computer scientist Richard Keller says that although standards and organizational policies can help to some degree, "data standards…


From ACM TechNews

Crash, Bang, Rumble! Bringing Noise to Virtual Worlds

Crash, Bang, Rumble! Bringing Noise to Virtual Worlds

Cornell University computer scientists have developed a method for generating the crashing and rumbling noises of objects made from thin harmonic shells such as cymbals and garbage can lids. The method, developed by professor…


From ACM TechNews

Science at the Petascale: Roadrunner Results Unveiled

Roadrunner, housed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), recently completed its initial shakedown phase while performing accelerated petascale computer modeling and simulations for several unclassified science projects.…


From ACM News

Consumer Electronics Can Help Improve Patient Health

Consumer Electronics Can Help Improve Patient Health

Electronic tools and technology applications for consumers can help improve health care processes, such as adherence to medication and clinical outcomes like smoking cessation, according to a report by researchers at the Johns…


From ACM TechNews

Report Urges Colleges to Emphasize Math, Science, and International Studies

Report Urges Colleges to Emphasize Math, Science, and International Studies

Mathematics, science, and technology must continue to be a priority for U.S. higher education to ensure that the United States remains globally competitive, according to a report by the American Association of State Colleges…


From ACM TechNews

Wiser OWL Learns to Unravel Doctor Talk

OWL 2, a new Internet language developed by an international team led by computer scientists from the University of Manchester and Oxford University, is designed to enable computers to understand and interpret the contents of…


From ACM News

Silicon-Air Battery: Non-Stop Power for Thousands of Hours

Silicon-Air Battery: Non-Stop Power for Thousands of Hours

Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a new, environmentally friendly silicon-air battery capable of supplying non-stop power for thousands of hours without needing to be replaced. The findings…


From ICT Results

Embedded Design

Embedded Design

Embedded computer systems must be fast and efficient. A European consortium has created a new modelling framework that lets designers strike the best balance between static, reconfigurable and analog hardware and the software…


From ACM News

Robert L. Ashenhurst, Former Communications Editor-in-Chief, Dies

Robert L. Ashenhurst, Former Communications Editor-in-Chief, Dies

Robert L. Ashenhurst, professor emeritus of applied mathematics at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and a former editor-in-chief of Communications of the ACM, passed away October 21, 2009. He was 80 years…


From ACM TechNews

Eavesdropping on Smartphone Secrets

Security researchers at Cryptography Research say the smart card attack involving differential power analysis could be used to target smartphones. Cryptography Research adapted the technique of analyzing the power consumption…


From ACM TechNews

Internet Set for Change With Non-English Addresses

Internet Set for Change With Non-English Addresses

Internationalized domain names (IDNs) will be one of the central topics at ICANN’s 36th International Public Meeting, which takes place October 25-30 in Seoul, South Korea. "This is an extremely important meeting for ICANN,…


From ACM News

Overseas Chinese Return to Start Companies

TIANJIN, China — This city in northeastern China is a long way from Sand Hill Road, home to the world's greatest concentration of venture capitalists. But a deal too good to pass up led Yong Li to leave his family in Palo Alto…


From ACM News

Faster Maintenance with Augmented Reality

Faster Maintenance with Augmented Reality

In the not-too-distant future, it might be possible to slip on a pair of augmented-reality (AR) goggles instead of fumbling with a manual while trying to repair a car engine. Instructions overlaid on the real world would show…


From ACM TechNews

Five New Technologies That Will Change Everything

Five New Technologies That Will Change Everything

Five new technologies are on their way that will give users unprecedented access to data thanks to new high-speed connections and user interfaces. 


From ACM TechNews

IBM Researchers Simplify Mobile Web Browsing

IBM researchers have developed technology that will make it easier to design Web sites for mobile devices. IBM researchers in Tokyo developed a visual editor that enables Web masters to arrange their Web site content in a logically…


From ACM TechNews

Scan of Internet Uncovers Thousands of Vulnerable Embedded Devices

Scan of Internet Uncovers Thousands of Vulnerable Embedded Devices

A scan of the Internet by Columbia University researchers searching for vulnerable embedded devices has found that nearly 21,000 routers, Webcams, and VoIP products are vulnerable to remote attack. They say there could be as…


From ACM TechNews

Google Envisions 10 Million Servers

The computer industry had an opportunity to learn about the technical details of Google's infrastructure during LADIS 2009, ACM's recent SIGOPS International Workshop on Large Scale Distributed Systems and Middleware. Google…


From ACM TechNews

Carnegie Mellon Expands Mobile Learning Project in India

Carnegie Mellon Expands Mobile Learning Project in India

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) recently announced the expansion of its Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies (MILLEE) project, which aims to determine the effectiveness of mobile phone-based games…


From ICT Results

Robot Integrates Audio, Visual Data

Robot Integrates Audio, Visual Data

European researchers developed technology that enables a robot to combine data from both sound and vision to create combined, purposeful perception. In the process, they have taken the field to a new level.

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