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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

December 2011


From ACM News

Rise of the Drone: From Calif. Garage to Multibillion-Dollar Defense Industry

Rise of the Drone: From Calif. Garage to Multibillion-Dollar Defense Industry

In 1980, Abraham Karem, an engineer who had emigrated from Israel, retreated into his three-car garage in Hacienda Heights outside Los Angeles and, to the bemusement of his tolerant wife, began to build an aircraft.


From ACM TechNews

Finding the Unique in You to Build a Better Password

Finding the Unique in You to Build a Better Password

As more users store sensitive data on smartphones, mobile devices could become a target for hackers, prompting technology companies and the U.S. government to rethink the way users log onto their devices. 


From ACM TechNews

Processors: What to Expect From CPUs in 2012

Processors: What to Expect From CPUs in 2012

Analysts expect that the next generation of central processing units will offer more speed and consume less power. 


From ACM TechNews

Smart Guide to 2012: How Best to Test Machine IQ

Smart Guide to 2012: How Best to Test Machine IQ

AI programs did not fare well in convincing judges at the 2011 Loebner prize competition that they were people. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Cop Humble About His Success

Computer Cop Humble About His Success

The Saint John Police Force's computer scientist James Stewart has developed software that ranks every criminal violation based on severity, taking into account how long it has been since the crime took place. 


From ACM News

The Touchy-Feely Future of Technology

The Touchy-Feely Future of Technology

In 1975, when then-composer and performer Bill Buxton started designing his own digital musical instruments, he had no way of knowing he was helping to spark the next technological revolution.


From ACM News

Apropos Appropriation

One recent afternoon in the offices of the Midtown law firm run by David Boies and his powerful litigation partners, a large black clamshell box sat on a conference table.


From ACM News

Beijing Launches Its Own GPS Rival

Beijing Launches Its Own GPS Rival

China has begun operating a homegrown satellite navigation service that is designed to provide an alternative to the U.S. Global Positioning System and, according to defense experts, could help the Chinese military to identify…


From ACM News

Carmakers, U.S. Worry about Hacking of Cars

Carmakers, U.S. Worry about Hacking of Cars

Imagine this nightmarish possibility: al-Qaida terrorists remotely disabling the brakes on thousands of cars racing down a Bay Area freeway during the morning commute, leading to massive chaos, death, and destruction.


From ACM TechNews

Cheating Spreads Like Infections in Online Games

Cheating Spreads Like Infections in Online Games

Online gaming communities are investing significant resources to find and stop cheaters. 


From ACM TechNews

Got Research? NIST Could Show You the Money

Got Research? NIST Could Show You the Money

The U.S. NIST will make funding available for research subjects such as information technology, smart grid and control system security, and systems integration in fiscal 2012. 


From ACM TechNews

Network Analysis Predicts Drug Side Effects

Network Analysis Predicts Drug Side Effects

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston have developed a mathematical network to predict drug side effects that normally are not discovered until thousands of people have taken the medication. 


From ACM TechNews

Congress Funds Exascale Computing

Congress Funds Exascale Computing

The U.S. Department of Energy recently won full Congressional funding to support the pursuit of exascale computing. 


From ACM TechNews

Naval Researchers Pioneer TCP-Based Spam Detection

Naval Researchers Pioneer TCP-Based Spam Detection

U.S. Naval Academy researchers have developed a method for analyzing email traffic in real time to identify spam messages as they come across the wire, using the information from the TCP packets that carry the messages. 


From ACM News

Mexico's Cartels Build Own National Radio System

Mexico's Cartels Build Own National Radio System

When convoys of soldiers or federal police move through the scrubland of northern Mexico, the Zetas drug cartel knows they are coming.


From ACM Opinion

The Emergence of a Digital Money Ecosystem

The Emergence of a Digital Money Ecosystem

At the beginning of this year I wrote that the transition to universal mobile digital money is likely to be among the most exciting, important and challenging projects the world will undertake in the coming decades. Everything…


From ACM News

Bitcoin's Comeback: Should Western Union Be Afraid?

Bitcoin's Comeback: Should Western Union Be Afraid?

The last time we wrote about Bitcoin, in October, the currency's future looked grim. A series of security incidents had created an avalanche of bad press, which in turn undermined public confidence in the currency.


From ACM News

Logging in With a Touch or a Phrase (Anything but a Password)

Logging in With a Touch or a Phrase (Anything but a Password)

Polytechnic Institute of New York University researchers are training devices to recognize their owners by touch, one of several research projects designed to make passwords obsolete.


From ACM News

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99%

As part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a team of Web and mobile application developers is redesigning social networking for the era of global protests.


From ACM Careers

Infosec Careers: The New Demands

Infosec Careers: The New Demands

A major goal for information security students and institutions should be developing a cultural way of learning, instead of simply studying for tests and doing projects, says Purdue University professor Eugene Spafford.


From ACM News

How IBM Saw 2012 in 2007: Where's My Mind-Reading Cellphone?

How IBM Saw 2012 in 2007: Where's My Mind-Reading Cellphone?

The brainiacs at IBM made some pretty far-out predictions this week: In five years, they say, you won't need passwords, there will be no more digital divide, and mind reading will no longer be science fiction.


From ACM News

Traditional Social Networks Fueled Twitter's Spread

Traditional Social Networks Fueled Twitter's Spread

We've all heard it: The Internet has flattened the world, allowing social networks to spring up overnight, independent of geography or socioeconomic status.


From ACM News

Twitter of Terror

Twitter of Terror

Al-Shabaab, the Somali militant group heretofore best known for stoning teenage girls, blowing up soccer fans, and blocking food aid to their starving countrymen, is now on Twitter. You can talk to them if you like.


From ACM News

News As a Process: How Journalism Works in the Age of Twitter

News As a Process: How Journalism Works in the Age of Twitter

A new study of the way information flowed during the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt earlier this year paints a fascinating picture of how what some call "news as a process" works, and the roles bloggers, mainstream…


From ACM News

No More Access to Google's Hadoop Cloud for Researchers

No More Access to Google's Hadoop Cloud for Researchers

Google announced it is ending its Academic Cloud Computing Initiative, a joint program with IBM and the National Science Foundation that gave researchers access to a massive Hadoop cluster on which to run their data-intensive…


From ACM News

Self-Healing Electronic Chip Tests May Aid Space Travel

Self-Healing Electronic Chip Tests May Aid Space Travel

Self-repairing electronic chips are one step closer, according to a team of U.S. researchers, creating a circuit that heals itself when cracked thanks to the release of liquid metal that restores conductivity.


From ACM News

The Perfect Software Tester?

The Perfect Software Tester?

As Aspiritech and other companies are discovering, autistic individuals possess certain unique skills that make them ideal as software testers.


From ACM News

China Tops U.S., Japan to Become Top Patent Filer

China became the world's top patent filer in 2011, surpassing the U.S. and Japan as it steps up innovation to improve its intellectual property rights track record, a Thomson Reuters research report showed last Wednesday.


From ACM News

Logging In With a Touch or a Phrase (Anything but a Password)

Logging In With a Touch or a Phrase (Anything but a Password)

Passwords are a pain to remember. What if a quick wiggle of five fingers on a screen could log you in instead? Or speaking a simple phrase?


From ACM News

Answers to Google Interview Questions

1. What's the next number in this sequence: 10, 9, 60, 90, 70, 66 … ?

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