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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.

February 2009


From ACM TechNews

NSF Requests $7 Billion to Fund Research

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested a $7 billion budget for fiscal year 2010 to fund science and technology research at U.S. universities, which would be a 16 percent increase from NSF's 2009 budget. In…


From ACM TechNews

Titanic Twisters

Titanic Twisters

Significant work in the area of tornado simulation has been conducted by a team of University of Oklahoma researchers with the aid of the Texas Advanced Computing Center's Ranger supercomputer. The team, led by professor Ming…


From ACM TechNews

'Cyber Footballers' Cloned

Researchers at the Carlos III University in Madrid (UC3M) have programmed clones that imitate the actions of humans playing soccer on a computer using behavioral cloning techniques. The clones learned the players' behaviors …


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Say Gazelle Browser Offers Better Security

Researchers at various universities are working with Microsoft Research to develop a more secure Web browser code-named Gazelle. The researchers recently demonstrated Gazelle on Windows Vista and with Internet Explorer's Trident…


From ACM TechNews

Surprise: America Is No. 1 in Broadband

Although some countries have far more broadband-connected homes and higher broadband speeds than the United States, the U.S. leads the world in putting broadband to productive use, according to the "Connectivity Scorecard" developed…


From ACM TechNews

Report From Dartmouth's Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P) Makes Cyber Security Research Recommendations

Dartmouth College's Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection (I3P) has given the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairman Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and committee member Sen…


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Hopes to Train 2 Million in IT by 2012

Microsoft plans to provide technology training to as many as 2 million people over the next three years, and 1 million will receive vouchers for free online coursework. With Elevate America, Microsoft is executing a broader …


From ACM TechNews

Semantics-Empowered Social Computing

The sheer scope of user-generated content (UGC) requires a level of organization in order to take advantage of the vast corpus of information and construct applications that enhance user experiences, write Amit Sheth and Meenakshi…


From ACM TechNews

U.S. Said to Be Losing Competitive Edge

The U.S. economy has lost much of its competitive edge during the past decade, concludes a new Information Technology and Innovation Foundation report. The United States ranked sixth among 40 countries and regions, based on …


From ACM TechNews

IT Not So Green

University of Calgary professor Richard Hawkins says there is no evidence that information technology (IT) reduces the world's environmental footprint. "It was once assumed that there was little or no material dimension to information…


From ACM TechNews

In Science and Technology, Efforts to Lure Women Back

Numerous return-to-work programs are emerging in the science, engineering, and technology sectors, as many employers expect a talent shortage due to the high quit-rates among experienced women.

Honeywell, General Electric, …


From ACM TechNews

ACM Fellow Ed Catmull Garners an Oscar for Computer Graphics Leadership

The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has honored ACM Fellow Ed Catmull for his lifetime of technical contributions and leadership in the field of computer graphics. Catmull, a computer scientist…


From ACM TechNews

New Direction in Teaching Computer Science Emphasizes Activity, Interaction, Critique

The Washington University in St. Louis computer science department is using a new "active learning" approach to teach undergraduate students in an effort to better prepare them for the work place. Active learning uses a learning…


From ACM TechNews

Quantum Dance: Discovery Led by Princeton Researchers Could Revolutionize Computing

A Princeton University-led group of international scientists has observed a unique behavior in the spin of electrons within a new material that could be used to revolutionize computing and electronics. Theorists have predicted…


From ACM TechNews

New Bluetooth Standards to Bring Speed, Energy Efficiency

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is working on two new standards to improve the wireless technology's speed and energy use. Bluetooth SIG executive director Mike Foley says the specifications will greatly increase…


From ACM TechNews

Duke Software Dramatically Speeds Enzyme Design

Duke University researchers have developed software that shows experimentalists how to alter the machinery that bacteria uses to make natural antibiotics. The program is a set of computer rules known as algorithm K* that can…


From ACM TechNews

Universities Pilot 'Tools as a Service' Cloud Computing Initiative

The Tools as a Service (TaaS) cloud computing pilot program involving the IBM Canada Software Lab and the Ontario Centres of Excellence is up and running at participating Canadian research institutions. TaaS is being deployed…


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Research Social App Marries Web, Desktop

Microsoft Research has unveiled the Social Desktop, a new proof-of-concept application that integrates features from the Windows operating system and the Windows Azure cloud infrastructure to enable users to share files from …


From ACM TechNews

Howard S. Smith: Will Robotics Advance on the Battlefield?

Optimal Robotics founder Howard S. Smith says the military is the most likely place for artificially intelligent machines. Developing the technology that will be needed to create fully autonomous robots is so expensive that the…


From ACM TechNews

Proposed Law Might Make Wi-Fi Users Help Cops

Congressional Republicans have introduced the Internet Security Act, legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) and possibly Wi-Fi router owners to store and retain information…


From ACM TechNews

Women in IT Still Hit Glass Ceiling

Despite the growing role of women in the United Kingdom's information technology industry, there are signs that a glass ceiling still exists. A recent survey found that 58 percent of women believe that being a woman makes it…


From ACM TechNews

Exploring a 'Deep Web' That Google Can't Grasp

Google recently added the one trillionth Web address to its list of indexed Web pages, and yet that represents only a small portion of the entire Web. Beyond the one trillion pages is an even larger Web of data, including financial…


From ACM TechNews

Does Better Security Depend on a Better Internet?

The New York Times' recent article, "Do We Need a New Internet?," by John Markoff, has sparked debate in the research community over whether creating a secure Internet will require creating a new Internet. In the article, Stanford…


From ACM TechNews

Stimulus Bill Includes $7.2 Billion for Broadband

The $787 billion economic stimulus package U.S. President Obama recently signed into law includes $7.2 billion for broadband grant and loan programs. Under the bill, $4.7 billion of the funding will be distributed through the…


From ACM TechNews

The Journey from Jar Jar to Sign Language - Motion Capture Opens the Door to a New Way to Communicate

Dalhousie University professor Aaron Newman, the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, is using motion capture technology to develop a more thorough understanding of sign language and other forms of gesture-based communication…


From ACM TechNews

Improved Sensor Technology Could Someday Keep Tabs on Terrorists by Remote Control

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) scientists are developing new optical sensors for use in unmanned air vehicles and surveillance drones that could track suspects that have been identified as a threat. RIT professor John…


From ACM TechNews

The Expanding Mind

A "remarkable synergy" between the advancement of brain-computer interface (BCI) technology and innovations in computers, digital storage devices, software, and storage technologies is observed by the Innerspace Foundation chairman…


From ACM Careers

Graduates Take Degrees Overseas

International students at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math are increasingly leaving the United States after graduation to pursue career opportunities elsewhere. Some students…


From ACM News

Chinese IT Firm Accused of Links to Cyberwarfare

Beijing-based Venus Info Tech, a provider of IT network security to the Chinese military, has been accused of providing hacker services that help the Chinese government penetrate foreign government computer networks. Sources…


From ACM TechNews

Development of Mobile Applications Is Easy With the Elephant Platform

The Fraunhofer Institute for Communications Systems ESK's Elephant research project is a software platform that makes it easier for programmers to develop applications for mobile devices. With the Elephant platform, which is…

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