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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 2012


From ACM TechNews

Apple Loophole Gives Developers Access to Photos

Apple Loophole Gives Developers Access to Photos

Application developers for Apple's mobile devices, already under fire for taking users' address book information without their knowledge, now are being accused of using their photos without a warning.  


From ACM TechNews

MIT Takes Aim at Secure, Self-Healing Cloud

MIT Takes Aim at Secure, Self-Healing Cloud

MIT researchers are studying how to build a cloud computing infrastructure that recognizes and eliminates a cyberattack under normal operating procedures.  


From ACM TechNews

HTML5 Still Taking Shape

HTML5 Still Taking Shape

An unusual alignment of technology giants has embraced HTML5 as a cross-browser, cross-device development and delivery platform.  


From ACM TechNews

Colleges Are Urged to Cooperate to Bring More Women and Minorities Into Science

Colleges Are Urged to Cooperate to Bring More Women and Minorities Into Science

EducationCounsel and the American Association for the Advancement of Science recently offered a plan for producing more science and engineering graduates by bringing research universities into student-centered alliances with…


From ACM TechNews

Bank Customers Favor Birthdate PINs

Bank Customers Favor Birthdate PINs

The patterns that bank customers typically follow when choosing a four-digit PIN code gives hackers a 9 percent chance of correctly guessing their ATM code, according to a study from Cambridge University researchers. 


From ACM News

What Should Apple Do with Its Cash?

Apple's soaring with the market Tuesday, topping $530 per share. Not only is Apple soaring in the stock market, the company is also sitting on $98 billion in cash—a sum that even chief executive Tim Cook said was "more than we…


From ACM News

Tiny 3D Chips

Tiny 3D Chips

Microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, are small devices with huge potential. Typically made of components less than 100 microns in size—the diameter of a human hair—they have been used as tiny biological sensors, accelerometers…


From ACM Careers

Google Web Grows in City

Google Web Grows in City

Google Inc. has dramatically expanded its presence in Manhattan in the past year, adding roughly 750 people to its outpost in 2011 in the most prominent example of a technology company shifting its focus toward New York.


From ACM News

Leap Year Blamed for HICAPS Stumble

Leap Year Blamed for HICAPS Stumble

Today's extra day in February has caused the payment system used by the health industry to crash, preventing 150,000 customers from using private health care cards for medical transactions. 


From ACM News

NASA Pinning Down Where 'Here' is Better Than Ever

NASA Pinning Down Where 'Here' is Better Than Ever

Before our Global Positioning System navigation devices can tell us where we are, the satellites that make up the GPS need to know exactly where they are.


From ACM News

Garmin Finds a New Direction

In the pantheon of seemingly obsolete technologies, automobile navigation devices might seem ready to join laser discs and pagers.


From ACM TechNews

World's Most Massive Supercomputer Needed for Colossal Space Telescope

World's Most Massive Supercomputer Needed for Colossal Space Telescope

The International Center for Radio Astronomy Research is working with the Canadian Astronomical Data Center to develop systems that will work with the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope project.  


From ACM TechNews

NIST Cybersecurity Center Tackles Public And Private Threats

NIST Cybersecurity Center Tackles Public And Private Threats

The U.S. NIST has partnered with Maryland and Montgomery County, Md., to create the National Cybersecurity Center for Excellence, where NIST researchers will work to improve U.S. cybersecurity.  


From ACM TechNews

Drexel Engineering Research Brings Seven Adult-Sized Humanoid Robots Together in the U.S. for the First Time

Drexel Engineering Research Brings Seven Adult-Sized Humanoid Robots Together in the U.S. for the First Time

Drexel University recently celebrated National Engineers Week by presenting seven adult-sized humanoid robots made by the HUBO Lab.  


From ACM TechNews

Software Helps Improve Software

Software Helps Improve Software

KIT researchers have developed the PALLADIO simulation tool, which analyzes a program's structure in advance and predicts the need for resources and limitations.  


From ACM News

Cryptosystems Showing Signs of 'Wear and Tear'

It's been an interesting year in the cryptography world, with new attacks on several algorithms, continued problems with hash functions, and the recent research on weak RSA keys.


From ACM News

Did the AP Just Declare War on News Aggregators?

Did the AP Just Declare War on News Aggregators?

Like virtually every other traditional news entity, the Associated Press newswire has been under pressure for some time from digital media. But this disruption has been even worse for AP and its ilk because they are primarily…


From ACM News

STEM, Gender Parity, and Faculty Retention

STEM, Gender Parity, and Faculty Retention

Universities retain and promote men and women at similar rates in STEM departments, except for mathematics, according to a new study. However, the odds that any STEM faculty member, male or female, stays on is less than 50 percent…


From ACM News

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers' Tactics

In Attack on Vatican Web Site, a Glimpse of Hackers' Tactics

The elusive hacker movement known as Anonymous has carried out Internet attacks on well-known organizations like Sony and PBS. In August, the group went after its most prominent target yet: the Vatican.


From ACM News

Google Unified Privacy Settings Unsettle Users

Google Unified Privacy Settings Unsettle Users

Google, I wish I knew how to quit you.


From ACM TechNews

Report: Open Source Tops Proprietary Code in Quality

Open source code has fewer defects per thousand lines of code than proprietary software, according to the 2011 Scan Open Source Integrity Report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Coverity.  


From ACM News

Facebook: The Wimps Will Inherit the Data Center

Facebook: The Wimps Will Inherit the Data Center

Unlike Google, Facebook believes the wimps have a future in the data center. As variousacademics and free-thinking startups seek to reinvent the server using ultra-low-power processors—aka "wimpy cores"—Google continues to …


From ACM TechNews

Standards Leader Blasts HTML5 Video Copy Protection

Standards Leader Blasts HTML5 Video Copy Protection

Microsoft, Google, and Netflix recently proposed a standard for copy-protected Web video, but HTML editor Ian Hickson calls it impractical and unethical.  


From ACM News

How Data Storage Cripples Mobile Apps

The latest smart phones and tablets at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month came with an emphasis on faster processors and compatibility with faster wireless networks. But new research shows that the biggest…


From ACM TechNews

Study Explores Computing Bursts for Smartphones

Study Explores Computing Bursts for Smartphones

The performance of smartphones could be improved by using chips that are designed for computational sprinting, say researchers at Pennsylvania and Michigan universities. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Modeling: Brain in a Box

Computer Modeling: Brain in a Box

A proposal by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology scientist Henry Markram to build a supercomputer model integrating all knowledge about the human brain is one of six finalists competing for a $1.3 billion Flagship grant from…


From ACM News

New Chips Help Bring High-Definition Sound to Smartphones and Other Devices

New Chips Help Bring High-Definition Sound to Smartphones and Other Devices

Smartphone owners can surf the Web, pay bills, watch videos, enjoy music, and send email. But while their gadgets have been designed to handle increasing amounts of data, experts say, less attention has been paid to their ability…


From ACM News

Appeals Court Upholds Constitutional Right Against Forced Decryption

A federal appeals court has found a Florida man's constitutional rights were violated when he was imprisoned for refusing to decrypt data on several devices.


From ACM Opinion

The Coming Entanglement: Bill Joy and Danny Hillis

Digital innovators Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Danny Hillis, co-founder of the Long Now Foundation, talk with Scientific American Executive Editor Fred Guterl about the technological Entanglement and the attempts…


From ACM TechNews

Tech Giants Agree to Deal on Privacy Policies for Apps

Tech Giants Agree to Deal on Privacy Policies for Apps

California attorney general Kamala D. Harris reached an agreement with major mobile-device companies, including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Research In Motion, which could change how application makers…

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