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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.

March 2012


From ACM News

Google's Grand Plan

Google's Grand Plan

In a typical month, David Lawee meets two dozen founders of new companies. He grills them on their businesses, their ambitions, their funding, and their clever ideas for the future.


From ACM TechNews

A Computer Screen You Can Fold

A Computer Screen You Can Fold

University of Toronto researchers have developed a less-expensive method of making flat-panel displays that could lead to computer screens that can be rolled up like a newspaper and wallpaper that lights up a room.  


From ACM TechNews

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Cyber and Drone Attacks May Change Warfare More Than the Machine Gun

Information technology is changing the way nations wage war, with philosophical and ethical perspectives struggling to keep pace with those changes.  


From ACM TechNews

New Search Tool to Unlock Wikipedia

New Search Tool to Unlock Wikipedia

Researchers at the University of Cagliari and the University of California, Los Angeles have developed Swipe, a prototype plug-in that can help Wikipedia users answer complex questions that are problematic for most search engines…


From ACM Opinion

The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC's New Approach to Privacy

The Philosopher Whose Fingerprints Are All Over the FTC's New Approach to Privacy

A mile or two away from Facebook's headquarters in Silicon Valley, Helen Nissenbaum of New York University was standing in a basement on Stanford's campus explaining that the entire way that we've thought about privacy on the…


From ACM News

U.S. Outgunned in Hacker War

U.S. Outgunned in Hacker War

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's top cyber cop offered a grim appraisal of the nation's efforts to keep computer hackers from plundering corporate data networks: "We're not winning," he said.


From ACM News

How the Cost of Computation Restricts the Processes of Life

How the Cost of Computation Restricts the Processes of Life

Back in the 1960s, the IBM physicist Rolf Landauer showed that computation comes with a cost: every (irreversible) calculation, he said, always burns through a small amount of energy. That's why silicon chips operate at temperatures…


From ACM TechNews

More Energy Efficient Transistors Through Quantum Tunneling

More Energy Efficient Transistors Through Quantum Tunneling

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Pennsylvania State University say they have made breakthroughs in the development of tunneling field effect transistors, semiconductor technology that takes advantage of the odd…


From ACM TechNews

Google Patents Tech to Serve Ads Based on Background Noise

Google Patents Tech to Serve Ads Based on Background Noise

Google has received a patent for technology that would enable it to deliver advertising based on what it calls "environment conditions."  


From ACM TechNews

Open Source Code Libraries Seen as Rife With Vulnerabilities

Open Source Code Libraries Seen as Rife With Vulnerabilities

Open source code libraries have a significant number of security vulnerabilities, according to an Aspect Security study that analyzed 113 million software downloads from Sonatype's Central Repository of more than 30 Java frameworks…


From ACM News

Study Tracks How Conservatives Lost Their Faith in Science

Study Tracks How Conservatives Lost Their Faith in Science

An analysis of 36 years' worth of polling data indicates that confidence in science as an institution has steadily declined among Americans who consider themselves conservatives, while confidence levels have been at steadier…


From ACM News

Sanjeev Arora Wins 2011 ACM-Infosys Award

Sanjeev Arora Wins 2011 ACM-Infosys Award

Sanjeev Arora, a computer scientist at Princeton University, is honored for breakthroughs that have advanced the power of computing. 


From ACM News

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack

Richard Clarke on Who Was Behind the Stuxnet Attack

The story Richard Clarke spins has all the suspense of a postmodern geopolitical thriller.


From ACM News

'Mount Sharp' on Mars Links Geology's Past and Future

'Mount Sharp' on Mars Links Geology's Past and Future

One particular mountain on Mars, bigger than Colorado's grandest, has been beckoning would-be explorers since it was first sighted from orbit in the 1970s.


From ACM News

The '80s Called, and They Want Their Cellphones Back

The '80s Called, and They Want Their Cellphones Back

Julie Barbour-Issa calls her eight-year-old cellphone "the dinosaur. It's a brick, and I could use it as a weapon in an emergency," says the 30-year-old Norwood, Mass., civil engineer.


From ACM News

Eye-Tracking Computers Will Read Your Thoughts

Eye-Tracking Computers Will Read Your Thoughts

Consider, for a moment, the following list: Republican. Abortion. Democrat. Future. Afghanistan. Health care. Same-sex marriage.

 


From ACM TechNews

Google Working on Advanced Web Engineering

Google Working on Advanced Web Engineering

InfoWorldGoogle is developing several advanced programming technologies to ease complex Web application development. "We're getting to the place where the Web is turning into a runtime integration platform for real components…


From ACM TechNews

A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet

A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet

The market for online classes in programming, Web construction, and application development is booming.  


From ACM TechNews

Smarter Computing Systems Make Society Better

Smarter Computing Systems Make Society Better

The High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation project is driving the development of computing systems designed to make everyday life easier, such as smart houses and grids. 


From ACM News

Online Attribution of the French Killer

Mohammed Merah, the culprit of the killing of 7 people in France last week, was found using a mix of traditional and online forensics.


From ACM News

Global Manhunt Will Leverage Social Media to Find 'Suspects'

Global Manhunt Will Leverage Social Media to Find 'Suspects'

If you had to track down fugitives hidden in five cities around the world, would one day and a $5,000 reward be enough to succeed?


From ACM TechNews

Fixing the Brain With Computers

Fixing the Brain With Computers

Disabilities such as epilepsy, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Parkinson’s disease are being treated with neuroimplants, says St. Louis University School of Medicine researcher Richard Bucholz in an interview.…


From ACM TechNews

New ORNL Tool Developed to Assess Global Freshwater Stress

New ORNL Tool Developed to Assess Global Freshwater Stress

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a method to make better use of large amounts of data concerning global geography, population, and climate, which could help determine the relative importance of population…


From ACM TechNews

Lessons About RSA Key Security

Lessons About RSA Key Security

Purdue University professor Eugene Spafford says a recently published paper that called into question the security of RSA public-private keys has lessons for security researchers. 


From ACM News

Cassini Spacecraft for Saturn Moon Pass

Cassini Spacecraft for Saturn Moon Pass

The Cassini spacecraft is to make its lowest pass yet over the south pole of Enceladus, an active moon of Saturn which may harbour a liquid water ocean.


From ACM News

NASA Probe Offers New View of Mercury: Alien World Right in Our Back Yard

NASA Probe Offers New View of Mercury: Alien World Right in Our Back Yard

The overheated, underappreciated runt of the solar system is finally getting some attention.


From ACM News

China's Not-So-Super Computers

China's Not-So-Super Computers

The supercomputer in this southern boomtown is named Nebulae for the interstellar clouds of gas that give birth to stars.


From ACM News

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 2

Rebecca MacKinnon Discusses Threats to Internet Freedom: Part 2

Many people don't realize that most of the censorship and surveillance in China is not being done by the government, but by companies at the behest of the government, says Rebecca MacKinnon. 


From ACM News

Genius and Tragedy at Dawn of Computer Age

Genius and Tragedy at Dawn of Computer Age

One of the many myths about Apple is that the company's name is a reference to the half-eaten apple reportedly found beside the corpse of the British computer scientist Alan Turing after he committed suicide in 1954 a few weeks…


From ACM TechNews

Feds Fight Homelessness With Mobile App Challenge

Feds Fight Homelessness With Mobile App Challenge

The U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services and Bon Jovi's JBJ Soul Foundation recently launched the Project REACH Mobile App Challenge, which calls on developers to…

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