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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 2013


From ACM News

How the Science of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer and Predict the Future

How the Science of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer and Predict the Future

The first thing to hit Iain Couzin when he walked into the Oxford lab where he kept his locusts was the smell, like a stale barn full of old hay.


From ACM News

Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven

Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven

One of the oddest bits of news to emerge from the economic collapse of Cyprus is a corresponding rise in the value of Bitcoin, the Internet’s favorite, media-friendly, anarchist crypto-currency.


From ACM News

Little-Known Surveillance Tool Raises Concerns by Judges, Privacy Activists

Little-Known Surveillance Tool Raises Concerns by Judges, Privacy Activists

Federal investigators in Northern California routinely used a sophisticated surveillance system to scoop up data from cellphones and other wireless devices in an effort to track criminal suspects—but failed to detail the practice…


From ACM TechNews

Robot Butler Can Open Doors, Talk, and Separate Oreos

Robot Butler Can Open Doors, Talk, and Separate Oreos

The Home Exploring Robot Butler (HERB) can get a meal out of the fridge, microwave food, clean up after a mess, and even separate an Oreo.


From ACM TechNews

Shrinking Blob Speeds Traveling Salesman on His Way

Shrinking Blob Speeds Traveling Salesman on His Way

Computer scientists have discovered that a virtual shrinking blob might help find a solution to the renowned traveling salesman quandary.


From ACM TechNews

NSF-Funded Superhero Supercomputer Helps Battle Autism

NSF-Funded Superhero Supercomputer Helps Battle Autism

Researchers are using the Gordon supercomputer to develop techniques that can be used to guide the development of treatments for mental disorders. 


From ACM TechNews

'We Are the World'

'We Are the World'

Two-thirds of all available jobs in all fields of science and engineering this decade will be in computer science. 


From ACM TechNews

Cyberattacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt

Cyberattacks Seem Meant to Destroy, Not Just Disrupt

The criminals behind recent cyberattacks on U.S. financial companies seem intent on destroying their targets, instead of simply disrupting business operations. 


From ACM News

The Mayor's Geek Squad

The Mayor's Geek Squad

It was a case for a digital Sherlock Holmes.


From ACM News

Yes, Your New Car Has A 'Black Box.' Where's The Off Switch?

Yes, Your New Car Has A 'Black Box.' Where's The Off Switch?

If you're a vehicle owner and happen to have a car accident in the near future (we hope you don't), it's likely the crash details will be recorded.


From ACM News

The Future of the Internet Is Still Ads—And You're the Inventory

The Future of the Internet Is Still Ads—And You're the Inventory

Ads pay for the Internet, or at least for what most of us do online.


From ACM TechNews

Advances in Computational Research Transform Scientific Process and Discovery

Advances in Computational Research Transform Scientific Process and Discovery

Supercomputers are enabling unprecedented scientific discoveries by providing high-speed computational capabilities, extreme storage capacities, and the ability to produce high-resolution simulations. 


From ACM TechNews

Computer Simulations Yield Clues to How Cells Interact With Surroundings

Computer Simulations Yield Clues to How Cells Interact With Surroundings

Researchers say they have developed a virtual integrin snippet that responds to changes in energy and other stimuli just as integrins do in real life. 


From ACM TechNews

Paint-On Plastic Electronics: Aligning Polymers for High Performance

Paint-On Plastic Electronics: Aligning Polymers for High Performance

A new method for getting semiconducting polymers to line up could lead to less expensive, greener, and "paint-on" plastic electronics. 


From ACM TechNews

CSIRO Telepresence Robots Connect Students With National Museum

CSIRO Telepresence Robots Connect Students With National Museum

Australia's National Museum has launched a trial that enables schoolchildren to remotely navigate its galleries via robots that contain telepresence technology. 


From ACM News

Fighting Cancer With the Google PageRank Algorithm. Sort Of.

Fighting Cancer With the Google PageRank Algorithm. Sort Of.

In cancer parlance, metastasize is a four-letter word.


From ACM News

Web Money Gets Laundering Rule

Web Money Gets Laundering Rule

The U.S. is applying money-laundering rules to "virtual currencies," amid growing concern that new forms of cash bought on the Internet are being used to fund illicit activities.


From ACM News

Employers Struggle to Fill Computer Security Jobs

Employers Struggle to Fill Computer Security Jobs

Corporations and government agencies are scrambling to find new ways to attract people to jobs in information security, thanks to a growing gap between the demand for IT security specialists and the number of people entering…


From ACM News

Copyright Ruling Rings With Echo of Betamax

Copyright Ruling Rings With Echo of Betamax

Before Napster and LimeWire, before Megauploads and the Pirate Bay, media companies' epic struggle against copying, piracy and generally losing control over their creations can be traced to a legal fight more than 30 years ago…


From ACM News

Microsoft Gives User Data to the U.S. Government Less Often Than Google, But to Foreign Governments Far More

Microsoft Gives User Data to the U.S. Government Less Often Than Google, But to Foreign Governments Far More

Microsoft has finally joined Google and a small group of Internet firms that voluntarily reveal how often governments demand they hand over their users’ private data.


From ACM TechNews

The Cloud Within Us

The Cloud Within Us

A new cloud architecture provides all necessary infrastructure, platform, and software services in the cloud through the cooperation of peers within the system. 


From ACM TechNews

Study Shows How Easy It Is to Determine Someone's Identity With Cellphone Data

Study Shows How Easy It Is to Determine Someone's Identity With Cellphone Data

Researchers have found that only four spatio-temporal points are needed to uniquely identify 95 percent of individual cellphone users. 


From ACM TechNews

Luring Young Web Warriors Is a U.S. Priority. It’s Also a Game.

Luring Young Web Warriors Is a U.S. Priority. It’s Also a Game.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano says her department is in dire need of computer hackers. 


From ACM TechNews

AI Programmers Struggle to Make Games 'Imitate Life'

AI Programmers Struggle to Make Games 'Imitate Life'

Artificial intelligence in videogames should improve to incorporate more intelligent characters into games. 


From ACM TechNews

Personal Monitor Systems May Change Healthcare

Personal Monitor Systems May Change Healthcare

The mHealth infrastructure currently under development incorporates computer informatics, smartphones, and energy-efficient and miniaturized electronics and sensors. 


From ACM TechNews

Turing's 'Universal Machine' Voted Top British Innovation

Turing's 'Universal Machine' Voted Top British Innovation

Alan Turing's Universal Machine has been voted the top British innovation of the past 100 years.


From ACM News

AP Wins Big: Why a Court Said Clipping Content Is Not Fair Use

AP Wins Big: Why a Court Said Clipping Content Is Not Fair Use

A federal court has sided with the Associated Press and the New York Times in a closely watched case involving a company that scraped news content from the Internet without paying for it.


From ACM Careers

At 17, App Builder Rockets to Riches From Yahoo Deal

At 17, App Builder Rockets to Riches From Yahoo Deal

Seventeen-year-old Nick D'Aloisio is taking some time off from school in London, where he lives with his parents. He will let mom and dad help manage his money.


From ACM News

Pentagon's Mad Scientists Want a Tattoo That Tracks Troops' Vitals

Pentagon's Mad Scientists Want a Tattoo That Tracks Troops' Vitals

In its ongoing quest to measure every aspect of U.S. troops' physiology, the Pentagon's esoteric research enclave wants to develop a durable, unobtrusive device that can track the body's physical response to stress.


From ACM TechNews

Printable Robots Designed to Be Consumer-Friendly, Inexpensive

Printable Robots Designed to Be Consumer-Friendly, Inexpensive

A new project to automate the design and manufacturing of consumer robots uses two-dimensional desktop technology fabrication methods. 

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