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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.

April 2009


From ACM TechNews

Universities Angle for Billions to Build Obama's New Broadband Network

Several higher-education information technology groups are working to influence the U.S. broadband strategy and help steer the distribution of $4.7 billion in Internet access stimulus funding. For example, Internet2, a high-speed…


From ACM TechNews

One-Eyed Robots Ready for Exploration

Monocular vision can be sufficient for a robot to perform its job as long as its brain can process environmental data rapidly enough, says Imperial College London computer scientist Andrew Davison. Given stereoscopic vision's…


From ACM TechNews

Congressman Langevin Determined to Prevent a 'Cyber 9/11'

Congressman Langevin Determined to Prevent a 'Cyber 9/11'

In an interview, Rep. James R. Langevin (D-R.I.), the co-founder and co-chair of the House Cybersecurity Caucus, said he promises to do everything he can to prevent a massive cyberattack on the U.S.'s infrastructure — an event…


From ACM TechNews

FIRST Thing: Robotics in Every School

FIRST Thing: Robotics in Every School

Robotics education should be offered in every school, says Brian Toohey, a supporter of the nonprofit organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST). Hoping to capitalize on the media buzz surrounding…


From ICT Results

Tiny Green Lasers Seen Enabling Mobile Phone Projectors

Tiny Green Lasers Seen Enabling Mobile Phone Projectors

Compact lasers which can work in formerly inaccessible parts of the spectrum and are suitable for mass production are now within reach, thanks to pioneering work by a European consortium. There is a growing commercial interest…


From ACM News

Smart Electric Vehicle Charger Won't Strain the Power Grid

Smart Electric Vehicle Charger Won't Strain the Power Grid

Using a new technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, electric vehicle owners can plug in their cars and forget about them, knowing they'll get the cheapest electricity available…


From ACM News

Computers Bring Efficiency to the Infrastructure

Computers Bring Efficiency to the Infrastructure

Low-cost sensors, clever software, and computing firepower are key ingredients of an emerging computing trend called smart infrastructure — efficient and environmentally friendly systems that manage commuter traffic, food distribution…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Add Smell to Games

Computer Scientists Add Smell to Games

Birmingham University computer scientist Bob Stone is developing artificial smell simulators that could be used to make video games more realistic or by the military to teach soldiers to identify and disable improvised explosive…


From ACM TechNews

Touch Screen Adds Tactile Pop-Up Buttons

Touch Screen Adds Tactile Pop-Up Buttons

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) researchers have developed sensor feedback technology that features buttons that pop out from a touch-screen surface. The technology retains the dynamic display capabilities of touch screens,…


From ACM TechNews

Swine Flu: Statistical Model Predicts U.S. Cases

Swine Flu: Statistical Model Predicts U.S. Cases

Indiana University informatics professor Alessandro Vespignani says that two recently developed swine influenza models predict a worst-case scenario of 1,000 cases in the United States within three weeks. So far, there have…


From ACM TechNews

Sleep Talking PCs Save Energy and Money

Sleep Talking PCs Save Energy and Money

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and Microsoft Research have developed Somniloquy, a plug-and-play hardware prototype for personal computers that creates a new energy-saving state known as "sleep…


From ACM TechNews

Obama Announces New Commitment to R&D Funding

Obama Announces New Commitment to R&D Funding

In a recent speech before the members of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. President Barack Obama said the United States should invest 3 percent or more of its annual gross domestic product (GDP) in basic and applied scientific…


From ACM TechNews

U.S. Steps Up Effort on Digital Defenses

The United States is engaged in an international race to develop both cyberweapons and cyberdefenses. Thousands of daily attacks on federal and private computer systems in the United States, some malicious and some testing for…


From ACM News

Obama Announces Members of Science and Technology Advisory Council

During remarks at the National Academy of Sciences, President Barack Obama on Monday (April 27) announced the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). PCAST is an advisory group of the nation's leading…


From ACM TechNews

Traffic Demands to Disrupt the Internet by 2010

The World Wide Web has reached a critical point, warns Nemertes Research in a new report, which claims that increased online traffic will likely result in slower and more unreliable Internet connections for Web users in the near…


From ICT Results

Interactive TV Courses Reach for Broader Audience

Interactive TV Courses Reach for Broader Audience

Providing educators with the tools to create interactive TV courses will expand their ability to reach audiences in their homes and help them learn new skills, according to European researchers. The Enhanced Learning Unlimited…


From ACM TechNews

Team Recreates Ancient Karnak, Brings Pharaohs' Complex to Life

Team Recreates Ancient Karnak, Brings Pharaohs' Complex to Life

A team of more than 24 scholars and technicians at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has created the Digital Karnak, a three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the ancient Egyptian religious complex originally built…


From ACM TechNews

UC Davis Designs Super-Fast, Ultra Energy-Efficient 167-Processor Chip

Computer scientists at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) have announced what they believe is the highest clock-rate processor chip designed by a university. The 167-processor digital-signal processing chip, dubbed…


From ACM News

Network Pioneer Cited for Revolutionary Advances in Web Search Techniques

Network Pioneer Cited for Revolutionary Advances in Web Search Techniques

ACM announced Tuesday (April 28) that Jon Kleinberg, a professor at Cornell University, is the recipient of the 2008 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences for his contributions to improving Web search techniques…


From ACM TechNews

U.N. Launches Library of World's Knowledge

U.N. Launches Library of World's Knowledge

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially launched the World Digital Library, an Internet-based library that aims to display and explain the wealth of all human cultures. The…


From ACM TechNews

Wireless Networks Can Now Be Truly Wireless

Wireless Networks Can Now Be Truly Wireless

Researchers at Karlstad University in Sweden are collaborating with researchers at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories to test technology that promises to maintain the capacity of wireless networks over an entire city or sparsely populated…


From ACM TechNews

IBM Computer Program to Take on 'Jeopardy!'

IBM Computer Program to Take on 'Jeopardy!'

IBM is developing software designed to compete against human "Jeopardy!" contestants, which, if successful, could mark a major advancement in artificial intelligence. Beating "Jeopardy!" will require a program that can analyze…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Work on Web Site Credibility Tests

Researchers Work on Web Site Credibility Tests

Scientists at the Know-Center, a technology research center in Austria, are developing software capable of quickly determining if a Web site is a credible source with reliable information. The program automatically analyzes…


From ACM TechNews

Cornell Maps the World's Photos

Cornell Maps the World's Photos

Computer science researchers at the Cornell University used a supercomputer to download and analyze almost 35 million photographs, taken by more than 300,000 photographers, posted on the photo-sharing Web site Flickr. The goal…


From ACM News

African Researchers Rank Asus Eee Over OLPC's XO

Though the XO laptop from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is aimed directly at children in developing nations, research by African universities and Computer Aid International ranks the Asus Eee PC netbook as a better…


From ACM TechNews

G.E.'s Breakthrough Can Put 100 DVDs on a Disc

G.E.'s Breakthrough Can Put 100 DVDs on a Disc

General Electric (GE) holographic researchers have announced a digital storage breakthrough that will enable standard-sized disks to hold the equivalent of 100 DVDs. Although the advancement is currently only a laboratory success…


From ACM TechNews

Google Tries Jump-Starting 3D Web Graphics

Google Tries Jump-Starting 3D Web Graphics

Google has released O3D, software designed to bring accelerated three-dimensional (3D) graphics to Web browsers. The program is a browser plug-in for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. It provides an interface…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Model Simulates Mammalian Brain

Computer Model Simulates Mammalian Brain

The Blue Brain project is focused on reverse-engineering mammal brains from laboratory data and to develop a computer model down to the level of the molecules that make a brain. The project has successfully created a detailed…


From ACM TechNews

Device Allows Smartphones to Capture and Display Ultrasound Images

Device Allows Smartphones to Capture and Display Ultrasound Images

Washington University in St. Louis computer engineers have developed an ultrasound device that can be plugged directly into a smartphone's USB port. The device enables smartphones to capture images and display them directly…


From ACM TechNews

NIST Nudges Quantum Computers Toward Commercial Viability

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated an error suppression technique that they say makes multistep quantum calculations commercially feasible. "Quantum computers are inherently…

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