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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.

May 2012


From ACM News

A Dive Into the Digital Deep

A Dive Into the Digital Deep

When next winter's storms subside, a specialized ship will begin a slow crossing, lowering a skinny cable into its wake along a precisely prescribed path: the shortest distance between New York and London.


From ACM News

'Part-Time' Scientists Aim to Develop Autonomous Rover to Compete for Lunar X Prize

'Part-Time' Scientists Aim to Develop Autonomous Rover to Compete for Lunar X Prize

Some people try to make the most of their spare time by exercising, volunteering, or simply recharging their batteries. Others like to use that time to build robots that can be blasted to the moon and then set free to roam the…


From ACM News

Iran 'Finds Fix' for Sophisticated Flame Malware

Iran 'Finds Fix' for Sophisticated Flame Malware

Iran says it has developed tools that can defend against the sophisticated cyber attack tool known as Flame.


From ACM News

A New Home for Computer Screens: The Face

A New Home for Computer Screens: The Face

Employees at eyeglasses designer Michael Pachleitner Group have no reason to consult desktop computers, tablets or old-fashioned paper binders to find items in their 22,000 square-foot warehouse. The information is right in front…


From ACM TechNews

Mind-Reading Robot Teachers Keep Students Focused

Mind-Reading Robot Teachers Keep Students Focused

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have developed a robotic teacher that monitors students' attention levels and mimics the techniques human teachers use to hold their pupil's attention.


From ACM Opinion

Craig Venter Wants to Solve the World's Energy Crisis

Craig Venter Wants to Solve the World's Energy Crisis

There is one version of Craig Venter's life story where he would’ve been a dutiful scientist at the National Institutes of Health, a respected yet anonymous researcher in genetics, perhaps.


From ACM TechNews

21st Century Computer Architecture

21st Century Computer Architecture

The Computing Community Consortium has released "21st Century Computer Architecture," a white paper developed by members of the computer architecture research community designed to guide strategic thinking.  


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Propose Way to Thwart Fraudulent Digital Certificates

Researchers Propose Way to Thwart Fraudulent Digital Certificates

Security researchers Moxie Marlinspike and Trevor Perrin say an extension to the transport layer security protocol could help address spoofing attacks on the Secure Sockets Layer certificate ecosystem.  


From ACM News

Was Flame Virus that Invaded Iran's Computer Networks Made in USA?

As the United Nations and Iran warn that the newly discovered Flame computer virus may be the most potent weapon of its kind, U.S. computer security experts tell NBC News that the virus bears the hallmarks of a U.S. cyber espionage…


From ACM News

Shots Fired, Pinpointed and Argued Over

Shots Fired, Pinpointed and Argued Over

 At 7:22:07 p.m. on a recent Thursday, an electronic alarm went off in the soundproof control room of a suburban office building here.


From ACM Opinion

What Fearmongers Get Wrong About Cyberwarfare

What Fearmongers Get Wrong About Cyberwarfare

Should we worry about cyberwarfare? Judging by excessively dramatic headlines in the media, very much so. Cyberwarfare, the argument goes, might make wars easier to start and thus more likely.


From ACM TechNews

Study Highlights How Twitter Is Used to Share Information After a Disaster

Study Highlights How Twitter Is Used to Share Information After a Disaster

North Carolina State University researchers recently studied how people used Twitter following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Japan.


From ACM TechNews

Project Finds, Purges Vulnerable Code Snippets From the Net

Project Finds, Purges Vulnerable Code Snippets From the Net

Digital Security has launched the Eliminate Vulnerable Code project, an initiative designed to eliminate insecure code.  


From ACM TechNews

Intel Eyes Future With Computers That Learn

Intel Eyes Future With Computers That Learn

ReutersIntel's Collaborative Research Institute for Computational Intelligence will work with researchers in Israel to develop devices that will learn about their users. The new devices, such as small, wearable computers than…


From ACM News

Using Machine Learning to Discover Ancient Middle East Settlements

Using Machine Learning to Discover Ancient Middle East Settlements

 An archeologist and a computer scientist have developed a new technique to analyze satellite images of wide swaths of land to discover ancient settlements in the Middle East. 


From ACM News

Meet 'Flame,' The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers

Meet 'Flame,' The Massive Spy Malware Infiltrating Iranian Computers


From ACM Opinion

Jonathan Ive: Simplicity Isn't Simple

Jonathan Ive: Simplicity Isn't Simple

"Design is a word that's come to mean so much that it's also a word that has come to mean nothing. We don't really talk about design, we talk about developing ideas and making products," says Jonathan Ive, the London-born head…


From ACM Careers

Coolest Jobs in Tech: Decoding Life, Touring Solar Systems

Coolest Jobs in Tech: Decoding Life, Touring Solar Systems

Managing hardware and storage needs; building custom, in-house applications; making information accessible via the Web—such tasks are the mainstays of IT work, so mundane that they're generally not worth talking about.


From ACM Careers

Silicon Valley Foreign Worker Search Speeds Up After Lull

Technology firms have tripled their recruitment of foreign workers this spring after a hiring lull of several years—a development that is reigniting the debate over immigration rules affecting those workers.


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputer to Connect to 400PB of Storage via Ethernet

Supercomputer to Connect to 400PB of Storage via Ethernet

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications recently launched a storage infrastructure initiative designed to support the Blue Waters supercomputer, which is expected to have a peak performance of 11.5 petaflops and 1…


From ACM TechNews

The Whois Database May Finally Get an Overhaul

The Whois Database May Finally Get an Overhaul

A volunteer group at ICANN has released a report on the Whois database that points out the problems with the database, the parties responsible, and some potential solutions, writes Beau Brendler, chairman of the North American…


From ACM TechNews

Researchers 'Map' Android Malware Genome

Researchers 'Map' Android Malware Genome

North Carolina State University's Android Malware Genome Project is a malware-sharing initiative aimed at encouraging more collaboration on a new generation of malware to chart its characteristics and evolution in order to better…


From ACM News

As Computing Changes, Hewlett-Packard Struggles to Follow

As Computing Changes, Hewlett-Packard Struggles to Follow

As the computer industry makes a radical shift to new modes of computing—in the cloud and on tablets and smartphones—Hewlett-Packard, a stalwart of the previous era, finds it hard to keep up.


From ACM News

Dark Shadows on Mars: Scene from Durable NASA Rover

Dark Shadows on Mars: Scene from Durable NASA Rover

Like a tourist waiting for just the right lighting to snap a favorite shot during a stay at the Grand Canyon, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has used a low sun angle for a memorable view of a large Martian crater.


From ACM News

High Court to Hear Warrantless Eavesdropping Challenge

High Court to Hear Warrantless Eavesdropping Challenge

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether to halt a legal challenge to a once-secret warrantless surveillance program targeting Americans' communications that Congress eventually legalized in 2008.


From ACM News

Online Friendships Light Up Shadow Social Networks

Online Friendships Light Up Shadow Social Networks

Friending someone on Facebook makes an association public, but many relationships are never professed online.


From ACM News

Telerobotics Offers Third Way for Space Exploration

Telerobotics Offers Third Way for Space Exploration

Space exploration may have a new direction. In the 1960s, humans did the exploring but since the last moon landing in 1972, NASA's only explorers beyond low Earth orbit have been semi-autonomous robots. Now the agency is pondering…


From ACM News

Browser Choice: A Thing of the Past?

Like to pick your browser? Beware, because new mobile devices threaten to stifle the competitive vigor of the market for Web browsers on PCs.


From ACM TechNews

New Mathematical Framework Formalizes Oddball Programming Techniques

New Mathematical Framework Formalizes Oddball Programming Techniques

MIT researchers have developed a mathematical framework that enables developers to reason rigorously about sloppy computation, providing mathematical guarantees that if a program behaves as intended, so will a fast-but-inaccurate…


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft's FDS Data-Sorter Crushes Hadoop

Microsoft's FDS Data-Sorter Crushes Hadoop

Microsoft researchers have developed the Flat Datacenter Storage approach, which features new sorting algorithms for the Bing search engine that beat a Hadoop cluster in the MinuteSort test, which counts how many bytes of data…

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