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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.

July 2011


From ACM News

Exploring Space with Chip-Size Satellites

Exploring Space with Chip-Size Satellites

Gravity may be woven into the very fabric of space-time, but some objects seem nearly immune to its pull. Scale something down to the size of a dust particle and you'll find it can stay aloft almost indefinitely, dancing in…


From ACM TechNews

New Language for Programming in Parallel

New Language for Programming in Parallel

SofCheck's Tucker Taft has developed the Parallel Specification and Implementation Language, a new programming language designed to maximize the potential of multicore computer processors by avoiding the problems associated with…


From ACM TechNews

Building a Subversive Grassroots Network

Building a Subversive Grassroots Network

Commotion Wireless is the Open Technology Initiative's effort to develop mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) so that citizens of oppressive governments can maintain digital communications in the face of Internet blackouts. 


From ACM TechNews

For 'Creativity,' Just Add 'Crowd'

For 'Creativity,' Just Add 'Crowd'

Stevens Institute of Technology researcher Jeffery Nickerson is studying how to use crowdsourcing to produce creative ideas. 


From ACM TechNews

Microsoft's Imagine Cup Competition Seeks Diversity

This year students from six historically black colleges and universities competed in Microsoft's Imagine Cup, and although none of the teams made it to the finals, the schools plan to send more teams to next year's competition…


From ACM TechNews

Crowd-Simulating Software Could Improve Building Design

Crowd-Simulating Software Could Improve Building Design

New crowd simulation software could help architects better understand how the design of buildings impacts the way people move through them. 


From ACM News

The GPS: A Fatally Misleading Travel Companion

The GPS: A Fatally Misleading Travel Companion

In remote places like California's Death Valley, over-reliance on GPS navigation systems can be a matter of life and death.


From ACM News

NSA Lawyer Questioned Over Cellphone Location Tracking of Americans

Is the government using cellular data to track Americans as they move around the U.S.? According to the general counsel of the National Security Agency, it may have that authority.


From ACM News

Massive Project to Study the Link between Genetics and Health

Kaiser Permanente has compiled the genetic and medical data of 100,000 of its members.


From ACM Opinion

The Edison of Silicon Valley

The Edison of Silicon Valley

Steve Perlman, Silicon Valley’s self-styled Thomas Edison, has found a way to increase wireless capacity by a factor of 1,000.


From ACM News

When Patents Attack

When Patents Attack

Nathan Myhrvold is a genius and a polymath. He made hundreds of millions of dollars as Microsoft's chief technology officer, he's discovered dinosaur fossils, and he recently co-authored a six-volume cookbook that "reveals…


From ACM TechNews

A Bookshelf the Size of the World

A Bookshelf the Size of the World

The goal of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is to make the digitized collections of the greatest research institutions in the United States accessible to anyone anywhere at any time for free. 


From ACM TechNews

Cyber Weapons: The New Arms Race

Cyber Weapons: The New Arms Race

A rash of cyberattacks has raised the profile of such incursions and led to a booming cyberweapons industry. 


From ACM TechNews

Competition Seeks STEM Innovations

Competition Seeks STEM Innovations

The Carnegie Corporation of New York and other groups have partnered to launch Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science+Technology+Engineering+Math Education, an online competition designed to inspire science, engineering…


From ACM TechNews

Phone App Could Keep an Eye on Your Ride

Phone App Could Keep an Eye on Your Ride

Intel researchers are working on a project that connects the electronics inside a car to the Internet, so that mobile applications can provide a car owner with updates on the vehicle when the two are separated. 


From ACM TechNews

Game Design Engages Students in STEM

Game Design Engages Students in STEM

The University of Massachusetts' Design Camps is aimed at middle and high school students and teaches them to create and program robots, build circuits, and complete other projects. 


From ACM News

The Army's Bold Plan to Turn Soldiers Into Telepaths

The Army's Bold Plan to Turn Soldiers Into Telepaths

The U.S. Army wants to allow soldiers to communicate just by thinking. ?The new science of synthetic telepathy could soon make that happen.


From ACM News

Colleges Join Plan for Faster Computer Networks

Colleges Join Plan for Faster Computer Networks

A coalition of 29 American universities is throwing its weight behind a plan to build ultra-high-speed computer networks—with Internet service several hundred times faster than what is now commercially available—in the communities…


From ACM News

Blatter Signals Arrival of Goalline Technology

England's Premier League and any others who want to introduce goalline technology got the go-ahead to do so from FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday, as long as the law-making International Football Association Board…


From ACM News

OK, Climate Skeptics: Here's the Raw Data You Wanted

OK, Climate Skeptics: Here's the Raw Data You Wanted

Anyone can now view for themselves the raw data that was at the centre of last year's "climategate" scandal.


From ACM News

Making Stuff with Molecular Precision

Making Stuff with Molecular Precision

For more than a decade, scientists have been touting the promise of nanomaterials as a source of new and better products, from stronger structural materials to speedy but power-efficient computers to drugs that target and…


From ACM Opinion

Nature's Hidden Prime Number Code

Nature's Hidden Prime Number Code

Ever since humans evolved on this planet we have been trying to make sense of the world around us. We have attempted to explain why the world looks and behaves the way it does, to predict what the future holds.


From ACM News

Space Station to Be Sunk After 2020

Space Station to Be Sunk After 2020

Russia and its partners plan to plunge the International Space Station into the ocean at the end of its life cycle after 2020 so as not to leave space junk, the space agency said on Wednesday.


From ACM TechNews

A Network for Wild Experimentation

A Network for Wild Experimentation

Internet2 and the Energy Sciences Network have built an experimental networking testbed using dormant dark fiber networking resources. The testbed will be used to create two prototype networks, one of which transfers data at…


From ACM TechNews

Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas

Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers have found that just 10 percent of a population is enough to sway the majority of a society. 


From ACM TechNews

Wisebed: The First Pan-European Sensor Network Open to the Scientific Community

Wisebed: The First Pan-European Sensor Network Open to the Scientific Community

The European Wisebed laboratory project, a collaboration between universities and research centers in Germany, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, consists of more than 1,000 sensors and algorithms that…


From ACM TechNews

Crowdsourced Online Learning Gives Robots Human Skills

Crowdsourced Online Learning Gives Robots Human Skills

Roboticists at Brown University and other institutions are experimenting with using crowdsourcing to teach robots more general skills.  


From ACM TechNews

NSF's New Shared Supercomputing Platform Goes to Extremes

NSF's New Shared Supercomputing Platform Goes to Extremes

The U.S. National Science Foundation is funding the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, a distributed computing infrastructure that will connect researchers with supercomputers, data, and software tools. 


From ACM News

How Engineers Create Artificial Sounds to Fool Us

How Engineers Create Artificial Sounds to Fool Us

Hundreds of items have their acoustics deliberately tweaked to make us happy, according to Trevor Cox, professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford.


From ACM News

Can We Make Machines Listen More Carefully?

You probably use voice recognition technology already, if in a limited capacity. Maybe you use Google's voice-activated search, or take advantage of its (somewhat wonky) voice-mail transcriptions in Google Voice. At the office…

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