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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.

September 2011


From ACM TechNews

New Software Brings Science to Life for Young People

New Software Brings Science to Life for Young People

Researchers at the Economic and Social Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have developed nQuire, a software toolkit that uses technology to spark young students' interest in science. 


From ACM TechNews

Making Research Careers More Family-Friendly: White House and NSF Announce New Policies

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) announced the Career-Life Balance Initiative, which gives researchers more flexibility in the workplace and helps remove some of the hurdles to women's advancement and retention in…


From ACM TechNews

Argonne Researchers 'Hack' Diebold E-Voting System

Argonne Researchers 'Hack' Diebold E-Voting System

Argonne National Laboratory researchers recently demonstrated how the Diebold Accuvote TS machine can be hacked using inexpensive, widely available electronic components.

The researchers, led by Roger Johnston, were able to…


From ACM TechNews

Wireless Network Can Watch Your Breathing

University of Utah researchers have found that wireless signals can indicate if people in the area are breathing. The researchers surrounded a volunteer with 20 inexpensive, off-the-shelf wireless units, which sent 2.4 gigahertz…


From ACM TechNews

Will Advanced Biometrics Automate Future War Machines?

At the recent Biometric Consortium Conference, researchers unveiled several prototypes of advanced camera-based systems that could be used to remotely capture needed biometrics information on combatants or suspected terrorists…


From ACM TechNews

Kinect Project Merges Real and Virtual Worlds

Microsoft researchers recently demonstrated KinectFusion, a research project that lets users generate three-dimensional (3D) models in real time using a standard Kinect system. The technology enables objects, people, and …


From ACM News

NASA Plans High-Speed Space Communications System

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is developing a laser-based optical communications system that will be able to move data at rates of up to 100 times faster than its existing networks.

NASA plans…


From ACM News

Which Telecoms Store Your Data the Longest? Secret Memo Tells All

Which Telecoms Store Your Data the Longest? Secret Memo Tells All

The nation’s major mobile-phone providers are keeping a treasure trove of sensitive data on their customers, according to newly released Justice Department internal memo that for the first time reveals the data retention policies…


From ACM News

Supercomputer Simulations of the Evolution of the Universe

Supercomputer Simulations of the Evolution of the Universe

Two research articles describing the most accurate cosmological simulation of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the universe yet made—named "Bolshoi" (the Russian word for "great” or "grand")—have been accepted…


From ACM News

How Rapidly Expanding Storage Spurs Innovation

How Rapidly Expanding Storage Spurs Innovation

Moore's Law gets all the press. It's easy to present even to non-technical readers, and the way it's most often expressed is something like, "computers double in speed every year," though that's a bastardization of the axiom…


From ACM News

Dealing With an Identity Hijacked on the Online Highway

Dealing With an Identity Hijacked on the Online Highway

Despite his prominent position as a Republican candidate for president, Rick Santorum has lost control of his online identity. And for all the snickering online about it, his predicament stands as a chilling example of what…


From ACM Careers

'Big Data' Means Business Needs Mathematicians

'Big Data' Means Business Needs Mathematicians

The proliferation of ways to measure things—point-of-service terminals, Web analytics, geographic and temporal records, even semantic information—means businesses are drowning in data. This has led to a new class of engineer…


From ACM News

Idaho Laboratory Analyzed Stuxnet Computer Virus

Behind the doors of a nondescript red brick and gray building of the Idaho National Laboratory is the malware laboratory where government cyber experts analyzed the Stuxnet computer virus.


From ACM TechNews

Brain Imaging Reveals What You're Watching

University of California, Berkeley researchers have developed an algorithm that can be applied to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) imagery to show a moving image a person is seeing. The study marks the first time…


From ACM TechNews

Rat Cyborg Gets Digital Cerebellum

Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a synthetic cerebellum that can receive sensor inputs from the brainstem, interpret neuronal information, and send signals to other regions of the brainstem to prompt motor neurons…


From ACM News

In China, Business Travelers Take Extreme Precautions to Avoid Cyber-Espionage

Packing for business in China? Bring your passport and business cards, but maybe not that laptop loaded with contacts and corporate memos.


From ACM News

Autonomous Flying Robots Flock Like Birds

At Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale’s Laboratory of Intelligence Systems in Lausanne, Sabine Hauert and Dario Floreano have found a way to make small, fixed-wing machines fly together, migrate and avoid crashing. The swarms can…


From ACM TechNews

Authenticity of Web Pages Under Attack By Hackers

Authenticity of Web Pages Under Attack By Hackers

The underlying security of the Internet is under attack, and security professionals have become very concerned about their ability to protect users' most sensitive personal information, such as account logons and credit card…


From ACM TechNews

Data Mining for Global Change: Furthering Science, Knowledge

Data Mining for Global Change: Furthering Science, Knowledge

University of Minnesota's Vipin Kumar and colleagues want to integrate computer scientists into the effort to address climate change, ecosystem health, and global sustainability. 


From ACM TechNews

A Made-to-Measure Social Network for the Academic World

Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne researchers have developed Graaasp, an academic social network that responds to the specific needs of the academic world concerning project management and knowledge sharing. 


From ACM TechNews

Python Bindings Snake Into Global Arrays Toolkit

Python Bindings Snake Into Global Arrays Toolkit

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers have expanded the Global Arrays Toolkit to include full support for the Python computer programming language. 


From ACM TechNews

E-Voting Gets Almost Unanimous Praise, Study Finds

E-Voting Gets Almost Unanimous Praise, Study Finds

A recent Delvinia report could lead to the introduction of Internet voting across all levels of government in Canada. 


From ACM News

Will Super Wi-Fi Live Up to Its Name?

Will Super Wi-Fi Live Up to Its Name?

It's likely that a few years from now, Americans' laptops, smart phones, and other wireless devices will be able to get online using "Super Wi-Fi," a new standard that will increase capacity in places where regular Wi-Fi networks…


From ACM News

There Is Life on Mars! Just One Catch

There Is Life on Mars! Just One Catch

NASA's Planetary Protection Officer Catharine A. Conley says that we've already contaminated the Red Planet with organisms from Earth.


From ACM News

Is Quantum Computing Real?

The answer is yes and no. And yes and yes. And no and no.


From ACM Opinion

The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down the Internet

The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down the Internet

For the past three years, a highly encrypted computer worm called Conficker has been spreading rapidly around the world. As many as 12 million computers have been infected with the self-updating worm, a type of malware that…


From ACM TechNews

Supercomputer Readies for Action

Supercomputer Readies for Action

Yale University recently received the Bulldog O Omega supercomputer from an undisclosed government agency, and it is now almost ready for use by university researchers. 


From ACM TechNews

Software Developer Shows Face-Swapping in Realtime

Software Developer Shows Face-Swapping in Realtime

New software can now replace a face with another in real time. 


From ACM TechNews

Ping-Pong With Electrons

Ping-Pong With Electrons

A surface acoustic wave has enabled scientists at the University of Cambridge to gain greater control over how electrons move from one place to another. 


From ACM TechNews

Steve Lionel on Why Fortran Still Matters

Steve Lionel on Why Fortran Still Matters

For Intel technical staff member Steve Lionel there is no question about the continued relevance of the 54-year-old Fortran programming language. 

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