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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


From ACM TechNews

Cellphones Team ­p to Make Wi-Fi Where You Want It

Scientists at Microsoft Research India and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed Cool-Tether, a system that combines the Internet...

From ACM TechNews

Proper ­se of English Could Get a Virus Past Security

Johns Hopkins University security researcher Josh Mason says hackers could potentially evade most existing antivirus programs by hiding malicious code within ordinary...

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons
From ACM News

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons

A man lies comatose on an operating table. The enormous spider that hangs above him has plunged four appendages into his belly. The spider, made of white steel,...

Mobile Botnets Show Their Destructive Potential
From ACM News

Mobile Botnets Show Their Destructive Potential

Denial-of-services (DoS) attacks are a common tactic used by "black hats" intent on bringing down a high-profile Web site. Now Patrick Traynor of the Georgia Institute...

From ACM TechNews

Theme-Park Dummy Trick Becomes Teleconference Tool

A trick used in theme-park animatronics could help people act more naturally during videoconferences. Shader lamps is a technique that projects an animated face...

Triple Shadows and Fake Reflections: Future Graphics
From ACM TechNews

Triple Shadows and Fake Reflections: Future Graphics

At the second annual ACM SIGGRAPH Asia conference, which takes place December 16-19 in Yokohama, Japan, computer graphics professionals and researchers will demonstrate...

Virtual Crashes and Clatters Get Real
From ACM News

Virtual Crashes and Clatters Get Real

The clatter of a dropped trash can and the crash of a cymbal – both easily recognisable sounds. That's why computer games or CGI movies that feature such noises...

Living Wallpaper That Devices Can Relate To
From ACM TechNews

Living Wallpaper That Devices Can Relate To

The Living Wall project, led by Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab researcher Leah Buechley, features an electronically enhanced wallpaper that can...

From ACM TechNews

To Protect Your Privacy, Hand Over Your Data

A new proposal from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Human Dynamics Laboratory suggests that digital identities would be more secure if they...

Free-Flying Cyborg Insects Steered From a Distance
From ACM TechNews

Free-Flying Cyborg Insects Steered From a Distance

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have connected electrodes and radio antennas to the nervous systems of beetles and then were able to control...

From ACM TechNews

Computer Detects Abuse Before Doctors

Ben Reis at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School led a research team that developed software that could spot warning signs of domestic abuse. 

Aid Agencies Turn to Open-Source Software
From ACM TechNews

Aid Agencies Turn to Open-Source Software

Wesleyan University and Trinity College students have developed Collabbit, software that acts as a virtual emergency response center. Collabbit serves as a central...

From ACM TechNews

Augmented Reality Gets Off to a Wobbly Start

Although the iPhone can superimpose navigation routes or reviews on top of real-time images, augmented reality (AR) still has a long way to go. The iPhone's application...

Locust Flight Simulator Helps Robot Insects Evolve
From ACM TechNews

Locust Flight Simulator Helps Robot Insects Evolve

A team at the University of Oxford has built a computer model of the wing motion of a locust, and says the surface structures of the wings are key to generating...

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help
From ACM TechNews

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help

Willow Garage researchers are developing robots that ask human for help when they cannot recognize objects. Willow Garage computer scientist Alan Sorokin has designed...

From ACM TechNews

Super-Dense Data Stores Cool Down

Super-dense "millipede"-style data storage systems could be enabled to function at room temperature with the development of a material that becomes soft when placed...

From ACM News

Quantum Computers Are Coming

WHATEVER happened to quantum computers? A few years ago, it seemed, it was just a case of a tweak here, a fiddle there, and some kind of number-crunching Godzilla...

Electronics 'Missing Link' ­nited With Rest of the Family
From ACM TechNews

Electronics 'Missing Link' ­nited With Rest of the Family

Memristors were identified by Hewlett-Packard (HP) as the missing link of electronics 18 months ago, and since then the same team of HP researchers has upgraded...

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off
From ACM TechNews

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off

Aircraft manufacturers eager to reduce the weight of planes are looking into the replacement of copper wiring with wireless networks. Imbuing fly-by-wireless networks...

Lobsters Teach Robots Magnetic Mapping Trick
From ACM TechNews

Lobsters Teach Robots Magnetic Mapping Trick

Computer scientist Janne Haverinen reports that a small wheeled robot was able to use a magnetic map to determine where it was in a hospital and move along a corridor...
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