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News Clips - August 27, 2010

From August 19 to August 26, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 621 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


Why users willingly share personal info on shady-looking websites
Asian News International/ | August 25
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University - Leslie K. John, Alessandro Acquisti, and George Loewenstein - said that many consumers need help recognizing when their privacy is compromised. "How can we make sense of the contradictory attitudes that individuals display toward privacy-from the seemingly reckless willingness of some to post personal and even incriminating information on social network sites, to the concern people express over the range of information being collected about them and the way it's being used?" said the authors.


CMU-Q welcomes class of 2014
The Peninsula | August 25
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) celebrated its 7th Annual Convocation recently. The event on Saturday officially welcomed the Class of 2014 to the Carnegie Mellon Qatar family. The 85 students, along with Carnegie Mellon Qatar faculty and staff, participated in the formal event in the three-storey atrium of the Carnegie Mellon Building in Education City. Carnegie Mellon Qatar invited an audience of 450, including parents and family members as well as the corporate community and representatives from Qatar Foundation.


H.P.’s bidding war with Dell underscores the demand for data storage
The New York Times | August 23
On Monday, Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest technology company, started a bidding war against its rival Dell for the rights to 3Par, an 11-year-old storage company based in Fremont, Calif. […] Storage companies tend to create tight links between software and hardware, which allows them to sell bundles rather than a stand-alone product to customers and to innovate at a quick clip, said Garth Gibson, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. These trends, along with the importance of data, have helped storage systems outflank computer servers in importance.


U.S. debt: An expensive habit
The Wall Street Journal – Blogs | August 20
If the US keeps borrowing money to finance large budget deficits, will the rest of the world have enough money to lend?   A new paper from two economists, one of whom works for the US Treasury, suggests the US can make it through the year 2020, but only at great expense. John Kitchen, who works in the Treasury’s office of tax analysis, together with University of Wisconsin economist Menzie Chin, aimed to explore Carnegie Mellon economist Alan Meltzer’s assertion that “there isn’t going to be enough money in the world in the years to come to finance the U.S. budget deficits.” They conclude that the money is likely there, but they do offer some sobering projections of where we’ll end up in only 10 years if we take it.

Education for Leadership

Something for your to-do list
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – City WalkAbout Blog | August 19
This Saturday, they need your help with some lawn maintenance and debris clean-up. Join preservationists and students from Carnegie Mellon to do a good deed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a break for lunch. Bring a snack and some water and work gloves if you have them. This is why we care: The Apple Street home — built in 1894 — was the home of this nation’s first black opera company, the National Negro Opera Co.  Mary Cardwell Dawson founded it in 1941 after having taught hundreds of people to sing operatically at a little school of music she ran above her husband’s electrical service shop in Homewood.

Information Technology

Back-to-school IT projects reshape campus life
Network World | August 20
With its fully deployed, campus-wide 802.11n WLAN, based on equipment  from Aruba Networks and Xirrus, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh this year deactivated all the 100Mbps wired jacks in all campus dorms, putting an end to the "one per pillow" access that has been a higher education standard for over a decade. Students can request that a wired jack be activated (and all requests will be granted). "We'll never get rid of the wired infrastructure in the residence halls," says Dan McCarriar, CMU director, network and production services. "But if I can eliminate some switches, we can keep down infrastructure costs and realize some power savings."


Computational behavioral science project
Dr. Dobb’s Journal | August 25
Researchers in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University will join a five-year, $10 million initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create novel tools for evaluating social interactions and other behaviors that can be used in diagnosing or treating behavioral disorders such as autism. The Computational Behavioral Science Project, part of the Expeditions in Computing Program of the NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), includes collaborators from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the University of Southern California, Boston University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with the Georgia Institute of Technology serving as the lead institution.;jsessionid=KXRHGXK4ELLVRQE1GHRSKH4ATMY32JVN


Intel human brain imaging and machine learning research
Next Big Future Blog | August 25
Intel is developing new technology could allow people to dictate letters and search the internet simply by thinking. The work is being done at the Human brain project with Intel and Carnegie Mellon. Dean Pomerleau heads up Intel's Pittsburgh research lab and is wearing a prototype brain interface below. 2020 has been mentioned as a target date for commercialization of the more advanced version of this device.


Energy efficiency industry dragged down by our own stupid selves
BNET Blogs | August 23
The Department of Energy will award nearly $120 million to organizations across the country as part of its Weatherization Assistance Program, money that will not only boost the efficiency of buildings and develop new technologies; but lead to jobs for construction workers and contractors and drive purchases of products like LED light bulbs. There’s just one hurdle standing between the government’s energy efficiency push and the jobs and revenues that promise to follow: ourselves. A recent study by researchers Carnegie Mellon University, Colombia University and Ohio State University, who made a discovery that spells trouble for the burgeoning energy efficiency industry. In short, Americans don’t know the first thing about how to save energy. Their misconceptions, if changed, could have a very real impact on bottom lines of appliance companies like GE, energy-efficient automakers and retrofit specialists.

Regional Impact

Silty, salty Monongahela River at risk from pollutants
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | August 24
Scientists at the Department of Environmental Protection, West Virginia University and Carnegie Mellon University began analyses of chemicals in the river. Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale caused more than a fifth of the pollution in 2008 because drillers diluted wastewater by dumping it into the river through sewage treatment plants, according to RAIN and the DEP. But DEP stopped most of that with new rules; gas wastewater probably doesn't cause more than 5 percent to 10 percent of pollution now, said Ron Schwartz, assistant director of the department's southwest region.


Energy retailer says putting utility users up for bid could cut bills
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | August 20
"I have no doubt that some of the customers in the territory can be served at lower cost," said Jay Apt, executive director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. "The key question is if the aggregate cost of service will be lower, since there are some customers that are very expensive to serve." Direct Energy is urging the PUC to order the merged FirstEnergy to create a separate customer billing company. It argued in written testimony that taking the billing responsibility out of the hands of the utility would allow other suppliers to get more than the single line on a bill and to promote other products and services.


CMU Robotics offers new master's program
Pittsburgh Business Times | August 19
The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University is launching a new master’s degree program that aims to train the next generation of chief technology officers. Applications for the new master’s degree in robotic systems development will be available starting Sept. 15, and classes are set to begin in fall 2011. Candidates for the new program would have an undergraduate degree in engineering, computer science, physical science or applied mathematics and one to three years of industry experience or research, the university said.