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News Clips - January 22, 2010

From January 14 to January 21, Carnegie Mellon Media Relations counted 279 references to the university in worldwide publications. Here is a sample.


The ‘living, breathing’ economy
Christian Science Monitor | January 20
Some time in mid-2008, mortgage defaults reached a critical mass. Wall Street went into free fall, and the US economy began to unravel. Then, like tumbling dominoes, economies around the world followed suit. [...] "Everyone in that system was acting on perfectly rational decisions, even though the system as a whole was acting insane," says John Miller, a professor of economics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. "Everyone could follow the incentives, but those incentives led the system to an emergent behavior that was bad."


Facebook: The end of secrets?
MSNBC – The Red Tape Chronicles | January 20
What would a world without secrets look like? Thanks to Facebook, we may find out. [...] Privacy and behavioral economics expert Alessandro Acquisti, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, agrees that Facebook seems to be eroding even skeptics’ concerns about being overly exposed.  But he disagrees with Zuckerberg.   There's no new social norm, Acquisti said.  There's just a grand illusion.


China-Google quarrel highlights world of cyber espionage
USA Today | January 15
Google's taking umbrage over Chinese cyberattacks has security experts talking about  just how vast and rich the world of cyber espionage has quietly become. [...] China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Israel, France, the United States and the United Kingdom are widely known to possess state-of-the-art cyber espionage know-how used for economic and military intelligence gathering, says Jody Westby, CEO of consulting firm Global Cyber Risk and a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Mellon CyLab think tank.

Education for Leadership

As more bad news emerges from Haiti, Pittsburgh companies step up to help
Pittsburgh Business Times | January 15
As more details of the devastation in Haiti become available, Pittsburgh companies and universities are stepping up their efforts to assist the victims of Tuesday’s earthquake. [...] Here are the latest updates the Pittsburgh Business Times has received from the business community about relief efforts for earthquake victims: Carnegie Mellon University’s Student Government, student organizations and Division of Student Affairs have announced a campus-wide relief effort:

Arts and Humanities

Still fearful after all these years
The Chronicle of Higher Education | January 17
We are still a fretful nation. Despite such landmark events as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the economic downturn that began in 2007, the American society I portrayed 10 years ago in The Culture of Fear largely continues. Pregnant teenagers, monster moms, Internet predators, and suburban thugs still stalk the airwaves.

Information Technology

Hackers create opportunity for military firms
Los Angeles Times | January 19
For U.S. military firms, the latest revelations of highly sophisticated hacker attacks on Google Inc. are highlighting a new reality, and a potentially lucrative business: The battlefield is shifting to cyberspace. [...] And in December, Northrop created a cyber-security research consortium with Carnegie Mellon University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Purdue University as a way to tap new technologies and recruit emerging talent.,0,7858556.story


Diffusion tensor imaging reveals first evidence of brain rewiring in children | January 14
A new imaging study demonstrated reading remediation improves children’s reading skills and positively alters brain tissue. Carnegie Mellon University (Carnegie Mellon; Pittsburgh, PA, USA) scientists Dr. Timothy Keller and Dr. Marcel Just have uncovered the first evidence that intensive instruction to improve reading skills in young children causes the brain to physically rewire itself, creating new white matter that improves communication within the brain.

Regional Impact

From steel to science
Nature Jobs | January 13
Rendell describes Obama's G20 decision as "a vote of confidence that Pittsburgh had transformed itself from the old economy to the new economy". The old economy depended on coal and steel. The new one relies on talent — recruiting, retaining and developing it. The neighbouring campuses of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University are major drivers of that change. Both have created research niches for themselves that have allowed them to climb the ranks in research funding and prestige.


Newsmaker: Deborah Lange
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review | January 15
Residence: Point Breeze Family: Children, Margaret R. Kennedy, 25; David G. Kennedy, 24; Anthony M. Kennedy, 22. Occupation: Executive director of Carnegie Mellon University's Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research.


Carnegie Mellon triumphs in Universities’ debate championship
The Peninsula | January 18
The Carnegie Mellon University Qatar (Carnegie Mellon Qatar) team won the Second Qatar Universities Debate League (QUDL), besting 12 other teams from six universities in Qatar. Organized by QatarDebate on Saturday at the Academic Bridge Program in Education City; the tournament saw the participation of Academic Bridge Program, Carnegie Mellon, College of North Atlantic, Northwestern, Georgetown, Stendan and Weil Cornell.


Now you can see through buildings like Batman Bin Suparman | January 18
Taking a hint from how the F-35 demon helmet maps multiple video feeds into a 3D space, a Carnegie Mellon University team has created an augmented reality car system to see through any massive obstacle. The objective: Avoid car collisions. The system takes video from two cameras and mixes them into one, creating the illusion of being able to see through any object. A video processing system uses one of the cameras – installed in the car – as a reference, comparing that source image with the other camera. By identifying common points, the software can distort the second camera’s video feed to match the driver’s view.


A whack may be needed to silence ringing phone
The Hindu | January 15
Feel embarrassed when your phone starts ringing amid an important meeting? Help could be on the way — as American scientists have developed a device that would enable you to silence the gadget by just "whacking" it. Installation of the new system, created by a team led by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, to any cell phone containing an accelerometer, would make it possible to cut a call by whacking the phone in a particular pattern while it’s still in the pocket.