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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.


Sun Sizzles in High-Energy X-Rays
From ACM News

Sun Sizzles in High-Energy X-Rays

For the first time, a mission designed to set its eyes on black holes and other objects far from our solar system has turned its gaze back closer to home, capturing...

The 12 Missions of Christmas
From ACM News

The 12 Missions of Christmas

In July 1965, Mariner 4 became the first space probe to send back pictures of another world from space. Fifty years on, not only do several spacecraft orbit the...

6 Aging Protocols That Could Cripple the Internet
From ACM TechNews

6 Aging Protocols That Could Cripple the Internet

The biggest threat to the Internet is that it evolved over time with various protocols, very few of which were designed with security in mind. 

Switching to Spintronics
From ACM TechNews

Switching to Spintronics

Researchers have successfully used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature.

First Steps for Hector the Robot Stick Insect
From ACM TechNews

First Steps for Hector the Robot Stick Insect

Bielefeld University researchers have developed Hector, a robot based on a stick insect that has passive elastic joints and an ultralight exoskeleton. 

In One Aspect of Vision, Computers Catch Up to Primate Brain
From ACM TechNews

In One Aspect of Vision, Computers Catch Up to Primate Brain

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have found the most recent version of deep neural networks match the primate brain. 

Google Seeks Partners for Self-Driving Car
From ACM TechNews

Google Seeks Partners for Self-Driving Car

Google is seeking auto industry partners in its efforts to produce a fully autonomous car.

What Does a Cyber Counterattack Look Like?
From ACM News

What Does a Cyber Counterattack Look Like?

President Barack Obama promised at his year-end news conference Friday that the U.S. will respond "proportionally" to North Korea's cyberattack against Sony Pictures...

The Anti-Plagiarism Machine
From ACM Careers

The Anti-Plagiarism Machine

Every day, researchers add hundreds of new papers to ArXiv, the massive public database of scientific writing and research.

NYC Subways Slowly Upgrading from 1930s-Era Technology
From ACM News

NYC Subways Slowly Upgrading from 1930s-Era Technology

New York City's subways—the nation's biggest mass transit network—serve more than 6 million daily riders who depend largely on a signal system that dates back to...

The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots
From ACM News

The Dominant Life Form in the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

If and when we finally encounter aliens, they probably won't look like little green men, or spiny insectoids.

Rosetta Orbiter to Swoop Down On Comet in February
From ACM News

Rosetta Orbiter to Swoop Down On Comet in February

The European Space Agency's orbiting Rosetta spacecraft is expected to come within four miles (six kilometers) of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko...

German Researchers Discover a Flaw That Could Let Anyone Listen to Your Cell Calls
From ACM TechNews

German Researchers Discover a Flaw That Could Let Anyone Listen to Your Cell Calls

German researchers have discovered security flaws that could enable hackers, spies, and criminals to listen to private phone calls and intercept text messages....

Is There a Cyber Security Equivalent of 'SEAL Team Six'?
From ACM News

Is There a Cyber Security Equivalent of 'SEAL Team Six'?

When a cyber breach goes down…who you gonna call? Many different U.S. government agencies, it turns out.

Sony Made It Easy, but Any of Us Could Get Hacked
From ACM Opinion

Sony Made It Easy, but Any of Us Could Get Hacked

Earlier this month, a mysterious group that calls itself Guardians of Peace hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer systems and began revealing many...

Stanford Team Combines Logic, Memory to Build a 'High-Rise' Chip
From ACM TechNews

Stanford Team Combines Logic, Memory to Build a 'High-Rise' Chip

Stanford University researchers say they have developed a method for creating high-rise chips that could outperform conventional single-story logic and memory chips...

Disney Research Builds Computer Models to Analyze Play in Pro Basketball and Soccer
From ACM TechNews

Disney Research Builds Computer Models to Analyze Play in Pro Basketball and Soccer

Disney researchers used player-tracking data from more than 600 basketball games from the NBA to develop models that can make accurate in-game predictions of what...

NASA Tests Software That May Help Increase Flight Efficiency, Decrease Aircraft Noise
From ACM TechNews

NASA Tests Software That May Help Increase Flight Efficiency, Decrease Aircraft Noise

NASA has developed air traffic management software that could make flights more efficient. The software assists pilots with precise spacing of planes by delivering...

The Big Business of Selling Prescription-Drug Records
From ACM News

The Big Business of Selling Prescription-Drug Records

Since the days of 19th century remedies such as castor oil laxatives and mercury syphilis tablets, pharmacists and patients have had a tacit understanding: Whatever...
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