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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.


Four Wild Technologies Lawmakers Want NASA to Pursue
From ACM News

Four Wild Technologies Lawmakers Want NASA to Pursue

Imagine a tissue-box sized device, with blades a few feet long, whirring to life after charging for a full Sol on Mars.

NASA Telescopes Find Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly
From ACM News

NASA Telescopes Find Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly

Using data from NASA's Great Observatories, astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive...

This Robot Uses Machine Learning to Take Care of Absent-Minded Humans
From ACM TechNews

This Robot Uses Machine Learning to Take Care of Absent-Minded Humans

The Watch-bot robot can independently learn a user's household activity patterns to provide helpful reminders. 

Computer App Whets Children's Appetites for Eco-Friendly Meals
From ACM TechNews

Computer App Whets Children's Appetites for Eco-Friendly Meals

An educational software application is being developed to show middle-school students how their dietary choices affect climate change. 

Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do
From ACM TechNews

Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do

The Generalized Friendship Paradox stipulates that on average, a person's friends post more material and are more influential on social networks than they are. 

China's Scary Lesson to the World: Censoring the Internet Works.
From ACM News

China's Scary Lesson to the World: Censoring the Internet Works.

First there was the Berlin Wall. Now there is the Great Firewall of China, not a physical barrier preventing people from leaving, but a virtual one, preventing...

The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software
From ACM News

The Oracle-Google Case Will Decide the Future of Software

The legal battle between Oracle and Google is about to come to an end, and nothing less is as stake than the future of programming.

Physicists Discover a New Form of Light
From ACM News

Physicists Discover a New Form of Light

Physicists from Trinity College Dublin's School of Physics and the CRANN Institute, Trinity College, have discovered a new form of light, which will impact our...

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars
From ACM News

Giant Tsunamis Washed Over Ancient Mars

Some 3.4 billion years ago, giant meteoroids slammed into a frigid ocean covering Mars's northern hemisphere. The impacts kicked up enormous waves that raced across...

Unveiling the Hidden Layers of Deep Learning
From ACM TechNews

Unveiling the Hidden Layers of Deep Learning

A new method for visualizing the mechanisms and hidden layers of neural networks could provide insights into deep learning. 

Big Data, Better Health Care
From ACM TechNews

Big Data, Better Health Care

A team of physicians and computer scientists is using merged electronic health records to improve care and outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease. ...

The Key to Privacy
From Communications of the ACM

The Key to Privacy

40 years ago, Whitfield Diffie and Martin E. Hellman introduced the public key cryptography used to secure today's online transactions.

What Happens When Big Data Blunders?
From Communications of the ACM

What Happens When Big Data Blunders?

Big data is touted as a cure-all for challenges in business, government, and healthcare, but as disease outbreak predictions show, big data often fails.

Dartmouth Contest Shows Computers Aren't Such Good Poets
From ACM TechNews

Dartmouth Contest Shows Computers Aren't Such Good Poets

In a yearlong Dartmouth College competition, a three-judge panel tried to distinguish between machine- and human-produced sonnets. 

Reimagining Search
From Communications of the ACM

Reimagining Search

Search engine developers are moving beyond the problem of document analysis, toward the elusive goal of figuring out what people really want.

What's Next for Digital Humanities?
From Communications of the ACM

What's Next for Digital Humanities?

New computational tools spur advances in an evolving field.

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence
From ACM TechNews

How to Create a Malevolent Artificial Intelligence

University of Louisville researchers are studying how malevolent artificial intelligenes might be designed, and the conditions in which they might be create.

Autonomous Mini Rally Car Teaches Itself to Powerslide
From ACM TechNews

Autonomous Mini Rally Car Teaches Itself to Powerslide

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing control algorithms that enable small-scale autonomous cars to race around dirt tracks at high...

Dronebuster Will Let You Point and Shoot Command Hacks at Pesky Drones
From ACM News

Dronebuster Will Let You Point and Shoot Command Hacks at Pesky Drones

Anti-drone technology has been high on the shopping list of public safety and military organizations at least since a drunken federal employee crashed a drone onto...
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