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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.


NASA Mars Rover Can Choose Laser Targets on Its Own
From ACM News

NASA Mars Rover Can Choose Laser Targets on Its Own

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity is now selecting rock targets for its laser spectrometer—the first time autonomous target selection is available for an instrument of...

Chinese Scientists to Pioneer First Human CRISPR Trial
From ACM News

Chinese Scientists to Pioneer First Human CRISPR Trial

Chinese scientists are on the verge of being first in the world to inject people with cells modified using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing technique.

How the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer Inched Toward the Exascale
From ACM TechNews

How the World's Most Powerful Supercomputer Inched Toward the Exascale

China's Sunway TaihuLight in June topped the Top500 list as the world's most powerful supercomputer.

Imaging Software Predicts How You Look With Different Hair Styles, Colors, Appearances
From ACM TechNews

Imaging Software Predicts How You Look With Different Hair Styles, Colors, Appearances

A personalized image search engine enables users to predict their appearance with a different hairstyle, or as they would look in a different time period, age,...

Character Animation Technique Produces Realistic-Looking Bends at Joints
From ACM TechNews

Character Animation Technique Produces Realistic-Looking Bends at Joints

Phys.orgDisney researchers have developed a method to pre-compute an optimized center of rotation for each vertex in a character model.

Program Gets Women Coding With NASA Data
From ACM TechNews

Program Gets Women Coding With NASA Data

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration recently named 49 participants to its 2016 Datanauts program.

Partially Automated Cars Provide Enough Benefits to Warrant Widespread Adoption of current safety technologies
From ACM TechNews

Partially Automated Cars Provide Enough Benefits to Warrant Widespread Adoption of current safety technologies

Carnegie Mellon University researchers say the public would benefit if safety-oriented, partially automated vehicle technologies were deployed in all cars.

X Marks the Spot for Milky Way Formation
From ACM News

X Marks the Spot for Milky Way Formation

A new understanding of our galaxy's structure began in an unlikely way: on Twitter. A research effort sparked by tweets led scientists to confirm that the Milky...

Baidu Uses Millions of Users' Location Data to Make Predictions
From ACM News

Baidu Uses Millions of Users' Location Data to Make Predictions

Baidu, China's internet search giant, has shown just what you can learn when you have access to enough location data.

Snowden Designs a Device to Warn If Your iPhone's Radios Are Snitching
From ACM News

Snowden Designs a Device to Warn If Your iPhone's Radios Are Snitching

When Edward Snowden met with reporters in a Hong Kong hotel room to spill the NSA's secrets, he famously asked them put their phones in the fridge to block any...

Scientists Program Cells to Remember and Respond to Series of Stimuli
From ACM News

Scientists Program Cells to Remember and Respond to Series of Stimuli

Synthetic biology allows researchers to program cells to perform novel functions such as fluorescing in response to a particular chemical or producing drugs in...

Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100-Percent Squishy
From ACM TechNews

Wheeled Robot With Soft Rotary Motors Is 100-Percent Squishy

Rutgers University researchers have put four silicone-based wheels with air-powered motors inside of them on a robot that is as soft as a Crocs shoe.

Software Adds New Level of Control to Industrial Knitting Machines
From ACM TechNews

Software Adds New Level of Control to Industrial Knitting Machines

Disney researchers have developed software that enables users to program industrial knitting machines.

UTA Researchers Use Text-­Mining Techniques to Improve Market Intelligence on Potential Mergers and Acquisitions of Startups in the High-Tech Sector
From ACM TechNews

UTA Researchers Use Text-­Mining Techniques to Improve Market Intelligence on Potential Mergers and Acquisitions of Startups in the High-Tech Sector

A new technique uses big data analytics and test-mining methods to improve market intelligence and explain potential mergers and acquisitions of high-technology...

Facebook Plans to Beam Internet to Backwaters With Lasers
From ACM TechNews

Facebook Plans to Beam Internet to Backwaters With Lasers

Facebook Connectivity Lab researchers have developed an optical technology to help laser beams deliver fast Internet access to remote areas.

Google Sprints Ahead in AI Building Blocks, Leaving Rivals Wary
From ACM Careers

Google Sprints Ahead in AI Building Blocks, Leaving Rivals Wary

There's a high-stakes race under way in Silicon Valley to develop software that makes it easy to weave artificial intelligence technology into almost everything...

Minecraft Is a Testing Ground for Human-AI Collaboration
From ACM News

Minecraft Is a Testing Ground for Human-AI Collaboration

The blockish and slightly dorky computer game Minecraft may turn out to be a great place for humans and AI to learn how to work together.

How Mountains Obscured by Venus's Clouds Reveal Themselves
From ACM News

How Mountains Obscured by Venus's Clouds Reveal Themselves

Colossal clouds cloak the surface of Venus, making it difficult for researchers to probe its secrets.

Human Brain Mapped in Unprecedented Detail
From ACM News

Human Brain Mapped in Unprecedented Detail

Think of a spinning globe and the patchwork of countries it depicts: such maps help us to understand where we are, and that nations differ from one another.
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