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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.


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...

How to Fool a Computer With Optical Illusions
From ACM News

How to Fool a Computer With Optical Illusions

Computers, like people, understand what they see in the world based on what they've seen before.

Comet Lander's Location Still Eludes Scientists
From ACM News

Comet Lander's Location Still Eludes Scientists

More than a month after the Philae spacecraft bounced to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, European Space Agency scientists still have not been able...

Quantum Physics Makes Fraud-Proof Credit Cards Possible
From ACM TechNews

Quantum Physics Makes Fraud-Proof Credit Cards Possible

Researchers at the University of Twente have used quantum mechanics to develop a method for protecting financial data and personal information. The method can confirm...

Forget Passwords, a Student Research Team Wants You to Log in By Speaking a Sentence
From ACM TechNews

Forget Passwords, a Student Research Team Wants You to Log in By Speaking a Sentence

Student researchers at California State University, Fullerton are developing new biometric security technologies, including those based on facial recognition, fingerprints...

Microsoft to Release Project Orleans as Open Source
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft to Release Project Orleans as Open Source

Microsoft plans to open source Project Orleans, a distributed computing research framework for building cloud services. The company will release the code under...

Algorithm Identifies Networks of Genetic Changes Across Cancers
From ACM TechNews

Algorithm Identifies Networks of Genetic Changes Across Cancers

Brown University researchers used an algorithm that analyzes genetic data to identify networks of genes that, when hit by a mutation, could play a role in the development...

Students' Raspberry Pi Computers to Run on International Space Station
From ACM TechNews

Students' Raspberry Pi Computers to Run on International Space Station

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has partnered with the U.K. European Space Agency and U.K. space companies to offer an Astro Pi competition that will challenge students...

Bots Now Outnumber Humans on the Web
From ACM News

Bots Now Outnumber Humans on the Web

Diogo Mónica once wrote a short computer script that gave him a secret weapon in the war for San Francisco dinner reservations.

Amputee Simultaneously Controls Two Prosthetic Arms with His Mind
From ACM News

Amputee Simultaneously Controls Two Prosthetic Arms with His Mind

Replacement limbs that completely replicate the functions and abilities of real limbs are the current white whale of prosthetics, and we're getting closer: mind...

Thought Control Makes Robot Arm Grab and Move Objects
From ACM News

Thought Control Makes Robot Arm Grab and Move Objects

A woman paralysed from the neck down can now grab a ball with a robotic arm—just by thinking about it.
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