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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.


U. Michigan Fronts Effort to Push HTTPS Net Security
From ACM TechNews

U. Michigan Fronts Effort to Push HTTPS Net Security

A University of Michigan research team is leading a project to provide free, automated, open, and ubiquitous website HTTPS Transport Layer Security encryption.

'Nanobuds' Could Turn Almost Any Surface Into a Touch Sensor
From ACM News

'Nanobuds' Could Turn Almost Any Surface Into a Touch Sensor

Transparent films containing carbon nanobuds—molecular tubes of carbon with ball-like appendages—could turn just about any surface, regardless of its shape, into...

Google Says Bye Bye, CAPTCHAs, Well, Mostly
From ACM TechNews

Google Says Bye Bye, CAPTCHAs, Well, Mostly

Google recently announced it has starting phasing out its CAPTCHAs in favor of using its reCAPTCHA service.

U.S. Intelligence Wants High-Tech Access to the Most Prodigious Sensor of All: Humans
From ACM TechNews

U.S. Intelligence Wants High-Tech Access to the Most Prodigious Sensor of All: Humans

The U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity is doing research for its Future Applications of Sense Technology for Fidelitous Wearable Devices program...

SciServer: Big Data Infrastructure for Science
From ACM TechNews

SciServer: Big Data Infrastructure for Science

Researchers are adapting tools developed for massive astronomy data sets into online big data storage and analytics tools that can be used across scientific disciplines...

On Pluto’s Doorstep, NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Awakens for Encounter
From ACM News

On Pluto’s Doorstep, NASA's New Horizons Spacecraft Awakens for Encounter

After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles—the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target—NASA's New Horizons spacecraft...

Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?
From ACM News

Who Owns the Biggest Biotech Discovery of the Century?

Last month in Silicon Valley, biologists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier showed up in black gowns to receive the $3 million Breakthrough Prize, a glitzy...

Baer's Odyssey: Meet the Serial Inventor Who Built the World's First Game Console
From ACM Opinion

Baer's Odyssey: Meet the Serial Inventor Who Built the World's First Game Console

Even if you're a devoted fan of video games, there's a decent chance you're not familiar with the name Ralph H. Baer.

Dawn Snaps Its Best-Yet Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres
From ACM News

Dawn Snaps Its Best-Yet Image of Dwarf Planet Ceres

The Dawn spacecraft has delivered a glimpse of Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt, in a new image taken 740,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from...

Rethinking Low Completion Rates in MOOCs
From ACM TechNews

Rethinking Low Completion Rates in MOOCs

A researcher wants to provide greater clarity about low completion rates for massively open online courses by examining the intent of those who sign up. 

Scientists Review Worldwide Rise of 'Network of Networks'
From ACM TechNews

Scientists Review Worldwide Rise of 'Network of Networks'

A new paper from scientists based in China, the U.S., and Israel examines how the world has come to be dominated by interconnected networks.

Why Don't More Minority Students Seek STEM Careers? Ask Them.
From ACM TechNews

Why Don't More Minority Students Seek STEM Careers? Ask Them.

A group of minority students identified eight major themes in ways to enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) training.

NSA Spy Program Targets Mobile Networks
From ACM TechNews

NSA Spy Program Targets Mobile Networks

The U.S. National Security Agency has been intercepting the internal communications of operators and trade groups, and infiltrating mobile networks around the world...

Lassie Text Home: Pooches Get Technological
From ACM TechNews

Lassie Text Home: Pooches Get Technological

Projects are underway to enhance dogs' ability to interact with technology in new ways, in the hope "we'll be able to make them even better at their jobs." 

Trends to Watch in 2015: From Algorithmic Accountability to the Uber of X
From ACM News

Trends to Watch in 2015: From Algorithmic Accountability to the Uber of X

Year-end technology prediction lists can be dull fodder devoted to pie-in-the-sky concepts, outlandish marketing claims or rehashes of familiar trends.

Google's Intelligence Designer
From ACM Careers

Google's Intelligence Designer

Demis Hassabis started playing chess at age four and soon blossomed into a child prodigy.

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in VR
From ACM News

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in VR

Feeling is believing. A system that uses sound waves to project "haptic holograms" into mid-air—letting you touch 3D virtual objects with your bare hands—is poised...

The Last Astronauts to Fly to Hubble Talk About Their Wild Mission
From ACM Opinion

The Last Astronauts to Fly to Hubble Talk About Their Wild Mission

On a sunny afternoon in May, 2009, seven astronauts strapped themselves into the space shuttle Atlantis and rocketed toward the heavens.

Stanford Engineers Take Big Step Toward Using Light Instead of Wires Inside Computers
From ACM TechNews

Stanford Engineers Take Big Step Toward Using Light Instead of Wires Inside Computers

Stanford University researchers have developed a device that can split and bend a beam of light, which they say could lead to computers that use optics to carry...

A 24-Hour Social Innovation Hackathon to Fight World Hunger
From ACM TechNews

A 24-Hour Social Innovation Hackathon to Fight World Hunger

In late November, people gathered at the University of California, Berkeley to participate in a Social Innovation Hackathon. 
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