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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 Long, Strange Trip to Pluto, and How NASA Nearly Missed It
From ACM News

The Long, Strange Trip to Pluto, and How NASA Nearly Missed It

Planetary scientists are coloring in the family portrait of our solar system as close-up photographs and observations stream back from Pluto, a world three billion...

Inside the Fake Town in Michigan Where Self-Driving Cars Are Being Tested
From ACM News

Inside the Fake Town in Michigan Where Self-Driving Cars Are Being Tested

Later this year a Michigan pedestrian named Sebastian will spend his days throwing himself in the path of speeding cars.

NSA Summer Camp: More Hacking Than Hiking
From ACM TechNews

NSA Summer Camp: More Hacking Than Hiking

The U.S. National Security Agency is seeking to cultivate middle- and high-school student interest and proficiency in cybersecurity in a new summer camp program...

Google Proposes Open Source Beacons
From ACM TechNews

Google Proposes Open Source Beacons

Google's Eddystone protocol uses an open specification for Bluetooth low energy beacons to encourage developers, marketers, and others to adopt the technology.

Rice Tests Wireless Data Delivery Over Active TV Channels
From ACM TechNews

Rice Tests Wireless Data Delivery Over Active TV Channels

Rice University researchers have developed which they say is the first system that enables wireless data transmission over UHF channels during active TV broadcasts...

Hitchhiking Robot Embarking on Coast-to-Coast Tour Across U.S.
From ACM TechNews

Hitchhiking Robot Embarking on Coast-to-Coast Tour Across U.S.

HitchBOT set out on its first cross-country tour of the U.S. on Friday. 

IBM's Machine-Learning Crystal Ball Can Foresee Renewable Energy Availability
From ACM TechNews

IBM's Machine-Learning Crystal Ball Can Foresee Renewable Energy Availability

Researchers have developed a machine-learning algorithm that can predict days in advance how much power solar and wind plants will generate for the U.S. power grid...

The Tools Inspectors Can Use to Catch Iran's Nuclear Hijinks
From ACM News

The Tools Inspectors Can Use to Catch Iran's Nuclear Hijinks

After Tuesday's historic agreement between Iran and the "P5+1" group of countries, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will have access to all...

A New 'Model for Models' in Software Development Effort Estimation
From ACM News

A New 'Model for Models' in Software Development Effort Estimation

Researchers put forth an automatically transformed linear model as a suitable baseline model for comparison against software estimation effort models.

The Square Kilometre Array: Radio Silence in Western Australia for Most Powerful Telescope in History
From ACM News

The Square Kilometre Array: Radio Silence in Western Australia for Most Powerful Telescope in History

In outback Western Australia, around 350k northeast of the small town of Geraldton, lies an area of land about the size of the Netherlands, but with only 100 humans...

NASA's New Horizons Discovers Frozen Plains in the Heart of Pluto's 'Heart'
From ACM News

NASA's New Horizons Discovers Frozen Plains in the Heart of Pluto's 'Heart'

In the latest data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million...

Firing Squad Synchronization, Computer Science's Most Macabre-Sounding Problem
From ACM TechNews

Firing Squad Synchronization, Computer Science's Most Macabre-Sounding Problem

Getting a firing squad to fire in sync is a puzzle that was studied in computer science's early days, because it was vital to automata theory. 

RoboCup World Championship: UNSW Student Engineers Take Robots to China to Defend Title
From ACM TechNews

RoboCup World Championship: UNSW Student Engineers Take Robots to China to Defend Title

University of New South Wales student engineers are in Hefei, China, to defend their Standard Platform League title at the RoboCup World Championships. 

NASA Algorithms Keep Unmanned Aircraft Away From Commercial Aviation
From ACM TechNews

NASA Algorithms Keep Unmanned Aircraft Away From Commercial Aviation

New algorithms could enable large unmanned aircraft to remain "well clear" of commercial airliners in flight and prevent a disaster. 

Data Miners Dig for Answers About Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and 'Go Set a Watchman'
From ACM TechNews

Data Miners Dig for Answers About Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and 'Go Set a Watchman'

Literature researchers used data science to investigate long-standing debates about the work of Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Go Set a Watchman...

U-M Will Test 3D-Printed, Autonomous 'SmartCarts'
From ACM TechNews

U-M Will Test 3D-Printed, Autonomous 'SmartCarts'

University of Michigan researchers are working to understand the challenges of a transportation-on-demand system built around autonomous cars. 

Coders Balk at Making Apps Searchable
From ACM Careers

Coders Balk at Making Apps Searchable

The giants of the Web have been pressing developers of mobile apps to index their content so it can be parsed by search engines or linked to from other sites.

The Hard Disk of the Future Will Be Ten Thousand Times Faster, Researchers Say
From ACM News

The Hard Disk of the Future Will Be Ten Thousand Times Faster, Researchers Say

Think your computer is pretty slow?

Moore's Law Is Showing Its Age
From ACM News

Moore's Law Is Showing Its Age

No company sounds more religious about Moore’s Law than Intel Corp., whose co-founder made a famous observation about the miniaturization of chip circuitry 50 years...

As Tech Firms Track Your Location, Advertisers Zero In for the Sale
From ACM News

As Tech Firms Track Your Location, Advertisers Zero In for the Sale

Mapping technology advancements from Google Inc and Facebook Inc that provide more precise user location data than ever before are starting to dent advertisers'...
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