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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.


This Military Tech Could Finally Help Self-Driving Cars Master Snow
From ACM News

This Military Tech Could Finally Help Self-Driving Cars Master Snow

The research conducted at the country's National Laboratories is usually highly classified and specifically aimed at solving national security problems. But sometimes...

Neural Network Implemented with Light Instead of Electrons
From ACM News

Neural Network Implemented with Light Instead of Electrons

Neural networks have a reputation for being computationally expensive. But only the training portion of things really stresses most computer hardware, since it...

How They Did It (and Will Likely Try Again): GR­ Hackers vs. ­S Elections
From ACM News

How They Did It (and Will Likely Try Again): GR­ Hackers vs. ­S Elections

In a press briefing just two weeks ago, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the grand jury assembled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller had returned...

To Make Curiosity (Et Al.) More Curious, NASA and ESA Smarten ­p AI in Space
From ACM News

To Make Curiosity (Et Al.) More Curious, NASA and ESA Smarten ­p AI in Space

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has done many great things in its decade-plus of service—but initially, it rolled 600 feet past one of the initiative's biggest discoveries...

The AI Revolution Has Spawned a New Chips Arms Race
From ACM News

The AI Revolution Has Spawned a New Chips Arms Race

For years, the semiconductor world seemed to have settled into a quiet balance: Intel vanquished virtually all of the RISC processors in the server world, save ...

Seafloor Fiber Optic Cables Can Work Like Seismometers
From ACM News

Seafloor Fiber Optic Cables Can Work Like Seismometers

There are enough seismometers around these days to detect and locate nearly all earthquakes on land, except the most minuscule ones.

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth
From ACM Opinion

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth


Why Emergency Braking Systems Sometimes Hit Parked Cars and Lane Dividers
From ACM News

Why Emergency Braking Systems Sometimes Hit Parked Cars and Lane Dividers

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday provided new details about a March crash in Mountain View, California, that claimed the life of engineer Walter...

Frozen Pluto Has Wind-Blown Dunes Made of Methane Sand
From ACM News

Frozen Pluto Has Wind-Blown Dunes Made of Methane Sand

Part of the wonder of seeing new worlds is the radical difference from the planet you know.

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa
From ACM News

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa

NASA is in various stages of planning two multi-billion dollar missions to Jupiter's intriguing, ice-covered moon of Europa.

Five New Ancient Genomes Tell ­s About Neanderthal Tribes
From ACM News

Five New Ancient Genomes Tell ­s About Neanderthal Tribes

Mezmaiskaya Cave offered shelter to Neanderthals for tens of thousands of years. The cave, located near Russia's border with Georgia, preserved Neanderthal remains...

How Did Life Begin? It's Chemistry 101, but in Space
From ACM News

How Did Life Begin? It's Chemistry 101, but in Space

How did life start? There may not be a bigger question.

AI Trained to Spot Heart Disease Risks ­sing Retina Scan
From ACM News

AI Trained to Spot Heart Disease Risks ­sing Retina Scan

The idea behind using a neural network for image recognition is that you don't have to tell it what to look for in an image.

Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System
From ACM News

Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System

When it comes to data storage, efforts to get faster access grab most of the attention. But long-term archiving of data is equally important, and it generally requires...

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets
From ACM News

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets

The search for extraterrestrial life is fairly synonymous with the search for life as we know it.

Vulnerable Industrial Controls Directly Connected to Internet? Why Not?
From ACM News

Vulnerable Industrial Controls Directly Connected to Internet? Why Not?

Siemens issued an update to a year-old product vulnerability warning for its SIMATIC S7-300 and S7-400 families of programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—industrial...

Major Payment Company: 'fewer and Fewer ­se Cases' For Bitcoin Payments
From ACM News

Major Payment Company: 'fewer and Fewer ­se Cases' For Bitcoin Payments

Stripe is one of the most popular ways for small online organizations to accept credit card payments. And in 2014 it became one of the first major payment processors...

The James Webb Space Telescope Has Emerged from the Freezer
From ACM News

The James Webb Space Telescope Has Emerged from the Freezer

After spending three months at a temperature of just 20 degrees Celsius above absolute zero, the massive James Webb Space Telescope emerged from a large vacuum...

Do We Need a Tech Boom For the Elderly?
From ACM News

Do We Need a Tech Boom For the Elderly?

Joseph Coughlin has been director of the MIT AgeLab ever since he founded it in 1999. In his new book, The Longevity Economy, he contends that old age—much like...

Meltdown and Spectre: Here's What Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Others Are Doing About It
From ACM News

Meltdown and Spectre: Here's What Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Others Are Doing About It

The Meltdown and Spectre flaws—two related vulnerabilities that enable a wide range of information disclosure from every mainstream processor, with particularly...
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