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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.


Disaster Droids Face Off in the DARPA Robotics Challenge
From ACM News

Disaster Droids Face Off in the DARPA Robotics Challenge

Final preparations are being made by 24 robotics teams about to compete for $3.5m (£2.3m) worth of prizes in a Pentagon-backed competition.

'positive Train Control' Could Have Prevented U.s. Derailment
From ACM News

'positive Train Control' Could Have Prevented U.s. Derailment

The investigation into the cause of a fatal train derailment in the U.S. city of Philadelphia this week has already yielded its first conclusion: it could have...

The Number Glitch That Can Lead to Catastrophe
From ACM News

The Number Glitch That Can Lead to Catastrophe

A surprisingly simple bug afflicts computers controlling planes, spacecraft and more; they get confused by big numbers.

What Would You See in a Black Hole?
From ACM News

What Would You See in a Black Hole?

Something about a black hole just pulls you in. Sure, its gravity is so strong that not even light can elude its grasp. But, there's something else, something harder...

U.s. Nuclear Fears Block Intel China Supercomputer Update
From ACM News

U.s. Nuclear Fears Block Intel China Supercomputer Update

The U.S. government has refused to let Intel help China update the world's biggest supercomputer.

How the Dark Web Spurs a Spying 'arms Race'
From ACM News

How the Dark Web Spurs a Spying 'arms Race'

It's a technological arms race, pure and simple.

Ted 2015: Google Boss Wants Self-Drive Cars 'for Son'
From ACM TechNews

Ted 2015: Google Boss Wants Self-Drive Cars 'for Son'

The director of Google's self-driving car project says he wants self-driving cars to be standard on roads within five years. 

Rosetta Catches Its Own Shadow
From ACM News

Rosetta Catches Its Own Shadow

The highest resolution image yet taken of Comet 67P by the Rosetta satellite has just been released.

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time
From ACM Opinion

The Paradox of Popping Back in Time

Here we go again.

Is Your Toaster a Silent Recruit in a 'thingbot' Army?
From ACM News

Is Your Toaster a Silent Recruit in a 'thingbot' Army?

All kinds of gadgets, from toasters to sprinklers, fridges to domestic heating systems, are now boasting sensors, actuators and low-powered embedded chips.

Time Lords: The Clocks That Rule Our World
From ACM News

Time Lords: The Clocks That Rule Our World

Time is money—and never was this clearer than at 09:59:59.985 Eastern Time, on 3 June 2013.

Vint Cerf Warns of 'digital Dark Age'
From ACM TechNews

Vint Cerf Warns of 'digital Dark Age'

Former ACM president Vint Cerf worries a forthcoming "digital Dark Age" will leave behind mountains of data people will no longer be able to access. 

Taking the Robot Dog For a Walk
From ACM News

Taking the Robot Dog For a Walk

It's a video which is bound to go viral. Spot sets off down an office corridor, and then out into the open air.

The Invisible Network That Keeps the World Running
From ACM News

The Invisible Network That Keeps the World Running

It’s been just over 45 years since the Apollo Moon landings, and some would have it that we are failing to build big anymore; that we've since become too fascinated...

Not in Front of the Telly: Warning Over 'listening' Tv
From ACM News

Not in Front of the Telly: Warning Over 'listening' Tv

Samsung is warning customers about discussing personal information in front of their smart television set.

Lost Chunk of Pioneering EDSAC Computer Found
From ACM TechNews

Lost Chunk of Pioneering EDSAC Computer Found

An original part of one of the United Kingdom's pioneering computers has been donated to a project that is working to rebuild the machine. 

Coder Creates Smallest Chess Game For Computers
From ACM TechNews

Coder Creates Smallest Chess Game For Computers

French coder Olivier Poudade has created BootChess, which is only 487 bytes in size, and the code can run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers.

Out of Control AI Will Not Kill ­s, Believes Microsoft Research Chief
From ACM TechNews

Out of Control AI Will Not Kill ­s, Believes Microsoft Research Chief

Microsoft Research chief Eric Horvitz thinks Artificial Intelligence systems eventually could achieve consciousness, but he doubts they could become a threat to...

AI Will Not Kill ­s, Says Microsoft Research Chief
From ACM Opinion

AI Will Not Kill ­s, Says Microsoft Research Chief

Microsoft Research's chief has said he thinks artificial intelligence systems could achieve consciousness, but has played down the threat to human life.

Back-­p Brains: The Era of Digital Immortality
From ACM News

Back-­p Brains: The Era of Digital Immortality

A few months before she died, my grandmother made a decision.
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