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Communications of the ACM

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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.


Disney Software Makes It Easy to Design and Print Custom Walking Robots
From ACM TechNews

Disney Software Makes It Easy to Design and Print Custom Walking Robots

A joint research project has yielded an interactive design system that enables hobbyists to create custom walking robots that can be printed in three dimensions...

Leap Second Heads Into Fierce Debate
From ACM News

Leap Second Heads Into Fierce Debate

When Earth's rotation gets far enough out of sync with the drumbeat of atomic time, a leap second is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the world’s clocks...

Spider Silk Sensors Could Search For Life on Mars
From ACM News

Spider Silk Sensors Could Search For Life on Mars

Ziggy Stardust would love this: Spiders could help find life on Mars.

Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays
From ACM TechNews

Novel Nanostructures Could Usher in Touchless Displays

The swipe--without actually needing to touch a screen with a finger--will be the next dominant computer interface method, according to researchers in Germany. 

Neural Implant Enables Paralyzed Als Patient to Type Six Words Per Minute
From ACM News

Neural Implant Enables Paralyzed Als Patient to Type Six Words Per Minute

Typing six words per minute may not sound very impressive. But for paralyzed people typing via a brain-computer interface (BCI), it's a new world record.

The Fuzzy Logic of Fleeing For Your Life
From ACM TechNews

The Fuzzy Logic of Fleeing For Your Life

A special session at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligence Transportation Systems dealt with intelligent pedestrian traffic and evacuation dynamics.

Europe Gears ­p For Land, Air, and Sea Robotics Competition
From ACM TechNews

Europe Gears ­p For Land, Air, and Sea Robotics Competition

The euRathlon 2015 Grand Challenge is designed to assess how well cooperative robot systems perform as part of a simulated emergency-response operation.

Researcher Hacks Self-Driving Car Sensors
From ACM TechNews

Researcher Hacks Self-Driving Car Sensors

Laser-ranging (lidar) systems that most self-driving cars use to detect obstacles can be hacked by a setup costing about $60.

Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming For Robotics?
From ACM TechNews

Is a Cambrian Explosion Coming For Robotics?

New technological developments are fomenting an explosion in the diversity and application of robotics.

Estimate: Human Brain 30 Times Faster Than Best Supercomputers
From ACM TechNews

Estimate: Human Brain 30 Times Faster Than Best Supercomputers

Two Ph.D. students are seeking to determine how soon artificial intelligence might exceed the capabilities of the human brain.  

Fbi Wants Better Automated Image Analysis For Tattoos
From ACM TechNews

Fbi Wants Better Automated Image Analysis For Tattoos

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation collaborated with the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to find a better way to search for matching tatoos...

See Through Walls By the Glow of Your Wi-Fi
From ACM TechNews

See Through Walls By the Glow of Your Wi-Fi

University College London researchers have developed a system that can sense people moving behind masonry walls 25 centimeters thick using only passive radiation...

Testing Trust in Autonomous Vehicles By Fooling Human Passengers
From ACM TechNews

Testing Trust in Autonomous Vehicles By Fooling Human Passengers

A team at Stanford University's Center for Design Research has developed the Real Road Autonomous Driving Simulation that fools human participants into thinking...

Children Beating ­p Robot Inspires New Escape Maneuver System
From ACM TechNews

Children Beating ­p Robot Inspires New Escape Maneuver System

An experiment to see how mall patrons react to a social robot surprisingly found children were hostile toward the robot. 

Beyond Just 'big' Data
From ACM TechNews

Beyond Just 'big' Data

As big data technologies advance and the challenges of extracting meaning from these data sets shift, computer scientists will need new vocabulary. 

Spintronic Devices Possible Without Magnetic Material
From ACM TechNews

Spintronic Devices Possible Without Magnetic Material

Argonne National Laboratory researcher Stephen Wu has found it may be possible to generate spin current from insulators without a magnetic material.

The 2015 Top 10 Programming Languages
From ACM TechNews

The 2015 Top 10 Programming Languages

Java remains at the top of IEEE Spectrum's second annual ranking of programming languages. 

Mother Robots Build Children Robots to Experiment With Artificial Evolution
From ACM TechNews

Mother Robots Build Children Robots to Experiment With Artificial Evolution

ETH Zurich researchers sought to bypass some of the limitations of evolutionary robotics by training a "mother robot" to autonomously assemble children robots. 

The Computer Chip That Never Forgets
From ACM News

The Computer Chip That Never Forgets

In 1945, mathematician John von Neumann wrote down a very simple recipe for a computer.

Medical Microbots Take a Fantastic Voyage Into Reality
From ACM News

Medical Microbots Take a Fantastic Voyage Into Reality

In the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, scientists at a U.S. laboratory shrink a submarine called Proteus and its human crew to microscopic size and then inject the...
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