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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.


'wise Chisels': Art, Craftsmanship, and Power Tools
From ACM News

'wise Chisels': Art, Craftsmanship, and Power Tools

It's often easy to tell at a glance the difference between a mass-produced object and one that has been handcrafted: The handmade item is likely to have distinctive...

MIT Big Data Initiative Launches Transportation Challenge, Privacy Working Group
From ACM TechNews

MIT Big Data Initiative Launches Transportation Challenge, Privacy Working Group

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab's Big Data Initiative recently announced two new activities aimed at...

How to Program Unreliable Chips
From ACM News

How to Program Unreliable Chips

As transistors get smaller, they also become less reliable.

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft
From ACM News

Big Plans For Small Spacecraft

It's hard to miss the rocket engine in Paulo Lozano's MIT office.

Dude, Where's My Code?
From ACM TechNews

Dude, Where's My Code?

Stack is a new system that automatically combs through programmers' code, identifying those lines that compilers might discard, but that could be functional. 

Better Robot Vision
From ACM TechNews

Better Robot Vision

Researchers  have developed a robot-vision algorithm they say is 15 percent better than its best competitor at identifying familiar objects in cluttered scenes. ...

Making Martian Clouds on Earth
From ACM News

Making Martian Clouds on Earth

At first glance, Mars' clouds might easily be mistaken for those on Earth: Images of the Martian sky, taken by NASA's Opportunity rover, depict gauzy, high-altitude...

New Kind of Microscope Uses Neutrons
From ACM News

New Kind of Microscope Uses Neutrons

Researchers at MIT, working with partners at NASA, have developed a new concept for a microscope that would use neutrons—subatomic particles with no electrical...

Surprisingly Simple Scheme for Self-Assembling Robots
From ACM TechNews

Surprisingly Simple Scheme for Self-Assembling Robots

M-Blocks are cube-shaped robots that can climb over and around one another, leap through the air, roll across the ground, and move while suspended upside down. 

Bringing 'common Sense' to Text Analytics
From ACM News

Bringing 'common Sense' to Text Analytics

Bringing "common sense" to artificial intelligence is one of the biggest challenges in computer science: It entails equipping computers with the shared knowledge...

A Computer Scientist's Approach to Medicine
From ACM TechNews

A Computer Scientist's Approach to Medicine

Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientist Stephanie Seneff applies her natural language processing research to solving biological problems.

Teaching Computers to See–by Learning to See Like Computers
From ACM Careers

Teaching Computers to See–by Learning to See Like Computers

By translating images into the language spoken by object-recognition systems, then translating them back, researchers hope to explain the recognition systems'...

Graphene Could Yield Cheaper Optical Chips
From ACM TechNews

Graphene Could Yield Cheaper Optical Chips

A new application for graphene in photodetectors could convert optical signals to electrical signals in integrated optoelectronic computer chips. 

Research Brings ­nbreakable Phones One Step Closer
From ACM TechNews

Research Brings ­nbreakable Phones One Step Closer

A new method for transferring versatile electronics onto a flexible surface could contribute to the development of flexible displays, solar cells, and energy harvesters...

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions
From ACM TechNews

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions

Artificial intelligence research has advanced significantly, but much work remains before computers can truly replicate or surpass human intelligence. 

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions
From ACM News

Artificial-Intelligence Research Revives Its Old Ambitions

The birth of artificial-intelligence research as an autonomous discipline is generally thought to have been the monthlong Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial...

In The World: Mapping the Logistics of Megacities
From ACM TechNews

In The World: Mapping the Logistics of Megacities

Logistics data on neighborhoods in several world cities is available online in an open-access pool of information that is graphically represented on city maps. 

Terramechanics Research Aims to Keep Mars Rovers Rolling
From ACM News

Terramechanics Research Aims to Keep Mars Rovers Rolling

In May 2009, the Mars rover Spirit cracked through a crusty layer of Martian topsoil, sinking into softer underlying sand.

3-D Mapping in Real Time, Without the Drift
From ACM TechNews

3-D Mapping in Real Time, Without the Drift

A new mapping algorithm that creates real-time, detailed three-dimensional maps of indoor and outdoor environments. 

Views You Can ­se? How Online Ratings Affect Your Judgment
From ACM News

Views You Can ­se? How Online Ratings Affect Your Judgment

Are you influenced by the opinions of other people—say, in the comments sections of websites?
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