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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.


Algorithms Spot Millions of California's Tiniest Quakes in Historical Data
From ACM News

Algorithms Spot Millions of California's Tiniest Quakes in Historical Data

When it comes to earthquakes, large, destructive ones dominate the headlines.

Mars Methane Hunt Comes ­p Empty, Flummoxing Scientists
From ACM News

Mars Methane Hunt Comes ­p Empty, Flummoxing Scientists

A spacecraft that was supposed to solve the mystery of methane on Mars has instead compounded scientists' confusion.

Black Hole Pictured for First Time, in Spectacular Detail
From ACM News

Black Hole Pictured for First Time, in Spectacular Detail

Astronomers have finally glimpsed the blackness of a black hole. By stringing together a global network of radio telescopes, they have for the first time produced...

AI Pioneer: 'The Dangers of Abuse Are Very Real'
From ACM Opinion

AI Pioneer: 'The Dangers of Abuse Are Very Real'

Yoshua Bengio is one of three computer scientists who last week shared the US$1-million A. M. Turing award—one of the field's top prizes.

Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials
From ACM Opinion

Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials

The hunt is on for materials that have exotic properties, to enhance quantum computers, touch screens and electronic displays, and to double the efficiency of solar...

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet
From ACM News

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

The DNA of life on Earth naturally stores its information in just four key chemicals—guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine, commonly referred to as G, C, A and...

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power
From ACM News

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Spotting gravitational waves is due to become an almost hourly event in the next decade. Starting around 2023, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory...

How Machine Learning Could Keep Dangerous DNA Out of Terrorists' Hands
From ACM News

How Machine Learning Could Keep Dangerous DNA Out of Terrorists' Hands

Biologists the world over routinely pay companies to synthesize snippets of DNA for use in the laboratory or clinic.

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps
From ACM News

Hidden History of the Milky Way Revealed by Extensive Star Maps

Last April, Amina Helmi felt goose bumps while driving to work in the northern Netherlands. It had nothing to do with the weather—it was pure anticipation. Just...

Machine Learning Leads Mathematicians to ­nsolvable Problem
From ACM News

Machine Learning Leads Mathematicians to ­nsolvable Problem

A simple artificial intelligence problem puts researchers up against a logical paradox discovered by famed mathematician Kurt Gödel.

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building
From ACM News

These Dusty Young Stars Are Changing the Rules of Planet-Building

Some 100,000 years ago, when Neanderthals still occupied the caves of southern Europe, a star was born.

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science
From ACM News

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science

Scientists can't study what they can't measure, as David Muller knows only too well.

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval
From ACM News

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval

In the biggest overhaul of the international system of units since 1875, countries have voted to redefine four basic units of measurement—the ampere, the kilogram...

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions
From ACM News

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions

Smoke filled the cabin as the Boeing 747 plunged towards snow-covered mountains in southern Alaska. All four engines had shut down, and it took the pilots eight...

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease
From ACM News

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease

Japanese neurosurgeons have implanted 'reprogrammed' stem cells into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease for the first time.

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome
From ACM News

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome

Pinpointing where and how the human genome is evolving can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack.

The World's Strongest MRI Machines Are Pushing Human Imaging to New Limits
From ACM News

The World's Strongest MRI Machines Are Pushing Human Imaging to New Limits

On a cold morning in Minneapolis last December, a man walked into a research centre to venture where only pigs had gone before: into the strongest magnetic resonance...

Europe Shows First Cards in €1-Billion Quantum Bet
From ACM News

Europe Shows First Cards in €1-Billion Quantum Bet

Plans to build two working quantum computers are among the first winners to be announced in a €1-billion (US$1.1 billion) funding initiative of the European Commission...

Teleportation Over a 6-Kilometre Cable, Courtesy of Quantum Powers
From ACM News

Teleportation Over a 6-Kilometre Cable, Courtesy of Quantum Powers

The fibre-optic cables that carry Internet traffic can also be used for a powerful form of the strange phenomenon known as quantum teleportation.

Here's What the Quantum Internet Has in Store
From ACM News

Here's What the Quantum Internet Has in Store

A future 'quantum internet' could find use long before it reaches technological maturity, a team of physicists predicts.
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