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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.


Tibetan Altitude Gene Came from Extinct Human Species
From ACM News

Tibetan Altitude Gene Came from Extinct Human Species

Tibetans are comfortable at high altitudes where the air is thin.

Make Robots ­seful By Teaching Them to Talk Like ­S
From ACM News

Make Robots ­seful By Teaching Them to Talk Like ­S

When Ashutosh Saxena wants some coffee or ice cream, he can ask a robot to make it for him.

Computer Spots Rare Diseases in Family Photos
From ACM TechNews

Computer Spots Rare Diseases in Family Photos

New software can learn to identify rare medical conditions by analyzing a face in a digital photograph. 

How Isis Is Winning the Online War For Iraq
From ACM News

How Isis Is Winning the Online War For Iraq

As the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) claimed control of Iraq's biggest oil refinery and akey border crossing between Iraq and Jordan—it lost a key...

Computer Spots Rare Diseases in Family Photos
From ACM News

Computer Spots Rare Diseases in Family Photos

Doctors faced with the tricky task of spotting rare genetic diseases in children may soon be asking parents to email their family photos.

Commercial Quantum Computer Still Awaits Ultimate Test
From ACM News

Commercial Quantum Computer Still Awaits Ultimate Test

Quantum computers promise to revolutionise the digital world, but how do you tell if a computer really is harnessing the power quantum mechanics?

Pluto-Bound Craft Seeks Manhattan-Sized Lump of Ice
From ACM News

Pluto-Bound Craft Seeks Manhattan-Sized Lump of Ice

Desirable destinations at the fringes of the solar system can be hard to find.

Windows Bug-Testing Software Cracks Stem Cell Programs
From ACM TechNews

Windows Bug-Testing Software Cracks Stem Cell Programs

Windows bug-testing software is providing insight into how stem cells determine which type of tissue to become. 

Wearable Submarine to Hunt for 2000-Year-Old Computer
From ACM News

Wearable Submarine to Hunt for 2000-Year-Old Computer

The world's most advanced robotic diving suit is getting ready to help search for one of the world's oldest computers.

Skinny Wormholes Could Send Messages Through Time
From ACM News

Skinny Wormholes Could Send Messages Through Time

Like some bizarre form of optical fibre, a long, thin wormhole might let you send messages through time using pulses of light.

Quantum Positioning System Steps In When Gps Fails
From ACM News

Quantum Positioning System Steps In When Gps Fails

In 2016 a British submarine will slip its moorings and set sail under the guidance of the quantum world.

Sentient Robots? Not Possible If You Do the Maths
From ACM News

Sentient Robots? Not Possible If You Do the Maths

So long, robot pals—and robot overlords.

Cheap Gadget Lets You Steer a Wheelchair with Your Eyes
From ACM News

Cheap Gadget Lets You Steer a Wheelchair with Your Eyes

Put some "crap" technology with some smart software and you get one life-changing solution.

Cyborg Angst: 5 Ways Computers Will Perplex ­S in 2039
From ACM News

Cyborg Angst: 5 Ways Computers Will Perplex ­S in 2039

Brain chips mean we are struggling to distinguish our own thoughts from ideas implanted by advertisers.

Watson in Your Pocket: Supercomputer Gets Own Apps
From ACM News

Watson in Your Pocket: Supercomputer Gets Own Apps

If you could quiz Watson, IBM's all-knowing supercomputer, from an app on your phone, what would you ask it?

Virtual Earth Plays Out Fate of Life on the Planet
From ACM News

Virtual Earth Plays Out Fate of Life on the Planet

We can simulate the climate and we can even simulate babies. Now, we can simulate life on Earth, too—the vast and complex interactions of the living organisms on...

Atomic Time Lord to Battle Sneaky High-Speed Trades
From ACM News

Atomic Time Lord to Battle Sneaky High-Speed Trades

Welcome to the room where time lives. I am standing in a space bristling with atomic clocks at the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, U.K., which generates...

Meet Your Unborn Child—before It's Even Conceived
From ACM News

Meet Your Unborn Child—before It's Even Conceived

Will my baby be healthy?

Google Glass Hackathon Spawns Bizarre No-Touch Apps
From ACM TechNews

Google Glass Hackathon Spawns Bizarre No-Touch Apps

At a recent Google Glass hackathon, which developers used a new language called Wearscript to create a wide range of new applications for the wearable technology...

The Robot Tricks to Bridge the Uncanny Valley
From ACM News

The Robot Tricks to Bridge the Uncanny Valley

If A robot bleeped and squeaked with personality like R2D2 from Star Wars, would you like it better?
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