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subjectPersonal Computing
authorNew Scientist

An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Turn Any Object Into a Robot Using This Program and a 3D Printer
From ACM TechNews

Turn Any Object Into a Robot Using This Program and a 3D Printer

Researchers created a program to render household items into hand-activated robots using a three-dimensional (3D) printer. 

Blind People 'see' Microscope Images Using Touch-Feedback Device
From ACM News

Blind People 'see' Microscope Images Using Touch-Feedback Device


Your Home's Online Gadgets Could Be Hacked By ­ltrasound
From ACM News

Your Home's Online Gadgets Could Be Hacked By ­ltrasound

This may have happened to you. You idly browse a pair of shoes online one morning, and for the rest of the week, those shoes follow you across the Internet, appearing...

Libraries of Plastic Molecules Could Store Huge Amounts of Data
From ACM News

Libraries of Plastic Molecules Could Store Huge Amounts of Data

One day your hard drive could just be a pile of plastic. Researchers have coded a word into short chains of plastic molecules, which could be used as a space-saving...

Baidu ­ses Millions of ­sers' Location Data to Make Predictions
From ACM News

Baidu ­ses Millions of ­sers' Location Data to Make Predictions

Baidu, China's internet giant, has shown what you can learn when you have access to enough location data.

Silicon Fingerprint on Chips Could Make Any Gadget Unhackable
From ACM News

Silicon Fingerprint on Chips Could Make Any Gadget Unhackable

Has your bank recently sent you a credit or debit card with a chip in it? If so, you may now be in possession of a little piece of tech that is quietly helping...

Study of 1 Million Sites Shows Just How Closely We're Watched
From ACM News

Study of 1 Million Sites Shows Just How Closely We're Watched

The web is watching you. Chunks of code hide inside every website, tracking your online behaviour.

The Buzz of Your Skull Can Be ­sed to Tell Exactly Who You Are
From ACM News

The Buzz of Your Skull Can Be ­sed to Tell Exactly Who You Are

You will know me by the buzz in my head. Biometric systems, which identify people by their physiological features, can use everything from ear shape to walking...

Mind-Reading Tech Helps Beginners Quickly Learn to Play Bach
From ACM News

Mind-Reading Tech Helps Beginners Quickly Learn to Play Bach

Every potential virtuoso needs a mentor. It just so happens that this one is a computer.

3D-Printed Display Lets Blind People Explore Images By Touch
From ACM News

3D-Printed Display Lets Blind People Explore Images By Touch

Blind and partially sighted people often use tactile displays to interact with computers.

Smart Clothes Adapt So You Are Always the Right Temperature
From ACM TechNews

Smart Clothes Adapt So You Are Always the Right Temperature

The U.S. Department of Energy is funding research into clothing that can change its thermal properties to adapt to the environment, as well as to the body of the...

Inside China's Plan to Give Every Citizen a Character Score
From ACM News

Inside China's Plan to Give Every Citizen a Character Score

Where you go, what you buy, who you know, how many points are on your driving licence, how your pupils rate you.

Brain-Controlled Smart Home Lets You Turn the Tv On By Thinking
From ACM News

Brain-Controlled Smart Home Lets You Turn the Tv On By Thinking

Feeling cold? Your home already knows, and turns up the heat. Sick of the TV show you are watching? Your home changes the channel.

Brain Compass Implant Gives Blind Rats Psychic Gps
From ACM News

Brain Compass Implant Gives Blind Rats Psychic Gps

Who needs sight to get around when you've got a digital compass in your head?

Facebook Invents an Intelligence Test For Machines
From ACM News

Facebook Invents an Intelligence Test For Machines

John is in the playground. Bob is in the office. Where is John?

Google Wants to Rank Websites Based on Facts Not Links
From ACM News

Google Wants to Rank Websites Based on Facts Not Links

The internet is stuffed with garbage.

The Computer that Crunches Cloud Data to Heat Your Home
From ACM News

The Computer that Crunches Cloud Data to Heat Your Home

Each photo we "like", email we send, and search we run creates heat.

Portable Mind-Reader Gives Voice to Locked-In People
From ACM News

Portable Mind-Reader Gives Voice to Locked-In People

You wake up in hospital unable to move, to speak, to twitch so much as an eyelid.

Thought Control Makes Robot Arm Grab and Move Objects
From ACM News

Thought Control Makes Robot Arm Grab and Move Objects

A woman paralysed from the neck down can now grab a ball with a robotic arm—just by thinking about it.

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in Vr
From ACM News

Haptic Holograms Let You Touch the Void in Vr

Feeling is believing. A system that uses sound waves to project "haptic holograms" into mid-air—letting you touch 3D virtual objects with your bare hands—is poised...
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