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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.


Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special After All
From ACM News

Exoplanet Census Suggests Earth Is Special After All

More than 400 years ago Renaissance scientist Nicolaus Copernicus reduced us to near nothingness by showing that our planet is not the center of the solar system...

Gps and the World's First 'space War'
From ACM News

Gps and the World's First 'space War'

Twenty-five years ago U.S.-led Coalition forces launched the world’s first "space war" when they drove Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

Robotic Comet Lander Philae Says Good-Bye
From ACM News

Robotic Comet Lander Philae Says Good-Bye

On a dark stretch of the chilly Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko the lander Philae has begun a lonely and silent vigil.

Deciphering the Language of the Brain
From ACM News

Deciphering the Language of the Brain

Understanding how brains work is one of the greatest scientific challenges of our times, but despite the impression sometimes given in the popular press, researchers...

Csi: Cyberattack Scene Investigation--a Malware Whodunit
From ACM TechNews

Csi: Cyberattack Scene Investigation--a Malware Whodunit

Forensic probes of cyberattacks can uncover their modus operandi and severity, but finding perpetrators is a difficult proposition. 

Wikipedia Turns 15
From ACM Opinion

Wikipedia Turns 15

It must be difficult for the roughly half a billion people who visit Wikipedia every month to remember a world without the free online encyclopedia.

Nasa and the ­.s. Air Force Test a New Ground-Based Gps
From ACM News

Nasa and the ­.s. Air Force Test a New Ground-Based Gps

Anyone who has struggled to pinpoint his or her location in a mall, airport or urban canyon amid skyscrapers has experienced a GPS gap firsthand.

'improving' Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Argument Among Scientists
From ACM News

'improving' Humans with Customized Genes Sparks Argument Among Scientists

"Today we sense we are close to be being able to alter human heredity," Nobel Laureate and California Institute of Technology virologist David Baltimore said December...

The Most Important Number in Climate Change
From ACM News

The Most Important Number in Climate Change

The furious majesty of a thunderstorm defies computer simulation.

A Quick Guide to the Cybersecurity Bill Passed By the ­.s. Senate
From ACM News

A Quick Guide to the Cybersecurity Bill Passed By the ­.s. Senate

After more than a year of bickering, stalling and revising, the Senate passed its most significant cybersecurity bill to date 74–21.

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky
From ACM Opinion

Searching For Life in Martian Water Will Be Very, Very Tricky

NASA scientists announced today the best evidence yet that Mars, once thought dry, sterile and dead, may yet have life in it: Liquid water still flows on at least...

Robotic Limbs Get a Sense of Touch
From ACM News

Robotic Limbs Get a Sense of Touch

Advanced prosthetics have for the past few years begun tapping into brain signals to provide amputees with impressive new levels of control.

The Milky Way's Missing Mass: Partially Found
From ACM News

The Milky Way's Missing Mass: Partially Found

Giant galaxies such as the Milky Way and Andromeda consist mostly of exotic dark matter.

­sing Technology to Break the Speed Barrier of Reading
From ACM Opinion

­sing Technology to Break the Speed Barrier of Reading

I grew up in a tiny New York City apartment, packed in alongside our four cats and my father's immense personal library of some 3000 books.

Cryptographers Brace For Quantum Revolution
From ACM News

Cryptographers Brace For Quantum Revolution

It is an inevitability that cryptographers dread: the arrival of powerful quantum computers that can break the security of the Internet. Although these devices...

"molecular Tweeting" Could Hold the Key to Busting Superbugs
From ACM TechNews

"molecular Tweeting" Could Hold the Key to Busting Superbugs

Researchers are using the metaphor of Twitter to help them better understand the ways communication among bacteria can lead to antibiotic resistance. 

5 Mobile Technologies Help Level the Playing Field For People with Disabilities
From ACM News

5 Mobile Technologies Help Level the Playing Field For People with Disabilities

Mobile devices have become incredibly popular for their ability to weave modern conveniences such as Internet access and social networking into the fabric of daily...

Search For Alien Life Ignites Battle Over Giant Telescope
From ACM News

Search For Alien Life Ignites Battle Over Giant Telescope

There is a gaping hole in the latest effort to reinvigorate the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), one so big it could hold an estimated 357 million...

How Much Information Can Earth Hold?
From ACM TechNews

How Much Information Can Earth Hold?

Exploring how much information the Earth can store offers insights into the manifestation of order in the universe.

A Computer's Heat Could Divulge Top Secrets
From ACM News

A Computer's Heat Could Divulge Top Secrets

The most secure computers in the world can't "Google" a thing—they are disconnected from the Internet and all other networks.
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