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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.


Was the Space Shuttle a Mistake?
From ACM Opinion

Was the Space Shuttle a Mistake?

Forty years ago, I wrote an article for Technology Review titled "Shall We Build the Space Shuttle?" Now, with the 135th and final flight of the shuttle at hand...

From ACM News

Bug-Squashing Tools Offered to Improve Network Security

The Department of Homeland Security has announced an initiative to shore up security by squashing software bugs. This follows a slew of high-profile attacks on...

From ACM News

Could This Brain Implant Revive Paralyzed Limbs?

In the annals of great oxymorons, "non-invasive brain implant" would surely rank up there. Misnomer or not, the University of Michigan is touting just such a...

From ACM News

Google Voice Search Offers Natural User Input

Google Voice Search for desktop computers isn't much more than the company porting a technology that's been on mobile phones for a while to PCs. But don't write...

A Preview of Future Disk Drives
From ACM News

A Preview of Future Disk Drives

A new type of data storage technology, called phase-change memory, has proven capable of writing some types of data faster than conventional flash based storage...

How Robots Will Beat Humans at Billiards
From ACM News

How Robots Will Beat Humans at Billiards

Once a year, at the International Computer Olympiad, teams pit their AI software against others' in a variety of nerd-appropriate sports: chess, go, backgammon...

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo Team Up to Advance Semantic Web
From ACM News

Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo Team Up to Advance Semantic Web

The move may finally encourage widespread use of technology that makes online information as comprehensible to computers as it is to humans. If the effort works...

Tracking Down Twitter's Best Rumor Spreaders
From ACM News

Tracking Down Twitter's Best Rumor Spreaders

Sometimes it's easy to know which messages will spread through Twitter like wildfire. Just ask Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-New York), who faces pressure to resign...

Making the Case For Security
From ACM News

Making the Case For Security

Major corporations have made serious mistakes with information security recently, resulting in spectacular failures to protect business and customer records....

Tapping Quantum Effects For Software that Learns
From ACM News

Tapping Quantum Effects For Software that Learns

In a bid to enable computers to learn faster, defense company Lockheed Martin has bought a system that uses quantum mechanics to process digital data.

What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters
From ACM News

What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters

Recent weeks have been exciting for a relatively new kind of currency speculator. In just three weeks, the total value of a unique new digital currency called...

The Invisible iPhone
From ACM TechNews

The Invisible iPhone

Hasso Plattner Institute researchers have developed a system that enables iPhone users to perform actions on their devices without actually holding the phone. 

Tracking How Mobile Apps Track You
From ACM News

Tracking How Mobile Apps Track You

Third-party apps are the weakest link in user privacy on smart phones. They often get access to large quantities of user data, and there are few rules covering...

The Next Big Thing in Analytics: Tracking Your Cursor's Every Move
From ACM News

The Next Big Thing in Analytics: Tracking Your Cursor's Every Move

Media, search engines, advertisers and social networks have been tracking what you click since the birth of the Web, but this measurement yields an incomplete...

A Business Analytics Engine that Began with the Military
From ACM News

A Business Analytics Engine that Began with the Military

Big technology companies like Netflix and Facebook make clever use of the digital traces we leave online: their algorithms can make connections between data and...

Workplace Robots Need a Better View
From ACM News

Workplace Robots Need a Better View

Robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks says a new generation of industrial robots could be enabled by better machine vision.

From ACM News

Data Analysis Is Creating New Business Opportunities

Sitting in the left-field upper deck to watch the San Francisco Giants play baseball on May 11 would cost you eight bucks if you'd bought the ticket in late April...

Designs With a Deeper Purpose
From ACM TechNews

Designs With a Deeper Purpose

Microsoft software design specialist Bill Buxton wants developers to focus on innovations that can improve humans' quality of life.

Microsoft Browser Would Offer Personalization Along With Privacy Protection
From ACM TechNews

Microsoft Browser Would Offer Personalization Along With Privacy Protection

Microsoft researchers have developed RePriv, a browser that analyzes users' online behavior and controls how their personal information is released to sites that...

From ACM News

The Botnets That Won't Die

New communications schemes could make zombie PC networks far more difficult to shut down.
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