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subjectTheory
authorThe Atlantic

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


Do Computers Need Pressure-Sensing Screens?
From ACM News

Do Computers Need Pressure-Sensing Screens?

The computer mouse, when it first went mainstream, was awkward to describe but easy to use.

The High-Stakes Race to Rid the World of Human Drivers
From ACM News

The High-Stakes Race to Rid the World of Human Drivers

The race to bring driverless cars to the masses is only just beginning, but already it is a fight for the ages.

After 10 Years, Google Books Is Legal
From ACM News

After 10 Years, Google Books Is Legal

On Friday, a federal circuit court made clear that Google Books is legal.

The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy
From ACM News

The Most Mysterious Star in Our Galaxy

In the Northern hemisphere's sky, hovering above the Milky Way, there are two constellations—Cygnus the swan, her wings outstretched in full flight, and Lyra, the...

If You're Not Paranoid, You're Crazy
From ACM Opinion

If You're Not Paranoid, You're Crazy

I knew we'd bought walnuts at the store that week, and I wanted to add some to my oatmeal.

What's Killing Mars?
From ACM News

What's Killing Mars?

The question of whether there is life on Mars is woven into a much larger thatch of mysteries. Among them: What happened to the ancient ocean that once covered...

Engineering Humans For War
From ACM News

Engineering Humans For War

Retired four-star general Paul F. Gorman recalls first learning about the "weakling of the battlefield" from reading S.L.A. Marshall, the U.S. Army combat historian...

Virtual Reality Gets Real
From ACM News

Virtual Reality Gets Real

In 1965, Ivan Sutherland, a computer-graphics pioneer, addressed an international meeting of techies on the subject of virtual reality.

The Computers of Our Wildest Dreams
From ACM News

The Computers of Our Wildest Dreams

One of the first electronic, programmable computers in the world is remembered today mostly by its nickname: Colossus.

Beware the Listening Machines
From ACM Opinion

Beware the Listening Machines

One of my great pleasures in life is attending conferences on fields I'm intrigued by, but know nothing about.

How Stargazing Became a Numbers Game
From ACM News

How Stargazing Became a Numbers Game

People have long thought of astronomy as the science of looking to the stars, but discoveries in the cosmos increasingly come from a different kind of observational...

Hacking the Brain
From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Brain

The perfectibility of the human mind is a theme that has captured our imagination for centuries—the notion that, with the right tools, the right approach, the right...

Blueprint For a Better Human Body
From ACM News

Blueprint For a Better Human Body

When Elizabeth Wright smacks her right leg on a table, she says "ow."

Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here
From ACM News

Long-Range Iris Scanning Is Here

An officer pulls someone over on the side of the highway.

The Wearable Device That Could ­nlock a New Human Sense
From ACM News

The Wearable Device That Could ­nlock a New Human Sense

In March, the neuroscientist David Eagleman stood on stage to give a TED talk on sensory substitution, the idea of replacing the duties of one sense by using another...

Teaching a Computer Not to Forget
From ACM News

Teaching a Computer Not to Forget

Imagine if every time you learned something new, you completely forgot how to do a thing you'd already learned.

­.s. Supreme Court: Gps Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure
From ACM News

­.s. Supreme Court: Gps Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

If the government puts a GPS tracker on you, your car, or any of your personal effects, it counts as a search—and is therefore protected by the Fourth Amendment...

Robot vs. Robot
From ACM News

Robot vs. Robot

Beautiful mathematical patterns are hidden in the chaos of Jackson Pollock’s famous drip paintings.

Finding Out What the Past Smelled Like
From ACM Opinion

Finding Out What the Past Smelled Like

It was the smell that hit me first, a heady mixture of roasting meat, woodsmoke, and farmyard manure.

The Attention Machine
From ACM News

The Attention Machine

Human attention isn't stable, ever, and it costs us: lives lost when drivers space out, billions of dollars wasted on inefficient work, and mental disorders that...
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