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Communications of the ACM

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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.


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 Internet Mapmakers Helping Nepal
From ACM News

The Internet Mapmakers Helping Nepal

The night after the earthquake hit Nepal, people feared to sleep in their homes, worrying about powerful aftershocks toppling the few buildings left standing.

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.

Watching the Universe in Real Time
From ACM Careers

Watching the Universe in Real Time

Even though the sky looks about the same every night to those of us here on Earth, cataclysmic things happen in outer space constantly.

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...

The App Economy Is Now 'bigger Than Hollywood'
From ACM Careers

The App Economy Is Now 'bigger Than Hollywood'

What is the major cultural force in America right now? It might just be apps and the web.

The Voice-Activated Video Game
From ACM Opinion

The Voice-Activated Video Game

When he was in grad school, the roboticist Daniel Wilson installed 150 binary sensors in his house.

A Visit to the Corporate-Industrial Robotics Competition For Teenagers
From ACM Careers

A Visit to the Corporate-Industrial Robotics Competition For Teenagers

Sometimes I think of school as an overlapping set of calendars.

The Anti-Plagiarism Machine
From ACM Careers

The Anti-Plagiarism Machine

Every day, researchers add hundreds of new papers to ArXiv, the massive public database of scientific writing and research.

How to Fool a Computer With Optical Illusions
From ACM News

How to Fool a Computer With Optical Illusions

Computers, like people, understand what they see in the world based on what they've seen before.

How Disney Is Perfecting Animated Eyeballs
From ACM News

How Disney Is Perfecting Animated Eyeballs

Creating lifelike animated characters is hard.

Nasa Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars
From ACM News

Nasa Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a...

Hacking a ­niverse's Worth of Data
From ACM Careers

Hacking a ­niverse's Worth of Data

On a Friday night in New York City you can find just about anything. And this past Friday about 130 hackers gathered in the Hayden Planetarium to participate in...
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