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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.


The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping
From ACM News

The Creepy, Long-Standing Practice of Undersea Cable Tapping

In the early 1970s, the U.S. government learned that an undersea cable ran parallel to the Kuril Islands off the eastern coast of Russia, providing a vital communications...

Y ­ No Go Viral: The Emerging Science of Memes
From ACM TechNews

Y ­ No Go Viral: The Emerging Science of Memes

Scientists are beginning to study how memes are created, which ones fail, and how certain memes go viral. 

The Quest For Seamless, High-Quality Virtual Reality
From ACM TechNews

The Quest For Seamless, High-Quality Virtual Reality

New virtual-reality peripherals are garnering attention as they enable users to feel truly present in a VR environment by addressing the challenge of movement. 

What the Digital Brains of the Future Might Be Like
From ACM Opinion

What the Digital Brains of the Future Might Be Like

It is the rare entrepreneur who hits it truly big twice. Those who do—such as Ev Williams, Ted Turner, and Elon Musk—tend to stay within the original industry that...

Where Rich People Live (AKA Maps of iPhone Use)
From ACM News

Where Rich People Live (AKA Maps of iPhone Use)

Our stuff often says a lot about us, whether we own a hybrid car or a station wagon, a MacBook Pro or an ancient desktop.

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?
From ACM News

Is This Virtual Worm the First Sign of the Singularity?

For all the talk of artificial intelligence and all the games of SimCity that have been played, no one in the world can actually simulate living things. Biology...

Chatting in Code on Walkie-Talkies in Pakistan's Restive Tribal Areas
From ACM News

Chatting in Code on Walkie-Talkies in Pakistan's Restive Tribal Areas

Sharif loves using his mukhabera. "I use it daily, mostly at night time, because signals are clear at that time," he says. "I am in touch with most of my friends...

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?
From ACM Opinion

Paul Otellini's Intel: Can the Company That Built the Future Survive It?

Forty-five years after Intel was founded by Silicon Valley legends Gordon Moore and Bob Noyce, it is the world's leading semiconductor company.

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind
From ACM News

How Facebook Designs the 'perfect Empty Vessel' For Your Mind

One day in March, I was sitting across from Facebook's design director, Kate Aronowitz, at 1 Hacker Way in Menlo Park when she told me, "It takes a lot of work...

How the Boston Pd Could Examine the Videos From the Bombing
From ACM News

How the Boston Pd Could Examine the Videos From the Bombing

As investigators try to figure out what happened during the bombings at the Boston Marathon, they'll turn to video taken at the scene of the explosions.

How Augmented-Reality Content Might Actually Work
From ACM Opinion

How Augmented-Reality Content Might Actually Work

Augmented reality is very exciting. The promise of it is this: all the information on the Internet overlaid on the real world exactly where and when you need it...

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps
From ACM Opinion

Why Google Maps Is Better Than Apple Maps

There's a simple answer: people.

Buggy Software: Achilles Heel of Big-Data-Powered Science?
From ACM TechNews

Buggy Software: Achilles Heel of Big-Data-Powered Science?

Software defects are a growing concern in the scientific computing community. A recent workshop focusing on maintainable software practices discussed how software...

A Machine That Makes Cameras: The Aesthetics of the Lytro
From ACM News

A Machine That Makes Cameras: The Aesthetics of the Lytro

Let's think about photography as people live it.

What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?
From ACM News

What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?

When, a few weeks ago, astronomers announced that an Earth-sized planet had been detected orbiting a Alpha Centauri B, a star in the closest system of stars to...

For Lonely Astronauts, a Robotic Companion
From ACM News

For Lonely Astronauts, a Robotic Companion

You know the only thing lonelier than Sgt. Pepper's Hearts Club Band, and the Heartbreak Hotel, and the number one? Being alone and also not on Earth.

What Dna Actually Looks Like
From ACM News

What Dna Actually Looks Like

DNA, we are taught early on, is colorful.

In China, 25 Million People ­se Only Their Cell Phones to Read Books
From ACM Opinion

In China, 25 Million People ­se Only Their Cell Phones to Read Books

On vacation in China earlier this month, I stopped by Shanghai's seven-story downtown "Book City," bustling with activity on a weekday afternoon that, as a publisher...

An Amazon Engineer Had a Little Idea That Turned Into a Billion-Dollar Business
From ACM News

An Amazon Engineer Had a Little Idea That Turned Into a Billion-Dollar Business

Once upon a time, Amazon was a dot-com-era technology company best known for selling books.

The World Is Not Enough: Google and the Future of Augmented Reality
From ACM News

The World Is Not Enough: Google and the Future of Augmented Reality

It is The Future. You wake up at dawn and fumble on the bedstand for your (Google) Glass. Peering out at the world through transparent screens, what do you see?
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