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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.


'This Could Be the End' for NASA's Mars Opportunity Rover
From ACM News

'This Could Be the End' for NASA's Mars Opportunity Rover

NASA's Opportunity rover began its 15th year on Mars this week, although the intrepid robotic explorer may already be dead.

The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class
From ACM News

The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

Computer science is so sought-after on certain college campuses that some students say they have to compete just to get into popular courses.

How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out
From ACM TechNews

How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out

Expert discussions on artificial intelligence took place last week in support potentially arrive at consensual recommendations for AI policy by the summer.

Hadi Partovi Was Raised in a Revolution. Today He Teaches Kids to Code.
From ACM News

Hadi Partovi Was Raised in a Revolution. Today He Teaches Kids to Code.

The founder and chief executive of Code.org, who was born in Iran, says computer science is a "foundational skill," one that future doctors, lawyers and politicians...

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm
From ACM TechNews

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm

Small farms are starting to upgrade to high-tech operations.

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm
From ACM News

Robotic Milkers and an Automated Greenhouse: Inside a High-Tech Small Farm

About 150 Jersey cows in the rolling terrain at Rivendale Farms in Bulger, some 25 miles west of Pittsburgh, wear Fitbit-like collars that monitor their movement...

Another Day, Another Exoplanet: NASA's TESS Keeps Counting More
From ACM News

Another Day, Another Exoplanet: NASA's TESS Keeps Counting More

NASA's new planet-hunting machine, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is racking up scores of alien worlds.

With Drone Deliveries on the Horizon, Europe Moves to Set Ground Rules
From ACM TechNews

With Drone Deliveries on the Horizon, Europe Moves to Set Ground Rules

A group of companies are testing unmanned aviation technology to prove drones can fly delivery routes without crashing into each other, and that they can be tracked...

Curbs on A.I. Exports? Silicon Valley Fears Losing Its Edge
From ACM News

Curbs on A.I. Exports? Silicon Valley Fears Losing Its Edge

A common belief among tech industry insiders is that Silicon Valley has dominated the internet because much of the worldwide network was designed and built by Americans...

Overlooked No More: Karen Sparck Jones, Who Established the Basis for Search Engines
From ACM News

Overlooked No More: Karen Sparck Jones, Who Established the Basis for Search Engines

A pioneer of computer science for work combining statistics and linguistics, and an advocate for women in the field.

NASA’s New Horizons Mission Releases Snowman-like Picture of ­ltima Thule
From ACM News

NASA’s New Horizons Mission Releases Snowman-like Picture of ­ltima Thule

Ultima Thule, an icy world 4 billion miles from the sun, looks like a big snowman.

Lawrence Roberts, Who Helped Design Internet’s Precursor, Dies at 81
From ACM News

Lawrence Roberts, Who Helped Design Internet’s Precursor, Dies at 81

Lawrence Roberts insisted that engineers look for practical uses for the Arpanet, the precursor to the internet.

One Giant Step for a Chess-Playing Machine
From ACM News

One Giant Step for a Chess-Playing Machine

In early December, researchers at DeepMind, the artificial-intelligence company owned by Google's parent corporation, Alphabet Inc., filed a dispatch from the frontiers...

A Robotic Hand Plays the Piano With a More Human Touch
From ACM TechNews

A Robotic Hand Plays the Piano With a More Human Touch

Researchers have developed a robotic hand that can play the piano.

A Toaster on Wheels to Deliver Groceries? Self-Driving Tech Tests Practical ­ses
From ACM TechNews

A Toaster on Wheels to Deliver Groceries? Self-Driving Tech Tests Practical ­ses

Slow uptake of driverless passenger services is spurring the autonomous industry to experiment with offerings like food deliveries from small, self-driving vehicles...

This Graduate School Helped Make New York Appealing to Amazon
From ACM TechNews

This Graduate School Helped Make New York Appealing to Amazon

Cornell Tech's reputation for producing skilled technology graduates played a decisive role in Amazon's decision to build its new headquarters in New York City....

AI as Talent Scout: Unorthodox Hires, and Maybe Lower Pay
From ACM TechNews

AI as Talent Scout: Unorthodox Hires, and Maybe Lower Pay

Companies are turning to services that use artificial intelligence to vet potential hires amid a tight labor market.

Evelyn Berezin, 93, Dies; Built the First True Word Processor
From ACM News

Evelyn Berezin, 93, Dies; Built the First True Word Processor

Berezin built and marketed the first computerized word processor.

All the Light There Is to See? 4 x 10⁸⁴ Photons
From ACM News

All the Light There Is to See? 4 x 10⁸⁴ Photons

In one of those exercises that you think should be impossible or perhaps a punishment for some infraction, a team of astronomers has now measured the total amount...

The Race Is On to Protect Data From the Next Leap in Computers. And China Has the Lead.
From ACM News

The Race Is On to Protect Data From the Next Leap in Computers. And China Has the Lead.

The world's leading technology companies, from Google to Alibaba in China, are racing to build the first quantum computer, a machine that would be far more powerful...
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