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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.


Thank the Planet's Shifty Magnetic Poles For Runway Renaming
From ACM News

Thank the Planet's Shifty Magnetic Poles For Runway Renaming

For decades, pilots heading into or out of Wichita Eisenhower National Airport in southeast Kansas have had three runways to choose from: 1L/19R, 1R/19L, and 14...

A New Way to Track Down Bugs Could Help Save Iot
From ACM News

A New Way to Track Down Bugs Could Help Save Iot

On a clear day this summer, security researcher Ang Cui boarded a boat headed to a government biosafety facility off the northeastern tip of Long Island.

Nasa Just Proved It Can Navigate Space Using Pulsars. Where to Now?
From ACM News

Nasa Just Proved It Can Navigate Space Using Pulsars. Where to Now?

Half a century ago, astronomers observed their first pulsar: a dead, distant, ludicrously dense star that emitted pulses of radiation with remarkable regularity...

When Wi-Fi Won't Work, Let Sound Carry Your Data
From ACM News

When Wi-Fi Won't Work, Let Sound Carry Your Data

If you've ever struggled to pair your phone with a Bluetooth speaker or set up a wireless printer, you know that it's often easier to connect to a server halfway...

A Critical Intel Flaw Breaks Basic Security For Most Computers
From ACM News

A Critical Intel Flaw Breaks Basic Security For Most Computers

One of the most basic premises of computer security is isolation: If you run somebody else's sketchy code as an untrusted process on your machine, you should restrict...

Physics Found Gravitational Waves. Now Come the Existential Questions
From ACM News

Physics Found Gravitational Waves. Now Come the Existential Questions

On September 14, 2015, at 3:50 AM Central time, a tiny vibration shuddered down the 2.5-mile-long arms of a massive machine in Livingston, Louisiana.

An Early Flu Season Thwarts Cdc's Forecasting Challenge
From ACM TechNews

An Early Flu Season Thwarts Cdc's Forecasting Challenge

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has hosted a flu forecasting challenge for the last five years in which academic and industry participants organize...

Researchers Fooled a Google AI Into Thinking a Rifle Was a Helicopter
From ACM News

Researchers Fooled a Google AI Into Thinking a Rifle Was a Helicopter

Tech giants love to tout how good their computers are at identifying what's depicted in a photograph.

'oumuamua Probably Isn't a Spaceship, But It Could Have Passengers
From ACM News

'oumuamua Probably Isn't a Spaceship, But It Could Have Passengers

Last Wednesday, at 3:45 pm, scientists from the Breakthrough Listen project trained the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia on 'Oumuamua—the mysterious, oblong...

Artificial Intelligence Is Killing the Uncanny Valley and Our Grasp on Reality
From ACM TechNews

Artificial Intelligence Is Killing the Uncanny Valley and Our Grasp on Reality

As deep-learning artificial intelligence technologies advance, the "Uncanny Valley"--the unease people feel toward realistic computer-generated humans--is beginning...

Unprecedented Malware Targets Industrial Safety Systems in the Middle East
From ACM News

Unprecedented Malware Targets Industrial Safety Systems in the Middle East

Since Stuxnet first targeted and destroyed uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran last decade, the cybersecurity world has waited for the next step in that digital...

It's Super Hard to Find Humans in the Fcc's Net Neutrality Comments
From ACM News

It's Super Hard to Find Humans in the Fcc's Net Neutrality Comments

The Federal Communications Commissions''public comment period on its plans to repeal net neutrality protections was bombarded with bots, memes, and input from people...

Google Is Giving Away AI That Can Build Your Genome Sequence
From ACM News

Google Is Giving Away AI That Can Build Your Genome Sequence

Today, a teaspoon of spit and a hundred bucks is all you need to get a snapshot of your DNA. But getting the full picture—all 3 billion base pairs of your genome—requires...

The Genesis of Kuri, the Friendly Home Robot
From ACM News

The Genesis of Kuri, the Friendly Home Robot

Over the course  of thousands of years, dogs have evolved alongside humans to be awesome.

Google's AI Wizard ­nveils a New Twist on Neural Networks
From ACM News

Google's AI Wizard ­nveils a New Twist on Neural Networks

If you want to blame someone for the hoopla around artificial intelligence, 69-year-old Google researcher Geoff Hinton is a good candidate.

These Neurons Are Alive and Firing. And You Can Watch Them in 3-D
From ACM News

These Neurons Are Alive and Firing. And You Can Watch Them in 3-D

For patients with epilepsy, or cancerous brain lesions, sometimes the only way to forward is down.

It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone's Location with Mobile Ads
From ACM News

It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone's Location with Mobile Ads

When you consider the nagging privacy risks of online advertising, you may find comfort in the thought of a vast, abstract company like Pepsi or Nike viewing you...

Intel's New Chip Design Takes Pointers from Your Brain
From ACM News

Intel's New Chip Design Takes Pointers from Your Brain

If you're asked to guess the emotion of someone in a video clip, neurons in your brain will exchange information in a flurry of electronic spikes.

Nasa Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus
From ACM News

Nasa Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus

Venus is not pleasant. Its surface, approximately 850 degrees Fahrenheit, is hot enough for paper to spontaneously combust. Its atmosphere, an oppressive mix of...

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans
From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.
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