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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.


Jerry Merryman, Co-Inventor of the Pocket Calculator, Dies at 86
From ACM Careers

Jerry Merryman, Co-Inventor of the Pocket Calculator, Dies at 86

Jerry Merryman, a self-taught electrical engineer who helped design the first pocket calculator, died on Feb. 27 in Dallas. He was 86.

Machine Learning Can ­se Tweets to Spot Critical Security Flaws
From ACM News

Machine Learning Can ­se Tweets to Spot Critical Security Flaws

At the endless booths of this week's RSA security trade show in San Francisco, an overflowing industry of vendors will offer any visitor an ad nauseam array of...

FBI Head Christopher Wray: We Can't Let Criminals Hide Behind Encryption
From ACM Opinion

FBI Head Christopher Wray: We Can't Let Criminals Hide Behind Encryption

Encryption should have limits. That's the message FBI Director Christopher Wray had for cybersecurity experts Tuesday.

­ber Escapes Criminal Charges for 2018 Self-Driving Death in Arizona
From ACM News

­ber Escapes Criminal Charges for 2018 Self-Driving Death in Arizona

A prosecutor in Arizona has decided not to press charges against Uber in the March 2018 death of Elaine Herzberg. One of Uber's self-driving cars crashed into Herzberg...

Mars InSight Lander's 'Mole' Pauses Digging
From ACM News

Mars InSight Lander's 'Mole' Pauses Digging

NASA's Mars InSight lander has a probe designed to dig up to 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface and measure heat coming from inside the planet.

5G Is Still a Little Magic, a Little Smoke and Mirrors
From ACM News

5G Is Still a Little Magic, a Little Smoke and Mirrors

The scene on the big display in front of me looks like something from Grey's Anatomy.

Quantum Physics Could Protect the Grid From Hackers, Maybe
From ACM News

Quantum Physics Could Protect the Grid From Hackers, Maybe

Cybersecurity experts have sounded the alarm for years: Hackers are ogling the U.S. power grid.

China Is Catching ­p to the ­S on Artificial Intelligence Research
From ACM News

China Is Catching ­p to the ­S on Artificial Intelligence Research

Researchers, companies and countries around the world are racing to explore—and exploit—the possibilities of artificial intelligence technology.

Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials
From ACM Opinion

Beware of Plausible Predictions of Fantasy Materials

The hunt is on for materials that have exotic properties, to enhance quantum computers, touch screens and electronic displays, and to double the efficiency of solar...

How I Became a Robot in London, From 5,000 Miles Away
From ACM News

How I Became a Robot in London, From 5,000 Miles Away

I am but a babe, exploring the world for the first time. Wearing a computerized glove, I reach forward in pursuit of a little toy basketball.

String of Ions May Out-Compute Best Quantum Computers
From ACM News

String of Ions May Out-Compute Best Quantum Computers

Usually, I reflexively delete press releases. This one was no different, but as the message vanished, the subject line registered—"IonQ… quantum computing."

NASA Study Reproduces Origins of Life on Ocean Floor
From ACM News

NASA Study Reproduces Origins of Life on Ocean Floor

Scientists have reproduced in the lab how the ingredients for life could have formed deep in the ocean 4 billion years ago. The results of the new study offer clues...

­S-China Battle Over Huawei Comes to Head at Tech Show
From ACM News

­S-China Battle Over Huawei Comes to Head at Tech Show

A global battle between the U.S. government and Chinese tech company Huawei over allegations that it is a cybersecurity risk overshadowed the opening Monday of...

New Horizons Spacecraft Returns Its Sharpest Views of ­ltima Thule
From ACM News

New Horizons Spacecraft Returns Its Sharpest Views of ­ltima Thule

The mission team called it a "stretch goal—just before closest approach, precisely pointing the cameras on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to snap the sharpest possible...

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet
From ACM News

Four New DNA Letters Double Life's Alphabet

The DNA of life on Earth naturally stores its information in just four key chemicals—guanine, cytosine, adenine and thymine, commonly referred to as G, C, A and...

For Gamers With Disabilities, Creative Controllers Open Worlds
From ACM News

For Gamers With Disabilities, Creative Controllers Open Worlds

Erin Hawley grew up immersed in video games, progressing from Pong on the Atari 2600 to Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis to Tomb Raider on the Sony PlayStation...

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI
From ACM News

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI

OpenAI, a non-profit research company investigating "the path to safe artificial intelligence," has developed a machine learning system called Generative Pre-trained...

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of ­niverse
From ACM News

NASA Selects New Mission to Explore Origins of ­niverse

NASA has selected a new space mission that will help astronomers understand both how our universe evolved and how common are the ingredients for life in our galaxy's...

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power
From ACM News

Gravitational-Wave Observatory LIGO Set to Double Its Detecting Power

Spotting gravitational waves is due to become an almost hourly event in the next decade. Starting around 2023, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory...

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News
From ACM News

An AI that Writes Convincing Prose Risks Mass-Producing Fake News

Here's some breaking fake news … Russia has declared war on the United States after Donald Trump accidentally fired a missile in the air.
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