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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.


Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .
From ACM Opinion

Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .

Shortly before Halloween, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department openly declared that an interstellar object hurtling through our Solar System might just...

Making AI Algorithms Crazy Fast ­sing Chips Powered by Light
From ACM News

Making AI Algorithms Crazy Fast ­sing Chips Powered by Light

Inside a small laboratory in Boston's seaport district, buried within a jumble of lasers, lenses, mirrors, and a tangle of wiring, is a tiny chip that might be...

China Is Building a $9 Billion Rival to the American-Run GPS
From ACM News

China Is Building a $9 Billion Rival to the American-Run GPS

China is taking its rivalry with the U.S. to the heavens, spending at least $9 billion to build a celestial navigation system and cut its dependence on the American...

­K Police Wants AI to Stop Violent Crime Before It Happens
From ACM News

­K Police Wants AI to Stop Violent Crime Before It Happens

Police in the UK want to predict serious violent crime using artificial intelligence, New Scientist can reveal. The idea is that individuals flagged by the system...

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits
From ACM News

Quantum Computing: Atomic Clocks Make for Longer-Lasting Qubits

A decade ago, quantum computing was still something of a parlor game.

You Will Be Replaced. Here's How
From ACM News

You Will Be Replaced. Here's How

Route 9 skims by Boston and cuts clear across Massachusetts to Pittsfield, a city of roughly 50,000, the largest in Berkshire County.

How Cheap Labor Drives China's A.I. Ambitions
From ACM Careers

How Cheap Labor Drives China's A.I. Ambitions

Some of the most critical work in advancing China's technology goals takes place in a former cement factory in the middle of the country's heartland, far from the...

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts
From ACM News

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts

Behind a thin white veil separating his makeshift lab from joggers at a Massachusetts Institute of Technology indoor track, aerospace engineer Steven Barrett recently...

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science
From ACM News

The Microscope Revolution that's Sweeping Through Materials Science

Scientists can't study what they can't measure, as David Muller knows only too well.

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval
From ACM News

Largest Overhaul of Scientific ­nits Since the French Revolution Wins Approval

In the biggest overhaul of the international system of units since 1875, countries have voted to redefine four basic units of measurement—the ampere, the kilogram...

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass
From ACM News

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass

We are all, quite literally, made of star dust. Many of the chemicals that compose our planet and our bodies were formed directly by stars.

Playing Catch-­p, Germany Throws Money at AI
From ACM News

Playing Catch-­p, Germany Throws Money at AI

Germany plans to invest more than 3 billion euros ($3.39 million) by 2025 to beef up its artificial intelligence capabilities and appoint 100 professors to lecture...

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua'
From ACM News

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua'

In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua,' the first known interstellar object to visit our solar...

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions
From ACM News

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions

Smoke filled the cabin as the Boeing 747 plunged towards snow-covered mountains in southern Alaska. All four engines had shut down, and it took the pilots eight...

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease
From ACM News

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease

Japanese neurosurgeons have implanted 'reprogrammed' stem cells into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease for the first time.

Social Media Companies Grapple with New Forms of Political Misinformation
From ACM News

Social Media Companies Grapple with New Forms of Political Misinformation

Social media companies are struggling to contain new forms of political misinformation on their platforms that bubbled up during this year's midterm elections. ...

­pgraded ­S Supercomputers Claim Top Two Spots on Top500 List
From ACM News

­pgraded ­S Supercomputers Claim Top Two Spots on Top500 List

The US now can claim the top two machines on a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers, as Sierra, an IBM machine for nuclear weapons research at Lawrence Livermore...

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems
From ACM News

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems

I'm a simple person. To me, a computer consists of three parts: data that goes in and out, operations that modify the data, and storage that holds the data.

To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'
From ACM News

To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'

In 2016, the chip industry's clock ran out.

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?
From ACM News

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?

In 2011, Hany Farid, a photo-forensics expert, received an e-mail from a bereaved father.
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