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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.


A Robot Scientist Will Dream ­p New Materials to Advance Computing and Fight Pollution
From ACM News

A Robot Scientist Will Dream ­p New Materials to Advance Computing and Fight Pollution

In a laboratory that overlooks a busy shopping street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a robot is attempting to create new materials.

ESA's Gravity-Mapper Reveals Relics of Ancient Continents ­nder Antarctic Ice
From ACM News

ESA's Gravity-Mapper Reveals Relics of Ancient Continents ­nder Antarctic Ice

It was five years ago this month that ESA's GOCE gravity-mapping satellite finally gave way to gravity, but its results are still yielding buried treasure—giving...

Will NASA's Next Mission to Venus Be a Balloon?
From ACM News

Will NASA's Next Mission to Venus Be a Balloon?

After decades of neglect, hellish and cloud-enveloped Venus—sometimes called Earth's evil twin—is a world ready and waiting for renewed exploration.

Chinese 'Gait Recognition' Tech IDs People by How They Walk
From ACM News

Chinese 'Gait Recognition' Tech IDs People by How They Walk

Chinese authorities have begun deploying a new surveillance tool: "gait recognition" software that uses people's body shapes and how they walk to identify them,...

­sing Wi-Fi to 'See' Behind Closed Doors Is Easier than Anyone Thought
From ACM News

­sing Wi-Fi to 'See' Behind Closed Doors Is Easier than Anyone Thought

Wi-Fi fills our world with radio waves. In your home, in the office, and increasingly on city streets, humans are bathed in a constant background field of 2.4-...

Astronomers Creep ­p to the Edge of the Milky Way's Black Hole
From ACM News

Astronomers Creep ­p to the Edge of the Milky Way's Black Hole

For the first time, scientists have spotted something wobbling around the black hole at the core of our galaxy.

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome
From ACM News

Machine Learning Spots Natural Selection at Work in Human Genome

Pinpointing where and how the human genome is evolving can be like hunting for a needle in a haystack.

Quantum Physicists Found a New, Safer Way to Navigate
From ACM News

Quantum Physicists Found a New, Safer Way to Navigate

In 2015, the U.S. Naval Academy decided that its graduates needed to return to the past and learn how to navigate using the stars.

Even a Few Bots Can Shift Public Opinion in Big Ways
From ACM Opinion

Even a Few Bots Can Shift Public Opinion in Big Ways

Nearly two-thirds of the social media bots with political activity on Twitter before the 2016 U.S. presidential election supported Donald Trump.

Wormholes Could be Portals to Other ­niverses
From ACM News

Wormholes Could be Portals to Other ­niverses

Wormholes are theoretical objects that could serve as portals between two points in space and time. Some believe they could even act as passageways to other universes...

Here's How Much Bots Drive Conversation During News Events
From ACM News

Here's How Much Bots Drive Conversation During News Events

Last week, as thousands of Central American migrants made their way northward through Mexico, walking a treacherous route toward the US border, talk of "the caravan...

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning to Keep Learning
From ACM News

Artificial Intelligence Is Learning to Keep Learning

What if you stopped learning after graduation? It sounds stultifying, but that is how most machine-learning systems are trained.

The World's Strongest MRI Machines Are Pushing Human Imaging to New Limits
From ACM News

The World's Strongest MRI Machines Are Pushing Human Imaging to New Limits

On a cold morning in Minneapolis last December, a man walked into a research centre to venture where only pigs had gone before: into the strongest magnetic resonance...

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course
From ACM News

This Robot Transforms Itself to Navigate an Obstacle Course

When you've got a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but the world starts to look more interesting if your hammer can change shape.

Computer Theorists Show Path to Verifying that Quantum Beats Classical
From ACM News

Computer Theorists Show Path to Verifying that Quantum Beats Classical

There have been parallel efforts to find a way to prove that quantum supremacy has been achieved.

Europe Shows First Cards in €1-Billion Quantum Bet
From ACM News

Europe Shows First Cards in €1-Billion Quantum Bet

Plans to build two working quantum computers are among the first winners to be announced in a €1-billion (US$1.1 billion) funding initiative of the European Commission...

The ­.S. Pushes to Build ­nhackable Quantum Networks
From ACM News

The ­.S. Pushes to Build ­nhackable Quantum Networks

A few years ago, Edward Snowden, a contractor working for the US National Security Agency, leaked documents that showed the ways in which intelligence agenciestapped...

China Rattles Washington's Tech Debates
From ACM News

China Rattles Washington's Tech Debates

A common thread is running through nearly every tech debate in Washington these days: fear that an ambitious China is poised to win the next wave of technology....

What Comes After the Roomba?
From ACM News

What Comes After the Roomba?

It has been 16 years since the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner was introduced by iRobot.

With 5G, You Won't Just Be Watching Video. It'll Be Watching You, Too
From ACM News

With 5G, You Won't Just Be Watching Video. It'll Be Watching You, Too

Remember the last time you felt terrified during a horror movie? Take that moment, and all the suspense leading up to it, and imagine it individually calibrated...
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