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subjectPerformance And Reliability
authorNew Scientist

An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Shape-Shifting Robot Compensates For Damaged Limb
From ACM TechNews

Shape-Shifting Robot Compensates For Damaged Limb

European roboticists have developed software that enables a modular robot to adapt when one part stops working. 

Wonder Conductors Will Spin ­p Cooler Computers
From ACM News

Wonder Conductors Will Spin ­p Cooler Computers

Newly discovered materials called topological insulators could clear the way for blisteringly fast laptops and smartphones that don't warm your lap or singe your...

Lizard-Like Robot Can 'swim' Through Sand
From ACM TechNews

Lizard-Like Robot Can 'swim' Through Sand

Inspired by the sandfish lizard, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are collaborating with Northwestern University's Paul Umbanhowar to develop...

Clouds Add Depth to Computer Landscapes
From ACM TechNews

Clouds Add Depth to Computer Landscapes

Nathan Jacobs and colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis have used a single camera to create a depth map, which records the geography of a three-dimensional...

Crumbling Labs Could Clip Nasa's Wings
From ACM News

Crumbling Labs Could Clip Nasa's Wings

Years of neglect have left many NASA labs that might be used for breakthrough technology research in rough shape, says a report from the U.S. National Academies...

Is Water the Key to Cheaper Nanoelectronics?
From ACM TechNews

Is Water the Key to Cheaper Nanoelectronics?

Researchers have developed a way to use water to transfer layers from one surface to another by exploiting the fact that different materials have different hydrophilicity...

Diamond Chips to Make Meaner, Greener Electronics
From ACM TechNews

Diamond Chips to Make Meaner, Greener Electronics

Researchers at Japan's AIST have developed synthetic diamonds that could be used to make microchips capable of processing high-powered signals without requiring...

Human Arm Transmits Broadband
From ACM TechNews

Human Arm Transmits Broadband

Korea University researchers have developed a method for transmitting data at a rate of 10 megabits per second through a person's arm, between two electrodes on...

From ACM News

For Smaller Chips, Borrow 18th-Century Tricks

A new take on a centuries-old printing technique could shrink silicon chips and lead to advances in ultra-high-density computer storage. Computer chips are made...

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack
From ACM News

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack

Unknown hackers have taken out U.S. cellphone networks in an ongoing cyber-attack that will soon knock out parts of the nation's electricity grid – say the officials...

Unplugged: Goodbye Cables, Hello Energy Beams
From ACM News

Unplugged: Goodbye Cables, Hello Energy Beams

LET'S face it: power cables are unsightly dust-traps. PCs, TVs and music players are becoming slicker every year, but the nest of vipers in the corner of everyAn...

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons
From ACM News

Medibots: The World's Smallest Surgeons

A man lies comatose on an operating table. The enormous spider that hangs above him has plunged four appendages into his belly. The spider, made of white steel,...

Free-Flying Cyborg Insects Steered From a Distance
From ACM TechNews

Free-Flying Cyborg Insects Steered From a Distance

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have connected electrodes and radio antennas to the nervous systems of beetles and then were able to control...

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help
From ACM TechNews

Robots Get Smarter By Asking For Help

Willow Garage researchers are developing robots that ask human for help when they cannot recognize objects. Willow Garage computer scientist Alan Sorokin has designed...

From ACM News

Quantum Computers Are Coming

WHATEVER happened to quantum computers? A few years ago, it seemed, it was just a case of a tweak here, a fiddle there, and some kind of number-crunching Godzilla...

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off
From ACM TechNews

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off

Aircraft manufacturers eager to reduce the weight of planes are looking into the replacement of copper wiring with wireless networks. Imbuing fly-by-wireless networks...

Internet 'Immune System' Could Block Viruses
From ACM TechNews

Internet 'Immune System' Could Block Viruses

A system that fights highly infectious computer viruses by embedding defense mechanisms in key parts of the Internet has been developed by University of North Carolina...

'spiderbots' Talk Amongst Themselves Inside Active Volcano
From ACM TechNews

'spiderbots' Talk Amongst Themselves Inside Active Volcano

A group of "spiderbots" released inside Mount St. Helens in Washington is the first network of volcano sensors capable of automatically communicating with each...

From ACM TechNews

Building a Crash-Proof Internet

The Internet's susceptibility to earthquakes, accidents, and other disruptions appears to be greater than people originally assumed, and a great deal of the Net's...

Virtual Power Plants Could Tame Coming Grid Chaos
From ACM News

Virtual Power Plants Could Tame Coming Grid Chaos

Fears over energy security and climate change have led to record investment in renewable energy. But a major problem threatens to stall progress towards a more...
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