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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.


From ACM News

Intel Hopes Sci-Fi Will Help Future Products

For decades, measuring progress in semiconductors was easy. Every year the chips got faster and the industry moved forward. Speed matters far less these days.

Future of War: Private Robot Armies Fight It Out
From ACM News

Future of War: Private Robot Armies Fight It Out

If robots are simply computers with wings (and missiles), then expect to see future wars fought by the descendants of flash-trading algorithms, with humans as...

From ACM News

Mobile Computing Giants in Patent Free-For-All

The mobile computing boom has turned into a courthouse war of the titans, as big tech companies are increasingly engaged in high-dollar legal disputes over lucrative...

NASA Mars Rover Arrives at New Site on Martian Surface
From ACM News

NASA Mars Rover Arrives at New Site on Martian Surface

After a journey of almost three years, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the Red Planet’s Endeavour crater to study rocks never seen before...

Defcon Opens Its Doors to Pre-Teen and Teen Hackers
From ACM News

Defcon Opens Its Doors to Pre-Teen and Teen Hackers

DefCon, the conference where hackers and the people who monitor them get together to trade the latest in hacking and tracking data, had some new attendees: children...

From ACM News

Blue Waters ­pdate

Effective August 6, 2011, IBM terminated its contract with the University of Illinois to provide the supercomputer for the National Center for Supercomputing...

Caltech-Led Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology
From ACM TechNews

Caltech-Led Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology

California Institute of Technology researchers have created a method to isolate light signals on a silicon chip, which they say could lead to the development of...

Building Robots that Understand Human Emotions and Make People Healthier
From ACM News

Building Robots that Understand Human Emotions and Make People Healthier

 For most of us, the closest we get to a robot in daily life is a Roomba. But Dr. Cynthia Breazeal, director of the Personal Robots Group at the MIT Media Lab...

China's Supercomputing Goal: From 'zero To Hero'
From ACM News

China's Supercomputing Goal: From 'zero To Hero'

China basked in a moment of technological glory last November when it nudged out the U.S. as home of the world's fastest supercomputer. The achievement was short...

Costly Drone Is Poised to Replace ­-2 Spy Plane
From ACM News

Costly Drone Is Poised to Replace ­-2 Spy Plane

Tucked away here in the Mojave Desert, the assembly plant for the high-flying Global Hawk jet resembles a giant hobby shop. Work tables surround a handful of...

Diy Spy Drone Sniffs Wi-Fi, Intercepts Phone Calls
From ACM News

Diy Spy Drone Sniffs Wi-Fi, Intercepts Phone Calls

What do you do when the target you’re spying on slips behind his home-security gates and beyond your reach? Launch your personal, specially equipped WASP drone—short...

Can Video Kill the Credit-Card Form?
From ACM News

Can Video Kill the Credit-Card Form?

The days of tediously having to punch in credit-card details whenever you make an online purchase may be numbered, thanks to a new payment system that turns any...

Beyond Cell Phone Wallets, Biometrics Promise Truly Wallet-Free Future
From ACM News

Beyond Cell Phone Wallets, Biometrics Promise Truly Wallet-Free Future

Ever since Google announced that its Android phones would be equipped with a "digital wallet" that allows users to pay for things simply by touching their phone...

Hard-Coded Password and Other Security Holes Found in Siemens Control Systems
From ACM News

Hard-Coded Password and Other Security Holes Found in Siemens Control Systems

A security researcher has uncovered a slew of vulnerabilities in Siemens industrial control systems, including a hard-coded password, that would let attackers...

Mapping the Most Complex Object in the Known ­niverse
From ACM News

Mapping the Most Complex Object in the Known ­niverse

It's paint-by-numbers for neuroscientists. At the Max-Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, researchers have devised a faster way of computing...

From ACM News

Marvell Tapped By China to Develop Mobile Phone Standard

Chipmaker Marvell, whose top management is based in Santa Clara, has been tapped to help China achieve the goal of creating its own mobile technology standards...

Meet Dark Tangent, the Hacker Behind Black Hat and Def Con
From ACM News

Meet Dark Tangent, the Hacker Behind Black Hat and Def Con

The word "hacker" evokes all kinds of scary images. But Jeff Moss says hackers are exactly what the world needs more of, because they can make the Internet safer...

David Ferrucci, Lead Researcher of Ibm's Watson Project
From ACM News

David Ferrucci, Lead Researcher of Ibm's Watson Project

How do you improve on a computer that beat the world's best Jeopardy! players? Have Watson team up with humanity.

A New Planning Tool Helps Direct Traffic on Aircraft Carriers
From ACM News

A New Planning Tool Helps Direct Traffic on Aircraft Carriers

On the deck of an aircraft carrier, where up to 60 aircraft are crammed into 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares), real estate is at a premium. While aircraft directors wave...

Here's How U.s. Spies Will Find You Through Your Pics
From ACM News

Here's How U.s. Spies Will Find You Through Your Pics

Iarpa, the intelligence community’s way-out research shop, wants to know where you took that vacation picture over the Fourth of July. It wants to know where...
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