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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

Following Digital Breadcrumbs to 'big Data' Gold

What do Facebook, Groupon, and biotech firm Human Genome Sciences have in common? They all rely on massive amounts of data to design their products. Terabytes...

Comedy of Errors Led to False 'water-Pump Hack' Report
From ACM News

Comedy of Errors Led to False 'water-Pump Hack' Report

It was the broken water pump heard 'round the world. Cyberwar watchers took notice this month when a leaked intelligence memo claimed Russian hackers had remotely...

From ACM News

Soft Robots Inspired By Nature Could Become Our Flexible Friends

Robbie the Robot in the 1950s movie Forbidden Planet may have been endearing in a clunky, metallic way, but negotiating tricky terrain was never his strong point...

Researchers Reduce Smart Phones Power Consumption By More Than 70 Percent
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Reduce Smart Phones Power Consumption By More Than 70 Percent

Aalto University researchers have developed new ways to significantly reduce power consumption for smartphones, particularly in locations that do not have reliable...

Drone Pilots: The Future of Aerial Warfare
From ACM News

Drone Pilots: The Future of Aerial Warfare

To understand how important remotely piloted aircraft are to the U.S. military, consider this: The U.S. Air Force says this year it will train more drone pilots...

Robots in Reality
From ACM News

Robots in Reality

Consider the following scenario: A scout surveys a high-rise building that's been crippled by an earthquake, trapping workers inside. After looking for a point...

From ACM News

It's a Drone's World. We Just Live in It

Drones have had a profound effect on the way America fights its wars, allowing it to fight in new theaters while minimizing the risk to troops.

A Computer That Thinks Like the ­niverse
From ACM TechNews

A Computer That Thinks Like the ­niverse

The development of a quantum computer would be another leap forward for the computing industry, writes the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Joshua Rothman...

Important Step Toward Computing with Light
From ACM News

Important Step Toward Computing with Light

There has been enormous progress in recent years toward the development of photonic chips—devices that use light beams instead of electrons to carry out their...

Millions of Printers Open to Devastating Hack Attack, Researchers Say
From ACM News

Millions of Printers Open to Devastating Hack Attack, Researchers Say

Could a hacker from half-way around the planet control your printer and give it instructions so frantic that it could eventually catch fire? Or use a hijacked...

Cloud Centers Bring High-Tech Flash but Not Many Jobs to Beaten-Down Towns
From ACM Careers

Cloud Centers Bring High-Tech Flash but Not Many Jobs to Beaten-Down Towns

Here in this once-thriving town of furniture makers and textile mills, where Main Street businesses have vanished, nearby fast-food joints have closed and unemployment...

From ACM News

Turn On the Server. It

To satisfy our ever-growing need for computing power, many technology companies have moved their work to data centers with tens of thousands of power-gobbling...

Q&a: Exascale Now a Global Race For Tech
From ACM TechNews

Q&a: Exascale Now a Global Race For Tech

Peter Beckman, director of the Exascale Technology and Computing Institute at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, recently spoke with Computerworld...

Did an Illinois Water ­tility Come ­nder Cyberattack?
From ACM News

Did an Illinois Water ­tility Come ­nder Cyberattack?

And why was it connected to the Internet, anyway?

Nuclear 'space Battery' Bests Solar in Curiosity Mars Mission
From ACM News

Nuclear 'space Battery' Bests Solar in Curiosity Mars Mission

If you're going to Mars with an SUV-size robot, you'll need a really good energy supply.

From ACM News

10 Robots Inspired by Animals and Insects

All the research in the world can't beat millions of years of evolution.

The Problem With Landing Humans on Mars (and How to Fix It)
From ACM News

The Problem With Landing Humans on Mars (and How to Fix It)

When NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory—scheduled to lift-off from Cape Canaveral later this week—touches down on the Red Planet in August of 2012, the one-ton probe...

Russian Probe Misses Mars Trip
From ACM News

Russian Probe Misses Mars Trip

Russia's stranded Phobos-Grunt spacecraft reportedly has lost its main opportunity to go to Mars, land on one of its moons and return to Earth with a sample....

Dennis Ritchie, 1941-2011
From Communications of the ACM

Dennis Ritchie, 1941-2011

 Colleagues recall the creator of C and codeveloper Unix, an unassuming but brilliant man who enjoyed playing practical jokes on his coworkers.

Brave NUI World
From Communications of the ACM

Brave NUI World

Natural user interface developments, such as Microsoft's Kinect, may indicate the beginning of the end for the mouse.
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