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Communications of the ACM

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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.


Is Beaming Down in Star Trek a Death Sentence?
From ACM Opinion

Is Beaming Down in Star Trek a Death Sentence?

In the 2009 movie Star Trek, Captain Kirk and Sulu plummeted down toward the planet Vulcan without a parachute. "Beam us up, beam us up!" Kirk shouted in desperation...

Facebook's New 'AI Camera' Team Wants to Add a Layer to the World
From ACM Careers

Facebook's New 'AI Camera' Team Wants to Add a Layer to the World

Take a video of a birthday cake's candles sparkling in an Instagram story, then tap the sticker button. Near the top of the list you'll see a slice of birthday...

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn
From ACM TechNews

A Brain Built From Atomic Switches Can Learn

Researchers are constructing a device "inspired by the brain to generate the properties that enable the brain to do what it does."

3D-Printing Human Body Parts
From Communications of the ACM

3D-Printing Human Body Parts

Bioprinting has generated bones, cartilage, and some muscles; hearts and livers are still years away.

NASA Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus
From ACM News

NASA Designed This Low-Tech Rover to Survive Venus

Venus is not pleasant. Its surface, approximately 850 degrees Fahrenheit, is hot enough for paper to spontaneously combust. Its atmosphere, an oppressive mix of...

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning
From ACM News

New Theory Cracks Open the Black Box of Deep Learning

A new idea called the "information bottleneck" is helping to explain the puzzling success of today's artificial-intelligence algorithms—and might also explain how...

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here
From ACM News

Some of the Best Parts of Autonomous Vehicles Are Already Here

Fully automated cars are still many years away. Amid the government activity and potential for social benefits, it's important not to lose sight of smaller improvements...

These Robots Can Merge and Split Their Brains to Form New Modular Bots
From ACM News

These Robots Can Merge and Split Their Brains to Form New Modular Bots

We cover all kinds of modular robotics around here, and when we do, we're almost always talking about one overall robotic system made up of many different modules...

How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes
From ACM News

How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

At one node of the industrial backbone that keeps the internet running, employees sheltered from the worst of Hurricane Irma in a stairwell of a seven-story building...

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps
From ACM News

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and...

Wind, Warm Water Revved Up Melting Antarctic Glaciers
From ACM News

Wind, Warm Water Revved Up Melting Antarctic Glaciers

A NASA study has located the Antarctic glaciers that accelerated the fastest between 2008 and 2014 and finds that the most likely cause of their speedup is an observed...

Researchers Unite in Quest for 'Standard Model' of the Brain
From ACM News

Researchers Unite in Quest for 'Standard Model' of the Brain

Leading neuroscientists are joining forces to study the brain—in much the same way that physicists team up in mega-projects to hunt for new particles.

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains
From ACM News

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving.

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley
From ACM Careers

Conservatives, Liberals Unite Against Silicon Valley

The days of unqualified praise from Washington are over for the country's biggest tech companies, whose size and power are increasingly drawing attacks from both...

Stretchy Artificial 'Skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch
From ACM TechNews

Stretchy Artificial 'Skin' Could Give Robots a Sense of Touch

Rubberized electronics and sensors that function normally when stretched up to half of their length could operate as artificial skin on robots.

Inside the Equifax Hack
From ACM TechNews

Inside the Equifax Hack

The Equifax breach, attributed to a server flaw disclosed by Cisco researchers that went unpatched, has potentially exposed an estimated 143 million Americans'...

Back to Saturn? Five Missions Proposed to Follow Cassini
From ACM News

Back to Saturn? Five Missions Proposed to Follow Cassini

For 13 years, NASA's Cassini spacecraft sent back captivating observations of Saturn, and its rings and moons, solving some mysteries but raising plenty of new...

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans
From ACM News

Wanna Stop Distracted Driving? Make Cars That Watch Their Humans

Everyone knows that distracted driving is a problem, but it tends to fall in the "other people/not me" category of personal risk assessment among drivers.

Robot Made from a DNA Strand Could Deliver Cargo in Your Blood
From ACM News

Robot Made from a DNA Strand Could Deliver Cargo in Your Blood

You won't read about a smaller robot than this one any time soon. It consists of just a single strand of DNA, and moves by taking tiny 6-nanometre steps—around...
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