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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.


Largest Overhaul of Scientific Units Since the French Revolution Wins Approval
From ACM News

Largest Overhaul of Scientific Units Since the French Revolution Wins Approval

In the biggest overhaul of the international system of units since 1875, countries have voted to redefine four basic units of measurement—the ampere, the kilogram...

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass
From ACM News

Exploding Stars Make Key Ingredient in Sand, Glass

We are all, quite literally, made of star dust. Many of the chemicals that compose our planet and our bodies were formed directly by stars.

Playing Catch-Up, Germany Throws Money at AI
From ACM News

Playing Catch-Up, Germany Throws Money at AI

Germany plans to invest more than 3 billion euros ($3.39 million) by 2025 to beef up its artificial intelligence capabilities and appoint 100 professors to lecture...

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua'
From ACM News

NASA Learns More About Interstellar Visitor 'Oumuamua'

In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as 'Oumuamua,' the first known interstellar object to visit our solar...

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions
From ACM News

World’s First Automated Volcano Forecast Predicts Mount Etna's Eruptions

Smoke filled the cabin as the Boeing 747 plunged towards snow-covered mountains in southern Alaska. All four engines had shut down, and it took the pilots eight...

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease
From ACM News

'Reprogrammed' Stem Cells Implanted Into Patient with Parkinson's Disease

Japanese neurosurgeons have implanted 'reprogrammed' stem cells into the brain of a patient with Parkinson's disease for the first time.

Social Media Companies Grapple with New Forms of Political Misinformation
From ACM News

Social Media Companies Grapple with New Forms of Political Misinformation

Social media companies are struggling to contain new forms of political misinformation on their platforms that bubbled up during this year's midterm elections. ...

Upgraded US Supercomputers Claim Top Two Spots on Top500 List
From ACM News

Upgraded US Supercomputers Claim Top Two Spots on Top500 List

The US now can claim the top two machines on a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers, as Sierra, an IBM machine for nuclear weapons research at Lawrence Livermore...

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems
From ACM News

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems

I'm a simple person. To me, a computer consists of three parts: data that goes in and out, operations that modify the data, and storage that holds the data.

To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'
From ACM News

To Keep Pace With Moore's Law, Chipmakers Turn to 'Chiplets'

In 2016, the chip industry's clock ran out.

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?
From ACM News

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?

In 2011, Hany Farid, a photo-forensics expert, received an e-mail from a bereaved father.

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

A Robot Scientist Will Dream Up 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 Under Antarctic Ice
From ACM News

ESA's Gravity-Mapper Reveals Relics of Ancient Continents Under 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,...

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

Using 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 Up to the Edge of the Milky Way's Black Hole
From ACM News

Astronomers Creep Up 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.
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