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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.


A Better Technique for Spotting Bugs in Self-Driving AI Could Save Lives
From ACM News

A Better Technique for Spotting Bugs in Self-Driving AI Could Save Lives

Most software bugs won't kill you.

To Secure the Internet of Things, We Must Build It Out of 'Patchable' Hardware
From ACM TechNews

To Secure the Internet of Things, We Must Build It Out of 'Patchable' Hardware

The security of the Internet of Things could depend on its constituent hardware being "patchable" so it can adapt to future threats, write several experts.

What CMU's Snake Robot Team Learned While Searching for Mexican Earthquake Survivors
From ACM TechNews

What CMU's Snake Robot Team Learned While Searching for Mexican Earthquake Survivors

Researchers used their snake robots in search-and-rescue missions in Mexico City shortly after a major earthquake struck the region in September.

An Edible Actuator for Ingestible Robots
From ACM TechNews

An Edible Actuator for Ingestible Robots

Researchers recently unveiled a prototype for a soft, edible pneumatic actuator fabricated from gelatin, which can serve as a crucial mechanism for ingestible robots...

China Demonstrates Quantum Encryption By Hosting a Video Call
From ACM News

China Demonstrates Quantum Encryption By Hosting a Video Call

Chinese researchers have completed a practical demonstration of quantum key distribution, showing that it's possible to encrypt and send data between two locations...

Improving K–12 Computer Science Education
From ACM TechNews

Improving K–12 Computer Science Education

Code.org estimates fewer than half of U.S. K-12 schools offer computer science courses, which a 2016 Google-Gallup survey elevates to 75% when accounting for after...

The Ridiculous Amount of Energy It Takes to Run Bitcoin
From ACM TechNews

The Ridiculous Amount of Energy It Takes to Run Bitcoin

Keeping bitcoin running via the process of "mining" consumes a staggering amount of electricity, and experts are investigating energy-saving solutions.

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics From Cornell and Google
From ACM TechNews

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics From Cornell and Google

Blossom is a social robot built from natural materials like cotton and wool.

How We Won Gold in the Cyborg Olympics' Brain Race
From ACM Opinion

How We Won Gold in the Cyborg Olympics' Brain Race

In October 2016, inside a sold-out arena in Zurich, a man named Numa Poujouly steered his wheelchair up to the central podium.

The Future of Computing Depends on Making It Reversible
From ACM Opinion

The Future of Computing Depends on Making It Reversible

For more than 50 years, computers have made steady and dramatic improvements, all thanks to Moore's Law—the exponential increase over time in the number of transistors...

Magnetothermal Genetics: A Fourth Tool in the Brain-Hacking Toolbox
From ACM News

Magnetothermal Genetics: A Fourth Tool in the Brain-Hacking Toolbox

A scientist wanting to hack into an animal's brain used to have three different tools to choose from: electric current, drugs, and light. Now there's a fourth:...

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics from Cornell and Google
From ACM Opinion

Blossom: A Handmade Approach to Social Robotics from Cornell and Google

As excited as we are about the forthcoming generation of social home robots (including Jibo, Kuri, and many others), it's hard to ignore the fact that most of them...

Biocomputer and Memory Built Inside Living Bacteria
From ACM News

Biocomputer and Memory Built Inside Living Bacteria


E-ZPass Could Kickstart Smart Cities
From ACM News

E-ZPass Could Kickstart Smart Cities

Everyone likes the idea of a smart city. Traffic lights would automatically adjust to optimize traffic flow, you could find parking spaces without circling for...

A True Random-Number Generator Built From Carbon Nanotubes
From ACM TechNews

A True Random-Number Generator Built From Carbon Nanotubes

Researchers say they have built a true random number generator from a static random-access memory cell printed with a specialized carbon nanotube ink.

Aussies Win Amazon Robotics Challenge
From ACM TechNews

Aussies Win Amazon Robotics Challenge

Team ACRV, from the Australian Center for Robotic Vision at the Queensland University of Technology, won the final combined task in Amazon's 2017 Robotics Challenge...

JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus
From ACM Opinion

JPL's Design for a Clockwork Rover to Explore Venus

The longest amount of time that a spacecraft has survived on the surface of Venus is 127 minutes.

Robots Could Act as Ethical Mediators Between Patients and Caregivers
From ACM TechNews

Robots Could Act as Ethical Mediators Between Patients and Caregivers

Researchers hypothesize that robots that understand ethical issues would be able to observe interactions between patients and caregivers, and intervene when needed...

Nanoneurons Enable Neuromorphic Chips for Voice Recognition
From ACM News

Nanoneurons Enable Neuromorphic Chips for Voice Recognition

Last month, IEEE Spectrum ran a special report focusing on the question "Can We Copy the Brain?" The report offered a thorough examination of all the ongoing efforts...

Complex Biological Computer Commands Living Cells
From ACM News

Complex Biological Computer Commands Living Cells

Researchers have developed a biological computer that functions inside living bacterial cells and tells them what to do, according to a report published yesterday...
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