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subjectComputer Applications
authorScientific American
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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.


The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of
From ACM Careers

The Most Important Inventor You've Never Heard Of

When The Economist called Stanford Ovshinsky "the Edison of our age," the name might have been unfamiliar to most people, but the comparison was apt.

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery
From ACM News

The Milky Way's Speediest Stars Could Solve a 50-Year-Old Mystery

Ken Shen was racing against the sun.

Human Brain Gain: Computer Models Hint at Why We Bested Neandertals
From ACM News

Human Brain Gain: Computer Models Hint at Why We Bested Neandertals

The parallel existence of an intelligent species closely related to us has long fascinated scientists and the public alike.

'Bar Codes' Could Trace Errant Brain Wiring in Autism and Schizophrenia
From ACM News

'Bar Codes' Could Trace Errant Brain Wiring in Autism and Schizophrenia

Neuroscientists today know a lot about how individual neurons operate but remarkably little about how large numbers of them work together to produce thoughts, feelings...

How Twitter Bots Help Fuel Political Feuds
From ACM TechNews

How Twitter Bots Help Fuel Political Feuds

Researchers in the U.S. and China are studying a "misinformation network" related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Looking for Planet Nine, Astronomers Gaze into the Abyss
From ACM News

Looking for Planet Nine, Astronomers Gaze into the Abyss

It's been just over two years since Caltech astronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin made an explosive claim: Based on the orbital motion of objects in the...

Spot the Fake: Artificial Intelligence Can Produce Lifelike Photographs
From ACM News

Spot the Fake: Artificial Intelligence Can Produce Lifelike Photographs

Fraudulent images have been around for as long as photography itself. Take the famous hoax photos of the Cottingley fairies or the Loch Ness monster.

Newer Horizons: Scientist Pitch Pluto Probe as a ­nique Deep-Space Telescope
From ACM News

Newer Horizons: Scientist Pitch Pluto Probe as a ­nique Deep-Space Telescope

A maverick group of astronomers is proposing to radically reshape one of NASA's most successful missions in the modern era, the New Horizons probe that flew by...

Does a Quantum Equation Govern Some of the ­niverse's Large Structures?
From ACM News

Does a Quantum Equation Govern Some of the ­niverse's Large Structures?

Researchers who want to predict the behavior of systems governed by quantum mechanics—an electron in an atom, say, or a photon of light traveling through space—typically...

Programming a DNA Clock
From ACM News

Programming a DNA Clock

Nature is a master at constructing biological machines and circuits, including the ones that maintain the body's internal clock, copy genes or help cells move. ...

A New Recipe For Hunting Alien Life
From ACM News

A New Recipe For Hunting Alien Life

Imagine stepping into a time machine, one that could traverse not only billions of years but also countless light years of space, all in search of life in the universe...

Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code
From ACM News

Cracking the Brain's Enigma Code

Brain-controlled prosthetic devices have the potential to dramatically improve the lives of people with limited mobility resulting from injury or disease.

The Evolution of Trust in a Digital Economy
From ACM News

The Evolution of Trust in a Digital Economy

To participate in today's global economy, ordinary people must accept an asymmetrical bargain: their lives are transparent to states, banks and corporations, whereas...

Alien Probe or Galactic Driftwood? Seti Tunes In to 'oumuamua
From ACM News

Alien Probe or Galactic Driftwood? Seti Tunes In to 'oumuamua

Ever since its discovery in mid-October as it passed by Earth already outbound from our solar system, the mysterious object dubbed 'Oumuamua (Hawaiian for "first...

­ltrasound Could Offer Noninvasive Treatment For Parkinson's and Depression
From ACM News

­ltrasound Could Offer Noninvasive Treatment For Parkinson's and Depression

A macaque monkey sat in front of a computer. A yellow square—the target—appeared in the periphery on the left side of the screen. After a few seconds delay, a second...

Astronomers Are Finally Mapping the 'dark Side' of the Milky Way
From ACM News

Astronomers Are Finally Mapping the 'dark Side' of the Milky Way

Think of the Milky Way—or search for pictures of it online—and you'll see images of a standard spiral galaxy viewed face-on, a sprawling pinwheel of starlight and...

Intelligence and the Dna Revolution
From ACM News

Intelligence and the Dna Revolution

More than 60 years ago, Francis Crick and James Watson discovered the double-helical structure of deoxyribonucleic acid—better known as DNA. Today, for the cost...

The Imperfect Crime: How the Wannacry Hackers Could Get Nabbed
From ACM News

The Imperfect Crime: How the Wannacry Hackers Could Get Nabbed

When hackers unleashed the WannaCry "ransomware" in mid-May, not only did they wreak havoc on European hospitals, telecoms and railways, they also made off with...

Demystifying the Black Box That Is AI
From ACM News

Demystifying the Black Box That Is AI

When Jason Matheny joined the U.S. Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) as a program manager in 2009, he made a habit of chatting to the organization's...

Ever-Elusive Neutrinos Spotted Bouncing Off Nuclei For the First Time
From ACM News

Ever-Elusive Neutrinos Spotted Bouncing Off Nuclei For the First Time

Neutrinos are famously antisocial. Of all the characters in the particle physics cast, they are the most reluctant to interact with other particles.
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