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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.


Where to Grab Space Debris
From ACM News

Where to Grab Space Debris

Objects in space tend to spin—and spin in a way that's totally different from the way they spin on earth.

Manual Control
From ACM TechNews

Manual Control

Mezzanine is a collaborative-conferencing system that enables multiple users to share and control digital content from any device using gesture controls. 

Ride-Sharing Could Cut Cabs' Road Time By 30 Percent
From ACM TechNews

Ride-Sharing Could Cut Cabs' Road Time By 30 Percent

Researchers analyzing taxi trip data found about 95% of trips could have been shared, and an optimal combination of trips would have cut travel time by 40%. 

Visual Control of Big Data
From ACM TechNews

Visual Control of Big Data

DBWipes is a new data visualization tool that enables users to highlight abnormalities and possible patterns in a graphical display. 

Origami Robot Folds Itself ­p, Crawls Away
From ACM News

Origami Robot Folds Itself ­p, Crawls Away

For years, a team of researchers at MIT and Harvard University has been working on origami robots—reconfigurable robots that would be able to fold themselves into...

Extracting Audio From Visual Information
From ACM TechNews

Extracting Audio From Visual Information

A new algorithm can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing tiny vibrations of objects depicted in video. 

What 6.9 Million Clicks Tell ­S About How to Fix Online Education
From ACM TechNews

What 6.9 Million Clicks Tell ­S About How to Fix Online Education

Researchers at the MIT have analyzed data from Harvard University and MIT's shared online learning platform to gain a richer understanding of what makes massively...

Squishy Robots
From ACM TechNews

Squishy Robots

A new phase-change material built from wax and foam, that is capable of switching between hard and soft states, could be used to construct inexpensive robots. 

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting
From ACM TechNews

Drone Lighting: Autonomous Vehicles Could Automatically Assume the Right Positions for Photographic Lighting

A team of researchers is developing algorithms to let photographers use camera-mounted controls to guide drone-mounted lights into just the right position. 

Harnessing the Speed of Light
From ACM Opinion

Harnessing the Speed of Light

The fields of data communication, fabrication, and ultrasound imaging share a common challenge when it comes to improving speed and efficiency: light's diffraction...

Own Your Own Data
From ACM TechNews

Own Your Own Data

MIT researchers have developed openPDS (personal data store), a prototype system that stores data from digital devices in a single location specified by the user...

Traffic Lights: There's a Better Way
From ACM TechNews

Traffic Lights: There's a Better Way

A new means of computing the optimal timings for city stoplights can significantly reduce drivers' average travel times. 

Collaborative Learning--For Robots
From ACM TechNews

Collaborative Learning--For Robots

A new algorithm enables independent agents to collaborate on a machine-learning model without aggregating data. 

Researchers ­nveil Experimental 36-Core Chip
From ACM News

Researchers ­nveil Experimental 36-Core Chip

The more cores—or processing units—a computer chip has, the bigger the problem of communication between cores becomes.

Can We See the Arrow of Time?
From ACM TechNews

Can We See the Arrow of Time?

A new algorithm can determine whether a given snippet of video is playing backward or forward with 80-percent accuracy. 

Who's Using Your Data?
From ACM TechNews

Who's Using Your Data?

The HTTP with Accountability protocol is designed to track the transmission of private data and enable the data owner to see how it is used online. 

Think Fast, Robot
From ACM News

Think Fast, Robot

One of the reasons we don't yet have self-driving cars and mini-helicopters delivering online purchases is that autonomous vehicles tend not to perform well under...

Bake Your Own Robot
From ACM TechNews

Bake Your Own Robot

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers recently introduced the concept of "bakable robots." 

Bake Your Own Robot
From ACM News

Bake Your Own Robot

Printable robots—those that can be assembled from parts produced by 3-D printers—have long been a topic of research in the lab of Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna...

Glasses-Free 3D Projector
From ACM TechNews

Glasses-Free 3D Projector

Researchers have developed a glasses-free, multi-perspective, three-dimensional video screen.
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