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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.


For Chip Makers, the Next Battle Is in Smartphones
From ACM News

For Chip Makers, the Next Battle Is in Smartphones

The going rate for a state-of-the-art chip factory is about $3 billion. The plants typically take years to build. And the microscopic size of chip circuitry requires...

Truly Random Numbers
From ACM TechNews

Truly Random Numbers

German researchers have developed a random number generator that uses a computer memory element, a flip-flop, to create an extra layer of randomness. 

What ­tilities Have Learned From Smart-Meter Tests...
From ACM News

What ­tilities Have Learned From Smart-Meter Tests...

Utilities have learned a lot about how smart meters can compel consumers to save electricity. Unfortunately, too often they aren't putting the knowledge to good...

Swarm of Micro-Helicopters Could Create a Giant 3-D Display
From ACM News

Swarm of Micro-Helicopters Could Create a Giant 3-D Display

Mechanical fireflies could help create a new kind of 3-D display, say researchers at MIT. Standing in for the bioluminescent beetles will be LED-fitted, remotely...

Apple Claims Top Spot in Annual Computer Reliability Report
From ACM News

Apple Claims Top Spot in Annual Computer Reliability Report

Apple personal computers received the highest reliability score in RESCUECOM's Annual 2010 Computer Reliability Report released Monday (February 22). Manufacturers...

Dwarf Helicopters, Smart Subs, and Mining Robots to Automate Australia
From ACM TechNews

Dwarf Helicopters, Smart Subs, and Mining Robots to Automate Australia

Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems (CAS)  research director Hugh Durrant-Whyte has led the development of robots for use in...

From ACM News

Cellphone Traces Reveal You're So Predictable

We may all like to consider ourselves free spirits. But a study of the traces left by 50,000 cellphone users over three months has conclusively proved otherwise...

Lego Robot Solves Any Rubik
From ACM News

Lego Robot Solves Any Rubik

Be warned my fellow humans, robots will not be satisfied until they defeat us in even the most trivial of contests. Cube Stormer is the latest creation from Mike...

From ACM News

Ex-Army Man Cracks Popular Security Chip

Hardware hacker Christopher Tarnovsky just wanted to break Microsoft's grip on peripherals for its Xbox 360 game console. In the process, he cracked one of the...

Turning Patents Into
From ACM News

Turning Patents Into

Nathan Myhrvold wants to shake up the marketplace for ideas. His mission and the activities of the company he heads, Intellectual Ventures, a secretive $5 billion...

Digging Deep Into Diamonds
From ACM TechNews

Digging Deep Into Diamonds

Harvard University researchers have created diamond-based nanowire devices that offer a bright, stable source of single photons at room temperature, which is an...

From ACM TechNews

Intel Experimental Processor Adapts to Environmental Challenges on the Fly

Intel has created a microprocessor that is capable of delivering its specified throughput without requiring any reserve cycles to account for dips in power, changes...

New Fiber Nanogenerators Could Lead to Electric Clothing
From ACM TechNews

New Fiber Nanogenerators Could Lead to Electric Clothing

University of California, Berkeley researchers have created energy-scavenging nanofibers that can be woven into clothing and textiles. The nano-sized generators...

DARPA Looks to Build Real-Life C3p0
From ACM News

DARPA Looks to Build Real-Life C3p0

Right now, troops trying to listen in on enemy chatter rely on a convoluted process. They tune into insurgency radio frequencies, then hand the radio over to local...

From ACM News

A Faster Wireless Web

Transfers of large amounts of data across the Internet to wireless devices suffer from a key problem: The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) used to send and receive...

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack
From ACM News

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack

Unknown hackers have taken out U.S. cellphone networks in an ongoing cyber-attack that will soon knock out parts of the nation's electricity grid – say the officials...

Nasa: Robots 'essential' to Endeavour Mission's Success
From ACM TechNews

Nasa: Robots 'essential' to Endeavour Mission's Success

Robots have a vital role on the space shuttle Endeavour's mission to install two new pieces of the International Space Station. Robotics technology is a critical...

From ACM News

Sensor Exploits Traditional Weakness of Nano Devices

By taking advantage of a phenomenon that until now has been a virtual showstopper for electronics designers, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Panos...

Despite Glitches, Electronics Make Cars Safer
From ACM TechNews

Despite Glitches, Electronics Make Cars Safer

Future cars will have even more complex electronics and robotic-like control systems that monitor driving conditions and assist drivers, but experts say that will...

From ACM TechNews

Berkeley Discusses Progress in Parallel Programming

University of California, Berkeley researchers recently discussed their progress in finding new parallel programming models for multicore processor architectures...
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