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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.


Smartphones Set Out to Decipher a Cryptographic System
From ACM TechNews

Smartphones Set Out to Decipher a Cryptographic System

Researchers have developed an Android app to crack a cryptographic system by enabling thousands of smartphones to work together on the task. 

Looking to the Future of Data Science
From ACM News

Looking to the Future of Data Science

The Association for Computing Machinery, a leading professional association in computer science, is holding its annual conference this week, focusing on what we’re...

Sleeping with the Enemy
From ACM News

Sleeping with the Enemy

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, is a large, mostly glass building shaped a bit like a banana.

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging
From ACM Opinion

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging

In the four years since the car service Uber launched, it has been beset by criticism from myriad groups, including city officials annoyed by its sometimes cavalier...

Hacking Gmail With 92 Percent Success
From ACM TechNews

Hacking Gmail With 92 Percent Success

A weakness believed to exist in Android, Windows, and iOS mobile operating systems could be used to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users. 

Helping Researchers Cope With the Medical Literature Knowledge Explosion
From ACM TechNews

Helping Researchers Cope With the Medical Literature Knowledge Explosion

The new Knowledge Integration Toolkit will help research scientists make better use of the massive volumes of scientific research that is available in public databases...

How an Algorithm Detected the Ebola Outbreak a Week Early, and What It Could Do Next
From ACM TechNews

How an Algorithm Detected the Ebola Outbreak a Week Early, and What It Could Do Next

HealthMap, an international mapping tool that detects and tracks diseases, identified the Ebola virus just over a week before it spread. 

Can Computers Replace Historians?
From ACM TechNews

Can Computers Replace Historians?

A researcher suggests computers have the potential to sift through the big data of history to help spot patterns.

Skype's Real-Time Translator Learns How to Speak From Social Media
From ACM TechNews

Skype's Real-Time Translator Learns How to Speak From Social Media

Microsoft says its upcoming Skype Translator app will translate multilingual conversations in real time. 

Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds
From ACM Careers

Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds

Birds are nice enough, unless you work at places like airports, farms, and landfills, in which case they’re the sworn enemy.

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google
From ACM News

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a "Google-like" search engine built to share more than...

For Sale: Systems that Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe
From ACM News

For Sale: Systems that Can Secretly Track Where Cellphone Users Go Around the Globe

Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they...

Robotic Brain 'Learns' Skills from the Internet
From ACM News

Robotic Brain 'Learns' Skills from the Internet

Robo Brain is designed to acquire a vast range of skills and knowledge from publicly available information sources such as YouTube.

Robotics: How Machines See the World
From ACM News

Robotics: How Machines See the World

Can you tell the difference between a human and a soda can?

Eight in 10 Enterprises Turn to Citizen Developers for Innovation
From ACM TechNews

Eight in 10 Enterprises Turn to Citizen Developers for Innovation

A recent survey found that 80% of enterprises are forming partnerships with groups such as citizen developers to close to the skills gap for application development...

R Programming Language Gains on Traditional Statistics Packages
From ACM TechNews

R Programming Language Gains on Traditional Statistics Packages

A recent survey gauging the popularity of statistical software programs found the R programming language is rapidly gaining on traditional statistics packages. 

Johann Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Computer Science Research
From ACM TechNews

Johann Receives National Science Foundation Grant for Computer Science Research

The U.S. National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to computer science professor Patricia Johann to support her research in relational parametricity. 

Research Paves Way for Cyborg Moth 'Biobots'
From ACM TechNews

Research Paves Way for Cyborg Moth 'Biobots'

Methods being developed to electronically manipulate the flight muscles of moths could lead to remote-controlled "biobots" for emergency search and rescue operations...

The Cookies You Can't Crumble
From ACM News

The Cookies You Can't Crumble

If you've used the Internet for longer than the iPhone has been around, you're probably familiar with cookies, those little packets of personal data that help load...
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