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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.


Can Amazon Echo Help Solve a Murder? Police Will Soon Find Out.
From ACM News

Can Amazon Echo Help Solve a Murder? Police Will Soon Find Out.

A 2015 Arkansas murder case that had raised privacy questions surrounding "always-on" electronic home devices took a step forward last week after Amazon agreed...

Wikileaks: The CIA Is Using Popular TVs, Smartphones and Cars to Spy on Their Owners
From ACM News

Wikileaks: The CIA Is Using Popular TVs, Smartphones and Cars to Spy on Their Owners

The latest revelations about U.S. government's powerful hacking tools potentially takes surveillance right into the homes and hip pockets of billions of users worldwide...

How Hard Is It to Get an Intelligence Wiretap? Pretty Hard. 
From ACM News

How Hard Is It to Get an Intelligence Wiretap? Pretty Hard. 

Wiretaps on Americans in foreign intelligence investigations are not easy to get. And if you're a candidate for president, it's even harder. 

CRISPR Pioneer Muses about Long Journey from China to Pinnacle of American Science
From ACM Opinion

CRISPR Pioneer Muses about Long Journey from China to Pinnacle of American Science

Feng Zhang occupies a corner office on the 10th floor of the gleaming, modern biotechnology palace called the Broad Institute.

How We Could Close Tech's Gender Gap in a Decade
From ACM TechNews

How We Could Close Tech's Gender Gap in a Decade

The inaugural Girls Who Code Governor's Summit in California last week emphasized solving the U.S. technology industry's lack of gender parity by developing standards...

Trump Questions Quest for Cybersecurity: 'No Computer Is Safe' 
From ACM News

Trump Questions Quest for Cybersecurity: 'No Computer Is Safe' 

President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned whether critical computer networks can ever be protected from intruders, alarming cybersecurity experts who...

The Gender Gap in Computer Science Is Hurting U.S. Businesses
From ACM TechNews

The Gender Gap in Computer Science Is Hurting U.S. Businesses

Women's share of the computer science workforce continues to fall despite efforts to expand computing education for children and young adults, according to research...

Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give Up Her Data.
From ACM News

Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give Up Her Data.

When police responded to a home in Bentonville, Ark., one Sunday morning last November, they discovered Victor Collins's dead body in the backyard.

Scientists Are Frantically Copying U.S. Climate Data, Fearing It Might Vanish Under Trump 
From ACM Careers

Scientists Are Frantically Copying U.S. Climate Data, Fearing It Might Vanish Under Trump 

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of...

Pizzagate: From Rumor, to Hashtag, to Gunfire in D.C.
From ACM News

Pizzagate: From Rumor, to Hashtag, to Gunfire in D.C.

What was finally real was Edgar Welch, driving from North Carolina to Washington to rescue sexually abused children he believed were hidden in mysterious tunnels...

Why a Hacker Is Giving Away a Special Code That Turns Cars Into Self-Driving Machines
From ACM TechNews

Why a Hacker Is Giving Away a Special Code That Turns Cars Into Self-Driving Machines

The founder of startup Comma.ai has released a free software kit in an effort to accelerate autonomous vehicle technology without running afoul of regulators.

Erich Bloch, IBM Pioneer Who Later Led National Science Foundation, Dies at 91
From ACM News

Erich Bloch, IBM Pioneer Who Later Led National Science Foundation, Dies at 91

Bloch was the first U.S. National Science Foundation director to come from a business rather than academic background, and the first without a doctoral degree. ...

 China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'Big Data' to Rate Everyone
From ACM News

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'Big Data' to Rate Everyone

Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you...

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.
From ACM Opinion

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.

Nate Silver is on the downtown 1 train. Possibly because he looks like a (modestly) hip math teacher, and hardly looks up from his phone, he goes unrecognized until...

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy
From ACM News

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy

Federal officials delivered a landmark ruling in favor of online privacy Thursday, limiting how Internet providers use and sell customer data, while asserting that...

Will Driverless Cars Really Save Millions of Lives? Lack of Data Makes It Hard to Know
From ACM TechNews

Will Driverless Cars Really Save Millions of Lives? Lack of Data Makes It Hard to Know

The lack of data on how driverless automobiles' performance compares with human drivers makes it difficult to determine the safety benefits of autonomous vehicles...

In a Medical First, Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Again
From ACM TechNews

In a Medical First, Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Again

For the first time, a paralyzed man has regained his sense of touch via a thought-controlled robotic arm thanks to experiments conducted by the University of Pittsburgh...

China Has Now Eclipsed Us in AI Research
From ACM News

China Has Now Eclipsed Us in AI Research

Humanity may still be years if not decades away from producing sentient artificial intelligence.

Why Apple Can Be Forced to Turn Logs of Your iMessage Contacts Over to Police
From ACM News

Why Apple Can Be Forced to Turn Logs of Your iMessage Contacts Over to Police

When a user sends someone a message through Apple's iMessage feature, Apple encrypts that message between Apple devices so that only the sender and recipient can...

Contract Expiration to End U.S. Authority Over Internet IP Addresses
From ACM TechNews

Contract Expiration to End U.S. Authority Over Internet IP Addresses

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, officially marked the end of the U.S. government's control over the Internet's most basic functions with the expiration of its contract...
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