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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.


USS McCain Collision Ultimately Caused by UI Confusion
From ACM News

USS McCain Collision Ultimately Caused by UI Confusion

On November 1, the US Navy issued its report on the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain this summer.

Inspired by Brain's Visual Cortex, New AI Utterly Wrecks CAPTCHA Security
From ACM News

Inspired by Brain's Visual Cortex, New AI Utterly Wrecks CAPTCHA Security

Computer algorithms have gotten much better at recognizing patterns, like specific animals or people's faces, allowing software to automatically categorize large...

Higgs Boson Uncovered by Quantum Algorithm on D-Wave Machine
From ACM News

Higgs Boson Uncovered by Quantum Algorithm on D-Wave Machine

Machine learning has returned with a vengeance. I still remember the dark days of the late '80s and '90s, when it was pretty clear that the current generation of...

Serious Flaw in WPA2 Protocol Lets Attackers Intercept Passwords and Much More
From ACM TechNews

Serious Flaw in WPA2 Protocol Lets Attackers Intercept Passwords and Much More

Researchers have discovered a severe flaw in the WPA2 protocol that enables hackers within range of a vulnerable device or access point to intercept passwords and...

Is Beaming Down in Star Trek a Death Sentence?
From ACM Opinion

Is Beaming Down in Star Trek a Death Sentence?

In the 2009 movie Star Trek, Captain Kirk and Sulu plummeted down toward the planet Vulcan without a parachute. "Beam us up, beam us up!" Kirk shouted in desperation...

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps
From ACM News

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and...

Conditions Like Those Inside Neptune Cause Diamond Formation
From ACM News

Conditions Like Those Inside Neptune Cause Diamond Formation

Carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are some of the easiest heavier elements to form through fusion.

Secret Chips in Replacement Parts Can Completely Hijack Your Phone's Security
From ACM TechNews

Secret Chips in Replacement Parts Can Completely Hijack Your Phone's Security

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel warn smartphone security can be compromised by repair shops that install replacement parts containing...

With the USS McCain Collision, Even Navy Tech Can't Overcome Human Shortcomings
From ACM News

With the USS McCain Collision, Even Navy Tech Can't Overcome Human Shortcomings

In the darkness of early morning on August 21, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker in the Strait of Malacca off Singapore.

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious
From ACM News

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious

Life on Earth goes back at least two billion years, but it was only in the last half-billion that it would have been visible to the naked eye.

National Ignition Facility Recreates the Interior of Heavy Stars
From ACM News

National Ignition Facility Recreates the Interior of Heavy Stars

In a lot of ways, stars are our model for creating nuclear fusion here on Earth, with fusion power often promoted as "harnessing the power of the Sun."

Radio Navigation Set to Make Global Return as GPS Backup, Because Cyber 
From ACM News

Radio Navigation Set to Make Global Return as GPS Backup, Because Cyber 

Way back in the 1980s, when I was a young naval officer, the Global Positioning System was still in its experimental stage.

New Web Tool Tracks Russian 'Influence Ops' on Twitter
From ACM News

New Web Tool Tracks Russian 'Influence Ops' on Twitter

The Alliance for Securing Democracy, a bipartisan project backed by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), has launched a Web tool to keep tabs on...

Level Up: How Video Games Evolved to Solve Significant Scientific Problems
From ACM News

Level Up: How Video Games Evolved to Solve Significant Scientific Problems

In the early 1950s, just as rock 'n' roll was hinting at social change, the first video games were quietly being designed in the form of technology demonstrations—and...

Concerned About Connected Car Privacy? Bluetooth Sensors Used to Track Traffic 
From ACM News

Concerned About Connected Car Privacy? Bluetooth Sensors Used to Track Traffic 

One big promise of the connected car revolution has been the potential to help clear up traffic problems.

Pocket Brains: Neuromorphic Hardware Arrives for Our Brain-Inspired Algorithms
From ACM News

Pocket Brains: Neuromorphic Hardware Arrives for Our Brain-Inspired Algorithms

As the world's great companies pursue autonomous cars, they're essentially spending billions of dollars to get machines to do what your average two-year-old can...

More Progress on Carbon Nanotube Processors: A 2.8GHz Ring Oscillator
From ACM News

More Progress on Carbon Nanotube Processors: A 2.8GHz Ring Oscillator

Back in 2012, I had the pleasure of visiting the IBM Watson research center.

'Internet of Ships' Tells Tale of USS Fitzgerald Tragedy, Or Half of It
From ACM News

'Internet of Ships' Tells Tale of USS Fitzgerald Tragedy, Or Half of It

On early Saturday morning off the coast of Japan, the Philippines-flagged cargo container carrierACX Crystal struck the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) on its starboard...

US Gov’t Taps The Machine to Beat China to Exascale Supercomputing
From ACM News

US Gov’t Taps The Machine to Beat China to Exascale Supercomputing

With China threatening to build the world's first exascale supercomputer before the US, the US Department of Energy has awarded a research grant to Hewlett Packard...

Light-Based Neural Network Does Simple Speech Recognition
From ACM News

Light-Based Neural Network Does Simple Speech Recognition

While there are lots of things that artificial intelligence can't do yet—science being one of them—neural networks are proving themselves increasingly adept at...
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