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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.


'RobbinHood' Ransomware Takes Down Baltimore City Government Networks
From ACM TechNews

'RobbinHood' Ransomware Takes Down Baltimore City Government Networks

A "RobbinHood" ransomware attack earlier this week crippled networks used by Baltimore's city government.

Ethiopian Air Pilots Turned Off 737 MAX Anti-Stall System. Then It Turned On Again
From ACM News

Ethiopian Air Pilots Turned Off 737 MAX Anti-Stall System. Then It Turned On Again

The pilots of Ethiopia Airlines Flight 302 apparently followed the proper steps to shut down an errant flight control system as they struggled to regain control...

They Didn't Buy the DLC: Feature that Could've Prevented 737 Crashes Was Sold As an Option
From ACM News

They Didn't Buy the DLC: Feature that Could've Prevented 737 Crashes Was Sold As an Option

The crashed Lion Air 737 MAX and the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX aircraft had more in common than aircraft design and the apparently malfunctioning flight system...

­ber Escapes Criminal Charges for 2018 Self-Driving Death in Arizona
From ACM News

­ber Escapes Criminal Charges for 2018 Self-Driving Death in Arizona

A prosecutor in Arizona has decided not to press charges against Uber in the March 2018 death of Elaine Herzberg. One of Uber's self-driving cars crashed into Herzberg...

String of Ions May Out-Compute Best Quantum Computers
From ACM News

String of Ions May Out-Compute Best Quantum Computers

Usually, I reflexively delete press releases. This one was no different, but as the message vanished, the subject line registered—"IonQ… quantum computing."

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI
From ACM News

Researchers, Scared by Their Own Work, Hold Back 'Deepfakes for Text' AI

OpenAI, a non-profit research company investigating "the path to safe artificial intelligence," has developed a machine learning system called Generative Pre-trained...

Bless the Overclockers: In the Data Center World, Liquid Cooling Is Becoming King
From ACM News

Bless the Overclockers: In the Data Center World, Liquid Cooling Is Becoming King

In Iron Man 2, there is a moment when Tony Stark is watching a decades-old film of his deceased father, who tells him "I'm limited by the technology of my time,...

How the Government Shutdown Is Flushing Away Federal Cyber-Talent
From ACM Careers

How the Government Shutdown Is Flushing Away Federal Cyber-Talent

The US Federal government is in the midst of the longest gap in funding for many of its agencies in history. As the "shutdown" extends into a second month, the...

Imaging Ever Closer to the Event Horizon
From ACM News

Imaging Ever Closer to the Event Horizon

While black holes themselves swallow any light beyond their event horizon, the area outside the event horizon tends to emit lots of light.

A DNS Hijacking Wave Is Targeting Companies at an Almost ­nprecedented Scale
From ACM TechNews

A DNS Hijacking Wave Is Targeting Companies at an Almost ­nprecedented Scale

Federal authorities and private researchers are warning companies about a wave of domain hijacking attacks.

Machine Learning Can Offer New Tools, Fresh Insights for the Humanities
From ACM News

Machine Learning Can Offer New Tools, Fresh Insights for the Humanities

Truly revolutionary political transformations are naturally of great interest to historians, and the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century is widely...

How Computers Got Shockingly Good at Recognizing Images
From ACM News

How Computers Got Shockingly Good at Recognizing Images

Right now, I can open up Google Photos, type "beach," and see my photos from various beaches I've visited over the last decade.

All Hail the AI Overlord: Smart Cities and the AI Internet of Things
From ACM News

All Hail the AI Overlord: Smart Cities and the AI Internet of Things

Cities generate lots of data. The exact amount depends on the size of the city and its sophistication and ambitions, but it's certainly more than mere humans can...

NASA's Next Mars Rover Will ­se AI to Be a Better Science Partner
From ACM News

NASA's Next Mars Rover Will ­se AI to Be a Better Science Partner

NASA can't yet put a scientist on Mars. But in its next rover mission to the Red Planet, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is hoping to use artificial intelligence...

More Than an Auto-Pilot, AI Charts Its Course in Aviation
From ACM News

More Than an Auto-Pilot, AI Charts Its Course in Aviation

Ask anyone what they think of when the words "artificial intelligence" and aviation are combined, and it's likely the first things they'll mention are drones.

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems
From ACM News

Rough-and-Ready Quantum Memory May Link Disparate Quantum Systems

I'm a simple person. To me, a computer consists of three parts: data that goes in and out, operations that modify the data, and storage that holds the data.

Two Japanese Robots Are Now Happily Hopping on an Asteroid
From ACM News

Two Japanese Robots Are Now Happily Hopping on an Asteroid

More than 24 hours after they were released by the Hayabusa2 spacecraft to fly down to the surface of the asteroid Ryugu, the Japanese Space Agency has finally...

Top Drone: Reaper Scores Drone Kill in Air-to-Air Missile Test
From ACM News

Top Drone: Reaper Scores Drone Kill in Air-to-Air Missile Test

The US Air Force has revealed that an MQ-9 Reaper uncrewed aircraft successfully shot down a smaller drone with a heat-seeking air-to-air missile in a test last...

This Nifty Flying Robot Can Hover, Bank, and Turn as Deftly as a Fruit Fly
From ACM News

This Nifty Flying Robot Can Hover, Bank, and Turn as Deftly as a Fruit Fly

Flying insects like bees, dragonflies, and fruit flies can perform impressive aerodynamic feats, particularly when seeking to evade predators or the swatting motion...

Engineering Tour de Force Births Programmable Optical Quantum Computer
From ACM News

Engineering Tour de Force Births Programmable Optical Quantum Computer

There comes a moment in every physicist's life when they think the unthinkable: I wish I were an engineer. I suspect this thought crossed the minds of the 14-odd...
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