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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.


Researchers Find Way to Spy on Remote Screens, through the Webcam Mic
From ACM News

Researchers Find Way to Spy on Remote Screens, through the Webcam Mic

Ever wonder what the people on the other end of a Hangouts session are really looking at on their screens?

This Military Tech Could Finally Help Self-Driving Cars Master Snow
From ACM News

This Military Tech Could Finally Help Self-Driving Cars Master Snow

The research conducted at the country's National Laboratories is usually highly classified and specifically aimed at solving national security problems. But sometimes...

Neural Network Implemented with Light Instead of Electrons
From ACM News

Neural Network Implemented with Light Instead of Electrons

Neural networks have a reputation for being computationally expensive. But only the training portion of things really stresses most computer hardware, since it...

How They Did It (and Will Likely Try Again): GR­ Hackers vs. ­S Elections
From ACM News

How They Did It (and Will Likely Try Again): GR­ Hackers vs. ­S Elections

In a press briefing just two weeks ago, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the grand jury assembled by Special Counsel Robert Mueller had returned...

To Make Curiosity (Et Al.) More Curious, NASA and ESA Smarten ­p AI in Space
From ACM News

To Make Curiosity (Et Al.) More Curious, NASA and ESA Smarten ­p AI in Space

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover has done many great things in its decade-plus of service—but initially, it rolled 600 feet past one of the initiative's biggest discoveries...

The AI Revolution Has Spawned a New Chips Arms Race
From ACM News

The AI Revolution Has Spawned a New Chips Arms Race

For years, the semiconductor world seemed to have settled into a quiet balance: Intel vanquished virtually all of the RISC processors in the server world, save ...

Why a 40-Year-Old SCOT­S Ruling Against Software Patents Still Matters Today
From ACM News

Why a 40-Year-Old SCOT­S Ruling Against Software Patents Still Matters Today

Forty years ago this week, in the case of Parker v. Flook, the US Supreme Court came close to banning software patents.

Seafloor Fiber Optic Cables Can Work Like Seismometers
From ACM News

Seafloor Fiber Optic Cables Can Work Like Seismometers

There are enough seismometers around these days to detect and locate nearly all earthquakes on land, except the most minuscule ones.

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth
From ACM Opinion

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth


Why Emergency Braking Systems Sometimes Hit Parked Cars and Lane Dividers
From ACM News

Why Emergency Braking Systems Sometimes Hit Parked Cars and Lane Dividers

The National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday provided new details about a March crash in Mountain View, California, that claimed the life of engineer Walter...

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa
From ACM News

NASA Asks Scientists How Its Lander Should Look for Life on Europa

NASA is in various stages of planning two multi-billion dollar missions to Jupiter's intriguing, ice-covered moon of Europa.

Random Quantum Circuit Easiest Way to Beat Classical Computer
From ACM News

Random Quantum Circuit Easiest Way to Beat Classical Computer

One of the near-term (but somewhat irrelevant) goals of quantum computing is something called quantum supremacy.

What Lies Beneath: The Things Facebook Knows Go Beyond ­ser Data
From ACM News

What Lies Beneath: The Things Facebook Knows Go Beyond ­ser Data

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica revelations regarding the exposure of profile data for millions of users, Facebook is now facing an investigation into its...

Five New Ancient Genomes Tell ­s About Neanderthal Tribes
From ACM News

Five New Ancient Genomes Tell ­s About Neanderthal Tribes

Mezmaiskaya Cave offered shelter to Neanderthals for tens of thousands of years. The cave, located near Russia's border with Georgia, preserved Neanderthal remains...

Developers Love Trendy New Languages but Earn More with Functional Programming
From ACM News

Developers Love Trendy New Languages but Earn More with Functional Programming

Developer Q&A site Stack Overflow performs an annual survey to find out more about the programmer community, and the latest set of results has just been published...

Why ­.S. 'Cyber-Warriors' Can't Do Anything About Russian 'Cyber-Meddling'
From ACM News

Why ­.S. 'Cyber-Warriors' Can't Do Anything About Russian 'Cyber-Meddling'

In testimony before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, National Security Agency Director and US Cyber Command Commander Admiral Michael Rogers told...

How Did Life Begin? It's Chemistry 101, but in Space
From ACM News

How Did Life Begin? It's Chemistry 101, but in Space

How did life start? There may not be a bigger question.

AI Trained to Spot Heart Disease Risks ­sing Retina Scan
From ACM News

AI Trained to Spot Heart Disease Risks ­sing Retina Scan

The idea behind using a neural network for image recognition is that you don't have to tell it what to look for in an image.

Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System
From ACM News

Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System

When it comes to data storage, efforts to get faster access grab most of the attention. But long-term archiving of data is equally important, and it generally requires...

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets
From ACM News

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets

The search for extraterrestrial life is fairly synonymous with the search for life as we know it.
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