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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.


Section 230 Was Supposed to Make the Internet a Better Place. It Failed
From ACM News

Section 230 Was Supposed to Make the Internet a Better Place. It Failed

A tiny federal statute in 1996 transformed the web into a wildly lucrative business, and became Big Tech's favorite liability shield. It's now under attack from...

This Company Is Helping Build China's Panopticon. It Won't Stop There 
From ACM Careers

This Company Is Helping Build China's Panopticon. It Won't Stop There 

The lobby of SenseTime's Beijing office makes you feel a bit like you've stumbled into a Philip K. Dick novel.

The Big Hack: How China ­sed a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate ­.S. Companies
From ACM News

The Big Hack: How China ­sed a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate ­.S. Companies

In 2015, Amazon.com Inc. began quietly evaluating a startup called Elemental Technologies, a potential acquisition to help with a major expansion of its streaming...

How Faking Videos Became Easy and Why That's So Scary
From ACM News

How Faking Videos Became Easy and Why That's So Scary

A minute-long video of Barack Obama has been seen more than 4.8 million times since April. It shows the former U.S. president seated, with the American flag in...

China's Internet ­nderground Fights for Its Life
From ACM News

China's Internet ­nderground Fights for Its Life

For years, thousands of virtual private networks (VPNs) have allowed people in China to circumvent restrictions on internet access and visit Facebook, Google, YouTube...

How Facebook's Political ­nit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda
From ACM News

How Facebook's Political ­nit Enables the Dark Art of Digital Propaganda

Under fire for Facebook Inc.'s role as a platform for political propaganda, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has punched back, saying his mission is above partisanship...

This Company's Robots Are Making Everything, and Reshaping the World
From ACM Careers

This Company's Robots Are Making Everything, and Reshaping the World

The headquarters of Fanuc sit in the shadow of Mt. Fuji, on a sprawling, secluded campus of 22 windowless factories and dozens of office buildings.

Silicon Valley Reckons With Its Political Power
From ACM News

Silicon Valley Reckons With Its Political Power

On Sept. 12, 2016, there was a momentary realignment in the constellation of global business.

The Computer Voting Revolution Is Already Crappy, Buggy, and Obsolete
From ACM News

The Computer Voting Revolution Is Already Crappy, Buggy, and Obsolete

Six days after Memphis voters went to the polls last October to elect a mayor and other city officials, a local computer programmer named Bennie Smith sat on his...

Google's Driverless-Car Czar on Taking the Human Out of the Equation
From ACM Opinion

Google's Driverless-Car Czar on Taking the Human Out of the Equation

You devoted your life to human-driven transportation, engineering SUVs at Ford and taking Hyundai (as U.S. CEO and president) to record levels of sales in the U...

How the Constant Threat of War Shaped Israel's Tech Industry
From ACM Careers

How the Constant Threat of War Shaped Israel's Tech Industry

Unit 8200 is Israel's most mysterious agency. No one outside knows exactly how it operates, who works there, or how they learn.

What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget?
From ACM News

What Happens When the Surveillance State Becomes an Affordable Gadget?

When Daniel Rigmaiden was a little boy, his grandfather, a veteran of World War II and Korea, used to drive him along the roads of Monterey, California, playing...

Why Doesn't Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?
From ACM Careers

Why Doesn't Silicon Valley Hire Black Coders?

In the fall of 2013 a young software engineer named Charles Pratt arrived on Howard University's campus in Washington.

The First Person to Hack the Iphone Built a Self-Driving Car. In His Garage
From ACM Careers

The First Person to Hack the Iphone Built a Self-Driving Car. In His Garage

A few days before Thanksgiving, George Hotz, a 26-year-old hacker, invites me to his house in San Francisco to check out a project he’s been working on.

How Much of Your Audience Is Fake?
From ACM News

How Much of Your Audience Is Fake?


You Aren't Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football
From ACM Careers

You Aren't Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football

Every first-time player of daily fantasy football begins the new season undefeated, just like even the most hopeless NFL teams.

The Car Windshield Is Turning Into a Computer Screen
From ACM News

The Car Windshield Is Turning Into a Computer Screen

Cars are running out of screens.

Why Passenger Planes Can Still Vanish
From ACM News

Why Passenger Planes Can Still Vanish

By Dec. 30, when search teams began to recover debris and bodies from the apparent crash site of AirAsia flight QZ8501, the airline industry had begun to hear renewed...

The Big Business of Selling Prescription-Drug Records
From ACM News

The Big Business of Selling Prescription-Drug Records

Since the days of 19th century remedies such as castor oil laxatives and mercury syphilis tablets, pharmacists and patients have had a tacit understanding: Whatever...

Tim Cook Interview: The Iphone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company's Culture
From ACM Opinion

Tim Cook Interview: The Iphone 6, the Apple Watch, and Remaking a Company's Culture

Steve Jobs’s office remains Steve Jobs's office.
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