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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.


Your Alexa and Fitbit Can Testify Against You in Court
From ACM News

Your Alexa and Fitbit Can Testify Against You in Court

Ross Compton had no idea his pacemaker would finger him for arson.

Enigma: Up Close with a Nazi Cipher Machine
From ACM News

Enigma: Up Close with a Nazi Cipher Machine

A black metal mechanical device resembling a typewriter sits in a wooden box.

Blockchain Explained: It Builds Trust When You Need It Most
From ACM Opinion

Blockchain Explained: It Builds Trust When You Need It Most

These days, we're having a harder and harder time trusting each other.

How Quantum Dots Supercharge Farming, Medicine and Solar, Too
From ACM News

How Quantum Dots Supercharge Farming, Medicine and Solar, Too

What if you could grow vegetables in half the time? What if a surgeon could see cancerous cells throughout an entire operation? What if solar panels could become...

How Pixar's Cartoon Cheese Led to a Smarter View of Science
From ACM Careers

How Pixar's Cartoon Cheese Led to a Smarter View of Science

Ten years ago, a chunk of animated cheese in Pixar's "Ratatouille" captured the imagination of cell biologist Janet Iwasa. So much so that it changed the way she...

Tractor Beam Breakthrough Could Lead to Levitating Humans
From ACM News

Tractor Beam Breakthrough Could Lead to Levitating Humans

Tractor beams have made the jump from science fiction to reality in recent years, but only for levitating very small objects.

Slac Knows How the ­niverse Works. Now It's Targeting Your Needs
From ACM Careers

Slac Knows How the ­niverse Works. Now It's Targeting Your Needs

You could be forgiven for thinking the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory's glory days are long over.

How Russian Trolls Lie Their Way to the Top of Your News Feed
From ACM News

How Russian Trolls Lie Their Way to the Top of Your News Feed

Going viral used to be harmless.

Mapping the Great Barrier Reef with Cameras, Drones and Nasa Tech
From ACM News

Mapping the Great Barrier Reef with Cameras, Drones and Nasa Tech

Richard Vevers, a British underwater photographer, was horrified when he returned in 2015 to a colourful reef in American Samoa he had shot a year earlier. It had...

These Radio Telescopes See Almost to the Beginning of Time
From ACM News

These Radio Telescopes See Almost to the Beginning of Time

There are few places in the world that can accommodate a radio telescope.

Enigma: Why the Fight to Break Nazi Encryption Still Matters
From ACM News

Enigma: Why the Fight to Break Nazi Encryption Still Matters

It was night when three British sailors and a 16-year-old canteen assistant boarded a sinking U-boat off the coast of Egypt.

Apple vs. Fbi One Year Later: Still Stuck in Limbo
From ACM News

Apple vs. Fbi One Year Later: Still Stuck in Limbo

It's been a year since Apple fought the FBI over data privacy, and we've barely heard a peep from either side on the issue.

Say Hello to .google and Other Branded Internet Addresses
From ACM News

Say Hello to .google and Other Branded Internet Addresses

Google is helping usher in a new way for companies to tout their brand names in the digital realm.

We're Ahead of Schedule to Turn 'star Trek' Tech Into Reality
From ACM News

We're Ahead of Schedule to Turn 'star Trek' Tech Into Reality

Most Star Trek stories from the vaunted franchise turning 50 this week take place in a distant future we're not likely to see.

Happy 25th Birthday to the World Wide Web
From ACM News

Happy 25th Birthday to the World Wide Web

Internauts, today we celebrate this glorious technology that brings us all together! On August 23, 1991--25 years ago today--the public gained access for the first...

Sense of the Stars: New Telescopes Poised to ­nlock the ­niverse
From ACM News

Sense of the Stars: New Telescopes Poised to ­nlock the ­niverse

For nearly as long as we've walked the Earth, humans have tried to make sense of the stars.

This Timing Technology Determines Who Wins the Gold
From ACM News

This Timing Technology Determines Who Wins the Gold

Timing is everything.

How Today's Farmers Got a Head-Start on Tomorrow's Tech
From ACM News

How Today's Farmers Got a Head-Start on Tomorrow's Tech

Cory Anstey always wanted to be a farmer. It was the joy of riding in the tractor, "the smell of the dirt in the spring" that drew him to the fields.

­se Your Eyes, Voice—and Thoughts—to Replace Passwords
From ACM News

­se Your Eyes, Voice—and Thoughts—to Replace Passwords

I'm sitting in an office at the University of California, Berkeley with an electrode strapped to my head. A black headband holds a connector to my forehead and...

The Advent of Virtual Humans
From ACM News

The Advent of Virtual Humans

Justine Cassell has taken her virtual assistant Sara on a road trip.
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