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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.


From ACM TechNews

Sending Botnets the Way of Smallpox

University of Tulsa researchers have published a legal study on three "technically feasible" compulsory vaccination scenarios that governments could consider to...

­sb Fingerprints Identify 'pod Slurping' Data Thieves
From ACM TechNews

­sb Fingerprints Identify 'pod Slurping' Data Thieves

Intellectual property thieves who engage in so-called pod-slurping attacks leave a "USB fingerprint," according to Vasilios Katos and Theodoros Kavallaris of the...

From ACM News

Cellphone Traces Reveal You're So Predictable

We may all like to consider ourselves free spirits. But a study of the traces left by 50,000 cellphone users over three months has conclusively proved otherwise...

From ACM News

Typos May Earn Google $500m a Year

Google may be earning $500 million a year via companies and individuals who register deceptive Web site addresses. The claim centers on a controversial scheme known...

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack
From ACM News

­.s. Networks and Power Grid ­nder (mock) Cyber-Attack

Unknown hackers have taken out U.S. cellphone networks in an ongoing cyber-attack that will soon knock out parts of the nation's electricity grid – say the officials...

Unplugged: Goodbye Cables, Hello Energy Beams
From ACM News

Unplugged: Goodbye Cables, Hello Energy Beams

LET'S face it: power cables are unsightly dust-traps. PCs, TVs and music players are becoming slicker every year, but the nest of vipers in the corner of everyAn...

To Beat Spam, Turn Its Own Weapons Against It
From ACM TechNews

To Beat Spam, Turn Its Own Weapons Against It

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute and the University of California, San Diego have developed a method for blocking the most common type...

Smart Cctv Learns to Spot Suspicious Types
From ACM TechNews

Smart Cctv Learns to Spot Suspicious Types

An international team of computer scientists at Queen Mary, University of London are developing intelligent video-surveillance software designed to spot suspicious...

From ACM TechNews

Proper ­se of English Could Get a Virus Past Security

Johns Hopkins University security researcher Josh Mason says hackers could potentially evade most existing antivirus programs by hiding malicious code within ordinary...

Mobile Botnets Show Their Destructive Potential
From ACM News

Mobile Botnets Show Their Destructive Potential

Denial-of-services (DoS) attacks are a common tactic used by "black hats" intent on bringing down a high-profile Web site. Now Patrick Traynor of the Georgia Institute...

From ACM TechNews

To Protect Your Privacy, Hand Over Your Data

A new proposal from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) Human Dynamics Laboratory suggests that digital identities would be more secure if they...

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off
From ACM TechNews

Fly-By-Wireless Set For Take-Off

Aircraft manufacturers eager to reduce the weight of planes are looking into the replacement of copper wiring with wireless networks. Imbuing fly-by-wireless networks...

Worldwide Battle Rages For Control of the Internet
From ACM TechNews

Worldwide Battle Rages For Control of the Internet

Governments in the Middle East and north Africa routinely block and censor Web sites to control political discussions, according to a new report on the region by...

Internet 'Immune System' Could Block Viruses
From ACM TechNews

Internet 'Immune System' Could Block Viruses

A system that fights highly infectious computer viruses by embedding defense mechanisms in key parts of the Internet has been developed by University of North Carolina...

From ACM TechNews

After Boom, Is Wikipedia Heading For Bust?

The explosive growth of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia is petering out, while a less welcoming attitude toward new contributors could negatively affect the archive's...

Emotional Robots: Will We Love Them or Hate Them?
From ACM TechNews

Emotional Robots: Will We Love Them or Hate Them?

Scientists have theorized that many technologies would function better if they were aware of their users' emotional states, and progress in this field includes...

From ACM TechNews

'secret' Questions Leave Accounts Vulnerable

The secret questions some Web sites ask new users to answer for verification purposes in case a password is forgotten are actually far less secure and far easier...

Virtual Power Plants Could Tame Coming Grid Chaos
From ACM News

Virtual Power Plants Could Tame Coming Grid Chaos

Fears over energy security and climate change have led to record investment in renewable energy. But a major problem threatens to stall progress towards a more...

From ACM News

Fake Web Traffic Can Hide Secret Chat

The Internet's underlying technology can be harnessed to let people exchange secret messages, perhaps allowing free, coded speech under oppressive regimes. So says...

Harnessing Spammers to Solve AI Problems
From ACM TechNews

Harnessing Spammers to Solve AI Problems

Some Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHAs) security systems are already being solved by spammers, but CAPTCHA co...
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