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Communications of the ACM

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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.


The Joy of Teaching Computer Science in the Age of Facebook
From ACM TechNews

The Joy of Teaching Computer Science in the Age of Facebook

Stanford University professor Mehran Sahami says students today understand computing's potential and are technology consumers.

Everything We Know About How the Nsa Tracks People's Physical Location
From ACM News

Everything We Know About How the Nsa Tracks People's Physical Location

Glenn Greenwald is back reporting about the NSA, now with Pierre Omidyar's news organization FirstLook and its introductory publication, The Intercept.

When Will Genomics Cure Cancer?
From ACM Opinion

When Will Genomics Cure Cancer?

Since the beginning of this century, the most rapidly advancing field in the life sciences, and perhaps in human inquiry of any sort, has been genomics.

Stanford Researchers: It Is Trivially Easy to Match Metadata to Real People
From ACM Opinion

Stanford Researchers: It Is Trivially Easy to Match Metadata to Real People

In defending the NSA's telephony metadata collection efforts, government officials have repeatedly resorted to one seemingly significant detail: This is just metadata—numbers...

Does Your Professor Have a Wikipedia Entry? Congrats! It Means Nothing
From ACM TechNews

Does Your Professor Have a Wikipedia Entry? Congrats! It Means Nothing

Oxford University has released a study indicating that no significant correlation exists between a scientific academic professional having a Wikipedia entry and...

Intense Smog Is Making Beijing's Massive Surveillance Network Practically Useless
From ACM News

Intense Smog Is Making Beijing's Massive Surveillance Network Practically Useless

Beijing's surveillance network, one of the most extensive and invasive in the world, has been compromised by an unexpected foe: smog.

Of Course Gas Stations Will ­se Facial Recognition Tech to Serve 'Relevant' Ads
From ACM News

Of Course Gas Stations Will ­se Facial Recognition Tech to Serve 'Relevant' Ads

Say you're at a gas station. Say you're buying some supplies—bottled water, coffee, maybe some M&Ms—before you head back to your car.

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think
From ACM Opinion

The Man Who Would Teach Machines to Think

"It depends on what you mean by artificial intelligence."

Study: 80% of College Students Say They Text in Class
From ACM News

Study: 80% of College Students Say They Text in Class

From the front of his classroom, University of Nebraska-Lincoln associate professor Barney McCoy noticed that students’ smart phones were making regular appearances...

What Is a Jpeg? The Invisible Object You See Every Day
From ACM News

What Is a Jpeg? The Invisible Object You See Every Day

In 2012, the photograph of Barack and Michelle Obama embracing after his re-election was "liked" over 4 million times.

Why Today's Inventors Need to Read More Science Fiction
From ACM Opinion

Why Today's Inventors Need to Read More Science Fiction

How will police use a gun that immobilizes its target but does not kill? What would people do with a device that could provide them with any mood they desire? What...

Mapping the 'geography' of the Internet
From ACM TechNews

Mapping the 'geography' of the Internet

Morningside Analytics chief scientist John Kelly maps the Internet's "cybersocial geography" to visualize topics of conversation and the participants involved in...

The Brogrammer Effect: Women Are a Small (and Shrinking) Share of Computer Workers
From ACM TechNews

The Brogrammer Effect: Women Are a Small (and Shrinking) Share of Computer Workers

The percentage of women who are computer workers has been dropping over the past 20 years, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report. 

The Message Voyager 1 Carries For Alien Civilizations
From ACM Opinion

The Message Voyager 1 Carries For Alien Civilizations

The year was 1977.

How Scholars Hack the World of Academic Publishing Now
From ACM News

How Scholars Hack the World of Academic Publishing Now

If you want to understand the modern academy, it wouldn't hurt to start at "impact factor."

Productivity Tools For Cybercrime
From ACM News

Productivity Tools For Cybercrime

Stealing 10 million dollars a few hundred dollars at a time used to be too labor-intensive to be a great business.

Among the Nsa's Own Tips For Securing Computers: Remove the Webcam
From ACM News

Among the Nsa's Own Tips For Securing Computers: Remove the Webcam

Seems like everything gets hacked these days. Baby monitors. White House employees' personal email. Toilets.

Watch the Intricate Patterns of Global Infrastructure Emerge From Geocoded Tweets
From ACM TechNews

Watch the Intricate Patterns of Global Infrastructure Emerge From Geocoded Tweets

A Northeastern University professor has created a global, navigable map of geo-tagged Twitter data.

Could the Government Get a Search Warrant For Your Thoughts?
From ACM Opinion

Could the Government Get a Search Warrant For Your Thoughts?

We don't have a mind reading machine.

Twitter Can Tell Whether Your Community Is Happy or Not
From ACM TechNews

Twitter Can Tell Whether Your Community Is Happy or Not

Researchers recently released a study on whether a community's sense of happiness could be determined from communications on Twitter. The study demonstrates that...
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