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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.


How Facebook Is Helping the Blind 'see' Pictures Their Friends Share Online
From ACM TechNews

How Facebook Is Helping the Blind 'see' Pictures Their Friends Share Online

Facebook on Tuesday launched Automatic Alternative Text, a tool designed to enable sight-impaired users to "see" pictures posted by friends online. 

Why You Should Be Skeptical That Any Video Is Real
From ACM News

Why You Should Be Skeptical That Any Video Is Real

Be careful about believing what your eyes are telling you.

Fbi May Not Need Apple to ­nlock San Bernardino Shooter's Iphone
From ACM News

Fbi May Not Need Apple to ­nlock San Bernardino Shooter's Iphone

The FBI may have found a way without Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, Justice Department...

Johns Hopkins Researchers Poke a Hole in Apple's Encryption
From ACM TechNews

Johns Hopkins Researchers Poke a Hole in Apple's Encryption

A research team from Johns Hopkins University has successfully cracked Apple's iMessage encryption. Professor Matthew D. Green says this disproves the notion that...

Why Students Are Throwing Tons of Money at a Program That Won't Give Them a College Degree
From ACM TechNews

Why Students Are Throwing Tons of Money at a Program That Won't Give Them a College Degree

Computer-coding "boot camps" are surging in popularity, but these non-accredited programs do not offer a college degree, so graduates who invest a lot of money...

Why the Government Can't Actually Stop Terrorists From Using Encryption
From ACM TechNews

Why the Government Can't Actually Stop Terrorists From Using Encryption

Security experts say U.S. government efforts to force technology firms to grant access to encrypted devices will do little to prevent terrorists from using the...

Why Naval Academy Students Are Learning to Sail By the Stars For the First Time in a Decade
From ACM Careers

Why Naval Academy Students Are Learning to Sail By the Stars For the First Time in a Decade

Peter Hogan was surprised at how heavy the sextant felt in his hand when he squinted through its eyeglass this week, the first time he had ever held one.

The Massive New Privacy Deal Between U.s. and Europe, Explained
From ACM News

The Massive New Privacy Deal Between U.s. and Europe, Explained

U.S. and European regulators have agreed to a tentative deal, officials say, that would allow thousands of U.S. companies to continue moving the personal information...

5 Futuristic Oddities From the Weird World of Wearable Tech
From ACM TechNews

5 Futuristic Oddities From the Weird World of Wearable Tech

Concepts of human-machine interaction are undergoing a transformation thanks to advances in wearable technology. 

If Killer Robots Arrive, the Terminator Will Be the Least of Our Problems
From ACM TechNews

If Killer Robots Arrive, the Terminator Will Be the Least of Our Problems

Experts warned of the threat of autonomous weaponry at last week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

Google Opens ­p About When Its Self-Driving Cars Have Nearly Crashed
From ACM TechNews

Google Opens ­p About When Its Self-Driving Cars Have Nearly Crashed

Google says its fleet of automated vehicles, currently undergoing testing, have had 13 near-misses in which a driver had to intervene to prevent a collision.

The New Way Police Are Surveilling You: Calculating Your Threat 'score'
From ACM News

The New Way Police Are Surveilling You: Calculating Your Threat 'score'

While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect's...

The Big Data of Bad Driving, and How Insurers Plan to Track Your Every Turn
From ACM News

The Big Data of Bad Driving, and How Insurers Plan to Track Your Every Turn

For years, insurance companies have used estimates of your annual mileage to determine your car insurance rates.

The A.i. Anxiety
From ACM News

The A.i. Anxiety

The world’s spookiest philosopher is Nick Bostrom, a thin, soft-spoken Swede.

The Billion-Dollar Robot Question--How Can We Make Sure They're Safe?
From ACM TechNews

The Billion-Dollar Robot Question--How Can We Make Sure They're Safe?

The advent of unsupervised robots raises the question of how to ensure their safety. 

Tech Companies Are Slamming a Proposed ­k Terrorism Law. Here's Why.
From ACM News

Tech Companies Are Slamming a Proposed ­k Terrorism Law. Here's Why.

The world's biggest tech firms—including Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo—are pressing for changes to a proposed British law aimed at expanding the government's electronic...

5 Amazing and Alarming Things That May Be Done with Your Dna
From ACM Opinion

5 Amazing and Alarming Things That May Be Done with Your Dna

"You're a male, you're 34-years-old and your 5-foot-10 1/2 inches tall." That's a prediction that Craig Venter, long a pioneer on the frontier of genomics, offered...

How Artificial Intelligence Could Change the Way We Watch Sports
From ACM TechNews

How Artificial Intelligence Could Change the Way We Watch Sports

Machine learning and computer vision are being combined to provide commentary on professional sporting events as they occur.

The Nsa School: How the Intelligence Community Gets Smarter, Secretly
From ACM Careers

The Nsa School: How the Intelligence Community Gets Smarter, Secretly

Leonard Reinsfelder's wife found a note on her car as she was leaving a shopping center one day: "Have your husband give us a call. We think we could use him."

Net of Insecurity: The Kernel of the Argument
From ACM TechNews

Net of Insecurity: The Kernel of the Argument

The Linux operating system has come to dominate the online world, but critics increasingly warn of security weaknesses that should have been corrected long ago. ...
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