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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.


Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give ­p Her Data.
From ACM News

Can Alexa Help Solve a Murder? Police Think So—But Amazon Won't Give ­p Her Data.

When police responded to a home in Bentonville, Ark., one Sunday morning last November, they discovered Victor Collins's dead body in the backyard.

Scientists Are Frantically Copying U.S. Climate Data, Fearing It Might Vanish Under Trump
From ACM Careers

Scientists Are Frantically Copying U.S. Climate Data, Fearing It Might Vanish Under Trump

Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of...

Pizzagate: From Rumor, to Hashtag, to Gunfire in D.c.
From ACM News

Pizzagate: From Rumor, to Hashtag, to Gunfire in D.c.

What was finally real was Edgar Welch, driving from North Carolina to Washington to rescue sexually abused children he believed were hidden in mysterious tunnels...

Why a Hacker Is Giving Away a Special Code That Turns Cars Into Self-Driving Machines
From ACM TechNews

Why a Hacker Is Giving Away a Special Code That Turns Cars Into Self-Driving Machines

The founder of startup Comma.ai has released a free software kit in an effort to accelerate autonomous vehicle technology without running afoul of regulators.

Erich Bloch, IBM Pioneer Who Later Led National Science Foundation, Dies at 91
From ACM News

Erich Bloch, IBM Pioneer Who Later Led National Science Foundation, Dies at 91

Bloch was the first U.S. National Science Foundation director to come from a business rather than academic background, and the first without a doctoral degree. ...

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'big Data' to Rate Everyone
From ACM News

China's Plan to Organize Its Society Relies on 'big Data' to Rate Everyone

Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you...

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.
From ACM Opinion

Nate Silver Blew It When He Missed Trump. Now He Really Needs to Get It Right.

Nate Silver is on the downtown 1 train. Possibly because he looks like a (modestly) hip math teacher, and hardly looks up from his phone, he goes unrecognized until...

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy
From ACM News

The FCC Just Passed Sweeping New Rules to Protect Your Online Privacy

Federal officials delivered a landmark ruling in favor of online privacy Thursday, limiting how Internet providers use and sell customer data, while asserting that...

Will Driverless Cars Really Save Millions of Lives? Lack of Data Makes It Hard to Know
From ACM TechNews

Will Driverless Cars Really Save Millions of Lives? Lack of Data Makes It Hard to Know

The lack of data on how driverless automobiles' performance compares with human drivers makes it difficult to determine the safety benefits of autonomous vehicles...

In a Medical First, Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Again
From ACM TechNews

In a Medical First, Brain Implant Allows Paralyzed Man to Feel Again

For the first time, a paralyzed man has regained his sense of touch via a thought-controlled robotic arm thanks to experiments conducted by the University of Pittsburgh...

China Has Now Eclipsed US in AI Research
From ACM News

China Has Now Eclipsed US in AI Research

Humanity may still be years if not decades away from producing sentient artificial intelligence.

Why Apple Can Be Forced to Turn Logs of Your Imessage Contacts Over to Police
From ACM News

Why Apple Can Be Forced to Turn Logs of Your Imessage Contacts Over to Police

When a user sends someone a message through Apple's iMessage feature, Apple encrypts that message between Apple devices so that only the sender and recipient can...

Contract Expiration to End ­.s. Authority Over Internet Ip Addresses
From ACM TechNews

Contract Expiration to End ­.s. Authority Over Internet Ip Addresses

Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, officially marked the end of the U.S. government's control over the Internet's most basic functions with the expiration of its contract...

Federal Officials Plan Aggressive Approach to Driverless Cars
From ACM TechNews

Federal Officials Plan Aggressive Approach to Driverless Cars

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on Monday announced plans to aggressively influence the launch of driverless car technology.  

Confused About Those Emergency Cellphone Alerts? Here's How They Work.
From ACM News

Confused About Those Emergency Cellphone Alerts? Here's How They Work.

Many New York-area commuters on Monday were interrupted by this alert on their cellphones: "WANTED: Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28-yr-old male. See media for pic. Call 9...

How America's 911 Emergency Response System Can Be Hacked
From ACM TechNews

How America's 911 Emergency Response System Can Be Hacked

Researchers at Israel's Ben Gurion University have created a method for disabling the U.S. 911 emergency system with telephony denial-of-service attacks.

The Science of Smartphone Batteries and How to Keep Them Charged
From ACM News

The Science of Smartphone Batteries and How to Keep Them Charged

Whenever a new iPhone gets announced, there's one feature that every Apple lover is hoping for: improved battery life.

The Bizarre World of Bitcoin 'mining' Finds a New Home in Tibet
From ACM News

The Bizarre World of Bitcoin 'mining' Finds a New Home in Tibet

Inside a metal shed in the Tibetan highlands of western China, thousands of microprocessors flank narrow corridors, generating a constant hum and stifling waves...

Virginia Tech Initiative With Qualcomm to Expose Students to STEM
From ACM TechNews

Virginia Tech Initiative With Qualcomm to Expose Students to STEM

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and chip manufacturer Qualcomm have are opening a new Thinkabit lab at the university's Northern Virginia campus...

Who Would Win the Coding Olympics?
From ACM TechNews

Who Would Win the Coding Olympics?

U.S. programmers landed in 28th place in a HackerRank compilation of the results of 1.4 million coding challenges by approximately 300,000 developers.
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