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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.


Why Our Crazy-Smart AI Still Sucks at Transcribing Speech
From ACM TechNews

Why Our Crazy-Smart AI Still Sucks at Transcribing Speech

The task of providing accurate transcriptions of long blocks of human conversation remains beyond the abilities of even today's most advanced software. 

IBM Wants to Implant Fake Brains in Real Brains to Prevent Seizures
From ACM News

IBM Wants to Implant Fake Brains in Real Brains to Prevent Seizures

Talk about neural networking.

Forget Apple vs. the Fbi: Whatsapp Just Switched on Encryption For a Billion People
From ACM News

Forget Apple vs. the Fbi: Whatsapp Just Switched on Encryption For a Billion People

For most of the past six weeks, the biggest story out of Silicon Valley was Apple's battle with the FBI over a federal order to unlock the iPhone of a mass shooter...

Why Do the Feds ­sually Try to ­nlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism
From ACM News

Why Do the Feds ­sually Try to ­nlock Phones? It's Drugs, Not Terrorism

Until the FBI backed down from its battle with Apple over accessing the iPhone 5c of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, it seemed the agency had chosen...

The Apple-Fbi Battle Is Over, But the New Crypto Wars Have Just Begun
From ACM News

The Apple-Fbi Battle Is Over, But the New Crypto Wars Have Just Begun

Apple's standoff with the FBI unfolded over the course of several weeks, but ended in a matter of days.

Why Isis Is Winning the Social Media War
From ACM News

Why Isis Is Winning the Social Media War

Early last December, two days after Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, the married couple’s landlord...

A Computer With a Great Eye Is About to Transform Botany
From ACM TechNews

A Computer With a Great Eye Is About to Transform Botany

Pennsylvania State University paleobotanist Peter Wilf and colleagues have developed new software for identifying families of leaves. 

A Computer With a Great Eye Is About to Transform Botany
From ACM News

A Computer With a Great Eye Is About to Transform Botany

My dad is a wildlife biologist, and during road trips we took when I was growing up he spent a lot of time talking about the grasses and trees along the highway...

­tah's Online Caucus Gives Security Experts Heart Attacks
From ACM News

­tah's Online Caucus Gives Security Experts Heart Attacks

Security researchers pretty much uniformly agree that letting people vote online is a very bad idea, one that is fraught with risks and vulnerabilities that could...

Long Before the Apple-Fbi Battle, Lavabit Sounded a Warning
From ACM News

Long Before the Apple-Fbi Battle, Lavabit Sounded a Warning

Three years ago, Ladar Levison, the founder of the now-defunct secure email service known as Lavabit, was in the same position Apple finds itself today: facing...

The Fbi Warns That Car Hacking Is a Real Risk
From ACM News

The Fbi Warns That Car Hacking Is a Real Risk

It's been eight months since a pair of security researchers proved beyond any doubt that car hacking is more than an action movie plot device when they remotely ...

How Google's AI Viewed the Move No Human Could ­nderstand
From ACM News

How Google's AI Viewed the Move No Human Could ­nderstand

The move didn't make sense to the humans packed into the sixth floor of Seoul's Four Seasons hotel. But the Google machine saw it quite differently.

Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns
From ACM News

Biometrics Are Coming, Along With Serious Security Concerns

You're buying a pair of jeans. At the register, instead of reaching for your wallet or phone, you pull back your hair.

Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine's Power Grid
From ACM News

Inside the Cunning, Unprecedented Hack of Ukraine's Power Grid

It was 3:30 p.m. last December 23, and residents of the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine were preparing to end their workday and head home through the...

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help
From ACM News

How the Feds Could Get Into Iphones Without Apple's Help

It's a showdown that has the country mesmerized.

Apple's Fbi Battle Is Complicated. Here's What's Really Going On
From ACM News

Apple's Fbi Battle Is Complicated. Here's What's Really Going On

The news this week that a magistrate ordered Apple to help the FBI hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooter suspects has polarized the nation—and...

The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science
From ACM News

The Best AI Still Flunks 8th Grade Science

In 2012, IBM Watson went to medical school. So said The New York Times, announcing that the tech giant’s artificially intelligent question-and-answer machine had...

If You Go Near the Super Bowl, You Will Be Surveilled Hard
From ACM News

If You Go Near the Super Bowl, You Will Be Surveilled Hard

Super Bowl 50 will be big in every way.

Nsa Hacker Chief Explains How to Keep Him Out of Your System
From ACM News

Nsa Hacker Chief Explains How to Keep Him Out of Your System

It was the talk most anticipated at this year's inaugural Usenix Enigma security conference in San Francisco and one that even the other speakers were eager to...

Football Coaches Are Turning to AI For Help Calling Plays
From ACM News

Football Coaches Are Turning to AI For Help Calling Plays

In 1996, IBM'S Deep Blue became the first supercomputer to defeat a chess grandmaster, Garry Kasparov, in a game.
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