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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

August 2019


From ACM TechNews

Smartphone Apps May Connect to Vulnerable Backend Cloud Servers

Smartphone Apps May Connect to Vulnerable Backend Cloud Servers

Researchers have discovered vulnerabilities in the backend system that feeds content and advertising to smartphone applications through a network of cloud-based servers.


From ACM TechNews

Stores Starting to Feel a Lot More Like the Internet

Stores Starting to Feel a Lot More Like the Internet

Leading stores are attempting to make the in-store experience closer to that of online retail through the addition of augmented reality, interactive touchscreens, and other technologies.


From ACM TechNews

How One City Saved $5 Million by Routing School Buses With an Algorithm

How One City Saved $5 Million by Routing School Buses With an Algorithm

An algorithm developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology won a competition to determine the best solution for busing 25,000 students to Boston schools daily.


From ACM TechNews

AI Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans.

AI Is Learning From Humans. Many Humans.

While artificial intelligence systems are viewed by most people in technology as the future of the industry, tech executives rarely discuss the labor-intensive process that goes into creating these new programs.


From ACM News

A Near-Perfect Fit

A Near-Perfect Fit

A new three-dimensional printing technique makes it easier for surgeons to pick the right-sized heart valves for their patients.


From ACM TechNews

22 Texas Towns Hit with Ransomware Attack in 'New Front' of Cyberassault

22 Texas Towns Hit with Ransomware Attack in 'New Front' of Cyberassault

Computer systems in 22 Texas municipalities have been hijacked by ransomware.


From ACM TechNews

Despite Chinese Efforts, U.S. Still Leads in AI

Despite Chinese Efforts, U.S. Still Leads in AI

The U.S. remains the global leader in artificial intelligence research and development, according to a new study.


From ACM TechNews

16 Million Americans Will Vote on Hackable Paperless Machines

16 Million Americans Will Vote on Hackable Paperless Machines

At least 16 million Americans in eight states will vote on completely paperless machines in the 2020 U.S. elections.


From ACM TechNews

Facial Recognition Technique Could Improve Hail Forecasts

Facial Recognition Technique Could Improve Hail Forecasts

Researchers have found that the same artificial intelligence method used in facial recognition systems could help improve the prediction of hailstorms and their severity.


From ACM TechNews

App Allows Inspectors to Find Gas Pump Skimmers Faster

App Allows Inspectors to Find Gas Pump Skimmers Faster

A new app can detect devices installed in gas pumps to steal consumer credit and debit card data.


From ACM TechNews

New Tool Makes Web Browsing Easier for the Visually Impaired

New Tool Makes Web Browsing Easier for the Visually Impaired

A new tool merges the best elements of voice assistants and screen readers to make free-form Web searches easier, particularly for the visually impaired.


From ACM News

RIP Danny Cohen: The Computer Scientist Who Gave World Endianness, Meets His End Aged 81

RIP Danny Cohen: The Computer Scientist Who Gave World Endianness, Meets His End Aged 81

Cohen also developed one of the first flight simulators.


From ACM TechNews

CU Boulder Researchers Find Five 'Types' of Computing Students

CU Boulder Researchers Find Five 'Types' of Computing Students

A new survey by the National Center for Women and Information Technology found tbat community college students in introductory computing classes generally can be divided into five distinct groups.


From ACM TechNews

Guided by AI, Robotic Platform Automates Molecule Manufacture

Guided by AI, Robotic Platform Automates Molecule Manufacture

A new artificial intelligence-guided system uses robots to automate small-molecule fabrication.


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Go Pro, Seeking Bounties for Bugs

Hackers Go Pro, Seeking Bounties for Bugs

People who hunt for software bugs are turning professional, as companies are offering lucrative rewards.


From ACM News

Organic Optical Transistor Outperforms Silicon

Organic Optical Transistor Outperforms Silicon

All-optical logic gates were made possible through the use of organic materials sandwiched between layers of silicon/tantalum dielectrics.


From ACM News

Section 230 Was Supposed to Make the Internet a Better Place. It Failed

Section 230 Was Supposed to Make the Internet a Better Place. It Failed

A tiny federal statute in 1996 transformed the web into a wildly lucrative business, and became Big Tech's favorite liability shield. It's now under attack from all sides.


From ACM News

A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just as Deadly as Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist

A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just as Deadly as Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist

People around the world may be worried about nuclear tensions rising, but they're missing the fact that a major cyberattack could be just as damaging.


From ACM TechNews

2 Quakes in 2 Days, No Warning from ShakeAlertLA. Now the App Is Getting Reworked

2 Quakes in 2 Days, No Warning from ShakeAlertLA. Now the App Is Getting Reworked

An early-warning earthquake app's failure to alert Los Angeles residents of tremors from two quakes in July prompted an upgrade so weaker tremors will set off warnings.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Use Blockchain to Drive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Researchers Use Blockchain to Drive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

Researchers have incorporated blockchain into energy systems, which could serve to expand the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.


From ACM TechNews

What Your Voice Reveals About You

What Your Voice Reveals About You

Technology can detect nuances in the human voice that offer clues to a person's likely location, medical conditions, and even physical features.


From ACM TechNews

SMU Researchers Find a New Way to Snoop with Smartphones. Should You Be Worried?

SMU Researchers Find a New Way to Snoop with Smartphones. Should You Be Worried?

A new app could be used to determine what a computer user is typing.


From ACM TechNews

How a State Plans to Turn Coal Country into Coding Country

How a State Plans to Turn Coal Country into Coding Country

Wyoming has mandated that all its K-12 public schools offer computer science, in an effort to transition from its economic reliance on fossil-fuel industries.


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Told to Break into U.S. Voting Machines Didn't Have Much Trouble

Hackers Told to Break into U.S. Voting Machines Didn't Have Much Trouble

Hackers at this year's Def Con hacker conference successfully exploited weaknesses in U.S. voting systems, demonstrating that many machines could be hijacked and abused through their Internet connections.


From ACM News

How Facebook Catches Bugs in Its 100 Million Lines of Code

How Facebook Catches Bugs in Its 100 Million Lines of Code

For the past four years, Facebook has quietly used a homegrown tool called Zoncolan to find bugs in its massive codebase.


From ACM TechNews

Apple Transforms Central Park Into an Augmented Reality Gallery

Apple Transforms Central Park Into an Augmented Reality Gallery

Apple has launched an intiative called [AR]T, a curation of augmented reality art featured in a series of guided walks in New York City's Central Park.


From ACM TechNews

Virtual 'Universe Machine' Sheds Light on Galaxy Evolution

Virtual 'Universe Machine' Sheds Light on Galaxy Evolution

Researchers at the University of Arizona have used supercomputer simulations to understand how galaxies such as the Milky Way come into existence.


From ACM TechNews

You Can Now Practice Firing Someone in VR

You Can Now Practice Firing Someone in VR

Virtual reality workplace training provider Talespin has developed virtual characters to train people in soft management skills such as firing employees.
 

 


From ACM TechNews

Legal Shield for Websites Rattles Under Onslaught of Hate Speech

Legal Shield for Websites Rattles Under Onslaught of Hate Speech

U.S. lawmakers are debating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects websites from liability for user-generated content.


From ACM TechNews

Canada Shows the Way on Autonomous Vehicles

Canada Shows the Way on Autonomous Vehicles

Researchers at universities across Canada are helping the country prepare for the coming autonomous vehicle and electric vehicle revolution, while raising Canada's profile as a global leader in AV and EV research.