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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.

December 2020


From ACM News

Scope of Russian Hack Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit

Scope of Russian Hack Becomes Clear: Multiple U.S. Agencies Were Hit

The Pentagon, intelligence agencies, nuclear labs, and Fortune 500 companies use software found to have been compromised by Russian hackers. The sweep of stolen data is still being assessed.


From ACM News

DHS is 3rd Federal Agency Hacked in Major Russian Cyberespionage Campaign

DHS is 3rd Federal Agency Hacked in Major Russian Cyberespionage Campaign

A spokesman said the Department of Homeland Security is aware of reports of a breach and is currently investigating the matter.


From ACM News

8 Leading Women In The Field Of AI

8 Leading Women In The Field Of AI

There are many brilliant women at the forefront of artificial intelligence today.


From ACM News

Russian Hackers Broke Into Federal Agencies, U.S. Officials Suspect

Russian Hackers Broke Into Federal Agencies, U.S. Officials Suspect

In one of the most sophisticated and perhaps largest hacks in more than five years, email systems were breached at the Treasury and Commerce Departments. Other breaches are under investigation.


From ACM News

Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88

Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88

His ALOHAnet, designed a half-century ago in Hawaii, was a precursor to the technology used in today's smartphones and home WiFi networks.


From ACM TechNews

Amazon Wants to Train 29 Million People to Work in the Cloud

Amazon Wants to Train 29 Million People to Work in the Cloud

Amazon plans to help train 29 million people worldwide to work in the cloud by 2025.


From ACM TechNews

This Robot Can Rap—Really

This Robot Can Rap—Really

A Georgia Institute of Technology music technologist modified an improvisational musical robot called Shimon to create lyrics and perform rap in real time.


From ACM TechNews

The Smellicopter: An Obstacle-Avoiding Drone that Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Out Smells

The Smellicopter: An Obstacle-Avoiding Drone that Uses Live Moth Antenna to Seek Out Smells

An autonomous flying drone called the Smellicopter uses a live antenna from a moth to navigate toward smells.


From ACM TechNews

Bad News for Fake News: Rice Research Helps Combat Social Media Misinformation

Bad News for Fake News: Rice Research Helps Combat Social Media Misinformation

Rice University researchers have invented a more efficient method for preventing the online spread of misinformation on social media.


From ACM TechNews

'Accessible Christmas,' an Application That Allows Blind People to Enjoy Christmas Lights

'Accessible Christmas,' an Application That Allows Blind People to Enjoy Christmas Lights

Visually impaired people can enjoy Christmas lights in Madrid through a mobile application from researchers at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.


From ACM News

AI Needs to Face Up to its Invisible-worker Problem

AI Needs to Face Up to its Invisible-worker Problem

Machine-learning models are trained by low-paid online gig workers. They're not going away—but we can change the way they work, says Saiph Savage.


From ACM News

Smarter Traffic Lights, Calmer Commuters

Smarter Traffic Lights, Calmer Commuters

Advances in technology may come to a corner near you, easing traffic and possibly helping the environment.


From ACM TechNews

Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware

Hackers-For-Hire Group Develops 'PowerPepper' In-Memory Malware

Kaspersky cybersecurity researchers revealed a previously undiscovered in-memory Windows backdoor for executing remote malware and stealing data.


From ACM TechNews

Drones Are Poised to Reshape Home Design

Drones Are Poised to Reshape Home Design

A rethink of home design may be needed to accommodate remote drone delivery, which could reconfigure entire neighborhoods to establish designated drone airspace and traffic patterns.


From ACM TechNews

Split Wave: Team Develops Component for Neuromorphic Computer

Split Wave: Team Develops Component for Neuromorphic Computer

Researchers have demonstrated a new neuromorphic computing approach.


From ACM News

Consumers Increasingly Touch on Contactless Payments

Consumers Increasingly Touch on Contactless Payments

The ability to pay touch-free during the Coronavirus pandemic is persuading more consumers and retailers to go contactless.


From ACM News

'A Damn Stupid Thing to Do'—the Origins of C

'A Damn Stupid Thing to Do'—the Origins of C

Today, C may be a lingua franca among programmers. This is its (abridged) history.


From ACM News

Facebook Hit With Antitrust Lawsuits by FTC, State Attorneys General

Facebook Hit With Antitrust Lawsuits by FTC, State Attorneys General

Claims target social-media giant's past acquisitions, tactics against competitors.


From ACM TechNews

Silicon Valley's Next Goal Is 3D Maps of the World--Made by Us

Silicon Valley's Next Goal Is 3D Maps of the World--Made by Us

Ordinary online users are being conscripted by Silicon Valley technology companies to produce three-dimensional digital maps of the world.


From ACM TechNews

In Battle Against Hackers, Companies Try to Deceive the Deceivers

In Battle Against Hackers, Companies Try to Deceive the Deceivers

Companies are attempting to trap hackers by enticing them with deception technology.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Find Even 'Fair' Hiring Algorithms Can Be Biased

Researchers Find Even 'Fair' Hiring Algorithms Can Be Biased

Researchers at Harvard University and Germany's Technische Universität Berlin analyzing how "fair" ranking algorithms affect gender uncovered inconsistent ranking of job candidates.


From ACM TechNews

Stanford Researchers Study Trust in Autonomous Products

Stanford Researchers Study Trust in Autonomous Products

Stanford University engineers investigating how altering peoples' moods affect their trust in a smart speaker were surprised by their results.


From ACM TechNews

Coronavirus Apps Show Promise but Prove a Tough Sell

Coronavirus Apps Show Promise but Prove a Tough Sell

Despite pilot studies demonstrating that smartphone applications can slow Covid-19 transmission, buy-in from people and states is lacking.


From ACM TechNews

Critical Flaws in Millions of IoT Devices May Never Get Fixed

Critical Flaws in Millions of IoT Devices May Never Get Fixed

Internet of Things security firm Forescout uncovered 33 flaws in seven open source TCP/IP stacks that potentially leave millions of IoT devices vulnerable.


From ACM News

Spies with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Believed to have Hacked a top American Cybersecurity Firm, Stolen its Sensitive Tools

Spies with Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Believed to have Hacked a top American Cybersecurity Firm, Stolen its Sensitive Tools

"We are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities," FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia said in a blog post.


From ACM News

Seeing Past Copper

Seeing Past Copper

Optical interconnects take aim at Moore’s law.


From ACM TechNews

MIT ML Models Find Gaps in Coverage by Moderna, Pfizer, Other Warp Speed Covid-19 Vaccines

MIT ML Models Find Gaps in Coverage by Moderna, Pfizer, Other Warp Speed Covid-19 Vaccines

Covid-19 vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and others in Phase III clinical trials may not be as effective in people of Black or Asian genetic ancestry as they are in white people.


From ACM TechNews

Police in Mississippi Want Access to Live Home Security Video, Alarming Privacy Advocates

Police in Mississippi Want Access to Live Home Security Video, Alarming Privacy Advocates

Officials in Jackson, MS, are expanding police surveillance by permitting live feeds from private security cameras to be sent to the city's real-time command center.


From ACM TechNews

App Aims to Reduce Deaths From Opioid Overdose

App Aims to Reduce Deaths From Opioid Overdose

A Philadelphia-based pilot study tested an application for volunteers, which alerts them to opioid overdoses requiring naloxone.


From ACM News

Computer Science Professor, Postdoc Launch Online Database on History of Slavery

Computer Science Professor,  Postdoc Launch Online Database on History of Slavery

"Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade," a database collecting archives and entries documenting the lives of those who were enslaved, owned slaves, or participated in slave trading, launched on Dec. 1.