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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.

November 2019


From ACM TechNews

Hackers Use a Photograph of a Fingerprint to Bypass Phone Security

Hackers Use a Photograph of a Fingerprint to Bypass Phone Security

A group of researchers claim to have developed a method for bypassing biometric security on smartphones using photographs of fingerprints.


From ACM News

Amazon Ring doorbells exposed home Wi-Fi passwords to hackers

Amazon Ring doorbells exposed home Wi-Fi passwords to hackers

Security researchers have discovered a vulnerability in Ring doorbells.


From ACM News

U.S. Charges Former Twitter Employees With Spying for Saudi Arabia

U.S. Charges Former Twitter Employees With Spying for Saudi Arabia

Justice Department says the two former employees accessed information about people who made posts critical of the Saudi royal family.


From ACM TechNews

Drones: Getting There Before an Ambulance

Drones: Getting There Before an Ambulance

Researchers at Maimonides Medical Center found that medical drones carrying emergency supplies can reach 911 callers in New York City significantly faster than ambulances. 


From ACM TechNews

Better Autonomous 'Reasoning' at Tricky Intersections

Better Autonomous 'Reasoning' at Tricky Intersections

A new model can help autonomous vehicles determine when it is safe to proceed into traffic at intersections with obstructed views.


From ACM TechNews

RoboBee Powered by Soft Muscles

RoboBee Powered by Soft Muscles

Researchers have developed a resilient RoboBee powered by soft artificial muscles that can experience collisions without being damaged.


From ACM TechNews

With Laser, Researchers Say They Can Hack Alexa, Google Home, Siri

With Laser, Researchers Say They Can Hack Alexa, Google Home, Siri

Researchers used laser pointers and flashlights to effectively hijack digital assistants like Google Home, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple's Siri from hundreds of feet away.


From ACM TechNews

International Study Finds Major Inequities in Computer Literacy

International Study Finds Major Inequities in Computer Literacy

A study by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement found inconsistent computer literacy rates across 12 countries.


From ACM News

NJ Governor Unveils Computer Science for All State Plan

NJ Governor Unveils Computer Science for All State Plan

The plan includes $2 million in state grants to help schools establish advanced, high-quality computer science programs.


From ACM News

Henry Kissinger Warns That AI Will Fundamentally Alter Human Consciousness

Henry Kissinger Warns That AI Will Fundamentally Alter Human Consciousness

"I've become convinced that AI and the surrounding disciplines are going to bring a change in human consciousness, like the Enlightenment."


From ACM News

The Internet Is Getting Less Free

The Internet Is Getting Less Free

Election interference and government surveillance on social media are hurting Internet freedoms.


From ACM TechNews

This MIT Robot Wants to Use Your Reflexes to Walk and Balance

This MIT Robot Wants to Use Your Reflexes to Walk and Balance

Researchers have developed a teleoperation system that allows a two-legged robot to "borrow" a human operator's physical skills to move with greater agility. 


From ACM TechNews

Patent Office Seeks Help From AI

Patent Office Seeks Help From AI

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is expanding its use of artificial intelligence to handle a steadily increasing number of patent applications, including an influx of AI-related filings.


From ACM TechNews

Military Algorithm Can Predict Illness 48 Hours Before Symptoms Show

Military Algorithm Can Predict Illness 48 Hours Before Symptoms Show

Researchers in two U.S. Department of Defense units collaborated with a health IT company to develop a predictive algorithm that determines if a service member is falling ill up to 48 hours before any symptoms appear.


From ACM News

Future-proofing Security for the Coming Quantum Era

Future-proofing Security for the Coming Quantum Era

Cybersecurity majors are being trained to design hardware to be immune from software hacks.    


From ACM TechNews

Parents are Concerned with School Apps Tracking Students from Classroom to Bathroom

Parents are Concerned with School Apps Tracking Students from Classroom to Bathroom

Parents and students are grappling with the privacy implications of software increasingly used by U.S. schools, including apps that monitor students' movements—even to the bathroom.


From ACM TechNews

'Listening' to Engine Blades to Stop Failures, Disasters

'Listening' to Engine Blades to Stop Failures, Disasters

Purdue University researchers have developed a monitoring system to identify the sound of rotor-forced response vibration, a common cause of premature blade malfunction in gas turbine engines.


From ACM TechNews

Russian Law Gives Government Sweeping Power Over Internet

Russian Law Gives Government Sweeping Power Over Internet

Earlier this year, Russia passed a law that theoretically would allow the government to sequester the country's Internet from the rest of the world, as well as blocking any individual posts.


From ACM TechNews

Delivery Drones Could Land on Public Transport to Extend Their Range

Delivery Drones Could Land on Public Transport to Extend Their Range

Researchers at Stanford University have developed a computer program that plans deliveries by getting drones to piggyback on public transport for a range boost.


From ACM TechNews

'Tis the Season for Surge Robots as Holiday Hiring Finds Automation

'Tis the Season for Surge Robots as Holiday Hiring Finds Automation

Retailers and logistics operators are investing in collaborative robots (cobots) to accelerate warehouse operations in the holiday season.


From ACM TechNews

Artificial Networks Shed Light on Human Face Recognition

Artificial Networks Shed Light on Human Face Recognition

Researchers have gained new insights on humans' ability to recognize faces, through the use of deep neural networks.


From ACM News

Python Programming Language Creator Retires, Saying: 'It's Been an Amazing Ride'

Python Programming Language Creator Retires, Saying: 'It's Been an Amazing Ride'

The creator of the world's most popular programming language goes into retirement.


From ACM News

Technion to Award Harvey Prize

Technion to Award Harvey Prize

The Harvey Prize will be awarded this year in two fields: to three scientists who led a breakthrough in genetic modification, and to a Columbia University professor for his contribution to computer science.


From ACM TechNews

Mouse-Brain Model Maps Spread of Alpha-Synuclein in Parkinson's Disease

Mouse-Brain Model Maps Spread of Alpha-Synuclein in Parkinson's Disease

Scientists have developed a computational mouse model that simulates the spread of the misfolded alpha-synuclein protein found in Parkinson's and other diseases throughout the brain.


From ACM TechNews

China Passes Cryptography Law

China Passes Cryptography Law

China has passed a cryptography statute, which will become law on Jan. 1, that regulates how government, businesses, and private citizens may use the technology.


From ACM TechNews

Deep Learning Is Making Video Game Characters Move Like Real People

Deep Learning Is Making Video Game Characters Move Like Real People

Scientists used deep learning neural networks to help digital characters in video games move more realistically.


From ACM TechNews

Drones Help Map Iceland's Disappearing Glaciers

Drones Help Map Iceland's Disappearing Glaciers

Researchers are using a three-dimensional process to compare old aerial photos with modern drone photography to track ice loss from Iceland’s largest glaciers.


From ACM TechNews

Volkswagen to Test Quantum Navigation App in Real Traffic

Volkswagen to Test Quantum Navigation App in Real Traffic

Volkswagen will test a quantum navigation app in Portugal next week, with plans to eventually incorporate its capabilities into automobiles.


From Communications of the ACM

Real-World Applications for Drones

Real-World Applications for Drones

Unmanned vehicles have a number of compelling real-world use cases.


From Communications of the ACM

Information Is Physics

Information Is Physics

Individual bits of information can have direct physical consequences.