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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.


Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System
From ACM News

Inching Closer to a DNA-Based File System

When it comes to data storage, efforts to get faster access grab most of the attention. But long-term archiving of data is equally important, and it generally requires...

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets
From ACM News

Oxygen Ions May Be an Easy-to-Track Sign of Life on Exoplanets

The search for extraterrestrial life is fairly synonymous with the search for life as we know it.

Vulnerable Industrial Controls Directly Connected to Internet? Why Not?
From ACM News

Vulnerable Industrial Controls Directly Connected to Internet? Why Not?

Siemens issued an update to a year-old product vulnerability warning for its SIMATIC S7-300 and S7-400 families of programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—industrial...

Major Payment Company: 'fewer and Fewer Use Cases' For Bitcoin Payments
From ACM News

Major Payment Company: 'fewer and Fewer Use Cases' For Bitcoin Payments

Stripe is one of the most popular ways for small online organizations to accept credit card payments. And in 2014 it became one of the first major payment processors...

The James Webb Space Telescope Has Emerged from the Freezer
From ACM News

The James Webb Space Telescope Has Emerged from the Freezer

After spending three months at a temperature of just 20 degrees Celsius above absolute zero, the massive James Webb Space Telescope emerged from a large vacuum...

Do We Need a Tech Boom For the Elderly?
From ACM News

Do We Need a Tech Boom For the Elderly?

Joseph Coughlin has been director of the MIT AgeLab ever since he founded it in 1999. In his new book, The Longevity Economy, he contends that old age—much like...

Meltdown and Spectre: Here's What Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Others Are Doing About It
From ACM News

Meltdown and Spectre: Here's What Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Others Are Doing About It

The Meltdown and Spectre flaws—two related vulnerabilities that enable a wide range of information disclosure from every mainstream processor, with particularly...

Stealth Turns 40: Looking Back at the First Flight of Have Blue
From ACM Careers

Stealth Turns 40: Looking Back at the First Flight of Have Blue

On December 1, 1977, a truly strange bird took flight for the first time in the skies over a desolate corner of Nevada.

'malware-Free' Attacks Mount in Big Breaches, Crowdstrike Finds
From ACM News

'malware-Free' Attacks Mount in Big Breaches, Crowdstrike Finds

Despite the rise of massive crypto-ransomware attacks, an even more troubling trend emerged in data gathered by the security firm CrowdStrike this past year and...

Dubious Claim of Week: Air Force's 'emp Missile' Could Disable N. Korean Icbms
From ACM News

Dubious Claim of Week: Air Force's 'emp Missile' Could Disable N. Korean Icbms

On Monday, NBC Nightly News broadcast a report claiming that White House officials had discussed using an experimental weapon to disrupt or disable a North Korean...

Uss mccain collision Ultimately Caused By Ui Confusion
From ACM News

Uss mccain collision Ultimately Caused By Ui Confusion

On November 1, the US Navy issued its report on the collisions of the USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain this summer.

Inspired By Brain's Visual Cortex, New AI Utterly Wrecks Captcha Security
From ACM News

Inspired By Brain's Visual Cortex, New AI Utterly Wrecks Captcha Security

Computer algorithms have gotten much better at recognizing patterns, like specific animals or people's faces, allowing software to automatically categorize large...

Higgs Boson Uncovered By Quantum Algorithm on D-Wave Machine
From ACM News

Higgs Boson Uncovered By Quantum Algorithm on D-Wave Machine

Machine learning has returned with a vengeance. I still remember the dark days of the late '80s and '90s, when it was pretty clear that the current generation of...

Serious Flaw in Wpa2 Protocol Lets Attackers Intercept Passwords and Much More
From ACM TechNews

Serious Flaw in Wpa2 Protocol Lets Attackers Intercept Passwords and Much More

Researchers have discovered a severe flaw in the WPA2 protocol that enables hackers within range of a vulnerable device or access point to intercept passwords and...

Is Beaming Down In star Trek a Death Sentence?
From ACM Opinion

Is Beaming Down In star Trek a Death Sentence?

In the 2009 movie Star Trek, Captain Kirk and Sulu plummeted down toward the planet Vulcan without a parachute. "Beam us up, beam us up!" Kirk shouted in desperation...

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps
From ACM News

Infrared Signals in Surveillance Cameras Let Malware Jump Network Air Gaps

Researchers have devised malware that can jump airgaps by using the infrared capabilities of an infected network's surveillance cameras to transmit data to and...

Conditions Like Those Inside Neptune Cause Diamond Formation
From ACM News

Conditions Like Those Inside Neptune Cause Diamond Formation

Carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen are some of the easiest heavier elements to form through fusion.

Secret Chips in Replacement Parts Can Completely Hijack Your Phone's Security
From ACM TechNews

Secret Chips in Replacement Parts Can Completely Hijack Your Phone's Security

Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel warn smartphone security can be compromised by repair shops that install replacement parts containing...

With the Uss mccain Collision, Even Navy Tech Can't Overcome Human Shortcomings
From ACM News

With the Uss mccain Collision, Even Navy Tech Can't Overcome Human Shortcomings

In the darkness of early morning on August 21, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker in the Strait of Malacca off Singapore.

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious
From ACM News

The Origin of Complex Life on Earth Just Got a Little Less Mysterious

Life on Earth goes back at least two billion years, but it was only in the last half-billion that it would have been visible to the naked eye.
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