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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.


How Disinformation and Distortions on Social Media Affected Elections Worldwide
From ACM News

How Disinformation and Distortions on Social Media Affected Elections Worldwide

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence...

Five Technologies That Will Rock Your World
From ACM News

Five Technologies That Will Rock Your World

After the Russian hacking of the 2016 election, many people worry that technology has gone too far.

Only If It Serves the State: North Korea's Online Experience 
From ACM News

Only If It Serves the State: North Korea's Online Experience 

Ever so cautiously, North Korea is going online.

Texas Gunman's iPhone Could Reignite FBI-Apple Feud Over Encryption
From ACM News

Texas Gunman's iPhone Could Reignite FBI-Apple Feud Over Encryption

The FBI and Apple are bracing for another potential fight over encryption, this time because of the iPhone of the dead gunman in Sunday's Texas church shooting,...

FBI Again Finds Itself Unable to Unlock a Gunman's Cellphone
From ACM News

FBI Again Finds Itself Unable to Unlock a Gunman's Cellphone

The Texas church massacre is providing a familiar frustration for law enforcement: FBI agents are unable to unlock the gunman's encrypted cellphone to learn what...

Russian Ads, Now Publicly Released, Show Sophistication of Influence Campaign
From ACM News

Russian Ads, Now Publicly Released, Show Sophistication of Influence Campaign

Lawmakers on Wednesday released a trove of ads that Russian operatives bought on Facebook, providing the fullest picture yet of how foreign actors sought to promote...

Building Tomorrow's Robots
From ACM Careers

Building Tomorrow's Robots

When Brandon Araki arrived at MIT in 2015 as a master's candidate in mechanical engineering, he brought along the picobug, a tiny robot that can fly, crawl, and...

How Russian Trolls Lie Their Way to the Top of Your News Feed
From ACM News

How Russian Trolls Lie Their Way to the Top of Your News Feed

Going viral used to be harmless.

Twitter Bans Russian Government-Owned News Sites RT and Sputnik from Buying Ads
From ACM News

Twitter Bans Russian Government-Owned News Sites RT and Sputnik from Buying Ads

Twitter is banning two Russian government-affiliated news sites from advertising on its platform, the social network said Thursday.

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...

Overcoming Disabilities
From Communications of the ACM

Overcoming Disabilities

Brain-computer interfaces hold the promise of fully featured replacements for body parts that don't work or are missing.

How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media
From ACM News

How Fiction Becomes Fact on Social Media

Hours after the Las Vegas massacre, Travis McKinney's Facebook feed was hit with a scattershot of conspiracy theories.

Take a Walk on Mars, in Your Own Living Room
From ACM News

Take a Walk on Mars, in Your Own Living Room

When NASA scientists want to follow the path of the Curiosity rover on Mars, they can don a mixed-reality headset and virtually explore the Martian landscape.

FBI Couldn't Access Nearly 7K Devices Because of Encryption  
From ACM News

FBI Couldn't Access Nearly 7K Devices Because of Encryption  

The FBI hasn't been able to retrieve data from more than half of the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Sunday...

Mapping the Great Barrier Reef with Cameras, Drones and NASA Tech
From ACM News

Mapping the Great Barrier Reef with Cameras, Drones and NASA Tech

Richard Vevers, a British underwater photographer, was horrified when he returned in 2015 to a colourful reef in American Samoa he had shot a year earlier. It had...

It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone's Location with Mobile Ads
From ACM News

It Takes Just $1,000 to Track Someone's Location with Mobile Ads

When you consider the nagging privacy risks of online advertising, you may find comfort in the thought of a vast, abstract company like Pepsi or Nike viewing you...

Justices to Decide on Forcing Technology Firms to Provide Data Held Abroad
From ACM News

Justices to Decide on Forcing Technology Firms to Provide Data Held Abroad

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether federal prosecutors can force technology companies to turn over data stored outside the United States. 

Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive to Expel Them
From ACM News

Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive to Expel Them

On Wednesday, the exterior of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters bore an eerie message: "Ban Russian Bots." Someone—the company doesn't know who—projected the...

Google, Facebook and Twitter Scramble to Hold Washington at Bay
From ACM Careers

Google, Facebook and Twitter Scramble to Hold Washington at Bay

Google summoned about 200 policy staff from around the world last month for a debate on whether the company's size has made it too attractive as a target for government...

Russians Took a Page from Corporate America by Using Facebook Tool to ID and Influence Voters
From ACM News

Russians Took a Page from Corporate America by Using Facebook Tool to ID and Influence Voters

Russian operatives set up an array of misleading Web sites and social media pages to identify American voters susceptible to propaganda, then used a powerful Facebook...
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