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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.


A Prehistoric Puzzle in the Kuiper Belt
From ACM News

A Prehistoric Puzzle in the Kuiper Belt

The farthest object ever explored is slowly revealing its secrets, as scientists piece together the puzzles of Ultima Thule—the Kuiper Belt object NASA's New Horizons...

Russia Wants to Cut Itself Off from the Global Internet. Here's What that Really Means.
From ACM News

Russia Wants to Cut Itself Off from the Global Internet. Here's What that Really Means.

In the next two weeks, Russia is planning to attempt something no other country has tried before. It's going to test whether it can disconnect from the rest of...

They Didn't Buy the DLC: Feature that Could've Prevented 737 Crashes Was Sold As an Option
From ACM News

They Didn't Buy the DLC: Feature that Could've Prevented 737 Crashes Was Sold As an Option

The crashed Lion Air 737 MAX and the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX aircraft had more in common than aircraft design and the apparently malfunctioning flight system...

The Future of Data Storage
From Communications of the ACM

The Future of Data Storage

Research into next-generation storage techniques marches forward, yet tape remains the most viable, dependable medium.

The Fine Line Between Coercion and Care
From Communications of the ACM

The Fine Line Between Coercion and Care

Employers monitoring their workforce must balance productivity and security considerations with employee privacy and welfare concerns.

Google Lookout Uses AI to Describe Surroundings for Visually Impaired
From ACM TechNews

Google Lookout Uses AI to Describe Surroundings for Visually Impaired

A new Google app uses artificial intelligence to help visually impaired users better perceive their surroundings by providing verbal feedback via smartphones.

Fewer than 200 People Watched the New Zealand Massacre Live. A Hateful Group Helped It Reach Millions
From ACM News

Fewer than 200 People Watched the New Zealand Massacre Live. A Hateful Group Helped It Reach Millions

As the New Zealand gunman live-streamed the massacre onto Facebook, fewer than 200 people watched. The social network said its moderators removed it sometime after...

Despite U.S. Pressure, Germany Refuses to Exclude Huawei's 5G Technology
From ACM News

Despite U.S. Pressure, Germany Refuses to Exclude Huawei's 5G Technology

The race to build the next generation of super-fast mobile-data networks has begun in Germany, which started auctioning off its spectrum licenses for 5G on Tuesday...

How Social Media's Business Model Helped the New Zealand Massacre Go Viral
From ACM News

How Social Media's Business Model Helped the New Zealand Massacre Go Viral

The ability of Internet users to spread a video of Friday's slaughter in New Zealand marked a triumph—however appalling—of human ingenuity over computerized systems...

A 'Halo Drive' Could Accelerate Interstellar Spacecraft to Close to the Speed of Light
From ACM News

A 'Halo Drive' Could Accelerate Interstellar Spacecraft to Close to the Speed of Light

Back in 2016, the physicist Stephen Hawking and the billionaire Yuri Milner unveiled a plan to travel to the stars. The so-called Breakthrough Starshot project...

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises
From ACM News

NASA Mission Reveals Asteroid Has Big Surprises

A NASA spacecraft that will return a sample of a near-Earth asteroid named Bennu to Earth in 2023 made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting...

Welcome the Plants That Move on their Own
From ACM News

Welcome the Plants That Move on their Own

Exploring the potential of plant-robot hybrids that can produce architectural artifacts and living spaces.

Stanford Helped Pioneer Artificial Intelligence. Now the University Wants to Put Humans at Its Center.
From ACM News

Stanford Helped Pioneer Artificial Intelligence. Now the University Wants to Put Humans at Its Center.

A Stanford University scientist coined the term artificial intelligence. Others at the university created some of the most significant applications of it, such...

Why AI Is Still Terrible at Spotting Violence Online
From ACM News

Why AI Is Still Terrible at Spotting Violence Online

Artificial intelligence can identify people in pictures, find the next TV series you should binge watch on Netflix, and even drive a car.

The Uncanny Valley Nobody's Talking About: Eerie Robot Voices
From ACM Opinion

The Uncanny Valley Nobody's Talking About: Eerie Robot Voices

Call it the Great Convergence of Creepiness. The first bit, the uncanny valley, we're all familiar with by now: If a humanoid robot looks super realistic, but not...

Facial Recognition's 'Dirty Little Secret': Millions of Online Photos Scraped Without Consent
From ACM TechNews

Facial Recognition's 'Dirty Little Secret': Millions of Online Photos Scraped Without Consent

Legal experts warn people's online photos are being used without permission to power facial-recognition technology that could eventually be used for surveillance...

Escalating Battle with Huawei Ensnares US Allies
From ACM News

Escalating Battle with Huawei Ensnares US Allies

The Trump administration's standoff with Chinese tech giant Huawei is entering a new phase, one that could put existing intelligence-sharing agreements with U.S...

Opportunity's Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama
From ACM News

Opportunity's Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama

Over 29 days last spring, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity documented this 360-degree panorama from multiple images taken at what would become its final...

China Is Catching Up to the US in A.I. Research, Fast
From ACM News

China Is Catching Up to the US in A.I. Research, Fast

At the world's top computer-vision conference last June, Google and Apple sponsored an academic contest that challenged algorithms to make sense of images from...

U.S. Warns Germany: Using Huawei Could Crimp Intelligence-Sharing Between Agencies
From ACM News

U.S. Warns Germany: Using Huawei Could Crimp Intelligence-Sharing Between Agencies

The U.S. has apparently warned Germany that if Chinese tech companies such as Huawei help build the country's new 5G telecom infrastructure, U.S. agencies might...
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