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Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .
From ACM Opinion

Nailing Down the Nature of 'Oumuamua; It's Probably a Comet, but . . .

Shortly before Halloween, the chairman of Harvard's astronomy department openly declared that an interstellar object hurtling through our Solar System might just...

The Snowden Legacy: What's Changed, Really?
From ACM News

The Snowden Legacy: What's Changed, Really?

Digital privacy has come a long way since June 2013. In the five years since documents provided by Edward Snowden became the basis for a series of revelations that...

Trump Says He Will 'Address' Google's 'Suppressing' of Conservative News
From ACM Opinion

Trump Says He Will 'Address' Google's 'Suppressing' of Conservative News

On Tuesday morning, the 45th president of the United States woke up around 5:30am Eastern Time and decided to begin his Tuesday by berating the "Fake News Media...

Honoring the '80s, Def Con's Badge Is also a Text Adventure
From ACM Opinion

Honoring the '80s, Def Con's Badge Is also a Text Adventure

Nearly 30,000 people came to Las Vegas last week for the 26th edition of DEF CON, the iconic security conference. And no small amount of the mental energy of that...

3D-Printed (and CNC-Milled) Guns: Nine Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask
From ACM Opinion

3D-Printed (and CNC-Milled) Guns: Nine Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

By now, you've probably seen all the news regarding Defense Distributed, company founder Cody Wilson, and 3D-printed guns.

Senior Scientist Argues that We Should Bypass Europa for Enceladus
From ACM Opinion

Senior Scientist Argues that We Should Bypass Europa for Enceladus

In its quest to find extant life in the Solar System, NASA has focused its gaze on the Jovian moon Europa, home to what is likely the largest ocean known to humans...

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth
From ACM Opinion

To Build the Best Bots, NASA Happily Looks to Others Here on Earth


We Know You Hate the Internet of Things, but It's Saving Megafauna from Poachers
From ACM Opinion

We Know You Hate the Internet of Things, but It's Saving Megafauna from Poachers

For much of this decade, organizations seeking to protect wildlife have attempted to use emerging technology as a conservation tool, allowing small numbers of people...

The Internet Has Serious Health Problems, Mozilla Foundation Report Finds
From ACM Opinion

The Internet Has Serious Health Problems, Mozilla Foundation Report Finds

As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prepared to face nearly half of the Senate today to explain what went wrong with his company's handling of personal data for millions...

Trump's Budget Wants the US to Stop Watching the Planet
From ACM Opinion

Trump's Budget Wants the US to Stop Watching the Planet

Today, the Trump administration released a proposed budget that called for massive cuts to science research across the federal government.

Why Cops Won't Need a Warrant to Pull the Data Off Your Autonomous Car
From ACM Opinion

Why Cops Won't Need a Warrant to Pull the Data Off Your Autonomous Car

Lt. Saul Jaeger, who commands the traffic unit at the Mountain View Police Department, remembers the first time a few years ago when he was given a demo of Waymo's...

License Expired: The Ars Technica 2018 Deathwatch
From ACM Opinion

License Expired: The Ars Technica 2018 Deathwatch

Wow, that 2017, though. Quite a year. Let's grab a Juicero and take a moment to reflect on the utter dumpster fires that we've witnessed over the past 12 months...

The Mission to Learn Everything We Always Wanted to Know About the Universe 
From ACM Opinion

The Mission to Learn Everything We Always Wanted to Know About the Universe 

The Cosmic Microwave Background was created as the first atoms formed hundreds of thousands of years after the Big Bang, and it retains information about the formation...

The Real Lesson of that Self-Driving Shuttle's First-Day Accident
From ACM Opinion

The Real Lesson of that Self-Driving Shuttle's First-Day Accident

Wednesday was supposed to be the triumphant launch of a free, driverless shuttle in downtown Las Vegas.

Hacking the Vote: Threats Keep Changing, but Election It Sadly Stays the Same
From ACM Opinion

Hacking the Vote: Threats Keep Changing, but Election It Sadly Stays the Same

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election is history. But allegations of voter fraud, election interference by foreign governments, and intrusions into state...

The End of an Era Came Long Before the End of Cassini
From ACM Opinion

The End of an Era Came Long Before the End of Cassini

I have now been writing about science for nearly a dozen years, which means my career more or less overlaps with that of the Cassini probe.

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...

Tracking the Spread of Culture Through Folktales
From ACM Opinion

Tracking the Spread of Culture Through Folktales

There's a reason why the premise of American Gods is so alluring: the US is home to a wild and glorious mishmash of gods, folktales, and cultural heritage.

Zuckerberg and Musk Are Both Wrong About AI
From ACM Opinion

Zuckerberg and Musk Are Both Wrong About AI

Back in 2015, a group of business leaders and scientists published an "open letter" about how controlling artificial superintelligence might be the most urgent...

First the Cloud, Now AI Takes on the Scientific Method
From ACM Opinion

First the Cloud, Now AI Takes on the Scientific Method

Back when I was doing research, one of my advisors once joked that, if you wait long enough, you can produce an old result using new methods, manage to get it published...
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