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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.


Should Industrial Robots Be Able to Hurt Their Human Coworkers?
From ACM News

Should Industrial Robots Be Able to Hurt Their Human Coworkers?

How much should a robot be allowed to hurt its coworkers?

Town Built For Driverless Cars
From ACM News

Town Built For Driverless Cars

A mocked-up set of busy streets in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will provide the sternest test yet for self-driving cars.

The Hidden World of Facebook 'like Farms'
From ACM News

The Hidden World of Facebook 'like Farms'

Facebook has become the advertising outlet of choice for many of the world’s businesses and companies.

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging
From ACM Opinion

In Praise of Efficient Price Gouging

In the four years since the car service Uber launched, it has been beset by criticism from myriad groups, including city officials annoyed by its sometimes cavalier...

A Chinese Internet Giant Starts to Dream
From ACM News

A Chinese Internet Giant Starts to Dream

Punk bands from Blondie to the Ramones once played in Broadway Studios, an age-worn 95-year-old neoclassical building surrounded by strip clubs in San Francisco’s...

Technology Can Make Lawful Surveillance Both Open and Effective
From ACM TechNews

Technology Can Make Lawful Surveillance Both Open and Effective

New technology could enable law enforcement to identify people whose actions justify  investigation and demonstrate probable cause via an authorized electronic...

Malware Traffic Spikes Preceded Russian and Israeli Conflicts
From ACM News

Malware Traffic Spikes Preceded Russian and Israeli Conflicts

A study of malware operating on corporate and government networks suggests that the communication patterns of these programs could warn of major conflicts.

The Growing Threat of Network-Based Steganography
From ACM TechNews

The Growing Threat of Network-Based Steganography

Researchers have uncovered Duqu, an unusual form of steganography-based malware that embeds itself in Microsoft Windows machines.

How Can a Civilian Plane Accidentally Be Shot Down?
From ACM News

How Can a Civilian Plane Accidentally Be Shot Down?

Pro-Russian separatists may have shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday because they mistook the civilian plane for something else...

Israeli Rocket Defense System Is Failing at Crucial Task, Expert Analysts Say
From ACM News

Israeli Rocket Defense System Is Failing at Crucial Task, Expert Analysts Say


The Space-Based Quantum Cryptography Race
From ACM News

The Space-Based Quantum Cryptography Race

One of the great benefits of quantum communication is the ability to send messages from one point in space to another with perfect security.

How to Make Smart Watches Not Worth Stealing
From ACM TechNews

How to Make Smart Watches Not Worth Stealing

A prototype device can identify someone by measuring the electrical resistance of tissues within the person's wrist. 

How Statisticians Found Air France Flight 447 Two Years After It Crashed Into Atlantic
From ACM News

How Statisticians Found Air France Flight 447 Two Years After It Crashed Into Atlantic

"In the early morning hours of June 1, 2009, Air France Flight AF 447, with 228 passengers and crew aboard, disappeared during stormy weather over the Atlantic...

How the ­.s. Could Escalate Its Name-and-Shame Campaign Against China's Espionage
From ACM Opinion

How the ­.s. Could Escalate Its Name-and-Shame Campaign Against China's Espionage

Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Justice indicted five Chinese military officers for industrial espionage, accusing them of leading attacks on the computers...

Do We Need Asimov's Laws?
From ACM News

Do We Need Asimov's Laws?

In 1942, the science fiction author Isaac Asimov published a short story called Runaround in which he introduced three laws that governed the behaviour of robots...

Three Questions For Eugene Kaspersky
From ACM Opinion

Three Questions For Eugene Kaspersky

The Moscow-based computer security firm Kaspersky Lab has analyzed major new kinds of malware, including Stuxnet, which four years ago was revealed to have damaged...

Pay with Your Fingerprint
From ACM News

Pay with Your Fingerprint

Anyone with an iPhone 5 can use its fingerprint reader to unlock the device and pay for apps or music in Apple's iTunes store.

Spinoffs from Spyland
From ACM News

Spinoffs from Spyland

It takes more than a little tradecraft to spin off a startup from the National Security Agency.

Facebook Creates Software That Matches Faces Almost as Well as You Do
From ACM News

Facebook Creates Software That Matches Faces Almost as Well as You Do

Asked whether two unfamiliar photos of faces show the same person, a human being will get it right 97.53 percent of the time.

Marginally ­seful
From ACM News

Marginally ­seful

Bitcoin, a purely digital currency, is backed by no commodity and governed by no central bank, but it exists because a small number of humans have chosen to believe...
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