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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

July 2020


From ACM TechNews

A Speedier Solution for Molecular Biomedical Research

A Speedier Solution for Molecular Biomedical Research

Doctors, medical researchers, and quantum physicists together have developed an algorithm that analyzes nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy readings using quantum computers.


From ACM TechNews

Scientists Build Model to Detect Early Signs of Depression in Text

Scientists Build Model to Detect Early Signs of Depression in Text

Scientists at Canada's University of Alberta have created a machine learning model that can identify linguistic clues indicating early signs of depression in written text, like Twitter messages. T


From ACM TechNews

BadPower Attack Corrupts Fast Chargers to Melt or Set Your Device on Fire

BadPower Attack Corrupts Fast Chargers to Melt or Set Your Device on Fire

Chinese security researchers from Tencent's Xuanwu Lab said they can corrupt the firmware of fast chargers to cause damage to the items they charge.

The BadPower exploit alters the default charging setting to deliver more …


From ACM TechNews

Meet Scout: Amazon Is Taking Its Prime Delivery Robots to the South

Meet Scout: Amazon Is Taking Its Prime Delivery Robots to the South

Amazon has announced the deployment of its Scout autonomous delivery system to Atlanta, GA, and Franklin, TN, following year-long pilots elsewhere.


From ACM TechNews

Google Promises Privacy with Virus App but Can Still Collect Location Data

Google Promises Privacy with Virus App but Can Still Collect Location Data

Despite Google's promise that its smartphone software does not track user locations, governments were surprised to learn location-setting must be active for the software to work with Android phones.


From ACM News

‘Ethically troubling.’ University Reopening Plans Put Professors, Students on Edge

 ‘Ethically troubling.’ University Reopening Plans Put Professors, Students on Edge

Universities across the United States are grappling with how to reopen safely amid a pandemic.


From ACM News

What's That Smell?

What's That Smell?

A new system can mimic the brain's olfactory senses.


From ACM TechNews

Blueprint for the Perfect Coronavirus App

Blueprint for the Perfect Coronavirus App

Researchers have outlined the ethical and legal challenges of developing and implementing digital tools for managing the Covid-19 pandemic.


From ACM TechNews

New York Bans Facial Recognition in Schools Statewide

New York Bans Facial Recognition in Schools Statewide

The New York State legislature Wednesday passed a moratorium on the use of facial recognition and other biometric identification methods in schools statewide until 2022.


From ACM TechNews

Top Programming Languages 2020

Top Programming Languages 2020

Python's dominance as the most popular programming language is holding steady in 2020, according to IEEE Spectrum's latest rankings of top languages.


From ACM TechNews

Self-Driving Industry Takes to the Highway After Robotaxi Failure

Self-Driving Industry Takes to the Highway After Robotaxi Failure

FThe autonomous vehicle industry is refocusing on more-profitable opportunities after efforts to commercialize robotaxis failed to live up to the hype.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Developing Tools to Calculate AI's Carbon Footprint

Researchers Developing Tools to Calculate AI's Carbon Footprint

Researchers are creating tools to calculate the carbon footprint of artificial intelligence models to help developers understand their environmental impact.


From ACM Careers

University Reopening Plans Under Fire

University Reopening Plans Under Fire

Hundreds of universities across the United States are poised to reopen their campuses this fall with a mix of online and in-person courses. Academics are dismayed.


From ACM News

New DOE Blueprint to Pave the Way for a Nationwide Quantum Internet

New DOE Blueprint to Pave the Way for a Nationwide Quantum Internet

"The Department of Energy is proud to play an instrumental role in the development of the national quantum Internet," U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said in a news release.


From ACM News

A Tool for Hardening Java Crypto

A Tool for Hardening Java Crypto

A new tool identifies cryptographic vulnerabilities in Java (and soon, in Python) automatically.


From ACM News

Tracking Misinformation Campaigns in Real-Time Is Possible, Study Shows

Tracking Misinformation Campaigns in Real-Time Is Possible, Study Shows

The researchers hope software engineers will be able to build on their work to create a real-time monitoring system for exposing foreign influence in American politics.


From ACM TechNews

Photon-Based Processing Units Enable More Complex Machine Learning

Photon-Based Processing Units Enable More Complex Machine Learning

Researchers proposed a new machine learning approach that induces a photonic tensor core to conduct multiplications of matrices in parallel, boosting the speed and efficiency of deep learning paradigms.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook Built a Fiber-Spinning Robot to Make Internet Service Cheaper

Facebook Built a Fiber-Spinning Robot to Make Internet Service Cheaper

Engineers have developed a robot that can install fiber cables on medium-voltage power lines.


From ACM TechNews

Light Shaken, Stirred to Help Autonomous Vehicles Better Scan for Nearby Fast-Moving Objects

Light Shaken, Stirred to Help Autonomous Vehicles Better Scan for Nearby Fast-Moving Objects

Researchers have developed a technique for realizing higher-resolution detection of nearby fast-moving objects in frequency modulated continuous wave LiDAR, critical for autonomous vehicles.


From ACM News

Partnering With AI

Partnering With AI

Human-machine interaction gets a fresh look.


From ACM TechNews

Demand for Robot Cooks Rises as Kitchens Combat Covid-19

Demand for Robot Cooks Rises as Kitchens Combat Covid-19

Restaurant chains are testing the use of cooking robots.


From ACM TechNews

Autonomous Vehicles to Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Autonomous Vehicles to Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Over three dozen universities worldwide will compete in the Indy Autonomous Challenge, a race between self-driving vehicles to be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October 2021.


From ACM TechNews

Rock Star, Web Founder Teaming Up on Technology

Rock Star, Web Founder Teaming Up on Technology

The Interspecies I/O forum last week announced the $1-million Coller Prize for Interspecies Conversation, whose backers include rock artist Peter Gabriel and former ACM president Vint Cerf.


From ACM TechNews

Trump Administration Establishes $75-Million Quantum Computing Centers

Trump Administration Establishes $75-Million Quantum Computing Centers

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. National Science Foundation are investing $75 million in three quantum computing centers.


From ACM TechNews

Uncovering Crime Patterns Using Location Data

Uncovering Crime Patterns Using Location Data

Researchers have demonstrated a method for inferring crime patterns, using anonymized data from location technology platforms.


From ACM TechNews

Major Security Flaws Found in South Korea Quarantine App

Major Security Flaws Found in South Korea Quarantine App

Software engineer Frederic Rechtenstein found a South Korean mobile application designed to enforce pandemic quarantines contained major security flaws that could compromise users' private information.


From ACM TechNews

Transparent, Reflective Objects Now Within Grasp of Robots

Transparent, Reflective Objects Now Within Grasp of Robots

Roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) have developed a technique that uses a color camera to enable robots to pick up transparent and reflective objects.


From ACM TechNews

'Hands Free': Automakers Race to Next Level of Not-Quite-Self-Driving Cars

'Hands Free': Automakers Race to Next Level of Not-Quite-Self-Driving Cars

Auto industry executives are speeding up plans to automate routine driving tasks and aim to make the technologies widely available within five years.


From ACM TechNews

India Seeks to Limit Facebook, Google Dominance Over Online Data

India Seeks to Limit Facebook, Google Dominance Over Online Data

An  expert committee appointed by the Indian government has called for the creation of a new data regulator to oversee the sharing, monetization, and privacy of information collected online.


From ACM News

Google Promises Privacy With Virus App but Can Still Collect Location Data

Google Promises Privacy With Virus App but Can Still Collect Location Data

Some government agencies that use the software said they were surprised Google may pick up the locations of certain app users. Others said they had unsuccessfully pushed Google to make a change.