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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.


Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88
From ACM News

Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88

His ALOHAnet, designed a half-century ago in Hawaii, was a precursor to the technology used in today's smartphones and home WiFi networks.

Smarter Traffic Lights, Calmer Commuters
From ACM News

Smarter Traffic Lights, Calmer Commuters

Advances in technology may come to a corner near you, easing traffic and possibly helping the environment.

Coronavirus Apps Show Promise but Prove a Tough Sell
From ACM TechNews

Coronavirus Apps Show Promise but Prove a Tough Sell

Despite pilot studies demonstrating that smartphone applications can slow Covid-19 transmission, buy-in from people and states is lacking.

Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves
From ACM News

Police Drones Are Starting to Think for Themselves

In one Southern California city, flying drones with artificial intelligence are aiding investigations while presenting new civil rights questions.

Cyberattacks Discovered on Vaccine Distribution Operations
From ACM News

Cyberattacks Discovered on Vaccine Distribution Operations

IBM has found that companies and governments have been targeted by unknown attackers, prompting a warning from the Homeland Security Department.

Do You Have a Conflict of Interest? This Robotic Assistant May Find It First
From ACM TechNews

Do You Have a Conflict of Interest? This Robotic Assistant May Find It First

A Swiss publisher of open-access journals has rolled out a robotic review assistant to check for potential conflicts of interest.

London AI Lab Claims Breakthrough That Could Accelerate Drug Discovery
From ACM News

London AI Lab Claims Breakthrough That Could Accelerate Drug Discovery

Researchers at DeepMind say they have solved "the protein folding problem," a task that has bedeviled scientists for more than 50 years.

Job Interviews Without Interviewers, Products of the Pandemic
From ACM News

Job Interviews Without Interviewers, Products of the Pandemic

Video responses to set questions, online games that measure a person's traits and skills: The future of interviews is coming to a wider variety of professions in...

Need a Hypothesis? This A.I. Has One
From ACM News

Need a Hypothesis? This A.I. Has One

Slowly, machine-learning systems are beginning to generate ideas, not just test them.

An Angel on the Shoulder of Your Teenage Driver
From ACM News

An Angel on the Shoulder of Your Teenage Driver

Many automakers now offer driving monitors as optional or standard components that warn parents if their teenagers are not driving well.

Don't Fear the Robots, and Other Lessons From a Study of the Digital Economy
From ACM News

Don't Fear the Robots, and Other Lessons From a Study of the Digital Economy

A task force assembled by MIT examined how technology has changed, and will change, the work force.

Surviving Weed-Out Classes in Science May Be a State of Mind
From ACM News

Surviving Weed-Out Classes in Science May Be a State of Mind

Social ties to classmates and how students feel could be more important than innate ability when it comes to enduring early STEM courses.

Training Facial Recognition on Some New Furry Friends: Bears
From ACM TechNews

Training Facial Recognition on Some New Furry Friends: Bears

Silicon Valley software developers have trained facial recognition technology to monitor individual bears, as part of a project called BearID.

Apple Introduces New Macs With the First Apple Chips
From ACM News

Apple Introduces New Macs With the First Apple Chips

Apple unveiled three new Mac computers that use processors the company created itself, ending its reliance on Intel.

Officials Warn of Cyberattacks on Hospitals as Virus Cases Spike
From ACM News

Officials Warn of Cyberattacks on Hospitals as Virus Cases Spike

Government officials warned that hackers were seeking to hold American hospitals' data hostage in exchange for ransom payments.

´╗┐Does Palantir See Too Much?
From ACM News

´╗┐Does Palantir See Too Much?

The tech giant helps governments and law enforcement decipher vast amounts of data — to mysterious and, some say, dangerous ends.

Finally, the First Room-Temperature Superconductor
From ACM News

Finally, the First Room-Temperature Superconductor

It conveys electricity in the climate of a crisp fall day, but only under pressures comparable to what you'd find closer to Earth's core.

Russians Who Pose Election Threat Have Hacked Nuclear Plants and Power Grid
From ACM News

Russians Who Pose Election Threat Have Hacked Nuclear Plants and Power Grid

The hacking group, Energetic Bear, is among Russia's stealthiest. It appears to be casting a wide net to find useful targets ahead of the election, experts said...

Fix, or Toss? The ‘Right to Repair’ Movement Gains Ground
From ACM News

Fix, or Toss? The ‘Right to Repair’ Movement Gains Ground

Both Republicans and Democrats are pursuing laws to make it easier for people to fix cellphones, cars, even hospital ventilators. In Europe, the movement is further...

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police
From ACM News

Activists Turn Facial Recognition Tools Against the Police

"We're now approaching the technological threshold where the little guys can do it to the big guys," one researcher said.
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