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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.


Contact Tracing: England's Long-Awaited App Hits 10 Million Downloads
From ACM TechNews

Contact Tracing: England's Long-Awaited App Hits 10 Million Downloads

The U.K. National Health Service's Covid-19 contact tracing app hit 10 million downloads just four days after its release.

IBM to Open-Source Space Junk Collision Avoidance
From ACM TechNews

IBM to Open-Source Space Junk Collision Avoidance

Researchers are working on an open source project to determine and predict the orbits of anthropogenic space objects (ASOs)—man-made space debris—in order to avoid...

Police Drones Take to U.K. Skies
From ACM TechNews

Police Drones Take to U.K. Skies

U.K. police agencies are trying out the use of aerial drones to support ground-based forces in scenarios where helicopter or aircraft deployments may be less practical...

Autonomous Plane Takes Off with Passengers, Cargo
From ACM News

Autonomous Plane Takes Off with Passengers, Cargo

Pilotless planes are here, and the FAA is getting onboard for short-distance regional transportation.  

Elephants vs Trains: AI Helps Ensure They Don't Collide
From ACM TechNews

Elephants vs Trains: AI Helps Ensure They Don't Collide

Researchers have developed a "smart ear" to help prevent fatal collisions involving elephants and trains in India.

Automated Coding Could Mean Big Changes for Software Developers
From ACM TechNews

Automated Coding Could Mean Big Changes for Software Developers

Researchers from Intel and MIT have unveiled a machine learning tool that brings developers one step closer to automated coding.

AWS and NZ's Vector Launch IoT-Connected Energy Platform
From ACM TechNews

AWS and NZ's Vector Launch IoT-Connected Energy Platform

Amazon Web Services and Vector, the New Zealand electricity and gas distribution company, have partnered to develop an Internet of Things and analytics solution...

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

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...

Singapore Issues Covid-19 Contact Tracing Wearables to 'Vulnerable Seniors'
From ACM TechNews

Singapore Issues Covid-19 Contact Tracing Wearables to 'Vulnerable Seniors'

Covid-19 contact tracing wearables are being issued to Singapore's "most vulnerable seniors," who are not digitally connected and at higher risk of catching the...

GPS Collars for Lions, Cheetahs: How IoT, Open Source Are Protecting Rare Animals
From ACM TechNews

GPS Collars for Lions, Cheetahs: How IoT, Open Source Are Protecting Rare Animals

Smart Parks is testing lightweight GPS collars that can be fitted to lions and cheetahs in Liwonde, Malawi.  

La Trobe University Uses AI to Bring Mental Health Care to Cancer Patients
From ACM News

La Trobe University Uses AI to Bring Mental Health Care to Cancer Patients

Using the framework can help medical personnel. understand a patient's behavior, emotions, and decision-making based on data shared by the patient.

Australians Urged to Take Up Mental Health Telehealth, Put On 'Digital Sunscreen'
From ACM TechNews

Australians Urged to Take Up Mental Health Telehealth, Put On 'Digital Sunscreen'

Since the Australian government announced it would fast-track digital alternatives to in-person medical care, a million mental health telehealth consultations have...

Hacking Victims Are Uncovering Cyberattacks Faster; GDPR Is the Reason Why
From ACM TechNews

Hacking Victims Are Uncovering Cyberattacks Faster; GDPR Is the Reason Why

GDPR has been linked to quicker cyberattack discovery times in the European Union. 

World's Fastest Supercomputers Hit Higher Speeds with Linux
From ACM TechNews

World's Fastest Supercomputers Hit Higher Speeds with Linux

The latest Top500 supercomputer ratings found the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Summit system topping the list with a High-Performance Linpack benchmark of 148...

Cybersecurity Giants to Combat Cyberthreats Under OASIS Umbrella
From ACM TechNews

Cybersecurity Giants to Combat Cyberthreats Under OASIS Umbrella

IBM, McAfee, and 16 more firms have launched an effort to address fragmentation and interoperability problems in cybersecurity.

IBM Hackathon Winner Helps Fight Rash of Wasted Food
From ACM TechNews

IBM Hackathon Winner Helps Fight Rash of Wasted Food

A group called FreShip was named the winner of IBM’s Food Waste Developer Challenge, a hackathon that tasked U.S. developers to create food-waste-combatting solutions...

Google's Language Techniques Help O2 Czech Republic Reveal Network Secrets
From ACM TechNews

Google's Language Techniques Help O2 Czech Republic Reveal Network Secrets

Word2vec, a neural network technique developed to understand human languages, also can interpret raw cell tower data.

Machine Learning Sniffs Out Its Own Machine-Written Propaganda
From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Sniffs Out Its Own Machine-Written Propaganda

Researchers have modified a neural network to create a natural language processing algorithm that generates, as well as detects, convincing fake articles.

Academics Hide Humans From Surveillance Cameras With 2D Prints
From ACM TechNews

Academics Hide Humans From Surveillance Cameras With 2D Prints

Researchers have developed a technique of using simple two-dimensional images to render wearers invisible to surveillance cameras.

Researchers Warn Open Sky Drone Policy Poses Cybercriminal Risk
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Warn Open Sky Drone Policy Poses Cybercriminal Risk

Researchers warn of the potential for unregulated aerial drones to threaten citizens.
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