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Communications of the ACM

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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.


Study Uses AI to Estimate Unexploded Bombs From Vietnam War
From ACM TechNews

Study Uses AI to Estimate Unexploded Bombs From Vietnam War

Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) used artificial intelligence to find unexploded Vietnam War-era bombs in Cambodia.

That Chatbot May Be Chatty, but Is It Engaging?
From ACM TechNews

That Chatbot May Be Chatty, but Is It Engaging?

Researchers have developed a technique for evaluating chatbots' conversational skills based on whether their dialogues are genuinely interesting to the user.

COVID-19 Response: New Jersey Urgently Needs COBOL Programmers (Yes, You Read That Correctly)
From ACM News

COVID-19 Response: New Jersey Urgently Needs COBOL Programmers (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

The danger of relying on COBOL despite its obsolescence is not a new issue.

Silent Film Reel Shows Staff Connected to Bletchley Park for First Time
From ACM News

Silent Film Reel Shows Staff Connected to Bletchley Park for First Time

Footage, preserved in original canister, shows people who worked at secret wartime site

Vint Cerf Tweets 'Good News' on Coronavirus Recovery
From ACM Careers

Vint Cerf Tweets 'Good News' on Coronavirus Recovery

"Good news," Internet pioneer Vinton G. Cerf tweeted Friday that he and his wife are recovering from COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

World's Most Essential Open-Source Code to Be Stored in Arctic Vault
From ACM TechNews

World's Most Essential Open-Source Code to Be Stored in Arctic Vault

GitHub this month plans to add another 100 million folders to its existing cache of the equivalent of 10,000 folders of source code files in Coal Mine 3, a disused...

COVID-19 Malware Will Wipe Your PC, Rewrite MBR
From ACM TechNews

COVID-19 Malware Will Wipe Your PC, Rewrite MBR

ZDNet has identified five COVID-19-themed malware strains that can wipe an infected PC's files or rewrite its master boot record (MBR).

Scientists Develop 'Backpack' Computers to Track Wild Animals in Hard-to-Reach Habitats
From ACM TechNews

Scientists Develop 'Backpack' Computers to Track Wild Animals in Hard-to-Reach Habitats

A team of collaborated on the development of wireless attachable "backpack" computers that can be used to track tiny animals in hard-to-reach habitats. 

Engineers 3D-Print Soft, Rubbery Brain Implants
From ACM TechNews

Engineers 3D-Print Soft, Rubbery Brain Implants

Engineers have developed a way to three-dimensionally print neural probes and other electronic devices that are as soft and flexible as rubber.

FCC Moves to Boost Wi-Fi Speed
From ACM TechNews

FCC Moves to Boost Wi-Fi Speed

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether to permit Wi-Fi devices to access a greater portion of the radiofrequency spectrum.

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets
From ACM TechNews

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets

Many countries scrambling to contain the coronavirus pandemic are deploying digital surveillance to control their populations.

Wearable Strain Sensor Using Light Transmittance Helps Measure Physical Signals Better
From ACM TechNews

Wearable Strain Sensor Using Light Transmittance Helps Measure Physical Signals Better

A new wearable strain sensor can complete sensitive, stable, and continuous measurements of physical signals.

Research by University of Chicago Ph.D. Student, EPiQC Wins IBM Q Best Paper
From ACM TechNews

Research by University of Chicago Ph.D. Student, EPiQC Wins IBM Q Best Paper

A new approach for using a quantum computer to realize a near-term "killer app" was awarded the $2,500 first prize in the 2019 IBM Q Best Paper Award competition...

Robots Use Light Beams to Zap Hospital Viruses
From ACM TechNews

Robots Use Light Beams to Zap Hospital Viruses

A robotic system uses eight UV-C ultraviolet-light-emitting bulbs to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microbes.

CNNs Catch Animals in the Wild
From ACM News

CNNs Catch Animals in the Wild

Researchers are using convolutional neural networks to identify the few frames of interest among massive amounts of visual information.

Some Mobile Phone Apps May Contain Hidden Behaviors That Users Never See
From ACM TechNews

Some Mobile Phone Apps May Contain Hidden Behaviors That Users Never See

Cybersecurity researchers have found that many mobile phone applications allow others to access private data or block user-provided content through "backdoor secrets...

Soil Sifters
From ACM News

Soil Sifters

Algorithms and supercomputers help tease out how soil microbes affect global climate.

Washington State Signs Facial Recognition Curbs Into Law; Critics Want Ban
From ACM TechNews

Washington State Signs Facial Recognition Curbs Into Law; Critics Want Ban

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed the first U.S. state law curbing law enforcement's use of facial recognition technology.

'Smart' Devices Help Reduce Adverse Outcomes of Common Heart Condition
From ACM TechNews

'Smart' Devices Help Reduce Adverse Outcomes of Common Heart Condition

Researchers have found that mobile health devices can help screen for and detect atrial fibrillation.

Study: Fake Russian Twitter Accounts Politicized Discourse About Vaccines
From ACM TechNews

Study: Fake Russian Twitter Accounts Politicized Discourse About Vaccines

Fraudulent Twitter accounts created by the Russian Internet Research Agency may have contributed to politicizing Americans’ views on vaccines.
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