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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.


'Electronic Amoeba' Finds Approximate Solution to Traveling Salesman Problem in Linear Time
From ACM News

'Electronic Amoeba' Finds Approximate Solution to Traveling Salesman Problem in Linear Time

Researchers at Hokkaido University and Amoeba Energy in Japan developed an analog computer to find a reliable, speedy solution to the traveling salesman problem...

The Next Best Thing to Being There
From ACM News

The Next Best Thing to Being There

Encouraged by the pandemic, augmented and mixed realities bring new views to end-users in medicine, industry, and the military.

'Accessible Christmas,' an Application That Allows Blind People to Enjoy Christmas Lights
From ACM TechNews

'Accessible Christmas,' an Application That Allows Blind People to Enjoy Christmas Lights

Visually impaired people can enjoy Christmas lights in Madrid through a mobile application from researchers at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

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.

Drones Are Poised to Reshape Home Design
From ACM TechNews

Drones Are Poised to Reshape Home Design

A rethink of home design may be needed to accommodate remote drone delivery, which could reconfigure entire neighborhoods to establish designated drone airspace...

Consumers Increasingly Touch on Contactless Payments
From ACM News

Consumers Increasingly Touch on Contactless Payments

The ability to pay touch-free during the Coronavirus pandemic is persuading more consumers and retailers to go contactless.

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.

App Aims to Reduce Deaths From Opioid Overdose
From ACM TechNews

App Aims to Reduce Deaths From Opioid Overdose

A Philadelphia-based pilot study tested an application for volunteers, which alerts them to opioid overdoses requiring naloxone.

Computer Science Professor,  Postdoc Launch Online Database on History of Slavery
From ACM News

Computer Science Professor, Postdoc Launch Online Database on History of Slavery

"Enslaved: Peoples of the Historical Slave Trade," a database collecting archives and entries documenting the lives of those who were enslaved, owned slaves, or...

Computing Empowers Immune Cells to Kill Cancer
From ACM TechNews

Computing Empowers Immune Cells to Kill Cancer

A team of computer scientists and bioengineers has developed a method of engineering T cells to recognize a specific combination of cancer markers.

Does AI in Healthcare Need More Emotion?
From ACM TechNews

Does AI in Healthcare Need More Emotion?

Emotion artificial intelligence applications in healthcare are rare, with many scientists skeptical of the technology's utility.

Mathematicians Apply 19th Century Ideas to Modern Computerized Algebra Systems
From ACM TechNews

Mathematicians Apply 19th Century Ideas to Modern Computerized Algebra Systems

Mathematicians have added new symbolic integration functionality to the Sage computerized algebra system.

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.

Disney Is Teaching Robots How to Sculpt with Clay
From ACM TechNews

Disney Is Teaching Robots How to Sculpt with Clay

Researchers created a system that allows human artists to train robots to sculpt clay, with tools that allow them to emulate artistic styles.  

Search and Rescue Drones Use AI to Find People Lost in Woods
From ACM TechNews

Search and Rescue Drones Use AI to Find People Lost in Woods

New drones are equipped with a deep learning application that improves the images they collect during search and rescue missions to better distinguish people from...

China's Xi Jinping Pushing for Global Covid QR Code
From ACM TechNews

China's Xi Jinping Pushing for Global Covid QR Code

Chinese president Xi Jinping has called for a uniform set of policies and standards to ensure the "smooth functioning" of the global economy during the pandemic...

Training AI Algorithms on Mostly Smiling Faces Reduces Accuracy, Introduces Bias
From ACM TechNews

Training AI Algorithms on Mostly Smiling Faces Reduces Accuracy, Introduces Bias

Researchers found that facial recognition systems show bias toward certain facial expressions.

Gladys West: the Hidden Figure Who Helped Invent GPS
From ACM News

Gladys West: the Hidden Figure Who Helped Invent GPS

Growing up on a farm in Virginia during segregation, West knew education would be her means of escape. But she didn't know her quiet work on a naval base would...

Disaster Apps Share Personal Data in Violation of Their Privacy Policies
From ACM TechNews

Disaster Apps Share Personal Data in Violation of Their Privacy Policies

Popular disaster applications are violating their privacy policies by continuing to track users' whereabouts, or providing personal information to third parties...

Technologies for the Visually Impaired
From Communications of the ACM

Technologies for the Visually Impaired

The last decade has seen major advancements in technology for the blind and visually impaired, but problems remain.
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