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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.


Pufferfish-Inspired Robot Could Improve Drone Safety
From ACM TechNews

Pufferfish-Inspired Robot Could Improve Drone Safety

Engineers at the University of Colorado, Boulder have designed a pufferfish-inspired robot that could enhance the safety of flying drones.

Tesla Putting 'Self-Driving' in the Hands of Drivers, Amid Criticism the Tech Is Not Ready
From ACM TechNews

Tesla Putting 'Self-Driving' in the Hands of Drivers, Amid Criticism the Tech Is Not Ready

Electric automaker Tesla has providing a number of owners of its vehicles a software update to enable the cars to steer better and accelerate without human control...

GM to Run Driverless Cars in San Francisco Without Human Backups
From ACM TechNews

GM to Run Driverless Cars in San Francisco Without Human Backups

General Motors' Cruise autonomous vehicle unit said it will remove human backup drivers from the driverless vehicles it is testing on San Francisco streets by year's...

RISC-V Business: Tech Foundation Moving to Switzerland Because of Geopolitical Concerns
From ACM News

RISC-V Business: Tech Foundation Moving to Switzerland Because of Geopolitical Concerns

Unanimous decision of board to up sticks from Delaware.

First European Quantum Computing Facility Goes Online
From ACM News

First European Quantum Computing Facility Goes Online

Quantum Inspire is smaller than IBM's Quantum Experience, but offers the first online quantum processor that uses electron spins in quantum dots as qubits.

Drones to Drop Seeds to Boost Koala Gum Tree Numbers After Devastating Australia Bushfires
From ACM TechNews

Drones to Drop Seeds to Boost Koala Gum Tree Numbers After Devastating Australia Bushfires

Specialized drones are being tested in a program to increase koala populations on Australia's east coast by dropping gum tree seeds.

Microsoft Teams With Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Push Cloud Battle With Amazon Into Orbit
From ACM News

Microsoft Teams With Elon Musk’s SpaceX to Push Cloud Battle With Amazon Into Orbit

The space-cloud initiative is targeting military and commercial customers and comes after Amazon announced its own space effort,

Visa, JPMorgan Already Preparing for Potential Quantum Cyberattacks
From ACM TechNews

Visa, JPMorgan Already Preparing for Potential Quantum Cyberattacks

Researchers at Visa Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are developing new processes to try to thwart eventual quantum computing cyberattacks.

Virtual Reality Meets the Office
From ACM News

Virtual Reality Meets the Office

"Virtual meeting spaces greatly expand the possibilities for online communication—and, at their best, create an environment that parallels or exceeds real world...

When We Can Hug Again, Will We Remember How It Works?
From ACM News

When We Can Hug Again, Will We Remember How It Works?

How to navigate when you should and shouldn't hug someone — and how not to hold on too long.

Split-Second 'Phantom' Images Can Fool Tesla's Autopilot
From ACM News

Split-Second 'Phantom' Images Can Fool Tesla's Autopilot

Researchers found they could stop a Tesla by flashing a few frames of a stop sign for less than half a second on an Internet-connected billboard.

Undocumented Backdoor That Covertly Takes Snapshots Found in Kids' Smartwatch
From ACM TechNews

Undocumented Backdoor That Covertly Takes Snapshots Found in Kids' Smartwatch

Researchers at Norwegian security company Mnemonic found an undocumented backdoor in the X4 smartwatch marketed by children's watch vendor Xplora.

Robot Dolphin Could Replace Captive Animals at Theme Parks One Day
From ACM TechNews

Robot Dolphin Could Replace Captive Animals at Theme Parks One Day

A U.S. engineering company has designed a robot dolphin in the hope that such animatronic machines eventually could substitute for captive animals at theme parks...

Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic
From ACM News

Internet Freedom Has Taken a Hit During the Covid-19 Pandemic

From surveillance to arrests, governments are using the novel coronavirus as cover for a crackdown on digital liberty.

CA Says General Motors Can Test Fully Driverless Cars on Its Roads
From ACM News

CA Says General Motors Can Test Fully Driverless Cars on Its Roads

"Before the end of the year, we'll be sending cars out onto the streets of SF—without gasoline and without anyone at the wheel," Cruise CEO Dan Ammannwrote in a...

'Machines Set Loose to Slaughter': the Dangerous Rise of Military AI
From ACM News

'Machines Set Loose to Slaughter': the Dangerous Rise of Military AI

Autonomous machines capable of deadly force are increasingly prevalent in modern warfare, despite numerous ethical concerns. Is there anything we can do to halt...

Squeezing Light Inside Memory Devices Could Help Improve Performance
From ACM TechNews

Squeezing Light Inside Memory Devices Could Help Improve Performance

Researchers led by the U.K.'s University of Cambridge have developed a technique for "squeezing" visible light in order to probe nanoscale memory devices,.

NASA Advancing 3D Printing Construction Systems for Bases on the Moon, Mars
From ACM TechNews

NASA Advancing 3D Printing Construction Systems for Bases on the Moon, Mars

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration is collaborating with construction technology firm ICON to develop a space-based construction system.

Researchers Use Flying Insects to Drop Sensors Safely
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Use Flying Insects to Drop Sensors Safely

Researchers have created a 98-milligram sensor that can be deployed by riding on a small drone or an insect and being dropped when it reaches its destination.

The LAFD just hired America's first firefighting robot
From ACM News

The LAFD just hired America's first firefighting robot

On Tuesday, the 3,500-pound RS3 helped to put out a fire in downtown Los Angeles.
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