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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.


China is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Boys and Men, Using U.S. Equipment
From ACM News

China is Collecting DNA From Tens of Millions of Boys and Men, Using U.S. Equipment

Even children are pressed into giving blood samples to build a sweeping genetic database that will add to Beijing's growing surveillance capabilities.

Riding Out Quarantine With a Chatbot Friend: ‘I Feel Very Connected’
From ACM News

Riding Out Quarantine With a Chatbot Friend: ‘I Feel Very Connected’

The digital companions may sound like science fiction. But when social isolation became the norm, they helped deal with the loneliness, some users say.

Quantum Backbone
From ACM News

Quantum Backbone

An Oak Ridge early-career award recipient plots the infrastructure for a quantum-information highway.

Activists Cite Tabulation Flaw in Georgia Mail-In Ballots
From ACM TechNews

Activists Cite Tabulation Flaw in Georgia Mail-In Ballots

Thousands of votes in Georgia's primary may not have been counted, due to faulty software or poorly calibrated scanners used to count mailed ballots.

Ceze, Strauss Share ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award
From ACM TechNews

Ceze, Strauss Share ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award

The ACM Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture named Luis Ceze and Karin Strauss to share the 2020 Maurice Wilkes Award.

Tech Companies Say They Value Diversity, but Reports Show Little Change in Last Six Years
From ACM TechNews

Tech Companies Say They Value Diversity, but Reports Show Little Change in Last Six Years

A CNBC analysis of minority hiring by tech companies found they have made little progress since vowing to increase diversity six years ago.

Norway Pulls Its Coronavirus Contact Tracing App After Privacy Watchdog's Warning
From ACM TechNews

Norway Pulls Its Coronavirus Contact Tracing App After Privacy Watchdog's Warning

Norway has suspended use of a coronavirus contact tracing application to allow changes to be made.

Elite CIA Unit that Developed Hacking Tools Failed to Secure its Own Systems, Allowing Massive Leak
From ACM News

Elite CIA Unit that Developed Hacking Tools Failed to Secure its Own Systems, Allowing Massive Leak

The breach came nearly three years after Edward Snowden stole and disclosed classified information about NSA surveillance operations.

Next-Generation Cockroach-Inspired Robot Is Small, but Mighty
From ACM TechNews

Next-Generation Cockroach-Inspired Robot Is Small, but Mighty

The researchers say the new robot is one of the smallest and most dexterous robots created to date.

KingMiner Botnet Brute-Forces MSSQL Databases to Install Cryptocurrency Miner
From ACM TechNews

KingMiner Botnet Brute-Forces MSSQL Databases to Install Cryptocurrency Miner

U.K. cybersecurity firm Sophos is advising MSSQL database owners to fortify their servers against botnet-orchestrated brute-force attacks.

In Autonomous Russia, Tractor Drives You
From ACM TechNews

In Autonomous Russia, Tractor Drives You

Two Russian companies have partnered on an advanced autonomous driving system for agricultural vehicles.

Who’s a Bot? Who’s Not?
From ACM News

Who’s a Bot? Who’s Not?

It sometimes seems automated bots are taking over social media and driving human discourse. But some (real) researchers aren't so sure.

Researchers Model the Health Benefits of Electric Cars, Find 'Large Improvement in Air Quality'
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Model the Health Benefits of Electric Cars, Find 'Large Improvement in Air Quality'

Researchers in Canada created computer simulations of the potential human health benefits of a large-scale transition to electric cars.

Researchers Turn to Wearable Tech in Race to Track Covid-19
From ACM TechNews

Researchers Turn to Wearable Tech in Race to Track Covid-19

Researchers are using wearable technologies that monitor fluctuations in biomarkers to collect real-time patient data, to try to track the spread of Covid-19.

Exit From the Covid-19 Lockdown: There's an App for That
From ACM News

Exit From the Covid-19 Lockdown: There's an App for That

The Dutch government wants every citizen to download an app for tracking and tracing potential Covid-19 infections, but the app does not yet exist.  

Silq is a High-level Programming Language for Quantum Computers
From ACM News

Silq is a High-level Programming Language for Quantum Computers

Silq is a research project that does not yet run on any of the existing quantum hardware platforms.

Angling for Underwater Wi-Fi
From ACM TechNews

Angling for Underwater Wi-Fi

A new underwater Wi-Fi system could enable divers to transmit footage from underwater to the surface instantly by sending data through light beams.

Robots Armed with UV Light Fight Grape Mildew
From ACM TechNews

Robots Armed with UV Light Fight Grape Mildew

A multi-institutional and international collaboration has yielded autonomous robots that use ultraviolet lamps to kill powdery mildew on crops.

DARPA Invites Hackers to Break Hardware to Make It More Secure
From ACM TechNews

DARPA Invites Hackers to Break Hardware to Make It More Secure

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is inviting white-hat hackers to identify vulnerabilities in computer chips prior to their deployment.

Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Perfectly Ripe Peaches for Harvest
From ACM TechNews

Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Perfectly Ripe Peaches for Harvest

Researchers have developed an electronic nose system to sniff out the ripest peaches for harvest.
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