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Communications of the ACM

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The news archive provides access to past news stories from Communications of the ACM and other sources by date.

March 2020


From ACM TechNews

3D View of Methane Tracks Sources, Movement Around the Globe

3D View of Methane Tracks Sources, Movement Around the Globe

A new three-dimensional view of methane concentrations worldwide combines datasets from emissions inventories and simulations of wetland sources into a high-resolution model.


From ACM TechNews

Video Game Experience or Gender May Improve VR Learning

Video Game Experience or Gender May Improve VR Learning

Students using immersive virtual reality did not learn significantly better than those who used computer-simulated or hands-on learning methods, according to a new study.


From ACM TechNews

How AI Can Reduce Traffic Congestion, Fuel Consumption

How AI Can Reduce Traffic Congestion, Fuel Consumption

Researchers used artificial intelligence and machine learning to design a computer-vision system to keep traffic moving efficiently through intersections while minimizing fuel consumption.


From ACM TechNews

State, Local Governments Ask Technologists to Aid Coronavirus Response

State, Local Governments Ask Technologists to Aid Coronavirus Response

With digital services swamped by the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. state and local governments are asking technologists to volunteer to assist with response strategies.


From ACM TechNews

Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware

Attack on Home Routers Sends Users to Spoofed Sites That Push Malware

Researchers are warning that a hack of Linksys and D-Link routers is redirecting users to malicious sites posing as COVID-19 informational resources.


From ACM TechNews

Big Data Helps Taiwan Fight Coronavirus

Big Data Helps Taiwan Fight Coronavirus

Taiwan has largely controlled the propagation of the  coronavirus, which an international team of researchers credit mainly to the emergency deployment of big data analytics and other technologies.


From ACM TechNews

Synergy Emergence in Deep Reinforcement Motor Learning

Synergy Emergence in Deep Reinforcement Motor Learning

Researchers have observed something similar to motor synergy in robotic agents using deep reinforcement learning algorithms.


From ACM TechNews

Why People Delay Software Updates, Despite the Risks

Why People Delay Software Updates, Despite the Risks

Researchers found that the time-cost of software updates and users' risk preferences significantly impact whether they apply any specific update, and how long it takes them to do so.


From ACM TechNews

Machine Learning Technique Sharpens Prediction of Material's Mechanical Properties

Machine Learning Technique Sharpens Prediction of Material's Mechanical Properties

Scientists utilized machine learning to improve the accuracy of material testing.


From ACM News

If It Quacks Like a Duck...

 If It Quacks Like a Duck...

The looming threat of artificial intelligence-based deepfake voice conversion.


From ACM News

YouTube to Limit Video Quality Around the World for a Month

YouTube to Limit Video Quality Around the World for a Month

YouTube has reduced the quality of video streaming to standard definition around the world in an effort to ease Internet traffic during the coronavirus outbreak.


From ACM TechNews

System Trains Driverless Cars in Simulation Before They Hit the Road

System Trains Driverless Cars in Simulation Before They Hit the Road

Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have created a simulation system to train driverless cars prior to their deployment on actual streets.


From ACM TechNews

Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Coronavirus

Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Coronavirus

Hackers are targeting critical healthcare systems already strained by the coronavirus pandemic, compromising computer networks and disrupting patient care.\


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Use 3D Printing, Sensors to Create Models for Hydropower Testing

Researchers Use 3D Printing, Sensors to Create Models for Hydropower Testing

Researchers are using three-dimensional printers and sensors to create fake fish to help test the environmental impact of hydroelectric dams on fish populations.


From ACM TechNews

AI-Powered Shoes Unlock Secrets of Your Sole

AI-Powered Shoes Unlock Secrets of Your Sole

A new smart insole powered by artificial intelligence  analyzes a person's gait in real time when worn in their shoe. \


From ACM TechNews

Windows Code-Execution Zero-day Is Under Active Exploit, Microsoft Warns

Windows Code-Execution Zero-day Is Under Active Exploit, Microsoft Warns

Microsoft has issued a warning that a Windows zero-day vulnerability is being exploited in "limited targeted attacks" to execute malicious code on fully updated systems.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook Sent Home Thousands of Human Moderators Due to the Coronavirus. Now the Algorithms Are in Charge

Facebook Sent Home Thousands of Human Moderators Due to the Coronavirus. Now the Algorithms Are in Charge

Facebook has placed its army of human moderators on paid leave, forcing the company to police disinformation without them.


From ACM TechNews

IT Spending Forecasts Take a Hit as Coronavirus Slams Global Markets

IT Spending Forecasts Take a Hit as Coronavirus Slams Global Markets

International Data Corp. analysts predict companies will scale back information technology investments as the coronavirus pandemic roils global markets.


From ACM TechNews

How AI Could Help Translate the Written Language of Ancient Civilizations

How AI Could Help Translate the Written Language of Ancient Civilizations

A collaboration by the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute and its Department of Computer Science could enable automated transcription of ancient tablets of Persia's Achaemenid Empire.


From ACM TechNews

Software Release Cycles Accelerate, but Automation Is Not Keeping Up

Software Release Cycles Accelerate, but Automation Is Not Keeping Up

A Cloud Native Computing Foundation survey of 1,337 managers and practitioners found that most software developer outfits are delivering weekly or faster releases.


From ACM News

Keeping Government Out of Your Business

Keeping Government Out of Your Business

The Enforcer software can keep government surveillance from straying into illegality.


From ACM News

There Is a Racial Divide in Speech Recognition Systems, Researchers Say

There Is a Racial Divide in Speech Recognition Systems, Researchers Say

Technology from Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM, and Microsoft misidentified 35% of words from people who were black. White people fared much better.


From ACM News

The Search for E.T. Goes on Hold, for Now

The Search for E.T. Goes on Hold, for Now

A popular screen saver takes a break while its inventors try to digest data that may yet be hiding news of extraterrestrials.


From ACM News

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

Big Tech Could Emerge From Coronavirus Crisis Stronger Than Ever

Amazon is hiring aggressively to meet customer demand. Traffic has soared on Facebook and YouTube. And cloud computing has become essential to home workers.


From ACM News

Kenyan Government Finally Approves Loon’s Internet-delivery Balloons

Kenyan Government Finally Approves Loon’s Internet-delivery Balloons

The balloons are being fast-tracked to improve communication during the coronavirus pandemic.


From ACM TechNews

How CDC is Trying to Forecast Coronavirus's Spread

How CDC is Trying to Forecast Coronavirus's Spread

A group of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is one of several dozen teams enlisted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to adapt their annual flu forecasting techniques to predict the spread of coronavirus…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Develop AI System that Predicts Air Pollution Levels

Computer Scientists Develop AI System that Predicts Air Pollution Levels

A new artificial intelligence  system can predict air pollution levels as much as two days in advance.


From ACM TechNews

This Drone Can Play Dodgeball

This Drone Can Play Dodgeball

Researchers equipped a quadcopter with event cameras and algorithms to reduce its reaction time and enable it to avoid a ball thrown at it from a short distance.


From ACM TechNews

China to Launch National Blockchain Network in 100 Cities

China to Launch National Blockchain Network in 100 Cities

An alliance of Chinese government groups, banks, and technology firms plans to launch one of the first blockchain networks constructed and maintained by a central government.


From ACM TechNews

DDoS Attacks Could Affect Next-Generation 911 Call Systems

DDoS Attacks Could Affect Next-Generation 911 Call Systems

Researchers have found that next-generation 911 systems that accommodate text, images, and video continue to be vulnerable to many of the same cyberattacks as previous systems.

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