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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.

October 2020


From ACM TechNews

The Contest to Protect Almost Everything on the Internet

The Contest to Protect Almost Everything on the Internet

Hundreds of the world's leading cryptographers are competing to develop encryption standards to protect online data against classical and quantum-computing cyberattacks.


From ACM TechNews

Bringing Power Tool From Math Into Quantum Computing

Bringing Power Tool From Math Into Quantum Computing

Scientists at Japan's Tokyo University of Science designed a novel quantum circuit that calculates the fast Fourier transform faster and more efficiently than previously possible.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Dolphin Could Replace Captive Animals at Theme Parks One Day

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.


From ACM TechNews

Buenos Aires Using Facial Recognition System That Tracks Child Suspects, Rights Group Says

Buenos Aires Using Facial Recognition System That Tracks Child Suspects, Rights Group Says

Human Rights Watch says Buenos Aires is using a facial recognition system connected to a database that includes child suspects and is publishing warrants for their arrest.


From ACM TechNews

Undocumented Backdoor That Covertly Takes Snapshots Found in Kids' Smartwatch

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.


From ACM TechNews

Voter Check-in System to Blame for Slow-Moving Lines in Georgia

Voter Check-in System to Blame for Slow-Moving Lines in Georgia

Check-in computers unable to accommodate record turnouts were mainly to blame for slow-moving lines at early voting locations this week in Georgia.


From ACM News

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

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.


From ACM TechNews

U.S. Moves to Protect Technologies Considered Critical to National Security

U.S. Moves to Protect Technologies Considered Critical to National Security

The U.S. National Security Council on Thursday issued guidelines to protect technologies crucial to national security.


From ACM TechNews

FBI/DHS: Government Systems Face Threat From Zerologon Exploits

FBI/DHS: Government Systems Face Threat From Zerologon Exploits

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Homeland Security have detected attackers exploiting a Windows vulnerability against state and local governments.


From ACM TechNews

In Singapore, Facial Recognition Getting Woven Into Everyday Life

In Singapore, Facial Recognition Getting Woven Into Everyday Life

Singaporeans will be able to access government and other services through a facial recognition feature in its SingPass national identity program.


From ACM TechNews

Computer Model Simulation Explains Star Distributions in Galaxy Discs

Computer Model Simulation Explains Star Distributions in Galaxy Discs

Researchers used a new computer model to show the impact of gas clouds on the exponential fade in galaxy discs in an effort to explain star distributions.


From ACM TechNews

Japan Supercomputer Shows Humidity Affects Aerosol Spread of Coronavirus

Japan Supercomputer Shows Humidity Affects Aerosol Spread of Coronavirus

Humidity can have a major impact on the dispersion of virus particles, according to a study by researchers at Kobe University in Japan and research giant Riken.


From ACM News

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

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 Ammann wrote in a company blog.


From ACM News

Twitter Changes Course After Republicans Claim ‘Election Interference’

Twitter Changes Course After Republicans Claim ‘Election Interference’

It had blocked an unsubstantiated New York Post article about the Bidens, but said late Thursday that it would allow similar content to be shared.


From ACM News

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

'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 the advance of the killer robots?


From ACM News

2.1 Million of the Oldest Internet Posts Are Now Online for Anyone to Read

2.1 Million of the Oldest Internet Posts Are Now Online for Anyone to Read

Jozef Jarosciak just put millions of early Usenet posts on a browsable archive for the first time.


From ACM News

How Old is Your Brain?

How Old is Your Brain?

Machine learning can help assess the physical age of one’s brain.


From ACM TechNews

Can Businesses Keep Up With Cyber Threats?

Can Businesses Keep Up With Cyber Threats?

Market research firm Gartner forecasts cybersecurity spending by companies and governments will grow 9% annually from 2021 to 2024.


From ACM TechNews

Squeezing Light Inside Memory Devices Could Help Improve Performance

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,.


From ACM TechNews

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

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.


From ACM TechNews

Flaws in Top Antivirus Software Could Make Computers More Vulnerable

Flaws in Top Antivirus Software Could Make Computers More Vulnerable

CyberArk researcher Eran Shimony has revealed security vulnerabilities in popular antivirus solutions.


From ACM News

The LAFD just hired America's first firefighting robot

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.


From ACM News

Banishing Blackouts

Banishing Blackouts

An Argonne researcher upgrades supercomputer optimization algorithms to boost reliability and resilience in U.S. power systems.


From ACM News

AI Shakes Up the Seismology World

AI Shakes Up the Seismology World

Artificial intelligence is reshaping our understanding of earthquakes and other seismological events


From ACM TechNews

China's Quiet Experiment Let Millions View Long-Banned Websites

China's Quiet Experiment Let Millions View Long-Banned Websites

China allowed millions of its citizens access to long-banned foreign websites like YouTube and Instagram in a two-week experiment of the Tuber mobile browser application.


From ACM TechNews

Researchers Use Flying Insects to Drop Sensors Safely

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.


From ACM TechNews

Software Spots, Fixes Hang Bugs in Seconds

Software Spots, Fixes Hang Bugs in Seconds

New software developed at North Carolina State University can identify and fix so-called hang bugs.


From ACM TechNews

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

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

Researchers at Israel's Ben Gurion University of the Negev found they could fool Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance systems into automatically reacting without warning.


From ACM TechNews

VR Software Allows Scientists to 'Walk' Inside Cells

VR Software Allows Scientists to 'Walk' Inside Cells

New software enables super-resolution microscopy data to be visualized and analyzed in virtual reality.


From ACM TechNews

Woolworths Launches Automated eStore in Melbourne

Woolworths Launches Automated eStore in Melbourne

Woolworths in Australia is using technology to accelerate delivery of online orders and potentially improve order accuracy.