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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.

January 2019


From ACM TechNews

Program Allows Ordinary Digital Camera to See Round Corners

Program Allows Ordinary Digital Camera to See Round Corners

Researchers have demonstrated a computer program that turns a normal digital camera into a periscope, allowing the camera to see objects hidden from view around a corner.


From ACM TechNews

Apple's 'Everyone Can Code' Courses Now Available in Braille

Apple's 'Everyone Can Code' Courses Now Available in Braille

Apple has partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the U.K. to expand its Everyone Can Code curriculum to visually impaired students.


From ACM TechNews

Will People Ditch Cash for Cryptocurrency? Japan Is About to Find Out

Will People Ditch Cash for Cryptocurrency? Japan Is About to Find Out

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe wants 40% of payments in that country to be cashless by 2025.


From ACM News

Top TechNews Stories of 2018

Top TechNews Stories of 2018

ACM delivers the TechNews computer science and technology newsletter to more than 100,000 ACM members three times each week.


From ACM TechNews

Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype

Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype

After years of hype, autonomous vehicle developers are taking a more cautious approach in the wake of a number of crashes.


From ACM TechNews

Facebook Funds New AI Ethics Institute at Technical University of Munich

Facebook Funds New AI Ethics Institute at Technical University of Munich

Facebook has teamed with the Technical University of Munich to establish an Institute of Ethics in Artificial Intelligence (AI), via a five-year, $7.5-million grant.


From ACM TechNews

Gemalto Reports Increase in Blockchain Use for Securing the Internet of Things

Gemalto Reports Increase in Blockchain Use for Securing the Internet of Things

Gemalto reported the adoption of blockchain-based technology to help secure Internet of Things data, devices, and services rose from 9% to 19% year over year in 2018.


From ACM TechNews

Reinforcement Learning Expedites 'Tuning' of Robotic Prosthetics

Reinforcement Learning Expedites 'Tuning' of Robotic Prosthetics

Researchers have developed an intelligence system for "tuning" powered prosthetic knees, a breakthrough allowing patients to walk with the prosthetic device in minutes.


From ACM News

AI Spots Guns

AI Spots Guns

Artificial intelligence-based weapon detection systems head to market.


From ACM News

The Way Forward for Computing Systems: HiPEAC Vision 2019

The Way Forward for Computing Systems: HiPEAC Vision 2019

Commissioned by the European Commission, this wide-ranging technology roadmap shows that computing, now a commodity, is at a crossroads.


From ACM News

The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

The Hard Part of Computer Science? Getting Into Class

Computer science is so sought-after on certain college campuses that some students say they have to compete just to get into popular courses.


From ACM TechNews

How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out

How Do You Govern Machines That Can Learn? Policymakers Are Trying to Figure That Out

Expert discussions on artificial intelligence took place last week in support potentially arrive at consensual recommendations for AI policy by the summer.


From ACM TechNews

Tactile Blocks Teach Blind Kids to Code

Tactile Blocks Teach Blind Kids to Code

Microsoft is testing an educational programming kit for visually impaired children that uses differently-shaped blocks or "pods" that each embody a line of code.


From ACM TechNews

Demand, Salaries for Scientists Continue to Climb

Demand, Salaries for Scientists Continue to Climb

The Indeed job-search site says data scientist job postings from U.S. employers continue to outnumber interested applicants.


From ACM TechNews

New Solar Flare Simulation Reveals Dazzling Beauty of Dangerous Eruptions

New Solar Flare Simulation Reveals Dazzling Beauty of Dangerous Eruptions

Researchers for the first time have modeled the complete life cycle of solar flares.


From ACM TechNews

Flaws in Vendor Security Software Could Leave Some Federal Buildings Vulnerable

Flaws in Vendor Security Software Could Leave Some Federal Buildings Vulnerable

Researchers found previously unknown vulnerabilities in some access control systems used by federal agencies.


From ACM TechNews

Victoria to Allow Trial of Driverless Cars on Country Roads

Victoria to Allow Trial of Driverless Cars on Country Roads

The state of Victoria in Australia has approved a trial of driverless cars on rural roads.


From ACM News

Washington Fears New Threat from 'Deepfake' Videos

Washington Fears New Threat from 'Deepfake' Videos

Lawmakers and experts are sounding the alarm about "deepfakes," forged videos that look remarkably real, warning they will be the next phase in disinformation campaigns.


From ACM News

Mysterious Planet Nine Hiding Beyond Neptune Might Not Be a Planet at All

Mysterious Planet Nine Hiding Beyond Neptune Might Not Be a Planet at All

Out past Neptune, something weird is happening to the orbits of a bunch of space rocks circling the sun. Something, scientists believed, that could only be described by the presence of a giant planet—the so-called Planet Nine…


From ACM TechNews

The Super-Secure Quantum Cable Hiding in the Holland Tunnel

The Super-Secure Quantum Cable Hiding in the Holland Tunnel

A quantum key distribution fiber-optic cable running through the Holland Tunnel harnesses the power of quantum mechanics to protect critical banking data.


From ACM TechNews

Security Conference Will Let You Hack Tesla Car, Earn Cash Prizes

Security Conference Will Let You Hack Tesla Car, Earn Cash Prizes

Security researchers attending the Pwn2Own CanSecWest security conference this March in Vancouver, Canada, will be incentivized to hack a Tesla Model 3 car.


From ACM TechNews

FAA Proposes More Commercial Drone Operations at Night and Over People

FAA Proposes More Commercial Drone Operations at Night and Over People

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has released preliminary rules to allow small drones to fly routinely over crowds of people at night.


From ACM News

Defending the Orbital Internet

Defending the Orbital Internet

Hypersonic space debris threatens communications beyond the atmosphere.


From ACM News

Hadi Partovi Was Raised in a Revolution. Today He Teaches Kids to Code.

Hadi Partovi Was Raised in a Revolution. Today He Teaches Kids to Code.

The founder and chief executive of Code.org, who was born in Iran, says computer science is a "foundational skill," one that future doctors, lawyers and politicians should all possess.


From ACM News

We'd Have More Quantum Computers If It Weren't So Hard to Find the Damn Cables

We'd Have More Quantum Computers If It Weren't So Hard to Find the Damn Cables

Blake Johnson spends a lot of time thinking about things like superconducting cables and supercooled refrigerators.


From ACM News

Giving Algorithms a Sense of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical

Giving Algorithms a Sense of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical

Algorithms are increasingly being used to make ethical decisions. Perhaps the best example of this is a high-tech take on the ethical dilemma known as the trolley problem: if a self-driving car cannot stop itself from killing…


From ACM TechNews

Venture Capitalists Balk at Proposed Export Limits on AI, Quantum Computing

Venture Capitalists Balk at Proposed Export Limits on AI, Quantum Computing

Venture capitalists are warning the Trump administration against limiting exports on emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing.


From ACM TechNews

How Do You Fight an Algorithm You Cannot See?

How Do You Fight an Algorithm You Cannot See?

Activists in Germany have facilitated a method to assess the accountability of proprietary algorithms via a crowdsourcing platform.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Hotel Loses Love for Robots

Robot Hotel Loses Love for Robots

A hotel in Japan hyped as the world's first robot-staffed hotel has eliminated more than half of its robots due to mounting complaints.


From ACM TechNews

Oxford Suspends Research Grants From Huawei Over Security Concerns

Oxford Suspends Research Grants From Huawei Over Security Concerns

Security concerns have prompted Oxford University in the U.K. to sever ties with Huawei.