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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.

February 2020


From ACM TechNews

Coding for Uncertainty Increases Security

Coding for Uncertainty Increases Security

Computer scientists have designed an algorithm to combat poaching in wildlife preserves.


From ACM TechNews

Study Finds Quarter of Climate Change Tweets From Bots

Study Finds Quarter of Climate Change Tweets From Bots

Brown University researchers found 25% of 6.5-million Twitter posts about climate change were likely produced by bots, giving the impression of widespread climate change denial.


From ACM TechNews

A Growing Presence on the Farm: Robots

A Growing Presence on the Farm: Robots

Agronomists are using new autonomous robots to help them breed better crops. 


From ACM TechNews

Chip Brings Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi to IoT Devices

Chip Brings Ultra-Low-Power Wi-Fi to IoT Devices

A new ultra-low-power Wi-Fi radio enables Internet of Things devices to communicate with existing Wi-Fi networks using 5,000 times less power.


From ACM News

Angry Nerd: Don't Fall for the Quantum Con

Angry Nerd: Don't Fall for the Quantum Con

Quantum cryptography is clever and impressive, but companies calling it "unbreakable" and "unhackable" turns me into Shrödinger's sourpuss.


From ACM News

The Computer Pioneer Who Built Modern China

The Computer Pioneer Who Built Modern China

Isolated from the rest of the world, one woman pushed computing from a geeky obsession into a transformative industry.


From ACM News

Powerful antibiotic discovered using machine learning for first time

Powerful antibiotic discovered using machine learning for first time

Team says halicin kills some of the world's most dangerous strains.


From ACM News

EU’s Agenda to Regulate AI Does Little to Rein in Facial Recognition

EU’s Agenda to Regulate AI Does Little to Rein in Facial Recognition

Europe is backpedaling on facial recognition.


From ACM TechNews

Cryptographic 'Tag of Everything' Could Protect Supply Chain

Cryptographic 'Tag of Everything' Could Protect Supply Chain

A new cryptographic identity tag can be attached to virtually any product in order to verify its authenticity.


From ACM TechNews

Activate 'Bracelet of Silence' and Alexa Can't Eavesdrop

Activate 'Bracelet of Silence' and Alexa Can't Eavesdrop

A prototype wearable device blocks microphones in the vicinity from eavesdropping on conversations.


From ACM TechNews

Tyson Takes Computer Vision to the Chicken Plant

Tyson Takes Computer Vision to the Chicken Plant

Tyson Foods will use computer vision to track chicken moving through its plants as part of a plan to invest more in automation and artificial intelligence in order to cut costs and reduce waste.


From ACM TechNews

Cyborg Grasshoppers Engineered to Sniff Out Explosives

Cyborg Grasshoppers Engineered to Sniff Out Explosives

Washington University researchers converted grasshoppers into bomb-sniffing tools by implanting electrodes in the insects' antenna lobes to tap into the capabilities of their olfactory receptor neurons.


From ACM TechNews

In Nevada, Last-Minute Scramble to Make Voting Tech Work

In Nevada, Last-Minute Scramble to Make Voting Tech Work

Nevada's Democratic Party hopes to avoid the fiasco seen in Iowa when it holds its caucuses Saturday with an in-house electronic voting system that it had to assemble quickly.


From ACM News

New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations

New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations

The lawsuit says that Google, the top tech brand in public schools, used its educational products to spy on students.


From ACM News

The Computer Scientist Responsible for Cut, Copy, and Paste, Has Passed Away

The Computer Scientist Responsible for Cut, Copy, and Paste, Has Passed Away

Larry Tesler's contributions to making computers and mobile devices easier to use were the highlight of a long career influencing modern computing.


From ACM TechNews

China is Using Mass Surveillance Tech to Fight Coronavirus Spread

China is Using Mass Surveillance Tech to Fight Coronavirus Spread

The Chinese government is working with technology companies to monitor citizens and track confirmed cases of people infected with the coronavirus.


From ACM TechNews

High Performers Show the Way Toward AI Adoption

High Performers Show the Way Toward AI Adoption

A McKinsey Global Institute survey offers lessons from high-performing companies on artificial intelligence (AI) adoption, of whom about 3% are realizing outsize business results.


From ACM TechNews

Google Redraws the Borders on Maps Depending on Who's Looking

Google Redraws the Borders on Maps Depending on Who's Looking

Google and other online mapmakers revise borders depending on who is viewing them, in deference to diplomats, policymakers, and their own executives, according to sources familiar with the situation.


From ACM TechNews

Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities, Businesses

Ransomware Attacks Grow, Crippling Cities, Businesses

In recent years, ransomware attacks have crippled computer networks and extorted money to restore access to users.


From ACM News

This Could be Microsoft's Most Important Product in 2020. If It Works...

This Could be Microsoft's Most Important Product in 2020. If It Works...

ElectionGuard isn't designed to make voting machines safe from hackers. It's meant to make hacking them pointless.


From ACM News

The Shuttering of Corporate Datacenters

The Shuttering of Corporate Datacenters

Datacenters are being decommissioned at a rapid pace.


From ACM TechNews

Texas Man Close to Exoneration After Algorithm Leads to New Suspect

Texas Man Close to Exoneration After Algorithm Leads to New Suspect

A man convicted for murder is on track to have his conviction overturned, thanks to an algorithm that reanalyzed DNA and pointed to a new suspect. 


From ACM TechNews

Smart Jump­suit Provides In­for­ma­tion on In­fants' Move­ment, De­vel­op­ment

Smart Jump­suit Provides In­for­ma­tion on In­fants' Move­ment, De­vel­op­ment

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland have developed a smart jumpsuit that measures the spontaneous and voluntary movement of infants.


From ACM TechNews

Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content

Britain to Create Regulator for Internet Content

The U.K. has introduced a plan to give the country's media regulator Ofcom new responsibilities for monitoring Internet content.


From ACM TechNews

'Sensorized' Skin Helps Soft Robots Find Their Bearings

'Sensorized' Skin Helps Soft Robots Find Their Bearings

Researchers have created "sensorized" skin to increase soft robots' awareness of their bodily motion and orientation. 
 


From ACM TechNews

$1.3M in State Funding to Support Virginia's CS SOLs

$1.3M in State Funding to Support Virginia's CS SOLs

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said his state is providing more than $1.3 million in grants to school systems to help prepare students for Virginia's Computer Science Standards of Learning (SOL) tests.


From ACM TechNews

Robot Completes First Round of 'Supermicrosurgeries' on Human Patients

Robot Completes First Round of 'Supermicrosurgeries' on Human Patients

A new robot has successfully performed its first round of supermicrosurgical procedures.


From ACM News

Researchers Have Already Tested YouTube’s Algorithms for Political Bias

Researchers Have Already Tested YouTube’s Algorithms for Political Bias

More moderation associated with more hate speech and misinformation, not politics.


From ACM TechNews

Iran Unveils Its Most Advanced Humanoid Robot Yet

Iran Unveils Its Most Advanced Humanoid Robot Yet

A team of researchers at the University of Tehran in Iran has developed a fourth version of the Surena humanoid robotic system. 


From ACM TechNews

Half of Technology Workers Want to Find a New Job in 2020

Half of Technology Workers Want to Find a New Job in 2020

A survey by recruitment firm Harvey Nash found half of 1,200 technology professionals in the U.K. would like to switch jobs in 2020, with salary and work-life balance the most important drivers.