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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.

November 2020


From ACM News

The Role of LARPing in Computer Science Education

The Role of LARPing in Computer Science Education

´╗┐Live-action roleplaying (LARPing) could make computer science education more engaging and effective.


From ACM News

The FBI Buying 140 Robots to Handle Paper Records

The FBI Buying 140 Robots to Handle Paper Records

The robots will glide along an overhead track, drop down at the right place, and retrieve whatever file or record is needed.


From ACM News

Apple to Pay $113 Million to Settle State Investigation into iPhone 'Batterygate'

Apple to Pay $113 Million to Settle State Investigation into iPhone 'Batterygate'

Investigators from 34 states and the District of Columbia, including Democratic and Republican attorneys general, joined the settlement.


From ACM TechNews

'Extremely Aggressive' Internet Censorship Spreads in the World's Democracies

'Extremely Aggressive' Internet Censorship Spreads in the World's Democracies

University of Michigan researchers used an automated censorship tracking system to demonstrate that online censorship is proliferating in even the freest countries.


From ACM TechNews

'Most Secure' U.S. Election Not Without Problems

'Most Secure' U.S. Election Not Without Problems

Although federal officials declared the 2020 presidential election the "most secure in American history," there were still technical problems.


From ACM TechNews

Meat Giant Tyson Girds for Virus Surge, Tracking Covid-19 with Algorithms

Meat Giant Tyson Girds for Virus Surge, Tracking Covid-19 with Algorithms

Tyson Foods CEO Dean Banks said the U.S. meatpacking company is using infection-tracking algorithms and employee testing to protect workers from a Covid-19 surge.


From ACM TechNews

Stretchable Sensor Gives Robots, VR a Human Touch

Stretchable Sensor Gives Robots, VR a Human Touch

Cornell University researchers have developed a fiber-optic sensor that can be use in a stretchable skin to sense deformations like pressure, bending, and strain.


From ACM TechNews

Employee Surveillance Software Demand Increased as Workers Transitioned to Home Working

Employee Surveillance Software Demand Increased as Workers Transitioned to Home Working

A study by website Top10VPN found demand for employee surveillance software rose 55% in June 2020, compared to the average before the Covid-19 pandemic.


From ACM TechNews

Boston Dynamics Dog Robot Learns New Tricks on BP Oil Rig

Boston Dynamics Dog Robot Learns New Tricks on BP Oil Rig

Boston Dynamics is programming its "Spot" dog robot to read gauges, look for corrosion, construct maps, and detect methane leaks.


From ACM News

Don't Fear the Robots, and Other Lessons From a Study of the Digital Economy

Don't Fear the Robots, and Other Lessons From a Study of the Digital Economy

A task force assembled by MIT examined how technology has changed, and will change, the work force.


From ACM TechNews

How to Make AI Less Biased

How to Make AI Less Biased

Academic researchers and the technology industry are working to eliminate bias from artificial intelligence systems.


From ACM TechNews

'Robotic Snake' Device Grips, Picks Up Objects

'Robotic Snake' Device Grips, Picks Up Objects

A soft fabric robotic gripper developed by University of New South Wales Sydney engineers can grasp, pick up, and release fragile objects without breaking them.


From ACM TechNews

A Measure of Smell

A Measure of Smell

Computer scientists, neurobiologists, and a master-perfumer at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have developed a framework for odors that maps how they are perceived.


From ACM News

Quantum Algorithm Breakthrough

Quantum Algorithm Breakthrough

City College of New York researchers say they have developed a quantum algorithm with the potential to study a class of many-electron quantums system using quantum computers.


From ACM News

1 in 5 Consumers Has Avoided Buying a Brand Over Its Data Practices

1 in 5 Consumers Has Avoided Buying a Brand Over Its Data Practices

Survey finds widespread skepticism over how companies collect and use personal data.


From ACM News

Menace from Space

Menace from Space

Cosmic rays threaten quantum computation.


From ACM News

Surviving Weed-Out Classes in Science May Be a State of Mind

Surviving Weed-Out Classes in Science May Be a State of Mind

Social ties to classmates and how students feel could be more important than innate ability when it comes to enduring early STEM courses.


From ACM News

Future Series: Cybersecurity, Emerging Technology and Systemic Risk

 Future Series: Cybersecurity, Emerging Technology and Systemic Risk

Unless action is taken now, by 2025 next generation technology, on which the world will increasingly rely, has the potential to overwhelm the defences of the global security community. Enhanced cybersecurity is the only means…


From ACM TechNews

Computer Scientists Launch Counteroffensive Against Video Game Cheaters

Computer Scientists Launch Counteroffensive Against Video Game Cheaters

University of Texas at Dallas computer scientists have developed a countermeasure against video game cheaters.


From ACM TechNews

Massachusetts Earns Top Marks for Technology-Focused Economy

Massachusetts Earns Top Marks for Technology-Focused Economy

The Milken Institute's biennial State Technology and Science Index names Massachusetts, Colorado, and California as having the greatest science and technology capabilities.


From ACM TechNews

Study Outlines Steps Higher Education Should Take to Prepare Quantum Workforce

Study Outlines Steps Higher Education Should Take to Prepare Quantum Workforce

Researchers interviewed managers at quantum technology companies to determine how U.S. colleges and universities could help prepare the workforce for quantum technology jobs.


From ACM TechNews

Training Facial Recognition on Some New Furry Friends: Bears

Training Facial Recognition on Some New Furry Friends: Bears

Silicon Valley software developers have trained facial recognition technology to monitor individual bears, as part of a project called BearID.


From ACM TechNews

Walmart, Cruise Launch Pilot to Deliver Orders via Self-Driving Cars

Walmart, Cruise Launch Pilot to Deliver Orders via Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous vehicle startup Cruise has announced a partnership with Walmart to deliver orders from a Scottsdale, AZ, Walmart store to local customers' homes.


From ACM TechNews

Sensor for Smart Textiles Survives Washing Machine, Cars, Hammers

Sensor for Smart Textiles Survives Washing Machine, Cars, Hammers

Researchers have developed a strain sensor for use in smart textiles and soft robotic systems that is extremely resilient.


From ACM News

AI Pioneer Recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Computing

AI Pioneer Recognized for Outstanding Contribution to Computing

Imperial Vice-Provost professor Nick Jennings and University of Oxford professors Ian Horrocks and Michael Wooldridg have been awarded the Lovelace Medal of the British Computer Society.


From ACM TechNews

AI May Help Identify Patients with Early-Stage Dementia

AI May Help Identify Patients with Early-Stage Dementia

Scientists are exploring whether artificial intelligence can help clinicians better identify patients with early-stage dementia.


From ACM TechNews

Implantable Device Can Monitor, Treat Heart Disease

Implantable Device Can Monitor, Treat Heart Disease

Researchers designed a rubbery bioelectronic cardiac patch that can be implanted on the heart to monitor its health. 


From ACM TechNews

Materials Help Expand Volumetric 3D Printing

Materials Help Expand Volumetric 3D Printing

A volumetric three-dimensional printing method can print objects almost instantly by takin advantage of a new class of materials.


From ACM News

Getting Light-based Internet Right

Getting Light-based Internet Right

Wireless Internet via light could well be a job for lasers, rather than LEDs.


From ACM News

Alphabet Project Uses Light Beams to Bring Broadband to Remote Regions

Alphabet Project Uses Light Beams to Bring Broadband to Remote Regions

An Alphabet X innovation lab project has been working on a high-speed wireless optical communications network that uses beams of light instead of cables or radio waves.