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An edited collection of advanced computing news from Communications of the ACM, ACM TechNews, other ACM resources, and news sites around the Web.


Spy Agencies Turn to Scientists as They Wrestle With Mysteries
From ACM News

Spy Agencies Turn to Scientists as They Wrestle With Mysteries

American intelligence agencies are tapping outside expertise as they wrestle with mysteries like the coronavirus and UFOs that are as much about science as they...

Game Over: Chinese Company Deploys Facial Recognition to Limit Youths' Play
From ACM News

Game Over: Chinese Company Deploys Facial Recognition to Limit Youths' Play

Tencent Games says it has been using facial recognition to enforce China's rules on how much time people under 18 can spend playing video games.

We Tested AI Interview Tools. Here's What We Found.
From ACM News

We Tested AI Interview Tools. Here's What We Found.

One gave our candidate a high score for English proficiency when she spoke only in German.

Using AI to Drill Down in Physics
From ACM News

Using AI to Drill Down in Physics

Artificial intelligence can give a boost to particle physics.

Using AI to Predict 3D Printing Processes
From ACM TechNews

Using AI to Predict 3D Printing Processes

Engineers have developed physics-informed neural networking artificial intelligence to predict the performance of three-dimensionally-printed objects.

AI Learns to Predict Human Behavior From Videos
From ACM TechNews

AI Learns to Predict Human Behavior From Videos

A computer vision algorithm developed by Columbia Engineering researchers can intuitively predict human interactions and body language in video.

Japan's In-Home Robot Experiment Short Circuits
From ACM TechNews

Japan's In-Home Robot Experiment Short Circuits

A lack of demand prompted Japan's SoftBank Robotics Group to cease manufacturing the Pepper humanoid robot in August 2020, the company said this week.

Quantum Computing Wars: IBM, Honeywell Make Major Moves as Competition Intensifies
From ACM News

Quantum Computing Wars: IBM, Honeywell Make Major Moves as Competition Intensifies

The public sector is increasingly interested in quantum computing as both a source of high-paying jobs and a technology vital to corporate strategic interests. ...

Tech Spending Expected to Rise as Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Economy Improves
From ACM TechNews

Tech Spending Expected to Rise as Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Economy Improves

Market researcher Forrester Research has revised its 2021 forecast of U.S. enterprise information technology spending growth from 6% to 7.4% over 2020 levels.

Mass Ransomware Hack Used IT Software Flaws, Researchers Say
From ACM TechNews

Mass Ransomware Hack Used IT Software Flaws, Researchers Say

Cybersecurity researchers said the Russia-associated REvil hacker gang last weekend exploited previously unknown software flaws to cause a mass ransomware attack...

NASA's Self-Driving Perseverance Mars Rover 'Takes the Wheel'
From ACM TechNews

NASA's Self-Driving Perseverance Mars Rover 'Takes the Wheel'

A new auto-navigation system will allow the Perseverance rover on Mars to drive itself.

Elon Musk Just Now Realizing that Self-driving Cars are a 'Hard Problem'
From ACM News

Elon Musk Just Now Realizing that Self-driving Cars are a 'Hard Problem'

Overpromising and underdelivering.

Prominent Women Call for Tech Giants to Act Against Online Harassment
From ACM News

Prominent Women Call for Tech Giants to Act Against Online Harassment

The signatories included the tennis champion Billie Jean King, and the actors Thandiwe Newton, Ashley Judd and Emma Watson.

Pentagon Cancels $10-billion JEDI Cloud Contract
From ACM News

Pentagon Cancels $10-billion JEDI Cloud Contract

The Department of Defense said it's calling off the $10-billion cloud contract that was the subject of a legal battle involving Amazon and Microsoft.

To Fly a Drone in the U.S., You Now Must Pass FAA's TRUST Test
From ACM News

To Fly a Drone in the U.S., You Now Must Pass FAA's TRUST Test

New drone rules for recreational pilots.

Robocalls Are Out of Control. But That Could All Change Now
From ACM TechNews

Robocalls Are Out of Control. But That Could All Change Now

As of June 30, all major voice providers in the U.S., including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Comcast, are required to implement technology to minimize illegal robocalls...

With 3D-Printed 'Steaks,' Spanish Startup Eyes Mass Market
From ACM TechNews

With 3D-Printed 'Steaks,' Spanish Startup Eyes Mass Market

Novameat is using three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to produce vegetarian "steaks," which it plans to sell directly to consumers and businesses.

The Tech Cold War's 'Most Complicated Machine' That's Out of China's Reach
From ACM News

The Tech Cold War's 'Most Complicated Machine' That's Out of China's Reach

A $150 million chip-making tool from a Dutch company has become a lever in the U.S.-Chinese struggle. It also shows how entrenched the global supply chain is.

What Should Be a Student's First Programming Language?
From ACM News

What Should Be a Student's First Programming Language?

Different universities have different answers for the question, reflecting both their teaching philosophies and their sense of which language will prove most important...

Meet the Scientist Teaching AI to Police Human Speech
From ACM News

Meet the Scientist Teaching AI to Police Human Speech

Alexis Conneau's work has helped Facebook and Google build artificial intelligence systems that can understand dozens of languages with startling accuracy.
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