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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.


Covid-19: The Race to Create Privacy-focused Contact Tracing Tools
From ACM News

Covid-19: The Race to Create Privacy-focused Contact Tracing Tools

As authorities seek technological solutions to the pandemic, experts fear the consequences for civil liberties.

Keeping Students Educated and Engaged
From ACM News

Keeping Students Educated and Engaged

The use of distance learning has grown quickly in primary education, in response to school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

How a Real Dog Taught a Robot Dog to Walk
From ACM TechNews

How a Real Dog Taught a Robot Dog to Walk

Researchers at Google have developed a robotic dog and taught it to walk by showing it motion-capture videos of real dogs walking on treadmills. 

A 3D-Printed Brain Could Make It Easier to Find Cancer Treatments
From ACM TechNews

A 3D-Printed Brain Could Make It Easier to Find Cancer Treatments

Researchers have developed a technique to study glioblastoma brain tumors using a three-dimensionally (3D)-printed framework composed of human brain cells and biomaterials...

How Are You Feeling? Surveys Aim to Detect COVID-19 Hot Spots Early
From ACM TechNews

How Are You Feeling? Surveys Aim to Detect COVID-19 Hot Spots Early

More than 2 million Britons and 150,000 Israelis have completed health surveys to trace COVID-19 outbreaks and send resources where they can do the most good.

Study Uses AI to Estimate Unexploded Bombs From Vietnam War
From ACM TechNews

Study Uses AI to Estimate Unexploded Bombs From Vietnam War

Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) used artificial intelligence to find unexploded Vietnam War-era bombs in Cambodia.

That Chatbot May Be Chatty, but Is It Engaging?
From ACM TechNews

That Chatbot May Be Chatty, but Is It Engaging?

Researchers have developed a technique for evaluating chatbots' conversational skills based on whether their dialogues are genuinely interesting to the user.

COVID-19 Response: New Jersey Urgently Needs COBOL Programmers (Yes, You Read That Correctly)
From ACM News

COVID-19 Response: New Jersey Urgently Needs COBOL Programmers (Yes, You Read That Correctly)

The danger of relying on COBOL despite its obsolescence is not a new issue.

Silent Film Reel Shows Staff Connected to Bletchley Park for First Time
From ACM News

Silent Film Reel Shows Staff Connected to Bletchley Park for First Time

Footage, preserved in original canister, shows people who worked at secret wartime site

Vint Cerf Tweets 'Good News' on Coronavirus Recovery
From ACM Careers

Vint Cerf Tweets 'Good News' on Coronavirus Recovery

"Good news," Internet pioneer Vinton G. Cerf tweeted Friday that he and his wife are recovering from COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

World's Most Essential Open-Source Code to Be Stored in Arctic Vault
From ACM TechNews

World's Most Essential Open-Source Code to Be Stored in Arctic Vault

GitHub this month plans to add another 100 million folders to its existing cache of the equivalent of 10,000 folders of source code files in Coal Mine 3, a disused...

COVID-19 Malware Will Wipe Your PC, Rewrite MBR
From ACM TechNews

COVID-19 Malware Will Wipe Your PC, Rewrite MBR

ZDNet has identified five COVID-19-themed malware strains that can wipe an infected PC's files or rewrite its master boot record (MBR).

Scientists Develop 'Backpack' Computers to Track Wild Animals in Hard-to-Reach Habitats
From ACM TechNews

Scientists Develop 'Backpack' Computers to Track Wild Animals in Hard-to-Reach Habitats

A team of collaborated on the development of wireless attachable "backpack" computers that can be used to track tiny animals in hard-to-reach habitats. 

Engineers 3D-Print Soft, Rubbery Brain Implants
From ACM TechNews

Engineers 3D-Print Soft, Rubbery Brain Implants

Engineers have developed a way to three-dimensionally print neural probes and other electronic devices that are as soft and flexible as rubber.

FCC Moves to Boost Wi-Fi Speed
From ACM TechNews

FCC Moves to Boost Wi-Fi Speed

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether to permit Wi-Fi devices to access a greater portion of the radiofrequency spectrum.

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets
From ACM TechNews

As Coronavirus Surveillance Escalates, Personal Privacy Plummets

Many countries scrambling to contain the coronavirus pandemic are deploying digital surveillance to control their populations.

Wearable Strain Sensor Using Light Transmittance Helps Measure Physical Signals Better
From ACM TechNews

Wearable Strain Sensor Using Light Transmittance Helps Measure Physical Signals Better

A new wearable strain sensor can complete sensitive, stable, and continuous measurements of physical signals.

Research by University of Chicago Ph.D. Student, EPiQC Wins IBM Q Best Paper
From ACM TechNews

Research by University of Chicago Ph.D. Student, EPiQC Wins IBM Q Best Paper

A new approach for using a quantum computer to realize a near-term "killer app" was awarded the $2,500 first prize in the 2019 IBM Q Best Paper Award competition...

Robots Use Light Beams to Zap Hospital Viruses
From ACM TechNews

Robots Use Light Beams to Zap Hospital Viruses

A robotic system uses eight UV-C ultraviolet-light-emitting bulbs to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microbes.

CNNs Catch Animals in the Wild
From ACM News

CNNs Catch Animals in the Wild

Researchers are using convolutional neural networks to identify the few frames of interest among massive amounts of visual information.
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