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Welcome to the February 28, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.
Version 2.0 of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is geared toward all audiences, industry sectors, and organization types despite their level of cybersecurity knowledge. CSF 2.0's scope extends from protecting critical infrastructure to protecting organizations regardless of sector and includes a governance component that stresses the importance of considering cybersecurity as a major enterprise risk. A new CSF 2.0 Reference Tool lets users browse, search, and export data from core CSF guidance.
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NIST (February 26, 2024)

Automatic data-driven design and 3D printing of custom ocular prostheses Researchers at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research developed a 3D printing approach that can create a natural-looking prosthetic eye in 90 minutes, compared with the eight hours it would take a skilled technician to produce one by hand. The new approach involves capturing specialized images of a patient's empty eye socket and of their healthy eye, which are used to draft blueprints for 3D printing.
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LiveScience; Emily Cooke (February 27, 2024)
In a report released Monday, the White House Office of the National Cyber Director called on developers to reduce the risk of cyberattacks by using programming languages that do not have memory safety vulnerabilities. The report cited C and C++ as examples of programming languages with such vulnerabilities, and named Rust as a programming language it considers safe. Microsoft and Google studies have found that about 70% of all security vulnerabilities are caused by memory safety issues.
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InfoWorld; Grant Gross (February 27, 2024)
Qualcomm showcased its FastConnect 7900 chip at the Mobile World Congress in Spain on Monday. The company said the FastConnect 7900 will enable AI-enhanced Wi-Fi 7; facilitate the integration of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ultra-wideband for consumer applications; and support two Wi-Fi connections to the same device in the same spectrum band. The chip can identify which applications are being used by a device, then optimize power and latency accordingly, saving the device up to 30% in power consumption.
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IEEE Spectrum; Michael Koziol (February 27, 2024)
A small drone, part of a fleet of four, last week was flown inside one of the damaged reactors at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan to examine molten fuel debris in areas where earlier robots failed to reach. The reactors were damaged by a magnitude 9.0 quake and tsunami in March 2011. Measuring about 18 centimeters (7 inches) on both sides and 5 centimeters (2 inches) thick, the drones each carry a front-loaded high-definition camera to transmit live video and high-quality images.
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Associated Press; Mari Yamaguchi (February 28, 2024)

European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen testing a VIVE Focus 3 virtual reality headset Researchers at the National University of Singapore and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research developed a system to solve Ising problems using vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The process involves encoding information in the VCSELs' linear polarization states, each of which corresponds to a possible solution. The researchers tested the system on 2-, 3-, and 4-bit Ising problems and identified the need for minimal VCSEL lasing anisotropy as a challenge that must be overcome to develop an all-optical VCSEL-based computer architecture.
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SPIE (February 23, 2024)

The internal-combustion version of the Porsche Macan won’t be sold in Europe Some European car manufacturers are discontinuing older vehicle models ahead of the full implementation of a U.N. cybersecurity regulation in July. The regulation requires manufacturers to document how they prevent specific types of cyberattacks, test vehicles' defensive systems to ensure they protect against new vulnerabilities, analyze attempted and successful cyberattacks using forensic tools, and file annual reports with authorities. The regulation applies to vehicles sold in the EU, Japan, and South Korea, including U.S. brands.
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WSJ Pro Cybersecurity; Catherine Stupp (February 20, 2024)

device to overcome fitness monitoring limitations A smartphone thermal camera-based system developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar's Rishiraj Adhikary monitors a user's respiration rate to estimate calorie burn. The JoulesEye system features an ultra-low-resolution thermal camera that monitors temperature changes in the nostrils, with respiration and caloric expenditure data extracted by signal processing and AI technology. Tests of JoulesEye on 54 participants as they cycled or ran revealed an error rate of just 5.8%, compared with more than 40% for commercial smartwatches.
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The Indian Express; Ritu Sharma (February 26, 2024)
A wearable technology system developed by researchers at South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology eventually could help humanoid robots better integrate into society. The stretchable, wearable facial system evaluates human emotions using skin friction and vibration monitoring, and produces its own power via piezoelectricity. The device features flexible, customizable sensors that adhere to the user's face and connects to an integrated system able to assess strain patterns in the face and voice vibrations.
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New Atlas; Michael Franco (February 24, 2024)

European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen testing a VR headset Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) can experience cycling routes on Earth with the help of a VR headset and a new exercise bike. The combination of the HTC VIVE Focus 3 VR headset, which features special sensors to operate in zero gravity, and the Teal CEVIS exercise bike is part of an effort to improve astronauts' mental health on the ISS. ISS Expedition 70 Commander Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency said it makes him feel like he's biking in the countryside.
[ » Read full article ]; Elizabeth Howell (February 23, 2024)
Researchers at the cybersecurity firm Mandiant discovered "mass exploitation" of two vulnerabilities in ConnectWise ScreenConnect, a tool that provides tech support a route to remote online access to customer systems, by "various threat actors." They said the authentication bypass vulnerability and the path-traversal vulnerability, which enable malicious code to be planted remotely, are easy to exploit. Researchers at WithSecure found hackers are using the flaws to deploy password stealers, back doors, and ransomware, including a Windows variant of the KrustyLoader back door.
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Tech Crunch; Carly Page (February 26, 2024)

error message displayed on a University of Waterloo vending machine An error message displayed on a vending machine at Canada's University of Waterloo revealed that it had been using facial recognition technology without notifying users. The vending machine showed the following error message earlier this month: Invenda.Vending.FacialRecognition.App.exe. The university said it asked Invenda to disable the software until the machines can be removed.
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The Guardian (U.K.); Leyland Cecco (February 23, 2024)

A machine-learning model worked out how to keep this robot stable on three leg Researchers at Switzerland's ETH Zurich taught an off-the-shelf robotic dog to perform tasks with one leg while balancing on the other three using a machine learning model. After being directed to use one of its legs to find a certain point in space, the model learned on its own how to balance on the robot's other legs while standing or walking. Eventually, the researchers hope the robot can manipulate objects with one leg while operating autonomously.
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New Scientist; Alex Wilkins (February 23, 2024)
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