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Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence
Welcome to the June 12, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.

The Intuitive Machines IM-1 Lunar Lander, Nova-C, is on display To a previous generation, the stars of the Space Age were astronauts, while today, the stars are the software engineers and computer scientists that power today's space travel. The role of ground engineers and computer experts is more important than ever to spaceflight. Said Abhi Tripathi, the director of mission operations for the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, “Today’s spacecraft should be really good software with a spacecraft wrapped around it."
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The Washington Post; Christian Davenport (June 11, 2024)
CC+ became the second-most-popular programming language, behind Python, in the Tiobe Programming Community Index for June. It pushed C to third place, its lowest-ever ranking, despite an advisory from the White House Office of the National Cyber Director calling on developers to transition from C++ to C due to memory safety concerns. The Tiobe index top 10 programming languages for June are Python, C++, C, Java, C#, JavaScript, Go, SQL, Visual Basic, and Fortran.
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InfoWorld; Paul Krill (June 10, 2024)
The White House, Microsoft, and Google announced that rural U.S. hospitals will have access to the tech companies' cybersecurity services for free or at a discount. Eligible rural hospitals will receive free security updates, security assessments, and staff training from Microsoft, and free cybersecurity advice from Google, along with access to a pilot program that will match hospitals with its cybersecurity services based on their needs.
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CNN; Sean Lyngaas; Michelle Watson (June 10, 2024)
Meta wants to use data from EU users of its platforms to train its AI models but faces a strict data privacy regime. The company said that in order to better reflect the “languages, geography, and cultural references” of its users in Europe, it needs to use public data from those users to teach its Llama AI large language model. EU data privacy laws give people control over how their personal information is used.
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Associated Press; Kelvin Chan (June 10, 2024)
The United Nations has declared 2025 the International Year of Quantum Science and Technology (IYQ). The initiative will spotlight the impacts of quantum science on technology, culture, and human understanding of the natural world. Said the Portuguese Quantum Institute's Yasser Omar, who will represent the Quantum Flagship in IYQ, "Throughout next year, projects from Europe's Quantum Flagship initiative working on quantum computing, simulation, communication, sensing, and metrology will be showcasing their results."
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Silicon Republic; Vish Gain (June 10, 2024)

participation varies The share of global STEM researchers who are women increased from 26% in 2000 to nearly 39% in 2022, according to a study by Elsevier. The Dutch publisher gathered records for around 20 million researchers from Scopus, an abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and used an algorithm to infer the gender of indexed authors. Elsevier also noted current trends suggest gender parity in STEM fields would not be reached until 2052.
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Inside Higher Ed; Kathryn Palmer (June 11, 2024)

Lomax ended up canceling her $100 annual subscription to Life360 With consumers reluctant to sign up for usage-based insurance plans that track their day-to-day driving, insurers are turning to automakers and smartphone apps to obtain driving data. Many consumers are unaware that some apps already on their phones collect and sell their data. Consumers opt in to certain features in these apps that permit the analytics company that provides these features to assess their driving risk for insurance purposes.
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The New York Times; Kashmir Hill (June 9, 2024)
Some companies seeking cybersecurity workers are finding that some applicants are actually hackers. In response, some security leaders are looking more closely at résumés to weed out North Korean spies and those with over-embellished accomplishments. If such applicants make it through the hiring process, they could steal intellectual property, corporate data, or assets, or even insert vulnerabilities into code.
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The Wall Street Journal; Belle Lin (June 7, 2024)

The imager emits 300-GHz signals An imager chip developed by researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas and South Korea's Seoul National University (SNU) could be used in mobile devices for applications such as seeing behind walls. Inspired by Superman's X-ray vision, the imager emits 300GHz signals in the millimeter-wave band of electromagnetic frequencies. “We designed the chip without lenses or optics so that it could fit into a mobile device," explained SNU's Wooyeol Choi.
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The University of Texas at Dallas; Kim Horner (June 7, 2024)

The FROW-P with its wing fully retracted A single-winged "monocopter" drone developed by researchers at the Singapore University of Technology and Design can change its wingspan. The FROW (Foldable Rotary Origami Wing) drone was inspired by a maple tree's one-winged samara-type seed. The FROW-A (Active) version flies by spinning its entire body but features two wings made of balsa wood panels, each with a motor/propeller at the end. The FROW-P (Passive) model features a single wing which, when shortened, allows the drone to spiral downward rapidly.
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New Atlas; Ben Coxworth (June 7, 2024)

Apple Senior VP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi At the 2024 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple’s Craig Federighi (pictured) introduced Private Cloud Compute (PCC). Part of what Apple calls "a brand new standard for privacy and AI," PCC achieves privacy through on-device processing. When a bigger, cloud-based model is needed to fulfill an AI request, it will "run on servers we've created especially using Apple silicon," said Federighi. PCC's server code will be publicly accessible, he said, so "independent experts can inspect the code that runs on these servers to verify this privacy promise."
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Ars Technica; Kyle Orland (June 10, 2024)

Mouth-based touchpad MouthPad, developed by researchers at startup Augmental, allows users to control computers, smartphones, and other devices using tongue and head movements. MouthPad is a thin device positioned in the roof of the user's mouth, which Augmental CEO Tomás Vega said provides "all of the power of a conventional touchpad at the tip of your tongue." Motion sensors in the pressure-sensitive touchpad transmit tongue and head motions via Bluetooth, allowing users to scroll, click, and perform other actions in real time.
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Interesting Engineering; Mrigakshi Dixit (June 6, 2024)
Researchers at Japan's Osaka University (OU) integrated visual positioning systems and natural feature-based tracking to estimate a drone's position. The resulting system aligns real- and virtual-world coordinates without predefined routes. Tests showed the proposed system is more accurate than its predecessors. OU’s Airi Kinoshita said the integration of drones and mixed reality “has the potential to solve various social issues,” including issues related to urban planning and infrastructure development, disaster response and humanitarian aid, cultural protection and tourism, and environmental conservation.
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Research at Osaka University (Japan) (June 5, 2024)
Pick, Click, Flick! The Story of Interaction Techniques
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