Purdue University Online Master’s in Microelectronics and Semiconductors
Welcome to the April 1, 2024 edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for computer professionals three times a week.

Blind People Can Hear, Feel Solar Eclipse Devices available at public gatherings on April 8 will help visually impaired persons "feel" and "hear" the solar eclipse. Creators of the LightSound device (pictured, stacked), which translates changing light into sounds, aim to distribute at least 750 devices to locations hosting eclipse events throughout North America. Others can experience the eclipse through the sense of touch using the Cadence tablet from Indiana's Tactile Engineering, a device the size of a cellphone with rows of dots that pop up and down.
[ » Read full article ]
Associated Press; Christina Larson (March 29, 2024)

Underwater Robots Help Maritime Shipping Clean Up Hong Kong's Neptune Robotics has deployed robots at more than 50 ports in Hong Kong and mainland China to clean biofouling, a buildup of algae, seaweed, barnacles, and other organisms on a ship's hull can lower fuel efficiency, increase emissions, and even bring invasive species into ports. With the help of a plan mapped out by AI, Neptune's robots undertake "cavitation cleaning" using high-velocity microdrops of water to remove biofouling, then bring it to shore for disposal.
[ » Read full article *May Require Paid Registration ]
Bloomberg; Coco Liu (March 26, 2024)

Synthetic Power Grid Safer Than the Real Thing A model synthetic power grid created by researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison could be used as a realistic test bed to develop future power grids while eliminating data security and privacy risks. The California Test System (CATS), available on GitHub, features geographical data that allows weather, climate, and demographics to be factored into planning. CATS, which simulates, rather than replicates, underlying grid data, can evaluate algorithms for operating and planning electric grids in other geographic areas as well.
[ » Read full article ]
IEEE Spectrum; Michelle Hampson (March 26, 2024)

Cloud Email Filtering Bypass Attack Works 80% of the Time Computer scientists led by Sumanth Rao at the University of California, San Diego, found that popular enterprise cloud-based email spam filtering services could be bypassed in at least 80% of major domains they examined. The filtering services can be "bypassed if the email hosting provider is not configured to only accept messages that arrive from the email filtering service," explained Rao. The bypass is possible because of a mismatch between the filtering server and the email server, in terms of matching how Google and Microsoft email servers react to a message coming from an unknown IP address.
[ » Read full article ]
Dark Reading; David Strom (March 29, 2024)

Invisible 'Human Work' Helps Robots Make Deliveries A study by researchers at the U.K. universities of Nottingham and York and Sweden's Linkoping University found that the behavior modifications made by people to accommodate autonomous delivery robots help them operate smoothly and should be taken into account in route planning. When following two delivery robots in Milton Keyenes and Northampton in the U.K., the researchers observed the robots navigate various obstacles on the street while pedestrians would move aside, slow their pace, or pause to let the robots pass.
[ » Read full article ]
MSN (March 28, 2024)

Vernor Vinge, Innovative Science Fiction Novelist, Dies at 79 Mathematician and science fiction author Vernor Vinge (pictured) passed away March 20 in La Jolla, CA, at age 79. Vinge's 1981 novella "True Names" was notable for featuring an early version of cyberspace, a VR technology known as the "Other Plane." Vinge was a professor at San Diego State University, where he taught from 1972, first math and then computer science, until his retirement in 2000. He predicted "technological singularity," the tipping point when a machine's intelligence surpasses that of humans.
[ » Read full article *May Require Paid Registration ]
The New York Times; Richard Sandomir (March 28, 2024)

Robotic Police Dog Credited with Avoiding Bloodshed Roscoe, a SPOT robotic dog from Boston Dynamics and part of the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, was among three robots sent into a Barnstable home on March 6 to find a suspect barricaded inside. The suspect ultimately was arrested. The state police said, "In addition to providing critically important room clearance and situational awareness capabilities, the insertion of Roscoe into the suspect residence prevented the need, at that stage of response, from inserting human operators."
[ » Read full article ]
Associated Press (March 27, 2024)

U.S. Farms Making Urgent Push into Technology Amid a dwindling number of farm workers in the U.S., some farmers are turning to robotics and AI to address labor issues. These include drones and GPS tools, as well as self-driving tractors and combines, sensor systems, and AI-powered sorting and cultivation tools. The U.S. government is offering financial incentives to accelerate relevant AI development and deployment. The technology could improve crop yields, make agriculture more climate-resilient, increase profits for farmers, and reduce the amount of resources, energy, chemicals, and water used by farms.
[ » Read full article ]
BBC; Sam Becker (March 27, 2024)
Microsoft's Azure AI Studio will soon have new built-in safety features to identify and block suspicious inputs in real time. Developers use Azure AI Studio to create customized AI assistants. The new features include "prompt shields" to stop prompt injection attacks or jailbreaks, which can trick an AI model into acting in an unintended way, and will address "indirect prompt injections," which insert malicious instructions into the training dataset to get the model to perform unauthorized actions.
[ » Read full article *May Require Paid Registration ]
Bloomberg; Jackie Davalos (March 28, 2024)
A wireless communications system developed by Brown University researchers uses small silicon sensors to mimic the brain. Like neurons, the 300-by-300-micrometer sensors serve as wireless nodes in a large array. Using a neuromorphic computing technique, the receiver decodes the signals in real time. The system's error rate was under 0.1% in simulations of 200, 500, and 1,000 nodes, making it suitable for brain-computer applications.
[ » Read full article ]
IEEE Spectrum; Gwendolyn Rak (March 28, 2024)

Tech Brings Loved Ones 'Back to Life' As part of its 3D metaverse platform, the Czech Republic's Somnium Space has created a VR tool that lets users create avatars that can speak to family members and future generations after they die. Called "live forever mode," the tool requires only 30 minutes of observation to simulate a person's voice, mannerisms, and movements. Somnium Space says it does not keep any of the data used to train the avatar on its servers; it is stored locally on users’ computers, so they can control how much to keep.
[ » Read full article ]
Sky News; Arthi Nachiappan (March 29, 2024)

U.S. Military's Investments into AI Skyrocket The Brookings Institution reported a nearly 1,200% surge in the potential value of AI-related U.S. government contracts, from $355 million in the year ending in August 2022 to $4.6 billion in the year ending in August 2023. The U.S. Department of Defense accounted for the majority of the total, with $557 million committed by the agency to AI-related contracts, rising to $4.3 billion if each contract were extended to its fullest terms.
[ » Read full article ]
Time; Will Henshall (March 29, 2024)
ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization
ACM Insurance for Members

Association for Computing Machinery

1601 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019-7434

ACM Media Sales

If you are interested in advertising in ACM TechNews or other ACM publications, please contact ACM Media Sales or (212) 626-0686, or visit ACM Media for more information.

To submit feedback about ACM TechNews, contact: [email protected]

Archives | Career News | Contact Us | Unsubscribe