XRDS

Crossroads The ACM Magazine for Students

Sign In

Association for Computing Machinery

XRDS: News

RUSSIAN STARTUP DEVELOPS AI SOFTWARE FOR RECRUITING EMPLOYEES

April 9, 2018 — Russian startup Stafory has designed artificial intelligence (AI) software, called Robot Vera, that helps companies fill job vacancies. The startup is helping its 300 clients, which include Pepsico, Ikea, and L'Oréal, to optimize their recruitment process using AI. Robot Vera can simultaneously interview hundreds of applicants via video or voice calls. The AI was trained using 13 billion examples of syntax and speech from TV, Wikipedia, and job listings. The team is currently working on recognition of emotions like anger, pleasure, and disappointment. Read more here.

AUSTRALIA AND SINGAPORE SIGN AGREEMENT ON SUPERCOMPUTING

April 9, 2018 — The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre of Australia and the National Supercomputing Center (NSCC) of Singapore have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing for collaboration on supercomputing projects. The MOU also includes plans for networking, data analytics, scientific software applications, and visual computing. The MOU aims to deliver better, faster, and more innovative outcomes. The MOU is expected to enable the flow of knowledge between the centres, which in turn will benefit the entire high-performance computing community. Read more here.

BOEING HIT BY WANNACRY RANSOMWARE

April 3, 2018 — Aircraft manufacturing company Boeing has been hit by the Wannacry Ransomware attack. The same ransomware had affected many computer systems globally last year. The ransomware exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system to spread across any network and encrypt the user's personal data, making the data inaccessible. An official Boeing statement indicated the number of machines affected were in the dozens but the intrusion has been contained. Read more here.

SPACEX'S SATELLITE BASED BROADBAND SERVICES APPROVED

April 2, 2018 — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has given it's formal approval to SpaceX's plan to build a broadband network using satellites. The proposed system will use 4,425 satellites to provide broadband coverage globally. The FCC has granted the Ka(20/30 GHz) and Ku(11/14 GHz) bands to SpaceX for it's proposed network. Read more here.

AMAZON FILES PATENT FOR A HAND GESTURE CONTROLLED DRONE

March 27, 2018 — Amazon has filed a patent for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) design that can interpret gesture and voice commands. The UAV could be mounted with light sensors, cameras, auditory sensors and feedback devices like speakers or projectors to interact with users. Samsung has also filed a similar patent design for a drone that can track users' eye, head, and hand movements to provide gesture-based control. Read more here.

FACEBOOK EXPOSES DATA OF 50 MILLION USERS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION

March 26, 2018 — Facebook has reportedly exposed the data of 50 million users. Facebook allowed a Cambridge University researcher, Aleksandr Kogan, access to raw data of 50 million users without their explicit permissions via a quiz app named "thisismydigitallife." The app exploited a loophole in the Facebook API that allowed the app to collect data about the Facebook friends of users who actually used the app. Aleksandr Kogan sold the data he collected to U.K. based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which is co-owned by American hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer. Former White House strategist Steve Bannon also has close ties to the firm. Notably, Facebook knew about this "breach" for more than two years before this news became public knowledge. Read more here.

ORIGAMI BASED ARM DEVELOPED FOR DRONES

March 20, 2018 — With drones becoming more commonplace in our lives, researchers are conceptualizing new ways to use them. In South Korea, researchers from Seoul National University have developed an "origami" arm to improve drone functionality. The arm can unfold and pick up objects. The length of the arm when fully stretched is 27.5 inches, but it can be folded and stowed away. The arm is made up of seven plastic actuators and is equipped with grippers allowing the arm to grab objects. The arm can be attached to drones as a module and weighs only 258 grams or about half a pound. Read more here.

JAVASCRIPT MOST POPULAR PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE ACCORDING TO STACKOVERFLOW SURVEY

March 19, 2018 — The results of the 2018 Stackoverflow Developer Survey were recently published. Not surprisingly, more than 69 percent of developers use JavaScript, making it the most commonly used programming language. More than 100,000 developers across the world participated in the 30-minute survey. The survey covered topics ranging from artificial intelligence to coding ethics. StackOverflow plans to make the survey results available for public viewing and download under the Open Database License. Read more here.

APPLE PATENTS NEW WATER RESISTANT CHARGING CONNECTOR

March 15, 2018 — Apple has filed a series of patent applications, specifically addressing water-resistant charging connectors. Apple aims to achieve this by changing the shape of the connector. The new connector is wedge-shaped and would push through protective flaps that would seal once the connector is fully inserted. Another patent proposes the use of on-device vacuum generators to seal the port using vacuum seals. Read more here.

FAKE NEWS SPREADS WIDER AND FASTER

March 13, 2018 — According to a study done by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology fake news travels faster and deeper through social media platforms than real news. The researchers analyzed stories from Twitter for this study. According to the study, people prefer fake news over accurate news. While verified, accurate news stories were shared more than 1,000 times, fake news was routinely shared by 1,000 to 100,000 people. Researchers used more than 80,000 tweets containing false stories for the study. Read more here.

SCIENTISTS DEVELOPING FAULT TOLERANT ROBOTIC SWARMS

February 28, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Southampton are using bio-inspired algorithms and machine learning techniques to develop fault-tolerant robotic swarms. The researchers are trying to create swarms that are able to tolerate damages and faults but continue to function for extended periods of time without human intervention.The robots will operate even with faults by learning new compensatory movements through trial and error. Read more here.

INTEL PLANS TO BRING 5G TO LAPTOPS

February 27, 2018 — Intel's plans to launch its XMM 8000 series modem in the second half of 2019. Under its "Always Connected" PC offerings, the new modems will make notebooks 5G compliant. 5G networks are expected to be much faster with lower latency than conventional networks. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS DEVELOP SELF-HEALING ELECTRONIC SKIN

February 19, 2018 — Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder, USA and School of Materials Science and Engineering, China have developed an electronic skin or "e-skin" that can heal itself. The skin is a thin film of compounds mixed together and equipped with pressure, temperature, humidity and air flow sensors. If the skin is ruptured it can be healed by adding the required compounds on top of the skin, which recreates the chemical bonds across the tear. The healing process takes less than 30 minutes at room temperature or only a few minutes in warmer environments. If the skin is damaged beyond repair, all the constituent compounds can be extracted from the skin by soaking it in a solution, making it completely recyclable. The recycling process takes 10 hours at room temperature or only 30 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius. Read more here.

SCIENTISTS BUILD SOCIAL ROBOT TO PROMOTE CREATIVITY IN THE WORKPLACE

February 18, 2018 — Scientists from the University of New South Wales and Fuji Xerox Research Technology group have developed a social robot to promote collaboration among workers. The social robot will interact with employees and perform administrative and organizational tasks. The project is to be completed in two phases: the first phase has already begun with preliminary engineering tests. In the second phase, the robot will be deployed in real-life scenarios to test how humans react to the robot. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW PROTOCOL FOR A ROBUST BLOCKCHAIN

February 8, 2018 — Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Davis, and the University of Stavanger have developed a new protocol called "BChain" to make blockchains more robust. Traditional blockchain protocols rely on a leader server and Byzantine fault-tolerant strategies to protect the network from failures. However, if the leader server starts misbehaving it may lead to poor network performance or inconsistency of data across the blockchain network. The BChain protocol attempts to address this issue by making servers monitor each other and pushes a misbehaving server to the end of the chain to minimize the impact of the misbehavior on the network. Read more here.

ROBOTS DEVELOPED FOR HARVESTING CUCUMBERS

February 7, 2018 — Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology are developing an armed robot for automated harvesting of cucumbers. In Germany, cucumbers are traditionally plucked by workers. The team is building three prototypes: one based on vacuum technology, another using bionic gripper jaws, and one that mimics the human hand. The robots are coded using behavioral patterns allowing them to make decisions such as pushing leaves out of the way before picking a cucumber. Read more here.

RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW MATERIAL FOR DATA RECORDING WITH LOW POWER CONSUMPTION

January 31, 2018 — Researchers from Tohoku University, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology(AIST) and Hanyang University have developed a new material that allows data recording at ultra-low power consumption in a non-volatile memory. The memory storage created using this new material is called Phase Change Random Access Memory or PCRAM and is expected to replace flash memory storage. PCRAM records data by changing the electrical resistance between high resistance amorphous and low resistance crystalline states. Read more here.

ATM MAKERS WARN THAT CYBER CRIMINALS ARE TARGETTING U.S. ATMS

January 30, 2018 — ATM makers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corporation have warned that cybercriminals are targeting U.S. ATMs. The attacks are being carried out using a technique called jackpotting. According to a security news website, Krebs on Security, the attacks begun already last year in Mexico. Both companies reportedly sent out alerts to their clients regarding this issue. Read more here.

NEW HEADBAND PLAYS WHITE NOISE FOR BETTER SLEEP

January 17, 2018 — Philips has launched a new headband that helps the wearer sleep by playing white noise. The headband uses sensors on the forehead to detect and measure brain activity. Philips has also developed a companion app for the headband that records and stores the data. According to Philips the slow repeating pattern of white noise reinforces better quality sleep. Read more here.

SMART CREDIT CARD WITH GSM CHIP DEVELOPED

January 17, 2018 — Last week at CES 2018, Dynamics Inc. unveiled a new smart credit card with a GSM chip inside and an E-Ink display. The E-Ink display has 65,000 pixels that can be used to display logos, card number, or the owner's name. The card also has a GSM cellular antenna that connects to a cellular network. The smart card is multipurpose as it can be reprogrammed using the cellular connection. Read more here.

SMARTPHONE MALWARE MIMICS UBER'S UI TO STEAL CREDENTIALS

January 10, 2018 — The Android.Fakeapp trojan is infecting Android devices with a new variant that mimics the Uber Android app's user interface. The trojan tries to fool users into entering their login credentials, which are then sent to remote servers. The hackers may use this data to steal the user's identity, or even earn money by selling credentials on the black market. Using a technique called deep linking, the trojan can load legitimate screens from the official Uber app creating a false sense of security. The trojan can affect devices only if users download infected apps from untrusted sources outside the official Play Store. Read more here.

STARTUP UNVEILS SMART SHOES WITH FALLING ALERT

January 8, 2018 — A French startup called E-Vone has developed smart shoes with an alert system that detects if the wearer takes a fall. The smart shoes can notify family or medical services in case of a mishap. The shoes are equipped with a GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and a pressure system to detect the movement of the user. According to E-Vone, the shoes are designed for older adults, construction workers, and hikers. Read more here.

CHINA TESTS ITS FIRST PHOTOVOLTAIC ROAD

January 4, 2018 — China has successfully tested its first photo-voltaic highway in the Shandong province. The highway is constructed using solar panels with a thin sheet of concrete on top to protect the panels. China plans to use the panels to wirelessly transfer the energy to electric vehicles passing on top of the road surface. The length of the photovoltaic road is 1 kilometer and covers 5,785 square meters. Notably, France was the first country to introduce roads embedded with solar panels. Read more here.

NEW APP HELPS LOCATE PEOPLE IN DISTRESS WITHOUT A PHONE SIGNAL

January 2, 2018 — Researchers at the University of Alicante in Spain have developed a new technique to locate people in remote locations without a phone signal. The application uses Wi-Fi to emit a distress signal that can be detected over a distance of a few kilometers. Users can include their position coordinates and a short message in the emitted signal. The system can also be used in emergency situations, like earthquakes and floods, where mobile infrastructure is rendered useless. Read more here.

For June-December 2017 archived news content, visit here.

For archived news content published prior to June 2017, please choose the desired year from the year-wise list of archive pages accessible from the menu-bar at the top, under the NEWS header.