We are holding the Privacy and Usability Methods Pow-wow at the British HCI conference just across the water in Dundee. The workshop is intended to be a highly informal discussing methodologies and models for studying privacy in computing systems. So if you have been studying privacy, or if you have a wacky idea for which you need some methodological help, please consider submitting and/or attending! We hope to have some travel subsidies available courtesy of SICSA so keep an eye on the workshop web page.
My new mobile phone arrived last week – a Nokia N900. I still have the Nokia 770 which was the first of Nokia’s “Internet Tablets” and so was quite interested to see how this new device would perform, now that Nokia have finally performed the obvious step of adding a cellular radio.
So far I am undecided about the device. Most of the reviews say that the N900 is a computer first and a phone second, and I have to agree. It is lacking a lot of functionality of my old N95, but on the other hand it makes up for this in processing power, the screen and the open-source OS.
Ignoring the phone side of things, the N900 is truly impressive. Moore’s Law is always interesting to observe. I wrote my PhD thesis on my trusty IBM Thinkpad 240 7-8 years ago. Let’s compare:
||600MHz ARM Cortex A8
||64MB (but I upgraded to 128MB)
||256MB SDRAM + 768MB NAND
||32GB (plus I added a 16GB MicroSD card)
||The excellent Thinkpad keyboard + “nipple”
||A very fiddly keyboard but quite a good resistive touchscreen
||Windows 2000 (but I wiped this and ran RedHat Linux, I think version 5 or 6?)
||Not quite as much
So there you have it: my mobile phone beats my old laptop on almost every count. My challenge now is to write a paper on my phone! I have managed to install gnuplot but I am having trouble getting LaTeX installed. Hopefully the very active Maemo forum will be able to help me out.
I am on the Technical Programme Committee for this year’s ACM Multimedia 2010 conference. This is the ACM’s premier multimedia conference and, as always, promises to be an interesting event. It is also the venue where I published my first conference paper! Please consider submitting something.
I am programme co-chair of the 6th International workshop on Wireless Network Measurements (WiNMee 2010) along with Henrik Lundgren. WiNMee is becoming quite a long-running wireless measurement workshop, which indicates that this field is still of interest to the research community. Good, because there are lots more data to collect (and to add to our data archive!). WiNMee 2010 will be co-located with WiOpt 2010 in Avignon. More details to come. Please consider submitting something!
By now everyone must be sick of hearing about Facebook’s widely-criticised new privacy settings. So rather than add my 2p, I will point to some interesting posts from the blogosphere:
- The EFF explain the changes
- Joseph Bonneau reminds us that it is our social networks that are the most important data to keep private
- Ian Brown points out that it’s not all bad, as users now have more control over those annoying Facebook applications
- The Joy of Tech explains Facebook’s Newspeak
- Danny Sullivan compares Facebook to Microsoft (strange, because Google and Apple would be the far more obvious choices for “evil” corporation these days) and demonstrates the mess that the current Facebook privacy settings have become
Hopefully our PVNets project will help design privacy settings that actually reflect what users, rather than online social network operators, desire.
UPDATE: Facebook have backtracked and now provide some functionality for hiding your list of friends.
Who do you trust? Hubba hubba hubba! Money money money!
The web page for the 3rd International Conference on
Trust and Trustworthy Computing, Trust 2010, of which I am a TPC member, is now available. Please consider submitting something!
Fehmi and I went to Glasgow today to attend the finals of the Thales Scottish Technology Prize. Out of 37 entries, only 7 made it to the finals, so we were very pleased that our PVNets-funded SenseLess system for energy-efficient mobile sensing made the cut. Unfortunately, we did not take home the £25,000 first prize, but we did get £250 and a free lunch! So thank you Thales! We also met several interesting people from other Scottish universities and from Thales, so it was a good day out.
We were not permitted to take mobile phones or cameras on site, hence the outdoor photos. We did have some suitably cheesy photos taken by a professional photographer, so I shall post those when they arrive.
Our MobiSys workshop proposal has been accepted, which means that Pablo Vidales and I are co-chairing HotPlanet 2010, the Second ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Planet-Scale Measurement. It will be held with MobiSys in San Francisco in June. Please consider submitting something! More details to follow as we confirm them.