Archive for November, 2006

Acoustic sensors make surfaces interactive

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

New Scientist has an article on turning any surface into a touch screen using small piezoelectric sensors to sense surface vibrations.

write online for money

Hot m-commerce companies

Monday, November 27th, 2006

. Loopt launched a service for subscribers with phones that contain location-savvy GPS devices. Loopt is aimed at members of social networks who want to keep constant tabs on one another, aided by pictures, maps, and alerts that sound when a friend is nearby.
. Eyeka has been started to build a community of users and partners who will create, share, comment on, and sell quality video and photo content.
. Jajah lets people make free or inexpensive Web calls from regular and mobile phones. iSkoot’s software users send Skype calls via their voice networks.
. AdMob allows advertisers like eBay, Nokia, and Adidas to buy mobile ads on various sites, and lets those sites sell mobile ads.

Make private copying legal

Monday, November 27th, 2006

There’s a petition on the Prime Minister’s new petitions website that
is trying to make private copying legal, such as when you copy your
CDs onto your MP3 player, which is currently illegal in UK.

Suicide for the common good

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Very simple, yet interesting paper: Suicide for the common good: a new strategy for credential revocation in self-organizing systems.

Problem: Credential revocation in self-organizing systems.

Existing Solution: If a node believes another has misbehaved,
then it can carry out punishment.

Complication: A malicious node can falsely accuse legitimate

Proposal: Upon detecting a node M engaging in some illegal activity,
A broadcasts a signed suicide note which includes the
identities of both A and M. The other nodes in the network
then verify the signature and, if correct, revoke both
A and M.

1. Attacker benefit from removing one innocent node must
be less than the benefit of having a malicious node
placed inside the network.
2. Honest nodes share common interest
(this is reasonable whenever the nodes are deployed by a single
entity (e.g., a sensor network deployed on a battlefield)
3. An absence of unforgeable, independently verifiable
and conclusive proof.
4. Low likelihood of two good nodes accusing each other.
5. Difficult to prevent malicious nodes from issuing false

A playlist for every moment

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

The XPod project at UMBC introduces a “smart” music player that learns its user’s preferences and activity, and tailors its music selections accordingly (NewsDay article).

A ring of robots to fight fires

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Computer scientists at the Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) have developed a new kind of software to monitor wireless sensor networks. For example, their software agents can help robots to navigate through simulated fires. Their real innovation is that their software agents are able to clone themselves, creating a ring of software around the fire. This very flexible approach to monitoring wireless sensor networks could be used in a wide variety of applications, like safeguarding containers in a warehouse — or on boats.

Open Source Science

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

In a perfect world, scientists share problems and work together on solutions for the good of society. In the real world, however, that’s usually not the case. The main obstacles: competition for publication and intellectual property protection. Is there a model for encouraging large-scale scientific problem solving? Yes, and it comes from an unexpected and unrelated corner of the universe: open source software development. That’s the view of Karim R. Lakhani, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School … What he and his coauthors discovered: “broadcasting” or introducing problems to outsiders yields effective solutions. Indeed, it was outsiders—those with expertise at the periphery of a problem’s field—who were most likely to find answers and do so quickly. The study and its findings are described in his paper “The Value of Openness in Scientific Problem Solving”.

Identify objects viewed on the screen of a camera phone

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

From TechReview. A Nokia research project could one day make it easier to navigate the real world by superimposing virtual information on an image of your surroundings. The new software, called Mobile Augmented Reality Applications (MARA), is designed to identify objects viewed on the screen of a camera phone.

The Nokia research team has demonstrated a prototype phone equipped with MARA software and the appropriate hardware: a global positioning system (GPS), an accelerometer, and a compass. The souped-up phone is able to identify restaurants, hotels, and landmarks and provide Web links and basic information about these objects on the phone’s screen. In addition, says David Murphy, an engineer at Nokia Research Center, in Helsinki, Finland, who works on the project, the system can also be used to find nearby friends who have phones with GPS and the appropriate software.

Maps and mobility traces

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

It contains lots of real mobility traces. “…volunteers to collect and upload the GPS data that creates the maps. There are more than 3,600 contributors doing around 50 uploads a day”

TRAM 2007

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

1st Int. Workshop on Trust and Reputation Management in Massively Distributed Computing Systems (TRAM 2007)

In conjunction with ICDCS

Submission Deadline: 5 January 2007

Recommendation Software

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

US online DVD rental service Netflix Inc has announced a version of the Longitude prize for film geeks – a $1m (£529.6m) bounty to the first person to develop software to improve its movie recommendation system by 10%.
The full story is posted in the Guardian and on the NetFlix Prize site

The current system works by making predictions based on correlations between user feedback (as described in this interview).


Friday, November 10th, 2006

The program of ACM MobiShare (International Workshop on Decentralized Resource Sharing in Mobile Computing and Networking) – in conjunction with Mobicom.

“Game” Digg

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Digg continues to grow, claiming 20 million visitors per month and an increasing amount of mainstream attention. But as traffic to Digg has grown, the incentive to “game” the site to get stories to the home page has also increased.