Archive for July, 2008

The Future of Reputation

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

I’ve started reading this book by Daniel Solove (full text available for free). It discusses the growth of the Internet – and begins with a “horror” story depicting the potential the Internet has as a defamatory broadcasting medium on people: the lines between freedom of speech and privacy are once again put to question (like in similar stories in the news).

Has anyone else read the book?

Ubicomp’s program is out

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Here are the titles of the papers and the notes that will be published:


Trust Meeting at Secrypt

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

We presented an invited paper (pdf) at a meeting on how to manage trust in percom at Secrypt. The paper is about how to offer digital content to mobile users by combining tagging with reputation systems (previous post). Here is my presentation:

Few words on:

1) The meeting (3 sessions)
Session 1
Existing reputation systems often set initial user’s reputation to a fixed value (e.g., 0.5 if reputation is expressed on a scale [0,1]). Christian proposed interesting ways for setting initial trust other than fixing ad-hoc values. Juri Luca of L3S followed by presenting a review of policy languages for trust management. Ioanna of Uni of Nicosia concluded the first session by showing a way of formalizing trust relationships that change over time.

Session 2
I started the session (no more self-publicity ;-)). Zhen Yan followed and showed a way of managing trust in autonomic computing for healthcare. Finally, Andre concluded the second section by putting forward a secure interface for e-voting terminals – he documented a very interesting evaluation in his well-written paper.

Session 3
Gabriele started off by presenting a new way of assigning weights to user ratings. This way allows for personalizing ratings, and that is beneficial because it makes it possible for two individuals
to have different opinions about the trustworthiness of the same person (which may well happen in reality). My tip: this research may well be complemented by “sentiment analysis” (e.g., see this paper in  pdf). Ben Aziz of CCLRC concluded the third session and presented a reputation system for grid computing.

A big thanks goes to Mari for wonderfully organizing and chairing the three sessions ;-)

2) The conference (3 points)

  • Petteri & his working mates of VTT collected 40K ideas for future mobile services from passionate users and stored them in the “idea database” (InnoBar is the most recent of those databases, which include: Mefi, Owela, and Idealiiike – the last two only in finnish). One interesting problem is how to bring order in that long list of ideas. Of course, one way for doing so is to resort to the wisdom of the crowd – during the Q&A session, Petteri told me that it’s difficult to have users rate ideas. How about having a crowd of paid (technology) experts? (paper: ON EXPLORING CONSUMERS’ TECHNOLOGY FORESIGHT CAPABILITIES)
  • Mari Ervasti studied which factors facilitate the acceptance of mobile services by proposing a modified version of the Technology Acceptance Model (paper: ADOPTION OF MOBILE SERVICES IN FINLAND - Conceptual Model and Application-based Case Study).
  • Niklas Eriksson presented three websites they developed for enabling mobile tourism services: MobiPortal, TraveLog, and MobiTour (paper: MOBILE TOURISM SERVICES – Experiences from Three Services on Trial).

Pls feel free to add whatever I’ve forgotten to mention in the comment section below. Cheers!

StoryBank – using mobiles to share stories in an Indian village

Friday, July 18th, 2008

StoryBank (website, description): EPSRC project for a rural village in India.

Idea: Villagers make short stories of up to six images and a two-minute audio track on the phones. They can then go to the village’s community centre and upload their content to the StoryBank – a large touch screen display.  Stories that have been featured include: how to grow rice, local crops, sheep rearing, the medicinal uses of plants,  beauty tips, mythical stories, songs and, in one case, pictures and descriptions of a student’s best paintings.

We have large screen displays (one at the entrance and few in offices/labs). Are we missing the village?

Efficient Search Not Good for Research?

Friday, July 18th, 2008

I read a a curious article posted on wired: based on a recent study of journal citation patterns between ’98 and ’05 (that is to appear in Science), the authors claim that as the Internet provides researchers with efficient search of journal papers, “the breadth of scholarship” is being lost. Here is a quote:

“As more journal issues came online, the articles referenced tended to be more recent, fewer journals and articles were cited, and more of the citations were to fewer journals and articles.”

So, is this google scholar’s fault? Is this a new trend in research? Or maybe this means that as the wealth of published research explodes, the truly cite-able papers are still few (i.e., is citation breadth a measure of quality (or not)?)

What do you think?

DressHead x Mobblog Chiffon Red Pencil Cut Dress

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

DressHead x Mobblog Chiffon Red Pencil Cut Dress – V Neckline / Airhostess Look

Features such as the airhostess detail on this Mobblog x dress head red pencil cut dress – v neckline / airhostess look, are what will make it such a special addition to your summertime wardrobe. This dress was created in a bright red, super-stretch fabric with a content of 70% Viscose, 27% Nylon and 3% Elastane for a little extra stretch. While the dress is designed to make you look beautiful, it also provides enough comfort for hours of wear at a time. It features a boat style neckline and tiny capped sleeves. The overlay covers the bodice from the bust line, past the elasticized waistline, into an open front overlay that covers the top portion of the skirt. This creates an attractive peplum detail. This pencil dress closes in back with a long, concealed zipper. It was created to have a close-cut, bodycon fit. The back of the skirt portion has a nice kick split to help increase the potential for mobility. This red pencil cut dress is machine washable in warm water and may be tumbled dry on a low temperature setting. It is knee length and available for purchase in sizes Small, Medium and Large.

Advertise to the Influencers

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Google has applied for a patent for a method that seeks to identify who the “influencers” in a social network are (see related blog post here). This is interesting- the idea of identifying structure and influence in graphs has been around for quite some time, but now there is a money-making application: serve targetted adds to the influencers. Will this affect how innovations are diffused throughout society? This also seems to reinforce a related post (assuming your influence is proportional to how much people trust you): “trust is not evenly distributed.”

WWW’08 highlights

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Few papers from WWW’08 that may be of interest:

Evaluating Mobile Solutions – WWW’08 to the rescue

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

To evaluate new mobile content discovery approaches, one needs to understand:

1) What mobile users query for:

2) How interests distribute across mobile users (who befriend each other):

Mobile social networking on the rise

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

“Almost half (44%) of UK mobile phone subscribers belong to an online social network and of this group, 25% use their handset for social networking-related activities”. Nielsen

Connected We Work – The power of informal networks

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

This very interesting report is about how companies can harness networks of employees to improve collaboration.


The ladder of fame: Few tyrants at the top

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

To write down a decent research statement (one showing a “vision”), I turned into a McKinsey research analyst these days – I’m reading far more McKinsey Quarterly reports than academic papers, and they aren’t that bad! ;-) In a report that dates back to Aug 07, the authors surveyed 573 users of 4 leading video-sharing websites in Germany and found out: