My Reflection of RES701

For this blog im writing a reflection of the RES701 paper.

The RES paper helped me learn and understand the thought processes and procedures needed to correctly identify and analyse academic papers. It has also given me some well needed knowledge on the types of areas of research and the different methods that are used with each type of research. These are all important skills that I hope to utilise next semester with the project.

What I liked the most was the critical thinking that went on when trying to answer some of the questions presented to us during the paper. I’ve always enjoyed the kind of deep thinking that comes with these types of philosophical questions and I enjoy challenging the norm.

Clare is an excellent tutor and I would be glad to sit any paper with her again. She has a relaxed teaching style so it’s easy to feel comfortable with her, this makes the classroom a nice area to be and makes it easy for people to ask questions.

Overall I think the paper was great, the research skills acquired in this paper are invaluable and an important part of understanding what will be required of us next semester for our own project proposals.

 

 

18 Quintillion!

Finally an Exciting Game

I’ve been watching a game of particular interest to me lately. It’s one of those games that breaks out of the seemingly repetitive style of gameplay of a lot of games these days. Generally when you play a game, you play along a set storyline with a set amount of maps/levels and everything sort of becomes quite predictable.

No Man’s Sky breaks out of that mould and that’s what makes this game exciting. The game is a huge multiplayer universe that revolves around space and planet exploration all on an extremely huge scale.

18 Quintillion (18,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets to explore!, that’s so many that the creators believe gamers will only ever see 0.1 percent of the total game. Each player starts in their own spot in the universe ensuring each play through  is unique to any other. When landing on a planet you can almost guarantee that no other player has been there before and because of this you have the ability to name the planet for any future players to see if they should venture upon it.

Anyway explaining it just doesn’t do it any justice so here’s a  20 minute teaser and game site for the game which is due to be released on ps4 and PC at the end of June.

 

 

Mousejack

While looking through the technewsworld site I came across an interesting yet alarming new exploit which could be used on 80% of wireless non-bluetooth keyboard and mice.

The Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Wireless mice and keyboards use radio frequency which is sent to a radio receiver, typically a USB dongle device. When they were first created the engineers were worried about the possibility of hackers intercepting the keystrokes of the users keyboard. In order to counter this problem the engineers designed the keyboards to encrypt all keystroke data sent to the usb dongle so that if someone did hack the dongle they couldn’t use the data for malicious activity.

However, hackers have found an exploit in the software of affected dongles. This exploit allows them to send unencrypted keystrokes to the operating system as if the user had been typing them into the keyboard themselves. The device used to carry out the hack costs no more than $30 so is easily obtainable by anybody.

When you think of keystrokes, you generally think about someone typing away on a keyboard at 40-100 words per minute at best, right? Well hackers could simply create an automated program which could run up to 1000 words per minute, all from over 200 metres away.

This could cause a substantial security risk to business and personal computers everywhere. Imagine the damage that could be done accessing a network administrators computer and hacking into the businesses network or extracting confidential information from the CEO’s computer.

To read more and watch the little demonstration go to https://www.mousejack.com/

To see a list of all affected devices go to https://www.bastille.net/affected-devices

 

References

Mello Jr., J. (2016). Flaw Puts a Billion Wireless Mice at Risk | Cybersecurity | TechNewsWorld. Technewsworld.com. Retrieved 25 May 2016, from http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Flaw-Puts-a-Billion-Wireless-Mice-at-Risk-83528.html

Wireless Mouse Hacks & Network Security Protection | Mousejack. (2016). MOUSEJACK. Retrieved 25 May 2016, from https://www.mousejack.com/

 

What? Li-Fi?

Today im going to blog about the activity we did in class and then tell you a little bit about this new technology called Li-Fi.

Class Activity

In our previous class we were asked to answer a few questions related to which area of I.T. we find the most interesting. Completing the answers to the questions should help us to figure out and decide which subject we will choose for our assignment 3 research assignment.

For me it was quite challenging trying to answer the questions given to me. I am interested in most areas of information technology so ultimately answering this question was impossible. I decided to go with something that has been quite prominent in tech news lately and that is Virtual Reality Gaming.

VR is a huge step for gaming and is allowing us to be immersed deep into our gaming world(s). The technology is still fresh and a few of the major VR headset players are yet to release their products but give them a few years and we’ll all be powering up our consoles and computers to escape into our alternate realities.

Of course such immersion may make gaming far more addictive for some and the psychologic effects of such addictions is still unknown but playing games in VR is certainly an exciting prospect.

Li-Fi

Ever had the problem of multiple people using the same Wi-Fi and slowing your throughput down to a crawl? How about a large file that you need to download and you only have Wi-Fi access so it takes forever and a day to download?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have fibre speeds wirelessly?

Well, now we do and it’s called Li-Fi. Li-Fi technology uses visible light communication (VLC), a technology created by Harold Haas, to transmit data at incredibly high speeds. In a lab environment testers were able to transmit data at speeds of up to 224 gigabits per second, yes you read right GIGABITS!.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)

The way Li-Fi works is it transmits on-off signals via an LED light flashing at extremely fast speed in order to relay messages in binary code. The flashing of these lights is too fast for the human eye to perceive so will not cause a nuisance visually.

1111Image credit: Illustration showing how Li-Fi could be operated in an office setting, with data being transmitted by ambient LED lights using visible light communication. (Little, 2010)

The first test in a real world trial by the Estonian company Velmenni has produced speeds of about 1 gigabit per second which while much slower than the lab tests speeds are still double the current Wi-Fi speeds available which are in the vicinity of 600 megabits per second.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)

There are other benefits to this technology as well as fast speeds:

  1. Light cannot travel through walls making local network more secure
  2. Much wider frequency range than Wi-Fi
  3. Light bulbs will become multi-functional
  4. Current LED bulbs could easily be fitted with the Li-Fi technology by fitting a small microchip inside them.(“New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi”, 2015)

However there is a problem with the Li-Fi technology as the moment, the signal is lost once the connected device leaves the room. Fixing this problem is crucial in order to make the technology more attractive.

There are many other areas that this technology can and will be used, if interested I encourage you to read the article by Thomas Little of Boston University here:http://www.bu.edu/smartlighting/files/2010/01/Little_ERC_Talk.pdf , the article is reasonably old (2010) but does show many other uses for VLC .

It’s going to be interesting whether this technology will replace Wi-Fi or work in combination to achieve a better overall result. One things for sure: I’ll be watching this space closely.

Bibliography

New Li-Fi Internet Is 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi. (2015). IFLScience. Retrieved 17 May 2016, from http://www.iflscience.com/technology/li-fi-internet-could-be-100-times-faster-wi-fi-0

LiFi internet: First real-world usage boasts speed 100 times faster than WiFi. (2015). International Business Times UK. Retrieved 17 May 2016, from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lifi-internet-first-real-world-usage-boasts-speed-100-times-faster-wifi-1530021

Little, T. (2010). How Smart Lighting Fills a Gap in Wireless Communications (1st ed.). Boston: Boston University. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/smartlighting/files/2010/01/Little_ERC_Talk.pdf

Reading Academic Article

For the blog this week we have to analyse one of the articles we chose last week and answer the following questions:

My chosen article

Nericell: Rich Monitoring of Road and Traffic Conditions using Mobile Smartphones.

Did the abstract tell you the three things I said it should? If not, what did it tell you?

Mostly yes, I did find the three key parts in the abstract but it only said that there were interesting results rather than explaining what they have discovered.

The abstract explained what the problem was with  and what they intended to do to remedy the problem.It also told of some of the problems they had while using the new method.

What seems to be the research question(s) they were trying to answer ?

How to efficiently use the accelerometer, microphone, GSM, and GPS sensors in mobile smartphones to detect bumps and potholes, braking, honking and determine location in an energy-efficient manner.

What method(s) did they use to answer the question(s)?

They used the quantitive research method.

How credible do you think the paper is?

I think the paper should be reasonably credible as the authors are Microsoft Researchers and they have many citations to their work ( most notably Venkata N. Padmanabhan who has nearly 27,000 citations)

This article has been cited over 800 times

Did you agree, or not, with what they wrote in their conclusion? Why?

Yes. The methods and algorithms looked to be well done and the authors ultimately achieved what they set out to accomplish.

Briefly describe two things that you learnt from the paper

The amazing amount of information that can be obtained from using the various sensors of the smartphones and applying certain algorithms to them.

The technique they used to overcome their consumption problem was very interesting.

Describe what the paper is about.

The paper focuses on the Nericell traffic monitoring system. The main objective was to develop a system with efficient power consumption, as well as overcome other smart phone sensor problems.The paper explains the various algorithms, methods, techniques that the authors used to transform the sensor information into usable data.

The authors concluded that the Nericell system with their special ‘trigger’ sensor technique would only use roughly 9.7% more battery power on a device with this running, ultimately meaning the app will have very little impact on the smartphones battery life.

 

Academic Articles

For this blog we were asked to give two examples of what we thought were academic articles. We were to find academic articles using search engines such as google scholar or find articles in the library, we then answered a few questions related to the articles.

 

First Article

Title & Author

Artificial Intelligence – A Modern Approach

Stuart J. Russell and Peter Norvig

 

APA Reference

Russell, S., Norvig, P., & Intelligence, A. (1995). A modern approach. Artificial Intelligence. Prentice-Hall, Egnlewood Cliffs, 25, 27.

How I Found the Article and Keywords Used

I used the key  words of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ into Google Scholar and received this article as the number one article.

What Kind of Paper Is It?

University Textbook

Reasons I Think It’s an Academic Article

  • It was the first thing found on Google Scholar when searching Artificial Intelligence
  • Because it has been cited over 27,000 times
  • Its a large article of 75 pages
  • It contains an abstract and many references
  • The structure of the article starting with an abstract and a preface
  • Ends with a Summary
  • used by 1100 unversities worldwide

How Well it Fits the Structure of an Academic Article

It fits excellent with the structure of an academic article

How Many References it Has

Eleven

How Many Citations

27,418

URL

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.259.8854&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Interest in Reading Article

Yes, I am interested in reading a good chunk of the book because it is very interesting as far as I have read.

 

Second Article

Title & Author

Nericell: rich monitoring of road and traffic conditions using mobile smartphones

Prashanth Mohan, Venkata N. Padmanabhan, Ramachandran Ramjee.

APA Reference

Mohan, P., Padmanabhan, V. N., & Ramjee, R. (2008, November). Nericell: rich monitoring of road and traffic conditions using mobile smartphones. In Proceedings of the 6th ACM conference on Embedded network sensor systems (pp. 323-336). ACM.

How I Found the Article and Keywords Used

Searching keyword ‘Smartphones’

What Kind of Paper Is It?

Conference Paper

Reasons I Think It’s an Academic Article

  • One of the first articles on Google Scholar
  • it was published in SenSys ’08
  • The Authors are Microsoft Reseaerchers

How Well it Fits the Structure of an Academic Article

It fits excellent with the structure of an academic article

How Many References it Has

Forty Two

How Many Citations?

781

URL

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1460444

Interest in Reading Article

Yes, Im interested in reading more.

Observational Research

This week we were asked to investigate and answer questions related to the topic that was randomly assigned to us.

My topic was Observational Research.

What is Observational Research?

Observational research is just that, observational. The research generally involves the researcher observing ongoing behaviour of the subject. They then record any changes as they are observed by the researcher(observer).

What kinds of questions/problems might it be used for?

This type of research is commonly used in social sciences and marketing. It is normally divided into naturalistic observation and participant observation. The naturalistic observation has no intervention by the researcher and there is no manipulation of the environment this ensures that this is behaviour that would occur in real life.

With the participant observation the researcher intervenes in the environmental variables, this allows them to observe behaviour that would not normally be accessible or available.

How could it be used in IT research?

This type of research can be used extensively in IT. Think of something such as a new application, The researcher observes the users using the application and notes the problems the user came across and the paths chosen. After the observation the researcher can then see where in the application the problems lay and adjust the application accordingly.

What are the strengths of the approach?

  • It is a very direct method of collecting data.
  • It is best for the study of human behaviour.
  • The data collected is normally very accurate and reliable.
  • It doesn’t rely on the willingness for people to provide information.

What are the weaknesses of the approach?

  • Problems of the past cannot be observationally observed nor can opinions.
  • The observational approach involves a lot of time as the researcher has to wait for the event to happen in order to study that said event, this can also make it more expensive.
  • Complete answers can’t be obtained for a problem by observational research alone.
  • It’s susceptible to the observers bias
  • It doesn’t answer the question ‘why?’