August 30th, 2008
The September 2008 Scientific American is a special issue on The Future of Privacy. The issue has a good range or articles that all look like they are well worth reading and touch on all of the theme in our new MURI project on assured information sharing.
- Privacy in an Age of Terabytes and Terror. Peter Brown. Introduction to SciAm’s issue on Privacy. Our jittery state since 9/11, coupled with the Internet revolution, is shifting the boundaries between public interest and “the right to be let alone.”
- Data Fusion: The Ups and Downs of All-Encompassing Digital Profiles. Simson L. Garfinkel. Mashing everyone’s personal data, from credit card bills to cell phone logs, into one all-encompassing digital dossier is the stuff of an Orwellian nightmare. But it is not as easy as most people assume.
- Do Social Networks Bring the End of Privacy?. Daniel J. Solove. Young people share the most intimate details of personal life on social-networking Web sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, portending a realignment of the public and the private.
- How Loss of Privacy May Mean Loss of Security. Esther Dyson. Many issues posing as questions of privacy can turn out to be matters of security, health policy, insurance or self-presentation. It is useful to clarify those issues before focusing on privacy itself.
- Cryptography: How to Keep Your Secrets Safe. Anna Lysyanskaya. A versatile assortment of computational techniques can protect the privacy of your information and online activities to essentially any degree and nuance you desire.
- Internet Eavesdropping: A Brave New World of Wiretapping. Whitfield Diffie and Susan Landau. As telephone conversations have moved to the Internet, so have those who want to listen in. But the technology needed to do so would entail a dangerous expansion of the government’s surveillance powers.
- How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People. Katherine Albrecht. A privacy activist argues that the devices pose new security risks to those who carry them, often unwittingly.
- Beyond Fingerprinting: Is Biometrics the Best Bet for Fighting Identity Theft?. Anil K. Jain and Sharath Pankanti. Security systems based on anatomical and behavioral characteristics may offer the best defense against identity theft.
- Digital Surveillance: Tools of the Spy Trade. Steven Ashley. Night-vision cameras, biometric sensors and other gadgets already give snoops access to private spaces. Coming soon: palm-size “bug-bots”.
- Tougher Laws Needed to Protect Your Genetic Privacy. Mark A. Rothstein. In spite of recent legislation, tougher laws are needed to prevent insurers and employers from discriminating on the basis of genetic tests.
- Industry Roundtable: Experts Discuss Improving Online Security. Experts from Sun, Adobe, Microsoft and MacAfee discuss how to protect against more numerous and sophisticated attacks by hackers; security professionals call for upgraded technology, along with more attention to human and legal factors.
August 27th, 2008
It turns out that we may not have to fear hearing “Dude, you’re getting a Cloud Computer®!” in the future after all.
Bill Poser noted on Language Log that the US Patent and Trademark Office has refused Dell’s application to register the term cloud computing as a trademark. In a office action report, the USPTO said:
“Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature and characteristic of applicant’s services. … As shown in the attached Internet and LEXISNEXIS® evidence, CLOUD COMPUTING is a descriptive term of art in the relevant industry.”
August 24th, 2008
We plan to hold our weekly ebiquity meetings on Tuesday mornings, from 10:30 to 12:00 in ITE 325b starting on September 2. We’ve not yet received confirmation that the large conference room will be available, so it’s possible that the room will change or even the day. By meeting at 10:30am we hope that Dr. Joshi will be able to join us via the Internet while he is in India. When the time changes later in the Fall we may need to start the meeting at 10:00am.
Our meetings are open and we encourage new students who are interested in our research and joining the group to drop in. We usually ask someone to present something for each meeting — either their own work, an emerging topic or problem, or an interesting new paper. Our initial meeting will be more informal, but returning members should be prepared to describe how you spent your summer and new students to introduce themselves.
As usual, you should watch the ebiquity web site for announcements of the weekly events and/or subscribe to the UMBC ebiquity events feed.
If we do need to change to room or day of the week we will send out another message early in the coming week and
make a new update this post on the ebiquity blog. But for now, please reserve Tuesdays from 10:00 to 12:00 for our weekly ebiquity meeting.
August 23rd, 2008
Mark Olano posted news on the UMBC GAIM blog that legendary game designer Sid Meier will give a presentation for the at 8:00pm on Thursday, September 4th. The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held a the The Engineering Society of Baltimore in Baltimore.
Meier is a very influential figure in the game industry and helped to establish the popular simulation game genre through his games like Pirates, Railroad Tycoon and Civilization. He is currently Director of Creative Development for Firaxis Games and has been inducted into the Computer Museum of America Hall of Fame and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in computer gaming. Here’s the title and abstract for his talk.
Game Programming: Oh say, can you C?
Sid Meier and members of the Firaxis development team
Programming a computer game: There are three types of programming in games: (1) game play on one end, (2) engine on the other, and (3) the layer in between that allows the two others to communicate. Each type of programming is different from the others. Programmers are drawn to one or another type of programming because of its power or beauty. Sid has developed a flexible style of programming that allows him to make instantaneous changes at the game play level. An engine programmer needs a bit more conformity to step in where someone else left off. The programmers in the middle have fun because they can make the other two “worlds” talk to each other. Sid and other speakers will discuss the different types of programming and how they “play nice” together.
If you plan to attend, email email@example.com for further announcements and updates.
I’ve attended talks at the Engineering Society building, which is on Mt. Vernon Place in Baltimore, which should be easy to get to on the MTA bus that stops at UMBC. It’s a grand old building that was fun to be in.
August 18th, 2008
The UMBC Multicore Computation Center is hosting a free workshop on Frontiers of Multicore Computing 26-28 August 2008 at UMBC. The workshop will feature leading computational researchers who will share their current experiences with multicore applications. A number of computer architects and major vendors have also been invited to describe their road maps to near and long-term future system developments. The FMC workshop will focus on applications in the fields of geosciences, aerospace, defense, interactive digital media and bioinformatics. The workshop has no registration fees but you must register to attend. More information regarding hotel accommodations, tutorials, exhibits and access to the campus can also be found at the website.
Members of the UMBC ebiquity lab will make presentations on our current and planned use of multicore and cloud computing for research in exploiting Wikipedia as as knowledge base and also in extracting communities from very large social network graphs.
August 15th, 2008
The Arbutus Times reports that a 140 pound black bear was caught in an area adjacent to the UMBC campus. The bear was apprehended while eating apples from a resident’s tree. Maryland officials had been tracking him for a month as he wandered across the state:
“The bear apparently had made several stops in southern Maryland before heading north through Anne Arundel County, then crossing into Halethorpe, according to Peditto, who heads the Wildlife and Heritage Service at the state Department of Natural Resources. “We had been tracking him for a month,” he said, noting that DNR staff kept track of citizen complaints to determine the bear’s progress. The pattern of complaints indicated the bear’s course of travel.”