Friday, November 27, 2009

Ph.D. defense of Mikko Lehtonen

Yesterday Mikko Lehtonen successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis about applying low-cost RFID against anti-counterfeiting. He derived from related research of security systems that a security budget should rather be invested in the continuity of checks than achieving a close to 100% detection rate - a way of good-enough security. Additionally, he presented three technical measures, namely TID [1]. synchronized secretes [2], and probability-based trace reasoning [3], that provided also milestones on a roadmap describing a migration path for introducing technical measures against anti-counterfeiting.
The consecutive discussion with Elgar Fleisch and Friedemann Mattern focussed much on the validity of the assumption of detection may supercede protection and was questioned by the example of credit-cards coming with security chips lately.

Despite his nervousness Mikko was brave enough to embedded a "surprise" slide explaining the two prevention strategies of protection and deterence - some may call it embarrassing, others just finnish humor...

[1] Lehtonen, M., Ruhanen, A., Michahelles, F., Fleisch, E.: Serialized TID Numbers – A Headache or a Blessing for RFID Crackers? In 2009 IEEE International Conference on RFID, Orlando, Florida, April 27-28, 2009, pp. 233 - 240.
[2] Lehtonen, M., Ostojic, D., Ilic, A., Michahelles, F., : Securing RFID Systems by Detecting Tag Cloning. In proceedings of H. Tokuda et al. (Eds.): 7th International Conference, Pervasive 2009, Nara, Japan, May 11-14, 2009. LNCS 5538, pp. 291–308.
[3] Lehtonen, M., Michahelles, F., Fleisch, E.: How to Detect Cloned Tags in a Reliable Way from Incomplete RFID Traces. In 2009 IEEE International Conference on RFID, Orlando, Florida, April 27-28, 2009, pp. 257 - 264.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Visiting the Tutorial @MuM2009

Today, I had the great chance of visiting the tutorial "Introduction to Programming Applications for Mobile Devices" at MuM 2009. Jamie Costello and Andrew Rice gave a great introduction to programming on the different mobile phone platforms and taught us in 3h how to build an Android app that takes a picture, reads GPS location, and uploads the annoted photo. The tutorial was very well prepared: the code was step-wise extended by Andrew and displayed on the projector, additionally, a step-by-step list allowed to keep track, and, if completely lost, from a website the entire code could be downloaded in the course. Inbetween Andrew walked by and really managed to solve all 'unexpected' problems - so in the end the app worked at all the 20 participants laptops. Just incredible! However, being on myself from now with Android will be yet another adventure, I'm sure!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Visiting AmI in Salzburg

After a rather short night ride on the train I arrived in Salzburg to visit Ami-09.
The session started with keynote prepared by Emile Aarts but hold by Frits Gotefris. He looked back into the history of ambient intelligence and reported about the electronic poem, a combination of architecture music and light dating back to the 40ies. The mentioned requirements of AmI, such as miniaturization, provision of connectivity, displays, textile
. The definition of AmI as environments that are sensitive and responsive to presence of people appeared to me as a rather outdated vision where users are centrally positioned but the entire system is guessing magically the users desires and serving him accordingly. The examples given such as virtual presence and the virtual tapestry, for me, did not add much to credibility of that vision. Interestingly, the year 2015 was mentioned as a milestone where not just environments but also things could be networked, forming an internet of things. I was almost jumping out of my seat – why wait, we will have the 2nd Internet of Things Conference next year in Tokyo…

Besides the common challenges of coming up with new user interfaces and real world trials, two ‘dark scenarios’ have been mentioned to take care about: people building well engineered technology with bad intentions and people building bad technology with good intentions. The keynote outlined the goal of designing ambient intelligence in eco-affluent manner that allows people to flourish. The examples given where, firstly, light in your hand, a planar flashlight the allows reading books anywhere and anytime at zero cost – well, at least at zero energy costs due to solar power (after 10 years ambient intelligent research the result is electric light!?). Secondly, ambient care was mentioned, where an MRI gets turned into a into multi-dimensional theater that can be designed by children patients and their relatives in order to remove the fear of treatment. Sense-making applications would be key to let ambient intelligence evolve. This indeed would be a healthy turn for the community, trying to get away from designing for luxurious experience only but looking more into ‘real’ problems. The final messag was to put the human into center, nobody in the audience would have ever questioned that...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Slipping an iphone into a children`s book: PhoneBook

I find this a convincing example of bridging between real world and virtual world: