The LiveCity project are hosting a workshop at SaCoNet 2013 in Paris on:
You can join us on the 17th June and more information can be found at: http://www.lissi.fr/saconet2013/livecity
The LiveCity project are hosting a workshop at SaCoNet 2013 in Paris on:
You can join us on the 17th June and more information can be found at: http://www.lissi.fr/saconet2013/livecity
Our paper on Using Gamification and Metaphor to Design a Mobility Platform for Commuters (McCall, Koenig and Kracheel) has now been published in The International Journal of Mobile Human-Computer Interaction.
Abstract: In this paper the authors explain the use of gamification as a way to optimize mobility patterns within a heavily congested European City. They explore this from two perspectives, first by outlining a gaming concept and secondly by explaining how the use of a mobility game that took place in two locations can be used to explore incentives and design issues.
These two services offer something quite similar in terms of cloud storage in that neither actually syncs the data on your computer; instead you upload data to a remote space and download it again or share the links with others. This is quite different from Dropbox which syncs all or selected folders across devices. The following comparison looks at a paid MediaFire account vs a free Mega one. Not entirely fair but one way to do it.
Value for Money
No contest really Mega offers 50GB of free storage while Mediafire offers 10GB rising to 50GB if you sign people or use certain apps. If you want to upgrade then again Mega is cheaper per GB of space. Mediafire however offers to carry over unused bandwidth to the next month.
Here in Luxembourg Mediafire is by far the slowest cloud storage space I have used, upload speeds seem to be capped at 250kBps even on paid accounts, on the other hand Mega free is much faster even on free accounts. Download speed are also much better on Mega. Mediafire speed issues seem to apply regardless of which network I use.
Free Mediafire accounts severely limit file size, Mega does not. Paid accounts on MedaFire limit files to 10GB. FIle uploading via websites in both cases worked well, although the MediaFire express App often appears unstable and buggy but it is in Beta. Right now Mega offers no official client apps although some unofficial ones are available on Android.
Right now Mega offers little more than space and bandwidth if you pay. If you decide to pay on Mediafire you get some nice features which are not available on Mega (or only under limited conditions). Namely, one time file downloads, password protected files and the ability to download entire directories. The latter is only available to other registered users of Mega or if you share a folder specific public key (which may confuse some people). You can also set up a filedrop on Mediafire which lets people upload files to your account.
As noted MediaFire offers a desktop app, this has some nice features such as being able directly upload via the context menus on your computer or dragging and dropping files directly onto the pop-up uploader.
On the face of it Mega wins throughout on this feature, however if you forget your password say goodbye to your data as you cannot get a new one! Mega claims that you and only the people you share your key with can decrypt your files.They also claim that as they do not store your key that your also have some degree of enhanced privacy. Assuming this all works as described then the service is far more secure than most other cloud providers, however there is some debate on how secure Mega really is.
Mega wins here on almost every level, while Medafire is hardly difficult to use it has some confusing ways of doing things. Also Mediafire makes uploading files in nested directory structures a very cumbersome task. Mega on the other hand makes this a doddle.
Mediafire offers an office environment called Zoho, however this is being phased out. Frankly that is a good thing but it will be interesting to see what will replace it. Due to the speed of Mega I also found it a good service for streaming movies on my Android tablet. Mediafire struggled a bit even on a small 10mb file – the Jewish Memorial one on this website.
Who would you trust with your data? Mega sadly has a far lower feeling of trust about it, mainly due to who is behind it (Kim Dotcom). MediaFire has a longer track record, has been used by reputable companies but like all sharing sites has perhaps unfairly been criticised for hosting pirated content uploaded by it’s users in the past.
If you need features then Mediafire is probably the platform for you. For speed and security Mega wins. I’d pick Mega if you want something simple for non-essential data, if you need to trust your cloud provider a bit more then pick Mediafire.
The charming Kim Dotcom set up a new could service after his somewhat dodgy megaupload.com was shut down by the equally lovely US law enforcement authorities. Being the kind of chap he is he set up mega.co.nz which although still in beta offers many features you can find on other cloud services. I tried this out briefly today and have to say even the free accounts offer excellent upload and download speeds typically hitting 3-5MBps, which compares with a fraction of that for Dropbox, Google and Mediafire. Also the download speeds are equally impressive, typically in the 5MB plus category. So far this is by far the fastest “free” could service I have come across.
In terms of usability the website is a doddle and registering to use it is quick and simple. All the features are readily available with a mouse click and are easy to find and understand. As Mega uses a different security model to other platforms novice users may find the idea of encryption keys and link sharing with keys with other a little daunting. However, security is really the strong point of this platform. You can also upload entire directories quickly and easily.
My main worry about this site is who is behind it. For example would you trust a man who has an extradition warrant out against him in the US and is wanted there for various crimes? I am not sure if I really do but Mega does go out of it’s way to say that all data can only be decrypted and hence seen by it’s owner. That aside though, my main worry is whether they will be around in a year or two if law enforcement manages to catch up with Kim.
Mega is still in beta but there are a few Android clients available, otherwise you need to stick the Chrome browser. One word of warning if you forget your password you can kiss good bye to your data. Also like Mediafire there is no syncing of folders option. It is not a perfect service but you do get 50GB of space for free so who can complain at that? Upgrading to more storage and bandwidth is also surprisingly cheap with a 500GB plan along with 1TB of data per month being just €99.Also it is simple and above all fast and apparently secure.
DEADLINE EXTENDED: May 20th, 2013
Workshop on “Entertainment Technology in Transportation against Frustration, Aggression and Irrationality”
August 27, 2013, Munich, Germany
Held in conjunction with 15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (MobileHCI 2013)
Call for Papers
Position Paper Submission Deadline: Monday, May 20th, 2013 (extended) Notification on Position Papers: Monday, June 10th, 2013 Workshop Date: Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Using transportation technology (e.g., a car, plane, or traveling in public transportation) can be frustrating due to crowded streets, delays, and other travelers. Games & entertainment technology offer potential to resolve these negative user experiences. Frustration may lead to aggression and negative experiences resulting in irrational behaviors.
The workshop on Entertainment in Transportation will be a forum of multi-disciplinary discussion on how to combine research and design in both the entertainment and the transportation domain. The one-day workshop will include break-out sessions including the creation of entertainment and game concepts for future transportation. Contributions are invited from all areas of mobile HCI, games & entertainment, as well as transportation contexts such as cars, planes, buses, trains, or space ships.
Submissions are invited on (but not limited to) the following topics:
- Entertainment applications to reduce frustration, aggression and irrationality
- Game and entertainment application concepts, prototypes, and systems that suit a certain transportation context
- Studies on informing transportation entertainment system design
- Social aspects of gaming in the transportation domain, including passengers as well as personnel
- Interaction modalities for transportation entertainment
- Research addressing the social aspects of transportation entertainment
- Usage of transport context data as game input
To participate authors please submit by May 20th, 2013 a position paper (no longer than 4 pages in the CHI extended abstract format) about their research containing the following aspects:
- The authors’ research perspective on entertainment and gaming in transportation and how to improve the situation of travelers through gaming and entertainment, including a description of a game and entertainment application (if applicable) or phenomenon they are working on or have studied.
- A reflection on the future challenges concerning entertainment in transportation that should be addressed by mobile HCI research.
- The way the authors aim at communicating their experience to the workshop participants (e.g., demo, interactive talk). Authors are invited to include an URL linking to digital documentation of a game, artifact, tool, service, project or study that offers a particular view on entertainment in transportation.
Submissions can, but do not have to be anonymized. Please submit your work via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Interactive presentations (such as demos) are highly encouraged and will be favored in the reviewing process.
We look forward to your contribution!
David Wilfinger (University of Salzburg) Alexander Meschtscherjakov (University of Salzburg)
Manfred Tscheligi (University of Salzburg)
Petra Sundström (University of Salzburg)
Dalila Szostak (Intel
Roderick McCall (University of Luxembourg)
Well done to Dundee University, my one time summer employer and where I did my BSc is one of four Scottish Universities to be in the top 100 according to a global ranking of scientific performance conducted by Leiden University. The Scottish Universities in the top 100 are: St Andrews (47th), Dundee (79th), Edinburgh (84th) and Aberdeen (91st). I don’t usually care too much for these rankings but being in the top 100 is pretty good, so well done to all of them. I hope that this will encourage companies to consider working more with Scottish Universities and hence help to build on the talent of excellent researchers and graduates that are available there. More information about the story can be found at The Scotsman.
Also don’t forget where I work now, The University of Luxembourg, we may be comparatively new but offer the chance to work with leading researchers/professors in a range of domains. Also we have excellent links to local and international companies. Check out www.securityandtrust.lu for more info.
Are you looking for an alternative to Dropbox or Google Drive? If so perhaps Mediafire is the answer.
To give you some background I have had enough of spending a lot on new computers when there are lots of good cloud storage and application solutions. Two obvious ones are Dropbox, which offers basic file storage and syncing across computers and Google Drive which offers storage, syncing and applications. Mediafire is slightly different and sits between these two as it does not sync files across computers, you basically upload them and share folders or files and download them if you or someone else wishes and like Google it also also comes with a range of office applications. Here is a quick summary of Mediafire and its relative advantages and disadvantages. Please note that the review is based on a paid pro subscription to Mediafire.
The biggest annoyance that I have come across so far is that you cannot password protect folders. This is a serious issue if like me you want to use it to share lots of large files but only with a select group of people. For this you must manually share a link for each file and set up a password. This means Mediafire in view is not a good medium for sharing lots of files in an ordered way, it is however good for sharing large single files.
In summary Mediafire is really just a file sharing site with an added office suite. It lacks the breadth and depth of features that you find with Google and does not automatically sync files. The latter is an advantage and disadvantage. If however you want a quick and easy way to send large files without forcing people to sign up to anything then it is a good choice. For sheer integration with other products and services Google is the clear winner. If however you you simply want a way to share large files without the privacy concerns attached to Google then Mediafire is a good option.
I’d like to thank the hacker with a Ukrainian IP address that tried 10,001 times during 1 hr yesterday to hack into my blog – in the end though you did not succeed. There were a mere 20-30,000 other attempted hacks from a range of addresses; in all cases it was one particular page that was the target. As a result here are some tips for other WordPress users in order to restrict access to your blog to hackers.
Prior to the attack I had been using multiple user accounts and also the Sucuri scanner (after a scare last year). Overtime I am sure hackers will try again but I hope the 6 tips above will prove useful in preventing them from doing so also please do a search online for more exhaustive tips as I not a WordPress or security expert.
Having never been to one I am not sure exactly what it is and sadly I can’t go as I am out of the country. However, if you are interested in cryptography and digital privacy why not attend the party this week in Luxembourg. Some info from their email is below:
CryptoParty Lux 3, the third CryptoParty held in the Grand Duchy,will take place on Thursday, April 11th at 18:00 at Konrad Cafe, 7 Rue du Nord, Luxembourg.
“*CryptoParties* are a global movement in the interests of educating and
empowering people to protect their privacy in the digital domain.”
Link to website: Cryptoparty
Normally I go to Konrad for it’s rather nice atmosphere and cheesecake.
If like me you lived through the Thatcher years in the UK then you will probably have positive and negative memories. Personally I think she was the right person for the first four or five years of her Premiership and cut out much of the undue union influence and can’t do attitude that I am told existed in Britain at the time. However, her eleven years in power was more than enough with unemployment rising from 1m when she took office to little over 3m when she left. Also large parts of the UK were destroyed as many industries rather than being modernised were simply closed down. Many of these areas never fully recovered and it is often in these areas that the seeds of the so-called welfare dependency culture were sown. Due to the lack of meaningful industry she also planted the seeds of the import dependency that is now a cause for concern in the UK.
Being a school child at the time I cannot forget the lack of text books, leaky building (not enough money was often available to do the repairs) and general decline of education – the massive exam reforms were chaotic although perhaps well intentioned. She can be said though to have revolutionised the university sector by removing the often a false barrier between universities and polytechnics – something scorned upon by many until this day. She also was was instrumental in making the City of London what it is today – but I am not sure if this is a good thing. Indeed it was so successful that comedian Harry Enfield is said to have been surprised at the number of stupid people earning even more stupid salaries that worked there that he created the character “Time nice but Dim”. A typical Tory boy with little between the ears except a desire for cash, women and partying although in the end too stupid to actually be nasty or harmful.
Other less pleasant sides included tea and cakes with General Pinochet and some murky tactics being used against suspected terrorists in Northern Ireland. In both of these cases though they came down to need and in the case of Northern Ireland a desire to bring about an end to the mindless violence that had ensued. We should also not forget that the IRA did try to kill the entire British Cabinet in a bomb blast, thankfully they failed and she rightfully took the conference stage a few hours later to say they had been defeated. Even in the face of a near death experience she remained the Iron Lady.
If there is one good thing that can be said about her Premiership it was that women were at last allowed to reach the top parts of British democracy. It is perhaps though her quote below which will be remembered most as she apparently said there is no such thing as society, she was however misquoted as you can see.
“I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the government’s job to cope with it!’ or ‘I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!’; ‘I am homeless, the government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society?
“There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families, and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first.
“It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.”
In summary no doubt she had a huge influence on the UK but in many ways we are only now only beginning to fully understand the implications of her often overly simplified policies have on long-term social cohesion. In the end she strengthened the rich and more or less left the country divided and driven by one thing: greed.
In any event rest in peace and my thoughts to her family.
Image credit Wikipedia (Creative Commons) and the quote is sourced from BBC News