Magnetic Interaction with Mobile Devices

A short video of the work undertaken by my colleague  Saeed Afshari mainly as part of his MSc thesis and was presented at NordiCHI 2014. The work was supervised by myself, Andrei Popleteev and Thomas Engel. The video contains some work that was carried out after the thesis  (in particular the use of two mobile phones).

For more information you can download the paper.

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Ethics in Serious Games

I was recently involved in co-authoring a book chapter which looked at the often difficult subject of ethics in serious games. What’s more when you add applications that seek to change behaviour to the  equation such as persuasive games or gamified applications the whole area becomes a whole lot worse.

In addition to the more obvious areas such as potential for harm, consent and privacy, persuasive and gamified applications often run the risk of serious conflicts of interest. For example, what exactly will companies do with the data obtained from gamified applications that try to improve workplace efficiency? Is it simply a spying application? Also if we look at issues such as who really benefits from such apps, again ethically it should be the end-user but in reality is this really the case?

If you are interested in the ethics of such things, look out for our (hopefully to be published) chapter on this topic but do check out the American Psychological Association Code. While I am sure many psychologists and even us HCI people may be aware of it I am somewhat concerned that many game developers may not be! The code is not specifically for serious games but covers a whole raft of highly relevant areas.

For now many people I have come across only really start to actively think about ethics in serious games when confronted with an ethics committee from which they have to get approval. In reality ethics must be embedded in serious games right from the start of the design process.

More on this topic soon I suspect.

 

 

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Talk @ UL: Deanonymisation of Clients in Bitcoin P2P Network

On Monday 27-October at 10:30 in E112 (campus Kirchberg) Ivan Pustogarov will give a talk on:

Bitcoin is a digital currency which relies on a distributed set of miners
to mint coins and on a peer-to-peer network to broadcast transactions. The
identities of Bitcoin users are hidden behind pseudonyms (public keys)
which are recommended to be changed frequently in order to increase
transaction unlinkability.

We present an efficient method to deanonymize Bitcoin users, which allows
to link user pseudonyms to the IP addresses where the transactions are
generated. Our techniques work for the most common and the most
challenging scenario when users are behind NATs or firewalls of their ISPs.
They allow to link transactions of a user behind a NAT and to distinguish
connections and transactions of different users behind the same NAT. We
also show that a natural countermeasure of using Tor or other anonymity
services can be cut-off by abusing anti-DoS countermeasures of the Bitcoin
network. Our attacks require only a few machines and have been
experimentally verified. The estimated success rate is between 11% and 60%
depending on how stealthy the attacker wants to be. We propose several
countermeasures to mitigate these new attacks.

Joint work with Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich, to be presented at ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS) in November this year.

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Presentation at Stanford

For those who happen to be in the area I will be presenting a talk on “Gamifying the Daily Commute” at the Precourt Energy Efficiency Centre (PEEC) at Stanford University on the 14th of November at 2.30pm.  My thanks to the staff at PEEC for inviting me to present at their regular departmental seminar. The event is open to all those with an interest in the topic, so please check out their website if you would like to come along.

The seminar is part of a series of their 2014 Sustainable Transportation Seminars.

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NordiCHI 2014

I will be attending NordiCHI 2014 in Helsinki this year along with colleagues from the UK and here in Luxembourg to present  work. First up will be work undertaken by Saeed Afshari an MSc student here at The University of Luxembourg who has been exploring different interaction paradigms (including using a magnetic device) across different mobile game genres.  Saeed is supervised by Andrei Popleteev, Thomas Engel and myself and I am delighted to say we believe that he is the first MSc student to travel to a conference with an accepted publication in our research group (perhaps even the whole centre). I am also involved in paper which explores auditory aspects of autonomous vehicles, this work is being undertaken by David Beattie who is a PhD student at Glasgow Caledonian University. I am one of his co-supervisors. Pre-prints of the papers will be available shortly both here and via my official university publications page.

 

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