Recently, I’ve been working on a project where I needed to scan a large number of .apk files for potential malware or malicious intent. Given the fact that antiviruses produce many false positives, it would be better for me to scan the files by using more than one antivirus. During a discussion with a colleague, he mentioned the VirusTotal service. VirusTotal is a free service in which a web user can scan files and URLs to see if they are related to any kind of malicious behavior (viruses, worms, Trojans, etc.). To do so, it uses 55 different antiviruses and 61 scan engines. Using it is pretty straightforward: users upload a file and when the engines finish their analysis the results are displayed. Continue reading
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are computational models inspired from one of nature’s most splendid creations – the neuron. It seems our quest to make the machines smarter has converged onto the realization that we ought to code the ‘smartness’ into them, literally. What better way than to draw parallels from the source of our own intelligence, our brains?
This week I had the honor of attending and presenting at ICDM.
The conference was hosted in Atlantic City, NJ, at Bally’s Hotel and Casino on the boardwalk. It was certainly an interesting choice for an academic conference venue. Though I myself grew up just a few hours north of Atlantic City, and now live about four hours from Las Vegas, I’ve never really indulged in the delights of “gaming,” as the conference program referred to it. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I must say that it was a lot of fun to wander through the casino during session breaks or at the end of the day. The boardwalk itself was a lot of fun (and impressively recovered after Sandy), and not to mention the big outlet mall and Aquarium which was the destination of a group excursion during the second day of the Conference. The organizers did a great job of pulling together a diverse conference in a less-than-conventional place; I think everyone had a great time. Continue reading
We keep hearing in today’s technology-driven world that advancements such as 3D printing, next-gen robots, and virtual reality are made everyday, but we often learn little about the real people behind these inventions. Instead, we are constantly exposed to false stereotypes such as “Women can’t code”, which is still not dead despite the increasing numbers of women who’ve succeeded in tech, currently and historically.
Notwithstanding their contribution, women continue to face discrimination in patriarchal societies, such as reduced opportunities for education, not being recognized as equal to men, and being prevented from holding high offices or posts that are stereotyped for men. What keeps women going forward in the face of this adversity is the sheer human determination to perform and excel.
The archetypal poster woman in this argument, Ada Lovelace, was one of the first programmers. She had written a program in English to operate Bernoulli’s numbers, which can be taken as our modern day ‘algorithm.’ But people ought to understand that she was hardly the only one! Women have always been present in the field, contributing every step of the way since even before the advent of modern computers, it’s just that their work has not been widely publicized.
An area where women have made a significant difference was advancing the now-fashionable Internet of Things (IoT), and in particular addressing privacy and security concerns that arise with it. First let’s understand what the IoT is all about.
We all know the rate of change today is fierce. As technology leaps forward, students of Human Computer Interaction may be intimidated by the breadth of topics in which they are expected to demonstrate expertise. If one is planning an academic career, it may be possible to define a narrow area of deep knowledge. If an industry position is desired, a broad understanding of UX (user experience) principles and the software development process may be the best preparation.