Showing posts from April, 2007

We're Number 1!

Not only has the Pittsburgh area been rated the No. 1 place in the country for Baby Boomers to find love and keep it, but the City of Boomer Love also consumes more Ho Hos than anywhere else.

What Happened to 18000 Votes?

I just saw this great talk by Michael Shamos detailing an investigation (that he was part of) into 18000 undervotes in the 2006 election in Florida.

Although I couldn't stay for the whole talk, it looks like there were fairly substantial HCI problems, in terms of the ballot design. When Shamos showed the actual ballot screen in question, I actually didn't see that there were two separate races being shown. The race at the top of the screen was the one that had the huge number of undervotes, but was visually overshadowed by the second race, which had a larger header and had more people running. Of course, the button to go to the next screen is right under the second race, so I could see how people could have easily missed the race that is currently in dispute.

It strikes me that we really need a single ballot design, one that can be massively user tested to ensure usability and understandability. A key problem, though, is that ballots and voting machines are done on a local basis…

Mossberg on Usability and Security

Walt Mossberg has a nice report spotting three important computing trends, namely usability, security, and mobile phones (all three of which I coincidentally work in :)

On usability:

[M]y main criteria for judging digital consumer products have been simplicity, ease of use and reliability -- a sort of index for the burden on the user. And in 1992 most products failed miserably on that scale. They required far too much attention, knowledge and effort by users when theoretically they were supposed to do just the opposite -- namely, to make their lives easier.


And by then the World Wide Web had changed everything. It had vastly enriched the experience of computing, adding information, entertainment, communication and commerce on a grand scale.

On security:

[O]ver the past five years, the security problem has morphed into a major hassle for people who own and use Windows computers. Viruses and other malicious software programs are still with us, but now they've been joined by new catego…

The Social Web: Content, Communities, and Context

This fall, Robert Kraut and I will be teaching a course entitled The Social Web: Content, Communities, and Context (links to PDF of our course flier).

IEEE Pervasive Computing Special Issue on Security and Privacy

I'm a guest editor on a special issue of IEEE Pervasive Computing on security and privacy.


Author guidelines:
Submission address:
WIP Deadline: See below
Publication date: September 2007

IEEE Pervasive Computing invites submissions to a special issue on the topic of ÎéÎíSecurity and Privacy in Pervasive Computing.ÎéÎí Example topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Establishing trust in pervasive hardwarePreserving security in cyber foragingSoftware and hardware attestation of remote executionsAuthenticating with low distractionUsing tamper-evident hardwareProviding peripheral awareness of trust contextCombining privacy with accuracy in location sensingCoping with physical threats to pervasive hardwareEncrypting on low-power computing devicesAnonymized computing with disposable devices and statesSecurity and privacy of RFID techn…

My Best Fortune Cookie Ever

Got this one a while back, it's now on my office door.