ICT / Technology

ICT integrates more and more deeply in our societies

Social Media: Facebook, Linkedin

My FB account was hacked; Not Linkedin

A fortnight ago, I received a message from an acquaintance saying he believed my Facebook account was hacked. There’s no compromising information in it, but I had to react quickly to make sure that this wouldn’t have consequences on my contacts. I changed my password right away and posted a warning.

It was one of the “why me” moments. I should have paid attention to the red flags. Last February, I tried to open the message sent via Messenger by an American writing pal. It looked encrypted/coded, similar to the one sent by someone pretending to be me. I did tell him that I couldn’t open it, but he didn’t reply. I should have changed my password right away.

I had the same password for many years – too lazy to change it and thought I was a small, non-attention grabbing fish.

If you notice that a message has been sent that you didn’t write, you have been hacked. I’ve heard stories of hackers changing people’s email addresses, passwords, or birthdays.



(離脱キャンペーンでは、Brexit に反対すること自体が愛国心に欠ける「非国民」のように言いはやされ、「頭」でなく「肚」の根拠なき心配に訴えるような流布がなされた。また「英国人」という、単一のアイデンティティに訴えかけたことも興味深い。)



Inequality in distance learning, virtual meeting and teleworking

A few weeks ago, one of my students emailed me: “I don’t have the intention to quit the course. I have been absent because of my very bad internet connection”. She lives in Luxembourg, which is this year’s richest country in the world based on GPD per capita (cf worldpopulationreview.com: Luxembourg $119,719; Norway $86,362; Switzerland $83,832; Ireland $81,477; Iceland $78,181; Qatar $65,062; The United States of America $64,906; Denmark $63,434; Singapore $62,690; Australia $58,824). Those in developing nations, where there is a vast gap between the haves and have-nots, experience even more inequality in distance education, virtual meeting and teleworking.

The abrupt shift to education online has created practical, technical, and emotional challenges; and the lack of reliable technology and Internet access is only a tip of the iceberg. There are issues concerning teachers’ ability to carry out their tasks remotely, home environment that favour or disfavour learning, and help (or lack of it) that students get offline.

The data compiled by the Teacher Task Force, an international alliance coordinated by UNESCO, found that half of all students currently out of the classroom — or nearly 830 million learners globally — do not have access to a computer. As well, more than 40 per cent have no Internet access at home. (see ''Startling disparities in digital learning emerge as COVID-19 spreads: UN education agency'' published by UN News on April 21, 2020)

I teach adults at their company premises, which haven’t resumed yet. Currently, I have only two classes online. My son has been at home since the end of March finishing his first-year tertiary studies virtually and will return to Warwick University (UK) in October. My friends and acquaintances have told me that they will continue to have video conferences instead of face-to-face meetings until the end of 2020. Whatever and wherever the situation, there is a form of inequality.

Freedoms, Internet Access, and Mysterious Algorithms!?

Horse in Hespérange

Two days ago, Microsoft remotely updated and installed things in my computer, but has deinstalled my Japanese font – my mother tongue! Apparently, the problem has been well known, but they have updated anyway. At the same time I cannot deinstall the things I do not want, which is very frustrating. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Our friend Vincent says: “There are less and less free things on the Internet. If you think something is free, then you are becoming ‘the product’ itself. You see, where is your data?”

Another thing. Could you do me a favor? Could you google something and compare with the results of other lesser-known search engines on the Internet? Do you see any differences?

(Continue to read...)



みなさん「ホームランド Homeland」という米国のTV ドラマを、ご覧になったことはありますか?

事実をゆがめ 嘘も繰りかえし拡散すれば、世論やポスト真実としてなりたつという情報・印象操作や政治プロパガンダの一面を扱っています。

スノーデン氏が香港のホテルに持参していた本のタイトルも、実は「Homeland」で、同じタイトルでIT 専門家による本もでています。

その「Homeland」を下巻とすると、上巻にあたるのがCory Doctorow の「Little Brother」 (Big Brother じゃなくて) です。(わたしはまだ全部読み終えてませんが)




4月4日。ネットでの閲覧履歴について、マーティン・ファクラー氏がツイ―ト。その後「閲覧:貴方が行っているインターネットの閲覧は売り出されるかもしれないのです。トランプはこれを許可」と孫崎享‏ 氏がリツイート。

でもね。私たちには、他の方法があります。マイクロソフトより、Linux、グーグルの代わりにダックダックゴー DuckDuckGo.com スカイプより、トックスTox / qTox






掃除ロボットのルンバで、その名をトビー (Tobi) という。夫は彼のパパだと認知している。私としちゃ、ロボットを子にしたおぼえはない。





Innovation and Luxembourg, Suffering a Brain Drain!?

Ten years ago, when I started going to the Bibliothèque Nationale de Luxembourg (BNL - the National Library of Luxembourg), the “poverty” of the library (e.g., infrastructure, resources, services, etc.) of the world's richest (if not mistaken) country shocked me. The BNL was so underdeveloped, when compared to many public and private libraries in the USA. More surprisingly, many libraries I had visited in Brussels, Paris, and other cities were not so nice, either.

(Just note that some BNL librarians appear to be cold and distant at first. But, when they get to know you, they can be friendly, very helpful, and even sweet.)

Over the last ten years, the BNL has improved dramatically, and has become one of the best/favorite libraries I know in the region so far. Although I still miss some aspects of American libraries – for example, specialized librarians (e.g., law librarians) and more conducive, competitive, extremely intense, and intellectually stimulating atmospheres for studying, I am OK with the BNL. Hope that it keeps improving in coming years.

However, talent management in Luxembourg concerns me/us greatly.

It is obvious that Luxembourg has an advantage in attracting people because of competitive salaries, benefits, etc. But, it may not be so good at retaining their top talents in some sectors (though, of course, there are really talented people in Luxembourg, but some of friends have been disenchanted. They have moved to other companies and countries with better opportunities).

There seems to be something dysfunctional: something does not ignite, but undermine the passion of people.

Modeling human well-being and societal progress

For those who already read our article "Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life" in Social Indicators Research and have become interested in modeling, you may want to watch Tony Buzan's video on Mind Mapping. It may give you an idea of modeling as I think that modeling and his mapping are closely connected.

And, the book Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist (Second Edition - link to Morgan-Kaufmann Publishers) by Allemang and Hendler is very nice, very progressive and pedagogic to learn about modeling.


Towards International and Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration for the Measurements of Quality of Life

Our paper (with the title above) has been published and is available as "Online First" on SpringerLink now: www.springerlink.com

When we started creating our eLab in 2006-2007, it was probably one of the earliest ones. Now there are many eLabs, especially nice ones in the UK and other universities. Though, I understand that many researchers focus on eScience, while we are more interested in eSocial Science and measuring societal progress.

We have written the earlier versions of this paper for the last three years. And, as the time has passed, we have learned new stuff, and tried to make the paper shorter and less technical. Therefore, quite frankly, the paper is getting outdated as technology advances so quickly. Though, our article provides a general introduction to eSocial Science.

A good news is that we've got a new idea. Although we cannot go into details at this time, what we wish is we make it accessible and useful for as many people as possible.

We hope to update you about progress on this site (by the end of this year, if possible). Also, we will see you at future conferences and meetings! At the moment, we are interested in the 9th IEEE International Conference on e-Science in Beijin, China in 2013: escience2013.csp.escience.cn

Updating you on eLaboratories

We have been working on two main subjects: (1) international and interdisciplinary collaboration for quality of life (QoL) research; and (2) computer-based technology and infrastructure assisting (1). This type of computer-supported cooperative work in the social sciences has been termed eHumanities or eSocial Science.

QoL or human well-being research has gained momentum after the representatives of the European Commission, the OECD, the UN, the UNDP, and the World Bank made the Istanbul Declaration in 2007 to undertake the measurement of societal progress in each country. In the context of QoL or human well-being research and measurement, one of the most influential concepts is the capability approach (CA). Yet, the operationalization of the CA has long been one of the serious challenges faced by social scientists. As regards to this issue, we argue that modern technology has the potential to provide ample tools for enhancing the measurement of human well-being, and facilitating large-scale collaborative research on the QoL.

We have developed a methodology, procedures, and tools based on the new technologies developed for both governmental and intergovernmental (OECD) sponsored assessments and that are ready to be used for QoL analysis. We propose a viable alternative for facilitating international and interdisciplinary research collaboration to develop a methodology and a dashboard of indicators to monitor the progress of human well-being over the years and to formalize its multidimensional measure for international comparisons.

Requiescat in pace Steve Jobs

An eerie stillness ... My husband muttered something in the next room this morning (around 5:45 AM or so). He came to my bedside, holding our MacBook with its screen showing a black-and-white photo of Steve Jobs 1955-2011.

I jumped out of bed and we read a short obituary: "Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being." The full 56 years. Hero growing-up, true visionary, inspiration, innovator, power struggle, commercial failures and successes, stubbornness, tenacity, hard work, work-related ill health, and belief in new technology to change the world ... all seem to be quite familiar and I feel close to him as I live with an IT guy.

Two things I truly admire him for is putting vision into action (as many of us even do not have visions of the future or we cannot go beyond vision) and making things user-friendly.

If I had ever run into him, I would have asked him, “Hey, Steve-san, Please give us your personal advice. How can we make our eLaboratories much more user-friendly?"

... sad.

Building a global one world classroom

This guy is cool! He shows how new technologies can effectively help teachers with teaching, and the children with learning... by doing things differently. He calls it "flipping the classroom." Students are free to take their lessons/lectures via video posted on the Internet from anywhere they want and the time spent with the teacher in the classroom is dedicated to do their homework. The videos are well conceived and it seems that they are appealing even to the kids who have learning difficulties (e.g., children with autism).

Even without major learning difficulties and disorders, some kids may not like schools. I recall the first day of an elementary school... A sense of agony, torture. I found it eternally hard to sit still on a hard chair all day long...

Old days are gone. It is amusing to imagine that a kid in Calcutta may tutor math for a Belgian kid via the Internet, and play WoW together after the tutoring session, etc...

The Wilderness Downtown

This is cool! You can enter your home address, your office address, or the name of your school, and click on the button “Play Film.” (Then, do not touch anything)

I do not run as fast as this guy does, but I see my neighborhood!

I saw where my friend lives in the Hague. I asked my Algerian "brother" to show me where he grew up. I will send this link to our Sister Geneviève (who is buying a new computer this week) to show her the Vatican city!



p.s. According my IT husband, the creator of this cyber artwork is a living God and he is well known for many of his experiments (e.g. the 3D three.js framework): Mr.doob

NAO dancing robots at the Universal Expo 2010 in Shanghai

What cute entertainers … they are! A troupe of good-looking NAO robots (produced by the French company Aldebaran Robotics) performs a harmonious dance. They begin by warming up with light movements and gentle stretching. Then, as the music changes to Ravel's Boléro, the NAOs show their real dance skills with equilibrium, fluidity and precision of their moves, and a certain form of esthetics (with postures of aerobics, tai chi, Haka, Noh plays, etc).

At the end of their performance, they bowed down in salute to the audience, I clapped and cheered enthusiastically. You would get touched by their synchronized dancing!

Watching the video, you will understand that we can use robots in many new (positive) ways – for education, for those who have physical challenges, and for many changes.


p.s.: It is interesting that there are also many negative comments on this robot demonstration. Is this due to the general lack of understanding of technology, the use of robots, or robotics? Or, what? Or, these robots look like humans and they move like humans, so people fear that these robots may think, emote, or act like humans!?

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