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EuropeComm is now done and dusted, and i have returned from the chaos of London to the tranquillity of Swansea. I think the conference was a great success considering it was the first year, and these things always take time to gather motion.

Day 3 was the Business track day, and the talks were mainly from people in industry or performing research for companies. The first talk was from Dirk Trossen, who is a chief researcher at BT networks. His talk covered the area of a publish-subscribe internet routing paradigm for the future internet. This area is very new too me, so i wont try to explain what it is in case i do it an injustice, but it looks very interesting. The website for the research project he talked around is http://www.psirp.com . He was a excellent talker, and made some interesting comments regarding his vision of the future of the internet.

One of the sessions was a panel disscusion where some invited members outlined thier vision of the future of thier field and then took soem questions. I made a comment regarding the use of open models in health care and telecommunications that accidently made me sound very socialist, and resulted in a rather defensive respose. I poised the question that the pursuit of profit in healthcare may actually be a hinderense as the primary function of the system is making profit, not making people healthier. I then added that maybe it is not BT’s primary aim to improve communications systems but to create profit, and as a result any good ideas in BT would only reach product if money making potential exists. Would twitter (which does not have a obvious profit making model) have taken off if developed in a BT research lab?

Day 2 of EuropeComm has been as interesting as day one, if not more so as more of the content was directly related to my research areas.

Intelligent Transport Systems kicked off the day with a key note from Prof. John Polak from Imperial who introduced the changing datascape of road traffic systems. Prof. Mike Smith from York then carried on this theme with a more mathematical approach and introduced BRAESS networks and his work in this area. Things started to get a bit more technical with Maziar Nekovee from BT’s talk on Vehicle to Vehicle communications. There are a lot of authentication, security and privacy issues in this area which will be very interesting to look into.

The paper of most direct interest to my paper at the conference was presentation from Michael Decker from Karlsruhe who introduces the topic of Location-Aware access control for DB’s. His talk did not consider the localisation aspects but more so the procedural aspects of access control such as role based and mandatory access control. It was good to see he has done a lot of work in writing detailed survey of the area of location aware and mandatory access, and i am looking forward to receiving his papers to read.

The last talk of the day which struck a nerve with me was Gary Graham from Manchester University talk on how the News/Media corporations are adapting to Web 2.0. He came from perspective of being sympathetic to Rupert Murdoch and the many news corporations and discussed way that they can adapt to survive in the changing economy of news distribution. I think maybe this area is facing the same problems as the music industry, and it may be that radical change is on the way whether the news corporation like it or not. Maybe the will adapt and survive, or maybe the will fail and be replaced with a new economy of news distribution. I dont think we should fight for either, but let the natural course take place. I personally think we will be left with only a few government funded (oh dear) news corporations and a lot of user generated news sites. This was also echoed by Gary in his response to mine and other participants questions. It will certainly be exciting to see what happens in the decades to come.

Day one of the EuropeComm conference at London is over, and it has been a interesting day with talks on a mixture of topics.

The key note in the morning from Dr Paulo Sousa of the European Commission on Future Internet was very encouraging after seeing the seriousness placed on the importance of the internet to europe. The end of capitalism was hinted at, which i think was a joke more than anything, but it makes you consider how capitalism must change in order to keep up with the new digital economy. Lets hope it can change faster than the business models of the music and film industry.

The other talk that caught my eye was entitled ‘Why the internet is so small?’ by Shi Zhou of UCL. The title is no doubt a catchy title designed to draw attention, and it worked on me. The paper was considering the size of the autonomous systems area of the internet (BGP routing) which can be considered small in comparison to the edges. The comparison of the main backbone routers to a Rich Club where all the rich boys (routers) know the other rich boys was funny. The author also stated he believed the continued success of the internet backbones was natural evolution and not man made, while i think maybe it was simply lucky that the original ideas were designed to be slightly scalable (well at least to 32 bits).

I am looking forward to hearing more and then presenting my paper tomorrow.

August 2017
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