Posts by Pavlos Efraimidis

Pavlos S. Efraimidis is an Associate Professor in Algorithms and Director of the Algorithms and Privacy Research Unit (https://euclid.ee.duth.gr). He received his PhD in Informatics in 2000 from the University of Patras under the supervision of Paul Spirakis. His main work is on algorithms and his current research interests are in the fields of algorithmic game theory and algorithmic aspects of privacy. He has published over 35 refereed technical papers and book chapters, and has participated in 11 national and European research projects. His professional experience includes working as a researcher for the Computer Technology Institute (http://www.cti.gr/), and as a computer engineer in the high performance computing field (Parsytec Computer GmbH, Aachen, Germany) and the financial sector (ASYK - Athens Stock Exchange, Athens, Greece).

The 2017 Top Programming Languages – IEEE Spectrum

Python jumps to No. 1, and Swift enters the Top Ten

It’s summertime here at IEEE Spectrum, and that means it’s time for our fourth interactive ranking of the top programming languages. As with all attempts to rank the usage of different languages, we have to rely on various proxies for popularity. In our case, this means having data journalist Nick Diakopoulos mine and combine 12 metrics from 10 carefully chosen online sources to rank 48 languages. But where we really differ from other rankings is that our interactive allows you choose how those metrics are weighted when they are combined, letting you personalize the rankings to your needs.

Source: The 2017 Top Programming Languages – IEEE Spectrum

Thousands sign up to clean sewage because they didn’t read the small print | Technology | The Guardian

Those who fell for the gag clause inserted into wifi terms and conditions committed to more than a month of community service

Do you read the terms and conditions? Probably not. No one does. And so, inevitably, 22,000 people have now found themselves legally bound to 1000 hours of community service, including, but not limited to, cleaning toilets at festivals, scraping chewing gum off the streets and “manually relieving sewer blockages”.

The (hopefully) joke clause was inserted in the terms and conditions of Manchester-based wifi company Purple for a period of two weeks, “to illustrate the lack of consumer awareness of what they are signing up to when they access free wifi”. The company operates wifi hotspots for a number of brands, including Legoland, Outback Steakhouse and Pizza Express.

Source: Thousands sign up to clean sewage because they didn’t read the small print | Technology | The Guardian

On computer science: a turbo in the algorithm (theconversation.com)

A new “Interview on Computer Science”. Serge Abiteboul and Christine Froidevaux interview Claude Berrou, computer engineer and electronics engineer, and a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Claude Berrou is a professor at IMT Atlantique. He is best known for his work on turbo codes, which has been used extensively in mobile telephony. His current research focus is on informational neuroscience. This article is published in collaboration with the blog Binaire.

Source: On computer science: a turbo in the algorithm

WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media – BBC News

The private instant messaging app is surging in popularity as a way to share and discuss the news.

WhatsApp is becoming one of the prevailing ways people discover and discuss news, according to a study.

But use of the messaging app appears to vary widely between countries.

In Malaysia, more than 50% of those surveyed said they used WhatsApp for news at least once a week. But in the US, the figure was only 3%, and in the UK it was 5%.

The Digital News Report also indicates the Brexit debate has led to growing mistrust of the UK’s media.

 

Source: WhatsApp rises as a major force in news media – BBC News

Yahoo closes internet prodigy’s news app – BBC News

Yahoo has announced it is shutting down its award-winning News Digest app at the end of this month.

It was launched in 2014 and is based on a technology developed by a British teenager that compressed other news outlets’ reports into shorter articles.

Yahoo was reported to have paid £20m for the tech and offered its creator Nick D’Aloisio a full-time job, but he opted instead to go to university.

The closure marks one of the first cuts made since Verizon bought Yahoo.

The telecoms company paid $4.5bn (£3.6bn) for the internet services firm in a deal that was completed on 13 June.

Source: Yahoo closes internet prodigy’s news app – BBC News

Cybersecurity Faces 1.8 Million Worker Shortfall By 2022

(ISC)2 report shows the skills shortage is getting worse.

Over the next five years, the number of unfilled cybersecurity jobs will rise to a whopping 1.8 million, a 20% increase from 2015 estimates, according to a new (ISC)2 survey released today.

Driving this widening shortage is not only the often discussed lack of qualified workers but also a greater need to bring in more warm bodies to tackle the rapidly evolving ways that cybercriminals and attackers are launching their nefarious activities, according to the report. It’s getting easier for low-tech criminals to get into hacking, thanks to malware-as-a-service operations and crimeware kits.

Source: Cybersecurity Faces 1.8 Million Worker Shortfall By 2022

How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful – The New York Times

It used to signal a quiet, anonymous life. Now privacy is a premium that may be out of reach for ordinary citizens.

Recently I handed over the keys to my email account to a service that promised to turn my spam-bloated inbox into a sparkling model of efficiency in just a few clicks. Unroll.me’s method of instant unsubscribing from newsletters and junk mail was “trusted by millions of happy users,” the site said, among them the “Scandal” actor Joshua Malina, who tweeted in 2014: “Your inbox will sing!” Plus, it was free. When a privacy policy popped up, I swatted away the legalese and tapped “continue.”

Last month, the true cost of Unroll.me was revealed: The service is owned by the market-research firm Slice Intelligence, and according to a report in The Times, while Unroll.me is cleaning up users’ inboxes, it’s also rifling through their trash. When Slice found digital ride receipts from Lyft in some users’ accounts, it sold the anonymized data off to Lyft’s ride-hailing rival, Uber.

Source: How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful – The New York Times

Election 2017: Was it Facebook wot swung it? – BBC News

A surge of enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was evident on social media. Did it translate into votes?

If you were surprised by the general election result, particularly the relative gains made by Labour and the worse-than-predicted Conservative performance, you probably weren’t keeping a close eye on Facebook.

There was a sharp distinction between Tory and Labour styles when it came to social media. The Conservative focus seemed to be sharp, paid-for attack ads. Labour’s presence was much more organic, and perhaps more effective with it.

Source: Election 2017: Was it Facebook wot swung it? – BBC News

How Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think – BBC News

Share Lab uses flow charts and data analysis to map one of the greatest forces shaping our world – Facebook.

Facebook’s collection of data makes it one of the most influential organisations in the world. Share Lab wanted to look “under the bonnet” at the tech giant’s algorithms and connections to better understand the social structure and power relations within the company.

A couple of years ago, Vladan Joler and his brainy friends in Belgrade began investigating the inner workings of one of the world’s most powerful corporations.

The team, which includes experts in cyber-forensic analysis and data visualisation, had already looked into what he calls “different forms of invisible infrastructures” behind Serbia’s internet service providers.

Source: How Facebook’s tentacles reach further than you think – BBC News

Borussia Dortmund bus attack suspect ‘planned to profit from falling share price’ (The Telegraph)

German police have arrested a man with dual Russian citizenship on suspicion of bombing the Borussia Dortmund team bus in an elaborate plot to make money if the team’s share price fell.

German police have arrested a man with dual Russian citizenship on suspicion of bombing the Borussia Dortmund team bus in an elaborate plot to make money if the team’s share price fell.

The 28-year-old dual German and Russian national, named only as Sergei W,  is believed to carried out the attack in order to make a profit selling shares in the team.

He had bought options on Borussia Dortmund stock in advance of the attack and planned to make a profit as the share price fell in the wake of injuries to key players, prosecutors said in a statement.

Source: Borussia Dortmund bus attack suspect ‘planned to profit from falling share price’