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  • Paavo Viilup 11:28 on April 26, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: thetask   

    April 26

    1. Describe in technical detail the process the system follows each time money is deposited and/or something purchased using the system.

    2. Discuss at least two possible security issues that may occur during the use of the system.

    3. Comment briefly on the social implications a system like this might have.

    • Taavi 12:12 on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      How is babby formed???
      1. Describe in technical detail the process the system follows each time money is deposited and/or something purchased using the system.
      The user of the app has to have a virtual credit/debit card which it binds to its mobile account. On first use the app system asks for the user’s all personal details, pin codes, passwords and other financial data which it saves on remote central servers rather than on the mobile device. Later the app only asks for identification info like username and password. If all the necessary data can be accessed by the app it asks for the amount of money to be deposited or spent. The system checks whether the user has required money on his account or his/her debit/credit card. If there is not enough money the user is notified. Also the system checks whether the amount does not exceed £500 if it does not the system proceeds to transaction phase otherwise the user is notified. In transaction phase the system transfers the money from the user’s account to the chosen recipient or in the case of depositing the money the money is transferred from the credit card to the account.
      2. Discuss at least two possible security issues that may occur during the use of the system.
      In case of the NFC if the user’s mobile phone is stolen the thief can go around spending with the user’s mobile phone without being stopped. This is a serious security issue and it cannot be prevented as NFC uses no secondary security measure such as password. Thus it would be safer to resort to regular username password identification and drop support for NFC.
      Another security issue is the storage of bank account info in central servers. It is weak to save bank info in other servers than the bank itself as possibly O2 does not spend as much money on server security as banks. Thus the bank info is more easily accessible to hackers and as the O2 servers do not have connection with the bank’s ones it might be possible for the hackers to trick the bank by using legitimate access to accounts that the user actually is using its bank account. This is a huge security risk that has to be dealt with. I personally think the best way would be for the banks and O2 to work together and produce a single unified system. It is difficult to achieve but it is probably the only possible way forward.
      3. Comment briefly on the social implications a system like this might have.
      As the paying process using the discussed system would only take a push of one button and people do not see the money being transferred as would be the case of paying in cash they are more likely to spend money. Thus regular user’s would be more prone to make easy payments and will spend more money. This would be better for the sellers and stores and it would aslo increase the tax income. Therefore, introducing the new text payment system would be beneficial for the whole economy of the UK. It can be said that when buying is made easier for the users they are more likely to buy and more likely to help the economy. Thus, it would be the UK’s first priority to help in fixing the security issues regarding the system. All in all in the end of the day everybody would win from this system.

    • Brent 12:14 on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1 Answer

      The person opens the app.
      The person logs on to the system using passwords or PIN code
      The system checks the data on a remote server, where all the user data is.
      The data is verified.
      The person then chooses the retail store to whom they want to pay
      The transfer is made, money has been taken from the user’s account.
      The change is made in the store’s database, the O2 database and the bank database which all signal that a transaction has been made.

      2 answer

      The O2’s database might not be safe. People with evil intentions could try to hack the O2’s database and steal people’s personal data. Also the data transaction might not be safe.
      if a person’s PIN code or password is stolen, it can be used to make mobile payments.

      3 Answer.

      This could be really good for stores, since people could find shopping to be easier compared to current standards and therefore would shop and spend more. From a capitalist point of view this would be good for the economy, since more money would be moving in the system and thereby would generate prosperity. The downsides of the technology would be, that people would spend their money too quickly, since it is so easy to do. Also mobile devices would assume a larger role in people’s financial life and therefore would become bigger targets for thieves, since the app could be used to capture people’s financial data. Overall the app could to little bit to boost the economy by creating a bigger flow of cash, but it would also make people more vulnerable because of their spending habits or because of the financial data connected to the phone.

    • alex 12:20 on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1. The person who owns a smartphone and this O2 wallet app first has to create a virtual credit or debit card or set up their regular bank account. Then if the user has a credit or debit card, money needs to be loaded onto the cards via from the persons bank account. Finally when the money is loaded then the system shows the user all of the retailers that have agrred to this app. When a user chooses a retailer to buy from then first off the app needs to check that the purchase is not more than 500 pounds because this was the assigned limit for a single purchase. Then the app checks whether or not the user can actually afford the purchase by checking the accounts balance. Since all the data is in a remote server then upon checking the balance the info is retrieved from the server. Once it knows that all of the financial aspects are in order then it sends amount needed to the retailer. Then when the retailer account receives the money then that account automatically has to send the transaction fee to O2. For now the user has no fees to pay but in the future they have to pay 15p for each transaction which then is either deducted from their current balance upon the transaction or then added to the phone bill which is then later transferred to the specific O2 bank account. Upon adding money to a credit or debit card the system retrieves the bank data from the remote server and then adds the amount of money requested to the debit or credit card with a specific number. Also with a bank transaction the user has to pay a fee to the bank for every transaction if the contract does not state otherwise.

      2. The greatest security risk is of course when the user loses his/her phone or it is stolen. Since most people tend to leave their phones logged in to all of the social networks then probably also the O2 wallet app is constantly running. Hence if someone steals a persons phone then they can wreak a lot of havoc on the persons life. They can easily go to any of the listed retailers and use that phone to buy anything they want until the limit is reached or until they don’t need it anymore. This can have irreversable damage on the users financial situation ruining his/her life in an instant. Of course the user can have his phone shut down or blocked form usage but the time it takes to do that means that the thief still has an opportunity to do some harm to the person.

      Another security risk is that all of the data is stored in a remote server not the phone itself. The risk is that if somebody finds out how a person logs in to the system with their data then this other person can also use this data to log on to the system without the other one knowing. This also means that a person does not need to steal the phone but just find out their data. By logging in to the system using someone elses data can harm the user even more because he may not even know at first that his account has been hijacked and used by somebody else. By using a coffe shop wifi it is also hard to trace it to the hijacker and stop him.

      3. Since this new system makes it easier for people to make these sort of transactions without having a care in the world for the money being spent then it is more likely that people will start spending more money and making more of these kinds of purchases. Hence the retailers and aslo the developer of this app will start making more moeny hence the economy goes up for the retailers in general .

    • Silver 12:33 on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      1) Describe in great detail the process the system follows each time something is purchased/money is deposited using the system.

      For the transaction to take place, the mobile phone has to have the capability of NFC connectivity. The mobile phone will therefore need to install a dedicated application which will allow the phone to connect to the servers and make transactions. An SMS system is integrated into the system, allowing the users to deposit money on their “Mobile wallet” accounts. Whenn the phone is to be “swiped” across the magnetic payment strip, the server checks for user information and the balance of the account. Furthermore, if the account has sufficient funds, the desired amount and subtracks the money from the account. The time and name of the transaction is also saved for future overview of the spendings.

      2) Discuss at leas two possiböe security issues that may occur during the use of the system.

      a) The phone gets stolen. Since this application allows the user to pay for services using a mobile phone or a similar device, the process of misplacing or losing the gadget will put the balance of the bank account of the “unfortunate user” in danger. As there is no indication of password requirements while making the transaction, strangers who have found the phone could use the new application to pay for services with “stolen” money. Furthermore, if the system was to use a username-password solution, losing either one could possibliy turn out as a catastrophe as people would have remote access to one’s account.

      b) As to RFID cards, even if the transmission range of the service is rather small, there is a possibility that the application could charge the user for services they did not recieve.

      3) Comment briefly on the social implications a system like this might have.

      Using this application service, people will have a more simple access to their money and funds. Paying trough a mobile phone service will allow for a uniform way of paying for services, making ther lives of the users easier.

  • Paavo Viilup 11:28 on March 8, 2012 Permalink |  

    March 8 

    Oh, look at this:

    Command terms!

    For pre-exam pre-thinkery, do the following mental exercise:

    • consider the new iPad
    • define, evaluate, discuss, formulate etc – the new iPad

    Thus: write a piece using at least four command terms to elaborate on the new iPad. Please try not to be funny and write as briefly as possible. I think the time for frivolity has long passed and you should follow form.

    Post here – I’ll TRY to evaluate these today, right after class. I’ll also evaluate your previous writings, including the non-existent ones.

  • Paavo Viilup 13:22 on February 15, 2012 Permalink |  

    Now that we’ve had our very own ACTA… 

    Now that we’ve had our very own ACTA protests, numerous essays from both sides, funny statements from our PM and all the other brouhaha surrounding the new legislation, it is time for you to flex your analytical muscle. An essay then, on ACTA, on what you think of it, and on what you think of the noise surrounding it. The length – 600 words, the due date – Feb 17.

    In case you use other people’s thoughts, apply appropriate referencing techniques.

  • Silver 23:19 on February 7, 2012 Permalink |  


    • Investigation of the software we have as of now (multiple countries/languages) -> direct contact, personal user experience if possible
    • Figuring out whether any of the found software could possibly benefit PTC (multi-browser capability, no need for plug-ins, user interface, smartphone integration)
    • Solutions for cross-platform data transfer
    • Solutions for multi-language text and multimedia
    • Detailed report producing software
    • Difference between “distributed database system” and a “centralized database system + VPN” and possible applications and implications
  • Erik-Silver Toomere 14:01 on February 1, 2012 Permalink |  

    The Ban 

    The Tallinn Technic University instituted a ban on the use of computers, iPads and smartphones. The two main reasons on this move seem to be that, firstly the students spend too much time on other activities like browsing entertainment sites, and secondly because Harvard has a similar ban. The university also has, keeping in mind those that actually use the devices to take notes, proposed alternatives like self-discipline and limiting the WiFi-accesibilty during lectures.

    I do not have a view on this issue sice it does not impact me. However from this neutral standpoint I can see it as a reasonable solution that the university took. Indeed, it could be argued that, in reference to the name of the university, the situation is a bit ironic; then again the lectures are about the theoretical side of whatever the student is studying – no actual practical work is done during the lecture which removes the need for the devices. But then it could be argued that, in reference to the name of the university, why should they use pen and paper?

    In the end it all comes down to the supreme authority of whoever is running the university and grades, apparently, directly show the prestige and value of the university. Removing the factors that cause drops in grades should, in theory, increase the grades. We can only wait and see what happens.

  • Brent 13:59 on February 1, 2012 Permalink |  


    Today (01.02.12) the Tallinn Technical University announced that it will prohibit any use of technical gadgets during lectures. The reason was that students were not using their gadgets for study purposes, but rather for entertainment during lectures.

    It seems right away, that the university has not taken into consideration the needs of the students and have just chosen the easy way out. Students who are used to working with computers are put into a disadvantaged position where they must now develop new organizational skills in order to successfully taking notes on paper. This also means that later these students have a harder time studying for exams, since their notes are recorded onto different mediums. Thus a sort of inequality is produced.

    Another concern is that the decision is based on a global research, not a local one. The university has made decisions based on general conclusions and this is quite problematic, since every problem is unique, no matter if the establishments are all universities or not.

    The most depressing side of this news is that it is a Technical university. Thus from the name one would expect a more IT solution, like prohibiting Wifi access or some other filtering, not choosing 19 century tactics and just banning everything

  • Paavo Viilup 13:52 on February 1, 2012 Permalink |  

    The ban on all laptop computers iPads and… 

    The ban on all laptop computers, iPads and smartphones in lectures by the Public Relations Institute of Tallinn Technical University raises, in addition, to the more obvious questions (e.g. was the university right to do that; why should everyone suffer for the folly of some), a much more interesting one concerning teaching and learning.

    In essence, the university is approaching the problem from the wrong angle. Instead of figuring out how to limit using certain ubiquitous items, the institute should instead figure out a way to capitalise on said items in the educational process. One might argue here that the institute should also find a way to implement Coke cans in teaching (because people have them in lectures, for example), but it is obvious that computers and phones ARE used for studying by most students (whereas Coke cans are not). Thus, by banning them from lectures, you are effectively creating a barrier for learning (even though the aim is exactly the opposite), as people will not be able to use their usual tools during lectures. You are making studying more difficult for many.

    The ideal solution would be to use the computing capacity in the lecture hall to make the process of teaching more interactive (allow chat in Google Presentations for a parallel discussion; make online polls etc) and challenge the students on their ground. Instead, the Institute has chosen to continue on their conservative path.

    (There is also the problem of boredom, i.e. if the students find it easier to surf Facebook instead of joining in the discussion – if there is one in the first place – there is something wrong in the first place.)

  • Taavi 13:48 on February 1, 2012 Permalink |  

    No more tech gadgets during lecture ok or no? 

    Recently Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) prohibited the use of all technical gadgets by students from its lectures. It seems like a harsh decision but are actions against the use of devices justified?
    Numerous researches have been done and it has been found that laptops, iPads and other gadgets are mostly used for entertainment purposes during lectures than for taking notes. Thus, it seems that all the devices prohibit students from gaining new knowledge and participating in the lecture. However it is doubtable whether the banning is the way forward as a lot of people who actually use IT devices for taking notes are also punished. Considering the events happening in the IT world at the moment it seems that banning is the way forward. This is due to the laws (ACTA, SOPA, PIPA) that target the illegal/unwanted deeds, meantime affecting the legal and necessary actions. Therefore, seeing that governments are taking radical actions universities should also take radical measures to ensure the welfare of everybody. It can be argued that the university’s society should be somewhat more advanced and should know what is right without making restrictive laws but as history has shown not all students are in the university to study. Thus, to ensure that tax payers’ money does not go to waste and all students get the necessary education radical measures have to be taken despite limiting the ones willing to study.
    As harsh it may seem banning use of all technical gadgets from lectures is a good way forward as it saves students’ and lecturers’ time and tax payers’ money. After all those who cannot cope with the new rules should not be going to the university as this is not the place the society wants them to be.

  • alex 13:43 on February 1, 2012 Permalink |  

    Ban ALL the gadgets?? 

    Some university’s have reached a decision of banning all technological gadgets form lectures and classrooms. They claim that pupils do not concentrate enough in class because they are using their iPads, computers or smartphone to browse news sites, chat in social networks or for other entertainment purposes. Is this sort of conduct fair to all the students?

    I believe that in most cases it is quite unfair. First off if this ban is given out then not only do the lazy students suffer but also the ones that are taking  down notes in their computers. Secondly some people find it difficult to write on plain paper because they can’t keep up or loose track of their progress. With a computer a person can write much faster and more comfortably. Also there is the possibility of sharing notes with others via email or even a Bluetooth connection in class which makes it easier for the absentees to catch up.

    I also have to sympathize with the schools decision because a lot of students actually are that lazy in class that they are only playing and not concentrating. Later on they get bad grades and are bringing the schools reputation down. Due to these problems it does seem reasonable to ban technological innovations form class. But that is the only reason to ban them, there are no other downsides of having it with you.

    Therefore I think that this solution is definitely not the best one and the right one. I believe that the problem would be solved more efficiently if to limit the WiFi connection as the research showed most students are spending their time on the web. This would be a much fairer solution so that all of the students and school benefit.

  • Silver 14:44 on January 25, 2012 Permalink |

    Snow Hunter Wing 

    The passing of time has shown the nimble humans the importance of the Personal computer. This simple-minded piece of architecture, that silently roams near our lower extremities while in use, has shown a significant importance in forming the way the human perceives it’s surroundings. The computer, which the humans by now call “Saint George” had always been seen as mild tempered and cool. This was perceived as a virtue among the human race.

    On one pitiful and sorry day, the computer had lost it’s cool. The temperatures of its silicon based intestine had skyrocketed to never-before seen figures. But what was there to do, to aid the saviour of the man kind?

    A hero once approached from the alien-lands of Iteria with the correct mindset for solving the grave problem at hand. The hero was offered rations of various type and measure, if only he was to aid the close ones of “Saint George”. The Iterian approached the computer with great caution, taking great care in every move he makes. He carefully dissected the computer, revealing it’s insides. After thorough investigation, the hero was able to pinpoint the root of the apparent sickness of sorry George. In fact, there seemed to be a large formation of dust particles in and around the motherboard, CPU and the cooling fans. Through a gentle yet sweat-braking process of dust removal, the computer was healed. George once again regained his cool temper and continued serving the humans by aiding in solving complex calculations whilst silently humming in the darkness.

    The Iterian was treated as a nobelty and his every wish was granted. Since the hero was a humble man, he only took what he needed and went, once again, to go and wonder along in distant lands, helping the unfortunate.

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