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Past Events

SW Branch events will (where possible) be recorded and made available on our YouTube channel shortly after each event (together with presentation slides).

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Smart Cities: Small but smart - An English city's journey to digital innovation, or the Bristol approach to a smart and secure city?

Dr Theo Tryfonas (07 March 2017, 19:00)

In this talk the speaker will describe the broad set of principles under which a number of organisations are working together in ‘smartening up’ the city of Bristol. These principles have influenced the 'Bristol Approach’ to citizen sensing as well as the city’s digital strategy over the years. He will refer to examples of projects that have been enabled by these and have had impact on the city in turn, as well as to research underway and the potential for world-wide collaborations.

Biography
Theo Tryfonas is an academic with the University of Bristol. He is a computer scientist and systems engineer working in the fields of Smart Cities, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity. He is interested in secure, energy-efficient and resilient urban applications of IoT, data driven models of civic innovation, privacy and technology policy. He teaches one of the first courses on smart cities in the UK and is currently involved with nationally and European funded research on connected autonomous vehicles (FLOURISH, £5.5m InnovateUK) and digital innovation in the space of urban energy and transport systems (REPLICATE, €25m EU).



BCS President Talk

16th February 2017, 19:00)

Ray Long, visited our branch on Thursday 16th February and spoke at the Met Office in Exeter, with the topic BCS past, present and future.



Retro Gaming

South-West Retro Computing Archive, supported by Plymouth University and the BCS South West Branch (7 November 2016, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the gaming technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of previous Retro Computing events, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


Online data sharing: Exposing yourself and betraying your business?

(26 May 2016, 19:30)

Join us for a debate around the security of online data sharing", based upon the Santander Universities Digital Challenge student campaigns.

BSc (Hons) Computing and Information Security students have developed their own security awareness campaigns for Santander Universities, and will be presented their well-earned prizes for their hard work and contribution to the project.


From Browser Wars to Framework Wars - how to survive the next generation of Web development battles

Dr Mike Evans (29 April 2016, 19:30)

The browser wars of the Web's early years are over, but now a new front has opened in the age-old battle for Web dominance. An explosion of innovation in Web technologies has seen a dizzying bombardment of new JavaScript frameworks, supporting tools, test harnesses and build processes thrown at the long suffering Web developer, who as ever is caught in the crossfire. Adding to the barrage is the evolution of JavaScript itself, with ES2015 and ES2016 radically changing the language, the frameworks, and even the browsers themselves.

This talk puts into context these new technologies, showing how the likes of AngularJS, ReactJS, Babel, and transpilation have become the new front in the war of the Web. It explains how Web technologies have broken out of the browser and are now shaping everything from app development, server development, and even programming language design. It concludes with some hard-won strategies for rising above the battles, and developing Web apps productively amidst the chaos of this next Web war.

Biography
Dr Mike Evans is a seasoned Web developer, former academic, and a passionate supporter of the Web. After doing a Ph.D on Web technologies and lecturing for ten years at the University of Reading, he's worked ever since on Web app development. Amongst other projects, he's helped build BSkyB's new Sky Go Web app using AngularJS; Marks and Spencer's checkout and payments page; and the BBC's new stream-based news feature on the BBC News Website. He's currently working on the Web app for the Hive connected thermostat using a frantic mix of ReactJS, AngularJS, NodeJS, ES2015 and ES2016, which hasn't even been defined yet.

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


Safe Harbour after the ICJ

Kevin Cahill, FRSA, FRGS, FBCS, FRHS (10 March 2016, 19:30)

Technical. The talk will cover two issues. The first, is PRISM, the largest hack in history, now indicted by the European Court of Justice as both criminal and unlawful. How it was done, why it was done, and how it was undone by a 24 year old Austrian student, in the face of total inaction by Europe's 29 regulators.

Legal. The second issue is Privacy Shield, the proposed replacement for the alleged 'Safe Harbour' system of protection for the transfer of UK and EU personal data to the US. American misconceptions of universal jurisdiction will be discussed.

A short fact sheet from the House of Lords seminar on the 8th, outlining the scale of PRISM criminality and unlawfulness, will be available before the meeting.

Biography
Kevin Cahill is a former professional soldier, journalist and author. He is a Fellow of the BCS and a Parliamentary advisor.

Sorry, no video available.


Early Search for Tractable Ways of Reasoning about Programs

Cliff Jones, Newcastle University (16 February 2016, 19:30)

This talk traces the important steps in the history of research on reasoning about programs. The main focus is on sequential imperative programs. Initially, researchers focussed on ways of verifying that a program satisfies its specification (or that two programs were equivalent). Over time it became clear that post facto verification is only practical for small programs and attention turned to verification methods which support the development of programs; for larger programs it is necessary to exploit a notation of compositionality. Coping with concurrent algorithms is much more challenging - this and other extensions are considered briefly. The main thesis of this talk is that the idea of reasoning about programs has been around since they were first written; the search has been to find tractable methods.

Biography
Professor Cliff Jones is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), ACM, BCS, and IET and Founding Editor of the Formal Aspects of Computing journal.
Cliff has spent 20 years of his career in industry. Fifteen years in IBM saw among other things the creation with colleagues in Vienna of VDM which is one of the better known "formal methods". He subsequently became a professor at the University of Manchester, worked in industry at Harlequin for a period and is now a Professor of Computing Science at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
As well as formal methods (especially concurrency) and their support systems, he also has interests in interdisciplinary aspects of computer science and the history of computing.

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


Quantum Cryptography

Prof. Kurt Langfeld, Plymouth University (1 December 2015, 19:30)

From 2000bc right to Enigma in WWII, cryptography was based upon substitution ciphers and was relying on a key exchange. However, can you exchange a secret message with somebody you have never met before? A positive answer to this question is nowadays of vital importance for e.g. e-commerce. With the advent of Public Key Cryptography, and most notably RSA, the Mathematics of the 20th century has delivered just that. At the beginning of the 21st century, it is Physics now, and cryptography is literally awaiting a "quantum leap": Can you transmit a key in the open and be sure that nobody has eavesdropped?

The talk will introduce the paradigms of the Quantum World. You will learn to read Free Mason ciphers, and you will understand the concept of RSA. I will then explain and illustrate Quantum Cryptography. There will be a hands-on experience as well: Using paper and pencil, create a key the "quantum way"!

Biography
With a PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1991, Kurt Langfeld started an active research career in Quantum Physics and Particle Physics. Based at the University of Tuebingen, 1991-2006, his research saw him visiting many centres around the world such as the Niels-Bohr Institute, Copenhagen, the INT in Seattle, the CEA, in Saclay, Paris or the KIAS in Seoul, Korea. In 2006, he joined the Particle Physics group at Plymouth University, where he became Professor in Theoretical Physics in 2012. He is an associated member of the CERN Theory Institute and a member of the German Physical Society.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


Cyber security, risk and resilience – why and how organisations protect themselves and why much of the money they spend is wasted; spend smart to save big

Henrik Kiertzner, Consultancy Director EMEA, ViaSat UK (10 November 2015, 19:30)

Cyber security is big business for vendors and attracts increasing levels of attention and concern from government. Enterprises, whether corporate, academic, governmental or other, are spending large sums on defences and protection from attack.
How much of this investment is worthwhile and what protection - and financial advantage it provides - is difficult to quantify.
This talk will briefly cover the issues above and discuss in more detail a pragmatic and risk-driven approach to security - and integration of cyber risk into overall risk management within the enterprise, in order to extract maximum advantage from sensible and targeted investment in technology, while simultaneously bringing in the far more important aspects of people and process.

Biography
Henrik Kiertzner, after a long career in the British Army, during which he served worldwide largely on intelligence duties, has been, variously, IT DIrector of an international engineering firm and a security and risk consultant in both the physical and cyber realms for the last 15 years. He is a Member of the IET and a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals


Retro Gaming

South-West Retro Computing Archive, supported by Plymouth University and the BCS South West Branch (26 October 2015, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the gaming technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of previous Retro Computing events, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


AGM followed by 'Making the weather; an overview of the changing role of Technology in Weather Forecasting'

Charles Ewen, Chief Information Officer, MetOffice (6 October 2015, 19:00)

The evening will commence at 19:00 with the South West branch AGM in conference room 3.

Following the AGM, we will relocate to conference room 1 at 19:30 for a talk from the CIO of the MetOffice at Exeter.

Making the weather; an overview of the changing role of Technology in Weather Forecasting
Charles Ewen, Director of Technology and CIO at the Met Office will talk about the history of technology in weather forecasting before providing some detail about the modern age. In the early stages of implementation of one of the worlds’ most powerful supercomputer, Charles will provide an overview of some of the technological and information challenges of approaching Exascale.

Please note: due to the nature of the site, registrations will need to be received by 28/09/2015 and you will need to provide your full name, nationality and vehicle registration number as part of the registration process. We regret that no late registrations can be accepted.

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


Confessions of a not-so-expert Witness

Colin Pearson, Enterprise Reader (retired) (30 March 2015, 19:30)

Unusual but light hearted reflections on 25 years as an Expert Witness covering both criminal cases (including fraud, murder and terrorism) as well as commercial cases (such as computer contracts, and misuse by employees), divorce and landlord / tenant issues!

Many of these smaller cases are far from the traditional image presented in the press or on TV. He will share some of his war stories. The topics will be jargon-free and non-technical but of interest to both lawyers and computing practitioners.

Colin started his career in computing in 1963 as a programmer/analyst, progressing through various stages of marketing, project management and consultancy. He became an expert witness, part-time, somewhat casually in 1986 and finished his career as an Enterprise Reader at Staffordshire University, acting as the catalyst for their recently established Forensic Examination Laboratory.

He is a member of North Staffordshire Branch and Treasurer of both Internet and Law SGs

Sorry, no video available.


Women in Computing/IT and career progression

Lynne Palmer, WISE Partnership Director (19 March 2015, 19:30)

Lynne Palmer, the WISE Partnership Director, will talk to you about the WISE Campaign which last year celebrated its 30th birthday. You will find out how WISE promotes female talent in science, engineering & technology from the Classroom to the Boardroom and how you could get involved. Specifically you will hear about how WISE is planning to expand its presence in the SW to bring you more direct support.

WISE works closely with BCS Women so this partnership will also be discussed. The event (and WISE membership) is encouraged for men who have an interest in the gender imbalance, as much as women.

Lynne will add an interactive element to the event with 2 short workshop type sessions that will investigate some interesting findings for women working or looking to work in the STEM sector. We will discover how you self-identify and how you can use that to get more job satisfaction now & in the future. We will also investigate the differences between the motivational factors in the workplace for men & women.

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


You can never have enough bandwidth

Doug Williams, BT Research (10 March 2015, 19:30)

If history is our guide it seems that "You can never have enough bandwidth" may seem like a good design rule. If you are planning core networks this still seems true. But if you are planning for an address; a household or a business will this always be true?

Over the last few years my team have been working hard to understand the drivers for bandwidth demand, and have developed comprehensive models that predict how bandwidth demand will change over the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years for both consumers and for small businesses. Doug will share some of the approach he has taken in this modelling and also share some of its conclusions.

The conclusions may surprise you.



Doug Williams works for BT research. He has a PHD in the design and fabrication of optical fibre devices; in more recent years his research has focused on understanding the applications and services that will fill the apparently limitless capacity of optical fibres.

BT is one of the world's leading communications services companies, serving the needs of customers in the UK and in more than 170 countries worldwide.

Our main activities are the provision of fixed-line services, broadband, mobile and TV products and services as well as networked IT services.

In the UK we are a leading communications services provider, selling products and services to consumers, small and medium sized enterprises and the public sector.

We also sell wholesale products and services to communications providers in the UK and around the world. Globally, we supply managed networked IT services to multinational corporations, domestic businesses and national and local government organisations.

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Enabling Effective Education through Mobile Apps

Khalid Al-Begain, Professor of Mobile Computing and Networking, University of South Wales (17 February 2015, 19:30)

The talk gives a reflection on the experiences gained by the speaker while leading the Centre of Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services (CEMAS) in creating educational apps. It discusses the principles embedding mobile gamification principles to improve student engagement in the learning process and how apps can become tools of learning. The talk gives example on education related apps built by CEMAS.
About CEMAS:
The Centre of Excellence in Mobile Applications and Services (CEMAS):

  • 5 year project receiving £6.4 million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund in Wales to develop emerging mobile technologies
  • Creating a strong business plan to achieve funding for research projects.
  • Supporting over 130 local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) develop, test and find a route to market for their mobile application products
  • Developing over 35 of apps in all sectors
  • Working in partnership with the private sector to create the next generation of technology


Retro Computing

South-West Retro Computing Archive, supported by Plymouth University and the BCS South West Branch (17 December 2014, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the computing technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of previous Retro Computing events, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of computers, consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


The future of GPU Accelerated Computing

Jeremy Purches, NVIDIA (10 November 2014, 19:30)

Currently responsible for development and growth of NVIDIA's High Performance Computing (HPC) business in UK and Ireland.

Jeremy has an Honours degree in Mathematics and a strong Engineering / Aerospace and computing background. He briefly worked for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), computer/mathematical modelling aircraft undercarriage to certify rough field take-off/landing of fighter jets, before spending 20 years at Rolls-Royce Aero Engines Limited. Starting in the RR Engine Performance team, designing applications (Fortran) and utilities to predict aircraft performance, he moved into Engineering Computing to focus on larger company wide systems. Here he designed and implemented the corporate wide batch job submission system (PL/1), the complete RR bespoke X-Windows toolkit (C/C++) and the visualization pre/post-processor for structural analysis (OpenGL).

Acquired by EDS as part of the RR Corporate IT outsourcing deal in 1996, he continued as a Technical Project Manager, defining the Engineering IT strategy while directing numerous porting projects (including Y2K). His final project at EDS/RR was to evaluate, define and implement departmental HPC servers for the Aerodynamics, Structures and Impact teams across RR.

Jeremy was invited to join HP in 1999, as Technical Programme Manager for the Airbus European Account (later becoming the EADS Corporate Account). The role involved ensuring an excellent Total Customer Experience (TCE) when dealing with HP for strategic and technical guidance and being a single Point of Contact for all technical computing issues and direction (for customer and HP).

In 2006, he moved to the position of EMEA HPC Engineering Segment Manager where he was responsible for overall business growth and development of HPC in the Engineering/Manufacturing sector throughout EMEA.

Jeremy joined NVIDIA in January 2012.

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


AGM

Cancelled talk…, (7 October 2014, 19:00)

It is with regret that we announce the cancellation of the presentation for this evenings event. We hope to be able to reschedule the presentation for early 2015. The AGM will still be held as scheduled.

Sorry, no video available.


Configuration and IT Asset Management (Joint event with the Configuration Management SG)

Richard Josey and Brian Scott, Configuration Management SG (13 May 2014, 19:30)

These two related disciplines are often conflicted and misunderstood in many organizations. In this session the Configuration Management Specialist group will explore the similarities and differences in emphasis between the 2 disciplines. The session will provide an interesting introduction to the area as well as describing ways in which they can be brought together. This will be of interest to all IT professionals who wish to broaden their understanding of this aspect of the industry.

Richard Josey has 15 years experience in Service Management. His consulting has helped drive many organizations in their efforts to implement and imbed mature service management processes. This has comprised of numerous Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release Management processes, in a variety of environments. Brian is the Chair of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group.
Brian Scott is a 25+ year veteran in IT, ITSM, ITAM and Software Asset Management having started out in Plymouths very own dockyard in the mid-eighties. He has spent the last 7 years as a Process, System and Service Consultant for a number of large projects using IBM, HP, Oracle and Microsoft technologies helping to build and deliver Configuration, Asset and SAM solutions as well as extensive exposure to analysing and ensuring License coverage from Bill of Material sign offs to installations and configuration of License Management tooling e.g. IBM ILMT and Microsoft SCCM.

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Forensics and the way forward

Andrew Jones, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia (6 May 2014, 19:30)

This presentation will look at the way in which digital forensics is currently undertaken and the changes that will have to be made to meet the demands of the future. The increasing pace of change and the advent of mobile technologies, Cloud computing, the Android operating system, solid state technologies and the increased size of random access memory and storage media all place requirements on the methods and tools that are used in digital forensic investigations. The presentation will look at the development and testing of tools and the training and skill sets of investigators that is required to meet the challenges.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

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Teaching the Police to Program

Paul Stephens, Canterbury Christ Church University (24 April 2014, 19:30)

This presentation will look at the development, delivery and evaluation of the “Forensic Scripting Using Bash” course for EU law enforcement. The aim of this course is to take police with no programming experience, and bring them all to a common level of knowledge and understanding of scripting for forensic computing applications in a Linux environment. The work was funded by the European Commission and several law enforcement training agencies.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

View presentation notes in PDF formatPresentation notes in PDF format.


Integrated Compliance and Risk Management using STREAM

Richard Mayall, Acuity Risk Management LLP (11 March 2014, 19:30)

Acuity Risk Management has been designing, developing and supplying Governance Risk & Compliance (GRC) software solutions since 2005, leading to our flagship STREAM V3 product released in 2013.

Over this period, our customers’ needs have changed considerably, from point solutions to support initiatives such as ISO 27001 compliance/certification, to implementing Integrated Management Systems across a complex organisation covering information security, business continuity, quality, environmental and health and safety management.

In this presentation Richard Mayall (Partner with Acuity Risk Management), will demonstrate how a wide variety of risk and compliance activities can be brought together into an Integrated Management system, for example: ISO 27001 and PCI DSS for information security management; COBIT and ITIL / ISO 20000 for IT and service management; BS 25999 / ISO 22301 for business continuity management; ISO 9001 for product/service quality management; ISO 14001 for environment management; ISO 18000 for occupational health and safety management.

Illustrated through the use of STREAM, the talk will cover the key elements of an effective integrated management system (IMS) involving multiple control standards and how to create an asset based approach, and the benefits which this gives.

About the speaker

Richard has 30 years’ experience in high assurance real-time software engineering, information security and risk management. Before establishing Acuity in 2005, Richard led the information security consultancy practice at Siemens Insight Consulting, having developed the company’s ISO 27001 information security and risk management services and methods over many years. Under Richard’s technical leadership, Acuity developed and evolved the STREAM Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) product from proof of concept to deployed solution within two years. Richard manages STREAM's product design, development, documentation and testing. He advises on all aspects of STREAM technical deployment and interfacing with monitoring systems, including installation, SQL Server configuration and secure operation, integration with Active Directory, Systems Centre Configuration Manager and various virtualisation technologies.

Outside Acuity, Richard is a guest lecturer at the University of London for their Information Security Master of Science programme.

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Apple: More than the iPad - The True Story Of Innovation, from the Garage to Mega Stardom

Duncan Eadie, www.thepolarexplorer.com @DuncanEadie (12 February 2014, 19:30)

How one of the world's largest corporations and globally recognised brands started with a good idea in the humble surroundings of a Californian garage. This multi media lecture charts the true story and incarnation of the American Dream as a failed businessman, an unwashed college dropout and a shy engineer took on the world - and won !

As well as outlining how some of the Apple products that changed our world came about - hear about Apple's numerous failures and the growing pains of developing from a small business to a giant corporation at an incredible pace. What was Steve Jobs like to work for, did he really have a habit of washing his feet in the toilet and experimenting with drugs and sleep deprivation? What happened after one of Apple's founders had a plane crash and how did the two giant egos of the early computer industry, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, rely upon each other despite great rivalry ?

This is also an opportunity to see some of Apple's ground breaking early products, now etched into social history, in the flesh and hear from a speaker who has been following the trials and tribulations of the computer industry, and Apples influence on it, for the last 35 years. It's been more than the iPad !!

Duncan Eadie is IT Director at a leading regional law firm, and long time Apple and computer historian recounting technology's impact on business and everyday life. Duncan is author of 'Cold Feat : A Journey to the North Magnetic Pole', an illustration from one of a number of polar expeditions he has travelled on. He lives in Devon with his family.

Sorry, no video available.


The British Library, "Scaling up to preserve the UK web"

Helen Hockx-Yu, Head of Web Archiving at the British Library (14 January 2014, 19:30)

The British Library has been archiving UK web sites since 2004, aiming to understand the challenges involved and to build the capability to preserve the UK's digital heritage for future generations. This work has been significantly intensified since 6 April 2013, when the Non-print Legal Deposit Regulations were put in place by the UK government. This legal framework enables the UK Legal Deposit Libraries to collect digital publications as they have done with printed publications such as books and journals, in the most cost-effective and comprehensive way. The British Library undertakes periodic crawls of the UK web in its entirety on behalf of the five other Legal Deposit Libraries. This talk will give an overview of the end-to-end web archiving process, involving crawling, indexing, storing and providing access to 4-5 million UK websites. It will also touch upon the key technical, legal and business challenges.

Helen Hockx-Yu is Head of Web Archiving at the British Library. She leads the British Library's web archiving operations and services.

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Cryptography - From Black Art to Popular Science

Professor Fred Piper, Information Security Group - Royal Holloway (10 December 2013, 19:30)

This talk will look at some of the significant changes that have taken place in the ‘world’ of cryptography since the second world war. The discussion will be non technical and will concentrate on the effect of the advent of digital computers, the changing attitude of governments and the advent of the Internet. In particular we will discuss its importance to out ‘everyday lives’.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

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Retro Computing

N/A, Plymouth University/BCS South West (18 November 2013, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the computing technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of previous Retro Computing events, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of computers, consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


AGM followed by 'Computing in schools.... The role of the CAS Master teacher and the path from Industry to Education'

Steve Greenhough - the CAS Master Teacher, Jon Evans - Computing Lead Practitioner, The Learning Institute South West (3 October 2013, 19:30)

The evening will commence at 19:00 with the South West branch AGM in meeting room C1.

Following the AGM, we will relocate to the Plymouth Lecture Theatre at 19:30 for Computing in schools…. The role of the CAS Master teacher and the path from Industry to Education

This talk will consider:
- The history of CAS - how it started, recent and future developments, etc.
- CAS in the South West (a bit of regional context)
- The development of the CAS Master Teacher and Regional Coordinators
- The new Computing Curriculum for 2014
- How the BCS can help develop CS in School

Steve Greenhough is the South West Regional Coordinator for Computing at School and Head of ICT at Stoke Damerel Community College, Plymouth. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Systems and Networks in 2005 and has been teaching ICT since September 2006. Steve describes himself as a firm believer in the idea of being a 'lifelong learner' and joined CAS in order to share and develop his own skill set, and hopefully allow others to do the same.

Jon Evans worked commercially in IT for 16 years. Most of that time was spent as a systems and data analyst in a variety of different business sectors and platforms. In 2003, sensing a lack of both opportunity and challenge, Jon trained to be a secondary ICT teacher and graduated with a PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) in 2004. He currently teaches ICT and Business Studies at Callington Community College. In addition to that Jon is the lead practitioner for the secondary PGCE Computer Science and ICT programme at The Learning Institute.

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Integrated Care Services – Implementing the Vision

Stephen Hope, Docobo Ltd (21 May 2013, 19:30)

The ultimate Vision for Assisted Living is the provision of integrated health and social care, thus allowing health and social care professionals and carers to work in harmony to maximise the people's quality of life.

PEACEanywhere one of the Projects under the auspices of the Technology Strategy Board Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP2) sought to progress the vision towards implementation.


Is there really a career in penetration testing and intrusion analysis

Ian Glover, President, CREST (20 May 2013, 19:30)

This talk will describe:

  • The need for professionalization within the technical information assurance industry
  • Why there is such a good opportunity to enter the industry
  • The professional qualifications that are available for students to aim for once they have entered the industry
  • Examples from current penetration testers in different points in their career
  • Government and private sector schemes
  • Opportunities for Internships and junior roles
  • Student CREST membership and opportunities to apply for CREST awards through the university

Ian Glover has thirty six years experience in information technology and has specialised in professional services for the last twenty eight years.

Ian is the President of CREST (GB). CREST is a not for profit organisation that promotes research and development in standards for professional technical Information Assurance practices. CREST serves the needs of an information security marketplace that requires the services of regulated and professional security professionals.

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Social Media in the Business World

Chris Wood, Q Social Media (25 February 2013, 19:30)

Why are so many businesses becoming active on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? What are businesses doing now? What works well? What about the future? What about other platforms such as Google+, and Pinterest?

Chris Wood, of Q Social Media, helps local business to get online and make the most efficient use of social media and on-line marketing tools.

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Sorry, no video available.


The Second World War code breaking centre at Bletchley Park

Mike Chapman and Tom Briggs, Bletchley Park Trust (29 January 2013, 19:30)

Mike and Tom will discuss the events leading to the setting-up of Bletchley Park in 1939 as the Government Code and Cipher School and its operation during the war. The presentation will include a virtual tour around the Park, as the Museum exists today on the site in many of the original buildings. Ending with a demonstration of the German Enigma cipher machine.

Mike and Tom are volunteers with Bletchley Park Trust as outreach officers.

Sorry, no video available.


Cloud and Virtualisation: Security issues

Andrea C Simmons FBCS CITP, CISSP, CISM, MA, Global Head of Policy & Risk Governance, HP Enterprise Services (16 January 2013, 19:30)

There’s a suitable phrase along the lines of “Same stuff, different day”..... when it comes to dealing with security in the fluffy world described by sales, marketing and PR folks from many an IT vendor, it seems that too many people are forgetting about the reality of the situation being that there is still hardware involved and it still must exist somewhere and be protected appropriately. This talk will highlight the BCS Position Statement on the Cloud, in particular, and address some of the key issues that are being met time and again in this space – from a direct and challenging perspective!

Andrea is an experienced professional expert delivering high level, strategic consultancy relating to compliance with information management/risk/security/governance/assurance legislation, regulation and standards. Accomplished presenter, writer, trainer, delivery and implementation one-woman whirlwind!

Sorry, no video available.


Retro Computing

N/A, Plymouth University/BCS South West (26 November 2012, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the computing technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of previous Retro Computing events, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of computers, consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


When Machines Think – A Quantification of Intelligence

Dr Peter Cochrane, OBE, BSc, MSc, PhD, DSc, CGIA, FEng, FRSA, FIEE, FIEEE, Cochrane Associates Ltd (20 November 2012, 19:30)

In 1997 Gary Kasparov was beaten by IBM Deep Blue and the world of chess was outraged. At the time ‘sound-bites’ included: ‘something strange is going on; it didn’t play a regular game of chess; it didn’t play like a human; it didn’t play fair’. Interestingly, no one recognised that a new intelligence had entered the game - a new way of thinking and problem solving devoid of emotion - Artificial Intelligence (AI) that worked! Today that early promise has been eclipsed by IBM Watson which has a general and medical knowledge that completely outguns any human expert. But that is only the beginning...

Industry and commerce now depend upon AI for the control of engines, elevators, logistics, finance, banking, production robotics, and telecom networks. Surprisingly then, we still lack an understanding of what intelligence is, and how to quantify it. Moreover, we have realised that the solution of many industrial, scientific and governmental problems will increasingly defy human abilities, whilst AI will continue to improve and overtake us. And on the creativity front we have seen many of our key electronic inventions overtaken and enhanced by AI, and in some system quarters machine based contributions now outweigh that of humans in large measure.

In this presentation we address the problem of quantifying intelligence and derive intriguing outcomes that challenge conventional wisdom. The audience can expect to be challenged, entertained and provoked as we start from a point of zero knowledge and build a logical framework of thought, deduction, mathematical relationships, and proven facts that have previously been disconnected. All of this is supported by examples, movie clips, pics, animation, graphics.


Energy Efficient Computing with GPUs

Dr Lanfear, NVIDIA (30 October 2012, 19:30)

The past five years have seen the use of graphical processing units (GPUs) for computation grow from being of interest to a handful of early adopters to a mainstream technology used in the world's largest supercomputers. One of the attractions of the GPU architecture is the efficiency with which it can perform computations. Energy efficiency is a key concern in the design of all modern computing systems, from the lowest power mobile devices to the largest supercomputers; it will be paramount in the push to exascale computing. We discuss the Echelon project, and how the NVIDIA GPU architecture will evolve over the coming 5-10 years. Echelon is a DARPA-funded project investigating efficient parallel computer architectures for the Exascale era.


The "Business" of Malware

Alan Thake, ESET (24 October 2012, 19:30)

This presentation will examine the threat landscape, drawing upon facts and figures from ESET, and looking at interesting cases, in order to show how issues are dealt with and what organisations can do to protect themselves.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

Sorry, no video available.


AGM followed by "A slice of Raspberry Pi"

Richard Bennett (Raspberry Pi Foundation), Dr Shirley Atkinson (Plymouth University), (26 September 2012, 19:00)

The evening will commence at 19:00 with the South West branch AGM in meeting room C1.

Following the AGM, we will relocate to the Plymouth Lecture Theatre at 19:30 for A slice of Raspberry Pi.

Richard Bennett (Raspberry Pi Foundation), will join us by video conference for a short presentation in which he will describe the student recruitment challenges which inspired the Raspberry Pi project, give an overview of the history of the project and the features of the device, and speculate on where we may be going over the next year or so.

Following the introduction to the Raspberry Pi, Dr Shirley Atkinson (Plymouth University) will demonstrate a variety of Raspberry Pi projects with the opportunity to try A slice of Raspberry Pi yourself.


Everything is Broken

Mike Kemp, Co-Founder, Xiphos Research Labs (19 June 2012, 19:30)

Penetration testing services are now widely supplied and utilised by a variety of organisations across sectors. The quality of service can vary dramatically, but the industry harbours a number of dark secrets that are rarely discussed. This talk outlines how the industry came to be, where it's going, and why we are still doing it wrong. With real world examples drawn from engagements across sectors, common problems will be examined and solutions sought. Everything is broken, but we can fix it (possibly).

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals


Knowing me, knowing you: Defeating identity fraud using the best biometric system in the world

Jeremy Newman, New Model Identity (22 May 2012, 19:30)

While banks and other organisations struggle to tell the difference between the real person and an identity fraudster, people who know the real person have no difficulty at all - they can do it in an instant - thanks to millions of years of evolution. Jeremy Newman describes how his company, New Model Identity, aims to defeat identity fraud by harnessing the natural ability of people to recognise their family and friends using digital media, webcams, mobiles and social collaboration.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals


Devon and Cornwall Police, High Tech Crime Unit: Evolution to e-crime

Steven Slater, Force Computer Forensic Manager, HTCU (6 March 2012, 19:30)

The presentation will cover Devon & Cornwall Police High Tech Crime Unit. The forces response and approach to criminal activity committed on or recorded by digital devices on-line and off-line. It will include how the demands placed upon the force have increased since 2003 and how the use of emerging technology and new techniques have helped overcome these demands and increased the HTCU's capacity to conduct digital examinations.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

Sorry, no video available.


IT Security: obstacles between theory and practice

John Finch, ICT Security & Network Team Leader (Plymouth City Council) and Chair of South West WARP and Devon Information Security Partnership (28 February 2012, 19:30)

Modern organisations are now entirely dependent upon interconnected high speed computing, which introduces a wide range of ICT security risks. In theory, the mitigation of the risks is straight forward, however in practice there are many obstacles faced by ICT departments in providing a totally secure computing environment the business can rely upon. This will look at some of the risks faced by an organisation, and the obstacles preventing mitigation against these risks.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals


Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in an Electronic Age

Nigel Cheffers-Heard and Garry Mackay, Professional Photographer (Nigel), Partner and Head of Commercial Services, Ashford Solicitors (Garry) (23 January 2012, 19:30)

Developments in information technology are affecting all aspects of the intellectual property system. Fundamental changes are occurring that antiquate many of the policy mechanisms now in force and bring new intellectual property problems. This is a headache for both the practitioner using new technology and the legal profession.

In this informal session, a professional photographer will outline the issues he faces in dealing with IPR and a legal expert will explain the law as it is now and how it may need to change in the future, which will help IT practitioners reflect on IPR issues in their own work through different lenses.

To be followed by cheese, biscuits and a chance to network.

Sorry, no video available.


Learning and teaching in the digital age

Steve Wheeler and Peter Yeomans (Plymouth)
Zena Wood (Exeter), Plymouth/Exeter University (15 December 2011, 19:30)

The BCS South West branch is delighted to invite you to its first ever dual-centre event running concurrently in Plymouth and Exeter. This event brings together those interested in embracing the opportunities for teaching and learning that technology offers. Both BCS members and Educators are invited.

In Plymouth we welcome Steve Wheeler and Peter Yeomans.

Steve Wheeler is an Associate Professor in Learning Technology at Plymouth University where he teaches on a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for teachers. His research interests include the use of Web 2.0 tools in education, distance education, psychological issues of e-learning, creativity and individual differences in learning. Steve convenes the Plymouth eLearning research group and his research places him as a leading figure in the field with over 100 conference presentations and over 40 keynotes and invited papers. His website can be found at http://steve-wheeler.net

Peter Yeomans is a lecturer in the Faculty of Health, Education and Society. A former primary school teacher he has a keen interest in learning technologies Peter is a prolific Twitter user encouraging his students to make full use of all tools for their learning.

At Exeter we welcome Zena Wood.

Zena is a Teaching Fellow in Computer Science at Exeter University and ITMB programme lead. Zena coordinates and runs a programme of Computer Science activities for schools and is the College Coordinator for Widening Participation.

This event will provide the opportunity for networking and sharing good practice. A number of Educators have offered to share specific activities they have successfully used in the school environment. Please contact Shirley Atkinson or Jonathan Fieldsend should you also wish to contribute.

After our speakers we will link the two events together and explore key questions such as:

Is there such a thing as the digital native?
Is tweeting a waste of time?

The event will take place in Plymouth in the Rolle building, rooms 002 and 003. In Exeter it will take place in the Harrison building, room 102.

Plymouth contact: Shirley Atkinson
Exeter Contact: Jonathan Fieldsend


Retro Computing

N/A, Plymouth University/BCS South West (21 November 2011, 19:00)

Another chance to remember (or discover!) and use the computing technologies of yesteryear.

Following the success of the Retro Computing launch event last year, this evening will offer a chance to use and play on a variety of computers, consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by Plymouth University.


Advanced Evasions Techniques (AETs) - The NEW threat

Alan Cottom, Stonesoft (1 November 2011, 19:30)

Evasion techniques are a means to disguise and/or modify cyber attacks to avoid detection and blocking by information security systems. Evasions enable advanced and hostile cyber criminals to deliver any malicious content, exploit or attack to a vulnerable system without detection that would normally be detected and stopped. Advanced Evasions take this threat to an entirely new level.

"Missing an evasion means a hacker can use an entire class of exploits to circumvent a security product, rendering it virtually useless," said Rick Moy, president, NSS Labs

What delegates will learn from the session:
* Understand Advanced Evasions and the threat they pose.
* See an AET Hack in Action
* Who and what is at risk.
* Why the majority of Information Security Systems can be bypassed.
* How to protect against Advanced Evasion Techniques.
* How to Test if you are Vulnerable.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

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Web 2.0 Applications - Do they help your Business?

Paul McKay, Bond Pearce LLP (10 October 2011, 19:30)

Should web 2.0 apps be allowed within the business?', looking at how twitter, facebook, and linkedIn etc are used within the corporate world and discussing if this is a good or bad thing, and does it actually lead to increased opportunities for spammers and therefore viruses?

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals and jointly sponsored by Europe Direct Plymouth.

Institute of Information Security Professionals Europe Direct Plymouth

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AGM followed by "Independent Games Industry"

Dr Dan Livingstone, Plymouth University (29 September 2011, 18:30)

The evening will commence at 18:30 with the South West branch AGM in room 117

Following the AGM, we will relocate to room 018 at 19:00 where Dr Dan Livingstone (Plymouth University) will present an overview of current shifts in the perceived value of games development & the impact on the South West of this fast evolving sector. Opportunities for independent developers; Gamification, Tangental Learning and Experiential Design.

Dan Leads the new BSc Computing and Games Development and has well established links with key players in the sector including graduate startups, nationally recognised independent development studios and regional initiatives such as explay. He is an academic partner and Jury member of Europrix awards with the International Center for New Media in Salzburg, he leads the new interactive systems studio within the School of Computing & Mathematics and is a staff member of CRNS the Center for Robotics & Neural Systems.

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The cynic's guide to information security

Dr Jeremy Ward, ExecIA (26 April 2011, 19:30)

Why do organisations so often fail to implement effective information security? This talk will look at the reasons, primarily from the perspective of human failure; especially considering how people interact with technology. It will draw on experience to show that failure is almost always the result of not taking a strategic view of information security in the business context. It will consider how organisations can implement information security more effectively, and reduce costs, by putting in place appropriate strategies - especially around monitoring, reviewing and making continuous improvements.

This event is jointly organised with the Institute of Information Security Professionals

Institute of Information Security Professionals

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Smarter Spectators at a Smarter Tennis Tournament

Bill Jinks, Client Technical Advisor, IBM United Kingdom (10 March 2011, 19:30)

For two weeks every year, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) scales up its infrastructure to stage the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. During Wimbledon fortnight, the Club accommodates around half a million spectators on-site whilst meeting the needs of the world’s sporting media and over three quarters of a billion television viewers on 129 TV channels in 173 countries. During the 2010 Championships, over 11.5 million unique users visited the official wimbledon.org web site, and nearly 307 million page views were served. As the popularity of Wimbledon continues to increase, the Club has managed to maintain the charm of English lawn tennis and keep pace with the demands of modern sport and multi-media broadcasting. Attracting and retaining even bigger audiences in a world of growing choice and distractions is, nevertheless, a challenge. Since 1990, IBM has been the the official IT Supplier to AELTC and has worked with the Club to engage its audiences by introducing innovative multimedia "touch points" where people can connect and interact with The Championships in new and exciting ways. This talk will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the technology solutions IBM create for Wimbledon.

Bill Jinks is a Client Technical Advisor for IBM United Kingdom. Bill has had a successful career defining the functional and operational architectures for clients and providing technical leadership within major systems integration projects. Bill has designed and delivered systems in the Utilities, Telecommunications, Finance and Public sectors, including some of IBM’s largest and most complex projects in Europe. Bill leads IBM's technical team at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, but he also has a "day job" working with IBM's clients in the Insurance industry.

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Retro Computing Launch Event

Retro Computing, University of Plymouth/BCS South West (14 December 2010, 19:30)

A chance to remember (or discover!) and use the computing technologies of yesteryear.

The evening will begin with a brief talk covering the early days of micro computing, looking at some of the technologies that paved the way for the systems we still use today.

This will be followed by a chance to use and play on a variety of computers, consoles and handheld systems from the archive held by the University of Plymouth.

The event will also see the launch of a retro computing archive website, supported by the BCS South West branch.

Sorry, no video available.


Physical Security in Information Technology

Thomas Hackner, University of Hagenberg, Austria (9 November 2010, 19:30)

Physical security is a very vital part of every business and is treated as a matter of course. However, statistics show that security breaches do happen very often and appropriate physical measures were not in place. This talk will examine physical security controls according to ISO 27002 and will describe common attacks on typical measures implemented in companies. The audience will get an overview over common physical pitfalls and how to prevent them. In addition, the participants will be introduced into lockpicking, the art of manipulating locks and will get the chance to try it out themselves.

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AGM followed by "The Birth of a Third Platform"

Lawrence Stephenson, Apple UK Limited (27 September 2010, 18:30)

The evening will commence at 18:30 in the Yealm committee room (top floor of the Babbage Building) with the Southwest branch AGM.

Following the AGM, at 19:00 we will relocate to Lecture Theatre 5 on the lower ground floor for the presentation from Lawrence Stephenson (Apple UK Limited). After the presentation we will go back to the Yealm committee room for a buffet and networking opportunity.

Sorry, no video available.


'Agile software testing' - A practical view of testing in a large scale agile development environment

Jon Tilt and Richard Coppen, IBM (20 May 2010, 19:30)

Richard and Jon, Test architects from IBM's Hursley development laboratory, discuss the testing challenges facing agile software engineers, especially in large scale development projects.

Jon Tilt FBCS CITP, Chief Test Architect, IBM WebSphere MQ & ESB Development
Richard Coppen MBCS CITP, Test Architect, Ilog Development Integration

Sorry, no video available.


FLYSAFE Initiatives for the Integration of Meteorological Data

Andrew Mirza, Met Office (20 April 2010, 19:30)

Current projections for air passenger density indicate that it will double or triple world-wide within the next 20 years; this necessarily will require a higher air traffic density to support such movements. With the existing on-board and on-ground systems, this could lead to a proportionate increase in aircraft accidents. Despite the fact that air accidents are rare, any increase would be perceived as unacceptable by society. Therefore new systems and solutions must be found to maintain the number of accidents at its current low level thus factors that effect aircraft movements must be improved to enable the continuation of the safe conduct of flight within a higher air traffic density. Weather is one factor that causes disruption in air traffic flow.

Weather phenomena can evolve at rapid rates, over a wide spatial extent when compared to other factors that may affect the safe conduct of a flight. The impact of weather on air traffic management may cause a reduction in traffic flow rate at airports with consequent delays in departures, arrivals and diversions or cancellations. The effects of these are inconveniences to passengers; misplaced assets and increased costs through extra consumption of fuel affecting profitability for airline operations; and the environmental impact from noise and pollution.

Current air traffic planning assumes that fair weather conditions will predominate so the occurrence of adverse weather places extra demand on air traffic controllers as the effects on traffic flow are realised. The recovery time back toward an orderly traffic flow can take several days. Thus, within the spectrum of aeronautical information, forecast meteorological data or weather information is an important component for the efficient and effective management of air traffic in the future.

This presentation will describe the outcome of the weather component of the FLYSAFE project. How developments from the FLYSAFE project could be applied to air traffic management and for integration of weather information into automated decision support tools. FLYSAFE developments are placed into the wider context of developments occurring elsewhere within the aviation sector, where the drive is toward more automation of air traffic management.

Sorry, no video available.


Mobile Phone Security: Key Challenges for 2010 and Beyond

Alan Goode, Goode Intelligence (9 March 2010, 19:30)

How we use the mobile has dramatically changed over the last two years and its use means that it has become an always-connected mini computer with data at its centre. Business has become more mobile and is demanding more and more phone-based data-centric functionality - this can conflict with current infosec policy and practice that restricts its use to functions such as email and voice.

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Digital Forensics for the Corporation

Dr John Haggerty, Lecturer in Information Systems Security, University of Salford (10 February 2010, 19:30)

In recent years, the field of digital forensics has risen in prominence outside law enforcement due to the widespread use of technology by organisations. Digital forensics for the support of legal investigations is well established and procedures in this field are widely understood. However, this is not the case for the organisational or business environment. Companies may be faced with a variety of instances where in-house misuse of computing equipment may have occurred including fraud, money laundering, accessing or distributing pornography, harassment, industrial spying, or identity theft amongst others. This presentation provides an overview of the employment of digital forensics within the organisation. In particular, the organisational and legal issues of conducting digital investigations are discussed together with an overview of current practice. The presentation concludes with a discussion of future challenges and issues that affect digital forensics investigations.

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Social Media, Community Building and the Law

James Barisic MBCS, Solicitor (26 January 2010, 19:30)

James Barisic, IT Solicitor at Everys Solicitors, co-host of the PhotoLegal podcast and BCS Member, explores the legal and practical issues of community building using social media. Using tools such as Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, James will illustrate how organisations can build communities online and the legal issues surrounding the use of such sites.


Why IT is paramount to the safety of Air Traffic Control

Trevor Arnold, NATS (25 November 2009, 19:30)

NATS is responsible for providing air traffic control (ATC) services to aircraft flying in UK airspace, the eastern part of the North Atlantic and 15 of the UK's biggest airports.
Safety is NATS' first and foremost priority and IT plays a key role in ensuring that NATS can provide this service in an efficient and cost-effective way.
This talk will explore the role IT plays in the challenging environment of ATC and detail the potential implications of these systems failing.

Sorry, no video available.


Towards Online Safety 3.0

Ken Corish, Education Advisor at Plymouth City Council (13 October 2009, 19:30)

The online-safety messages most people are getting are still pretty much one-size-fits-all and focused largely on adult-to-child crime, rather than on what the growing bodies of both Net-safety and social-media research have found. It very often fails to recognize youth agency: young people as participants, stakeholders, and leaders in an increasingly participatory environment online and offline. Though its aim is certainly positive, its message is still negative and lacks context. Much of it is largely irrelevant to young people.
This talk will review the opportunities we have as educators and parents to build youth enrichment and empowerment. To protect and enable young people through digital literacy and citizenship and focussing on recent research from the USA and current examples from work in the South West.

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Knowledge Management - an alternative view

Frank Land, (28 May 2009, 19:30)

No further details available.

Sorry, no video available.


The Second World War code breaking centre at Bletchley Park

John Gallehawk, Bletchley Park Trust (13 May 2009, 19:30)

John will discuss the events leading to the setting-up of Bletchley Park in 1939 as the Government Code and Cipher School and its operation during the war. The presentation will include a virtual tour around the Park, as the Museum exists today on the site in many of the original buildings. Ending with a demonstration of the German Enigma cipher machine.

John retired in 1994 from Government Statistical Service and then became a volunteer with Bletchley Park Trust as a Guide and in the Archives, John is also involved with the Educational side of the Museum activities.

Sorry, no video available.


How not to get bits in your beer - a look at how automation has changed our brewing heritage

Tim Machin, (10 March 2009, 19:30)

Tim will review the recent history of the use of process automation within the brewing industry. He will follow the development of control systems from the 1960's to the present day and focus on the technical and management challenges faced together with their solutions
Tim has spent most of his career refereeing between hardware manufacturers, control system suppliers and the demands of brewers. During this period of rapid technological change he has helped to develop the industry approach to process automation whilst maintaining a healthy interest in the end product.

Sorry, no video available.


Robotics Research At The University Of Plymouth: From Babies To Humanoid Robots

Angelo Cangelosi, Guido Bugmann and Phil Culverhouse, University of Plymouth (13 January 2009, 19:30)

The latest developments in robotics research strategically focus on the design of humanoid robots that takes direct inspiration from our knowledge of human development (recent news article). For example, by studying how human children acquire language through interaction with their peers and parents, we can design autonomous robots that are capable of developing their own behaviour and linguistic capabilities through imitation and learning. This approach is commonly referred to as "cognitive robotics" or "developmental robotics". During the presentation we will provide an overview of current cognitive robotics projects at the School of Computing, Communications and Electronics (Computer Science and Informatics research). These include the €6.25 Million project "ITALK: Integration and Transfer of Action and Language Knowledge in Robots" (funded by the European Commission), the projects on "Virtual Research Centre for Personal Robotics" and on "VALUE: Vision, Action, and Language Unified by Embodiment" (funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council), and the latest project on the development of the Plymouth University humanoid robot "Bunny Robot". The presentation of ongoing results and robotics experiments will demonstrate how such a cognitive robotics approach can help us overcome current limitations and challenges in personal robotics research.

Sorry, no video available.


Wireless Networking - A pratical approach from Netgear

Neil Smart, VAR Pre Sales Consultant, UKI, Netgear (11 November 2008, 19:30)

NETGEAR RangeMaxT NEXT generation wireless routers and adapters provide MAXIMUM wireless coverage and bandwidth, enabling you and your household to simultaneously connect to more brilliant online services than ever before.
Imagine connecting to the Internet from anywhere in the house, without a cable. Then imagine everyone in the house connecting at the same time, and doing different things - all at the same time:
Watch HD TV in the living room, browse the Internet in the study, play online games in the den, download MP3s from the dining room - all at the same time, all on a rock steady wireless signal that can cover the whole house.
That's what NETGEAR RangeMaxT NEXT wireless networking is capable off, no more frustrating interruptions or freezes.

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Sorry, no video available.


Agile Business Analysis

Dot Tudor, DSDM Consortium (21 October 2008, 19:30)

Dot will introduce the subject of “Agile” and discuss the process of Agile Business Analysis. This is an approach focused on delivering projects on time and in budget, whilst focusing on the business need and on delivering to the right level of quality. It breaks away from the “one big requirements specification” and "one big delivery" and the traditional divide between the end user and developer and brings in an incremental and iterative approach. The analysis and development of a solution in this Agile way is driven by business need and business value throughout the project and enables users a degree of mind-changing and learning as they evolve their requirements towards the best solution.

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Sorry, no video available.


Run silent, run deep: today's threat landscape

David Emm, Senior Technology Consultant, Kaspersky Lab (13 May 2008, 19:30)

Today's viruses, worms and Trojans are no longer isolated acts of hi-tech vandalism. In the last four years we've seen the increasing criminalization of the Internet, with malicious code being tailored specifically for the criminal underground to make money illegally. So-called 'bot' networks made up of Trojans are used to steal confidential data, to launch Distributed-Denial-of-Service attacks, to distribute spam or to download still more malicious code from remote web sites. With this has also come a shift in tactics from the writers of malicious code. We've seen a decline in the number of global epidemics as malware authors move away from the use of mass attacks on victims worldwide to low-key, localised attacks that make fewer headlines but more money.

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Health Informatics (HI): what's all the fuss about?

Dr Max Hughes, (29 April 2008, 19:30)

Max Hughes is a doctor working in mental health in the South West. His initial involvement with HI began in 2003, when he first became involved with intranet development. Since then, his interests include supporting other clinical staff in the effective use of healthcare information systems as well as looking at the ways Information Technologies can drive Quality Improvement in Healthcare.

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ProBlogging: Money, Metrics and Mentalism in the Long-Tail world of the Web

Dr Michael Evans, University of Reading (17 March 2008, 19:30)

ProBlogging is the art of writing professional blogs to a wide web audience for profit. Thanks largely to innovations in the online advertising business, professionally written blogs can now earn significant income if implemented correctly.
This presentation will focus on the evolution of Dr. Evans's own ProBlog, MobileMentalism.com, which, over the past two years, has gained a readership of over 160,000 unique visitors per month, and which generates an extremely healthy profit. The presentation will discuss the various components of ProBlogging, showing how it is a fascinating blend of art and science, craft and technology, and will give an insight into the underlying dynamics of the Web that makes ProBlogging both possible and successful.

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Turning IT Security Inside Out

Jon Collins, Freeform Dynamics (12 February 2008, 19:30)

The IT security industry has typically wanted us to focus on the threat of hackers, spammers and other undesirables from distant countries that want to break through the corporate firewall and wreak all kinds of havoc. But just how accurate a picture is this – or rather, how closely should we be scrutinising the actions of ourselves and our colleagues, to protect against not just malicious acts but also the potential for accidental damage? Against a background of organisations looking to remove, rather than build up their perimeters to enable better interworking with suppliers and customers, this presentation considers how to balance the risks of outsider damage whilst mitigating the threats from within.

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The impact of IT on the Marine Navigator

Andrew Eccleston PhD FRMetS CMet MNI FHEA , School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth (16th January 2008)

Andrew Eccleston is a member of academic staff at the University of Plymouth where he teaches students who are aiming for a career at sea, either as Merchant Navy deck officers or in the professional yachting industry.
Andrew was himself a Merchant Navy navigator and first came to Plymouth to study in 1970. In those days crossing an ocean required the use of astro navigation and radars were relatively crude devices that needed a separate manual plotting process to establish whether there was a risk of collision with another vessel.
Teaching at the University now involves the use of a multi-ship simulation system which incorporates electronic charts, GPS and automated radar plotting aids. As with many other complex safety-critical operational scenarios, Marine Navigation has been transformed by the introduction of computer-based technologies.
Andrew's talk will highlight some of the key navigation systems which have changed in recent years and look to future developments. Most of Andrew's professional life between serving at sea and coming back to teach at the University has been spent working with systems that process weather information and deliver services for media and aviation. The integration of weather information with marine navigation systems is a particular area of interest and will be demonstrated in the talk.
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The State of Spyware: Protect Your Network from Evolving Spyware Trends

Colin Smith, Regional Account Manager, Europe, Webroot Software (13th November 2007)

Colin Smith will present current research on the evolution of spyware, reveal infection data from spyware audits, and explain current spyware trends, threats and propagation strategies. This session will also explain how spyware writers take advantage of security flaws and make users a vulnerable target and offer best practices to protect networks and systems from spyware attacks.
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The Future of Security

David Lacey (David Lacey Consulting Limited) (8th May 2007)

The business environment of the future will be very different from today's. Boundaries between organisations and between personal and business computing will dissolve. Everyone and everything will be linked to the Internet. In order to survive these radical changes, organisations must embrace the uncertainty and the new risks this environment creates. David Lacey, formerly Chief Information Security Officer for leading organizations such as Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Royal Dutch/Shell Group and Royal Mail Group, will explain the emerging trends in IT Security and outline his own vision for how Business, IT and Security will evolve over the next fifteen years.
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From e-world to real world, the work of the CEOP centre

Maggie Brennan (Research Development and Strategy Advisor) and Mark Cameron (Digital Evidence Recovery Team), Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (26th April 2007)

The presentation opens with a description of the concept of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, its structure and current programmes of work, reviewing progress to date in each of the areas. The education programme, most wanted website, victim identification initiative, training programme, international strategy (G8 and VGT) will also be discussed. Finally the role and functions of research in the centre, key themes of research interest and the outreach strategy used to engage the research community are presented.
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Security Research at the University of Plymouth

(13th March 2007)

Personal Privacy: I've got nothing to hide!
Mrs Shirley Atkinson, Network Research Group, University of Plymouth.
The explosion in the use of the Internet and the growth of the volume of available data has made collecting personal information about an individual easier than ever before. This exacerbates problems for vulnerable individual's that stem from the abuse of gathered information. Abuse and harm of individuals, through grooming, harassment and bullying, coexist with identity theft as examples of criminal behaviours, aggravated by the ready availability of personal information.
The Semantic Web is a proposed evolution of the Internet where data is made available in prescribed formats. Computers automatically gather, combine and reason providing a more context aware, more relevant experience for the end user. However, when considered in the context of an unobstructed exchange of personal data, there is potential to create privacy problems for vulnerable individuals.
This presentation introduces briefly the motivation for the research, some key findings and outlines how the Semantic Web is to be incorporated into a potential technological solution designed to benefit vulnerable groups, rather than compound their problems.
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Enhancing user authentication for mobile devices
Miss Sevasti Karatzouni, Network Research Group, University of Plymouth.
The evolution of mobile networks has brought a new range of services for mobile subscribers. In parallel with this, devices such as cellphones and PDAs are becoming more sophisticated tools; with data processing, storage and communication capabilities getting closer to the functionality of desktop computers. As such, the information that can be accessed and stored in such devices is becoming more and more sensitive. Current PIN-based authentication has proven to be an insufficient, inconvenient, and often unpopular approach. This research is seeking to devise to a more robust and flexible authentication mechanism for mobile handsets, which can provide security using a multi-level and multi-factor authentication approach. This presentation mainly focuses upon provide the findings from a focus group that took place as part of the early research, in order to assess the views and attitudes of mobile users towards the security of their devices.
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Intrusion Detection Systems: Facts, Challenges and Futures
Miss Gina Tjhai, Network Research Group, University of Plymouth.
Intrusion Detection System plays a vital role as a last defence against computer attacks. However, due to the sheer size and complexity of intrusions, along with the continuing growth of network computing, IDS technology is deemed to be far from perfect. As IT infrastructure becomes larger and more complicated, IDS systems tend to generate a large number of false alarms, which can overwhelm human operators. This talk will provide an introduction to the technology, its benefits, and the challenges faced by IDS systems. Relevant research in this area is addressing novel techniques to enhance IDS performance. Looking through the existing research of IDS system, which is then followed by the prospective approaches of new IDS technology, this will give us a brief overview on how a better IDS system could be developed, with a higher detection possibility and lower false alarm rate.
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Professionalism in IT - What it is and how we get it

Charles Hughes, former BCS President (20th February 2007)

The BCS is leading a major programme to create the "Profession of the 21st Century"
Exploiting the full potential of IT is now critical to both individual enterprises and national economies. Meeting that challenge demands much greater corporate and individual professionalism. It also requires an IT profession with stronger business competences, capable as acting not just as technical solution provider but also as business transformation partner. Charles will explain the importance of the BCS Professionalism in IT programme and how it will transform the industry.
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Peer-to-Peer Networks: Facts, Controversies and their Future

Dr Nikos Antonopoulos, University of Surrey (14th November 2006)
Peer-to-Peer networks have certainly generated plenty of controversy. On the one hand they have been hailed as the next evolutionary step of the Internet while they have also received significant criticism in terms of the nature of the applications they are being designed to support. Is this a technology we should be keeping an eye on and consider including in University Computing programmes or is it something we should dismiss as a platform for illegal file and content sharing? This talk will provide a gentle introduction to the technology, challenges and innovations P2P networks have brought into Computer Science in general and Distributed Systems in particular. Significant research over the past five years has started yielding numerous different P2P systems. Going through their principles of operation, popular myths and the scientific facts surrounding them we'll try to understand what the future holds for P2P computing and whether there is any potential for such systems to provide the basis for useful (and legal) high performance applications.
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Life, the World and Information Security in a Global Bank

James McKeogh, Information Risk Management, Barclays Wealth Management (10th October 2006)
Providing a consistent and appropriate level of security and risk control in an ever changing, re-strategising and permanently evolving institution can really take its toll. Finding the balance between pragmatic and SarbOx Compliant, is it more art or science? How can a Security Professional, really hope to add benefit while showing true ROI on what they are doing? Is it really possible to please all of the people some of the time? An insight into the real world problems and needs of an industry that likes to be ahead of the game without putting its neck out.


Future Internet (and AGM)

Andy Press, Eclipse Internet (9th May 2006)
Details to follow
AGM minutes available here.


Soft Buildings

Mike Phillips, iDAT, University of Plymouth (14th March 2006)
Buildings are solid, monolithic, static structures of steel, stone and glass. Buildings are at their most dynamic during the phases of construction and ossify from the point of completion. They occupy a different timescale to the rest of us, unlike the Mayfly that enacts its lifespan in the space of a day, or our three score and ten, buildings emerge from a long gestation to face the elements for periods that can span a thousand years. Or they used to - increasingly the contemporary built environment ebbs and flows, generating a dynamically changing landscape as buildings are designed, constructed and demolished in the time it used to take to construct a model. This state of flux is enhanced by the addition of surveillance systems, telematic communication networks and environmental monitoring and control technologies. All these factors provide a new tangible dimensionality to contemporary architecture.
Arch-OS is an 'Operating System' that harnesses these new architectural, technological and social dimensions. Arch-OS, 'software for buildings', has been developed to manifest the social, technological and environmental life of a building and provide a living laboratory for cultivating transdisciplinary knowledge. Arch-OS buildings will be permanently in a state of flux. By feeding on the diverse forms of dynamic data that are generated by a building, its environment and its occupants, Arch-OS transforms the architects drawings, the brick, steel, glass and fiber-optic infrastructure into a living breathing environment. Arch-OS provides users of buildings with a spatial and temporal consciousness, essentially re-programming human activity through a heightened social, architectural awareness. Arch-OS combines a rich mix of the physical and virtual into a new dynamic architecture, an 'intelligent' entity, that interacts, responds and anticipates: Arch-OS is a nervous system for multidimensional buildings.
'Soft Buildings' explores some of the 'dimensions' made manifest by Arch-OS. Specifically the generation of new kinds of social space, a new kind of model, generated by a soft building.


Project Management for eBusiness

John Carroll, Carroll Consultants (17th January 2006)
This presentation set out the results of a study to establish which elements of project management methodology and processes are considered critical to the success of an eBusiness project. 26 projects were analysed by demographics, project size, criticality of processes and methodologies used. The data was further analysed to identify the processes and methodologies that had a correlation to project success. The presentation covered the 10 most critical and 5 most beneficial processes, the most popular and most successful methodologies and explored some other popular hypotheses.
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At the Crossroads of Evolutionary Computation and Music

Prof Eduardo Miranda, University of Plymouth (13th December 2005)

Evolutionary Computation (EC) may have varied applications in Music. This paper introduces three approaches to using EC in Music (namely, engineering, creative and musicological approaches) and discusses examples of representative systems that have been developed within the last decade, with emphasis on more recent and innovative works. We begin by reviewing engineering applications of EC in Music Technology such as Genetic Algorithms and Cellular Automata sound synthesis, followed by an introduction to applications where EC has been used to generate musical compositions. Next, we briefly introduce our ongoing research into EC models to study the evolution of music in surrogate worlds.


Data/IP over Satellite Communications

Mr Des Prouse (NLGD5), Head of Technology & Service Development, BT Wholesale - Radio, Subsea & Satellite Communications (8th November 2005)
The aim of this presentation is to give an introduction to the technology and terms associated with computer networking via commercial satellite communications systems. A tutorial approach will be used to show how data transmission methods have evolved over 35 years in the satellite field from 2.4 Kbit/s voice-band-data to 155Mbit/s Internet backbone connectivity. Some current example services will be briefly described to show how designers cope with the issues of using the Internet Protocol (IP) over a geostationary satellite communications link.
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The Ten Commandments of Information Security Culture

Prof Rossouw von Solms, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa (11th October 2005)
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Software Asset Management: An Information Security Perspective

Prof Reinhardt Botha, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa (11th October 2005)

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BCS Project Evening 2005 (26th April)

Philip Symmonds, Project Management System (446KB),
Christos Makedonas, Dolce Musica Music School Website and Intranet Site System (2.6MB),
Tew Kar Leong, Generic Calculator Constructor (1.2MB),
Martin Wilson, Data Retrieval and Manipulation in a Retail Environment (155KB).


Attitudes to e-Government

Dr Andy Phippen, University of Plymouth (12th April 2005)
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From Virtual Communities to Virtual Enterprises: A Business Perspective

Dr Brendan D'Cruz, Northampton Business School (12th April 2005)
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Computer Forensics - Corporate Negligence

Dr Andy Jones, BT Security Research Centre (1st March 2005)
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Who is to blame for IT Project failures?

Phil Davis (10th January 2005)
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Responding to the threat

Graeme Pinkney, Symantec Managed Security Services (December 2004)
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Bot Wars I: The attack of the parasitic clones

Jeremy Ward, Symantec (October 2004)
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The Threat Landscape and Security Trends

Jeremy Ward, Symantec (July 2004)
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