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  • Might an enormous orbiting "shield" be one way to combat the rising temperatures around the world caused by elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide levels? Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, a team in China has done the calculations and they suggest it might be possible to lower average global temperatures by a third of a degree Celsius with such a shield. This could have a significant, low-cost impact on climate change when we consider that fractions of a degree rises in temperature are already causing serious problems at the Earth's extreme environments.

    Jie He of the School of Mechanical Engineering, at Xi'an Aeronautical University, in Shaanxi and Fei Zheng of the School of Electromechanical Engineering, at Xidian University also in Shaanxi, outline the details in their paper. There have been numerous suggestions for how we might combat the effects of rising atmospheric carbon concentrations due to the ever-increasing industrialization of the world and our seemingly insatiable appetite for burning fossil fuels whether coal, oil, or natural gas.

    Many of the schemes involving taxing emissions to make it prohibitively expensive to burn fossil fuels. Other approaches involve finding ways to sequester carbon dioxide from exhaust gases or the atmosphere as a whole. There are schemes where developed nations can offset their carbon emissions by financing more sustainable options - wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric - in the developing world. Large-scale engineering - geo-engineering - also has its schemes for reversing the effects by seeding the oceans with iron to help cultivate algae that can absorb carbon dioxide.

    Then, there is the off-planet approach being addressed by He and Zheng. At first, such a scheme - essentially putting in place a giant parasol to shield our planet to some degree from the sun - seems farfetched, the stuff of futuristic science fiction and yet it has many merits, the team argues. The team has tested successfully a much-reduced scale model of such a shield, just 2 metres in diameter. The concept of the shield being a controllable spacecraft that shifts in its orbit depending on what region of the planet needs shielding at a given time over the course of the day will be considered in future work.

    He, J. and Zheng, F. (2019) 'Efficiency evaluation of huge space shield for mitigating global warming', Int. J. Global Warming, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp.1-15.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2019.100172

  • In a country with limited resources, might social media be useful in the post-surgical care of patients in their own homes? That is the question researchers from India hope to answer with their research just published in the International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices.

    Naval Bansal of Fortis, in Mohali, India, and colleagues Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Saroj Kanta Mishra, Gyan Chand, Anjali Mishra, Gaurav Agarwal, Amit Agarwal, and Ashok Kumar Verma of the Department of Endocrine Surgery, at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, in Lucknow, India, discuss their feasibility study in this context. The team followed more than one hundred thyroidectomy patients who were offered some of their follow-up care via Microsoft's well-known voice over internet (VoIP) application, Skype. In detail, 76 of the patients had Internet access and of those 51 opted for conventional follow up and 25 patients consented to have tele-follow up using the software.

    The team found that distance from the treating hospital was the most significant factor in choosing Skype follow up. Moreover, those who opted for Skype tended to be better educated, with a degree or postgraduate degree. Everyone who opted for Skype follow-up saved money and work days by avoiding the need to take time to re-visit the hospital. "Even in resource constrained countries, social media can provide an alternative mode of healthcare delivery," the team suggests. There remains a need to instill confidence in such an approach for the less well-educated and for those who see face-to-face care as a better choice.

    Of course, there will be times when a Skype follow-up would be inadequate at which times patients would have to visit their healthcare worker or receive physical as opposed to virtual care in their home.

    Bansal, N., Yadav, S.K., Mishra, S.K., Chand, G., Mishra, A., Agarwal, G., Agarwal, A. and Verma, A.K. (2019) 'Post-surgical continuity of care from home using social media in a resource limited country', Int. J. Telemedicine and Clinical Practices, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp.156-164.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJTMCP.2019.100040

  • The internet is ubiquitous and for many people it is part of every aspect of their everyday lives from news and information to finding their way around a new city and from emailing close friends to finding a partner. But, how do we know which websites on the internet are trustworthy in so many different contexts?

    Writing in the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Himani Bansal of the Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India and Shruti Kohli of DWP Digital, in London, UK, suggest that a template is needed to assess the validity of information, this could be a matter of life or death with respect to medication information, they add.

    The team has assimilated data from a range of websites that are classified by an external website as being "similar". They have then aggregated all of the behaviour around those websites and analysed that data to see how the different sites are perceived by the users. They compared their scores for a website's trustworthiness with assessments of the same websites made by others independently using different tools.

    Trust is an essential factor in any relationship if it is to be a positive one and if it is to thrive. There is at the moment no common tool for assessing the trustworthiness of a website. The new approach taken in the present papers offers an alternative that may well allow us to validate websites objectively. Such a system might be interlaced with a search engine or be incorporated into a browser plugin or extension that would offer the user information about the trustworthiness of a site they intend to use.

    Bansal, H. and Kohli, S. (2019) 'Trust evaluation of websites: a comprehensive study', Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Vol. 13, Nos. 1/2, pp.101-112.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAIP.2019.099946

  • In the late 1980s, Chaos Theory came to the fore in the realm of science popularisation. Strange attractors and the so-called butterfly effect became a part of modern culture. The science was often lost in the wake of beautiful artful representations of the mathematics in the form of colourful fractals that were generated on the computer and revealed the spiralling infinities within. Terms such as the Julia set and the Mandelbrot were scattered around as butterfly wings on the breeze.

    Of course, the public fascination may have dwindled as the next trendy discovery came along, but scientists keep working on such things, following the threads that might lead to a new discovery within the coils of those fractals. Now, writing in the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, a team reports how they have used Julia sets and a logistic map to devise a new way to compress and encrypt digital information based on fractals.

    Bhagwati Prasad and Kunti Mishra of the Department of Mathematics, at Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, in Noida, India, suggest that their success with their proposal could open up a new efficient and secure way to send confidential images, such as those from medical imaging, military, and other multimedia applications.

    The team has demonstrated proof of principle with their approach using various medical images, including a conventional chest X-ray, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, and a CT (computerised tomography) scan. For these images they were able to compress and encrypt the files by almost ten times.

    Prasad, B. and Mishra, K. (2019) 'A novel encryption compression scheme using Julia sets', Int. J. Advanced Intelligence Paradigms, Vol. 13, Nos. 1/2, pp.8-14.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJAIP.2019.099940

  • Is there a valuable role that social media can play in education? Writing in the International Journal of Innovation and Learning, a research team from Malaysia and Thailand discuss the advent of e-learning and its growth in the early part of this century.

    "E-learning combines modern interactive learning methods with knowledge management methods that provide better evaluation of knowledge," they explain. They add that "Social media has brought revolutionary new ways of interacting, participating, cooperating and collaborating which involve users generating content and connecting with people through a 'many-to-many', rather than the traditional 'one-to-many', communication approach."

    The question then arises as to what the interplay between e-learning and social media acceptance and use look like. Khalid Abdul Wahid of the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) in Kelantan, Malaysia, working with colleague Wan Saiful 'Azzam Wan Ismail there and Haruthai Numprasertchai of Kasetsart University, in Bangkok, Thailand, hoped to lay bare the connections. Fundamentally, their survey of 359 students in Malaysia shows that:

    "All antecedents of technology acceptance which included performance expectancy, effort expectancy and facilitating condition have positive significant effect on collective learning except social influence."

    The team points out that universities must provide sufficient infrastructure and those people working around students need to recognise just how much time students spend online. Importantly, students are accessing the internet on campus, but many spend more time online than in face-to-face classes. This has become a normalized scenario and thus it is important that the information and communications technology is in place to support this shift in attitude and activity.

    Wahid, K.A., Ismail, W.S.A.W. and Numprasertchai, H. (2019) 'The role of social media in collective learning', Int. J. Innovation and Learning, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp.363–376.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2019.099981

  • The phrase "sewage farm" may have fallen from favour and been replaced with terms such as waste water treatment works and the like. But, the origin of that archaic phrase refers very directly to the fact that partly processed human waste was at one time commonly used as agriculture fertiliser on farmland close to such a treatment works.

    Majeed Ali, Talaat Ahmed and Mohammad A. Al-Ghouti of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, at Qatar University, in Doha, Qatar, discuss the modern potential for using sewage sludge on soil and plants in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management. The team emphasizes that in their review of approaches to the use of sewage they have found great variation in how the material is used and how much pre-treatment is carried out.

    "The fertiliser potential and pollutant risk for applied sewage sludge in agricultural activities must be specifically evaluated for each sludge due to the fact that there is variation in the characteristics of sludges in which they undergo different treatment levels, in addition to the differences in the pollutant nature that is found in the wastewater," the team writes.

    Whereas the old-fashioned sewage farm may have been able to use simply treated raw sewage in an essentially small and closed community. In the modern world of much greater personal mobility and exposure to a wide range of pathogens and pollution from around the world, it is essential that sewage sludge be adequately treated before it can be used as fertilizer. This must be done to eliminate and remove any harmful materials that can negatively affect the environment, human health, soil, and the crops grown with the help of that sludge. The team suggests that there are several viable ways to adequately treat sewage sludge, namely aerobic, anaerobic digestion, and thermal treatment.

    Ali, M., Ahmed, T. and Al-Ghouti, M.A. (2019) 'Potential benefits and risk assessments of using sewage sludge on soil and plants: a review', Int. J. Environment and Waste Management, Vol. 23, No. 4, pp.352–369.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJEWM.2019.099992

  • The microblogging platform, Twitter, is almost ubiquitous. Members of the public, citizen journalists use it, so too do business leaders, charities, scientists, authors, writers, politicians, even presidents. But, are companies making the most of it? Writing in the Journal of Global Business Advancement, a team from India has analysed 25 startups and the twitter use of their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) there to answer that question.

    Nakul Parameswar of the Indian Institute of Management Jammu, in Jammu and Kashmir, and colleagues explain that "The active involvement of Chief Executive Officers in social media influences the business effectiveness, performance and market legitimacy of the business." The team used two data mining tools – Anaconda Navigator and TIBCO Spotfire – to analyse well over 160 000 tweets from the 25 CEOs to come to this conclusion. They point out that the CEOs were tweeting about a wide range of topics: various aspects of emotions ranging from the business sector to personal feelings, political views, and societal concerns.

    As the shine has worn off the traditional media newspapers, television, and radio in the wake of Web 2.0 and the advent of the so-called social media and online social networks there is greater equity between the information providers and the information consumers. Indeed, citizens feel that social media gives them a voice that was once the preserve of editors, journalists, news anchors, and presenters. In terms of commerce, social media gives consumers a voice that allows them to share experiences with products and services as well as reach out to the very people who offer them in a way that was never possible in the days of one-way media and a handwritten letter to the company headquarters.

    In return companies and providers need to recognize and be responsive to the activity of the clients and customers online. There is a vast spectrum of responsiveness among the 25 CEO twitter accounts analysed. Some need to do more, some maybe do too much. Balance is needed.

    Sindhani, M., Parameswar, N., Dhir, S. and Ongsakul, V. (2019) 'Twitter analysis of founders of top 25 Indian startups', J. Global Business Advancement, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp.117-144.
    DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2019.099918

  • It was once the stuff of science fiction security, open your eye wide and look into the camera to gain entry to the spaceship flight deck or press a finger tip or palm of your against the pad to access the secret database that lets you take control of the baddies' weapons. Today, of course, iris recognition, fingerprint readers, and other biometric systems are becoming increasingly commonplace. Most modern smart phones have a fingerprint reader that lets you unlock your phone without having to remember a password or number.

    Of course, from a security perspective, what's to stop a third party "lifting" your fingerprint, and creating a facsimile of its loops, whorls and arches with a piece of a skin-like rubbery material and then presenting this to the biometric device to gain access? The simple answer is nothing! Moreover, for a simple fingerprint ID system, there would be no way for it to know that the presented fingerprint was not part of a living person's finger rather than a rubber dab.

    However, writing in the International Journal of Biometrics, a team from India describes their approach to developing a system that not only reads fingerprints but can detect the "liveness" of the fingerprint based on an algorithmic analysis of micro and macro features. Rohit Agrawal and Anand Singh Jalal of GLA University, in Mathura, and K.V. Arya of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, in Lucknow, explain that their approach sidesteps the problem associated with earlier statistical methods that work well with micro, but not the macro, features of a fingerprint.

    The team explains that they have combined local Haralick micro texture features with macro features derived from neighbourhood grey-tone difference matrix. This allows them to generate an effective feature vector. They then train the algorithm with known fingerprints and test it against genuine and fake fingerprints. They achieve an almost 95 per cent accuracy with a low error rate. Earlier systems can boast only 90 per cent accuracy.

    Agrawal, R., Jalal, A.S. and Arya, K.V. (2019) 'Fake fingerprint liveness detection based on micro and macro features', Int. J. Biometrics, Vol. 11, No. 2, pp.177–206.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJBM.2019.099065

  • In the age of Web 2.0 and social media and online social networking, user-generated content has become the main source of information for many people. Nowhere is this truer than on popular photo-sharing websites. While the likes of Instagram have moved to the fore, there are still millions of people using the much older and more sophisticated service Flickr. This site was established in 2004 by Ludicorp, it was then bought by Yahoo, which itself was acquired by Verizon, and the Flickr component sold on to another photo site, SmugMug in April 2018.

    Research published in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management describes an empirical study on how tags might be mined from the comments Flickr users make on each other's photographs, videos, and other images. Haijun Zhang, Jingxuan Li, and Bin Luo of the Department of Computer Science at Harbin Institute of Technology Shenzhen Graduate School and Yan Li of the School of Computer Engineering at Shenzhen Polytechnic in Shenzhen, both in Guangdong Province, China, hope to develop a technique that might be useful in the curation of the huge database of images stored by Flickr.

    They have developed a two-phase approach wherein tags are generated from comments on a given photo and then these are ranked.

    "In the phase of candidate tags generation, two methods are introduced relying on natural language processing (NLP) techniques, namely word-based and phrase-based," the team explains. "In ranking and recommending tags, we proposed an algorithm by jointly modelling the location information of candidate tags, statistical information of candidate tags and semantic similarity between candidate tags. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method."

    The team claims this to be the first paper addressing the problem of tagging photos in the Flickr database in this way, it could assist in curating the collection, especially where photos have not been tagged initially by the person that uploads them.

    Zhang, H., Li, J., Luo, B. and Li, Y. (2019) 'Needle in a haystack: an empirical study on mining tagsfrom Flickr user comments', Int. J. Information Technology and Management, Vol. 18, Nos. 2/3, pp.297–326.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2019.099808

  • Researchers in India have developed an application (app) for Android smart phones that allows two users to make voice calls to each other even if they have neither data nor internet connectivity provided that they can both access a local Wi-Fi network. The app is thus limited to the range of the wireless network, but effectively allows the phones to be used like "walkie-talkies" or an "intercom" system without having to connect to a cell-mast or even have be connected to the wider internet.

    The app could be useful in remote areas in the developing world or in a military zone where internet access may be limited or entirely off-limits, but a local wireless network can be sustained from a single server at a central location or military base, for instance.

    Writing the in the International Journal of Information Technology and Management, computer scientist Shalini Goel of Mahavir Swami Institute of Technology, in Delhi-NCR, India, and colleagues Vipul Garg, Deepak Garg, and Manshiv Kathait of the Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, also in Delhi, describe details of WiFi_Intercom. The app uses communications classes that allow a user to connect with other users through the Wi-Fi wireless standard protocol using a point to point system on the wireless local area network (WLAN). Voice communication can then be made between any Android-based wireless devices that have a microphone and speaker and can connect to the WLAN. The system offers full duplex conversation just as anyone has with a conventional phone call, as opposed to the walkie-talkie where only one person can speak at a time.

    The next step will be to extend the app to encompass encryption and so take security up to the requisite level for most users, but particularly for those with sensitive conversations to make in such an environment, particularly for military use. The team will also develop ways to lower energy consumption and improve call clarity.

    Goel, S., Garg, V., Garg, D. and Kathait, M. (2019) 'Voice transmission through WiFi', Int. J. Information Technology and Management, Vol. 18, Nos. 2/3, pp.268-283.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJITM.2019.099821

News

New Editor for International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering

Prof. Prof. Hamid Reza Karimi from Politecnico di Milano in Italy has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Aerospace System Science and Engineering.

New Editor for International Journal of Power Electronics

Dr. Dinesh Kumar from Danfoss Drives A/S in Denmark has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Power Electronics.

International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms is becoming an Open Access-only journal

We are pleased to announce that the International Journal of Advanced Intelligence Paradigms is becoming an Open Access-only journal.

All accepted articles submitted from May 2019 onwards will be Open Access, and will require a fee payment of US $1600.

New Editor for International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties

Prof. ZhengMing Sun from Southeast University in China has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Microstructure and Materials Properties.

New Editor for International Journal of International Journal of Virtual Technology and Multimedia

Prof. Charles Xiaoxue Wang from Florida Gulf Coast University in the USA has been appointed to take over editorship of the International Journal of Virtual Technology and Multimedia.