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  • Researchers from Brazil and Portugal are developing the tools to detect malicious networks, botnets, on mobile phones based on machine learning. They provide details in the International Journal of Security and Networks.

    A botnet is defined as an ad hoc network of Internet-connected devices control of which is usually taken for malicious purposes. Often a botnet controller will use the network to carry out a distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack) on another system, which might allow them to then gain access to the upper echelons or a corporate network, government computers, or other important data stores. They can use a botnet to steal data from organizations or individuals send spam and carry out phishing attacks to compromise many users' email accounts, bank websites, and more.

    Mobile internet devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, are now almost ubiquitous, and so have become common targets for those who wish to exploit the vulnerabilities of such devices for criminal or malicious intent through the surreptitious recruitment of those devices into a botnet. Staying ahead of the malware so that devices are protected from attack and being taken over requires sophisticated defence technology.

    The Brazilian team has found that it can achieve a high performance of some 84% in detecting botnet activity based on the similarity of "system calls" from different pieces of malware that would otherwise exploit a mobile device. The machine learning requires it to examine only 19 features of putative botnet characteristics, which makes it much faster than the prototype algorithm which needed 133 parameters. This means that the presence of a botnet can be detected within a second and so be blocked very quickly by associated protective software on the device before any real damage is done.

    Turrisi da Costa, V.G., Barbon Jr., S., Miani, R.S., Rodrigues, J.J.P.C. and Zarpelão, B.B. (2019) 'Mobile botnets detection based on machine learning over system calls', Int. J. Security and Networks, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp.103-118.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJSN.2019.100092

  • Crowdfunding in the wine business could represent a useful opportunity for small wineries, allowing them to garner the necessary funds to make their speciality product for a discerning and engaged clientele.

    Giuseppe Festa, Gerardino Metallo, and Maria Teresa Cuomo of the Department of Economic and Statistical Sciences at the University of Salerno, in Salerno, Italy and Mario Situm of the Institute for Corporate Restructuring, at FH Kufstein Tirol University of Applied Sciences, in Kufstein, Austria, address the notion in the International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business.

    Crowdfunding is the practice of financing a venture through raising small amounts of money from a lot of people, usually via social media and the Internet. It has been used by authors, musicians, artists, scientists, charities, and organizations very successfully. The incentives for the funders can vary enormously and are often correlated with the size of their donation. For example, an author might crowdfund the publication of their book and offer smaller donors a free copy of the published first edition, a slightly bigger donation might get the donor a signed copy, bigger still and additional materials and merchandise might be offered or perhaps access to "secret" details, such as videos or short stories or background essays from the author. Sometimes, there might be an opportunity to receive a credit in the publication for a large donation or perhaps the opportunity to meet the author.

    The extension of such a concept to winemaking has obvious benefits. The small winery gets the necessary funding to grow their grapes and make their wine. The donors get to drink the wine they helped make and perhaps get a tour of the vineyard, they might also have the opportunity of a share of the profits instead of the wine. There are a limited number of crowdfunding sites aimed at wineries and their consumers. However, the concept is expanding in offering donors involvement, engagement, and commitment at different levels.

    The researchers caution that in this relatively new world of wine crowdfunding, those involved at the winery side, the wine entrepreneurs and managers, need to constantly provide and communicating effectively with their donors to ensure positive sentiment and ongoing commitment, especially given that wine-making is not a one-off event as publishing a book might be, but an annual task.

    Festa, G., Metallo, G., Cuomo, M.T. and Situm, M. (2019) 'Crowdfunding in wine business as financing opportunity for smaller wineries', Int. J. Globalisation and Small Business, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp.278-292.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2019.100126

  • Scientists at a research university often play a formative role in the commercialization of intellectual property and inventions emerging from their laboratories. Often, the "spinning off" of a startup company will be to the benefit of society as a whole particularly in the biomedical research areas where innovation might have a significant impact on human health.

    Writing in the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, V.J. Thomas of the School of Business at The University of the Fraser Valley, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and Elicia Maine of the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, Canada, discuss the impact of regional startups on innovation when those scientists are star players in their field. They point out that regional effects can promote or restrain those star scientists to the benefit or detriment of the spinoff company and that such effects must be managed if entrepreneurship is to be fostered.

    The research points to four recommendations for fostering spinoffs. First, there needs to be a focus on developing technology transfer and intellectual property policies that support inventors and align the long-term interests of the scientist-entrepreneur, the university and the regional system of innovation. Secondly, there has to be targeted funding for faculty and student research with commercial potential. Thirdly, research partnerships with local anchor companies must be built to generate positive feedback loops. Finally, encourage an entrepreneurial mindset should be encouraged among science, technology, engineering, and medical (STEM) students through entrepreneurship training and business plan competitions.

    "Developing an entrepreneurial culture within universities can contribute not just to university spin-off formation but can fuel growth in the regional, national and global economy," the team writes.

    Thomas, V.J. and Maine, E. (2019) 'Impact of regional systems of innovation on the formation of university spin-offs by biomedical star scientists', Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp.271-287.
    DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2019.100108

  • 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

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.