Monday, October 22, 2018

Preventing Spread of Fake News using Reverse Image Search

Special session of Cybersecurity Centre of IT&E Department in October 2018
    In the meeting of Advisory Committee on Cybersecurity held earlier this month, there was a workshop on how to make simple cross checks to prevent Fake News from spreading. Mr J Dasgupta, a former journalist who has been trained by Google in Delhi explained that using Chrome browser's image tab, reverse image search could be made on any digital picture and if it has ever appeared earlier on the net, it is likely to show up. I have tested this with an image myself and seen that it works.
    We were told that for multiple persons, the best approach is to crop out only one person's image and then put it on reverse image search.
    We were also advised that we should not forward any suspicious images before checking alternative multiple sources and that we should use common sense and logic and not assume that since the sender of an image is known to us, his forwarded image is genuine.

    On a slightly different matter, we were informed that the website can be used to report, even anonymously, cybercrime complaints relating to women. MAKAUT, the Maulana Abul Kalam University of Technology, West Bengal submitted a proposal to be associated with the department's Cybersecurity Cell. MAKAUT, incidentally, runs several cybersecurity courses routinely.
    We also decided to develop some simple DO's and DONT's for guidance of people and departments when cyberattacks happen especially in critical infrastructures like power, traffic, transportation, metros, airports etc.
    We have also published a tender seeking applications from institutions who want to help set up a helpline for cyber-crime victims

Saturday, October 20, 2018

E Ink : From Taiwan to New Town

Earlier this year, I was in Taiwan for attending Computex 2018. In course of the scheduled tours and interactions, I came to know of a display technology that uses very little power. The screen of the Kindle e-book reader is an example of use of e-ink. For my Kindle e-book procured some time ago from Amazon, I don't have to charge its battery for weeks and months. They say that almost zero power is consumed if one doesn't change the display and only a tiny amount of power is consumed when the display changes. The display clarity is so good that people often mistake the display on a switched-off Kindle to be a paper stuck on it !

Such a low power high contrast display makes e-ink an ideal choice for public announcements, notices, conference schedules and reading material. The displays can be uploaded or changed from a laptop connected through a Wi Fi. However, it is not easily available in India.

With the help of TAITRA (the business development agency of Taiwan) office in Kolkata (see ), I got connected to E-Ink Headquarters in Taiwan ( see ) who advised their Bangalore partner, who is just developing the technology and is yet to launch it commercially, to do a pilot in New Town. I chose the bus shed near Gate 2 of Eco Park. So next time you go to Eco Park or Misti Hub, do try to see the e-ink display. Here is a photo.

I think we need to do something to reduce the reflection from the front screen and to have a LED lighting to improve readability at night. We may also require a bigger size for prominent outdoor display.

We will evaluate the performance and discuss with E-Ink partner in India before replicating.

Monday, October 15, 2018

NFC Tag in Cafe Ekante: "Shortening the wait time at Cafe Ekante dinner"

NFC table cards at Cafe Ekante
The time between ordering the food at a restaurant and the apparent unending time before your food arrives can now be shortened, psychologically. NFC based table cards make your wait interesting now at Cafe Ekante at Eco Island, Eco Park, New town, Kolkata.

After you have decided the menu and placed the orders, and after the conversation dies down, and after you are done with several selfies you glance at the TV suspended from the ceiling. But soon you are bored again, getting hungrier. To entertain you, take help of the NFC quadrant on your dining table.

If you have a NFC enabled mobile hold your phone near any of the quadrant's page to choose news or sports or entertainment. The phone browser will start playing the channel chosen in your mobile, using the WiFi of Cafe Ekante. Remember to put "NFC ON/OFF" switch in your settings to NFC ON. See to check if your phone has NFC capability. Please remember that even if your phone is on the list of NFC enabled phones, you may have to (1) download an Apps and (2) enable NFC in settings as already mentioned above.

If you don't have  NFC in your mobile use the scan the QR code printed on the quadrant. The output is the same.

The innovation is done by Oorjamatics ( See ) .

Mr Raja Guha, Co-Founder Oorjamatics, explanting to me the NFC concept at
Cafe Ekante last week