Symposium on Location- and Context-Wareness (LoCA) (Ph.D. studies)
Last week, I attended to the 3rd International Symposium on Location- and Context-Awareness to present my paper entitled "Deployment, Calibration, and Measurement Factors for Position Errors in 802.11-based Indoor Positioning Systems". I have to admit that this symposium was one of the most interesting conferences I have ever been. The reason for this is actually twofold: First, the focus of the symposium is quite narrow, and, second, a lot of well-known researchers in the area of 802.11-based positioning systems attended the meeting. Regarding the former, the focus of the symposium perfectly fits my research area which means that nearly every presentation was of interest for me. This is in contrast to a lot of other conferences (e.g., MobiCom) where only a small portion of the talks cover my research interests. The latter means that a lot of cool research work has been presented and we talked a lot about future directions. This was especially interesting for me because we sometimes shared a common view and sometimes we had confronting opinions. :-)
The talk that I liked most is entitled: Towards a Taxonomy for Location Fingerprinting (Mikkel Kjærgaard, Univerisity of Aarhus). This judgement is not influenced by the fact that I will be at Aarhus in the near future. I really liked the cool work Mikkel did because he reviewed and grouped an impressive number of 802.11-based positioning systems. In fact, nearly two years ago I also started categorizing existing research results and I gave up because I wanted to do more practical things. However, I think this work is a great contribution to the community because it summaries and groups the different systems and shows room for future research areas.
And finally, Thomas Strang from DLR did a great job organizing the conference. It was a great pleasure to attend to the conference. See you next time at LoCA 2009. :-)
Posted by Thomas King at 11:01 2007-09-28 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Safe and SafeDesktop Branching into Pay-Software (MobileKnox / Safe)
During the development of SafeDesktop I played with the idea of selling the latest versions of Safe and SafeDesktop. While I was too busy to set up a business by my own, a friend of mine caught on the idea. He already pushed forward by doing all the administrative work: Setting up a website, coming up with cute icons and logos, talking to a bank about credit card payments. As a next step, I am going to dual-license Safe and SafeDesktop so that we can sell it. This step will be pretty easy because I am the only single developer who owns a copyright on Safe and SafeDesktop. However, to add a competitive-advantage to the pay-version of Safe and SafeDesktop I am going to implement a few new features. At the moment, I am thinking about the following features:
  • Automatic latest version checker
  • Automatic update
  • AES encryption
In case you are a possible user of the pay-version of Safe and SafeDesktop, do you have any feature requests? Please let me know. I will give away a pay-version of Safe and SafeDesktop for free to each person that requests a feature that will make it into the final version.
So far, we have not decided what the price-tag for Safe and SafeDesktop will be. Currently, we think about a price range of 5-10 Euros. This includes all minor updates (lets say you pay for version 2.1 of Safedesktop, this means all versions until 3.0 are covered by your license) and email support in case of questions. The official release date of the pay-version of Safe and SafeDesktop will be soon but has not been set yet.

Cheers, Thomas
Posted by Thomas King at 00:19 2007-09-26 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Most interesting work presented at MobiCom (Ph.D. studies)
From my point of view, the following two papers are the most interesting ones so far presented at MobiCom:
  • 802.11 User Fingerprinting (Jeffrey Pang et al.)
  • Robust Location Distinction using Temporal Link Signatures (Neal Patwari et al.)
The former one describes a way of tracking users by passively listing on traffic patterns observable at access points (e.g., SSIDs contained in probes or broadcast packets generated by various applications). The idea is not completely new but this paper is the first that comprehensively investigates the ways of how users can be tracked. The latter presents a method of how a transmitter is able to realize that it had been moved. This is exactly on what I am currently working. I am trying to integrate such a method into our 802.11-based positioning system so that a mobile device can be aware of movement without position itself. This alleviates a few problems that are currently present. I cannot go into more detail because I first have to do my job and finish the research work. As soon as this is done, I let you now! ;-)

Best regards,
Posted by Thomas King at 21:45 2007-09-12 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

Being at WiNTECH and MobiCom (Ph.D. studies)
Since Friday afternoon I am in Montreal to attend to ACM WiNTECH and MobiCom. As Mobicom starts today, I used the last two days for sight-seeing. Because of the sunny wetter it was quite fun to wander around in Montreal and visit all the tourist places. Soon, I am going to upload all the picture I took and then I will post a message about the place where I have been.
Today, MobiCom started with the WiNTECH workshop. After lunch, I presented my talk entitled "Loc{lib,trace,eva,ana}: Research tools for 802.11-based Positioning Systems". As the question and answer session is an indicator, my walk went quite smooth. I hope I could convince the positioning community to utilize our tools for their research. Lets see what happens in the future.
So, as the coffee break is over and the next speaker is ready to present his work, I should listen to his talk. I will be back soon.

Posted by Thomas King at 22:39 2007-09-10 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

PerCom Cont. (Ph.D. studies)
It is done: I submitted my paper entitled "On-Demand Fingerprint Selection for 802.11-based Positioning Systems"! Thanks for all the help I received in the last few days. Special thanks to my girlfriend for providing me with gourmet meals while being in the office late at night! Furthermore, I highly appreciate the help and guidance I received from my colleague Thomas Butter and my supervisor Prof. Wolfgang Effelsberg!
Now, the only thing I can do is waiting until the PerCom chairs notify me about acceptance or rejection. Let's see what happens ... ;-)

Stay tuned!
Posted by Thomas King at 18:07 2007-09-04 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

PerCom cont. (Ph.D. studies)
Only one day left until the submission system for PerCom 2008 is closed. I am going over and over my paper to make it easier for readers to get the message. Still, tomorrow will be a stressful day because lots of comments from colleagues have to be incorporated into the paper.

But I am happy that most of the work is done. Hopefully my paper will be accepted by the reviewers. Let's see what happens. :-)

Posted by Thomas King at 00:14 2007-09-04 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)

PerCom cont. (Ph.D. studies)
I am working like hell and I am nearly finished with writing the paper. My supervisor prof-read a beta-version of the paper and gave me valuable comments. So, I am going to add them by today. He told me further that he really likes the idea of the paper and that it is already well written.

Currently, the paper is 9.5 pages long and the maximum length is 10 pages. The abstract and the conclusions are still missing. However, I am going to finish the content first and then I am adding the missing parts.

The submission deadline is set to September 4th. The TPC already announced that no deadline extension will be granted. So, it looks like it will be a long night and a lot of work for the remaining days but I hope it is worth the effort.

Still working ...
Posted by Thomas King at 14:16 2007-09-02 | Trackbacks (0) | Comments (0)