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Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Studentship | Award Amount: 0.00 | Year: 2015

Visualizations have become important means of communicating information. As data becomes accessible for more people with no background in programming and data analytics, there is a growing need for more user-centered visualization software. This research proposal aims to investigate visualization creation from an end user development perspective, using the Attention Investment model of programming. Information visualization has become a common activity for many people. Visualizations range from simple graphs to infographics, are created by journalists publishing their findings or designers covering an entire topic in an expressive, compelling visualization, and can target news readers, business people or research audiences. Given the very different groups of people that are using visualizations as means of communication, the ways of creating these visualizations are diverse. Victor (2013) classifies these ways in three paradigms: using, drawing and coding, each embodied in different software applications. Representative examples would be Microsoft Excel, Adobe Illustrator and D3.js respectively. This research project proposes to look at data visualization from the perspective of end user programming. From the end user perspective, learning a programming language for creating visualizations, like Processing or Data-Driven Documents (D3.js) (Bostock et al. 2011), is too expensive. As such, end users prefer to use a more direct manipulation of information, for example spreadsheets (Lieberman et al 2006). However, research on the topic of information visualization very rarely appears to be done in a user-centric manner, even if its directed for end users (Pantazos et al. 2013). The approach proposed for end user programming of visualizations also draws on the theory of Attention Investment (Blackwell 2002, Blackwell & Green 1999). The theory has been successfully applied mostly to various spreadsheet functionalities (Beckwith et al. 2002, Jones et al 2003), but not to data visualizations. Guided by the Attention Investment model, the aim is to study the cognitive aspects of information visualization creation, how existing systems support the users and create prototypes for data visualization that accounts for the perceived costs, risks and benefits of the end users.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 353.18K | Year: 2007

Mark Weisers vision of ubiquitous computing, in which computers become transparently and seamlessly woven into the many activities of our daily lives, is slowly becoming a reality. Researchers have created prototype ubiquitous computing environments such as smart homes that can automatically sense the presence of a resident in a particular room and change some aspect of the environment of the room such as turning on the lights, or smart museums that can play recorded information about the museum artefact a visitor is standing in front of. There seem to be limitless possibilities for the kinds of environments and applications that can be developed for ubiquitous computing, yet the very nature of ubiquitous computing creates new and significant challenges for engineers who would like to build these environments and applications. Anybody who has ever used a computer has experienced the extreme frustration of using a software package that doesnt work the way its supposed to, or that unceremoniously crashes in the middle of its operation, or that runs extremely slowly, or that transmits sensitive information such as credit card numbers over untrusted networks. For ubiquitous computing to achieve true transparent and seamless integration with its surroundings, it is important to prevent such mishaps, crashes, inefficiencies and insecurities from happening to the greatest extent possible. This project will define and implement a suite of sound, systematic methods that engineers can use to create correctly functioning, efficient and secure ubiquitous computing environments and applications. The research will be conducted and evaluated using the smart urban spaces and applications being developed in another ubiquitous computing project called Cityware.

British Telecommunications Plc | Date: 2016-05-05

Computer software to enable the implementation, operation, hosting and maintenance of electronic commerce across multi-platform, multi-touchpoint electronic connections; radio frequency identification software and middleware; inventory management software; software for data collection, data tracking, data management, data reading and data storage; data tags; data readers and data software; business management software; automatic identification methodology software; inventory and asset management and inventory and asset tracking software applications. Data collection and management services; supply chain product inventory services; inventory services; information and consultancy services in respect of the aforesaid services; customer management and support services in the field of inventory and asset tracking; professional consultancy services in the field of data collection, data reading, data tracking, data retrieval and data management. Telecommunications services. Security tracking services.

News Article | November 12, 2015
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/internet.xml

United Kingdom subscribers to one of the Virgin Media's Big bundles, which are postpaid plans that cover phone and broad Internet service, will see a 5.4 percent increase in monthly charges for the specified lineup of plans starting next year. In February 2016, Virgin Media customers who are registered to the Big Easy and Big Connection bundles will see a £3.49 ($5.32) increase with the packages' monthly charges. On the other hand, those who have the Big Kahuna, Big Daddy and Big Bang bundles will see their bills spike by £3.99 ($6.07). The price increase includes a line rental charge increase of £1 ($1.52) Note that earlier this year, Virgin Media upgraded the bandwidth of the said plans and stated that it will be free of charge. The service provider justifies the price hikes are implemented in order to sustain and build its network and provide its subscribers with better service. Moreover, according to The Register, a Virgin Media spokesperson disclosed that the price increase is parallel to the speed boost the company offers. "We are doing everything we can to keep prices as competitive as possible," Virgin Media's managing director Gregor McNeil tells The Register. "We are again upgrading our customers' broadband speeds and providing unlimited downloads." Subscribers who are not willing to submit to the service price hike have the option to terminate their subscription. Virgin Media will not impose penalties on those who will terminate their subscriptions in lieu of complying with the price increase. British Telecommunications plc, TalkTalk, Plusnet and Sky are some of the competing providers which those in the U.K. can switch to. However, based on Ofcom's published test results as of November 2014, Virgin Media leads the pack for average daily download speeds, as well as download statistics during traffic hours.

Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 3.44M | Year: 2013

Compared to many parts of the world, the UK has under-invested in its infrastructure in recent decades. It now faces many challenges in upgrading its infrastructure so that it is appropriate for the social, economic and environmental challenges it will face in the remainder of the 21st century. A key challenge involves taking into account the ways in which infrastructure systems in one sector increasingly rely on other infrastructure systems in other sectors in order to operate. These interdependencies mean failures in one system can cause follow-on failures in other systems. For example, failures in the water system might knock out electricity supplies, which disrupt communications, and therefore transportation, which prevent engineers getting to the original problem in the water infrastructure. These problems now generate major economic and social costs. Unfortunately they are difficult to manage because the UK infrastructure system has historically been built, and is currently operated and managed, around individual infrastructure sectors. Because many privatised utilities have focused on operating infrastructure assets, they have limited experience in producing new ones or of understanding these interdependencies. Many of the old national R&D laboratories have been shut down and there is a lack of capability in the UK to procure and deliver the modern infrastructure the UK requires. On the one hand, this makes innovation risky. On the other hand, it creates significant commercial opportunities for firms that can improve their understanding of infrastructure interdependencies and speed up how they develop and test their new business models. This learning is difficult because infrastructure innovation is undertaken in complex networks of firms, rather than in an individual firm, and typically has to address a wide range of stakeholders, regulators, customers, users and suppliers. Currently, the UK lacks a shared learning environment where these different actors can come together and explore the strengths and weaknesses of different options. This makes innovation more difficult and costly, as firms are forced to learn by doing and find it difficult to anticipate technical, economic, legal and societal constraints on their activity before they embark on costly development projects. The Centre will create a shared, facilitated learning environment in which social scientists, engineers, industrialists, policy makers and other stakeholders can research and learn together to understand how better to exploit the technical and market opportunities that emerge from the increased interdependence of infrastructure systems. The Centre will focus on the development and implementation of innovative business models and aims to support UK firms wishing to exploit them in international markets. The Centre will undertake a wide range of research activities on infrastructure interdependencies with users, which will allow problems to be discovered and addressed earlier and at lower cost. Because infrastructure innovations alter the social distribution of risks and rewards, the public needs to be involved in decision making to ensure business models and forms of regulation are socially robust. As a consequence, the Centre has a major focus on using its research to catalyse a broader national debate about the future of the UKs infrastructure, and how it might contribute towards a more sustainable, economically vibrant, and fair society. Beneficiaries from the Centres activities include existing utility businesses, entrepreneurs wishing to enter the infrastructure sector, regulators, government and, perhaps most importantly, our communities who will benefit from more efficient and less vulnerable infrastructure based services.

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