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Erik Northrop :: Blog

July 22, 2013

ACTIVITIES:

I am scheduled to leave for Charlotte on Thursday and being away for 10 weeks has created much anticipation to return. It is through absence that appreciation is gained for even the little things typically taken for granted and for me, the little things are what matter most.

 

This week I am winding down and do not have much planned at this time. Up to this point, I feel comfortable knowing that when I leave I have seen and done enough to be satisfied having visited Germany.

 

PLANS:

I will spend the week performing some short tasks leading to my departure on Thursday morning. I have no plans otherwise at this time.

 

I do not have much to add to the blog at this time as much of my energy is spent wrapping things up. 

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I spent the week in Newcastle, UK attending the SOUPS conference. While I didn't present a paper, I did have two posters of ongoing work. The first work received little attention but the other caused more conversation I think because its a new idea and people had their own opinions about the point of the work. 

Newcastle is a great place to visit and I would recommend the Gin bar downtown. There is only one so it shouldn't be that hard to find. This place makes very nice handcrafted drinks with... you guessed it.. Gin. They will replace other main ingredients like vodka or whatever with Gin. I had just one sampling from their menu but it was quite lovely. 

If you plan on driving in the UK be prepared, thats all i can really say. At least for me, thinking about it doents seem that hard and its not, its just backwards. I did not drive but was a passenger instead and it was basically a nightmare. Use what you were borne with and just walk.

There are some excellent sites to see in Newcastle both historic and modern. Its also conveiently located close to Ireland and Scottland. I did not make either country but others at the conference did.

Overall, I had a great time in the city and at the conference. I made connections with industry professionaly and shared some very nice conversation with others. 

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July 13, 2013

This was my first week back in Germany after returning from Turkey. This week the heat is back in Darmstadt. And not the basketball team either, this is the unescapable heat. I might have mentioned in a previous post that its typical to find businesses, hotels, and residences without AC here. My hotel and the university i have a desk at are both on that list so its been quite misserable. 

As a result, I have to pick the most comfortable location...the university. All week ive had 10+ hour days at my desk just becasuse the fan is better than the one in my hotel. But I worry not fellow PIRE-ers! Tuesday I leave for a conference in the UK and hopefully i can find some comfort there. 

Im not sure about the rest of the PIRE participants this year, but my time is just about over. I spend the rest of the week in the UK then have just 3 days in Germany before returning. For me, I left a lot behind at home and the excitement is building to return to these things ive been without for about 2 months now.

Thanks for reading. 

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I just spent two weeks in Turkey at a wedding with close friends. I have never experienced hospitality like that offered by the Turkish people in my life. It came from our host, the drivers, business owners, and even the people at the airport, among others. I am very fortunate to have experienced the warmth and welcoming nature of the culture there. 

Aside from the wedding, I visited Istanbul, Mersin, Konya, and Cappadocia. Each city has very unique features and sights forged by revolutions, weather, and time. The historic Grand Bazaar, Spice Market, Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the sea side views from the Mediterranean Sea of Mersin, the Whirling Dervish of Konya, and the Caves in Cappadocia were all breath taking. We took just about 3000 pictures in these cities and still hardly captured the beauty. 

Some of the most impressive sights were in Istanbul at the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The Blue Mosque is active daily but still serves as a major tourist attraction. The Hagia Sophia, now a museum, contains original mosaics from the 10th century and displays influences of both the Islamic and Christian religions, a truly impressive sight. 

During my trip, we swam in the Mediterranean, ate alongside local people, explored underground cities, and slept in cases. Anyone reading this who has not had the pleasure of visiting Turkey should definitely amend their bucket list. 

Keywords: cappadocia, Getting Started, International Collaborators, International Experience, istanbul, konya, mersin, Project-Plan, turkey, Weekly-Report

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June 24, 2013

ACTIVITIES:

 This week, more work was accomplished on the project; one step forward and two steps in the direction of more work.

I discovered some very desirable things in Darmstadt with the help of a lab-mate this week. Being in the center of the city almost isolates a visitor from some of the surrounding attractions. These are things not covered in tour guides but that locals know very well. I will visit some of these places over the next few weeks, but research has taken the stage and will be the primary focus until I leave.

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

I bought a fan for my hotel. While this might not sound very great, it was indeed. This past week it was over 90 degrees and in Germany it is not uncommon for an establishment to not have air conditioning, my hotel included. By adding the fan to the mix, I successfully turned my room into a convection oven…how wonderful.

 

Since my time is now half over, I am beginning to feel the weight of what lies ahead and what must be finished before my departure. With that being said, I have not done much outside of working on my research projects, even during the evenings and weekends. Recognizing this unique opportunity, I will make an effort to break away.

 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:

 

The heat was terrible this past week, but otherwise everything is ok.

 

PLANS:

Today, this weekend, and the week to come will be spent working on my projects. Unfortunately, I do not have much time to travel or see new things at the moment. However, I am still seeking new places to eat and different ways of traveling from point A to B.

 

SUMMARIES/CRITIQUES OF PAPERS

Martin, R. A. (2003). Sense of Humor. Handbook of Positive Psychological

Graesser, A. C., Long, D. L., & Mio, J. S. (1989). What are the cognitive and conceptual components of humorous text? Poetics.

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ACTIVITIES:

My new exercise time is my lunch hour and if todays run was an indication of what I have to look forward to, then I look forward to gaining back the sub-8 minute/mile 5k time I once held comfortably. 

PLANS:

This has been nothing but a working week for me. Unfortunately, I have not the time to do anyting besides research and... research. I did read some papers though!

 

PAPERS

Weber, E. U., Blais, A.-R. E., & Betz, N. E. (2002). A domain-specific risk-attitude scale: measuring risk perceptions and risk behaviors. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 15(4), 263–290. doi:10.1002/bdm.414

Clark, R. (2002). Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why. Strategies and Techniques for Designers, Developers, and Managers of eLearning, 1–9.

Kumaraguru, P., Sheng, S., Acquisti, A., Cranor, L. F., & Hong, J. (2007). Teaching Johnny Not to Fall for Phish, 1–18.

 

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June 08, 2013

ACTIVITIES:

I was right. The summer will be over before I know it and I feel like I just wrote this report.

This week was spent in at the university working on projects and not much time was left to get out and enjoy the culture. I hate to talk about the weather but here its been rainy and cloudy for the past 2 weeks, but no this past week. The one day I planned to spend time in the park, you guessed it...it rained.

On another note, I found this great Turkish place to grab a bite on the run and a great Thai place. Germany has many things including approximately 1500 varieties of sausage or Wurst. This food is amazing, even the leberwurst (Liverwurst) taste great even though im not a fan of anything liver. The addition of the Turkis and Thai place is a welcome variety to my daily calorie intake.

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:

Time is escaping me and I’m freezing in the office.

 

PLANS:

My expectations to travel to Berlin may be deferred yet again in lieu of more work that cropped up this past week. The weekend is expected to be rainy so maybe its not the best time to be walking around the city anyway; I will try again for next weekend.

 

PAPERS

Sunshine, J., Egelman, S., Almuhimedi, H., & Atri, N. (2009). Crying Wolf: An Empirical Study of SSL Warning Effectiveness. Presented at the Proceedings of the 18th 

Rader, E., Walsh, R., & Brooks, B. (2012). Stories as Informal Lessons about Security, 1–17

Sheng, S., Magnien, B., Kumaraguru, P., Acquisti, A., Cranor, L. F., Hong, J., & Nunge, E. (2007). Anti-Phishing Phil: The Design and Evaluation of a GameThat Teaches People Not to Fall for Phish, 1–12. 

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June 02, 2013

ACTIVITIES:

If this past week is any indication of how the rest of my time here will pass then the summer will be over before I know it. I have seen some new things but since there were two paper deadlines this week plus late night interviews via Skype, I was not able to do much in terms of exploration.

Earlier in the week, Schlossgrabenfest was being prepared. Thursday, May 30, was the first day of food, music, and friends. I was fortunate to visit once for lunch and again when I left the university for a light dinner. The fest is scheduled to run until Sunday so there will be further opportunities to meet and interact with people as best as I can. I am looking forward trying some of other food at the fest also. 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:

Being harassed by little kids and by that, I mean 5 year olds; they love me.

PLANS:

I am planning my trip to France in the next few weeks for the Tour de France. Once I finalize that part, I plan on using a Euro Pass to catch an ICE to first Berlin then other parts of Germany.  Making the plans is nothing more than a short-term to-do item. 

PAPERS 

Rader, E., Walsh, R., & Brooks, B. (2012). Stories as Informal Lessons about Security, 1–17 

Sheng, S., Magnien, B., Kumaraguru, P., Acquisti, A., Cranor, L. F., Hong, J., & Nunge, E. (2007). Anti-Phishing Phil: The Design and Evaluation of a GameThat Teaches People Not to Fall for Phish, 1–12. 

Usability and Psychology. (2008). Usability and Psychology, 1–46.

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May 24, 2013

ACTIVITIES:

This has been a week of learning and new experiences, I'm definitely sure there are much more to come. My flight departed Charlotte at 4pm and arrived in Frankfurt, Germany 7am the following day. It was only a 20 minute bus ride to Darmstadt where I was left to find my hotel. This may sound easy as first until you consider the lack of sleep and a less than accurate GPS. I walked Darmstadt for about one hour - including the ~.75 mile walk from the bus station to the city center where my hotel is located all the while in a state of shock to see the beauty of this city.

As of this writing, I have finally earned a solid night of sleep, explored some, and have began working with our partner at the Center for Advanced Security Research (CASED). I still have much to see and do in the remaining 9 weeks I am here so, there is more to come.  

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 

Just the basics in terms of living like navigating the city and arriving at my destination in a reasonable amount of time, in other words, not getting too lost; adjusting to the pace of the city and business schedule and the like. 

ISSUES/PROBLEMS:

As a non-german speaker I have had few encounters where language was a real issue. Due largely to the fact that the majority of the population speaks enough english to get by with almost able to converse, for this, I am thankful. Unfortunately for me, I have no prolonged exposure to the German language but I am listening very carefully and quietly observing the nuances of life here so that I can be a more active participant and less of a bystander. Otherwise, things are truly wonderful.

PLANS: 

Every day I try to eat at a new place and take a different route to the university, I will continue this as each day brings new experiences. Beginning next weekend, I will begin taking day trips to various parts of Germany and possibly neighboring countries. I have recommendations for places to visit and things to do outside of Darmstadt as the city is a little sleepy at times. 

This weekend I will also begin my workout routine again as I am expecting my sleeping patterns to further stabilize, this I am definitely looking forward to.

 

Papers Read this week: 

Kauer, M., Pfeiffer, T., Volkamer, M., Theuerling, H., & Bruder, R. (2012). It is not about the design - it is about the content! Making warnings more efficient by communicating risks appropriately.

Bartsch, S., & Volkamer, M. (2012). Towards the Systematic Development of Contextualized Security Interventions, 1–4.

Volkamer, M., Bartsch, S., & Kauer, M. (2013). Contextualized Security Interventions in Password Transmission Scenarios, 1–10.

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