Review week #9

After finishing what we had pending about the mockups and the presentation of our advances, we continue with the planning of  what we are going to use for our app and  also how we could do it. So, some ideas that the team had were:  continuing with the idea of developing our applications for an iOS enviroment, were we are implementing it in native. And also with that we are working in the integration of Google maps and with it the geolocalization.

We had a good start of the week by plannung these, but unfortunately we could´t go to the reunion with ken for feedback.

Review Week 6 – Finishing mockups

The plan for this week was  to see what we needed to finish: the UI mockups and some other requirements, for that reasons we went to talk with Ken about our advances principally the part where we tell our users about the use of their “personal information” for our app, we show him our privacy message and well he made us some recomendations of a more friendly way to ask for this, and we are changing this.

Also another one was to try to make modifications to our way to show the gps location of our users .


These are some of the things that we have to correct before continuing with the test of the application, we will continue seeing what else we need to improve before having a first beta version.

I’m not living in a smart city

Last week, we didn’t have a class because of our beautiful and not well followed constitution so we didn’t discuss any topic in class BUT I did went to work, school, meetings, parties, towns so I will talk about that, how the city I’m living is not that smart as a “Mexican silicon valley” should be.

The first thing is the lack of bridges or bridges in places that don’t have sense. I am talking about the bridges for pedestrians. I work in an office located in a very crowded avenue so it’s almost impossible to cross from one side to another unless you walk 500mts and try to cross in the crosswalk which activates the green line each 5minutes for 5 seconds so you may end up in the middle of the avenue. Why don’t you get off of your bus closer to your job you may ask, let me answer: I am lazy, obviously I’m taking the bus that leaves me the closest to my job which is in the other way of the avenue, well there’s another that may leave me at least in the same side as my job BUT if I want to take this bus I have to take another one to reach the place for that bus and I am not that smart taking buses.

Another thing that makes me believe my city ain’t smart is how they try to be smart but are too lazy to do it. The other day I went to Walmart and the made a big area for picking what you may buy online with a special zone, different colors, etc. But it wasn’t working, they had the place closed by yellow tapes like a crime scene. And the reason a get mad about this is because when I saw the ad saying you could buy things online and just pick them in a specific place with your own cash register and stuff I was like “omg! this is a first world thing!” but later I saw they removed like 6 parking spots for this new thing and I have been to Walmart twice this month and it stills closed, #shame.

Other things are the lanes for bicycle riders which makes no sense by the way they’re built and how people use them like the motorcyclists which use these lanes for them, that’s something that makes me get maddd. Also the dumb time scheduling that the semaphores has. They need to prioritize some stuff over other and not just spend money in things that may sound cool but are just 🐮💩.

Also this can’t be a smart country by choosing a president who wants to take us to the 40’s. I was just telling my brother sooner today how I dislike my president, like a see some news or picture with him on it and I’m just like “ugh”. And I like politics, I’m not talking without knowing. BUT just in case you don’t believe me, they (government) gave the job of director of CONACyT (institute for Mexican scientists, research, schools, universities, technology, etc.) to a fashion designer. I’m sorry but it doesn’t sound like she has too much experience neither as a scientist nor a professor.

Okay, bye, hate talking about politics and I love it at the same time.

UPDATE: they removed the fashion designer of the charge, I think it was because of the well deserved critic from scientists and researchers.

Personal experience in Smart Cities

Hello, there. This is my introduction to a new category, also for my Smart Cities class, but in this one I will be talking in singular, just about me and how I feel on it, my experience with the class, pues. (It’s from norteños ending and explanation with “pues”).

Anyways, this course begun 2 classes ago and what can I say about it. First I have to say that in all my career I have never been in a class with the majority of my friends, it is awesome to share the class with them and furthermore be 1 team (that later become 2 bc it was to big 🙄). Second: the professor, well, it’s Ken, everyone loves Ken, he was the first professor I toke a software related class with (fundamentals of programming).

In the first class he asked what we believe the course was about, and not it is not about smart cities, it is about how to build a smart city. That’s all. The second class was about planning our project which is in our team blog post The beginning and Weekly Plan #1 Smart Cities. Go and check them out. Peace.

Cryptography pt. 2: STATS

I will now begin with a series of three last posts. Each one will have as a topic one of the topics of the course we haven seen, but with a different approach. I will talk about the topic but tried to be applied in our project, and by which means could be.

Starting with cryptography. We will need to use cryptography in our project, and I talked about it in that post, because we are managing many important information. Usernames and passwords are going to be stored in the database, as well as the results that will get from using the game. All these things are better not be seen from the outside, so they must be difficult to read and impossible to understand.

One of the alternatives we thought at the beginning was to use the methods that the tool we used could have. When we started using php (thing we don’t do now) we were planning to implement one of the functions that could make a big hash of the text that we were planning to store. It could work because it used md5 algorithm, but one of the problems we could have was that the key to decrypt the text had to be saved in the php script, which could make it vulnerable at the end.

We’ve also seen that the MySQL system we are using also implements some methods in the insert commands. MySQL has some interesting methods that work with AES scheme (Advanced Encryption Standard). This can also sound good, but still we have the same key problem. That’s why we thought of getting doing a cutomized key for each user. Constructing a key using some characters from its name and last name resulted in a different key for each person, thus making it harder to crack.

These two functions seem to be enough for now, seemingly we won’t be introducing a lot of users now, so we won’t need a lot of processing now, but if we think of this in a bigger way, we will need to analyze it better so that we don’t have problems with our system, especially in the hardware.

Three golden rules

During this course we have learned a lot about security, our task during this semester is to create a solution to help children in elementary school to learn mathematics, and of course we have to take care of its own security.

There’s a lot of rules that can help us in order to secure a system. I found one, that made me laugh a lot, this post says that the three golden rules for not having security issues were: do not own a computer, do not turn it on and do not use it. Of course that’s not useful for us.

So, we need to set other rules, and these are the ones I found:

  1. Review repeated times the code and test the security often. This means prioritizing and knowing the strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Continuous development. World changes everyday and security must, as well.
  3. Managers must take responsibilities. I think security is a task that developers and managers should be responsible of, but yeah, all the responsibility will lie in the manager, so, the manager should be more worried about it.

Security measures should be taken for our project, because it will work with people’s information. The rules listed above must be applied on it. Testing it many times, to assure that the methods are correctly implemented, offering maintenance services for sure and assuming the responsibility as long as it is used correctly.

Systems Security

Operating systems have security as well. An operating system serves to set security, since it is a platforms that interacts with a lot of users and information. This is how easily you can implement security to your Operating System.

First, passwords. For passwords we can use three things to create them: what we know, what we have and what we are.

  • What we know are things or words that we keep in our heads.
  • What we have could be material things we own, some examples are credentials or tags, which we have already used to have access to some places.
  • What we are are our own characteristics, eyes or fingerprints. These passwords are the best, because you cannot be copied or cloned, but of course, are more expensive.

NTFS (New Technology File System) is a new form of saving, browsing and securing files. This systems allow that premissions and privileges can be granted. Individual persmissions include full control, change, read and execute and list folder, among others.

Also, you can create an active directory to store, classify and retrieve information. It is a directory for objects,  essentially a database that resembles the form of a pyramid. It also, implements athentication, trust relationships (when servers are added), and groups similar entities together in its structure.

My advice is to look further in the web how to provide security to your operating system,  this post is just a little example of what you can do. As always, prevent and be prepared for the danger you could face, operating systems are not the exception.