Blog archived

This blog has been archived and will not be updated further. For more IT Services blogs, see the front page.

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Opte project – a map of the whole of the Internet

This is an image of the first full Internet map from the Opte project, with color and other graphing logic. The first goal of this project is to use a single computer and single Internet connection to map the location of every single class C network on the Internet. It is obvious that the Internet is not routed as a bunch of class-c networks, but it is easy to see that by treating the Internet IP space as a bunch of class C networks, it will be possible to make a detailed map of the entire Internet.

Information from the site:

RFC1918 addresses have been hashed into a unique checksum so they do not incorrectly overlap with other routers or hosts. The checksums resolve to the same host each time to be sure that all routes connect correctly. Another bit of code also removed the routing loops that made a rather large mess out of previous maps. The colors were based on Class A allocation of IP space too different registrars in the world.

Asia Pacifica – Red
Europe/Middle East/Central Asia/Africa – Green
North America – Blue
Latin American and Caribbean – Yellow
RFC1918 IP Addresses – Cyan
Unknown – White

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Social networking survey results

Social networking sites and our lives

In a recent report (June16,2011) from Pew Internet they have  found that in their sample 79% of American adults use the Internet and half of all adults (47%) used an SNS in 2008. The average age of SNS users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010, with over half of all SNS users being over 35. Female users account for 56%. Facebook dominates in this survey – 92% of users, with MySpace – 29%, LinkedIn – 18% and Twitter – 13%.

They found out from their Facebook users that on an average day:

15% of Facebook users update their own status.

22% comment on another’s post or status.

20% comment on another user’s photos.

26% “Like” another user’s content.

10% send another user a private message

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Using social networking to improve interaction in research communities

Stephan Ludwig from the University of Maastricht and Paul Nola from InSites Consulting researched on how encouraging social interaction can help get better results from participants in online research communities.
Online research communities have for some time been talked about as a way to reverse the pattern of declining response rates and consumer apathy in the research industry by engaging more personally with people and providing a way to unearth insights more effectively. But relatively little research has been conducted in industry or academia in to the best way to set up and run such communities or to establish the extent to which they are able to drive up participation levels.
“One of the benefits of running online research communities is that participants share a huge amount of detailed information… not only directly related to research objectives but broader, more personal and often more emotional information”
Against this backdrop, the research and development team of InSites Consulting, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Maastricht, decided to put communities to the test. They wanted to examine two things. Firstly how community structure can influence participation levels within the community itself, and secondly how communities can affect participants’ response rates for other, ‘traditional’ surveys to which they are invited by the research agency.
They discovered that one of the benefits of running online research communities is that participants share a huge amount of detailed information within such a setting, not only information directly related to research objectives but broader, more personal and often more emotional information. This can be attributed in part to the qualitative and ongoing nature of community discussions and to the presence of a wider range of participants – real people as well as researchers. Looking at the average number of total posts in the two community settings, a high degree of social interaction appears to drive up participation levels considerably. While members of community B, which didn’t encourage interaction, posted an average of 136 messages a month, members of community A, in which social interaction was encouraged, posted a monthly average of 215 messages – 58% higher. Social interaction appears to be the driving force behind higher community participation.

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KTP – Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

OUCS are actively looking for knowledge transfer partnerships with companies either local or national who can work with us to provide solutions for common problems. If you are an industry representative or have a company that would like to work with us then please contact OUCS, giving us an idea of the area you work and the type of work or research you would be interested in.

The areas we’re particularly interested in include the service areas we support and our research areas, which include e-learning, data management, new technologies, human computer interaction and many others.

Please see the OUCS Research strategy (  for further information on our research and the OUCS web site for our service areas.

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JISC Business and Community Engagement

JISC NetSkills have been running a series of Business and Community Engagement sessions giving insight into the factors around setting up and encouraging businesses and the community to take part in research and developments within the HE sector. The four dimensions they were looking at included:

  • Employer engagement
  • Lifelong learning
  • Knowledge Transfer (and exchange)
  • Public, community and cultural engagement

The workshop encouraged an analysis of both the problems associated with this and possible solutions. Issues that were covered included integrity  and disclosure, lack of abilities in areas such as management of these relationships, lack of training and project management and the need to negotiate who was responsible for what.

Solutions were much more evident:  a central resource for each university – possibly shared with others, key accounts within the university to protect existing relationships and encourage sharing, the development of institutional relationships with companies, and incentives for university employees to take on this additional load (as well as teaching and research).  The information given covered the JISC Advance projects in areas such as Awareness and Education, Embedding BCE, SME e-Empowerment and Engagement, Training and Collaborative online tools.

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Open Access report

Universities could be adding millions of pounds to the UK economy, according to findings announced this week by JISC at a Universities UK event.

A single large university could contribute around £3 million each year to the research community as a whole simply by sharing knowledge through a more open route.
A recent JISC report, authored by Alma Swan (Modelling scholarly communication options: costs and benefits for universities1) shows that a single large university could contribute around £3 million each year to the research community as a whole simply by sharing knowledge through a more open route.

Open Access is the free online access to the outputs of publicly funded research. Currently, universities often share their knowledge, and thereby support innovation and practice by businesses, public bodies and third sector organisations, through subscription-based journals. These are too expensive for many outside universities to afford in the numbers needed.

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EPSRC launch Impact World

The EPSRC has launched a series of real life stories and films to show how engineering and science are assisting development in the real world.

There are several topics, but amongst the most innovative are:

  • Medical applications – MRI scanning, new designs for healthcare – pods, on the spot diagnosis, mobile phones to monitor health
  • Climate and environment: Traffic pollution, marine energy, climate insights
  • Social impact: informing policy, sports banter, people making an impact

For more info and to look at the website:

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Top 5 Trends in B2B Social Media Usage: What Every Marketer Should Know


Toolbox has published a recent white paper on trends in the use of social media. The research was based on responses from IT, HR, and finance professionals who participated in a survey series with and PJA Advertising + Marketing. More than 3,000 professionals participated in each of the five waves of the survey.

They highlighted 5 distinct trends that they had seen emerging, which are:

Trend #1: Reliance on Social Media for Better Workplace Decision Making Continues to Grow

Trend #2: The Value of Social Media to Professionals Has Expanded Beyond Networking

IT professionals use social media for a variety of reasons on the job, including:

Staying current (70.9%)

Networking with other  professionals (68.6%)

Advancing their career (58.1%)

Sharing content with peers (54.7%)

Trend #3: Best Practice Communities Have Emerged as Key Resources for Career Advancement

Trend #4: Professionals Are Looking for Companies to Participate in Social Media

Trend #5: Professionals Place the Most Value on Transparency and Responsiveness from Companies Participating in Social Media

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TRUST and Competitive Advantage

The New Paradigm company has reviewed the meaning of Trust in business, determining that it should involve both an expectation that the party will deliver and that they behave in a manner consistent with four key values, outlined below:
1) Honesty. The company is truthful, accurate, and complete in communications with stakeholders.
o Master Data Management
o Better visibility into the firm
o Single version of the truth

2) Accountability. The company makes clear commitments and abides by them.
o Effective score carding
o Performance management

3) Consideration of others’ interests. The company understands and shows regard for the interests, desires, and feelings of others.
o Understanding customers and forecasting markets
o Fair labour relations through consistent compensation
o Enterprise planning
o Ensuring integrity across the business web

4) Transparency. Stakeholders have access to company information that affects their interests.
o Better, more accurate reporting
o Valid non-financial information
o Supply chain transparency
o Employee portals
o Customer relationship applications

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