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2005/6 Programme

Come back to this page from time to time to check for amendments to the programme and more details on some of the sessions as they become available.


Programme Summary

Thursday 15 September 2005 add this event to my diarySmartSourcing
...meeting report
Thursday 6 October 2005 add this event to my diaryUsing State transition testing
...meeting report
Thursday 10 November 2005 add this event to my diaryOpen Source: turn on the LAMP
Joint with BCS OSSG
...meeting report
Tuesday 29 November 2005 add this event to my diaryChristmas Lecture: You Can't Get There From Here... How computability affects the issues of computer evidence
...meeting report
Thursday 19 January 2006 add this event to my diaryCurrent Issues in VoIP
...meeting report
Thursday 23 February 2006 add this event to my diaryWeb Intelligence
...meeting report
Thursday 23 March 2006 add this event to my diaryGuided Tour of Science Museum, London
...visit report
Thursday 27 April 2006 add this event to my diaryComputer Games Development: Past, Present and Future
...meeting report
Thursday 25 May 2006 add this event to my diaryAGM and The Semantic Web: too clever for its own good?
...meeting report

We hope that you will enjoy the range of topics to be covered. If there are other subjects you'd like to hear about, it's never too soon to start thinking about next year. Just drop us a note using the contact form.

Following our usual practice, we will send email reminders to each branch member of record just before each meeting.
Any unavoidable changes to the programme will be advertised on this page and notified to members by email.

We reviewed the wording of our meeting reminders in the light of the EU Directive on Electronic Communications (which came into force in the UK on 11 December 2003) and now include a clear explanation of why individuals are receiving the message and how to unsubscribe.

Programme cards were posted to branch members in mid-August. If, after allowing for postal delays, you didn't receive yours, please let us know using the contact form.


Programme Detail


SmartSourcing

Date 15 September 2005
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Robb Mann

Robb has over 30 years of practical business and technical experience as a strategic business/IT consultant, systems and data base designer and programme/project manager.

He has many years experience in designing, developing and implementing products for the large international consultancies such as PA Group and IBM Global Services being the co-author of Tetrarch, an IT strategic planning product, now owned by PA. He has been the Technical Vice President for a US based software service supplier providing outsourced Business Intelligence capability to a number of large manufacturers, using internet based Data Mart technology.

He is a specialist in the application of structured methods and has a strong background in Operational Research and its application to metrics and benchmarking. He was an academic in his early life with a Masters in OR and doctoral research in Computer Science. He is a director of QVIP, a company specialising in driving improvements via balanced scorecard IS assessment and IT project benchmarking.

The IT industry has accumulated about 20 years of outsourcing experience, and most present-day organisations use outsourcing in one shape or another. This talk addresses today's need to be selective and how with Smartsourcing we can assess outsource providers to ensure that they continuously strive to enhance their service levels....more details

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Using state transition testing

Date Thursday 6 October 2005
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Peter Quentin is the manager of QBIT, a provider of training in software testing, as well as the writer and presenter of several QBIT training courses in software testing including the ISEB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing and ISEB Practitioner Certificate in Software Testing.

After beginning his career working on marine engineering systems, Peter Quentin moved into a testing and consultancy role with a well known testing tools software house where he was responsible for providing training and consultancy to users of a widely-used test management package.

His assignments have ranged from testing and consulting on rapidly-developed, undocumented systems to analysing and improving the testing process of testing mission-critical systems for financial institutions including The Bank of England.

Having worked as a tester and test team leader from early in his career, Peter is sensitive to the challenges faced by testers and particularly interested in how existing and emerging standards can be applied to improve the processes and practices used by real-world testing projects.

Faced with the seemingly impossible task of testing a system that has an infinite number of operational scenarios, a tester needs practical test techniques that define a finite number of tests and at the same time give realistic coverage.
For the testing of function rich systems, state transition testing, enhanced by defining coverage level based on testing trees, fulfils this need.
This presentation will demonstrate state transition testing and discuss three different levels of coverage that can be achieved.

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Open Source: turn on the LAMP

Date Thursday 10 November 2005
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Joint meeting Joint meeting with the BCS Open Source Specialist Group
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Alan Lenton - Chief Technology Officer and Game Designer, ibgames

Alan Lenton is in charge of game design and development and overall technical matters for Interactive Broadcasting. Alan has extensive management, publishing and software design experience, having worked as the manager of a rock band, manager of a bookshop, a graphic designer, and the production editor of a London listings magazine. He was for three years general manager of the UK's first commercial consumer network Compunet, before leaving to concentrate on writing IB's first award-winning multi-player game Federation.

In the last ten years Open Source software has come from being an 'interesting' plaything for hobbyists and geeks into the mainstream of business computing.

The success of Open Source has been built on the rock solid components of the Linux operating system, the Apache web server, the MySQL database, and a scripting language whose name starts with 'P' - Perl, PHP or Python, depending on your religion. These components are commonly known by the acronym LAMP.

This talk will look at the LAMP components, as well as Linux distributions and some of the strengths and weaknesses of Open Source software, and strategies for deploying it in business. The talk will also attempt to strip away some of the myths surrounding Open Source software - myths pushed both by fanatical supporters, and by equally fanatical opponents.

The "Open Source Technology Stack" which has been in wide use for many years but only recently gained an acronym, is referred to as "LAMP". LAMP stands for four components

  • Linux (or Free BSD?, or any other free Unix-like OS)
  • Apache, the world's leading web server which also provides many other network services
  • MySQL (or PostreSQL, or BerkeleyDB, or another open source database)
  • Python (or Perl or PHP): a high level application programming and scripting language, usually combined with a web templating system to generate dynamic pages and forms.

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BCS Oxfordshire Branch Christmas Lecture 2005: COMPUTABILITY AND CRIME: How Information Security Affects Criminal Prosecutions
Or
You Can't Get There From Here... How computability affects the issues of computer evidence

Date Tuesday 29 November 2005
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Mulled wine and mince pies will be served at the Lamb and Flag after the meeting.
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Publicity PDF fileposter and PDF filepress release
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Prof. Neil Barrett BSc PhD CEng FBCS CITP

Neil Barrett is Visiting Professor of computer crime at Cranfield University and author of the book Traces of Guilt.

Neil Barrett studied Mathematics and Computer Science at Nottingham University, graduating in 1983. Just two years later, he gained a PhD and the university"s research prize; York University appointed him as the UK"s youngest lecturer in 1985. In 1988 he left academe and became a consultant, specialising in UNIX and computer security.

Neil joined IRM plc as Technical Director in June 1999 and is responsible for the development of security policies and contingency plans, penetration testing and computer forensic analyses. He has appeared in court as a computer expert in great variety of cases. A frequent speaker at many conferences, Neil has also appeared on several programmes to discuss computer crime and is often asked to give expert comment and opinions for the national and the specialist media.

His fifth book, Traces of Guilt was published by Bantam Press in February 2004 (ISBN 0593051866) and is available from amazon.co.uk and other online bookstores. His sixth book, The Binary Revolution: A readable introduction to the mysteries of computers - how they work and how they got to work as they do will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson (Orion Books) in April.

Booking In some previous years, we have asked anyone planning to attend the Christmas lecture to fill in a form to request a (free) ticket. This was to help us get the catering right for the mulled wine and mince pies, and to prevent overcrowding. However for 2005 we have decided to estimate numbers based on previous years so we aren't asking people to register. Just turn up on the night and enjoy!

As computers become implicitly involved in the execution, detection and prosecution of increasing numbers of cases, the issue of activity and responsibility becomes correspondingly more important. But ascribing responsibility for computer-recorded events is built on the foundation of information security - a poorly understood, poorly implemented aspect of our high-tech world. In this talk, Neil will explore the practical and theoretical limits of information security, and show that - at least in theory - a perfect solution is impossible and that we will therefore always be faced with 'judgement calls' in this crucial forensic arena.

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Current Issues in UK VoIP - an Introduction

Date Thursday 19 January 2006
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Peter Gradwell

Peter is Managing Director of Gradwell dot com Limited, an Internet Service Provider he started in 1998 during the second year of his undergraduate degree in Software Engineering. In 2004, he converted his company phone system and is now one of the leading providers of VoIP services in the UK.

For two years Peter chaired the Policy Advisory Board for Nominet UK, the co.uk domain registry. He was one of the founding members of the Internet Telephony Service Providers Association, the de facto trade body. He also works with various government departments, notably the Home Office and OFCOM, particularly on developing next generation solutions for 999 emergency call handling.

Starting from when we lift the receiver, Peter will follow a phone call across the public telecoms network and onto the internet, discussing the different types of VoIP available, the issues that surround implementing them, including phone number provision, call quality, firewalling VoIP, identifying the location of a VoIP subscriber and connecting a 999 call.

Topics covered:

What is VoIP? 3 types
  • Skype
  • PBX Link ups
  • IP Centrex
How does SIP work? What happens when you make a call?
What sort of things are people doing with VoIP? Some examples from our customers.
Some technical problems faced by VoIP Providers
  • Firewall & NAT Issues - using VoIP across a firewall
  • Quality issues - what does it sound like? How much bandwidth do I need?
  • Regulatory Issues - Phone numbers & location
  • Location Issues - connecting a 999 call - summary of our OFCOM Task Force work

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Web Intelligence

Date Thursday 23 February 2006
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Prof Nigel Shadbolt, Professor of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University.

He is a member of the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Group, Head of the BIO@ECS Group, Director of Interdisciplinary Research within ECS and Director of the EPSRC Advanced Knowledge Technologies IRC.

Nigel is also Vice-President Knowledge Services and Deputy President of the BCS.

The extraordinary human construct that is the World Wide Web is a truly Disruptive Technology. There are now hundreds of millions of users, billions of indexed web resources, it is used in every country on Earth and yet only a tiny percentage of users is "trained" in any way. This remarkable construct is both massively distributed and largely open.

With this amount of content and usage the integration of information across space and time leads to new opportunities. From on-line shopping to collaborative e-Science the web is changing how information is generated, deployed and used.

This lecture will examine the extent to which intelligent web services are evolving to cope with diverse sources of information on a global scale. It will examine the particular way in which Artificial Intelligence is being woven into the web.

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Guided Tour of Science Museum, London

Date Thursday 23 March 2006
Time All Day Trip
The branch will organise a coach.
Location Science Museum, South Kensington
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
More details Full description and timetable
Meeting Summary On the reports page

Morning 10:30: A guided tour of the Science Museum given by Geoff Marshall, a London Registered Blue Badge Guide and a professional scientist, finishing in the gallery which features Charles Babbage (1.5 to 2 hours)
The tour will include items from the following:

  • Science in the 18th century- the George III exhibition,
  • The industrial revolution (causes)
  • Power (Newcomen, Watt, Trevithick)
  • Space Gallery
  • Making of the Modern World (Railways, Internal Combustion Engine, etc.
  • Flight, (Wright Brothers, Alcock and Brown, Amy Johnson)
  • Computing (Charles Babbage)

Afternoon: Science Museum's Ingenious Tours at their archive in West Kensington (three quarters of an hour). We plan this will be From valves to chips: the rise of British Computing from their current year's programme.

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Computer Games Development: Past, Present and Future

Date Thursday 27 April 2006
Time 19:30 (Tea and Coffee from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Simon Prytherch, Head of Internal Development Empire Interactive

Simon Prytherch is Head of Internal Development for Empire Interactive a leading computer games developer and publisher who produce a number of very successful titles across all current games platforms.

This year will herald the arrival of new variants of both the XBOX from Microsoft and the Sony Playstation. The games industry is worth 20 billion dollars globally and UK companies are a significant force, contributing positively to the UK balance of payments to the tune of £200 million in 2004.

The average game takes between 70 and 120 man years and several million pounds to make; this is a chance to look behind the scenes at how your favourite games are put together.

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AGM followed by "The Semantic Web: too smart for its own good?

Date Thursday 25 May 2006
Time 19:30 (Cheese and Wine buffet from 19:00)
Location Computing Lab, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QG ..Directions and Map
Calendar Entry Download iCal Calendar entrythis iCal file: depending on your browser settings, your calendar may launch automatically, otherwise double click to add the meeting to your Outlook diary. Procedure may differ for other Calendar tools.
2006 AGM PDF fileAgenda for 2006 AGM (23KB)
PDF fileMinutes of 2005 AGM (34KB)
PDF fileChairman's Report to the 2006 AGM (70KB)
Meeting Summary On the reports page
Speaker Dan Zambonini Technical Director of Box UK, an internet technologies company that provides web software solutions to large public sector and FTSE 100 organisations.

Dan's work includes the implementation of practical, innovative solutions through XML, RDF, Web Services, SVG, and other emerging W3C technologies.

He has consulted on and developed numerous high-profile projects, including 300 million GBP education systems, national and international metadata standards, and IEEE reports. He is currently writing a series of semantic-web biased articles for xml.com, and is the guest Content Management expert for e-consultancy.com

After the business of the Annual General Meeting, preceded as usual by a light cheese and wine buffet, Dan Zambonini will talk about the Semantic web.

The Semantic Web is the natural next evolutionary step of the Web. By adding computer digestible semantics and logic to the currently available information, we can create software that helps us work more efficiently and discover new patterns and relationships.

The enabling technologies have been around for some time - XML, RDF and OWL - together with the software to process and analyse this exciting new information. So why isn't the Semantic Web a reality today? Will we see the Semantic Web in our lifetimes? And, most importantly, what are the technical and non-technical issues holding it back? This talk will attempt to answer these questions, to discover if the Semantic Web will be relegated to the Betamax and MiniDisc of history - great technologies with little impact.

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