Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Grid shows new way to thwart Wiki vandals

23.09.2005


When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web 15 years ago, he always intended that it should be easy for people to write to it, not just read from it. But if websites are opened up to anyone, they often get vandalised by people with axes to grind. Now, a researcher from Manchester has brought together two of computing’s current buzzwords - the Grid, and Wikis – to overcome this problem.



A Wiki is a web site where users can easily add and edit its content. Although some Wikis ask contributors to pick a username and password, people running the sites have no idea who their users really are, and the better known Wikis have to be constantly on the look out for offensive or just irrelevant additions. The new open source software, GridSiteWiki, combines the functions of a Wiki with user authentication based on security tools developed for Grid computing. Dr Andrew McNab of Manchester University, who developed the new software, will be speaking on Grid security at the UK e-Science All Hands Conference in Nottingham on Thursday.

Dr McNab explains, “Wikis have been plagued with problems of trust and identity: how do you deal with internet vandals using fake accounts? Now we’re able to tie in with the security being rolled out for the Grid, we can finally make a Web where you can visit a website for the first time and start contributing straight away, without the administrators having to worry about anonymous vandals with fake identities."


‘Grid computing’ harnesses the power of computers worldwide to tackle complex problems. Scientists who want to use the Grid need to have a ‘digital certificate’ – like an online ID card, which they can only get by showing up in person with their passport. So once someone has a digital certificate, the Grid knows who they are and that they can be trusted. GridSiteWiki extends this so that Wikis can use digital certificates to identify their contributors. As Dr McNab points out, some Wikis are deliberately open to anyone. But others are set up for a particular community, whether a science experiment, company employees or members of a cycling club, and need to identify their users.

Dr McNab works at Manchester University on the GridPP project. Funded by PPARC, GridPP is building a UK computing Grid to analyse the huge amounts of data expected from the next generation of particle physics experiments. The particle physics computing Grid allows scientists to obtain particle physics data and then have it analysed on one or more of 13,000 computers at nearly 200 sites globally, from Budapest to Illinois, without ever needing to know where the data comes from or where it is processed.

The new Wiki tool builds on the GridSite software developed previously by Dr McNab, which allows users to identify themselves to websites using a digital certificate. For users with a certificate, this means they don’t have to remember user names and passwords to log onto a website or Wiki, they’re automatically logged on using their Grid certificate. GridSiteWiki also automatically extracts the users’ identity from their digital certificate and uses this to ‘sign’ their articles on the Wiki, so that other readers know who wrote or edited the article.

There are Wikis about nearly everything, from renewable energy to Romanian guitar chords. Probably the most famous Wiki is WikiPedia, a web-based encyclopedia written collaboratively by volunteers and with more than 2.3 million articles. GridSiteWiki is a version of MediaWiki - the same software used by WikiPedia.

So far, GridSiteWiki is used to provide the informal documentation area on the GridSite website, and for the Wikis running on the GridPP website (www.gridpp.ac.uk). It is open source, so GridSiteWiki is free for anyone to use. The source code is available under the same terms (the GNU GPL) as MediaWiki itself.

Julia Maddock | alfa
Further information:
http://www.gridsite.org/gridsitewiki/
http://www.gridpp.ac.uk
http://www.pparc.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Switchable DNA mini-machines store information
26.06.2017 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Equipping form with function
23.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>