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 First machine learning method capable of accurate extrapolation
13.07.2018 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht A step closer to single-atom data storage
13.07.2018 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>