Presented 3 MCAST academic research at ICCE-Berlin, IEEE Conference


Really proud of my three students, Darren Cilia, Luke Benjamin Cassar and Ricardo Sciberras for presenting their work at the ICCE-Berlin IEEE conference. It was a great academic networking experience, with leading researchers in various fields such as deep learning, IoT and gaming.

 

Darren Cilia presented his second paper this year on Typing Biometrics, sharing our results in Passive User Authentication using Support Vector Machines with an error rate lower than 1%. Our first paper was presented at ISMS 2018 in which we published the data gathering application and dataset.

 

Luke Benjamin Cassar, the first MCAST Multi-Media Software Development student to have his research published, presented our work on the use of augmented reality within the catering business.

 

Ricardo Sciberras, most probably the youngest author being still a second year BSc student progressing to his third year, presented his research project on traffic flow estimation via public IP camera feeds.

 

It was a real honor and pleasure mentoring you all and seeing you present our work at a prestigious conference. Also, very proud for being the first students, together with Axel Curmi and Jerome Mizzi to give MCAST IICT the academic recognition at an international level.

 

Second Blockchain research by MCAST IICT published


The second research on Blockchain technology by MCAST IICT has been published. This research is titled “Blockchain based E-Voting System”, co-authored by Jerome Mizzi and myself, in it we explore the use of Blockchain technology as a viable solution for a national e-voting system. This research is still a work in progress and will be continued in the next academic year. Jerome is a second year B.Sc. (Hons.) Software Development student, progressing to his third and final year.  This research has been published in the second issue of the ninth volume of the Journal of E-Technology, edited by Prof. Adrian Florea from the University “Lucian Blaga” of Sibiu.

3 MCAST IICT research papers accepted for IEEE conference


Would like to announce that MCAST IICT has had 3 academic papers accepted for an IEEE conference in, Berlin. The papers are the works of Darren Cilia, Luke Benjamin Cassar and Ricardo Sciberas, all under my mentorship. Currently preparing for the ICCE-IEEE conference in early September.

Ricardo Sciberas is currently a 2nd year software student progressing to his final year and has researched traffic flow rate estimation using public IP camera feeds. He is one of the first 2nd year students at IICT to have their research accepted at an international level and will have it exhibited on the 3rd September.

Luke Benjamin Cassar has just finished his final year as a multi-media student and has research the use of augmented reality in the catering sector. This research will be presented on the 4th September. He is the first multimedia student to have his research accepted at an international level.

Darren Cilia is an MCAST alumni and this is his second paper to be accepted. Earlier this year we presented our first paper at the ISMS 2018 international conference where the dataset and prototype were published on public portals. In this paper we are presenting the excellent classification results for our passive user authentication research using keystroke dynamics. This research will be presented on the 3rd September.

That brings a total of 5 academic papers by MCAST IICT students, under my mentorship (the second paper was presented in July by Axel Curmi and myself),  being accepted this year at international conferences. Really proud of my students and to be part of MCAST’s academic growth.

MCAST IICT @ BSCT 2018


It was a great honor and pleasure to present the first MCAST IICT research on Blockchain by Axel Curmi and myself at the BSCT2018 hosted at Fraunhofer FOKUS, Berlin. The conference was packed with a lot of current and interesting research, a really great learning experience.

This is the first year for MCAST IICT to research on blockchain and will surely grow from here onward. Really proud and glad to have our research recognised at an international level in a Springer conference.

MCAST IICT to publish Blockchain research in Springer conference at Berlin


Next week, Axel Curmi, a 2nd year B.Sc. Software Development student, and myself shall be presenting our research in Blockchain at the BSCT 2018 conference in Berlin. All proceedings will be published as a volume in a Springer Verlag publication. Our research explores the use of blockchain for the verification of academic certificates, with the intention to extend it to medical certificates in the next year. Our focus will also extend to the communication across blockchain networks and the user access control aspect of it. We are scheduled for the 19th July at 16:30 and will be part of a packed schedule.

This is the second MCAST IICT paper that is being published, the first was by Darren Cilia and myself, the first paper to be presented abroad, the first to be published in a Springer publication and the first by a 2nd year students. I would like to take this opportunity to thanks the MCAST administration for their support.

MCAST EXPO


Currently MCAST is hosting its annual EXPO event, showcasing students projects and talents from all 3 colleges (Foundation, Technical and University). Really proud of my two dissertation students Luke Benjamin Cassar and Charleston Attard. Following is the schedule:

04, 05 and 06 July between 10:00am – 13:30pm and 16:00pm – 20:00pm 
07 July between 10:00am and 13:00pm

 

Late 2011 MBP Failing GPU


In late 2011 I had purchased a 15″ MacBook pro and in mid 2016 the GPU started failing until it was unusable. Apple had a replacement program of the logic board and GPU and had it replaced. Yet these started failing recently (less than 2 years after replacement). The symptoms are random restarts, green lines on display, distorted screen. This time there is no program that will replace it free of charge, and was not willing to spend anymore on this laptop. There are a number of solutions and this blog documents the one that worked for me, mostly from this article.

  1. Format and clean installation of Mac OS
    1. Restart/Power-On
    2. Press and hold Command + R until logo appears.
    3. Select Reinstall MacOS and follow installation steps.
  2. Boot to ArchLinux
    1. Download ArchLinux
    2. Create a Bootable USB, I used Rufus on Windows.
    3. Reboot with USB drive inserted and press Option
    4. Select EFI
    5. Press e when GRUB boot loader is displayed
    6. Type space then nomodeset at end of option then press enter
  3. Update EFI variables
    1. EFI Variables should be loaded already, if not:
      1. cd /
      2. umount /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/
      3. mount -t efivarfs rw /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/
    2. Remove immutability of GPU Power Preferences variable
      • chattr -i “/sys/firmware/efi/efivars/gpu-power-prefs-fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9”
    3. Delete GPU Power Preferences variable
      • rm /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/gpu-power-prefs-fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9
    4. Create new GPU Power Preferences variable
      • printf “\x07\x00\x00\x00\x01\x00\x00\x00” > /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/gpu-power-prefs-fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9
    5. Add immutability to GPU Power Preferences variable
      • chattr +i “/sys/firmware/efi/efivars/gpu-power-prefs-fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9”
  4. Save and reboot in Safe Mode
    1. cd /
    2. umount /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/
    3. reboot
    4. Press Shift during startup until logo appears.
  5. Remove AMD Drivers
    1. Login and turn FileVault Off from the Security & Privacy System Preferences.
    2. Reboot the system and press Command + R to boot to Recovery mode.
    3. Launch Terminal from the main menu
    4. Find UUID of your Machintosh HD drive
      1. diskutil cs list (find UUID for drive)
      2. diskutil coreStorage unlockVolume UUID
    5. Move the AMD drivers
      1. cd /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD
      2. mkdir AMD_Kexts
      3. mv System/Library/Extensions/AMD*.* AMD_Kexts/
      4. reboot
  6. Install steveschow branch of gfxCardStatus
  7. If you had FileVault on, remember to activate again.

At this point the MBP will always use the integrated graphics card, yet the dedicated/discrete graphic card would still be drawing power. You can take this a step further by removing 1 resistor and the card would have no power. I did not do this mod but here is the article. It is possible that the steps need to be repeated upon an OS upgrade/reinstall. I am hoping to be able to use this laptop for a few more years like this. The compromise is that now I cannot use the external display, other than that I am uneffected (not a gamer) since integrated graphic card can cope with my development requirements.