Archive | September 15, 2015

Combating terrorism with Twitter

For years, social media has been a source where people can connect and share information. We all share our holiday pictures or our latest activities. But what most of us don’t know, is that it’s also used to track terrorists. Previously, investigators would rush to the crime scene when a crime occurred. Nowadays, they rush to access the perpetrator’s footprint in digital space. Often, that’s where they’ll find the most crucial clues. It is proven to be particularly important to use digital tracing in suspected terrorism crimes. Investigators research different sources as social networking sites, emails and digital address books for signs of radicalisation and suspected persons.


In the ‘The ISIS Twitter Census’ report they state the ISIS use Twitter to send its propaganda and messaging to the world. They also use it to recruit people vulnerable to radicalisation. Seen their huge amount of support and highly organised tactics, they have been able to make an impact on the world, while also use Twitter to attract new recruits and in- spire lone actor attacks. At the moment, it is estimated that the ISIS control 90000 twitter accounts.

While the ISIS uses Twitter as source to spread their message and recruit new people, the platform can also expose the terrorists’ vulnerabilities and provide its enemies with a means to exploit them. With the terrorist organisation is  working hard to hide its secrets and push propaganda as fact, leakers may turn out to be an increasingly important source of information about it and other extremist groups. For instance, @wikibaghdady, he posted several tweets of information about ISIS.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 22.45.02

Also the hacker organisation Anonymous gets involved and are hacking ISIS twitter accounts and releasing lists with account names. Not everyone is happy with the hacking campaign of Anonymous: investigators at the Pentagon state that the revelation of the account names removes their ability to follow the ISIS and gather intelligence. This brings up a new discussion: should twitter ban the ISIS fans from twitter, or do nothing and track their moves? What do you think?

356802pb Pauline de Bruijn


Click to access isis_twitter_census_berger_morgan.pdf

Technology of the week – The algorithm can do it better

Do you have your own wealth manager? Probably not, as you need an average capital of about £650,000 to make a wealth manager even notice you. Traditional wealth managers are only interested in the super rich, not the average Joe. A young company called Betterment is taking a different approach. They will invest your money, even if you bring just $100 to the table. How are they able to do this? And are the background techniques also applicable in other industries? Keep on reading to find out.


Betterment: your money in the hands of a robot

Betterment is an American company offering an automated investment service, a so called ‘robo adviser’. It provides customers with automated online investment portfolio advice and management. The current wealth management industry is portrait by traditional large investment and private banks offering personal financial services to high net worth clients.

By using algorithms to generate advice and to manage portfolios, Betterment does not need human financial advisers, enabling the company to offer its services at a fraction of the price of traditional financial services. Where a traditional wealth manager charges about 1-3% in annual fees (The Economist, 2015), Betterment charges just 0.35% (Betterment, 2015). Customers answer a basic questionnaire to define their goals, risk preferences and income, after which the company’s software tool generates a personalized investment advice. Due to this automatic software tool, Betterment is able to deliver financial advice at a lower cost, reach a larger customer base and invest at in a more tax efficient way than traditional wealth managers. However, compared to the traditional wealth manager, Betterment does not give you a comforting call when the markets crash and your retirement loses half of its value…

SciSports: an expert in football player statistics

A similar algorithm is found in SciSports, an innovative tech start-up that focuses on statistical analysis the football industry. In 2012 three students from the University of Twente named Giels Brouwer, Anatoly Babic and Remko de Vries founded the company SciSports with the goal to revolutionize the way football clubs scout and buy their players. Football clubs use the services of SciSports to gain a better insight in which players they should attract to their club based on statistics. At the moment the most common method is an internally set up scouting network that includes several scouts all over the world with each have their own networks who scouts players based on intuition and ‘football know-how’. SciSports offers a statistical approach to the scouting of football players using a self-developed algorithm, which extract relevant statistical information from large sports databases. The advantages of the SciSports model are the low costs, a bigger network and faster advice. SciSports model does not account for all human factors and there is some information asymmetry (SciSports, 2015).

Betterment vs. SciSports: a comparison

When we take a look at these companies we see that both use a developed algorithm to provide their services. What makes both technologies comparable is the link between their algorithm, input and reaching an optimum solution. The major difference aside from the different industry is the result of the services of both companies. Betterment has the last say in the investment and not the customer, who only can deliver input. SciSports can only give advice, but the decision to buy a player is still made by the club.


Betterment, (2015). Betterment | Investing Made Better. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Sep. 2015].

The Economist, (2015). Ask the algorithm. [online] Available at: report/21650292-human-wealth-advisers-are-going-out-fashion-ask-algorithm [Accessed 10 Sep. 2015].

SciSports | High tech sports company, (2015). SciSports | High tech sports company. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 Sep. 2015].

Team 7

377578 – N. Brokx

358040 – R. Cornelisse

356104 – S. Foppen

357519 – R. Sweijen

364873 – K. van Beek

What to do with dinner leftovers? The problem of food waste and its solutions.

Food waste has become an increasing problem globally. It is not only an ethical and economic issue, but it also reduces the resources we use to produce our food with. Nearly 100 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the European Union and all actors in the food chain have a role in preventing and reducing food waste. Being more efficient will save money and lower the environmental impact of food production and consumption. According to the European Commission, the following factors contribute to food waste:

  • “Buy one get one free” promotions -> too much food is being produced and purchased
  • The meaning of “best before” and “use by” dates are misunderstood -> edible goods are thrown away
  • Inadequate storage/transport of food

There exist several approaches in order to reduce food waste. For example, you can freeze your food, use up your dinner leftovers, store your food correctly in plastic bags/silver foil or you can buy less food, which will also save you money. As shown in the graph below, food waste from households contributes the highest proportion.

Schermafbeelding 2015-09-15 om 17.21.00

Six high-tech solutions have been established in order to reduce food waste in the Food/drink manufacturing, Food service/hospitality and Retail/wholesale industry. Ensuing, a summation of the programs will be provided.

  1. LeanPath

The software firm developed a program allowing restaurants and institutional food service providers (e.g. hospitals and universities) to track the amount of food being thrown away and use the data to adapt their reduce wasting processes. Clients use scales to weigh their food waste and this data, together with the source of waste, is being stored in the cloud. LeanPath analyses the data and provides reports with practices to reduce waste. Clients have already reduced food waste up to 80%.


  1. Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert is a mobile and web-based platform on which users (e.g. supermarkets and restaurants) can post details about their available excess of food. A network of recipients (e.g. food pantries) will receive and use the food. Users have the option to conduct transactions via donations, discounted food sales and waste recovery opportunities (e.g. build a compost bin)

  1. Local Roots

A new app, which helps farmers and food artisans connect with customers who want to buy local food. The app makes use of location data to generate an available product list and to schedule pick-up or delivery. According to the creators, local farmers and food producers often struggle to connect with buyers; the app creates new opportunities to bring them together, reducing the amount of fresh food that spoils because it’s unsold.


  1. Eco-Safe Digester

A device created by BioHitech America that uses heat, moisture and oxygen to break down food into water. It is an on-site digester sending wastewater through the sewer lines to water treatment facilities. The digester makes use of Big Data, allowing users to record details about waste. BioHitech America generates reports allowing users to identify inefficiencies in operations.


  1. FoodKeeper

This app has been developed to educate consumers about food safety concerns. It contains a searchable database with more than 500 foods, including cooking tips, food storage advice and information about expiration dates. The app also offers a 24-hour virtual hotline (called “Ask Karen”) for real time answers to food storage questions.


  1. FareShare FoodCloud

An app created by Tesco, sending alerts to partner charities (FareShare and FoodCloud) about excess food that is edible but at risk of being thrown away. The food is offered for free and charities can use the app to confirm they want the food. A pick-up will be arranged and the food will be turned into meals and given to organizations like homeless shelters and school breakfast programs. The goal of the app is to reduce waste by immediately putting it to good use.


I believe these initiatives can definitely reduce food wasting and make everyone more conscious about their own food wastage footprint.

Do you think these initiatives will reduce food waste? If not, what other solutions do you think might work? How large is your food wastage footprint?

Ps: If you like this subject, you should visit restaurant ‘In Stock’ in Amsterdam. A restaurant that collects their products from Albert Heijn stores in order to reduce food waste.


346450, Merel Smit


Customers who sell your products!

That sounds ideal, doesn’t it? Well, this is actually happening at the moment.

Have you ever heard of visual commerce? “Visual commerce commonly refers to social commerce with an emphasis on photos and videos” (Quora, 2015). Visual commerce is increasing as close to two billion posted photos on social media a day. Customers are posting pictures with the company’s product, called brand attributed pictures. All these pictures form user generated content and after selection, companies can present the best ones on their webshop.

Visual commerce increases conversations, engagement and social commerce. By using consumer photos the average conversion rates increase by 30% (Photoslurp, 2015). With authentic customer photos, engagement will improve. As 65% of consumers search for user generated content before making a purchase, they will be more interested to interact (Photoslurp, 2015). Last, consumers will have social interaction about their photos’ on your site which will provide social commerce.

Let’s take a real world example: Luiz David is the first company in the Netherlands using the phenomenon of ‘selfiemarketing’. Luiz David sells sunglasses with a strong focus on fashion. The company also thought about virtual fitting, but they found perception was more important for fashion products (Oosterhout, 2014). Therefore the selfiemarketing works very well for Luiz David. Before Luiz David started with selfiemarketing in the Netherlands, it was already used in America by companies like Nike and Asos. Where Olapic and Chute were the platforms they used to filter the brand attributed pictures.

By creating a lookbook, visual commerce gives people a realistic impression of the product. Real people are wearing the products and therefore they can identify with them. People assume that if the items look well on the “real people”, they will look well on themselves as well. Luiz David’s numbers show that 20% of their conversion is coming directly from their lookbook (Oosterhout, 2014). Professional models will not give the same feeling of trust as visual commerce does. The picture below will show you an example of Luiz David’s lookbook.

Lookbook-  Luiz David


And how does this all work? Photoslurp for example works as follows. Photoslurp filters your brand related pictures (user generated content) from these 2 billion photos per day via hashtags and mentions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Especially people on Twitter and Instagram have a ‘public’ status on their account. Therefore companies are allowed to use these photos for business. To stimulate the user generated content even further, companies can trigger their customers to post pictures via email or social media.
After companies, like Luiz David, have received the brand related pictures from Photoslurp, they can select the ones they would like to display on their site. Besides they will link the product shown on the picture to a stock keeping unit. By doing this, a mouse click will lead exactly to that specific product.

In the future, Photoslurp wants to develop an application to contact the customer whose picture you want to use. This should improve the engagement and lift conversion even more.


Oosterhout, A. (Twinkle), Social proof in een visuele wereld, Marketingfacts, 01.08.2014, used on 15-9-2015

Photoslurp, (2015) used on 15-9-2015

Quora, used on 15-9-2015

The new traffic dangers: car hacking


It started as an trend in luxury the luxury car business but nowadays more and more cars don’t have an key anymore. The door isn’t opened and closed by a key anymore and the engine doesn’t starts with a key but with a button. The technology transformation in the car industry is taking on a next level. More and more cars of every class are equipped with new technology, a technology very popular in the automotive industry is internet. But is internet technology safe?

“When a car is connected to the internet it becomes a computer on wheels” and computers can be hacked. There are numerous of examples of cars getting hacked and some of them led to dangerous situations on the road. Hackers for example hacked a JEEP on the highway. The car was doing 70 mph when others shut it down. They could control a lot of systems in the car like the air control system, wipers etc (Wired, 2015).

Because the systems that use internet are more and more integrated with the other systems, hacking a car becomes a real treat. Cars and trucks are important for our everyday life, they supply stores and deliver packages, bring people to work, a lot of people are dependent on their car. This makes cars and trucks interesting for hackers.

To protect cars against the treat of hackers they need a system that is updated frequently like a computer system, this way the system can be protected against newly discovered flaws in the system. The system with the internet access needs to be separated from essential functions like acceleration, breaks and the lights, or the communication between the systems needs to be controlled and minimized. The manufacturer needs to secure each software component so that access to all system at once is impossible.

Besides the steps that can be taken by manufacturers within the car, outside the car some manufacturers like Tesla are also trying to identify problems before they exist. Tesla launches the “Bug Bounty” program. Via this program they ask hackers to find the weak spots or flaws in the system before others do.

Not everybody agrees with the treat of car hacking, some people think the treat is exaggerated, but I think it is a real issue and the automotive industry should pay attention to the cyber security of cars.

IBM: Data is a real game changer

Nowadays data analytics is everywhere and everyone tries to use data analytics to their advantage. Even in the sports sector, data analytics has become increasingly popular in providing coaches and players with the right information on how to improve their overall performances. The data doesn’t only provide insightful information on their own sports performances, but also on the performances of their rivals.

For the past several years IBM has challenged itself in how to bring technology to sports fans. In collaboration with companies across several industries IBM tries to ensure they are taking advantage of the new opportunities available through analytics, the cloud, social media and mobile devices. IBM has realised that live streams of sports events produce a lot of data that can be used to provide fans, coaches and players with new insights.

As a long-time technology partner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and other Grand Slams, IBM has helped fans watch and enjoy tennis over the past several Grand Slams in 2015. With their new SlamTracker, IBM is able to enrich tennis fans’ knowledge and appreciation no matter where they are. Based on more than 41 million data point over the past eight years of Grand Slams, SlamTracker identifies key moments in the match to pin point what the player needs to win the match. By analysing the streams of data available through live streams, and comparing those to the available data, IBM can point out “moments of achievement”, “Keys to the Match”, other real-time statistics and indicators that are most likely to affect the player’s ability to succeed.

This new application gives IBM the ability to predict sequences of current matches, while they’re happening. Fans can follow the statistics of each player during the match on their second screens, their mobile devices. For example you can not only see an ace being served by Serena Williams, but also see deeper insights into how that particular ace fits in context to the overall serves of Serena during that match.

The detailed statistics and analysis, gathered by IBM, are also being presented to the players and their coaches. With this data tennis players will be able to study their match performance more precise than ever before and make huge improvements in training for the next Grand Slam. The data helps players optimize their performance against specific opponents on different playing surfaces.

Will data become a real game changer in all sports categories? Overall I think data will have a huge impact on how, not only tennis players but all kinds of sports players/teams, adapt their tactics to specific opponents in order to increases their chances of winning. When companies like IBM turn to the sports industry and start analysing every sports player in the industry, soon a lot of data will become public and change the way professionals play their game.

Will the entire sports world turn in to a data driven industry, changing the game? Let me know whether you think data analytics will change the sports industry in the comment section below.

Author: Milou Saraber
S.I.D.: 366867


Will Amazon concur the Dutch E-commerce market? An interactive thread.

amazon vs.

Will Amazon concur the Dutch E-commerce market? An interactive thread.

International tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon have extended their reach and influence successfully on a global scale, hence disrupting and changing industry structures and dynamics. Also the Dutch market is familiar with this trend. Surprisingly, though, in contrast to successful Dutch market entries of Google and Facebook, Amazon has not made any meaningful difference yet and remains focussing on selling e-books only. This made me wonder what holds back such a big conglomerate and more importantly; how high are the odds of Amazon disrupting the Dutch E-commerce market in the future?

The 2015 Dutch e-commerce market is dense with over 45.000 online stores and contains financially strong (in Dutch terms) market leaders like (Ahold), Coolbue, Wehkamp and Marktplaats. Additionally, the Dutch market with its unique language is only a small fish to capture in the global e-commerce market. Yet, the revenues grow steadily by 20%+ each year, which makes the Dutch e-commerce market interesting to enter for international corporations with a better financial position and larger product portfolio, like Amazon.

When Amazon decides to enter a market, it is known for its fierce low-pricing strategy to weed out competitors while simultaneously forcing margins to shrink on the side of the suppliers such as publishers. In Europe it is already one of the most, if not the most, dominant player in the market by being market leader in the U.K. and Germany.

Concerning their Dutch entry, there is a second interesting development namely that Amazon opened up a Dutch office to “support their cloud services”. Currently there are 19 vacancies open and more are to be expected. So with Amazon’s new Dutch office and recently introduced e-books business, opening up their entire web shop sounds like the logical next step. Unsurprisingly, Amazon has been asked the question if and when they will fully enter the Dutch market and their answer might not come as a surprise to most of you by stating: “We will enter when we think the time is right”.

So therefore the questions that I raise are:

  1. What do you think that will happen in the future, will Amazon concur the Dutch e-commerce market?
  2. If yes, what can the Dutch e-commerce players do to higher Amazon’s burden to entry and to increase their own chances of survival?

I will post my thoughts later on as well, so let’s make this an interactive thread!


Entry Amazon Dutch Market

E-commerce figures

Author: Roeland Diks, 357272

No watchdogs but puppies for online security

In order to stay up to date with the latest IT developments I always see through articles at wired. While skimming through these articles I noticed an interesting one about Netflix. We all know Netflix as a platform (B2C) that provides series and or movies against a fee. In order to secure their service and above all the accounts of their users, they run loads of application assessments (Mimoso, 2015). Customer security is important in general but especially when transactions are included. Once this is not guaranteed, loyalty of consumers might be harmed and so sales might be affected (Flavián & Guinalíu, 2007). Throughout the readings of the literature of both Designing Business Applications and Information Strategy I noticed the same, the words privacy and safety are used very often. Netflix found part of the solution and openly shared this via open sources.

So what kind of puppies are we talking about? Well, Sleeping Puppy is a cross-site scripting payload management framework that provides delayed XSS testing (Mimoso, 2015). So what is cross-site scripting? “By leveraging XSS, an attacker does not target a victim directly. Instead, an attacker would exploit a vulnerability within a website or web application that the victim would visit, essentially using the vulnerable website as a vehicle to deliver a malicious script to the victim’s browser” (Acunetix). By doing this attackers can get access to personal information, or they can even send messages under your name (identity theft). A typical example of cross-site scripting, people on Facebook send messages with extremely weird topics and later claim they were hacked. Companies do not want this to happen and so solutions like sleeping puppy are developed.

Sleepy Puppy Netflix

figure 1: simplified working of sleepy puppy (Bisson, D; 2015)

So how does this ‘sleepy puppy’ work? An application that is build can be tested by the security engineer by integrating the sleeping puppy JavaScript. Once the data or payload is injected it is stored on a server. Imagine the case of an attacker, he or she discovers a leak and is able to copy this information and saves it on a second server. Once the attacker uses this information to inject an infected payload, sleepy puppy backfires to the security engineer, noticing him about a leak.

Identity theft is a serious issue, let’s hope that these ‘puppies’ bring us a step closer to guaranteed security.


Acunetix. (n.d.). Cross-site-scripting. Retrieved 9 15, 2015, from Acunetix:

Bisson, D. (2015, 9 3). Netflix’s Sleepy Puppy Tool Helps Researchers Track XSS Propagation. Retrieved 9 15, 2015, from Tripwire:

Flavián, C., & Guinalíu, M. (2007). Consumer trust, perceived security and privacy policy three basic elements of loyalty to a web site. Industrial Management & amp;data systems, 21-36.

Mimoso, M. (2015, 9 2). Netflix Sleepy Puppy Awakens XSS Vulnerabilities in Secondary Applications. Retrieved 9 15, 2015, from

A Step-by-step Guide to Building Apps

With almost everyone being connected to World of Apps through the use of a smartphone or a tablet, the mobile app market is trending. People can easily go online and start to create their own apps; for people with coding knowledge open-source tools such as the SDK Andriod Developer Kit have allowed people to create their own mobile apps which anyone across the planet can use and (potentially) benefit from. For those who don’t have prior knowledge platforms such as e-learning services such as Codeacdemy and udemy make it cheap and at times even free to learn language, practice and even start app development in a matter of weeks.

Let’s take a step back first and really understand what it means to create your own app. I’m sure you’ve come across apps which have been totally useless or plain or simply horrible. Have you ever used the ‘Floating Miley Cyrus’ app? Yes you guessed it (I do hope it’s not because you’ve used it), this app lets you place a picture of Miley Cyrus around and wherever you can on your desktop or phone home screen. Now, at the moment; number of apps available is 3 Million combined AppStore and Google PlayStore; possibly meaning there are apps for many different uses. However, the current number of websites in the world is close to 1 Billion, so that does tell you there is room for many, many more.

Now where to begin, the guidelines;

Step 1: Want to build an app but don’t have an app idea? What you really need are problems, and they’re everywhere!

When you look around you, every product and service you use was all created to solve a problem. You wanted to get from one place to another faster, you got a car. You wanted to get from one place to another but didn’t own a car, you got Uber.

So look for problems in your daily life and list each one of them. Once you have an exhaustive list, then start to think on how you can resolve them and shortlist the ones that make most sense.

Step 2: Identify the need. Validation will prove that a demand exists for your app. You can validate your idea by using the Google Keyword Planner tool to look for the number of people seeking out what you’re trying to do, look at Google Trends to understand whether the service is being searched for currently. You could also build a landing page that broadly highlights your app idea and seek user interest through an email signup.

Step 3: Lay out the flow and features. Validation of your app idea means that you’ve got something that people want to use. Now is the time to detail your product onto a document, or if you want to go the extra mile, use a wire framing tool; websites such as Balsamiq help you to turn your app sketches into online app U.I interfaces.

When putting your idea down on paper, remember to be as detailed as possible. Include the flow of how the user will navigate the app as well as all the features envisioned. This will help your developer to clearly understand your expectations.

Step 4: Remove non-core features. From the flow and features document you prepared, start looking closely at features that you can remove. Offer only the core value of your app idea. Do not build features in the first version that are “nice to have” and can always be added later as an update. This will help keep the initial costs of development down and also help you get to market quicker.

Step 5: App Development [Will not focus on in-depth technicalities]. Use the coding knowledge that you have (or hopefully learnt) because this will be the technical side of the guide. The Andriod SDK Developer Kit helps introduce the android interfaces and those who intend on developing Apps for Andriod should look for specific information on the android forums before beginning the SDK process. The iOS development kits are different where you need to use the iOS SDK and just as you would need to get accustomed to the Andriod interface so too for the iOS interface. To begin research through the iOS developer’s membership website.

Step 6: Create developer accounts. You must register for a developer account with the respective app stores to be able to sell your app through their platform. Google’s Android charges $25 a year and Apple charges $99 annually. You have the option of registering as an individual or as a company, if you already have one formed.

Step 7: Integrate analytics. Analytics help you track downloads, user engagement and retention for your mobile app. Make sure you use tools such as Flurry, which is available for free.

Step 8: Get feedback quickly and improvise. Once your app goes live on the app store, the first set of customers’ usage and behavior will give you insight into how to improve and enhance your app. Enhancements and changes are constant, so keep an eye on user feedback and keep building.

Step 9: Introduce features. You built version one with limited features and only the core offering. Now is the time to evaluate and introduce the remaining features that were left out in the initial version. You will know through analytics and feedback whether the features are relevant anymore.

Step 10: Time to get Paid! How do Developer’s make money? Information regarding iOS apps; How Developers earn money; Sale of apps (they get 70% of the revenue), sale of digitized content in-app and revenue generated from ads displayed in the app.