Malfunctioning public displays in Tromsø

I was in Tromsø this week to attend NISK 2011. NISK is a young conference, started in 2008, and is co-located with NIK and NOKOBIT and NISK stands for Norsk Informasjonssikkerhetskonferanse. I presented a paper on hiding files on USB memory sticks, and two of „my“ students presented work on malware detection and removal tools and work on Trojan horse attacks on authentication software that uses smart cards. The students did a good job, it was their first presentation at a conference.

While waiting for the bus to Fjellheisen, I discovered a public display that was supposed to show the next scheduled buses. Instead, there were windows in the design of Windows CE or maybe 95/98/Me/2000. The display scrolled to the left and the upper part was ahead in scrolling, so it was hard to read the content of the windows. Likely, the window with an error message in the center of the screen had a caption „Corrupt file error“.

After I had taken a picture, I was reminded of yet another display just twenty meters away. A pharmacy did not show any product offerings. It displayed white text on a blue background that clearly read „Memory parity error“.

Tromsø itself appeared bigger than I had expected. And warmer. And without a lot of snow. It was actually much warmer than in Gjøvik. Organizers of the conference had to cancel the dogsledding that was part of the social event on Monday. There was not enough snow, even outside of town. I was a bit disappointed that it was not completely dark during the day. Officially, there was no direct sunlight, but nevertheless it looked like a typical Norwegian day in November between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

NISK 2012 will be in Bodø.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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