Article Title



Brian Nolan


I am delighted to introduce the 16th edition of the ITB Journal, the academic journal of the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. The first paper ‘Be aware with a Honeypot’ by Meyer, Smyth, Cummins and Keane addresses the uncomfortable fact the Internet has become a hostile environment for computers, especially when they are directly connected with a public IP address. In their research, they created an ITB Honeypot that recorded over a thousand reconnaissance attacks seeking unauthorised entry onto the private network. They report on the nature of the intrusion scans and vulnerability attacks that were used and investigate the processes that targeted vulnerable ports and access points on the network. A related paper ‘Computer Forensics and Irish Law’ by Anthony J. Keane, examines the situation that exists regarding computational and network forensics within Irish law. His important paper provides a discussion of the Irish legislation that can be applied to computer activities and how “computer crime” is dealt with in Irish law courts. The third paper, from Curran and Mc Glinchey, is concerned with ‘Vertical Search Engines’ This very topical paper outlines the growth in popularity of vertical search engines, their origins, the differences between them and well-known broad based search engines such as Google and Yahoo. They discuss vertical search engines use in business-to-business operations, how they are marketed and related advertising costs. They also consider the users and the revenue streams generated by vertical search engines. In the forth paper on ‘Digital libraries and their use in e-learning’, O’Nualláin examines the intersection of the present state of elearning and the need for digital repositories of learning objects that may be deployed for curriculum delivery. In his research he highlights the need for elearning practitioners to develop content optimised for size, richness and personalization. He makes the interesting point that there are millions of duplicating courses covering the same material across the world, which cannot be re-used or shared. These challenges should be addressed by use of digital libraries populated with high-quality learning objects and suitably tagged according to an agreed global digital library standard. In ‘The Importance of Play’ by Corbin, our fifth paper, the author argues that play makes an important contribution to the social development of people in society. Play is argued to allow the individual to gain personal knowledge of other people; permits important social skills to be practiced and helps the individual to establish long-term friendships. The sixth paper by Ferns ‘Investigating the feasibility of creating a piece of software for practical electrical classes that engages learners of different learning styles’ critically examines the feasibility of creating a piece of software for practical electrical classes that engages learners of different learning styles. In his research, Ferns evaluated the preferred learning style of the typical apprentice learner by using a learning style questionnaire based on the Vark model which encompassed the four learning styles visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinaesthetic. The results motivated the design of a workshop interface to suit the learner’s particular learning style. The interface was evaluated by 28 electrical apprentices and six lecturers within a practical workshop setting.