Daniel Leightley

Hi I'm Daniel Leightley PhD, a researcher based in the United Kingdom. I work with machine learning and big data

Trusting basic https security in health-related smartphone apps

Almost everyone has a smartphone, it is the primary means connection to the world around us. Over the last few years we have seen an exponential increase in the development and release of smartphone apps, but what many users do not realise is the type of information they collect and the way they share that information. Think about your health - it is highly sensitive and personal - do you want this information shared openly for anyone to see? No, of course not! But how do you know it is being sent securely? With a prefera of health apps out there, is there any way to check how secure they are? Users have become conditioned to the padlock in their...

Password Strength Meters - misleading sense of security

Passwords are the main weak link in the security chain between a user and any digital platform; they rely on the user supplying a secure, hard to guess and unique password, something many find difficult. Password managers can go a long way in helping solve this problem, but uptake amongst the general population is low. The use of a strong, random and unique password can slow down various attack vector, but many users re-use passwords across their multiple accounts resulting in the possibility of a compromised account exposing their entire digital life. Let's avoid the topic of users and what they should do to protect their password, website owners can utilise a range of measures to help store a users...

Automated Analysis and Quantification of Human Mobility Using a Depth Sensor Featured

A while back I posted about the article Automated Analysis and Quantification of Human Mobility Using a Depth Sensor which was submitted to Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics. The article was accepted and recently gone into press. What is even better is that the article has been selected to feature for its section, Sensor Informatics! Here is the abstract: Analysis and quantification of human motion to support clinicians in the decision-making process is the desired outcome for many clinical-based approaches. However, generating statistical models that are free from human interpretation and yet representative is a difficult task. In this paper, we propose a framework that automatically recognizes and evaluates human mobility impairments using the Microsoft Kinect One depth sensor....

A long trip in California

I recently blogged that I will be visiting Los Angeles (LA) for a closed symposium between University of Southern California and King's Centre for Military Health Research. I decided to turn it into a road trip driving from LA to San Fransisco, which ended up being over 700 miles. I thought it would be a fun idea to share some of the photos of that trip here. Before the photos, some statistics, I drove over 700 miles and walked over 125km, my feet do certainly hurt....

How widely is HTTPS used in the public sector of the UK?

Over the last year I have been very interested in information security and what I can do as a developer/researcher to improve security for the projects I lead. This blog post goes someway in showing the strides we have made towards a secure environment, but shows that we still have a long way to go. As I was preparing this blog post, news hit that WannaCry ransomware was causing chaos around the world. I am not suggesting that the failure of organisations to use https leads to a vulnerable system (such as ransomware) but it could be an indicator of the culture within. I blogged a while back that Queen's Mary Job Site was hacked, malicious links were being...

Thoughts on the use of technology in mental health and the military

Later on in May I will be in Los Angeles at a closed symposium between University of Southern California and King's Centre for Military Health Research. I will be presenting on the potential use of technology in the military for healthcare delivery (serving and veterans, focused on mental health). I thought it would be interesting to write some of my thoughts here. Many are questions without any 'real' answer. I have focused on mobile delivery [Internet of Things] in this article. Internet of Things - The Revolution? You may have heard of Internet of Things (IoT) and think it is something revolutionary, the answer to all our prayers and something never seen before. You'd be wrong. It is a buzzword...

Visualising Kinect data using Matlab

A while back I made a post about recording Kinect One Stream using C#. Since then I have had a lot of questions about how to visualise and process the data in Matlab. I have now released the Matlab source code and you can find it here. This source code has been extracted from my PhD, and is highly experimental and not thoroughly tested. The script has been designed to render the depth, RGB and skeleton data into a single display. I have added a dropdown menu with some basic graphs of the MoCap skeletal to allow for exploration. You can download a sample data file here. You can then run the script by passing in the file location of...

Queen Mary University of London Job Site "Hacked"

At the weekend I was sent a link by a colleague to the jobs' site of Queen Mary University (job site here) as they wanted my advice on a position. I recommended the position but suggested using an alternative method of submitting an application, the site really does not utilise standard security practises (e.g. mixed content over HTTPS, account enumeration, password policy etc). Nothing surprised me about the website, until I tried to click on a URL located within the job listing, it automatically directed me to the following: The first thought that went through my mind was "oh boy, have I got malware on my machine?!", I went back to the listing and tried clicking the link, it...

What is deep learning, and why should you care?

I was recently asked to present on the topic of deep learning in the real world at Manchester Metropolitan University for their series 'Professional Development'. I was more than happy to present at the University where I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Thank you @MMU_CMDT for allowing me to guest lecture on the exciting topic of #DeepLearning and why students should care! #London bound.— Dan (@_Dr_Daniel) March 3, 2017 My approach for the lecture , which needed to last circa 50 minutes with Q&A, was to present a top level overview of deep learning, why students’ should care and how they can get involved (career/hobby). I first needed to define the scope and context,...

Optimising Technology for Efficiency in Research - InDEx Ecosystem

A long time ago, websites used to be a bunch of files, and if you're lucky they were attached to a database. It was simple, you update the database and the site updates. Planning how to utilise and optimise technology to help in the running InDEx was something I spent a lot of time thinking about. In this blog post, I wanted to share how I, with InDEx, utilise technology to make me more productive, automate processes and be efficient when conducting research. Technology is a great resource when used correctly, and it is not as expensive as you might think. With InDEx, it actually saves money by ensuring we provision servers to meet demand and not have them active...