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By Chris Sciacca

Dr. Gregory Neven, IBM Research

Dr. Gregory Neven, Cryptographer, IBM Research – Zurich

If you believe the press, you may think that passwords are antiquated.And who could blame you? With major breaches being reported at popular websites such as LinkedIn, Adobe, Yahoo!, and Twitter, passwords may sound like a vestige of past security solutions.

Well, not so fast. IBM scientists have developed a three-pronged approach that can secure all of your passwords for social media, email, cloud files or shopping websites, with one practically, hack-proof password.

And this password is secured by something they like to refer to as the “Memento Protocol.” In the 2000 film “Memento” by Christopher Nolan, the protagonist suffers from short-term memory loss. Throughout the film he meets several so-called friends, but due to his condition he never really knows if they are trustworthy or if they are trying to steal something from him. Continue Reading »

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The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Photo credit: Haroldo Palo Jr.

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest. (Photo: Haroldo Palo Jr.)

By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

With its warm, wet climate and vast expanse of 2.7 million square miles of land, the Amazon River basin has the potential to become one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions—essential for feeding a global population that’s fast-approaching eight billion.

Yet, at the same time, the Amazon rainforest is an invaluable—and imperiled–natural resource. According to The Nature Conservancy, no other place is more critical to human survival. The basin, which is about the size of the United States and touches eight countries, harbors one-third of the planet’s biodiversity, produces one-fourth of the fresh water and plays a key role in warding off the worst effects of climate change. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Jan de Jeu, vice president of the University of Groningen

Dr. Jan de Jeu, vice president of the University of Groningen

A few weeks ago IBM, ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, and the University of Groningen (UoG) formed the European Research Center for Exascale Technology (ERCET) to address some of the greatest societal challenges facing The Netherlands today including energy, healthcare and water management.

One of the orchestrators of the collaboration was Dr. Jan de Jeu, vice president of the University of Groningen. Dr. de Jeu believes the effort will result in the creation of a “Data Industry Valley” in the northern Netherlands. The Smarter Planet blog caught up with Dr. de Jeu to learn more.

Smarter Planet: We are seeing a major trend in the information technology market where universities are globally partnering with industry. What is driving this strategy?
de Jeu: Information technology will be the most important game changer in the world economy the coming decades. But in order to make this happen, many very interesting IT-related scientific questions have to be addressed. So industry and universities have a common interest in finding answers to fundamental questions, particularly about how to handle the enormous amounts  Big Data which is generated daily. Continue Reading »

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Tom Hull, CIO of Florida Polytechnic University

Tom Hull, CIO of Florida Polytechnic University

By Tom Hull

Creating a culture where innovation can be fostered and developed can be quite a challenge.

Everyone has a different philosophy of how to create environments where innovation – true innovation that expands our horizons – can be born. Throughout my time in higher education and with public and private technology organizations, I have learned there is an opportunity to accomplish this goal at the intersection of the theoretical and practical.

As a newly created STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school, Florida Polytechnic University is operating just as a startup would approach turning a new idea into a successful product or service. We’ve defined 11 innovation labs that are each connected directly to our curriculum. One of these labs is our new supercomputing center where we worked with IBM and Flagship Solutions to design a program for both faculty and students.

 Continue Reading »

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Meghan M. Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group

Meghan M. Biro, founder and CEO of TalentCulture Consulting Group

By Meghan M. Biro

The way we work isn’t working.

Or at the very least, today’s workforce dynamics are evolving faster than most organizations can manage. We’re more likely to find a new job using social media, our mobile devices are rarely more than an arm’s reach away, and we want greater flexibility in our work environment. At the same time, the emergence of new technologies and workforce science is giving HR leaders access to tools and insight they never had before but a new IBM study revealed only 20 percent feel successful managing change.

The challenge for many is to better understand employees as unique individuals while also managing the transformational change required to unlock innovation and transform the workforce. Daniel Pink’s TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation” and Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” help address this challenge by focusing on the autonomy, mastery and purpose in motivating people to action. As Sinek says, “Don’t just hire people who need a job — hire people who believe what you believe.” Continue Reading »

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Saul Berman, Vice President and Chief Strategist, IBM Global Business Services

Saul Berman, Vice President and Chief Strategist, IBM Global Business Services

By Saul Berman

About 90 percent of mobile gadget owners have their devices within arm’s reach, morning, noon, and night, underscoring the profound impact mobile technology is having on our world.

So far, consumers are propelling this mobile revolution. Companies, just as they did early on with the Internet, have largely underestimated how fundamentally mobile technology and the data it generates will transform business.

A new study by the IBM Institute for Business Value outlines how enterprises, though quick to adopt analytics as a competitive differentiator and eager to embrace mobile, have struggled with their full implimentations. Continue Reading »

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Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

Anna Hodge, IBM Communications Intern, Journalism Major, Syracuse University

By Anna Hodge

Despite the growing popularity and seemingly limitless potential and benefits of cloud computing, clients are encountering data governance and security issues when the data they’ve stored in the cloud crosses different countries and continents.

For example, in June 2007, France prohibited government officials from using BlackBerry smartphones because the cloud servers that hosted data accessed by the devices were located in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada. This decision arose from a concern that government agencies could possibly, and quite easily, peek at another country’s sensitive information.

IBM Master Inventor Sandeep Ramesh Patil and his team of co-inventors saw this problem as an opportunity to invent a solution. Continue Reading »

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Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

Dharmendra Modha, IBM Fellow

By Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

The idea of making machines modeled on the human brain has thrilled and confounded scientists since the earliest days of computing in the 1940s. The brain is a remarkable organ. Thanks to this spongy mass the size of a grapefruit, which uses just 20 watts of power, we humans understand complex concepts, navigate the physical world, and create marvelous things—from spacecraft to sonnets.

Not surprisingly, imitating the brain has proven to be incredibly difficult. Conventional computers don’t even try. They use linear logic and hard-wired circuitry to calculate, send messages, analyze data and organize knowledge consuming enormous amounts of power while failing to match the brain’s protean capabilities.

But, today, we’re at a turning point in the history of computing. The SyNAPSE team at IBM Research, funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and aided by scientists from several universities, has demonstrated powerful yet energy-efficient neuromorphic chip that has the potential to help fulfill the dreams of the computer industry’s pioneers.  “I hope this will inspire completely different thinking about what computing can do,” says Dharmendra S. Modha, IBM Fellow and principal investigator of the SyNAPSE Project.

An article about the breakthrough was published today by Science magazine.

Continue Reading »

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August, 7th 2014
8:00
 

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Wes Hunt, Chief Data Officer, Nationwide

Wes Hunt, Chief Data Officer, Nationwide

By Wes Hunt

Strong data and analytics capabilities can lead to competitive advantage, and has the demonstrated the power to transform entire industries and business models.  Yet with the emergence of big data, advanced analytics, and the ever changing security landscape, these trends can overwhelm and bog down an organization. That’s why there is a need for dedicated leadership; one who can set the strategy around data. The role of the Chief Data Officer is taking off as organizations look to fill this gap.

Big data and analytics is a big priority at Nationwide – in all areas of the enterprise. Prior to becoming CDO, I was the VP of Customer Analytics, using actionable insights from data to put our members first. My team worked across the company to build trusted relationships and deliver business results through actionable insights.  And it paid off.  Nationwide customer satisfaction increased by 13%, and member tenure increased by 15%, helping Nationwide to deliver on our promise of protecting what matters most to our members.  Continue Reading »

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Glen Tona, IBM Software Developer and resident of Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion

Glen Tona, IBM Software Developer and resident of Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion

By Glen Tona

I’m fortunate enough to live in Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion, a community of driven, international and passionate people trying to change the world through technology. On a daily basis, I share chores, meals, open discussions and projects with my housemates and a revolving roster of guests, who hail from some of the world’s most progressive institutions: NASA, Tesla, Google, IBM, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford and various startups – to name a few.

Unlike the other residential startup incubators of the tech community (a concept you might recognize from HBO’s recent parody show Silicon Valley), our goal at the Mansion is not to necessarily launch the next big “it” company – though, admittedly, we wouldn’t mind doing so.

Rather, we want to cultivate an environment of socially aware people who turn big, global ideas into reality – whether at their current company or starting a movement within an entire industry. Some of the most important contributors to OpenStack, for example, were residents at the Mansion during OpenStack’s creation – collaborating to create one of the most significant milestones of open source and cloud computing of our time. Continue Reading »

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