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August, 29th 2014
17:50
 

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Twilight on the streets of Sao Felix do Xingu, Brazil. (Photo: Steve Hamm)

Twilight in Sao Felix do Xingu, Brazil, a frontier town of the Rainforest. (Photo: Steve Hamm)

By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

(SAO FELIX, Brazil) The Internet takes a torturous route to get to Sao Felix do Xingu.

A private company has built a series of radio signal repeater towers, powered by solar panels, which bring the Net 400 kilometers from a neighboring state to downtown Sao Felix.

Once it gets there, it stays put. There’s very little connectivity elsewhere in a municipality that’s the size of Portugal. For those who have it, mainly government offices and businesses, it’s expensive and slow: $500 a month for 1 megabit-per-second service, or $100 for 128 k speed. Continue Reading »

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Scott Spangler, Principal Data Scientist, IBM Watson Innovations, demonstrates how IBM Watson cognitive technology can now visually display connections in scientific literature and drug information.  In this image, Watson displays protein pathways that can help researchers accelerate scientific breakthroughs by spotting linkages that were previously undetected. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Scott Spangler, Principal Data Scientist, IBM Watson Innovations, demonstrates how IBM Watson cognitive technology can now visually display connections in scientific literature and drug information. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

By Michael Rhodin

When IBM’s original Watson computer competed and won on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!, it demonstrated to an audience of millions how a computer could understand the rules of a game and quickly retrieve facts from a vast storehouse of information.

That question-answering skill is a key element of what we call the era of cognitive computing. It is already beginning to impact whole domains of human endeavor, starting with the way physicians treat diseases. And it’s improving the productivity of business—by beginning to transform online shopping and customer service. Continue Reading »

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Matt Gross, Edtior, Bon Appetit

Matt Gross, Edtior, Bon Appetit

By Matt Gross

It was the middle of summer and all I could think about were – tomatoes. They’d just started coming into farmers’ markets en masse and I was eager to start eating them atop toast in the morning, sliced with cucumbers into salads, and chopped into sweet-spicy salsas.

But I wasn’t supposed to be thinking about tomatoes. The IBM and Bon Appétit teams were supposed to be planning the next phase in the development of Chef Watson, our cognitive-cooking system. We’d recently begun a beta test with people pulled from the ranks of our readership in which we issued a challenge. In my mind, there was only one challenge that made sense.

“Tomatoes,” I said. “Tomatoes in anything—anything but salad.” Continue Reading »

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Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President for Systems and Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain, IBM

Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President for Systems and Technology Group and Integrated Supply Chain, IBM

By Tom Rosamilia

The world in which we work, live and interact is changing – quickly and drastically. Consider this: more than 6.6 billion people, or 93 percent of the global population, are using mobile and social technologies as a fundamental means of conducting business and interacting with the world around them. These connections generate 2.5 billion gigabytes of data – every day.

Increasingly, as society becomes even more interconnected, data volumes will continue to explode. This is big data – big in volume and even bigger in potential. According to IBM research, 90 percent of all the data in the world has been generated over the last two years. In fact, IDC projects that by 2020 the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB), which is 40 trillion GB of data – or 5,200 GB of data for every person on Earth. The explosion of mobile transactions and social applications has fueled this growth exponentially. Continue Reading »

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Molly Biddiscombe of Manhattan interacts with the U.S. Open iPad app designed by IBM in collaboration with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) while en route to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY on Monday, August 25, 2014. (Photo: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM.)

Molly Biddiscombe of Manhattan interacts with the U.S. Open iPad app designed by IBM in collaboration with the USTA. (Photo: Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service.)

By Nicole Jeter West

The US Open Tennis Championships is the largest annually attended event in the world and, over the next two weeks, more than 700,000 fans will descend upon Queens, N.Y., to watch world-class tennis players compete at the USTA National Tennis Center.

Millions of other fans, no matter where they live in the world, will turn to apps on mobile devices, as well as to USOpen.org via the Web to see live scores, stats, video, photo galleries and more.

Our core mission at the United States Tennis Association is to promote and enable the growth of tennis. As the largest tennis association in the world, we have about 800,000 members and are committed to encouraging the sport’s growth on every level — from local communities to our crown jewel, the US Open. Continue Reading »

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By Dr. Shannon McMurtrey

With enrollment in information technology programs back on the rise, it’s our duty as educators to make sure our students graduate with skills that are immediately applicable in order for them to enter the job market more marketable and competitive.

However, there are few industries evolving more rapidly than information technology. This creates a challenge for students as well as faculty who have to adapt their curricula to changing workforce demands. For us at Missouri State University, this means preparing our students to provide value to businesses that are increasingly turning to cloud, analytics and mobile to solve complex problems.

SP MSU campus

Missouri State University campus, Springfield, MO.

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Dr. Volker Gülzow, head of IT, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron

Dr. Volker Gülzow, head of IT, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron

By Dr. Volker Gülzow

When it comes to data volumes, there’s Big Data, and then there’s Huge Data.

This is our reality at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), a leading national research center in Germany. We’ve been storing, processing and managing massive amounts of data before the term Big Data was even coined.

PETRA III, the most brilliant X-Ray source in the world.

PETRA III, the most brilliant X-Ray source in the world.

Founded in 1959, DESY is one of the world’s leading particle accelerator centers and a member of the Helmholtz Association. We develop, build and operate large particle accelerators which are used to investigate the structure of matter. DESY is housed in Hamburg and Zeuthen in Germany and is home to 3,000 scientists a year, who come from more than 40 countries. Continue Reading »

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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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