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Archive for February, 2012
February 29th, 2012

The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual who receives $100,000 and “One Wish to Change the World.” The goal is to help the individual turn their idea into inspiring action. This year for the first time ever the prize was awarded not to a person but to an idea: The City 2.0. The TED conference organizers convened about 30 leaders in thinking about cities to come up with a proposal.

And the winner is:

It’s a platform and a social network for helping people who want to make their cities work better find each other, collaborate and make good things happen.

During tonight’s event, representatives of businesses stood up and made pledges of help to the social network and to the people who will use it. Among them were Guru Banavar, chief technology officer of IBM’s Smarter Cities organization, who said IBM is helping out with data analysis technology; and Zia Yusuf, CEO of Streetline, who pledged a free pilot of the company’s parking-spot-finding technology to the first city that asks to try it out.

The $100,000 reward will be split among the 10 best ideas that emerge from community groups using the social network.

“We urge you to come together and create things that really matter,” said Chris Anderson, the curator of TED.

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February 29th, 2012

by John Lucas, Director of Solution Delivery, BrightStar Partners Inc., Premier IBM Business Partner

Much has been written on how companies who embed analytics into their business outperform their competition. With the expansion of mobile devices, analytics has entered a new era — making the right information accessible at the right time to Marketers, Sales Personnel and the C-suite literally on their finger tips. Perhaps just as important to mention, is that the concept of mobile is helping analytics to become more “mainstream” – by connecting IT and the business closer than ever before. Continue Reading »

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by Jim Flanigan, Director of Marketing, Society of Critical Care Medicine

Collaboration improves critical care around the world.

Say you live in or are traveling in Africa, Asia, or South America and are rushed to a hospital with a serious illness or after a serious injury. Even if you end up in the intensive care unit, there is no guarantee that the physician, nurse, or clinician who will treat you has been trained in how to care for critically ill or injured patients. Continue Reading »

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February 28th, 2012

by Eric Z. Maass, Chief Technology Officer, Lighthouse Security Group

In the digital age, increasing amounts of data are being shared in new and often unanticipated ways. This proliferation of data, devices and connections brings a set of new security threats. And midsize companies, in particular, are feeling the heat.

While security budgets are often at risk for cuts, recovering from the damage a security breach can cause could cost a midsize much more in lost revenue and productivity. No matter how big or small a business may be, a security glitch is not an option. This is especially the case for midsize companies that operate with tight budgets and limited IT staff.

It has become more important, yet more difficult, to secure and protect critical information and related assets. Whether it’s evaluating the potential risk to the brand, understanding the financial implications of adverse events or assessing the impact of IT systems disruptions on ongoing operations, developing security intelligence – the ability to predict, identify and react to potential threats – is taking on new importance.

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By Bob Sutor
Vice President of Mobile, IBM

This week I’m in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress which, for several days at least, is the center of the universe for all things software, hardware, network and services related to mobile. I traveled a long way to get here from New York, but given how much is going on in the world and at IBM around mobile, it’s the only place to be right now.

Mobile is not a new focus area for IBM, but several weeks ago we expanded our portfolio even further by announcing the acquisition of Worklight, an Israeli-based that develops a mobile application platform.

This acquisition gives our clients a leg up in the realm of mobile applications. Now, they will be able to write applications just once, and run them anywhere, whether it’s Google Android, Apple iOS, etc. This is a key priority in today’s fast-paced corporate environment where speed to market is critical for meeting client demands for innovation, and development teams often times don’t have the skills or resources to build for ALL platforms.

Combined with other products, solutions, and services from IBM, Worklight gives IBM customers an advantage in having one place to go for their mobile application development, security, device and application management and IT runtime infrastructure.

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With the arrival of the affordable 52-inch, high-def TV, a diehard NFL football fan can’t be blamed if he or she opts to watch the game in the comfort of the home rather than in a stadium. That’s one of the reasons the Miami Dolphins organization is loading up on digital technologies to help transform the fan experience at Sun Life Stadium.

Here’s their vision of the future: The regular fan in the stadium gets many of the advantages of watching at home as well as the experience of attending a live event and soaking up the excitement of the crowd. Using a tablet computer or smartphone, you can view any stat you want, listen to your choice of play by play banter, Tweet with your pals, get snacks delivered, and choose from a variety of camera angles for instant replay.

This complete scenario is still a year or so away, but Tery Howard, the Dolphin’s chief information officer, is rapidly putting into place the digital building blocks that could turn the vision into reality. Her newest acquisition is a piece of software, the IBM Intelligent Operations Center, that makes it possible to integrate a wide variety of information streams and in-stadium service providers into a single info management system. “We’re creating a smarter stadium,” says Howard. “We want to make sure the fans leave with the ‘wow!’ feeling whether the team wins or loses.”

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by Stanley S. Litow, IBM Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation. Mr. Litow is a former Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Schools.

The City of Chicago has just announced its intention to open five grades nine through 14 schools that will confer both the high school diploma and an associate degree in technology — creating a direct connection from high school to college to careers. Visit the Citizen IBM blog to see what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has to say about the important roles these Early College STEM Schools will play in the city’s economic development and jobs strategy.

Based on the recommendations of an IBM Smarter Cities Challenge team, Chicago’s new schools will be patterned after New York’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH). As with P-TECH — a partnership among the New York City Public Schools, The City University of New York, and IBM — each new Chicago institution will operate as a public-private partnership among the school system, the community college system, and a corporate sponsor. These collaborations will ensure the creation of rigorous and relevant curricula — including workplace skills — that will prepare students for meaningful careers and/or further study. Graduates will then be first in line for positions with their schools’ corporate partners.

The Smarter Cities team developed Chicago’s Roadmap for Career and Technical Education, which the city will use in conjunction with the STEM Pathways to College and Careers School Guide that was developed after the opening of New York City’s P-TECH. You can download the IBM Playbook from Rahm Emanuel’s blog.

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By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications

Bill Reichert, managing director of Garage Technology Ventures

When venture capitalist Bill Reichert talks about his criteria for choosing tech start-ups to invest in, you may be surprised to find that ROI (return on investment) is but a small part of the conversation.

Instead, Reichert — who is managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, a leading early-stage venture capital firm in Palo Alto, California — points to other qualities that he considers essential to a start-up’s success.

By focusing more on an entrepreneur’s passion, vision and desire to do good in the world than on hard numbers and spreadsheets, Reichert and his peers represent a new paradigm for responsible investing.

“Perhaps the top indicator of success for an entrepreneurial team is that it’s motivated by some higher goal, beyond ROI,” Reichert said.

“ROI is key in every business plan, but what we look for from entrepreneurs is something that gives them a bigger goal than just being a little bit cheaper, a little bit faster, a little bit more economic for their potential customers,” he said.

That bigger purpose can be just about anything: helping people, building a sustainable business, cleaning the environment…you name it. “But whatever that motivation is, we know that’s what’s going to make for a successful company,” Reichert said.

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This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about A New Era of Computing. A monumental shift is coming. Computing will be ubiquitous and machines will learn from their interactions with data and humans–essentially programming themselves. This leap will be enabled by advances in artificial intelligence, data analytics, computing systems and nanotechnology. It will result in a smarter, better planet.

Quantum computing has been a Holy Grail for researchers ever since Nobel Prize physicist Richard Feynman in 1981 challenged the scientific community to build computers based on quantum mechanics. For decades, the pursuit remained firmly in the  theoretical realm. But now scientists and entrepreneurs believe they’re on the cusp of building systems that will take computing to a whole new level. “The work we’re doing shows it’s no longer just a brute force physics experiment. It’s time to start creating systems based on this science,” says IBM scientist Matthias Steffen, part of a team at IBM Research that’s focused on developing quantum computing to a point where it can be applied to real-world problems.

Here’s Steffen explaining the latest breakthroughs:

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USC, the Los Angeles Times and IBM Go Beyond
Best Picture to Look at the Bigger Picture

By Jonathan Taplin
Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab
The University of Southern California

  As the parade of gowns and penguin suits made their way down the red carpet and into the Oscar awards ceremony last night, I had one eye glued to my TV and the other to my Twitter feed.

For more than three decades, my career in entertainment has spanned the worlds of music, film, technology and finance. As a long-standing member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, I always await this event with eager anticipation.

But this year I decided to marry my love of film, digital media and technology by applying science to the Oscars. Why?  I wanted to better understand how the public’s opinion of Oscar nominees stacks up against the actual winners on awards night.

Keeping up with the Oscar BuzzLike many movie fans, not all of my favorite picks mirror the Academy’s choices, or those of the movie-going public for that matter.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I was shouting at the TV during the 2011 Oscar telecast when “The Social Network” didn’t take home Best Picture. That’s why the collaboration between our Lab, IBM and the LA Timesto create the Oscar ‘Senti-Meter’ was so groundbreaking.

Using advances in analytics and natural language processing, the Senti-Meter enabled us to analyze millions of daily public comments via Twitter, comparing volume and even more importantly assessing the tone. It let us pick up on positive, negative and neutral opinions, even snarky vs. sincere tweets about the best actor, actress and film nominees.

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