Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
Archive for December, 2012
December 30th, 2012

Paul Brody, Global Industry Leader, Electronics, IBM

By Paul Brody

People have been talking and writing about the “Internet of Things” for more than a decade. It’s the idea that at some point billions of electronic devices and sensors will be connected to the Internet in parallel to the hundreds of millions of people who have access to the Net. But, unlike so many of the whiz-bang technologies that are forever predicted but never arrive, such as flying cars and time machines, the Internet of Things is on the verge of becoming a reality.

So, what exactly is bringing the Internet of Things to fruition? A big factor is the plunging cost of connectivity, which is being driven by the emergence of Heterogeneous Networks (often referred to as “HetNets”). HetNets offer a way to increase the density and bandwidth available to mobile devices.  Continue Reading »

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December 26th, 2012

Computers have tremendous capacities for storing information and performing numerical calculations—far superior to those of any human. Yet, when it comes to other capabilities, including creativity. computers are woefully inferior to people. But a young IBM Research scientist, Lav Varshney, believes that before too long computers will indeed be creative.

His work concerning the sense of taste and food recipes, which we featured in our IBM Next 5 in 5 predictions last week,  was highlighted on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered broadcast on Christmas Day.


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Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

By Steve Hamm

Patience is one of the most important virtues a researcher can possess, but some scientific pursuits require an almost preternatural calm in the face of monumental challenges. Case in point: quantum computing.

Scientists have been trying to grasp this holy grail of computing ever since Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in 1981 challenged the scientific community to build computers based on quantum mechanics.  Matthias Steffen, the manager of an experimental quantum computing project at IBM Research, believes the key to persevering in a project like this is keeping an open mind. ” You can’t stubbornly keep pursuing a path because you’re invested in it personally,” he says. “Take a breather, and be open to making changes in your approach–potentially drastically”

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Our scientists dreamed up the IBM Next 5 in 5, our 2012 forecast of inventions that will change your world in the next five years. The focus this year is on the coming era of cognitive systems, and how computers will mimic the senses. You voted. And the winner is Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousand words. The prediction garnered 37% of the votes, edging out Hearing: Computers will hear what matters.

In case you missed seeing the entire list, here are the other predictions:

Touch: You will be able to reach out and touch through your phone
Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat healthier
Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

Join the Twitter conversation at #ibm5in5.

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Marcelo Lema, General Manager, Client Financing, IBM Global Financing

By Marcelo Lema

The fact that small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are a cornerstone of economic recovery and growth is a global truth. In China, SMBs represent two-thirds of the country’s industry, in the European Union, member states have adopted a Small Business Act and in the U.S. they’re the primary source of jobs.
For both mature and growth economies, SMBs are an economic engine, and to fuel their growth, technology is arguably today’s most transformative catalyst. Companies today are gaining competitive advantage through analytics and tackling complex, data-intensive business challenges efficiently and economically through the cloud.
For many SMBs, however, accessing such technology requires not only the resources, but the ability to maintain a healthy cash flow at the same time.

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Klauss Gottschalk, Senior IT Specialist, IBM Germany

By Klaus Gottschalk

The Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), nestled on the outskirts of Munich in the town of Garching, was established 50 years ago by the Bavarian Academy of Science, to provide supercomputing resources to researchers and scientists across the Munich Scientific Network of universities.

Since then, the Centre has been the home of such systems as the HLRB and HLRB-II and has grown to become the premiere computing operations center for researchers across Europe, as they work to answer computational-intensive scientific questions.  

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Volker W. Fricke, Solution Architect, Telematics & Telemetry, IBM Germany

By Volker W. Fricke and Clay Luthy

What would Scotsman Robert Anderson say if he could comment on the history of electric vehicles? As the supposed inventor of the first vehicle with an electric motor back in 1836 he might have been a bit frustrated over the triumphal procession of the combustion engine for the last 100 years. However the progress and raising interest in electric mobility in the last couple of years might put a smile on his face.

Driven by technology breakthroughs, increasing oil prices and a raising environmental awareness, electric vehicles (EV) are moving into the center of interest for consumers, enterprises and governments. For example, the European Union (EU) has set an ambitious goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2050.

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Dr. Lubomyr Romankiw, IBM Fellow in Electrochemical Technology, Micromagnetics and Microfabrication

By Richard Silberman, Writer/Researcher, IBM Communications

Without Lubomyr Romankiw, building a smarter planet would be much more difficult, if not impossible. Personal computers, smart phones, digital cameras and DVRs may have taken much longer to become a reality. ATMs, the Internet, Blue Gene and cloud computing might still be far off fantasies.

The world as we know and enjoy it today – with its ubiquitous computers and data-storing devices – is almost unimaginable without the magnetic thin-film disk storage technology and the read-and-write magnetic head that Dr. Romankiw and Dr. David A. Thompson invented at IBM 40 years ago.

The thin-film magnetic recording head is the tiny component that reads and writes data in virtually every disk-based storage device made since 1979. Before Dr. Romankiw’s inventions of thin-film heads and the processing technology to fabricate them, data storage for even the most cutting-edge computers was cumbersome, slow and expensive.

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Nancy DeViney, Vice President, Organizational Change Management, IBM

By Nancy DeViney

Change may be essential to progress, but no one said it was easy.

As anyone who has worked on a major transformation project will tell you, organizational and culture change issues invariably present the biggest challenges.

Redesigning processes, deploying new technologies, reformatting the org chart, you can get all that right but still stumble if you don’t get your people on board. One McKinsey study found that only about 30 percent of change programs succeed. The Number 1 stumbling block: behavior and attitudes failed to change.

Several years ago, IBM conducted an internal study to investigate what has worked and not worked in large-scale transformation initiatives. The types of challenges identified were relatively consistent across the 10 projects we studied. In fact, since then clients have told me that they encounter similar issues. The most common reasons for uneven adoption or difficulty sustaining change? Continue Reading »

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