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June 12th, 2015
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Owlet Baby Care's smart sock baby monitor.

Owlet Baby Care’s smart sock baby monitor.

By Jordan Monroe

I can still remember the first time tears blurred the view of my computer screen after receiving an email from a customer.

I had been working at Owlet for over a year at this point, and I had heard many tragic stories of parents losing a child due to suffocation or health conditions. However, this time was different. It was the first email I received after my son James was born. I struggled to even finish this message from a fellow parent.

SP newwaytostartup1Something very primal happens to your brain when you have a child. It’s like your heart is pulled apart and put back together again. You feel so much deeper than you even realized you were capable of. Now when I read emails or do presentations, getting all choked up is a common occurrence.  Continue Reading »

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Waynes World

(Image: Wayne Watrach, Visual Media, IBM)

By Suman Mukherjee and Forsyth Alexander

As the world waits anxiously for the fourth installment of the popular Jurassic Park movie series to be released Friday, we thought it would be fun to look into the social buzz for the upcoming summer blockbuster.

As fans, we were curious about things like, where the most Twitter chatter was happening, how tweets were breaking down by gender, overall sentiment, peak times for chatter, and more.

So we uploaded some Twitter data about Jurassic World into Watson Analytics, IBM’s natural-language cloud-based analytics service, and within minutes began unearthing pretty interesting insights, such as: the country with the most tweets so far is Chile; on the whole, women are tweeting more than men; and Portugal has the highest number of positive tweets, but also the most negative. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Daniel Oehme, Postdoctoral Researcher, IBM Research - Australia

Dr. Daniel Oehme, Postdoctoral Researcher, IBM Research – Australia

By Dr. Daniel Oehme

Over the millennia our ability to utilise plants in many different ways has allowed us to flourish as a species. Most importantly, they turn our waste carbon dioxide into oxygen.

But we have also used plants to provide shelter, to publish and transmit information on paper and as a food source. In fact, developing new ways to utilise plants has even led to population explosions throughout time, such as when we first developed granaries to store grain thousands of years ago. In these modern times of climate change, global warming, ever-increasing populations and fossil fuels, plants have never been more important. Continue Reading »

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Arvind Krishna, Dir., IBM Research

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Research

By Arvind Krishna

Chemists at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant, used to spend up to three months in their laboratories creating new formulations for liquid cleaning products. Now, they can perform the same work in 45 minutes or less–thanks to a collaboration between Unilever, one of the United Kingdom’s national laboratories and IBM.

Unilever product developers use iPads to set up tests and experiments, run simulations on an IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the UK’s Hartree Centre lab, and see their results in 3D visualizations that help them explore the data and make discoveries that otherwise might elude them.

This is an example of what’s possible when government, businesses and tech companies combine forces to bring the power of supercomputing and sophisticated data analytics to bear on business problems. It’s also an example of the kind of collaboration I expect to see flourish as a result of an agreement IBM is announcing today with Britain’s Science & Technology Facility Council.

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Huang Yue, IBM Commerce Executive, Greater China Group

Huang Yue, IBM Commerce Executive, Greater China Group

By Huang Yue

Commerce is inherently global. But now, with changing demographics and advances in technologies as well as regulations, cross-border shopping is really picking up steam.

For evidence that global shoppers are getting savvier online, one need only look to last year’s Black Friday shopping day in which U.S. retailers successfully exported to shoppers in the U.K., France and China. Likewise, U.S. merchants adopted China’s popular Single’s Day and attracted Chinese shoppers.

Globalization is driving brands to transact more frequently across borders, and consumers are increasingly using e-commerce and m-commerce services for their overseas purchases as well. The U.S. is the most popular place for non-nationals to purchase from — an astonishing 84% of Chinese cross-border shoppers have purchased from U.S. vendors. But the U.K. is the next most popular place global shoppers buy from, followed by China and Hong Kong. Canada, Germany and Australia are also popular choices. Continue Reading »

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SP NJ Roads

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By Pam Nesbitt

More than two million vehicles travel the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway on a typical day – making them among the busiest highways in the nation. Add rain, ice, snow, and, of course, accidents, to the mix, and dramatically heighten the risk for delays and driver frustration.

That’s why the New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) recently made a sharp turn toward smart technologies to help manage its major toll roads. NJTA, IBM and other technology partners have developed new capabilities with the goal of improving the motoring experience and making these two highways safer. Continue Reading »

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Selfie: Angel and IBMers

Angel Diaz, IBM Vice President, Cloud Technology & Architecture, with other young IBMers.

By Angel Diaz

When I was a young guy growing up on a farm in Puerto Rico, I was a neophyte when it came to computer science and mathematics.  I was so fortunate at an early age to be empowered by my mother to reach further. At 17, I left for college in America.

Back then, people growing up in less-developed places didn’t have much chance of succeeding in technology unless we left home and headed for major tech meccas such as Silicon Valley, New York and Boston.

But things are different today, thanks in part to cloud computing. This new approach to technology creates tremendous opportunities for young people everywhere to build services and mobile apps on ready-made cloud platforms–either as entrepreneurs or as employees of larger companies. Continue Reading »

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Social sharing, mobile computing and the Internet of Things have made data compression a part of our every day lives. The process of compressing data is put to work every time a photo or video is shared across social media or a weather sensor reports a temperature change. Continue Reading »

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Jo Kendrick, Director of Marketing, Homebase

Jo Kenrick, Director of Marketing, Homebase

By Jo Kenrick

In the classic film Field of Dreams, a strange voice in a cornfield whispers to an Iowa farmer: “If you build it, he will come.”

That’s pretty much all the prodding that Ray Kinsella needed to rush down to his local DIY store, pick up some supplies and erect an entire baseball field all by himself.

Now fast forward 25 years and change the setting to the UK, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that voice instead advised: “If you build it, hire a professional.”

As one of the leading home and garden retailers in the UK, we’ve carefully monitored a tremendous change in attitudes towards home improvement. Consumers still want beautiful homes, but many now lack basic skills or the desire to learn them. With today’s busy lifestyle, studies show that we just aren’t as handy as we used to be, opting instead to hire a tradesmen to do it for us. Continue Reading »

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