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SP mobile farmer irri

A farmer in the Philippines uses his mobile phone to relay messages of a good planting season. (Photo: IRRI.)

By Ernie Hu

For farmers who lack convenient, reliable access to in-person or Internet-based services, mobile is giving them the power to do everything from staying connected to increasing crop production.

Such mobile access is becoming especially important in countries like China that have vast rural populations and whose economic stability is directly linked to investments in agriculture. Recent reports show that approximately 596 million tons of crops will be needed to feed China’s population, which is predicted to reach 1.4 billion by 2023. Continue Reading »

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Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire of the Ollmann Saphire laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute, at the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire of the Ollmann Saphire laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute, at the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

By Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire

The current outbreak of the Ebola virus is the largest in history, and has been described by the World Health Organization as “the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times.”

While previous outbreaks have ended when the disease was contained and disappeared from the human population, the scope of the 2014 outbreak raises the possibility that the virus, rather than disappearing again, could become endemic – permanently persisting in human populations in one or more areas. Continue Reading »

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SP Lesser

Eric Lesser, Research Director, Institute for Business Value, IBM

By Bruce Fern and Eric Lesser

While in recent years many companies have strengthened their analytics capabilities in areas such as marketing, supply chain and finance, far fewer have become adept in applying analytics to unravel elusive workforce dynamics such as turnover, employee engagement and productivity.

In fact, less than 20 percent of organizations report being able to apply predictive analytics to address important people issues. However, an increasing number of executives are realizing the power of talent analytics and its ability to challenge conventional wisdom, influence behavior, guide decision-making and, ultimately, impact business outcomes.

A new IBM Institute for Business Value study, Unlock the People Equation: Using Workforce Analytics to Drive Business Results, captured the insights of more than 40 executives with responsibility for workforce analytics in 15 industries. Continue Reading »

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SP Online Shopping Lilly2By Jay Henderson

We all knew it was coming eventually and IBM predicted it would happen this year as it indeed did – more Thanksgiving shoppers turned to their mobile devices than their desktops to browse through all of the Thanksgiving deals.

Specifically, from IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark  we saw 52.1 percent of traffic on Thanksgiving coming from mobile devices, a 22 percent jump from last year. Even more incredibly, if you go back to 2010 only 6.5 percent of traffic came from mobile. That is an eight-fold increase in traffic over only four years.

With regard to sales, mobile devices accounted for 32.3 percent, which percentage-wise was an even greater year-over-year increase at 25.4 percent than the observed increase in mobile traffic. Continue Reading »

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Early General Motors auto designers.

Early General Motors auto designers.

By Paul Papas

Picture an architect laboring over a blueprint, or an auto designer working out the basics of next year’s model. Once upon a time, this mental image probably included a drafting table and a clay model, but not much else.

With some variation, those were creative tools that designers, architects and artists relied on to render their inspirations, refine them into concepts, and finalize them into market-ready products.

Fast forward to the era of high-performance computing and how this has radically transformed the creative process in pharmaceuticals, automotive, and government R&D – where the trials, mistakes and amazing breakthroughs were rendered, tested and proven in silicon, before they were realized in factories. Continue Reading »

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November 24th, 2014
9:00
 

Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina

Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina

By Michael King

The bell has rung for the need to transform education.

Although elementary and secondary education has evolved significantly over the past decades, the near future of our industry is set to have even more impactful developments.

Technological advances in Big Data analytics, mobile proliferation in and outside of the classroom, and the emergence of cloud-based smart content is creating increasingly precise tools to determine which educational practices will prove most effective and radically transform current educational practices.

Such cutting-edge analytics and cloud-based smart content can help educators unlock deep insights that will transform our approach to learning and help move the classroom from assembly-line models into a truly personalized environment – environments that motivate and engage learners at all levels, from kindergarteners learning the alphabet to university students exploring majors. Continue Reading »

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Drew Johnson, Vice President, Engineering, Aeris Communications

Drew Johnson, Vice President, Engineering, Aeris Communications

By Drew Johnson

As the Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications connect millions of diverse machines over networks, the goal is to make the combination of those machines greater than the sum of each type and to provide people with greater information and insight as the ecosystem expands.

To achieve this level of interconnectivity, businesses that depend on those machines need them to work reliably, securely, and cost-effectively – without human intervention. That’s where an unexpected technology function comes in to help: crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing typically conjures up images of people-driven programs, like traffic information gathered from thousands of commuters or weather reports created by people supplying pictures and information from their mobile devices. Continue Reading »

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Jonathan Schaeffer, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

Jonathan Schaeffer, Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

By Jonathan Schaeffer

At the just-concluded G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, the leaders of the 20 major economies in the world agreed to “take strong and effective action” on climate change.

Still, at this critical juncture in the history of our planet, it is essential that the scientific world continue to document the dramatic climate changes occurring all across the globe.

One technological area gaining wider use is remote sensing. Today sensors are powerful and inexpensive, network access to remote data is increasing, scientific models are improving, and “big data” algorithms for crunching the numbers are more accessible. Continue Reading »

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Jeff Schick, VP, IBM Social Software

Jeff Schick, VP, IBM Social Software

By Jeff Schick

For more than 30 years, email has been stuck in a rut. It’s still basically a list of messages that we plow through all day, every day—in our private and professional lives.  The important stuff is hidden among the trivial and the routine. Sure, you can fiddle with rankings and do rudimentary searches, but, for all the time we spend dealing with our email, it’s one of the least-evolved computer activities around.  Think of it as a tax on your brain.

I probably speak for many people when I say that the first word that comes to mind when I think of email is “frustration.” Actually, the word that comes to mind is less polite than that. That high level of collective frustration is what drove a talented team of software engineers and user experience designers at IBM to reimagine the domain—putting people and relationships at the center of things. 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

It’s undeniable that cloud is one of the most transformative technologies of the decade. From permeating our daily lives via social media to everyday use in business, the cloud is becoming an increasingly essential technology for driving creativity and collaboration, and is capable of altering the very fabric of society.

As the cloud market grows, it’s crucial to make it even more accessible and comprehensive for startups. Though almost all startups today are using the cloud in some capacity, as an industry, we can do more to open it up more broadly, and doing so will serve to level the competitive playing field for burgeoning companies and innovators globally.

Below are three ways we can help startups use cloud to its maximum potential: Continue Reading »

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