Archive for October, 2010

Warning System to Accurately Analyze, Assess and Predict Natural Disasters #ibminventor

Human creativity knows no frontiers.   And sometimes the best solution is actually the simplest one…  IBM inventors took a look at laptops and the little MEMS accelerometers in them, and wham-bam.  We released this press release today


ARMONK, NY—October 22, 2010— IBM (NYSE: IBM)  inventors have developed a patented natural disaster warning system, which uses analytics to improve the effectiveness and timeliness of post-event rescue efforts in cities and other locations where efficient emergency response is essential following a natural disaster. It also offers a means to accurately predict the location and timing of subsequent catastrophic events, which will further aid evacuation efforts.

IBM’s patented technique can enable a system that accurately and precisely conducts post-event analysis of seismic events, such as earthquakes, as well as provide early warnings for tsunamis, which can follow earthquakes. The invention also provides the ability to rapidly measure and analyze the damage zone of an earthquake to help prioritize emergency response needed following an earthquake.
The invention uses data generated by vibration sensors (known as MEMS accelerometers) within computer hard disk drives to quickly analyze and assess information generated by seismic events. This technique is enabled by collecting hard drive sensor data and transmitting it via high speed networking to a data processing center, which can analyze the data, classify the events, and enrich the data — in real time.

Following rapid analysis of the hard drive data, it can be determined exactly when a seismic event started, how long a seismic event lasted, the intensity of a seismic event, the frequency of motion of a seismic event, direction of motion of a seismic event, etc. The information is then delivered to decision makers for action, including the emergency response representatives, such as police, firefighters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency or other service providers.

While the physics of earthquakes and earthquake detection is a well understood science, the seismograph technology used in this process is thinly distributed over a broad area around the world. Consequently, earthquake data is limited to a few geographical locations and little post-event analysis is available to aid emergency response. In addition, the seismographs do not provide fine-grained data about where emergency response is needed and cannot predict impending events, such as tsunamis.
IBM inventors Robert Friedlander and James Kraemer were issued U.S. Patent #7,693,663 “System and method for detection of earthquakes and tsunamis, and hierarchical analysis, threat classification, and interface to warning systems” for their invention.

Additional information about IBM’s natural disaster warning system invention, and other interesting IBM patents, is available on the IBM Inventors’ Corner.



Today IBM launched the following press statement.  I find it a huge boost for the World Community Grid.  I joined WCG when I started at IBM in 2007. Since then I help to compute clean water and find remedies against cancer.

If you have idle computer time to spare, join the World Community Grid.



Offers VAIO PC customers shortcut for becoming World Community Grid volunteers

SAN DIEGO, Calif. Oct. 21, 2010 – Sony Electronics today announced that its VAIO® computers now come equipped with IBM’s World Community Grid software, helping provide scientists around the globe with the computing power to help solve humankind’s biggest challenges.

All fall line-up of Sony VAIO® PCs – excluding Atom based processors notebooks – will come equipped with World Community Grid software that users can opt to run.

Once activated, the software connects VAIO users with World Community Grid, a network of PCs which pools their surplus processing power to create a free, virtual supercomputer for researchers to tap.  The program detects idle time in a volunteer’s computer activity and requests work data for a specific project from World Community Grid’s server.  It then performs computations on this data, sends results back to the server, and requests more work.  Each computation performed and every PC added provide scientists with critical information that accelerates the pace of research.

“We are excited to partner with World Community Grid to further the development of life-changing solutions,” said Jamey Gottlieb, vice president, Business Development at Sony Electronics. “VAIO PC owners can support research projects that tackle global causes while the World Community Grid program runs during idle mode, getting work done while you are not working.”

“I know the scientific research community is grateful to Sony and its many customers for helping to make World Community Grid even more successful,” said Robin Willner, IBM’s Vice President of Global Community Initiatives.  “We are confident that volunteers will get immense satisfaction knowing that they are joining a growing and vibrant community intent on transforming the world into a better place.”

The World Community Grid network of PCs has the potential to help scientists cure cancer, battle AIDS, eliminate world hunger, and develop clean energy resources.  The collective power of more than 1.6 million PCs gives scientists the equivalent of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, speeding up research by crunching numbers and performing simulations that would take hundreds of years to perform on typical computers.

To put its size into perspective, World Community Grid currently receives seven computational results from volunteers’ PCs every second of the day — more than 500 million in all — since World Community Grid started up six years ago.  In fact, if World Community Grid were just one computer, it would have performed computations for the equivalent of 392,000 years.  With hundreds of thousands of volunteers joining together, the possibilities are endless.

When idle or between keystrokes on a lightweight task, the PCs request data from World Community Grid’s server, which runs Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) software, maintained at the University of California, Berkeley and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Computer users who are interested in joining the Sony VAIO team on the World Community Grid effort can also register and download the software program from:

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