Archive for the ‘ IBM ’ Category

Misschien moeten de overheden in de wereld wat meer ‘deuren’ hangen….


Toen Martin Luther in 1517 zijn stellingen voor hervorming aan de kerkdeur van Wittenberg nagelde, stak hij het uur aan de lont van de reformatie.   Een beweging die hervormingen  – of toch minstens  herziening – eiste van de toen gangbare katholieke dogma’s.  Het revolutionaire van Luther’s actie lag niet in het nagelen van zijn boodschap aan een kerkdeur.  Die deur werd vroeger wel meer gebruikt als “messageboard”.  De kerkdeur was het ‘portaal’ waar de gemeente bij elkaar kwam en dus een snelle manier om informatie wereldkundig te maken en te verspreiden.   De kerkelijke overheid deed er toen ook alles aan om “schadelijke content” zo snel mogelijk van hun messageboard te verwijderen.

Het revolutionaire van Luther’s stellingen bestond uit een visie over de toekomst van de kerk, die niet van de kerkleiding zelf kwam en die daarbovenop ook nog eens in het openbaar onder de bevolking werd verspreid en de bevolking de kans gaf  om daar zelf een mening over te vormen.  Mocht Luter vandaag geleefd hebben had hij waarschijnlijk zijn stellingen via facebook of Twitter wereldkundig gemaakt.

Mensen in Tunesïe, Egypte, Jordanië, België en overal elders in de wereld gebruiken Social Media om elkaar – en bij uitbreiding de rest van de wereld – te informeren en op de hoogte te brengen.  Om hun frustratie te uiten over wat er mis gaat, om oplossingen te vragen en voor te stellen.  Om hun visie kenbaar te maken, te duiden en te bediscussieren.   Social Media is de hedendaagse versie van Luther’s kerkdeur.

Het is dan ook meer dan spijtig dat overheden in rusteloze gebieden altijd trachten om het internet en het gebruik van social media te beperken of zelfs te verbieden.   Net zoals de inquisitie boeken verbrandden om de verspreiding van ideeën tegen te houden.

Spijtig, want een overheid die Social Media omarmt en het gebruik ervan aanmoedigt, heeft er alleen maar voordeel bij.  ‘Tapping into the wisdom of Crowds’, weet u wel. Een voorbeeld: afgelopen zomer hield de gemeenteraad vanhet Britse Coventry een interactieve, online dialoog met haar inwoners. ‘CovJam’ maakte hiervoor gebruik van de IBM “Jam” methodologie.

In een periode waarin strakke besparingen en sneuvelende budgeten vele gemeenten in de UK het mes op de keel zet, vond gemeenteraad van Coventry er niet beter op dan haar inwoners te bevragen over hoe ze de volgende 20 jaar het hoofd boven water kunnen houden.

De  jam liep 24/24 gedurende drie dagen.  CovJam levered een oogst op van meer dan 2000 commentaren en ideeën van burgers, ondernemingen en publieke instellingen van de negende grootste stad van het Verenigd Koninkrijk.

De bevolking kreeg een online platform waarop men zijn ongenoegen uitte, frustraties ventileerde en om aandacht voor tal van problemen.  Maar tegelijk discussieerde Coventry open over het verbeteren van de levenskwaliteit van de inwoners, over het aantrekken van investeerders en hoe de werkegelegenheid in de regio kon worden aangezwengeld.

De jam werd gemodereerd door een team van vertegenwoordigers uit de gemeenteraad, plaatselijke verenigingen en experts die de discussies opvolgden en aanmoedigden. Zij hielden de discussies ook gefocused op het objectief van de ‘jam’: creatieve, maar praktische, ideetjes zonder grote kosten die het leven in de stad verbeteren. Ondertussen zijn er al ideeën van de jam uitgevoerd.   Verscheidene anderen zijn in de planning van de gemeenteraad opgenomen.

De graad van engagement was indrukwekkend meer dan 4/5de van pre-geregistreerden nam daadwerkelijk deel aan de ‘Jam’.  Het dubbele daarvan lieten een comment achter op de site. Meer dan een kwart van de deelnemers was ouder dan 50 jaar – waaruit blijkt dat leeftijd geen drempel is om aan dit soort initiatieven deel te nemen.

Een overheid die Social Media omarmt, doet er zijn voordeel mee.  Het zal een veel nauwer contact hebben met haar bevolking en op elk moment weten wat er leeft.  Het zal de inhoud van berichten die op haar deur genageld worden begrijpen en er actie op ondernemen. Misschien moeten de overheden in de wereld wat meer ‘deuren’ hangen…

Wenst u ook deel te nemen aan een Jam ?  IBM Social business jam van 8 tot 11 februari 2011.

First time ever TV game #Jeopardy will have computer as contestant. #IBM’s #Watson on air February 14, 15, 16


Today, IBM and Jeopardy  announced that an IBM computing system named “Watson” will compete on Jeopardy against the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and that the competition will air on television on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011.

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, has been developed over the past 4 years by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.  Jeopardy provides the ultimate challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.

When the IBM scientists began this project, others in the scientific community believed this task to be impossible and the IBM scientists themselves believed the challenge was so difficult, they did not know what they would be able to achieve. This fall, the scientists achieved remarkable results, when Watson played more than 55 “sparring games” against former Jeopardy Tournament of Champions contestants. Highlights of the sparring matches can be viewed and tracked over the next few weeks at IBMWatson.com

Watson is the most recent example of how IBM’s approximate $6 billion per year investment in R&D is spurring new technologies to help build a smarter planet — driving progress in areas such as healthcare, biology, energy, water resources, food safety, and more.

Watson’s ability to understand the meaning and context of human language, and rapidly process information to find precise answers to complex questions, holds enormous potential to transform how computers help people accomplish tasks in business and their personal lives. Watson will enable people to rapidly find specific answers to complex questions. The technology could be applied in areas such as healthcare, for accurately diagnosing patients, to improve online self-service help desks, to provide tourists and citizens with specific information regarding cities, prompt customer support via phone, and much more.

Like Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that defeated the reigning world chess champion in 1997, Watson represents a major leap in the capacity of information technology systems to identify patterns, gain critical insight and enhance decision-making despite daunting complexity. But while Deep Blue was an amazing achievement in the application of compute power to a computationally well-defined and well-bounded game, Watson faces a challenge that is open-ended and defies the well-bounded mathematical formulation of a game like Chess. Watson has to operate in the near limitless, ambiguous and highly contextual domain of human language and knowledge.

Watson’s patented technology furthers IBM’s leadership in analytics solutions, which help organizations use the vast amount of information they collect to improve their business operations and service to their customers. Additionally, Watson harnesses IBM’s commercial Power 7 system, showcasing how IBM workload-optimized systems provide unmatched capabilities for processing thousands of simultaneous tasks at rapid speeds, once the realm of only scientific supercomputers.

In his 2009 letter to shareholders, Sam Palmisano said: Many companies are reacting to the current global downturn by drastically curtailing spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future. We’re not looking back, we’re looking ahead. We’re continuing to invest in R&D, in strategic acquisitions, in growth initiatives— and most importantly, during these difficult times, in our people. In other words, we will not simply ride out the storm. Rather, we will take a long-term view, and go on offense. Throughout our history, during periods of disruption and global change, this is what IBM has done. Again and again, we have played a leadership role. We have imagined what the world might be, and actually built it.

Watson is the latest example of IBM scientists imagining what might be and inventing it. On February 14, 15 and 16, the world will see the result of their imagination and ingenuity compete against two of the world’s most successful and celebrated Jeopardy champions.

The Social Media Sustainability Index: IBM ranked #2


Social Media Influence, or SMI,  provides intelligence and analysis for business professionals looking to understand and navigate the ever-evolving world of on line communication.   Couple of weeks ago they published their Social Media Sustainability Index.

The index give some interesting insights  at how 287 European and North American companies, all part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the industry standard in identifying which companies operate the most sustainable business practices, are using social media to tell their stories.

Key findings of the report:

  • 85%  use social media as some part of their general communications portfolio be it for PR, customer service or marketing.
  • 22%  have social media communications dedicated to sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues.
  • 19%  rely on their general social media channels to talk about sustainability.
  • 58% have no social media conduit whatsoever for discussing sustainability.
  • Of the North American companies, 36% are using some form of social media to communicate sustainability issues.
  • 33%  of the European companies listed are doing so.
  • Technology is the leading sector in embracing sustainability social media comms with tech companies making up 20 percent of the total North American companies listed.
  • Oil & Gas is the sector least represented is this survey. Just four of the 25 oil and gas companies surveyed were using social media to talk about sustainability issues. (BP anyone?)

As a methodology they used  focused on the ways companies are using social media to communicate sustainability to external
stakeholders, including the public, the media, shareholders, NGOs and employees. SMI based their evaluation on the following
criteria.

Does the company:

1. have a dedicated social media voice/channel for sustainability communication?
2. use existing social media channels to talk about sustainability?
3. use social media to communicate specific sustainability campaigns/causes?
4. discuss sustainability topics in general?
5. discuss and highlight action it is taking to be more sustainable?
6. make its annual corporate responsibility report shareable through social media?
7. bring sustainability issues to life with engaging content and storytelling?
8. enable community feedback/interaction on sustainability issues?

In the technology sector, IBM gathered a Social Score of 97, bringing this – almost 100 years old – company to the leader place in the sector.   Overall, General Electric scores 1 point more than IBM.

Sector Company Social Score
Basic Materials Alcoa 59
Consumer Goods Ford 95
Consumer Services Starbucks 95
Financials Allianz 90
Healthcare Novartis 80
Industrials GE 98
Oil & Gas ENI 55
Technology IBM 97
Telecoms Telefonica 79
Utilities PG&E 85

 

National Marrow Donor Program® to Speed Transplants with IBM Analytics Software


IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced recently that the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) has adopted IBM software to speed the processing time of matching information related to donors with bone marrow transplant patients.

The NMDP is using IBM software that incorporates advanced analytics to streamline the record matching process by automatically comparing millions of data records nationwide. These records include donor information, geographic location and patient recipient data.  The objective of the project is to dramatically speed bone marrow transplants which currently average 96 days.

The NMDP estimates that as many as 10,000 patients may benefit from a transplant each year in the US alone.

“Many of these patients need a transplant quickly to treat their life-threatening disease,” said, Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the NMDP.  “We expect this new system to significantly reduce the time to transplant. This will help more patients get the transplant they need, when they need it.”

“This breakthrough at the NMDP is a prime example of how health analytics can be used to mine data in new ways and streamline processes,” said Dan Pelino, general manager, IBM healthcare and life sciences. “New approaches to analyzing patient data are advancing the state of medicine and influencing research. IBM has made a significant investment in analytics over the years and applied this expertise to healthcare with literally life-saving results.”

A bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant can be used to treat patients with life-threatening blood, immune system or genetic disorders. The NMDP currently facilitates more than 5,000 transplants using unrelated donors or cord blood units each year. The NMDP operates the Be The Match Registry® of more than 8 million potential donors and more than 160,000 cord blood units. Through cooperative relationships with international registries, the organization provides access to a total of 14 million potential donors worldwide.

IBM’s WebSphere Lombardi software gives organizations the ability to quickly adjust their business processes to support sudden and changing needs—especially those that rely heavily on collaboration to complete a task or project. As a result, the NMDP is able to automate its screening processes, eliminating the need for complicated and time-consuming technical intervention, and allowing staff to focus on records that meet the matching criteria.

IBM is working with partners and clients to create a smarter, more connected healthcare system that delivers better care with fewer mistakes, predicts and prevents diseases and empowers people to make better choices.   IBM supports the nation’s leading healthcare providers such as Mayo, Kaiser, UPMC, Duke University Health System and Geisinger Health System with a broad range of technology and business solutions. This work extends from connecting electronic medical records among doctors, hospitals and pharmacies to improving care and reducing cost, to accelerating medical research with deep analytics that discover how well drugs work, to providing genomic advances that will help shape personalized patient care.

About the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
As a leader in the field of unrelated marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is dedicated to ensuring all patients who need a transplant receive access to this potentially life-saving treatment. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the nonprofit organization has been entrusted by the federal government through the C.W. Bill Young Transplantation Program to operate the national registry, publicly known as the Be The Match Registry, which provides a single point of access for transplant centers and patients to marrow donors and cord blood units. The organization also facilitates transplants worldwide; supports a global network of hospitals, blood centers, public cord blood banks, laboratories and recruitment centers; conducts research; and provides education and support to patients, donors and health care professionals. The NMDP has facilitated more than 40,000 transplants since operation began in 1987. For more information, visit http://www.marrow.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.

For more information on how IBM is helping clients and partners make smarter, faster healthcare decisions and increase their business performance, visit: http://www.ibm.com/smarterhealthcare

700 SAP Clients turn to DB2 over past 12 months #IBM #DB2 #SAP


Hundreds of Global Companies Turn to IBM to Tackle Their Most Complex Information-Related Challenges

Press Release: -LAS VEGAS: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that more than 700 SAP clients have turned to IBM DB2 database software to manage heavy database workloads for improved performance at a lower cost. As pressure increases on businesses to process increasing amounts of data faster, hundreds of global companies are choosing DB2 database software to address their most complex information-related management challenges. In fact, IBM is the preferred database software across all industries to provide more efficient and flexible support of the heavy database workload generated by SAP applications. CIOs are looking to establish information infrastructures that are flexible and can grow with the business, as well as to simplify and automate processes, according to a recent IBM CIO study. In fact, 74 percent of the 2,500 CIOs surveyed said that continuous business process improvement is a priority to achieve greater efficiency and increase competitiveness. In addition to the 700 new clients turning to IBM DB2, IBM has also seen significant momentum in our systems business with close to 250 Power Systems wins over Sun and HP in 3Q alone…

Read on here

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.

SONY VAIO PCs ASSIST RESEARCHERS WORLDWIDE WITH HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH PROJECTS #IBM #WorldCommunityGrid


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.

 

SONY VAIO PCs ASSIST RESEARCHERS WORLDWIDE WITH HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH PROJECTS

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: http://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/vaio

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