The number of enterprises turning to cloud computing to revamp outdated business models will more than double in the next three years, as business leaders move to capitalize on the rapid availability of data and the growing popularity of social media, according to a new study released today by IBM.
Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  saas ibm turbotodd pulse2012 institute for business va... cloud computing 3,814 Views
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  smarter_traffic commuting commuter_pain_study holiday_weekends ibm 1 Comment 4,990 Views
IBM recently conducted its second annual IBM Commuter Pain study, and guess what: 55% of those surveyed say they’re unlikely to make a long Labor Day weekend driving trip.
After seeing the traffic out on Interstate 35 in Central Texas yesterday, I can certainly see why.
Yep, it seems commuters are voting with their gearbox this holiday weekend, and the vote is to keep the car in “Park.”
Sensitivity to higher gas prices, desire to spend time with family instead of commuting…all factors cited in the study as suggesting the recession is taking its toll on urban motorists.
Let me just get down on the ground again and thank IBM for being so far-sighted when it comes to employee work policies. Many of we IBMers can work anywhere we have a phone and Internet connection, and I’ve gotten so used to NOT being in traffic (and trust me, I used to commute quite a bit), that when I DO get out on Mopac in Austin I just downright freak out.
What are all these cars doing out here, I think? Who are all these people? Where are they going?
So why is traffic so frustrating? Listen to more details of the study:
And what would folks do if they could get some of that commuting time back? 52% would spend it with family and friends, of course.
That’s just a downright heartbreaker.
And 37% would exercise more.
So, if you can think of a way to allow people to work out in their cars while their friends and family hang out cheering them on with some quality down time, you could make a fortune!
Anne Altman, IBM’s general manager for the global public sector, explained the study this way: “Conducted at a time of great change in the United States, the Commuter Pain survey clearly demonstrates the vast impact that commuting and traffic congestion have on our economy. The time has come for cities and states to embrace real, long-term solutions that unclog our nation’s roadways.”
Some other sound bytes that back up Anne’s observation:
IBM Commuter Pain Index
Such events are impacting communities in the U.S. and abroad, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.
Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.
For the complete report, please click here: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/attachments/28320.pdf
Meanwhile, this weekend, please keep your eyes on the road, off your Blackberries and iPhones, and whether you’re in the car or not, enjoy that precious time with family and friends.
Happy Labor Day, weekend, and here’s to no laboring.
Lest anyone accuse me of being biased towards golf, I wanted to quickly get this post out to remind everyone that the United States Open tennis championships kick off today.
I love, love, love the U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open was the very first professional sports event I attended when I first moved to Woodside, Queens NY in 1984 to attend college at NYU.
I literally had just arrived off the plane a few days before, never even having visited NY, and I stumbled my way over to the 7 subway line, completely clueless about how to get around NY, and somehow found my way out to the U.S. National Tennis Center.
I think I actually walked up to the ticket window to buy tickets (you could do that back then, although these days I recommend you visit this Web page to find out how to get the best seats), and I spent the better part of an afternoon watching Chris Evert Lloyd, among others, play on the former Louis Armstrong stadium court at the U.S. National Tennis Center.
If you've never seen a professional tennis tournament up close and personal, I highly recommend you do so during your time on this planet.
There's nothing like seeing two tennis pros whack that little yellow ball back and forth a gazillion miles an hour, a constant mixed barrage of strategy and tactics blurring almost faster than your mind can process it all.
There truly is nothing like it.
In 1984, the only technology option for those not watching the tournament in person was to watch it on TV.
I remember sitting in my small basement apartment as Jimmy Connors made easy work of Ivan Lendl that particular year, 6–3, 6–4, 6–1.
Today, you have options for taking in the U.S. Open...lots of them, and several of them brought to you by IBM.
But also visit the Mobile section of the site to get this year's iPhone app, which includes live scores, USOpen.org radio (streaming play-by-play coverage), Twitter tweets from official U.S. Open coverage), and even on demand video.
And if you really want to risk being caught by the boss, you can check out live video this year for selective matches.
Of course, nothing beats being there live and in person...but there's a lot of action to cover, so also check out the NY Times' "Straight Sets" blog for some first day recommends.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  x-force hacking internet_security fraud ibm internet_security_solutio... 6,072 Views
Earlier this week, IBM released results from its X-Force 2009 Mid-Year Trend and Risk report.
IBM’s X-Force research team spends its days cataloguing, analyzing, and researching vulnerability disclosures and has been doing so for 12 plus years.
With now more than 43,000 vulnerabilities catalogued, it has the largest vulnerability database in the world, which helps our researchers to understand the dynamics that make up vulnerability discovery and disclosure.
This year’s results reveal an unprecedented state of Web insecurity.
According to the findings, there has been a 508 percent increase in the number of new malicious Web links discovered in the first half of 2009.
Yet this problem is no longer limited to malicious domains or untrusted Web sites. The X-Force report notes an increase in the presence of malicious content on trusted sites, including popular search engines, blogs, bulletin boards, personal Web sites, online magazines, and mainstream news sites.
This year, the report also reveals that the level of veiled Web exploits, especially PDF files, are at an all time high, indicating that hackers have continued to increase their sophistication. PDF vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 surpassed disclosures from all of 2008.
It’s not to make you want to print out all those PDF white papers, huh?
Then again, maybe not.
X-Force director Kris Lamb had this to say about the current state of Web (in)security:
"The trends highlighted by the report seem to indicate that the Internet has finally taken on the characteristics of the Wild West where no one is to be trusted.”
“There is no such thing as safe browsing today and it is no longer the case that only the red light district sites are responsible for malware. We've reached a tipping point where every Web site should be viewed as suspicious and every user is at risk. The threat convergence of the Web ecosystem is creating a perfect storm of criminal activity."
As we’ve seen in recent news, however, Web security isn’t just a matter of browser or client-side issues any longer. Criminals are leveraging insecure Web applications to target the users of legitimate Web sites. In fact, the X-Force report found a significant rise in Web application attacks with the intent to steal and manipulate data to take command and control of infected computers.
Take alleged credit card hacker Albert Gonzalez, recently indicted on conspiracy charges for stealing 130 million credit card numbers in the largest credit-card heist on record.
Gonzalez is said to have used SQL injection attacks to “inject” malicious code onto legitimate Websites for the purpose of later extracting credit card information and other personal information. Similar SQL injection attacks rose 50 percent from Q4 2008 to Q1 2009, and then doubled from Q1 to Q2 of this year.
Other midyear X-Force report key findings:
Concluded Lamb, "Two of the major themes for the first half of 2009 are the increase in sites hosting malware and the doubling of obfuscated Web attacks. The trends seem to reveal a fundamental security weakness in the Web ecosystem where interoperability between browsers, plugins, content and server applications dramatically increase the complexity and risk.”
“Criminals are taking advantage of the fact that there is no such thing as a safe browsing environment and are leveraging insecure Web applications to target legitimate Web site users."
For more security trends and predictions from IBM, including graphical representations of security statistics, download the 2009 IBM X-Force Mid-Year Trend and Risk Report today.[Read More]
IBM's 2Q earnings were just released.
Here's the net:
Net income was $3.1B, up 12%, and with a net margin of 13.3% (up 3.0 points).
Pre-tax income margin was 18.3%, up 4.1 points, the largest increase in more than 3 years.
Gross profit margin was 45.5%, up 2.3 points (and up 19 of the last 20 quarters).
Software pre-tax margin was up 8.3 points, and income up 24 percent, with full-year 2009 software PTI expected to grow at double-digit rate and reach $8B.
Services pre-tax margin was up 4.1 points, and income up 23%.
Services signings were up 3%, and strategic outsourcing signings were up 38% (both adjusting for currency).
There were 17 services deals greater than $100 million signed in the quarter, and public sector revenue was up 7% (also adjusting for currency).
As a headline, IBM's earnings per share were the highest for any first, second, or third quarter in company history.
Commented our CEO, Sam Palmisano: "As a result of our strategic transformation, we have a very strong business model that is delivering superior earnings, cash, and client value."
"We have continued our strategic investments in Smarter Planet solutions, business analytics and next generation data centers. As a result we are optimistic about how IBM is positioned to make the most of current growth opportunities as well as those that emerge as the economy recovers. We are well ahead of pace for our 2010 roadmap of $10 to $11 per share."
Go IBM team, go.
All those international flights in coach are paying off!
And all the details of IBM 2Q09 earnings available here.
Everybody likes a good train wreck.
Hopefully, of course, those where nobody gets hurt.
But when I was a kid, growing up in the sticks of north Texas, I'll never forget the first train wreck I stumbled upon.
Unfortunately, i didn't get to actually see the cars come crashing down off the railroad trestle.
But the aftermath was pretty powerful, in and of its own right.
Twisted steel, splintered and broken railroad ties, spilt cargo...it was awesome.
Ofcourse, I'm sure Southern Pacific didn't agree, and heaven help them,it was a mess to clean up aftewards that took them weeks.
That's what I expect the coming social media train wreck is going to look like.
I'vebeen here in Orlando at the Forrester Marketing Forum for several daysnow, and it's been fascinating to hear all the talk about social mediaamongst a largely traditional marketing crowd.
This, of course,ten years after I first read Cluetrain Manifesto and when the firstglimmer of insight that this shift was already beginning to occur.
WhenI would tell colleagues about the book and about what was starting tohappen, explaining that this was the future of marketing, they wouldlook at me like I'd dropped in from another planet.
Maybe I had. But I also wonder now what their Twitter IDs are.
Ifyou haven't read Cluetrain, and you want to be a social mediapractitioner who can help your business enter into the marketconversation, run to your nearest bookstore and buy a copy.
Because context is everything.
WhenI first read the Cluetrain theses online, it made sense to me,particularly at the time, because I was starting to see the power andempowerment that the strength in connected numbers could bring.
Themass in mass media was going to be rendered increasingly impotent bythe singularity of social media, the one-to-many equation would soon beequalled by the one-to-one.
Those who historically didn't have a voice soon would be able to, affordably and without prejudice.
Theeconomics of scarcity (spectrum, channels, media outlets, highproduction costs) had been replaced by the economics of abundance(lower costs of bandwidth, storage, processing power, production tools,etc.)
Watching some of the traditional media and marketingentities, then, over these past couple of weeks jump onto the Twitterbandwagon has been downright amusing to me.
Not because they, like everybody else, shouldn't have the opportunity to tap into the social media.
No, rather, because so many of them seem to be missing the entire point.
Oprah and Ashton and so many others already have a voice.
This was never about a race to the million subscriber finish line.
Itwas about opening up a new way of communicating, between institutionand individual, about evolving the monolithic top-down communicationumbrella to a democratic megaphone.
Most importantly, though, it was about listening.
As the cluetrain.comwebsite conveys to this day, where markets are conversations, "Theirmembers communicate in language that is natural, open, honest, direct,funny and often shocking. Whether explaining or complaining, joking orserious, the human voice is unmistakably genuine. It can't be faked."
Forthose attendees of the Forrester forum, as well as companies around theglobe wrestling with their emerging lack of control of the marketconversation going on about their business, rather than worrying aboutwhether or not you're using Twitter, you might be better putting yourefforts towards determining whether or not you have something to say,and someone intelligent and thoughtful and eager to listen to others tosay it for you.
In other words, don't fake it.
Don't think just because you got a Twitter account or you put your company on Facebook that you suddenly get it.
No, those steps were only the beginning.
Now it's time to open the kimono a bit and actually tell us something.
Show us the smart people way down deep inside your organization and have them tell us something we don't yet know but should.
AsCluetrain went on to explain, "Corporate firewalls have kept smartemployees in and smart markets out. It's going to cause real pain totear those walls down. But the result will be a new kind ofconversation. And it will be the most exciting conversation businesshas ever engaged in."
This is what Doc Searls and ChristopherLocke and Rick Levine and David Weinberger understood and communicated,and it's what the rest of us ought not forget (although evidently whichsome of us never learned).
I don't know about you, but I'mcertainly ready for a new kind of market conversation, especiallycoming out of the Great Financial Collapse of 2008.
A littlebrutal honesty and transparency and sunshine and liberation of new andmore truthful voices is something we could all stand about now.
Butwhile I wait for it to emerge, I'm going to enjoy watching the greatsocial media crash as so many jump on the bandwagon with little thoughtto where or why or how they got here.
Because everybody likes a good train wreck.
IBM just released its first quarter earnings a short while ago.
If you want the full blow-by-blow from CFO Mark Loughridge, you can go here.
I'm all about the executive summary.
IBM announced diluted earnings of $1.70 per share, up 4 percent, and reiterated its full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.20 per share.
IBM had free cash flow of $1 billion, up $450 million, and a gross profit margin of 43.4 percent (and up 1.9 points YOY).
Net income was $2.3 billion, down 1 percent (but with the net margin up 1.1 points).
Total revenue was $21.7 billion, and was impacted by the strong U.S. dollar and down 11 percent (4 percent adjusting for constant currency).
On the services front, total services signings were up 10 percent, with longer-term signings up 27 percent (both adjusting for currency).
There were 16 services deals worth more than $100 million, and IBM growth markets revenue was up 4 percent adjusting for currency.
You can read the full earnings press release here.
The earnings webcast will start momentarily.
Word on the street in the WSJ and other sources is that IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems, in a "combination that would bolster IBM's heft on the Internet, in software and in finance and telecommunications markets."
That's a heck of a story to wake up to after having been locked up in the Austin Convention Center for the past four days, deprived of sunshine, Vitamin D, and no time to consume much news.
Of course, I know nothing about any of this, being a lowly IBM blogger, but it is an interesting proposition.
I checked Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog this morning, only to find his last post was on Wednesday March 11, where he referenced Sun's three major strategic imperatives.
But nothing about any IBM/Sun merger.
There would, of course, be no blog post until a deal was done. But I figured it was worth a look.
I also did a quick query of "IBM" on the Sun Web site search engine this morning, and the first thing that popped up was a link to "Sun Solaris Operating System."
I suppose that's one good reason to buy Sun.
The next link was "Solaris on IBM Servers."
I suppose that's another good reason.
And further on down the list was the "Sun Trade-in Program: Trade-Up from IBM or HP to Sun."
Okay, so two out of three ain't bad.
The Journal story says the asking price is $6.5B in cash, which would be a premium of more than 100% over Sun's Sunday closing price.
Keep your eye on this space.
But please, no total eclipse of the sun jokes.
In 1993, the National Geographic wrote that "All the water that will ever be is, right now."
As part of its Smarter Planet initiative, IBM's Global Innnovation Outlook on Water brought together hundreds of the world's leading water management experts to share knowledge and discuss strategies for improving the efficiency of the world's water systems.
Through those sessions, we learned that society and business face some complex challenges when it comes to better understanding and managing the precious water resources on this planet, and a lack of viable and actionable data was identified as a key inhibitor to effective water management.
Some of the key specific findings of the study:
Technology will play an important role in supplying water to billions of future urban dwellers, and smart infrastructure -- including real-time metering, pipe sensors and automatic repair -- will provide solutions to help address urbanization.
A majority of companies rank water management as a top priority, but lacked the necessary processes and systems for administration and control.
Click here to get access to the GTO Water report, as well as to order free hard copies and watch videos from participants in the study.
The 2008 IBM Annual Report was released yesterday, including a letter from Chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano.
Although the economic situation continues to be dire, the letter from the Chairman is decidedly upbeat, explaining that "IBM today is a very different company" and that "since the dot-com crash in 2002, we have more than doubled our pre-tax income and free cash flow, and more than tripled our earnings per share. Our standout 2008 continued this record of superior performance."
Great news for IBM shareholders, no doubt, particularly in light of the seemingly endless bad news of late.
But it's not last year's business results that are the most interesting part of the letter.
Rather, it's the teeing up of the opportunity ahead of us that makes it most worth reading, particularly the section entitled "A Smarter Planet."
It begins: "The coming era will not be kind to enterprises or institutions that have failed to step up to unresolved issues in their core models, strategies or operations. In our view, this is not simply a cyclical downturn, but a major shift in the global economy and society — one that is simple to state, but profound in its implications."
How to respond to this shift?
Through "the infusion of intelligence into the way the world actually works: the systems and processes that enable physical goods to be developed, manufactured, bought and sold; services to be delivered; everything from people and money to oil, water and electrons to move; and billions of people to work and live."
There's much, much more, including some very specific examples of this smarter approach to using information technology in business.
You can download the 2008 IBM Annual Report (PDF 4.2MB).
The new IBM X-Force Trend and Risk report was released earlier this week.
The X-Force has been cataloguing, analyzing, and researching security vulnerability disclosures since 1997 and is the largest vulnerability database in the world.
There are two key trends that emerged in this year's report.
First, Web sites are now the Achilles' heel for corporate IT security, with attackers now intensely focused on attacking Web applications in an attempt to infect end-user machines connected on the other end.
In fact, last year more than half of all vulnerabilities disclosed were related to Web applications, and 74 percent of those had no patch.
The second major trend in this most recent X-Force report revealed that although attackers continue to focus on the browser and ActiveX controls as a way to compromise end-user machines, they are turning to new types of techniques, including hijacking Flash movie files and documents (including PDF files).
In 4Q of 2008 alone, the X-Force traced more than a 50 percent increase in the number of malicious URLs hosting exploits than were found in all of 2007.
Even spammers are turning to know Web sites for extended reach, including hosting spam message on blogs (including mine!) and news-related sites.
What to do? IBM advocates businesses protect their intellectual property and customer data through layered, pre-emptive security measures.
The IBM Internet Security Systems group develops products and services that can help customers combat the evolving threat.
Get the full 2008 X-Force report here.Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  ibm transportation_efficiency smarter_planet food_safety 1 Comment 5,176 Views
I like to eat.
I've eaten all over this planet.
When I eat, I like my food to be healthy, clean, and good for me.
Well, I at least want it to be healthy and clean.
Creating a safe and constantly available food supply has presented a challenge as the world has become more globally connected.
The systems to produce, transport and process food have become complex and often inefficient.
This can result in issues that can impact the scarcity, safety, sustainability, and cost of food.
In a post from the "Building a smarter planet" blog, a few sound bytes explain the extent of some of these challenges:
You get the picture...there's a whole bunch of good food going bad or, worse, completely to waste.
So, we have made a cartoon video about a frozen chicken on a cross country road trip in the back of a refrigerator truck to try and put a face -- or, in this case, beak -- about the challenge of food waste.
Don't worry -- this story proves to be somewhat less tragic than that of the unfortunate turkeys which appeared in the background of a Sarah Palin TV interview.
And finally, whatever else you do, don't pass the carrots.
As you'll see from the video, that's the whole point!Read More]
I've just arrived in Biloxi, Mississippi to meet up with my folks for the American Thanksgiving holidays when I heard about the tragedy that seems to still be underway in the city of Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra, India.
CNN is reporting the details that are currently known on their Web site, but the summary version is that gunmen have rampaged through a series of targets across Mumbai, apparently killing indiscriminately and taking hostages at two luxury hotels.
I immediately checked my Twitter stream to get a sense of what's going on, and discovered that cnn.com was streaming CNN-IBN, and that foxnews.com is streaming NDTV24x7 for those looking to get some local coverage.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all my IBM friends across India and to those others who have been impacted by this great tragedy.Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  lines broadband_over_power high_speed_internet broadband rural_internet_access ibm 2 Comments 5,709 Views
I grew up in rural area in north Texas, so I know what it's like to be discriminated against by those big city hustlers.
For example, Domino's pizza wouldn't deliver to our house.
I know, it's a tragedy. I used to work for Domino's. It always struck me as completely ironic that I could deliver their pizzas to others' houses, but I couldn't deliver them to my own.
Somehow we survived.
Living out in the country, we were also on different utilities from all my city dwelling friends.
And we had to drink well water.
Not the kind you drop a bucket down into. It wasn't that bad. But, it was water from a well.
So I was excited to see IBM announcing today's deal with the International Broadband Electric Communications corporation today to have IBM install Broadband over Power Line (BPL) networks at electric coops throughout the eastern US.
I still have friends who live in rural America, and when I visit them I'm often shocked at their inability to get reliable Internet access.
For me, as for so many others, Internet access these days is kind of like oxygen.
How do you live without it?
So this announcement is encouraging in terms of spreading more pervasive access in rural areas. Those of us where Internet access is as pervasive as oxygen, it's very easy for us to take it for granted.
But go somewhere where it's not so pervasive, and you'll very quickly realize how much you miss it.
In terms of scope, there are currently over 900 electric cooperatives in the U.S. providing 45% of the total electric grid, and covering 75% of the land mass.
By leveraging the existing assets -- power lines -- IBM and the IBEC will be able to quickly and inexpensively deploy broadband access to those long underserved areas.
As IBEC CEO Scott Lee said about the announcement, "Americans in rural areas of the country trail their urban and suburban counterparts in broadband availability."
"This capability will play a critical role in rural health, education, and economic development, while closing the digital divide that exists between well served and underserved America."
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  council_on_foreign_relati... smart_infrastructure flat_earth sam_palmisano smarter_planet ibm 5,941 Views
IBM CEO Sam Palmisano is speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations today on some of the critical issues facing our planet.
In his prepared remarks, Sam shared some disturbing statistics that suggest a call to arms to make companies, institutions, and industries "smarter."
But he also points out that technology can play a crucial role in addressing some of these looming issues.
He says a smarter planet is one that is instrumented, interconnected, and more intelligent and can help drive significant efficiencies.
In a world with nearly a billion transistors per human, any activity or process can be measured.
If it can be measured, it can be improved.
By way of example, the city of Stockholm built a smart traffic system that has resulted in 20 percent less traffic, a 12 percent drop in emissions, and a reported 40K additional daily users of their public transport system
Smart healthcare can also lower the cost of healthcare by as much as 90 percent. ActiveCare Network is doing that for more than 2 million patients in 38 states in the U.S., monitoring for the proper delivery of injections and vaccines.
These "smart" systems and infrastructures apply to large and small businesses alike, and Sam believes will increasingly become the basis of competition between nations, regions, and cities.
In a globally integrated economy, investment and work will flow to the places that not only offer cost advantages and skilled human resource. It will also flow to those countries and regions that offer smart infrastructures.
Those with efficient transportation systems, modern airports, reliable energy grids...you get the picture.
(If you've ever taken the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station in London, you know exactly what efficiency he's describing!)
So, even as the world becomes smaller and flatter, it must also become smarter.
We are rapidly moving into the age of the globally integrated and intelligent economy, society and planet.
What will we do with that?
Well, some of my IBM colleagues have already started.
Check out these videos to hear directly from them as they start to define the kind of smarter planet they would like to see.
Or read this coverage of Sam's speech about striving for a smarter planet in today's New York Times.
Me, I'm getting back to work as my colleagues and I strive to build a smarter Web site!
This is unreal.
Tiger and Rocco have just headed into sudden death. That means they were tied after 18 holes.
I'm getting word on the blue grapevine that the live video streaming is burning up the cyberwaves. Like bigtime. Like everybody in America (and beyond) have stopped work and are watching this playoff live on the Intertubes.
I'm going to have to get some anti-anxiety medicine.
This is simply unreal.Read More]
Did you watch any of the U.S. Open over the weekend? If so, I hope you were able to effectively manage your stress. I know I didn't.
Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods are about to tee off on the 1st hole of Torrey Pines' South Course in a playoff.
This weekend's Open play was, as they like to say on TV, one for the ages. I'm still fumbling with my remote control.
Between Tiger's knees and Rocco's incredible sense of calm...between Tiger's #1 ranking, and Rocco's having even made the tournament after a sectional qualifier (read: he had to fight a bunch of under-30 flat bellies to even get in the tournament)...
Well, let's just say American workforce productivity won't be quite what it ought to be today starting in about, oh, ten minutes.
You can follow the action online on the IBM-powered U.S. Open Web site.
To the IBM team on the ground out in Torrey Pines, remember, your job is to cover the action so that the rest of us can find out what's going on!
Okay...I have to get back to work now. Really.....Seriously.
First day impressions of the U.S. Open, and also what was heard/seen on the ground.
First off, Tiger's playing just fine. That three putt on 18 is only the second 3 putt out of 130-something holes at Torrey Pines. You do the math.
Second, 1 over at Torrey Pines in an opening round of the U.S. Open and you're Tiger Woods and you just had knee surgery. Uh, I like dem odds.
Three, it's nice to see some amateurs in the hunt. That's what the U.S. Open is all about, allowing us commoners to play in the qualifying tournaments and work our way there.
Nineteen year-old Oklahoma State golfer Rickie Fowler was especially impressive, at 1 under.
Four (fore!), the additional tee boxes are creating some challenges. The over 600 yard 13 sent Tiger into a tailspin on his approach when he overestimated the power of his 6 iron.
Club choice will continue to be critical (do I stay or do I go nowwww....?), and the wind seems kinda lame for a Pacific Ocean course.
I'd like to request that the Creator crank it up a notch tomorrow and really stick it to these golfers. Maybe a few more knots of windspeed and a little rain, perhaps?
My gopher/mole (Remember "Caddyshack?") on the course has informed me he has a special pass that allowed for him to take his Blackberry on the course so that he can keep in touch and also get scoring updates from the U.S. Open Mobile tool.
Keep it on buzz, amigo -- everybody else, check your iPhones at the front gate!
The 2008 U.S. Open golf championship starts this morning at Torrey Pines.
It also kick starts the first year of a partnership between the United States Golf Association and IBM.
Unlike one of my unnamed colleagues who Tweeted yesterday afternoon that he was sitting in a nice tent off the second tee watching a panoply of pro and amateur golfers as they hit their drives, I will not be in physical attendance at the Open.
However, I do have the next best thing, the official U.S. Open Web site.
If you're a golf fan of any sort (and even if you're not), know that the U.S Open site is going to bring you the action shot-by-shot.
Some of the features that I'm going to depend on to keep me close to the action at Torrey Pines include the near-HD quality video streaming, the real-time leaderboard, and the excellent animated hole flyovers (a number of holes have alternating tee boxes at Torrey Pines, so keep an eye out for changing strategies depending on tee box placement).
If you're not near a computer over the next four days, you can subscribe to U.S. Open Mobile to get the latest scores, stats, breaking news, and much more.
And if you're concerned and curious about Tiger Woods' knee (which he had surgery on, and because of which hasn't played competitively since this past April's Masters), well, the site has information on that, too.
Finally, if you're interested in looking beyond the final putt on Sunday (assuming there's no Monday playoff!), listen to a recent podcast from our "Future of...." series on -- what else -- the future of golf.
The first tee time of this year's U.S. Open is a little over two hours away!
In 2006, Midas celebrated its 50th anniversary by sponsoring a contest to identify the winner of America's longest commute.
The winner? Cisco electrical engineer Dave Givens, who drove a 186-mile one-way commute five days a week, a round trip journey that took a total of seven hours.
As of 2006, Dave had been making that trip since 1989. Think about that in your measly 20 minute drive to work.
Of course, I fear to think what Dave's commute is costing him in gas these days, but according to the IBM "Commuter Pain" study just released, enough could soon be enough.
This new study shows that a substantial number of drivers in U.S. metropolitan areas are fed up with longer commutes, higher fuel prices, and increased pollution, and are looking for some relief -- both on their emotional well-being, and in their wallets.
The survey was conducted with 4,000 drivers in 10 U.S. cities by IBM's Institute for Electronic Government. Some of the highlights:
You can learn more about the study here.
Meanwhile, don't forget to check out where your city is situated on our "Commuter Pain Index."
And most importantly, don't forget your coffee mug and your iPod -- it's gonna be a very long ride.Read More]
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  corporate_social_responsi... information_omnivore global_ceo_study ibm 3,732 Views
IBM announced earlier today the results of its largest study ever of chief executives: 1,130 CEOs in 40 countries spanning 32 industries.
If one could characterize the results of the "IBM Global CEO Study" in a single phrase, it might be this: Hungry for change.
The findings are based upon a series of interviews conducted by IBM and The Economist Intelligence Unit in late 2007 and early 2008.
The Widening Change Gap
Yet CEOs also reported that their ability to effectively manage change is increasing at a far slower pace, with CEOs rating themselves and their companies' ability to manage change 22 percentage points lower than their expected need for it, a tripling since 2005.
And where do they turn as a primary source of the most important changes they will have to address? Their own customers, out of which two classes of customers emerged: the "information omnivore" and the "socially minded" customer.
Your New Customers: Information Omnivorous, Socially Minded
The "information omnivores" are best characterized by their craving of all types of information and who broadcast their views and expectations worldwide via the Internet (social media devotees, are you listening?).
These customers desire much deeper involvement, whereby "consumers" are becoming "producers," often creating entertainment and advertising content for their peers while demanding flexibility and responsiveness from companies they do business with.
While more demanding, CEOs see these "omnivores" as an opportunity rather than a threat, but ones which require differentiation based on their heightened expectations.
CEOs indicated that they are planning a 22 percent increase in the next three years to serve these more sophisticated and demanding customers.
It's also worth noting that the "omnivores" are driving the need for investment in every major geography.
The other class of customers highlighted in the study are the "socially minded" consumer, with customers here coalescing around organizations whose corporate social responsibility (CSR) profiles meet their rising expectations of brand responsibility, and who are increasingly demanding socially minded products, services, and even supply chains.
Turning Concern Into Action
Though CEOs in the survey indicated that while customers have always cared about societal issues, their concerns are now more frequently turning into action as these socially minded consumers consider an enterprise's CSR profile before making purchasing decisions.
To better understand and reach this emerging class of customer, CEOs indicated that they plan to increase their investments by 25 percent over the next three years, the largest percentage increase of any trend identified in the study.
CEOs also indicated that this CSR reputation becomes a critical tool towards attracting and retaining employees, and recognize that their organizations will increasingly be held to account for the socioeconomic well-being of the regions in which they operate.
Overall, the study provides a fascinating glimpse into the minds of CEOs and the state of the global business environment, as well as specific case studies and other key insights not mentioned here but worthy of your consideration.
Addendum: It's about 8:54AM CST as I post this addendum to let you know there is a press conference where the results of the CEO Study are being formally announced. You can follow @ibmevents on Twitter to get the complete real-time rundown. You can also see a rollup of the Twitter stream on Hashtags here.Addendum to the Addendum: You can read IBM Chairman and and CEO Sam Palmisano's observations about the new CEO study and global business in the Financial Times here.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  ibm us_congress genetic_discrimination privacy public_policy harriet_pearson 1 Comment 5,005 Views
I'm going to be making my away over to Beijing and other parts of Asia towards the end of next week, so I have to step out shortly to get some new inoculations.
I'm really looking forward to the journey...not so much to the shots.
In this particular case, I suspect the visit to the travel health clinic here in South Austin will involve needles which will provide me the appropriate dose of various serum.
But it just as easily could have been a situation where I'm giving blood for testing, storage, etc.
Which reminded me of an issue that I had been meaning to post about: The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act which was recently passed by the U.S. Senate.
As our Chief Privacy Officer, Harriet Pearson, recently posted on her internal blog at IBM, proposed legislation in the U.S. takes an average of 6 years to become law in the U.S. (if ever).
The Genetic Information Discrimination Act took 15 years to get passed, and it was done so not without a small measure of assistance from Harriet and her public policy team at IBM.
Better late than never, I say.
As you may or may not be aware, after the mapping of the human genome was completed, genetics-based personalized medicine accelerated, including the opportunity for genetic tests that can now account for the probability of an individual having a predisposition to certain kinds of diseases.
So in 2005, our Chairman wrote to all of us inside IBM and indicated that it had become policy within our company not to discriminate against an employee on the basis of genetics, and to treat such information with the highest of privacy and security standards.
It doesn't take a genetic scientist to understand how such information could potentially be misused: Denial of health care coverage, discrimination in hiring based on genetic predisposition...you get the picture.
To help the Congress and the public better understand IBM's rationale and details behind this position, Harriet shared the company's stand on the issue in her testimony before the U.S. Congress on January 30 of last year.
You can read that testimony here.
At the end of the same document, you can also read the email that Sam Palmisano sent out to his troops explaining IBM's policy against genetic discrimination.
It was encouraging when it appeared in my in-box in 2005, and it was encouraging to see the U.S. Congress establish legislation similar to IBM's policy to protect all Americans against genetic discrimination in the workplace earlier this month.
As for me, I'm off to get my booster shots -- which will explain why you'll see me standing for the next several days.UPDATE: Okay, the shots ended up going into my arms instead. Two on the left, two on the right. It's been barely two hours and they are already really, really sore. Just for the record.
It's Earth Day's eve 2008, and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the price of oil hit a record high overnight: $117.70 U.S. a barrel.
Not exactly a barrel of laughs.
IBM has been doing work in the background to get ready for Earth Day 2008 (and beyond) for some time now.
First, the IBM Research-built "PowerUp" game, recently introduced to challenge teenagers to help save a fictitious planet named "Helios" from near ecological disaster, has been chosen as the official game of this year's Earth Day celebration.
Second, IBM is highlighting some of its own green initiatives, including its focus on energy efficiency through work-at-home and telecommuting programs (I'm a practicing work-at-homer myself).
In fact, I've been working remotely for nearly 5 years now, and though I sometimes I miss the camaraderie of an office, with our extensive use of virtual collaborative technology (Lotus Notes, Sametime, Lotus Unyte Meeting technology, etc.) we've n'er missed a beat.
And culturally, we're even learning how to create some good water cooler conversations along the way.
I would also submit to you that such practices are not only good for the environment -- they are a competitive advantage for IBM as an employer.
The liberation from an office gives me the opportunity to take my stress from driving in Austin traffic and instead channel it back into work LOL -- and, IBM typically gets a lot more hours out of me than was the case when I had productive-less drive time.
Ask any motivated IBM telecommuter and they'll likely nod their head in violent agreement. If anything, we as employees have to learn when to shut the power down on our laptops.
Speaking of which, in terms of the actual energy efficiency, it's estimated that IBM conserved 8 million gallons of fuel in the U.S. alone in 2006 (at least 400 of which were mine!)
At $3.40 a gallon, that's about $27,200,000 a year, and doesn't account for whatever carbon offset that those fuel savings would also provide.
Finally, IBM is also investing heavily ($1 billion U.S.) to dramatically increase the efficiency of IBM products. Saving money on energy through green IT saves money for IBM and for its customers, along with being good for the planet.
To learn more, check out the new feature story "Energy, the environment and IBM" along with the accompanying video to read more about how Big Blue is going long on green.Read More]
Earlier today IBM released a new report outlining new risks to people, cargo, global financial and information flows, and modes of transport.
The report highlights the complexity and vulnerability of these systems, and provides recommendations for the future.
Entitled "Global Movement Management: Strengthening Commerce, Security and Resiliency in Today's Networked World," the report was based on research and interviews with more than 200 former and current government officials and policy experts.
It specifically addresses how risk has changed in the 21st century, and notes that technology and globalization allow individuals and individual events to create disruptions and damage on a scale never before seen.
Ergo, organizations are increasingly faced with the need for dramatic changes in the level of information sharing and public and private collaboration.
You can download the report here.Read More]
On a day like today you have to be careful as you try to determine real news and what's not.
First, InfoWorld is reporting that Microsoft and Yahoo! have agreed on a buyout price ($47.2B), a $2.6B premium over Redmond's original offer.
That adds up to about $33 per share.
But the Wall Street Journal indicates that Microsoft is "preparing to lay a long siege," suggesting that the deal has not yet been done.
And then I noticed the "april-fools" mention in the InfoWorld URL string.
Nicely done, sirs!
And Google's rolling with their own April Fool's joke, a fake "custom time" feature, which Caroline McCarthy at News.Com reports allows users to "send e-mails into the past and consequently never miss important deadlines again."
This new feature allegedly uses an "e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality."
I'd been looking to resolve some of my own causality issues and had no idea all I had to do was send a Gmail.
Oh yeah, one more thing and FYI: IBM has announced a $500/share bid to buy Google and will be relocating Google headquarters to Armonk, New York.
You just think you've had an epicurean feast in the Google cafeteria until you've eaten IBM Armonk's finest fare.
Technorati Tags: april_fools
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  enterprise_health_analyti... ibm google medical_privacy portable_health_informati... 3,919 Views
There's not much worse than traveling while ill, but that's about the situation at the moment.
I jetted up to NYC on JetBlue on Tuesday, and no sooner than I got on the plane than I started sneezing.
Must remember to start taking Airborne before every flight. May even have to resort to wearing a mask, a la the Japanese. They're very smart that way.
Good thing Google's Marissa Mayer explained all the wonderful benefits of its new Google Health service, which she writes "aims to solve an urgent need that dovetails with our overall mission of organizing patient information and making it accessible and useful."
You can learn more from her post, but one of the questions that inevitably comes up is around the privacy and security of portable health information.
One of Google's responses has been to form the Google Health Advisory Council, whose mission is to help Google "better understand the problems consumers and providers face every day."
Oh, you mean like filling out the same paperwork in one doctor's office after another?
IBM's doing what it can to help in healthcare as well.
Last week, the company announced its Enterprise Health Analytics solutions, which can help provide more comprehensive metrics -- organizational, clinical, financial -- to drive performance improvements in medical organizations.
Dr. Watson would refer you here for a second opinion.
Of course, a 3D picture is worth a thousand Rxes, so be sure and also check out this post about the new IBM Healthcare island inside Second Life, which leverages the multidimensional POVs of the online world to demonstrate IBM's other innovations in the healthcare.
Now, can somebody please get me a doctor?
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  academic_cluster_computin... national_science_foundati... cloud_computing ibm google 1 Comment 5,746 Views
Earlier today the U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate announced a strategic relationship with Google and IBM.
The new "Cluster Exploratory" (CluE) relationship is intended to enable the scientific and research community to conduct experiments and test new theories and ideas in the cloud computing (read: massively distributed computing clusters) space.
If you remember from an announcement last October, IBM and Google announced a joint academic program with Google to help university students gain the skills necessary to build cloud computing applications.
This new endeavor will extend that initiative and accelerate research into Internet-scale computing by empowering the NSF to extend access to the IBM/Google research infrastructure to academic institutions across the U.S.Update to This Post: This just in, a new podcast in our "The Future of..." podcast series, led by my Austin-located compatriot Scott "There Ain't No Microphone Big Enough For Me" Laningham, who interviews Dennis Quan, the IBM executive in charge of the IBM/Google partnership mentioned above, along with Dan Esty, the Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy at Yale University.
The topic? The challenges around ballooning energy use by computing data centers, along with the environmental opportunities presented by innovative solutions to such issues (that which we call at IBM "Smart IT").
Save a kilowatt, green up your IT!
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  open_id too_many_passwords ibm web_identity authentication 4,804 Views
Earlier today the OpenID Foundation announced that IBM, along with Google, Microsoft, VeriSign, and Yahoo!, joined its board to help promote, protect, and enable the OpenID technologies and community.
Even if you haven't heard of OpenID, you're probably very familiar with the problem it's trying to solve: To eliminate the need for multiple usernames across different Websites.
I should know. I'm a password/IDaholic. Having been on the WWW for over 14 years now, I have more passwords and IDs floating around in my brain than I have the neurons to support them.
I've tried to manage my password/ID problem in the past by loading all the passwords/IDs into a spreadsheet, but there are now so many that even that approach has become completely unmanageable. And it wasn't exactly the most secure way of dealing with the problem.
I was going to seek more professional help until I came across OpenID. I have now laid claim to my own personal OpenID identity, and am well on my way to password/ID minimization nirvana.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  biz_travel virtualization smb ibm power_vm green_it travelblogs 1 Comment 5,763 Views
Travel much for business?
If so, a New York Times story published yesterday highlights how you're increasingly turning to blogs for up-to-date travel information, news, etc.
The story cites a Forrester Research study which indicated that 21 percent of business travelers who use the Internet read blogs: those about business travel as well as other topics (business, finance, sports, etc.)
It also highlights a recently launched travel blog portal entitled "BoardingArea.Com," which arrives to us via Randy Petersen, frequent flying guru and founder of FlyerTalk.
We'll now be seating first class passengers only -- would you like an RSS feed to make your journey a little more comfortable?
Meanwhile, back at the IBM terminal, the company announced yesterday that it will be bringing its POWER6 microprocessor-based technology to small and medium businesses, as well as delivering virtualization offerings designed to help customers consolidate their server capacity, save energy, and better manage their IT costs.
If you've not tuned into virtualization technologies, its essence is this: It lets you do more, with less, allowing multiple server functions to run on fewer servers.
The "PowerVM Express" offering supports virtualization solutions for a broad range of operating systems, including IBM's AIX, Linux, and i5/OS for System i customers.
It can also be combined with IBM's new System p and BladeCenter servers to create up to 160 virtual partitions in a single system, helping small(er) businesses get the most bang for their virtualized buck.
Apologies in advance, but you'll have to bring your own peanuts.
You can learn more about PowerVM here.
Steve Lohr's The New York Times Bits blog leads his last post posing the following question:
"IBM: A Separate Reality?"
The upside surprise being that IBM didn't seem to suffer fallout from the 4Q beating taken by financial services companies, which Lohr points out is IBM's "largest single customer category."
Instead, he observes that revenue from those customers rose 11 percent in 4Q.
He also points out that two-third of IBM's revenue now "comes from outside the United States," with emerging markets (including the BRIC countries) representing 22 percent of IBM's overall sales.
Like my broker always says, "Location, location, location...diversify, diversify, diversify."
To that end, IBM just announced some new services signings in several key markets, including an SOA/WebSphere deal with one of Indonesia's largest financial institutions, Bank Negara Indonesia, a new portfolio construction and risk management solution at Guotai Junan Securities in China to assist with security trading and fund management, and several others you can read about here.
Speaking of China, TechCrunch is reporting new statistics released by the Chinse government that show China will surpass the U.S. as the nation with the most Internet users in the coming months.
The Chinese government report is indicating that the total number of Internet users in China rose 53% to 210 million at the end of 2007, up from 137 million at the end of 2006, which leaves them just five million shy of passing the U.S.
Surf's up in China![Read More]