Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  infoondemand2007 brand_reputation_manageme... text_analytics 5 Comments 4,511 Views
Sunday, October 14, 2007, 9:30 PM PST
I made it out of Austin to Viva Las Vegas via Dallas, only to arrive at McCarron airport finding myself in need of a ride to the hotel.
IBM skipped the whole shuttle thing this year, leaving we Beamers to fend for ourselves. The taxi stand resembled a queue for the biggest rollercoaster at Six Flags, but after much patience, and with a few check-ins on the Dallas/New England game (I know, I know) via ESPN Mobile, I was finally on my merry way to Mandalay Bay.
Being cashless after paying the taxi driver, my first stop after check-in was in the hotel lobby ATM. Talk about service!
Considering I'm in a city that thrives on the dispensation of lots of cash, I expected getting my hands on a few George Washingtons from an ATM wouldn't be an issue.
But little did I expect the ATM transaction to travel at the speed of light. That sucker was the fastest ATM in the West (all $100s...no low rollers at the Mandalay...perhaps they're running IMS???)
After retreating to my room to watch and cringe as the Pats finished herding my Cowboys into the north 40 of Texas Stadium, I decided it was time to drown my sorrows on the Information On Demand 2007 exposition floor with some demo action and lukewarm munchies.
So I made my way to the IBM Advanced Technology peds, where I stumbled upon a coiled text analytics snake, the IBM COBRA.
Better known as the IBM "COrporate Brand and Reputation Analysis" tool, think of COBRA as the semantical analysis antidote to Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation." It allows we mere mortals to keep pulse of who's saying what about us on the Internets using an extremely proactive monitoring and reporting tool.
By monitoring blogs, newsgroups, news sources, internal complaint databases, RSS feeds, and other real-time information sources, COBRA helps companies use SOA services to custom monitor what's being said about them via the Web and, presumably, be in a position to better respond in a timely fashion.
But overwhelmed by all the possibility of all the news that even I couldn't use, I have now fled to the environs of my perch overlooking the Vegas strip, ready for a short Pandora stream fix and a long set of Zzzzz's in preparation for tomorrow's opening session of Information On Demand 2007.
Sunday, October 14, 2007, 9:30 AM CST
It's way too early to be up on a Sunday, but here I am, up at the crack of dawn getting prepared to head out to Austin's Bergstrom International airport so I can then leave for Viva Las Vegas.
Nothing much happens between home and the airport...thank God for small favors.
The cab driver and I make small talk. He asks me where I'm traveling to, and I explain I'm heading out to Vegas for the IBM Information on Demand conference.
"Information on the what?"
"Business intelligence," I explain. "Information integration. Data servers and services. That sort of thing."
He gets a funny look on his face. I look at the computer dispatch display on his dashboard.
"You know how your dispatcher uses that computer and your GPS position to figure out where you and all the other drivers are so they can most efficiently dispatch a cab to the next call? That's information on demand."
He nods his head.
Whew. I've survived my first interrogation of the trip, but it's still early.
I mean, I haven't even gone through the TSA travel security line yet.
Little do I know the surprise that will be waiting there for me today.
* * *
10:00 AM, AA Check-In Desk and TSA Security Line, Austin's Bergstrom International Airport
I never check bags when I travel anymore. It's too much of a hassle, and I like to travel light, whenever possible.
But because I'm set to blog for several days on the ground in Vegas, I figure a full materiel deployment is in order.
I bring not only my near bulletproof ThinkPad T60...I also sling out my trusty black MacBook, primarily for redundancies sake but also because I like to blog using my WYSIWYG Ecto editor on the Mac OS.
It's a feel thing.
I also pack my Canon Digital Rebel XTi. You never know what there might be to take a picture of in Las Vegas.
Back to the bags.
I wait in a self-service line for a good 20 minutes, and when I get to the front of the line, the nice American Airlines attendant yells at me that I was supposed to have used the kiosk to check my bag.
I smile politely at her that I never check bags anymore, and therefore do not know the proper protocol, and so then promptly rush over to the kiosk at her direction to check my bag.
We're getting ever closer to TSA territory, and of course I want to make sure to do as I'm told.
Finally, after that debacle is complete, I'm standing in the security line when I see him. I'd know that face anywhere.
At first, he's lurking off in the distance, then suddenly, he moves forward and, with ease and a blur of motion, cuts in the security line and joins a very attractive Asian woman.
None of the TSA agents seems to notice, but I do.
Film director Oliver Stone has just cut in the TSA security line at the Austin airport.
Would you expect anything less?
But apparently nobody but me recognizes that it's Oliver Frickin' Stone!
"Salvador," "JFK," "World Trade Center," "Alexander the Great."
Okay, maybe not Alexander.
As I approach the line and unsheath all my computing power for the X-ray machines to scan and ensure I'm not a terrorist, I wait with baited breath to see what's going to happen next.
Will the conspiracy be complete and come full circle?
Will Oliver Stone take off his loafers as he goes through Austin airport security???
All in all it's just a...'nother brick crumbling...out of the music industry's...wall.
Okay, so I'm not Roger Waters.
Yes, the Queen Music Bee herself, Lady Madonna, has followed in the treble-cleffed footprints of Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails.
And, not very much like a virgin, but with mucho celebration, I'm sure, Madonna is setting off across the great unknown oceans towards LiveNation, only to leave the Old World of Warner Music in her rearview mirror to cash in on a 10-year, $120M touring, recording, and merchandising deal.
I guess there is a city of gold for big music after all -- just not one about which papa can any longer preach about all those gold discs hanging on their walls.
Of course, if you want to get the real skinny on this and other celebrity news, you can stop in soon at Blackrock. They'll keep the flashbulbs on for ya.
That's because CBS has spent a cool $10M for San Francisco-rumor-gatherer, Dotspotter.
Edward R. Murrow would be so proud...and so be talkin' trash about Cronkite, Rather, Couric, and the rest of the Tiffany crowd behind their backs.
Here's some quick Dotspotting trivia for you: Just guess who's currently at the top of the "Dotspotter Celebrity Rankings." Inquiring minds do not want to know, but they'll visit the site anyway.
And if you're having trouble finding the answer, you can always search on Google...in August of 2007, 750 million people used Google to conduct 37.1 billion searches.
With that kind of market share, is it any wonder Google hasn't bought a whole fleet of Boeing 757s?
Can it be long before Google adds an HR function entitled "Google InFlight Service and Science Attendant"?
Aeronautic engineering PhDs with zero-gravity experience only need apply.
Robert Scoble said that the Guardian is reporting there ain't a whole lot of people hangin' out at TechMeme.
That whenever he gets a story posted there, he only gets between 500 to 3,000 visits. Wah.
RoughType's Nick Carr, on the other hand, is a self-admitted TechMeme junkie, and guesses that "Techmeme must have a fairly modest, if rabid, audience. The pageviews are probably pretty high, but the unique visitor count is probably much lower."
Dude, don't burst my Internet bubble. What am I gonna tell my mom? That all those page views I've been getting are actually pings from a Google search crawler?
She doesn't even know what a search crawler is (or a ping, for that matter)!
Come to think of it, I've never seen a Google crawler in person myself. Do you think they look anything like Bigfoot?
Well, before I run off and get my TechMeme rabies shot, I'm going to admit to being guilty as charged.
I, too, am a TechMeme addict. Have been pretty much since its inception.
One, the quality of the bloggers and other media resources it picks up.
Two, its timeliness. That front page never stays the same way for long. This is the Internet fast lane, dude, get the ---- out of the way if you can't stand ever-rotating headlines!
And three, its relevance. People that get picked up there write about the stuff I want to know about.
As to all the TechMeme leaderboard hullaballoo, what are we, at the Masters (or elementary school?)?
I really could care less who's number one.
That is, unless somebody is handing out handfuls of early-in Google stock options to those near the front of the line.
In which case I hope lots of you are clicking on this blog post...over and over and over again.
turbotodd 100000388Y Tags:  wired info_on_demand2007 iod2007 chris_anderson long_tail 2,878 Views
Next week, I’m going to be headingback out to Viva Las Vegas, this time around for the
If you followed this blog lastOctober, you may remember my on-the-ground blogging out in
It breaks my heart (and verylikely, my ATM card) that I have to head back out to Vegas.
All those casinos and golf courses andmagicians and girls dancing with feather boas and….oh yeah, that's right...all those really, really smart IBMers and
I may very well have to check out the cabana poolside action at the Hard Rock Cafe
just so I can destress for a bit and play some poolside blackjack.
I’mtelling all. That’s what I’mbeing paid for (in Dibert pellets): To go out there and lap it all up, then yapit all back to you.
Also, while I’m not lounging at the Hard Rock poolside, and towardsthe end of the week, I’m going to get a chance to sit down for a Q&A withthe editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson.
(Our friends in developerWorksrecently did a podcast with Chris, which you can listen to here. Good stuff.)
It is my express intent to talkwith Chris in even more detail about the implications of the “long tail”phenomenon he outlines in his book, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of BusinessIs Selling More.”
If you haven’t read the book,don’t bother running to the bookstore to check out your copy. Just zip directly over to Amazon and order itthere (just so we stay with the spirit of the book).
But do read it.
That is, if you want to understandthe far-reaching and fascinating economic implications of an increasingly microniche, micromarket, search-filtered marketspace.
By way of example, as I got on theplane to head out here to Raleigh, N.C., earlier today, I LOLed when I saw that TrentReznor and the Nine Inch Nails were the second major artist (the first beingRadiohead) who had recently turned their back on the RIAA and the major labelsand decided to take their next album direct to consumers over the Intertubes.
This only a week after the RIAA spent millionsof dollars to win a $200,000 judgment against one of its customers. I’ll take “Disintermediation andRecording Industry Disruption” for $500, Alex!
For my money, that is theLong Tail hard at work…and hopefully, so will be this blog.
I’m giving you plenty of fairwarning so you can send me any thoughts and questions for Chris by eitherposting comments here, or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll squeeze them in where I canand where they make sense.
And if theydon’t, in the spirit of things I’ll file them away in my Long Tail catalog of “Questionsfor People Interviewed In Todd’s Blog That He Never Got Around To Meanwhile, just to give you a taste of the long tail (you can eat the head, but the tail is where all the really diverse tastes are) to whet your niche, micromarketappetite, here’s one of my favorite quotes from Chris’ book:
Meanwhile, just to give you a taste of the long tail (you can eat the head, but the tail is where all the really diverse tastes are) to whet your niche, micromarketappetite, here’s one of my favorite quotes from Chris’ book:
“When you dramatically lower thecosts of connecting supply and demand, it changes not just the numbers, but theentire nature of the market.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to bring my own supply and demand into some semblance of balance as I go in search of my Elvis costume.
Hey, just because we're at the end of the blockbuster era doesn't mean I shouldn't stand out in the crowd next week:
"A well I bless my soul
I've got to jump on a jet plane, but before I do, there's a whole lot of news to report.
First, congrats to the Indians, who whooped up on my Yankees to close the series out 3-1. Bye-bye, Joe Torre, what a long, strange trip it's been.
To my Dallas Cowboys: Dallas kicker, Nick Folk, is our new hero. Sorry for all you Bills fans out there, but what a great football game all the way around.
And I must say, I loved when the BIlls coach called that timeout right as Folks kicked his first 53 yarder.
Psych! Didn't work, though. : )
Although if Tony Romo turned over any more footballs I would have had to go and buy some stock in Rawlings. Yo, Tony, the objective is to throw it to the guys in the white and blue shirts.
Now for the Internet-relevant news: Google's stock value has surpassed that of Wal-Mart, just as it introduces YouTube video ad units that you, too, can embed in your Web site and make mo' money.
But don't be so sad, Mr. Wal-Mart smiley face, because you're entering the broadband business!
Wait...one second...buffering...okay, here we go: I feel a new corporate slogan coming on: "Surf More. Smile More." No?
How about "Always high speed. Always."
Judging from my own experience with satellite Internet access, probably so. But don't rule out the heavyweight's ability to take the Tubes to where they've never gone before, most particularly rural America (farmers and ranchers like to surf, too).
And this all just in time for TiVo's renaissance, with the NY Times' Bits blog reporting that the DVR pioneer is "bringing a wide selection of music to users of its increasingly versatile TV set-top boxes."
TiVo users can now sign up for RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service for a mere $13/month U.S.
Which leaves my Time-Warner HD digital video recorder totally singin' the blues!Read More]
Google teamed up with IBM today in an initiative to promote new software development methods that will help students and researchers address the challenges of internet-scale applications in the future.
The goal of the initiative is to improve computer science students’ knowledge of highly parallel computing practices to better address the emerging paradigm of large-scale distributed computing. Or, "cloud computing" as so many have referred to it as.
IBM and Google are teaming up to provide hardware, software and services to augment university curricula and expand research horizons.
The University of Washington was the first to join the initiative, and several other universities will also pilot the program, including Carnegie-Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Maryland.
In the future, the program will be expanded to include additional researchers, educators and scientists.
You can learn more from The New York Times' coverage here.
The Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers released the first half 2007 industry online revenues (U.S.).
They also set a new record for online advertising in these United States, reaching nearly $10 billion U.S., a 27 percent increase from the same period a year ago.
Search advertising dominated at 41 percent of the market, while display came in at 32 percent (including rich media [video], display ads and banners, sponsorships, and slotting fees).
WatchMojo's Ashkan Karbasfrooshan estimates that the Google accounted for nearly 40% of all U.S. online advertising revenues in 1H07. See his reasoning here.
Hmm, me wonders aloud vociferously if that's why everybody and their Long Tail wagging dog are looking to fight the Google in the courts and through regulatory bodies around the globe.
Success has a thousand fathers, and a few gazillion lawsuits.
Meanwhile, speaking of great success, Apple is now allegedly building hybrids...hybrid computers, that is.
CNET's "Crave" gadget blog is rumormongering that a new Mac Mini will be even smaller than its progeny, and will be rebranded the Mac Nano.
MacNano. MacNano. MacNano. Pi-cawwww!
That's got a nice ring to it, and it's fun to say three times quickly, especially if you throw the "Pi-cawwww" in there.
If it's truly 25 percent smaller in volume and 20 percent lighter in weight, I might could find some room for it on my increasingly computer-crowded desk.
Because heaven only knows I need one more computer.Read More]
Which means it's time for some serious baseball.
TheNew York Yankees play the Cleveland Indians tonight in the first game ofthe American League Major League Baseball playoffs, at 6:30 EST, inCleveland.
All I have to say about that is, "Go Yankees!"
Sorry, Indians fans.
Thing is, my Houston Astros couldn't even win a single game the one time theymade it to the World Series, and my Texas Rangers will be lucky if theyever win a playoff game, much less make it to a division series.
So, with NYC being my second home, it's all about the Yanks.
And while I cheer on Chien-Ming Wang as he leads off pitching for the Bronx Bombers, UC Berkeley has taken its lectures to the Tube...the YouTube, that is.
Ina press release dated yesterday, Berkeley indicated that it would be"expanding public access to its intellectual riches" by making entirecourse lectures and special events available free of charge on YouTube.
Where was this stuff when I went to college???
Oh,that's right, I was too busy using CompuServe's CB Simulator chat feature($5.00 an hour anyone?) and learning the fine art of gophering.
Ifafter all those late nights of staring at those small YouTubinglecturers you find yourself needing to go the campus infirmary, Dr.Steve and Dr. Bill will be standing by to help take your medical recordover the Internets.
Microsoft announced its "HealthVault" initiative today, which will provide free personal health records on the Web.
The New York Times has the full medical profile on the announcement.
ThoughMicrosoft puts it's "Health Privacy Commitment" front and center on theHealthVault home page, Mary Jo Foley also has Peter Neupert, VP ofMicrosoft's Health Solutions Group, quoted as saying "I believe searchis a big market and we can monetize this around health searches withonline ads."
That makes me a little queasy in terms of protecting the privacy of my health records.
Thenagain, if Microsoft's health records are as well protected as thepermissions that are apparently required for loading new software viathe Vista operating system, we can all probably breathe a little easier.
But you may want to go ahead and call the privacy ambulance, just in case.
What'snext, a very public and comprehensive Facebook medical recordsapplication and Newsfeed that will allow my closest friends andrelatives to follow and compare our latest blood tests?
"Dude, you are so not O Negative! No way!"
And what's that little genetic discrepancy I see on your quiz results?
No problem, Aetna, subscribe away.
turbotodd 100000388Y 2,490 Views
Would you like to be able to check your Gmail from your Facebook?
C'mon, you'd love it.
Not having to jump over to another browser session just to pull up and check Gmail, suffering the lethargic woes of yet another lumbering SaaS connection?
Not having to watch that Gmail Firefox browser tab "Loading" endlessly while your digital life slowly passes you by?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
Well, you lazy putz, wait no more because the Facebook "Fmail" client is here.
I checked it out this morning and it works just fine.
I was able to check mail, reply to mail, etc., all right there from within the Fmail Facebook app.
It's a small, mashed-up world after all, and man does it feel good to be Fmail lazy.
On the subject of mashups, our own Sandy Carter and Robert LeBlanc will be mashing it next week with some major SOA-related announcements at the Gartner IT Symposium in Orlando.
If you don't have your own Mickey Mouse pass to Gartner, worry not, the IBM Webcasters are here to save the day.
You can check out the "Accelerating Business Agility with SOA" webcast right here next Tuesday at 11:00 AM EDT.
Meanwhile, keep that feed reader tuned in to your IBM RSS feeds for more breaking SOA news.