Todd "Turbo" Watson -- IBM Corporation
I've been following the agricultural resurgence -- particularly that of corn -- with great interest.
Four dollar corn. Too good to be true? Depends on who you talk to.
Fortune talked to a whole bunch of folks, and has a piece out that gives you the 100 foot view from the silo...and cautiously wonders if the dot corn boom is actually a bubble?
Whatever you do, don't drink all that Ethanol Kool-Aid just yet.[Read More]
Salesforce.com has dove (dived? diven?) into the Web 2.0-meets-the-enterprise waters, announcing a new product called "Salesforce ContentExchange" as well as the acquisition of Web 2.0 content and collaboration platform, Koral.
ReadWriteWeb's Richard McManus provides a debrief, suggesting Salesforce's touted vision is "to help [its] customers manage and share all their business information on-demand." That means specifically unstructured data (email, video, other info that's not been organized).
What's interesting about the announcement is the suggestion that Salesforce has looked to the "consumer web" (Think Flickr, YouTube, etc.) for its inspiration. That is to say, they are bringing the wisdom of crowds and the power and unique characterstics of social media to content management.
Which means what?
Well, being able to subscribe to content from the content system via RSS, as an example. Nice.
Or being able to add community ratings to that really bad PowerPoint that never should have escaped the confines of Bob's PC and that nobody should spend any "screenshow" time in.
Or being able to folksonomically add tags ("emergent classification") to your content rather than be penned in by a really boring and entirely-too-limiting enterprise taxonomy.
Allowing your organization to help classify and organize your enterprise information gives the people in it a vested interest in improving the findability of information.
That, in turn, promises to help your organization become more productive (spending time trying to find things is a productivity killer, yet continues to be a major issue in large organizations everywhere).
Not to mention keeping the can't-find-anything monkey from landing solely on your IT staff's back (When did they corner the market on knowledge management, anyhow?)
Let the people tag![Read More]
They call Saturday's round in a golf tournament "Moving Day." That's typically the day the top competitors work to set themselves up in the best position possible for the final round on Sunday.
But the only thing that seemed to be moving today at the Masters was the wind, the chill of which you could feel almost through your TV set.
If you'd have told me at the beginning of the Master's this year that the leading score would be +2 going into the final round on Sunday (the highest "After 54" hole score since 1966), I wouldn't have believed it.
And when Tiger Woods was interviewed post his even par round of 72 today, and mentioned that he wouldn't be surprised if the scores of the players still on the course could very well catch up to his, the course was playing so tough, I wouldn't have believed it.
I believe it now.
And there Woods sits, paired with and only a single stroke off Australia's Stuart Appleby going into tomorrow's final round.
All is well in the world of golf.[Read More]
I grew up in an IBM data center.
I used to go and watch my mom, who was a key punch operator, typing away on one of those old IBM 29 card punch machines.
She would bang away at that thing all day doing payroll processing for a local university, and I would run around staring up at the System 370's (I'm assuming that's what they were...I was all of 5).
Those magnetic tapes spinning round and round and round. I was destined to this ThinkPad.
We're coming full circle.
Nick "We Don't Need No Stinkin' IT" Carr posts today that the real Web 2.0 isn't about the Techmeme crowd ooing and aahing over the latest social networking knockoff. No, it's all about the data center. Brick and mortar. Capital assets.
Google, Microsoft, Yahoo are building all those geostrategically located "utility computing plants" near cheap land, wind- and hydrogenerated power and labor.
Meanwhile, will work for dial tone.
AP's reporting that a U.S. Court of Appeals issued an injunction that would bar Vonage from signing up new customers as punishment for infringing on patents by Verizon.
Vonage is planning an immediate appeal...Turbo's seriously starting to think about looking for a new IP phone service.
Of course, Vonage's legal woes are nothing compared to the golf trouble that Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and a host of other professional golfers are having in Augusta.
When's the last time you ever saw Tiger hit two balls into the drink in two successive holes during the same round?
I feel so much better about my golf game, you have no idea.[Read More]
Dave Sifry and his team at Technorati have put out a report that takes a pulse of the "Live Web."
(As long as we're not calling it "Live 2.0," I'm good. Because the moment we do, we leave ourselves no other option but to start referring to "Dead 1.0, 2.0, etc." and that could just get plain gruesome, never mind open a pathway to a whole new genre of cyber slasher films).
As Sifry self-aggrandizingly points out in his post, "...we [Technorati] are the main aggregation point for all forms of social media on the Web, including blogs, of course, but also video, photos, audio such as podcasts and much more."
At the intersection of all these, Sifry observes, are tags.
Tags are becoming the "lingu franca" of the Live Web, says Sifry, "helping to categorize social media while also indicating where people's attention might be at any given moment."
So, enough set up. On to the numbers:
Carl Linnaeus, eat your homo cordula out.[Read More]
Holy Warp Batman, former OS/2 evangelist David Barnes is podcasting!
First off, I am not worthy.
In the past, folks have given me some credit for being a decent presenter.
If that's the case, it is only because I stood in the shadows of some giants here in IBM and learned from the best of the best.
Watching execs like IBM Internet "godfather" John Patrick and former CEO Lou Gerstner certainly helps you set your own bar for what constitutes a great speech or presentation (and both of them set it way, way up there).
But David's early OS/2 Warp demos and Team OS/2 "Warp v. WindowsNT" shootout presentations are industry lore as far as I'm concerned.
Check out Dave's recent IBM ShortCuts episode.
Dave is spending his time galloping along these days in the Web 2.0 saddle, explaining to customers and others how the new new Web is much more social than the old new Web, and, ultimately, how it's all about you.
No, not me. You![Read More]
Texan J.J. Henry is playing -- and blogging -- his first-ever Masters.
Oh, the times they are a changin'. Players blogging the Masters. It's a beautiful thing.
The Masters is steeped in more tradition than I could ever explain to a non-golfer, so it's very interesting to see IBM and the folks in Augusta changing with the times, and with the technology.
As for IBM's assistance in helping with the Web site, I can only say that in 1997, the really cool thing was the Java applet scoreboard, which I watched carefully over a 56K Internet connection as Tiger's under-par score continued to drop precipitously after that first 9-hole score of 40.
This year, I've had the scoreboard and "Augusta Live" Internet video coverage up and running on my computer. So far, I've seen Lee Westwood and some others hitting balls at the driving range live, and there is also coverage of the Par 3 tournament. And of course, now there are player blogs.
I should probably just take the next two days off work.
For me, it's all Masters all the time pretty much the rest of this week.
For example, last night, I watched a recap show of Tiger Wood's triumphant and record-breaking first win back in 1997.
I have never cried watching any sporting event of any significance, live or Memorex. But I must admit I cried the afternoon Tiger walked up the 18th in 1997, 21 years of age and having left the rest of the professional golf pack slackjawed at his record-breaking, tour de force performance.
It was one of those "I'll always remember where I was" moments, as I'm sure as it was for so many other golf fans around the globe.
So, I'm thinking a Tiger win again this year would be an appropriate 10-year anniversary milestone. Although I'm certain the rest of the players would not agree.
Best of luck to them all. You can find the pairings for Round 1 here.[Read More]
KnowledgeStorm is an online IT solutions research and syndication tool that
In partnership with Universal McCann, a media service firm, KnowledgeStorm conducted some interesting research last year to start to understand whether blogs have joined other highly-rated, but more traditional tactics (demos, Webcasts, white papers, etc.) as an effective way to communicate and attract high-quality prospects in the B2B space.
The survey was fielded via the KnowledgeStorm Web site and generated over 4,500 responses from business and IT professionals across a variety of job titles, vertical industries, and company sizes.
It examined blogging topics that included reader behavior, credibility, value, and impact on purchasing decisions, along with challenges and opportunities.
It also explored RSS preferences and behaviors (something that more of we
The executive summary concluded the following:
“By all accounts, blogging has transformed the Internet into a true democracy, where millions of people can have their voices heard….The new, live Web now offers users a true ‘experience’ where they not only gather information, but also generate, disseminate, and interact with it.
“Blogs are now commanding a powerful presence within the B2B marketplace, as demonstrated by the large number (80%) of respondents in this report who already take advantage of this technology. With their ability to offer relevant content and generate immediate feedback, in the form of comments and posts, blogs give marketers the perfect opportunity to generate demand, nurture leads, and stay connected with customers.”
Some specific sound bites:
Do you read blogs that influence your own perspective about products and services, B2B or otherwise?
Are they just another in a long line of inputs? More influential? Less influential?
What are you, kidding me? Who has time to read blogs???[Read More]
You've heard those stories about how Google encourages its employees to bring their pets to work?
Well, that sweet little HR policy also includes snakes. Hey, no discriminating on the pet front.
Unfortunately, "Kaiser," a pet python who was snake-in-residence at Google's Chelsea offices in NYC, recently got loose somewhere in the building.
I'm guessing Kaiser was simply out for a slither to swallow up some of that excellent free cuisine the former Grateful Dead chef whips up for the Googleites every day, so that they don't ever have to leave the premises.
Fresh rodent souflee with black truffles, anyone?
Neither Samuel L. Jackson nor Harrison Ford could be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, if you've been having a similar issue that I have, which is that you can't be at your computer and online 24 x 7 entirely because it's nice to take a shower and eat some grub every once and again, boy do I have the solution for you.
And leave it to the Aussies to come up with this one!
Here's the deal: MyCyberTwin can provide you with an online clone, which is based on a 79 question personality quiz and additional training questions. It basically allows your bot to chat with your friends and colleagues (and, if you insist, even total strangers) while you're asleep or away from the computer.
(Personally, I suspect that all those late night calls and instantmessages with their American multinational counterparts was the driverof this one: "Sure, Bob, we'll be happy to get you that report at 3 am in the morning Sydney time.")
I figured it was worth at least taking for a test drive.
So, I went and had a quick chat with Mr. Web 2.0 himself, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington's "MyCyberTwin" -- the bot for which, he indicated in a recent blog posting, that he taught "to be as aggressively anti-social as possible."
Following is a transcript of our chat from just a few minutes ago:
Michael: Sorry, but I am currently away and can not chat right now. Please try me again later.
Turbo: Where are you?
Michael: I live in a computer, I am a CyberTwin. But I travel a lot.
Turbo: Excellent. What's it like living in a computer?
Michael: I like it, I get to chat all day and I don't get tired.
Turbo: Did you know there's a snake loose in Google's Chelsea offices?
Michael: No I didn't, not yet.
Turbo: Snakes...It had to be snakes.
Michael: Does it? Is it? Did it? How can you be so sure?
Turbo: Because it's big and slimy, and was last seen slithering towards the Google kitchen.
Michael: Oh ok, then, fair enough.
Hey, he didn't exactly pass the Turing Test, but then again, having a CyberTwin is the closest thing to a brother in Australia I'll ever have.
G'day...now if you'll excuse me, I'm as busy as Bourke Street in the rush hour.
No matter what your perspective on the war in Iraq, it's hard to argue with any measures that might make it easier for parties involved in the conflict to better communicate with one another, particularly with respect to language differences.
Not having enough Arabic translators on the ground has long been identified as an issue -- in any number of books I've read about the war, lack of more widespread Arabic speakers has consistently been raised as presenting a challenge to forces on the ground.
I was glad to see, then, that IBM announced earlier today it was working to make a humanitarian contribution to the U.S. government by providing U.S. and coalition personnel, citizens, and NGOs both translation devices and software (called "Multilingual Automatic Speech-to-Speech Translator") that can do speech-to-speech conversions to help people on the ground better communicate with one another.
This obviously doesn't obviate the need for more Arabic speakers on the part of coalition forces but, if accepted, could help provide more language capability than currently exists.
Forbes has coverage of IBM's offer, an article that explains how the war affected a member of our IBM family and led to this move.
You can also read the full press release here.[Read More]