What a difference a day makes.
This morning, Oracle announced (again) it was going to buy BEA...this time for $8.5B (last time they offered $17/share, this time $19.375...you do the math).
Sun announced it was going to buy MySQL, the open-source database, for $1B.
Twitter is back up and running after getting slammed by the virtual MacWorld crowd trying to spread the good news of the MacBook Air yesterday, although the Twitterati are shaking their finger and threatening mutiny.
To go where, might I ask? Pownce? Jaiku? Compuserve CB Radio???
But let's talk about the really critical news: The BBC is reporting that Facebook has been asked to pull Scrabulous!
Say it ain't so!
I, personally, won't be having Scrabulicious withdrawals, but I have select friends who play trans-oceanic Scrabulous games -- one letter per day -- who may soon be relegated to Facebook Solitaire, a fate worse than d-e-a-t-h.
I stand in solidarity with your Scrabulous selves, but completely understand Hasbro and Mattel alleging copyright infringement (for their original board game, Scrabble, the ownership of which belongs half to each).
But with 500K daily Scrabulous players on Facebook, couldn't a l-u-c-r-a-t-i-v-e d-e-a-l be worked out amongst the interested parties to score a Triple-Triple??!
Yes, Virginia, of course there's a "Save Scrabulous" group on Facebook.
You can join here. Wordsmiths of the Facebook universe, unite.
Finally, on the podcasting front, if you remember the early salad days of podcasting, once upon a time there was a great little podcast series entitled "The Future of..." put out by IBM that explored how technology will change our everyday lives.
Our corporate communications team has breathed some new life into the "Future of..." series, starting with "IBM and the Future of Medical Imaging" (something I've had direct experience with over these past few weeks), followed by the "IBM and the Future of Africa" and "IBM and the Future of Microfinance."
This podcast series was a big hit early on on iTunes, so break out that new iPod Touch, resubscribe. and get back to the IBM future.
Technorati Tags: database, facebook, open source, oracle, scrabulous, ibm, sun
How apropos. On the day of yet another of Steve Jobs' infamous keynotes at the MacWorld Epo, the AP reports
that IBM will be formally introducing Lotus Notes e-mail for Apple portable devices next week at Lotusphere.
The story indicates that the new Notes package will require use of the Lotus Domino e-mail server, and will be free for those already having a Web-access license and start at $39 per year for new users.
For those Macheads of you who have been following the Lotus Symphony productivity suite, you will soon also be able to download a free version of Symphony that runs on the Mac OS.
As to Job's keynote, it was not available to watch live via the Web, but a replay is now available here and Engadget's Ryan Block has some excellent play-by-play coverage here.
Many kudos to my friends in the New York area who happen to be Giants fans, who whooped up on my Dallas Cowboys last evening.
I humbly eat crow before your feet as I watch Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson get on the plane back to Acapluco or wherever in Mexico it was from whence they came, Terrill Owens tearily feting them with his always emotional sendoff.
A good buddy told me in the NY area that he thought the Cowboys' problem was the ball snap.
That may have been a contributing factor, but I suspect the real problem was that there was no snap with the Cowboys in general.
Speaking of no snap, my DVR somehow missed recording the "60 Minutes" interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but thankfully BoomTown's Kara Swisher (who was also interviewed for the piece) linked the story in her blog this A.M.
Zuckerberg definitely looked the victim of some expert PR handling, but in the process, seemed to also have had the life sucked out of him.
Considering the passion around Beacon and other recent Facebook (dumb) moves, a little rationality could probably go a long way in such a piece.
Then again, a little more openness -- and, uh, maybe a smile once and again for the camera there, buddy? -- could also go a long way in endearing the 23 year-old-wunderkind's to all the fuddy duddys out there trying to figure out what this Facebook thing is, and to all the rest of us who would like to get a better idea of just how far Mark's willing to sell our personal information down the information superhighway.
Instead, Mark patiently and dispassionately explained that the site had to take advertising because he had 400 mouths to feed.
Yeah, well, you and every other advertising-funded startup along the Left Coast, Mark.
Leslie Stahl, 1, Mark Zuckerberg, 0.
Speaking of savvy PR moves, I woke up to a surprise pre-announce of IBM's 4Q earnings early this A.M.
Great move, Armonk! You go, team!
Get WAY out ahead of that Apple MacWorld Expo juggernaut which will inevitably suck the oxygen out of the corporate communicationsphere over the next several days (weeks? months?).
I will neither comment on nor elaborate about said earnings, but I will smile as I politely tell you that can find the details in the full press release here.
Technorati Tags: apple, digital media, earnings, facebook, football, dallas cowboys
Well, I finally downloaded Radiohead's new album "In Rainbows."
You know, the one I could have gotten for free if I could have gotten through on that nefarious Web site.
That's okay, it's now available for $9.99 on iTunes, and I had the whole album within a couple of minutes.
I thought briefly about ordering it via Amazon, where the price was $7.99, but then realized that would take a few days and would have interfered with my need for instant gratification, and anyhow, I'd already waited long enough.
So instead here I am, already listening to the second track, "Bodysnatchers," and must say I'm really digging it thus far. Hey, I don't listen to much radio these days unless it's on the Intertubes, so I hadn't heard any of the tracks thus far, and it really is kind of like being in a rainbow.
Just like until this past year, I'm sure none of the producers of "60 Minutes" had ever heard of Mark Zuckerberg.
But apparently reporter Leslie Stahl was able to track him down, and the early puff release from CBS informs us that Zuckerberg doesn't buy expensive clothes and sleeps on a mattress on the floor in a one-bedroom apartment.
Dude, what are you thinkin'? Buy yourself a bottle of '95 Krug, pick up a used Maserati (Just don't drink the Krug while you're cruising 101 in the new wheels, please)!
Cmon, you're the happenin' Web 2.0 geek, the new Bill Gates...go out and live it up a little, will ya?
As to the interview, the release indicates that Zuckerberg's committed to fixing his Beacon advertising system but admitted that it does need work.
What's more interesting about the interview is the fact that the bastion of old media reporting, representing a largely 50-60-ish demographic (and I'm a big fan from way back, the Jeffrey Wigand story being the huge exception, and therefore have always probably been an exception to their Nielsens), is turning to a figurehead of emerging new media to...do what, exactly?
Give Gramma a Facebook primer? Try to lure the young media back to the old?
Whatever the reason, kudos to CBS News for allowing comments on the press release.
One post by "Canaima" suggests that Zuckerberg may have a tall mountain to climb:
What I buy & when I buy it is my own business. Why should I want to broadcast it to anyone/everyone on Facebook or anywhere else, for that matter. It''s not like I''m getting some kind of discount to do so. I mean, what''s the incentive for me to do so? If a company wants me to broadcast that I purchased one of their products, then offer me a discount on the product. Otherwise, stick to your tradional ads, (De)Face(d)book. My privacy doesn''t come cheap, and certainly not free.
Everybody loves free software.
I know I do. In fact, I'm a self-admitted software junkie (comes with the territory of working in the software business).
Most recently, I downloaded our new IBM Lotus Symphony beta product, which comes with a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation tool.
I'm like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I've used Microsoft Office software for as long as I can remember. But after working on my first Lotus Symphony document this morning, I'm thinking that a word processor is a word processor is a word processor, and that the transition from Office to OpenOffice-ish suites could be easier than I had anticipated.
Interestingly, thirty-four percent of CIOs in a recent IDC study indicated that they would cut back on Office software first and foremost, suggesting the cost of such software is increasingly out of line with their tightening budgets.
My recommendation: Take a look at the free Lotus Symphony suite, pilot it with a few employees, and see how it goes. Soon, you may find that the money you spent on Office can be re-routed to more critical, revenue-generating projects.
IBM is not the only one offering up free software recently.
Just yesterday, one of my favorite RSS client-side engines, NewsGator, surprised the marketplace by making several of its RSS desktop and mobile clients free.
If you're an RSS fan and you prefer desktop clients to browsers (which I do), then you probably are aware of NewsGator.
They make the leading RSS clients in my book, including NetNewsWire (Mac) and FeedDemon (PC). I've long been a paying FeedDemon user, and now with the free downloads, have already downloaded the Mac client.
It's hard to describe all the additional benefits of having a desktop client RSS reader, but at the top of the list are the synchronization capabilities, the search filters, the easy categorization, etc.
If you don't use one yet, I would suggest you download one of these now free tools and try them out for yourself.
Nothing like a little jolt of java to get your heart racing.
Speaking of which, my heart turned out just fine, thanks very much.
My cardiologist ran one last test yesterday (after the "nucular" stress test isotopes indicated that everything was just fine) to make sure that I had no holes in my heart.
It was most encouraging to hear there were no holes, despite rumors to the contrary.
Of course, it seems that there are also no holes in McDonald's new coffee assault on Starbucks, either.
Ronald McDonald is going all upscale java on us, with Mickey D announcing that they will soon open a coffee bar inside each of the company's 14,000 stores around the globe.
That's a whole bunch of McDonoespressos.
Even better, the new McDonald's lattes and mochas will be 60 cents cheaper on average.
I'm lovin' it (I have a McDonalds right down the street from me...but then again, who doesn't, and isn't that kind of the point?!!)
Starbucks apparently won't take Ronald McDonald's coffee assault lying down, with company founder Howard Schulz returning to the helm as CEO after a seven-year coffee break.
Meanwhile, if you're looking for Microsoft's search strategy, you'll have to take a Viking ship across the North Atlantic and over the fjords to Norway.
According to ZDNet's Between the Lines blog, Microsoft is offering up $1.2B in cash for Fast Search and Transfer (FAST), a longstanding player in the enterprise search market (even IBM has been known to use FAST for search services...wonder if that will change and how FAST!).
ZDNet points out that FAST will fast be integrated into Microsoft's Office SharePoint Server, while other components could be integrated into its consumer search efforts.
Now the only question is, how FAST will the other search players be swooped down upon like prairie dogs in the open desert (Autonomy, Vivisimo, etc.)
Only time will tell...in the meantime, their own CEOs can patiently wait out the hawks at a McDonalds and save at least a good 60% on their tightening coffee budgets.
If it's January, it's CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Viva Las Vegas.
If you're looking for an excuse to head to the desert to check out the latest and greatest widgets, gadgets, and new media content deals, this is your chance.
Me, I'm chained back to my desk doing slides after my quick road trip to IBM headquarters last week, but I plan on following the action closely via a number of blogs and media sites.
Thus far, I've found the following to be useful:
Wall Street Journal CES Coverage
Engadget @ CES
CNET CES Coverage
Myself, I'm keeping an eye on SlingMedia products (I heard they're providing a Blackberry client) so I can stream TV to my mobile self.
Meanwhile, Duncan Riley with TechCrunch posts that the Microsoft keynote at CES "sucked," indicating that his only reaction at the end was to "yawn."
Too bad, so sad, especially considering it's Bill Gates' last CES keynote before he sails into retirement later this year.
Brian Lam with Gizmodo suggests the Bill Gates fanboy video allowed Mr. Gates to seem "at total ease with his geekiness and place in the universe" -- starring none other than Austin's own Matthew McConaughey, who can normally be found dazed and confused while waiting for Bevo on the sidelines of Texas Longhorns football games.
And speaking of Austin, I'm sorry to say I missed the December iPod flash mob dance party that started at the Texas Capitol and ended at the Paramount theatre.
Yes, I should have been dancing, but I clearly subscribed to the wrong mobile social network.
Technorati Tags: ces 2008, digital media, bill gates
There's no better way to start the new year than a good blogosphere brouhaha, and Robert Scoble's Facebook data export escapades certainly served as a good launching point for such an incident.
Perhaps they might have picked somebody else with a little lower profile to go and shut down?
Turns out for the good, methinks, as it led to an interesting dialogue about who owns all that data floating around out there: the Internet entities or the yous and mes of the world.
I suppose it was inevitable such a discussion must emerge, and preferably sooner rather than later.
These NetCos are making millions of ad dollars off of yours and my information, leveraging our personal information to serve more targeted ads and hopefully, in the process, helping create a more efficient market between consumer and commercial enterprise.
I'm all for it. The more I watch Facebook blossom, and the more people I find on it, the more useful I think it is...and the more concerned I get about our individual and collective privacy.
Whose data is it, anyway, you ask?
I would argue at the end of the day that it's my data, and that I'm putting it on loan to these sites because it's a fair exchange for mutually beneficial value.
But as Nick Carr observes, none of us is in this alone: "...if you happen to be one of those 'friends,' would you think of your name, email address, and birthday as being 'Scoble's data' or as being 'my data.'"
Whose data, indeed? Calgon, take me away...and take my PII with you and put it someplace safe.
So I input my data into your engine -- and share my friends' data as well so that I can stay in better touch with my far-flung friends and colleagues -- and in return I allow the Facebooks of the world to make a little money by having access to that information to provide more targeted marketing.
But by putting a governor on the data export valve, Facebook (and others) seem to be saying they don't trust folks enough to intelligently handle their own information, even as I and others have spent hours inputting said information for the express purpose of facilitating that mutually benefical value exchange (and making them loads o' money in the process).
While I agree with Carr that Facebook has the responsibility to protect our information, Facebook (and others) should focus more on allowing portability of the most basic information (names, email addresses) so that I don't have to enter this information over and over and over and over again.
If they don't, I figure somebody else will.
Welcome back to my reality.
No sooner had I fled to the wilds of Colorado so that I could strap two boards to my feet and fly down multiple mountains in the below-zero cold did I find myself saved by technology once again.
If you didn't hear, there was a very cold snap and blizzard-like conditions in the Vail-to-Denver corridor earlier this week, which ultimately led to the closing of two highways (40 and I-70) and to displacing over 2,000 people on the roads to Red Cross Shelters.
Fortunately, I had my trusty Crackberry Pearl on my person (which performed beautifully at minus 15 degrees Farenheit), by which I was able to receive timely road closing updates from my girlfriend, another good friend, and the Colorado Department of Transportation.
On the mountain itself, trusted information was at something of a deficit. Several people thought they heard that 40 was now opened on the eastbound lane, but 70 was still closed in both directions. Yadda yadda yadda.
I just needed to know whether or not my friend and I could get back to Denver via the two highways, plain and simple, and preferably we wanted to find out before we hit the roads.
With the help of my trusted information brokers (said girlfriend and friend and the CO DOT), we were able to get enough information via my mobile device that indicated that the roads were reopened (in the direction we needed them to be) and that we were safe to set out on our journey.
We arrived in Denver safe, sound and warm, and I was able to share a few pics and even provide some Twitter updates along the way (when the ATT Edge data network was available).
Now if they could only build some kind of skiing anti-collision avoidance system. : )
Another technology phenomena this year that I could not allow to escape the clutches of my "Year of..." list was the breaking out of Twitter.
If you haven't used Twitter to send Twitter "tweets" to your Twitter followers -- those individuals who subscribe to your Twitter tweet feeds -- then you missed one of the biggies of 2007.
For those who follow this blog regularly, you may remember my commenting at the time on what I thought was the tipping point of Twitter, at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin back in March of this year.
Though I had toyed around with Twitter prior to that, I stood by in wide-eyed amazement as Twitter took off like an uncontrollable flash fire there in Austin, as SXSW participants shared their thoughts, observations, and lunch plans via Twitter with their friends on the ground and their followers around the globe.,
"Twittervision" TVs were set up in the hallways so attendees could follow participants' tweets throughout the festival. Due to the pervasive wi-fi access at SXSW, attendees of one conference session could share their real-time impressions with attendees in another session, and vice versa.
I've no doubt people left mid-session to attend another, apparently more interesting, session because of another Twitter's tweet.
Talk about a harsh reality.
Beyond SXSW in Austin, Twitter seemed to take on a whole new life. Its open API allowed for other applications like Twitterific and Tweetr to make it easier to follow friends' Tweets, and its already excellent mobile phone capabilities via SMS blossomed with full-on applications written for various mobile devices (including my Blackberry).
Suddenly, you could follow your friends' tweets wherever in the world they were, wherever in the world you were, and all you needed was a good mobile device.
I could now know what a friend was up to in Silicon Valley just as easily as I could an amigo halfway around the globe, and the rising Twitter adoption quickly heightened the network effect.
I could use the service to stay in touch with someone I needed to stay in touch with -- or a whole group of people, for that matter -- in real-time, and with a very easy-to-use interface. It was as though time and space were completely eliminated from the social networking equation.
Unbelievably, at least so far as I can tell, the Twitter folks haven't even attempted to monetize their fast-growing service.
I suspect that won't last for too terribly much longer, as the service is just too valuable and too widely used to be ignored by business interests, either as an ad-supported business or, at minimum, as an acquisition target by one of the big Internet players.
In the meantime, the Twitterers of the world have united and it's a special Tweet for all who share in its bounty.
I am glad to be one among them.
Technorati Tags: 2007 year in review, microblogging, tweet, twitter
Looking back on 2007, there's but no question in my mind that Apple's iPhone dominated much of the tech conversation.
I opted for a $99 Blackberry Pearl instead (partially because of its form factor, partially because it's what allows me access to needed IBM resources like email and calendaring), and it's done me just fine -- especially considering it was about 5X cheaper than the iPhone.
But, the iPhone cultural phenomenon and technology footprint couldn't be escaped, nor questioned.
I was at the Apple campus in June visiting with a friend, just before the first iPhones went on sell, and I didn't see a single iPhone unit while on the Apple campus (allegedly only top execs had them prior to the launch), they were so tightly held.
No big surprise, considering Apple's tight grip and embargo on its launches.
But the phenomena that was the pending iPhone couldn't be constrained.
Months prior to the launch, Google and other search engines were inundated with search inquiries about the iPhone...blogs were abuzz about the product features...podcasts explained its virtues...the mass media mass brainwashed the masses about its planet-saving capabilities.
For weeks after, the halo of the afterlaunch melted into the tech landscape, complete with new tech lore about being the first in line, or waiting in line with one's Apple brethren, or etc ad nauseum ad infinitum.
When was the last time you bragged about waiting in line?
I succumbed to the hype myself, long enough to go into the store and touch an iPhone firsthand.
It was all I could do to leave the store without buying one.
But then I came back to my senses and started thinking logically about the problems that an iPhone would or would not solve for me personally (what a concept! Purchase a product only because it actually solves a problem!), and the Blackberry Pearl would do just fine.
And it has.
So I wouldn't be the coolest kid on the cubicle block...so I wouldn't be able to personally extol the virtues of the new touch screen interface...so I wouldn't be able to becoming a walking, talking Apple salesperson in my spare time, despite all the constant complaints about the lethargic AT&T Edge network (which never seemed to slow me down much with the more text-oriented Blackberry).
Life would go on.
And it has.
But the milestone it demarcated would be clear.
Because the real phenomena behind the phenomenon for me around the iPhone was not the device itself, but rather the notion that mobile IP-based multimedia computing was finally coming into its own.
After years of the U.S. lagging behind the SMS craze in Europe (which launched well before most Americans knew what a text message was), or the DoCoMo iMode craze in Japan in the late 1990s and early 2000s (which was how many Japanese first experienced the Internet), I felt as though the U.S. was getting a clue and catching back up.
If nothing else, the iPhone demonstrated what was becoming possible at the intersection of mobile data and voice, of mobile computing, after years of overpromising and underdelivery.
That a cell phone didn't just have to be a cell phone, but that it could evolve into a true multimedia personal information manager and portable computing and communications device, using an interface that we mere mortals could understand and learn quickly.
It was the opportunity presented by the possibility of a nuclear intersection between computing, communication, collaboration, personal entertainment, and mobility.
That we could use it to communicate and get directions and do work and listen to music and watch videos and find somebody's phone number.
No, for my money, the iPhone was only a starting place, the beginning of something much, much bigger to come. A mile marker on the way to a much more promising land.
It was the Star Trek communication device brought down to reality here on earth.
"Beam me up, Steve."
It was a great start, but it was only that.
So, go ahead, use your index finger to scroll down. It works well enough.
Me, I can't wait to see where that scrolling finger might take us next.
Technorati Tags: 2007 year in review, apple, iphone
I'm on vacation.
But we know how that goes.
Crackberries, free wi-fi access at the Denver International Airport, time to kill while waiting on friends.
Anyhow, I just wanted to check in and say Happy Holidays to everyone out there in Blogland.
I hope you and yours are having a very happy and merry time, and are enjoying a little down time.
If you are reading this blog, you may have reached that consummate stage of holidaydom where you're not enjoying your down time much -- you know, the part where you're bored out of your mind and need to get a technology news or general Web fix.
I sympathize, and I share your plight. The following posts are my minor contribution towards alleviating your boredom.
Me, I can only see so many movies and watch so many football games before I start to get a little cabin feverish, and Austin's been too darned cold to hit the golf course.
So, I'm going skiing instead!
While I'm out trouncing about the slopes of Winter Park (I'll be the dreaded crazy Texan on skis trying to avoid the trees....I beg for apologies and forgiveness to my Coloradan amigos in advance), I'll be giving some consideration to the tech year that was 2007...before doing a little prognosticating about 2008.
But first things first...I will shortly crawl back into my wi-fi wormhole here at the Denver airport to check on how deep the base is at Winter Park!
Technorati Tags: 2007 year in review, holiday boredom, vacation
Have you ever tried to find an email based on some obscure tidbit of information that provided the only bread crumb trail that would lead you back to said email?
Well, today IBM unveiled some new "smart" search software from IBM's Research Labs to help you do just that.
Powered by some advanced algorithms that can interpret incomplete queries and find obscure information like phone numbers, people, meetings, presentations, documents, images, etc., IBM OmniFind Personal Email Search -- or "IOPES" (that acronym just rolls off the tongue, don't it?) -- the tool is available gratis on IBM's alphaWorks site.
The smart email plug search is available for both Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook users, and was created through a collaborative effort spanning IBM Research Labs in Almaden (California), Haifa (Israel), and Delhi (India).
It leverages the open source Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) framework that helps organizations build new analytics technologies by realizing more value from unstructured information through relationship discovery and pattern identification.
Technorati Tags: email, email discovery, uima, search
I'm preparing to go nucular.
I visited a cardiologist yesterday for the first time. It was a Christmas gift to ma mere, who, because of family history, had suggested I go see a heart doctor for a comprehensive heart work up.
Merry Christmas, Mom.
The doctor suggested I get a nuclear stress test -- also known as an isotope stress test, a Cardiolite stress test, and a garden variety of other names.
Here's the point: During exercise, healthy coronary arteries dilate more than an artery that has blockage, which causes more blood to be delivered to heart muscle supplied by the normal artery.
In contrast, one's narrowed arteries supply a reduced blood flow, causing the involved muscle to "starve" during exercise.
A "perfusion tracer" (the nuclear isotope) that is intravenously injected will travel to the heart muscle via blood flow, and then be extracted by the heart muscle in proportion to the flow of blood.
This allows the cardiologist to get ~90% accurate read on any blockage on one's coronary blood flow.
Pretty cool, huh? (And many thanks to heartsite.com for the overnight nucular cardio quiz education).
I'm assured by my cardiologist that I won't glow afterwards.
If I do end up shining like the Rockefeller Center holiday tree, that's okay, as I live right down the street from Austin's "Trail of Lights" celebration and will fit right in.
Hee hee hee: The Trail of Lights is sponsored by Dell.
Technorati Tags: cardio care, nuclear stress test, medical
Our prognosticators have unveiled the second annual “IBM Next Five in Five” innovations that they believe have the potential to change way people work, live and play over the next five years.
First on the list: It’s easy being green after all, and you can save money doing it. There will be a range of “smart energy” technologies emerging to make it easier for you to manage your personal “carbon footprint.”
Hummers and unrechargeable batteries not included.
And no Kermit jokes, please.
Second, the way you drive will be completely different. In the next five years, there is a coming “wave of connectivity” between cars and the road that will change the way you drive and keep you more safer.
Forgot that cop in the traffic box: we’re talking intelligent agents and sensors along the highway that make it easier to navigate and avoid that idiot in the El Camino texting while driving.
“Helloooo, could you watch the road, please?!”
Third, you are what you eat, so you will know what you eat. Advancements in computer software and wireless radio sensor technologies (fancy phrase for RFID) are going to give you much more detailed information about the food you are buying and eating.
Do you really want to know the provenence of that “WhoppingBigBurgeraSaurus?” Really?
Fourth, your cell phone will be your wallet, ticket broker, concierge, bank, shopping buddy, and all around BFF. Everybody needs a Best Friend Forever, and why not your mobile device?
Hey, have you ever seen someone using their iPhone? Their Blackberry? Like really seen them?
The phrase “public display of mobile phone affection” comes to mind.
I hereby do not exonerate myself from said mobilerati.
And finally, five, doctors will get enhanced “super-senses” to better diagnose and treat you. Amen, brother. I have to say, I’ve had some pretty good medical experiences recently (knock on wood), between my sleep apnea surgery and my recent LASIK experience. I’ve never had better vision or slept better in my life.
But, according to our five in five projections, doctors will soon be able to see, hear, and understand our medical records in new ways: X-ray like vision to view medical images, super sensitive audio to hear the tiniest audio clue in your heart beat.
That’s all well and good, but will anybody be able to read their prescriptions, or get to your examination room before an hour passes buy? Now that would be innovation.
You can check out the video news release of the "Five in Five" here.
Technorati Tags: ibm_research, innovation, technology trends
I've always looked for true love in all the wrong places, but I've always fancied myself a matchmaker of sorts when it comes to my love for technology.
So why not a hybrid of social networks and traditional online matchmaking?
Facebook, meet Match.Com. Match.Com, meet Facebook.
Facebook, Match is a nice, intelligent, mid-career Dallas-based professional looking to meet some new prospects and expand her horizons.
Match, Facebook is a young, rebellious, but very popular Silicon Valley upstart who has more friends than he can count, and is very aggressive in his forays to seek out intimate relations and learn everything he can about his new friends.
Could it be a match made in cyber heaven?
Only a few Cupid's arrows...and the new "Match My Friends" Facebook application...can tell.
While we leave Facebook and Match.com in their puppy love bliss, for those of you who were feeling abandoned by Leo Laporte and the TWiT gang, fear not, they're back.
I've been a regular TWiT listener for a couple of years now, so when they miss a beat, I -- along with a few thousand other in the TWiT army -- miss it with them.
This week, entitled appropriately enough, "John's Nuts," you won't want to miss the priceless Jason Calacanis imitation of John C. Dvorak (slash blog).
Brooklyn, meet Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley, meet Brooklyn.
And speaking of New York, a quick shout out and congrats to mi amigo Mike H., who after spending some time away getting his pilot's license just landed safely as SVP of schmooze (err, sales) at Veoh.
Internet video entertainment has never had such a smooth seller.
Don't worry, dude, I was a fan before you got there and won't let your arrival color my judgment.
It's about time you got a job, and now you have no excuse not to show up for SXSW Interactive.
Technorati Tags: broadband, digital media, digitollywood, online video, social networking, twit, veoh
IBM announced an expanded electronic payments strategic alliance with ACI today.
ACI is a leading international provider of solutions for banking, retail, and cross-industry solutions, and serves more than 800 customers in 84 countries.
As part of this new alliance, ACI will be optimizing a new generation of payment solutions on the IBM System z platform, and will include IBM DB2, WebSphere, and Tivoli software, as well as IBM Crypto-chip technology.
The alliance is aimed primarily at the financial services industry. Banks in particular are struggling to manage aging payments systems running on disparate platforms that are siloed and expensive to maintain.
ACI payments software running on System z provides an SOA foundation that opens up disparate payments information to be shared across the enterprise in support of multiple software applications and lines of business.
In addition to benefiting from the SOA approach, ACI clients that bring their payment transaction traffic to the System z platform can also take advantage of industry leading security, reliability and availability, and help reduce power consumption and maintenance costs through server consolidation.
Learn more about this announcement here.
Technorati Tags: aci, banking, epayments, ibm, soa
Okay, I've crawled out from under my rock and am ready to take my licks.
The City of Brotherly Love, my foot. From God's ears to Tony Romo's passing hand.
Man, my Dallas Cowboys took a Rocky-like Philadelphia beating in Dallas yesterday afternoon. Not much to say, except that there wasn't much there, there, was there?
As to my anti-Cowboys friend Johnny G who rubbed it in to we cowpoke fans' faces, I only have one thing to say: I hope you encounter some "fumbleaya" yourself in that upcoming Cisco cert test.
Make sure you buy that return ticket home on the Nerd Bird, amigo. Somehow I don't think Donavan McNabb will be giving you any handouts, no matter how loud you root for him.
Speaking of rumbles, the New York Times went long yesterday in a story about the coming Google and Microsoft cloud computing wars.
If you have any interest in the future of computing, it's well worth a read.
It's also worth remembering that IBM and Google have partnered to put some rain in that cloud.
You can read more about that forming weather pattern here.
Technorati Tags: google, microsoft, cloud computing
I've been heads down working much of the day, but the moment I lift it seems there's another controversy brewing.
No, I'm not talking about the Mitchell Report on steroid use in baseball. (I'll come back to that momentarily.)
No, I'm talking about Google's intent to enter into the knowledge gathering world.
Or, as others are referring to it, the Wikipedia-killer.
Google's new "knol" project (a knol being a unit of knowledge...see, you learned something already!) will allow "people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it."
For example, based on yesterday's news about said Mitchell Report, Roger Clemens could write a really insightful knol about steroids.
The concern about the new Google Knol is that it will suck the oxygen out of Wikipedia, and that Google has many more resources to devote to it.
Moreover, Wikipedia is extremely dependent upon Google's search referrals for its visits (and therefore its contributions from the crowd).
I'm not sure it's an either/or proposition myself, and I use both frequently. And now that I know where Wikipedia is, I don't really need Google to drop me off on their doorstep.
But I can see where the scrum could be concerned. This could very well shape up to the be the "David and Goliath" story of 2008.
Then again, Google Knol could go the way of the now-retired Google Answers tool. Only time, and a few thousand knols, will tell.
Now, back to more important things, like baseball.
I hadn't heard much about the Mitchell Report until it reared its ugly curve ball head yesterday on the news.
As someone who has been a lifelong baseball fan, and who played baseball from T-ball to Little League to "Pony" league...
And as someone who found the third game of the Yankees and Braves World Series in NY one of the most thrilling sporting experiences of my life (the one where Chad Curtis hit a game-winning homer in the 10th, the first game-winning World Series homer since 1993...and the one after which Roger Clemens closed out the next game, game 4, in a shutout for the Yankees)...
Well, the whole episode just leaves a bad taste in my mouth...and I'm not sure any amount of Cracker Jacks will take it away.
Major League Baseball has taken a major black eye, no doubt about it.
Then again, so this year did cycling. And hockey. And basketball.
Am I leaving anything out?
I guess I was just a little too naive to think the problem was as epidemic as the Mitchell Report makes it out to be.
I only wonder if the MLB is really going to do anything about it...or if the whole thing will simply blow over, with little action and no repercussions.
If it's the latter, it's the small frys out there playing Little League today who will be the biggest losers.
When I was a kid, my baseball coaches (including my own dad) always told me it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.
This is no way to play it.
Technorati Tags: google, google knol, knowledge sharing, major league baseball, mitchell report
Remember when you used to go to the library?
You know, that place with all those dusty books and nice old ladies who used to help you navigate your way to the right book using that wonderful invention called the "Dewey Decimal System" (DDC).
I always loved saying that..."Dewey Decimal System." It even sounds libraryish.
Did you know that the DDC was invented in 1876 by one Melvil Dewey, and was an attempt to organize all knowledge into ten main classes, all of which are then subdivided into ten divisions, with each of those divisions also having ten sections
The decimals come in, of course, to classify topics by subject with extensions for subject relationships, place, time, or type of material.
It should be duly noted I learned all this not at the library, but rather via the Wikipedia.
That means the classification of this classification system could very well be in error because it was sourced by some crowd somewhere, but I figure it's close enough for jazz.
And in any case, the DDC serves as a nice segueway about an announcement our own Software Group team made earlier this week, the new IBM Classification Module.
Our content classification software is kind of like the Dewey Decimal System, in that it allows companies to automatically categorize large volumes of enterprise information. This makes it easier to find, access and use such information in the context of your enterprise content management systems.
Of course, I'm sure you never have a problem finding anything in your such systems, right?
In the press release about this announcement, we highlighted Cloudmark, a global leader in carrier-grade messaging security which is using this classification software to help in its online support efforts.
Cloudmark was getting over 500 email support requests a day, many of those with redundant questions that were taxing their call center.
So Cloudmark used the Classification Module to help identify those recurring customer issues and concerns, prioritize them in terms of importance, and then determine how they could best be handled.
According to Kris Politopoulus, direct of customer support with Cloudmark, they were able to achieve "more than 90 percent accuracy in our automated results" and gone on to cut in half the number of support tickets.
The system is also self-learning, so that as the software gains knowledge from existing email history and from each response, it is able to provide relevant and up-to-date answers to questions.
The first week using the system, Cloudmark's call center email defection rate went from zero to .35
Those are the kinds of decimals I suspect that even Dewey could have appreciated.
Technorati Tags: content classification, dewey decimal system, ibm classification module, online tech support