Archive for May 2012
Tired of taking out the trash?
This morning, IBM announced a collaboration with Recology, San Francisco’s resource recovery company, to continue reducing landfill disposal by further improving recycling programs designed to help the city achieve zero waste by 2020.
San Francisco’s diversion rate — the amount of waste diverted from landfill disposal — totals 78 percent, the highest in the country. Just last year, independent studies named San Francisco the Greenest City in North America due to advanced recycling programs.
In collaboration with IBM Business Partner Key Info Systems, Recology is using IBM’s smarter computing approach to IT to manage and mine large sets of data to determine types and quantities of materials in San Francisco’s waste stream.
With the use of IBM’s Power System, Recology pinpoints the location, types and amount of waste that needs to be collected for sorting or composting.
Gleaning insights from this information allows Recology to identify the most effective recycling programs for different business districts and neighborhoods.
By tailoring recycling programs and services in this way, Recology operates more efficiently, which helps protect the environment and saves costs, which helps cities better manage collection and disposal fees — all steps that ultimately benefit residents and businesses.
Reducing Landfill Waste By Nearly 50%
As a result of this smarter approach to recycling, Recology customers in San Francisco have reduced the garbage they send to the landfill by 49.7 percent, from 730,000 tons in 2000 to 367,300 tons in 2011.
By recycling 1.2 million tons of paper, the program has saved 20 million trees; by recycling 174,000 tons of glass, enough energy was saved to power the city’s cable car system for nearly three years; and, by recycling 135,000 tons of metal, 19 million gallons of oil was saved.
Improved recycling services give customers the means to participate every day in programs that directly benefit the environment and to better manage their disposal costs.
Recology offers 20 distinct recycling programs in San Francisco, more than any other city in the U.S. Yet the monthly fee paid by residential customers is equal to or less than the fee charged in other major cities.
Curbside Composting: Diverted 1.1 Million Tons Of Food And Plants
The Curbside Compost Collection Program provided by Recology in San Francisco has diverted 1.1 million tons of food and plants from landfill disposal and turned that material into nutrient-rich compost used by local farms and vineyards to grow healthy crops.
Since its inception, the compost collection program has reduced carbon emissions by more than 347,500 metric tons. That is equal to offsetting emissions from all vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge for 2.1 years.
San Francisco greenhouse gas emissions are nearly 12 percent below 1990 levels and have exceeded emission reduction goals set by both the State of California and the United Nations.
“Cities are struggling with a wide range of challenges and threats to sustainability in their core operations,” said George McGrath, Chief Operating Officer at Recology. “Our collaboration with IBM has helped us transform the programs we provide in San Francisco and, in turn, the very way people view bottles, coffee grounds, packaging, plastic bags, and other materials they generate every day.”
With the use of IBM’s Smarter Computing technology Recology is able to manage and maintain this complex operation and route dispatching of trucks. These functions require a dependable and flexible system to help the company manage logistics and an ever-changing waste stream with maximum efficiency.
There will be a live Tweet Chat later this afternoon (Thursday, May 31, 2012) at 1 PM EST on the topic of sustainability. Follow the hashtag #zerowasteIBM to track the Twitterstream.
You can learn more about the smarter composting solution IBM partnered with Recology on in the video below.
You ever get one of those emails where there are two headlines that couldn’t have been more synchronous?
That’s what I got today in a Washington Post email newsletter:
“New malware is 20 times size of Stuxnet”
“Cybersecurity experts needed to meet growing demand”
Surely the Post newsletter editor at least chuckled when he put those two together.
I didn’t chuckle, however, when I started reading up on this new Internet security phenom.
Wired’s Threat Level blog led with this: “A massive, highly sophisticated piece of malware has been newly found infecting systems in Iran and elsewhere and is believed to be part of a well-coordinated, ongoing, state-run cyberespionage operation.”
Here was The New York Times lead on the story: The computers of high-ranking Iranian officials appear to have been penetrated by a data-mining virus called Flame, in what may be the most destructive cyberattack on Iran since the notorious Stuxnet virus, an Iranian cyberdefense organization confirmed on Thursday.
And, the Post led with: Researchers have identified a sophisticated new computer virus 20 times the size of Stuxnet, the malicious software the disabled centrifuges in an Iranian nuclear plant. But unlike Stuxnet, the new malware appears to be used solely for espionage.
The Post goes on to cite analysts who “suspect Israel and the United States, given the virus’s sophistication, among other things.”
Which is it, we need more cybersecurity experts in the U.S., or we’re the “nation-state” behind this latest cyber war virus?
Whatever the case, the BBC’s coverage included the following facts: Russian security firm Kaspersky Labs believed the malware had been operating since August 2010 and described Flame as “one of the most complex threats ever discovered.”
If you don’t remember Stuxnet, it was the alleged state-sponsored virus which wreaked havoc on Iran’s uranium centrifuges. This new malware, according to the BBC story, “appears not to cause physical damage,” but instead collects “huge amounts of sensitive information.”
Wired also adds to the story, reporting Flame was “written by different programmers, its complexity, the geographic scope of its infections and its behavior indicate strongly that a nation-state is behind Flame, rather than common cyber-criminals.”
Wired went on to report that “Early analysis of Flame by the Lab indicates that it’s designed primarily to spy on the users of infected computers and steal data from them, including documents, recorded conversations and keystrokes. It also opens a backdoor to infected systems to allow the attackers to tweak the toolkit and add new functionality.”
Yes, indeedy. According to Wired, one of the modules in Flame is “one that turns on the internal microphone of an infected machine to secretly record conversations that occur either over Skype or in the computer’s near vicinity.”
It also allegedly contains a module that turns “Bluetooth-enabled computers into a Bluetooth beacon,” scanning for other Bluetooth-enabled devices in order to “siphon names and phone numbers from their contacts folder.”
It can also store “frequent screenshots of activity on the machine,” screenshots that include everything from emeetings to instant messages, email….you get the picture. Literally.
I don’t know about you, but I sense a whole new genre of cyber espionage novels looming on the horizon.
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM VP & GM Yuchun Lee On Marketing Automation & Optimization
My partner-in-crime, Scott Laningham, sat down to chat with IBM VP and general manager, Unica co-founder, and former MIT card-counting guru, Yuchun Lee, about the opportunities presented by “smarter commerce” for companies everywhere at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit.
In his keynote earlier this week, Lee explained that IBM now has a “more comprehensive suite for relevant and personalized offers, and an enhanced social media metrics capability” in the form of Unica Marketing Automation Tool v. 8.6, a capability that clients around the globe have been clamoring for.
The social buildout also incorporates enterprise analytics, tag management, and full mobile and social market capabilities that tie more closely together the marketing automation experience with the social realm.
Lee also explained in his keynote that many organizations must adjust their marketing cultures to fully capitalize on the Generation C culture. They must build organizations that balance analytics and creative talents (easier said than done!), work with IT rather than around IT, and break down marketing siloes — digital and traditional marketing must consolidate and collaborate.
Words of wisdom from a former world-renowned blackjack player, and now, market thought leader in the realm of social/Web metrics and marketing automation.
Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy
Effective Web metrics are critical to the success of businesses looking to succeed in e-commerce and digital marketing these days, and IBM has a number of experts who spend a lot of their time in this area.
One of those here in Madrid at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, Mark Frigon, is a senior product manager for Web analytics in IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization.
Mark sat down with me to discuss the changing nature of Web analytics, and how dramatically it has evolved as a discipline over the past few years, including the increased focus by marketers on “attribution,” the ability to directly correlate a Web marketing action and the desired result.
Mark also spoke at the event about the importance for digital marketers around the globe to be more privacy-aware, a topic we also discussed in our time together, calling out in particular the “Do-Not-Track” industry self-regulatory effort that intends to put privacy controls in the hands of consumers.
If you spend any time thinking about Internet privacy or Web analytics, or both, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.
Scott Laningham and I spoke to a number of IBM execs, partners, and subject matter experts at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit this week, one of whom has been a key driver for IBM’s events catering to business executives.
Maria Winans is a vice president with IBM Software’s Industry Solutions group, and spent countless hours leading a team that prepared for the Madrid Summit, among others.
Maria and her team are laser-focused on helping take IBM software solutions to market by industry, centering their energy on a number of key verticals, including the retail and banking industries, among others.
Maria discussed a number of important issues in our conversation, including the trend towards communicating more with the “line-of-business” customer set, and the requisite changes that that is driving in IBM’s go-to-market efforts.
IBM vice president of worldwide sales, IBM Industry Solutions group, Steve Cowley, has worn a number of leadership hats at IBM, but most recently, he’s been busy helping make over the IBM Smarter Commerce play and help his global team take the Smarter Commerce solutions to market.
In his role, Steve is responsible for acquiring, growing and selling a portfolio of industry specific solutions to meet client’s needs in todays’ rapidly changing marketplace. If you push him, he’ll also explain that he has a passion for Formula One racing
Previously, Steve was General Manager for IBM Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, based in Dubai, where he was responsible for driving sales and helping clients to maximize their IT investments across the region.
Responsible for all of IBM’s business with some one hundred countries from the Czech Republic to Russia, all Africa and the Middle East, the CEEMEA region was at the heart of IBM’s Growth Markets strategy.
Scott and I queried Steve about a number of topics, including the evolution of the Smarter Commerce opportunity, what’s going on IBM’s growth markets, and the need for increased focus on enterprise mobile computing.