Posts Tagged ‘world cup’
I’ve been extremely blessed to have traveled to many wonderful cities around the world during my tenure with IBM.
If you forced me to choose a favorite…well, it wouldn’t be an easy decision. Far from it.
But near the top of the list would have to be a city that left me absolutely breathless, literally and figuratively, and that’s the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Forget the wonderful caiprinhas cocktails and the breathtaking views — I remember once, on my first visit in 1999, I had to do a presentation in the IBM building there, and they had to close the drapes, the view of the Christ statue in the background so incredibly stunning that I couldn’t focus!
But it’s the people that make the place. And the people of Rio are very special.
And if it’s the people who make the place, it’s also the people who make it run.
And making it run they are, the people of Rio de Janeiro, with a little from our team at IBM.
The New York Times takes an in-depth look this weekend at how Rio’s becoming one of IBM’s hallmark “smarter cities,” as they prepare to host both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.
And fellow IBM blogger and buddy of mine Steve Hamm goes even deeper, explaining how the torrential rains in Rio during April 2010 that killed more than 70 residents made mayor Eduardo Paes vow that such horror would not occur on his watch again.
This story provides an excellent case study as to the type of smarter building, city, and infrastructure management that we’ll be hearing discussed at this week’s IBM Pulse 2012 conference in Las Vegas!
Check out the video below to learn more about Rio’s smarter city operation.
Ah, it’s a happy day for me. Why, you ask?? Golf, of course!
The Open Championship kicked off at Royal St. George’s in Scotland, another of golf’s major tournaments.
In fact, it’s gonna be a very busy weekend, what with our rockin’ U.S. Women’s soccer team having taken out France in the semi-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup yesterday evening.
Nice match again, ladies. And good luck against Japan on Sunday!
On the topic of Japan, today in Tokyo IBM announced a broad expansion of its cloud computing services for customers there and in the Asia Pacific region.
The new IBM Cloud Data Center, along with a data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud collaboration service, will extend IBM’s cloud delivery network of cloud computing centers that serve in over 50 countries around the world.
To date, IBM has centers based in Singapore, Germany, Canada, and the United States; and 13 global cloud labs, of which seven are based in Asia Pacific – China, India, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.
The new IBM Cloud Data Center located in Makuhari, Japan delivers IBM’s SmartCloud enterprise-class services which include a broad spectrum of secure managed services, to run diverse workloads across multiple delivery methods both public and private.
In addition, IBM announced it will open a dedicated data center for LotusLive, IBM’s cloud-based collaboration services, in Japan. The data center, which will be available later this year, is designed to allow customers in Japan to more easily move to the cloud.
LotusLive offers integrated social collaboration tools that combine a company’s business social network with capabilities such as file storing and sharing, instant messaging, Web conferencing and activity management.
This secure integration allows users to share and edit information, host online meetings and manage activities easily inside and outside company boundaries.
The Japan data center is designed to help improve network performance and increase business opportunities for LotusLive users. The center will allow clients, who cannot take their data outside the country due to security and regulatory compliance, to work in a security-rich cloud environment.
You can learn more via the IBM Japan cloud computing site (Warning: It’s in Japanese!)
Go here for an English language site on IBM’s SmartCloud initiative.
I’ve been a little lost between all the World Cup games and the NBA Finals (Game 7 tonight!), but I would be remiss in my golf fandom not to mention that the U.S. Open kicks off at Pebble Beach today out in California.
IBM has been a longtime partner with the U.S.G.A. and the U.S. Open, and this year the partnership continues in the digital realm with some exciting new social media capabilities.
Of course, the home course is the official U.S. Open Website, which is designed and hosted by IBM. This year, IBM players will be helping to integrate a Mixx Channel into the U.S. Open home page.
The 2010 U.S. Open Website, built and hosted by IBM on behalf of the U.S.G.A.
This will help bring fans (I’m very jealous of all you fans onsite!) attending the tournament into the coverage. Fans who visit the “Experience Tent” at Pebble Beach will be able to provide their own real-time commentary on their Twitter accounts, and the chatter will also appear live on the U.S. Open Mixx channel.
Of course, we won’t forget our basic blocking and tackling….err, chipping and putting.
There will also be some improvements to the traditional golf leaderboard, including an overview map to enable viewers to ge a birds’-eye view of action on the course.
For the non color-blind, there will also be a heat-mapping feature with green, red, and gray indicators to let fans know how hard each part of the course is plahing, with colors differing based on turned in score averages per hole.
The U.S.G.A. U.S. Open Interactive Play Tracker gives avid golf fans a nice bird’s-eye overview of who’s hot and who’s not at this year’s U.S. Open.
The Website will also feature some HD Live Streaming (including to the iPhone and other mobile browsers), and a U.S. Open Facebook fan page will also share the news.
To all mi amigos from the IBM team onsite at Pebble Beach, be sure to give me a shout out if you all need any help out there!
Anybody see that Brazil v. North Korea game in the World Cup yesterday? Do those Brazilians play some of the most beautiful soccer in the world or what? Wow. Beautiful game, indeed.
As for the Celtics and the Lakers…well, with respect to this particular blog post, I’ll be staying neutral after last evening’s tidings (I have lots of friends in LA and Boston).
But here’s the net: IBM’s stepping up its own game in the great state of Massachusetts with the announcement this morning that we’ve cut the ribbon on the IBM Mass Lab, which is now IBM’s largest software development lab in North America.
The IBM Mass Lab is a campus comprised of sites in Littleton and Westford, Massachusetts, and brings together 3,400 of IBM’s leading experts to design and develop solutions to respond to our customers’ computing challenges.
The IBM Mass Lab is creating software that manages some of the world’s most complex process and infrastructure problems such as modernizing and automating the world’s physical infrastructures — from railroads, water management, food traceability and healthcare modernization.
Much of the demand for software is being created by the need to automate and modernize virtually every system today such as electronic medical records, fraud detection and energy management through smart grids.
IBM employees at the Mass Lab will also advance new technologies focused on collaboration, social networking, cloud computing and analytics.
Additionally, developers at the IBM Mass Lab are creating software for the new era of enterprise mobile computing fostering more effective collaboration and integration to support an increasingly global and mobile workforce. The explosion and sophistication of devices have generated a mountain of data, countless transactions, and increased complexity leading to a convergence of IT and mobility.
"The IBM Mass Lab helps demonstrate to the world that Massachusetts is a global leader in the innovation economy," said Deval Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, of the announcement. "The IBM solutions developed right here in Massachusetts are helping to advance the Commonwealth’s economic prosperity, and quality of life for citizens around the globe."
IBM Mass Lab, Littleton Campus
IBM Mass Lab Positioned for Growth
While it’s the largest in North America, the IBM Mass Lab is one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe.
With more square footage than Boston’s Fenway Park or the TD Garden, the IBM Mass Lab will foster collaboration among employees while leaving space for organic growth and future acquisitions.
Since 2003, IBM has acquired fourteen Massachusetts-based companies to broaden its software portfolio including Rational Software, Cognos, Ascential Software Corporation, and most recently Ounce Labs and Guardium Corporation.
IBM has partnered with more than 100 Venture Capital backed, small technology companies in Massachusetts, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England.
"IBM views Massachusetts as an innovation hotbed," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software. "IBM is committed to nurturing the human talent and economic strengths of the growing Massachusetts tech hub. The IBM Mass Lab is a critical component of our growth strategy for the state of Massachusetts."
IBM selected the towns of Littleton and Westford for its combined campus due to the proximity of its geographically dispersed employee population and burgeoning high-tech belt along I-495.
IBM’s Massachusetts presence also includes IBM Research in Cambridge, Mass., and the IBM Innovation Center in Waltham, Mass., celebrating its 15th year of helping local companies enable their skills and applications around IBM products.
The IBM Mass Lab can accommodate 59,000 square feet of Lab server space and contains 31 miles of copper and fibre-optic wiring for data networking, virtualization and power monitoring.
There’s over two petabytes of data in the Mass Lab that allows the IBM engineers to harness an exceptional level of computing power and storage to develop software on the latest hardware technology.
The IBM Mass Lab also includes an Executive Briefing Center where IBM clients from around the globe can meet with subject matter experts from the Mass Lab to learn more about IBM Software.
About IBM in Massachusetts
IBM is a truly global company and for 96 years (since 1914) IBM has been a key economic contributor to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Currently, IBM is the second largest technology employer in Massachusetts.
IBM engineers in Massachusetts have developed ground-breaking and innovative technologies to the marketplace that have changed the way people work and collaborate. Since 1995, IBM employees in Massachusetts were awarded 2,950 patents.
In 2010, IBM received a Gold award from MassEcon for its economic contributions to the Central Massachusetts region.
MassHighTech listed IBM as the largest IT consulting firms in New England in 2010, and the largest software developer in New England for 2009.
In 2009, the Boston Globe named IBM #1 on its National 25 list of publically held companies based outside Massachusetts with a major presence in the state, ranked by competitive performance. Also last year, the Boston Business Journal named IBM one of the top 25 charitable contributors in the state, and MassHighTech honored IBM for its leadership in TechCitizenship.
To all my IBM colleagues and friends in the Bay State, congratulations on this exciting announcement. Keep the clam chowder warm!
UPS called me this morning.
It was nobody in particular from UPS. Actually, it was a callbot. Let’s call her “Brownie.”
Miss UPS Brownie the Callbot called to let me know I was having a package delivered today, and that somebody needed to be home to sign for the package.
The good news is, I was expecting the package. What I wasn’t expecting was a call from Brownie to let me know in advance. Very cool.
What else can Brownie do for me?
Well, I’ll let slide the fact that the window in which they might deliver was 11 hours (Does UPS really believe we all just sit at home waiting for them to show up in an 11 hour window to sign for a package?).
Good thing I work from home.
But hey, what if I decided I needed to go out to lunch (being a bachelor, you’d not be surprised at all how bare my cupboards may sometimes be)?
Where’s the part about where I can call Brownie and say, “Yo, Brownie, I need to run out and have myself a Big Mac Attack. Could you take a long lunch break yourself, or at least don’t plan on comin’ by 1501 B S Road until after 2, por favor?”
But seriously, Brownie, thanks for the call. I’m happy to know my package is expected to make it here sometime today, and I only wish more businesses had the kind of supply chain and communications integration that you and FedEx have, even if you do deliver whenever the —- you want.
Speaking of supply chains, it’s almost time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa final draw.
The draw will take place this Friday in Cape Town, and the initial seedings were based on the October 2009 FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings.
Eight initial teams were seeded, including host South Africa, along with Brazil, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Argentina, and England.
You can go here to see how the other pots line up for Friday’s drawing (but for you U.S. fans, we sit in Pot 2 that includes teams from Asia, North and Central America, the Caribbean, and Oceania.
Fifa.com has lots of great information for you futbol fans leading into the 2010 World Cup.
What it doesn’t have is a way for Mac users to watch video. I stopped by this morning to see if I could catch some Maradona in 1986 in Mexico City (seeing as he won’t be welcome in Cape Town). Well, much to my surprise, the videos didn’t work for Macs.
Yo. Last I heard, Mac had around 9% share of the PC market worldwide…Helllooooo, Fifa. I got one word for you:
I’m back in the Estados Unidos after a productive and enjoyable trip to Argentina.
What did I learn while I was there?
One, the sun is very powerful in South America. I spent my last afternoon there to take a quick tour on one of those turistico buses (highly recommend, especially if you’re short on time).
You know, the kind with no tops on them, where the sun can shine right down on your head and forehead?
Yeah. Estupido turista.
Two, I learned that while the social media is alive and well in Latin America, I would suggest based on my observations and discussions with our teams there that its use is a little more tepid and cautious in Latin America, particularly within business.
Personally, particularly with sites like Orkut and Twitter, there’s substantial and widespread use, but the business uptake is slower than other parts of the world.
Three, the Internet communications and marketing opportunity is much more substantial in the mobile space than in the land-line Internet (that is, if you’re interested in raw numbers).
By way of example, EMarketer’s “Digital Atlas,” which I consulted before I headed south, reveals that Internet users in Brazil last numbered around 67M, while mobile phone users were in the range of 150M.
Similar disparities between mobile and landline access exist in other countries in Latin America as well, including Mexico and Argentina.
Four, I reaffirmed how much it sucks to get sick while traveling abroad. But, as mentioned in this blog, I was fortunate to be able to head over to Dr. IBM right there on the site to get some medicine to stave off the nastiness.
Here I am, a week later, still illin’, but I was very thankful to stave off the illness while on the ground there.
Five, I learned that it is possible to get a full night’s sleep in economy class, particularly with the help of some other medicine (in my case, doctor-prescribed sleeping pills).
In fact, such sleep can make all the difference in the world (although admittedly, it’s easier when you’re not jumping so many time zones).
Personally, I don’t mind so much the long flights, but in coach they can be quite painful if you have legs longer than 2 feet, so the ability to totally sack out can help put about 70% of the time on the plane into unconsciousness, which is the perfect way to shorten the plane ride.
(As for you people who stay awake for the duration of 10-13 hour flights, you may want to check to see if you’re related to some of the characters on “True Blood” [vampires]. I don’t know how you do it.)
Six, I can’t or don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world very well when I’m on the road.
Despite having a BlackBerry that lives up to its promise as a “world phone” (Since I got it in January, it HAS worked in every city I’ve been to around the globe), one simply doesn’t have much free time to check in and keep up when you’re bouncing from one meeting or dinner to another.
The whole point of making these trips is to meet one’s colleagues on the ground and spend quality time, so that’s the priority.
So, I’m still playing catch up on the news flow (email and otherwise).
Seven, I still love my Nikon CoolPix camera and my FlipVideo camera…both allowed me to easily (and very portably) capture sights and sounds from the journey without having to lug around a lot of equipment.
Eight, I can’t wait for the World Cup next summer. I really enjoyed being around a bunch of honest-to-God futbol fans, and my excursion to see the Boca Juniors play Arsenal was a highlight of my trip.
If anybody needs a blogger to cover next summer’s World Cup, I’m so on that plane to Johannesburg…business, coach, or even luggage class.
And nine, regarding my iPod Touch: I don’t leave the country without it.
Since I got the “touch,” it has become my best friend while traveling. I now download books, games, music, podcasts, and even movies to carry with me on the road and to help pass the time, to Tweet, to read, to chill…it’s one of the first things I pack just to make sure I don’t forget it.
All that said, it’s nice to be back in Austin in time for the Thanksgiving holiday and a whole meal of American football.
Greetings from the Paris of the South.
Buenos Aires, that is. I landed here yesterday morning and though I’ve been on the ground right at 24 hours, I’ve already fallen in love with the place.
I was told this would be the case, but like any futile love, I resisted for as long as I could hold out but just didn’t have the willpower to resist.
I’m not here on vacation, but I did come in a day early to make the inevitable breakup that much harder.
As is my custom in cities I’ve never visited before, I went for a long walk to help fend off sleeplessness from the plane and jet lag, and found myself yesterday afternoon at the huge Sunday flea market on Defensa, a street right near my hotel.
Though not much of a shopper, the scenery on Defensa on a Sunday is not unlike that which you would see Washington Square Park on a weekend, only it’s on a street instead of a square.
I even saw a man without a head who apparently made his living having his picture taken with turistas like myself.
My real order of business for day one of my new love affair was to attend my first ever South American soccer (futbol) match.
I knew the joke was on me the moment I met my new friend, Tony, on the circus tour bus which almost didn’t get us to the game.
Tony, who hails from London, is a lifelong Arsenal (the one from the Premiere League) ticketholder, and who himself played in an amateur Sunday league until he was 38:
“What’s an American doing going to a soccer match?” he asked incredulously.
Ha ha ha.
Well, Tony, there are a few of we U.S. Americans hho graduate from soccer mom-dom to become actual fans of the beautiful game.
Describing the Buenos Aires game experience itself requires a whole other post to do it total justice (including the getting to the game, which is half the story).
Me, I was just worried about wearing the wrong colors and already trying to figure out in advance how to explain to my mom that she would need to contact the American embassy to get me out of jail for choosing the wrong color shirt.
But as fate would have it, I ended up wearing pretty neutral colors, until I found myself in the home stand (separated by glass and steel barriers from the “away” side…that, and concertina wire), in which case my side was chosen for me: Arsenal all the way, baby.
I have to go get some work done in advance of my meetings, but to whet your appetite for a more descriptive post about my first foreign futbol experience (other than the telly), let me just include the quick video byte below.
Hint: Focus on the sound. This was before the game had even started, as the riot police made their way onto the field (a purely offensive play on their part).
After this experience, I’ll just say this: American sports fans have no clue what real fandom is.
This small stadium of probably no more than 20K fans made more noise, more continuously, with more passion and enthusiasm, than all the American sporting events I’ve attended in my lifetime.
I’ve definitely fallen in love.