Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for November 2009

Donde Esta Turbo?

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Maybe it’s just Austin, but I sure like the airport on a Saturday.

Plenty of parking, easy security lines, no problemo.

I’m off to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to participate in some workshops there.  I do believe this is my first trip that far south (the previous record having been Rio de Janiero).

I’ll have some first impressions and possibly some pics in the next couple of days.  For now, a long night of travel in the cattle car.

I’m brushing up my Spanish, especially the part about asking for another beer and where are the facilities.

Those two phrases, along with the local equivalents of please and thank you, have carried me far in my global wanderings.

I aspire to learn even more during my trip to Argentina.

“Donde esta Turbo?”


Written by turbotodd

November 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Posted in business travel

Government Insight

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Remember from my blogging coverage of IBM’s Information on Demand event in Vegas a couple of weeks ago IBM Global Business Services exec Frank Kern let the cat out of the bag about a couple of new business analytics centers that IBM would be opening?

One in London, centering on the financial industry.  The other in Washington, D.C., centering on the public sector.

Well, welcome to Washington.

On Tuesday, IBM officially announced the sixth in its network of analytics solution centers, this one dedicated to helping federal agencies and other public sector organizations extract actionable insights from their data.

Actionable insight out of Washington, D.C.?  Get the popcorn ready! (along with your filibuster rally hats!)

In all business analytics seriousness, the new IBM Analytics Solution Center in Washington, D.C., will draw on the expertise of more than 400 IBM professionals to apply breakthrough streaming technologies, mathematical algorithms, and modeling.

Using these tools, IBM will help clients optimize individual business decisions, processes and even entire business models, as well as manage risk and fraud and, ultimately, improve the delivery of public services.

The new center will be located in IBM’s Institute for Electronic Government at 1301 K Street, N.W., and will serve as the hub for collaboration with federal agencies, academia, and other institutions in the Washington Metro Area.

Expected analytics projects will range from transportation and social services to defense logistics and homeland security systems.

By way of example, among the analytics projects already underway with government agencies, IBM is working with the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to modernize the planning, programming, budgeting and execution functions within the command.

USSOCOM is the combatant command within the Department of Defense that provides fully capable special operations forces to defend the U.S. and its interests. The command also plans and synchronizes operations against terrorist networks.

The project consists of the design, development and integration of a Special Operations Resource Business Information System, which speeds access to information for the command.

Another project: IBM, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and MedVirginia developed a first-of-a-kind electronic records exchange system to shave the amount of time to receive medical records from weeks to minutes.

IBM also worked with SSA to build a predictive model using text analytics to help identify initial disability applications that are likely quick allowances and helped reduce the amount of time for a favorable initial disability determination on these applications from months to weeks.

The Washington-based IBM Analytics Solution Center, which specializes in the work of the public sector, is part of IBM’s business strategy to expand its business analytics and optimization capabilities and services globally.

IBM has opened five other analytics solution centers – in New York, Dallas, Berlin, Beijing and Tokyo — and expects to retrain or hire as many as 4,000 new analytics consultants and professionals globally as part of these centers.

Written by turbotodd

November 12, 2009 at 5:15 pm

Defragging Defrag

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I didn’t make it to defrag this year…again…but I’m following the memes emanating out of Denver very closely, and there are already some gems.

No big surprise, considering folks like Stowe Boyd, Doc Searls, Chris Locke, and other Web/cluetrain thought leaders are in attendance.

It’s killing me not to hear the “Cluetrain at 10” convo that will wrap the event tomorrow, but I’ll be keeping an eye on the #defrag hashtag to see what done got said.

And many thanks to those of you in the crowd who have been tweeting and blogging today’s tidings.

I was especially intrigued by Louis Gray’s recap of Stowe Boyd’s talk about search becoming less and less useful in the real-time web.

Boyd’s talk seemed to suggest that social tools are changing the culture, that the information flow is increasingly channeled through people, not algorithms.

Summarizes Gray, “One of the biggest reasons he thinks meaning will replace search is that the initial argument for search engines was trying to find the few documents on the Web that were relevant to your query, and now, practically any search can deliver millions of results.  Search is starting to fail because scarcity has been replaced by infinity.”

Whoa.  Infinity.

Gray continues his synthesis: “We are heading toward a world where all the critical information is available publicly, and breaking news is a few seconds away – at the most. We will switch to instead relying on finding things through our social connections – engines of meaning, and the source of what is important.”

I interpret that to mean that when combining human intelligence with the speed and reaction of human response, there ain’t no algorithm on earth can beat we humans.

Very empowering, and I’m glad to know the machines aren’t completely taking over (including Hal).

So, take Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point fundamentals and unleash the energy of all those mavens and connectors and make them super mavens/connectors via the network?

Because, Gray has Boyd concluding, “We are not sharing space online, we are sharing time.  Our time is increasingly not our own. A shared thread of time will be the norm, and how we will get work done.”

Those moments will replace our static Web pages.  And this new element in today’s social Web could be “the most defining moment of our civilization.”

Hmm.  I thought that defining moment had been when Oprah had Ashton Kutcher on to talk about Twitter.

All joking aside, some interesting memes which may or may not prove to be true are revealing themselves by some of the thought captains of the industry.

I will continue to mull these over as I embark a defrag inspired margarita drinking binge with my friend Syd here shortly.

(Syd will be providing me a show and tell of her new Motorola Droid, won’t you Syd?)

Written by turbotodd

November 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Gartner: SaaS Clouds Growing

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Gartner just issued its 2009 SaaS revenue forecast, in which it said it expected the sector to grow nearly 18 percent this year, to $7.5B.

Gartner also expects the sector to show consistent growth through 2013, when it suggests the worldwide SaaS revenue will total over $14B.

The content, communications and collaboration (CCC) market (visit LotusLive to see how IBM plays in this space) and the customer relationship management (CRM) market continue to have the largest amount of SaaS revenue across market segments.

Gartner says that the CCC market generated $2.6 billion in 2009, up from $2.14 billion in 2008, and the CRM segment generating $2.3 billion in 2009, up from $1.9 billion in 2008.

The future of SaaS seems to be so bright you gotta wear a raincoat.

Written by turbotodd

November 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Texas News You Can Use

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So Rupert Murdoch is suggesting that he may soon make News Corp. content unfindable to Google searchers, soon being after he launches his paid content strategy.

But as the mUmBRELLA blog from Australia points out, all Murdoch and team need do is block said content from the Google index using the robots.txt protocol.

My only question to News Corp. is, isn’t that kind of like making yourself invisible in cyberspace?

Unless, of course, you want to be invisible, in which case, have at it.

Hey, I understand it’s a difficult time for many major media in terms of economics.  As someone who studied mass communications for his master’s degree, I can relate to the massive earthshaking taking place in the media industry: Craig’s List classifieds, dwindling readership, less advertisers…I get it.

On the other hand, all media have always been about gaining individual attention, and if the attention stream is now defined through search engines instead of the front page, that’s a reality that must be reckoned with.

New realities bring new business models — just take the new Texas Tribune, which former Texas Monthly editor Evan Smith left one of the seemingly cushiest magazine jobs around right here in Austin to help co-found.

The Tribune positions itself as a “non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization,” whose mission is “to promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern.”

The Tribune launched in record time (I think I read their site build was less than 6 weeks) on November 3, and it’s “About Us” page suggests that folks should read the Tribune and their local paper.

It also says that the Tribune will cover a “full range of big, important topics, including immigration, education, transportation, health care, water, the environment, criminal justice, energy, poverty — pretty much every line in the state budget.”

They had me going until that last line, but hey, maybe there’s more to the Texas state budget than meets the eye.

The point being, they at least aspire to provide coverage that is geared towards bringing sunshine into the political process and telling stories about public policy and government that impact the lives of millions of Texans, rather than focusing all their attention exclusively on the latest bright and shiny object.

Not without some irony, the major media — in this case, The New York Times — wrote an organizational profile piece today about the Tribune, explaining how that instead of going deep on the Ft. Hood shootings last Friday, the Texas Tribune was instead focusing on the “50 highest paid state employees and an exclusive about a state representative who had switched parties.”

I am glad to see a new news entity here in Texas moving beyond the sensational and into public service journalism, and hope the new sunshine can also help make some rain for the citizens of Texas, while also making payroll for the Texas Tribune.

As for Rupert Murdoch, I wish him and his News Corp. properties good luck with turning off the Google attention stream.

If he needs some help, here’s some instructions for disabling that robots.txt file.

It’s not very often you get to see a world-renowned media celebrity play virtual Russian Roulette.

Written by turbotodd

November 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Yanks in the Clouds

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How about those New York Yankees???!

Okay, that’s all I’ll say about that, lest I infuriate fans of the Phillies, the Twins, and the Angels.  But hey, thanks for playin’!

I really enjoyed post-season baseball this year…allowed me to reminisce about my time living in NYC, and playing baseball as a kid growing up in north Texas, which was kind of like breathing oxygen in the springtime.  You just did it.

Hats off to MVP Hideki Matsui…6 RBIs, a two-run homer to get things going in the sixth and final game…wow.  Fans back in Japan are going wild with enthusiasm…I just can’t believe the Bronx Bombers aren’t going to ask him back.

This was the first ever World Series I got to trade barbs with fans from other teams online as ubiquitously as was the case this year.  Facebook, Twitter, Email…I took it from all sides, and I gave it right back.

I’ve concluded there are three certainties in life, not two.  Death, Taxes, and you either LOVE or HATE the Yankees.  There’s just not much in between.

I’m one of those who LOVES the Yankees…so bring on your love and your hate…allcomers welcome.

When you finish beating up on the 27-time Major League Baseball World Champion New York Yankees, who have now won 40 American League Pennants…more championships than any other franchise in any North American professional sports history…well, it may be time to enter the IBM Cloud Academy to do a little studying.

Launched recently, the IBM Cloud Academy is a global forum for educators, researchers, and IT pros from the education industry to pursue cloud computing initiatives, develop skills, and share best practices for reducing operating costs while improving quality and access to education.

The IBM Cloud Academy will enable a number of higher learning institutions and other participants to collaborate using an IBM-managed cloud, available via the Internet, lowering barriers to entry for the development and contribution of subject matter expertise.

Through the Academy, members can create working groups on areas of interest to the education industry, “jam” on new innovations for clouds in education-related areas with IBM developers, work jointly on technical projects across institutions, share research findings, and exchange new ideas for research.

Participants are also encouraged to innovate to further advance cloud computing by preparing education-focused open source software for clouds, integrating cloud provisioning and de-provisioning services, validating content for compliance with accessibility standard, and leveraging IBM cloud offerings for teaching, learning, research and administration.

For more information on IBM’s cloud computing university initiatives, please visit www.ibm.com/university/cloud.

Written by turbotodd

November 5, 2009 at 2:50 pm

IBM Launches Health Analytics Center in Dallas

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As part of its continued investment in the business analytics space, IBM announced yesterday the launch of its Health Analytics Solution Center, another in a network of global centers addressing the growing demand for advanced analytics.

The IBM Global Solution Center in Dallas is intended to help hospitals and medical staff improve decision-making and provide higher quality care, and will employ more than 100 health analytics experts, technical architects and specialists, with access to hundreds more health industry experts from across IBM.

This will be the first center of its kind to address the need for advanced analytics across the health care industry, taking advantage of increased computing power to collect and analyze data streaming in from sensors, patient monitoring systems, medical instruments, and handheld devices, not to mention the volumes of data generated by hospitals every hour.

This data can be used to bring a new level of intelligence to health care to help doctors, nurses, and medical staffs tackle complex problems such as disease management, patient population studies, and the like.

The IBM Health Analytics Center is part of a business strategy recently detailed by IBM as the company expands its capabilities around business analytics.

IBM is also opening six other analytics solution centers in Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo, New York City, London, and Washington, D.C., and as part of this initiative, expects to retrain or hire as many as 4,000 new analytics consultants and professionals globally.

Written by turbotodd

November 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

The Tweeter

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You knew this was coming, right?

I mean, you didn’t have to read the tea leaves or anything.  It was inevitable.

It was a Tweeting fait accompli.

I’m referring, of course, to the “TwitterPeek,” a mobile device dedicated exclusively to Tweeting.

According to the WSJ Venture Capital Dispatch blog, the TwitterPeek has all the same functionality of a desktop Twitter client: reading tweets, sending tweets, replying, retweeting and DMing – only now you could Tweet on the Go.

I was already Tweeting on the go myself, through my Blackberry Bold and using UberTwitter.

But for many of you who don’t have a mobile device…or for the completely Tweeting-Addicted…well, the TwitterPeek could just be the thing.

So what’s next?  The Facebook Status Tablet?  That’s right, you’ll never be without Facebook status updates again!

Me, I think I’ll pass, but the TwitterPeek is seemingly arriving at a serendipitous moment, just in time for Twitter Lists.

I built my first Twitter public list today (Turbo Digital), and though it can take a few minutes to pull one together, you can start to see both the immediate personal and public value of making your own Twitter list and checking it twice.

Written by turbotodd

November 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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