Turbotodd

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

Archive for May 2012

Trash Talk

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Click to enlarge. Given increasingly finite resources, individuals and businesses depend on balanced natural ecosystems for raw materials, water and energy. Given the links among its systems, a business committed to practicing sustainability considers both the immediate and far-reaching consequences of any action it takes and its direct impact on the environment. This IBM infographic showcases how the responsibility of sustainability starts with the individual — the individual awareness and behavior that contributes to the broader impact to help drive energy efficiency, conservation and other environmentally protective practices, making good business sense.

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.

Written by turbotodd

May 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

The Virtual U.S. Open: Open For Olympic

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The United States Golf Association (USGA) today launched the redesigned official website of the 112th U.S. Open Championship. Offering exceptional functionality and new features that will entertain, inform and engage fans, usopen.com will present the best online coverage of golf’s toughest test, which will be played at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, June 14–17.

The setting: The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The dates: June 14-17, 2012

The event: The 112th United States Golf Association (USGA) Open Championship, better known as, simply, “The U.S. Open.”

Today, the USGA launched the redesigned official website of the 112th U.S. Open Championship, and offers exceptional functionality and new features that will entertain, inform, and engage fans, and present the best online coverage of golf’s toughest test.

This year, the new usopen.com is powered by IBM’s cloud computing technology and will include a number of key features, including live-streaming video, live scoring, an interactive “PlayTracker,” along with access to Web and mobile applications that bring fans closer to the U.S. Open than ever before, wherever and whenever they want.

Also this year, the Virtual U.S. Open will allow fans to experience each hole at The Olympic Club just like the world’s best golfers.

Complete coverage of U.S. Open sectional qualifying, expanded social-media capabilities and enhanced near-time photo viewing are among the upgrades for 2012.

The official 2012 U.S. Open mobile application for Android and iPhone devices will be available for download on June 4.

Like usopen.com, the app’s tablet-friendly design will provide access to live HD video streaming, news, photos, real-time scoring and Twitter feeds.

Following is a debrief of some of this year’s new usopen.com features:

  • Sectional Qualifying Coverage: Scoring, photos and stories from the 11 U.S. Open sectional qualifying sites in the United States, all of which will be held on June 4th.
  • PicStream Photos: Watch all the action unfold from the 2012 U.S. Open through this near-time photo experience. Some of the best photographers in the industry will be transmitting vivid images directly from the fairways and greens of The Olympic Club.
  • PlayTracker Presented by IBM: An interactive leader board with graphic, dynamic representation of groups on the overall course map. Users can look up statistics, access scoring and trending information, and compare a player’s current stats to their previous rounds or to other players.
  • Enhanced Course Profile: Videos of The Olympic Club’s Lake Course that feature hole descriptions.
  • HD Live Streaming: Users can watch live streams of marquee groups during the first and second rounds on Thursday and Friday. Streaming-video coverage of select holes will also be available on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to watching video on usopen.com, fans can listen to the action via live ESPN Radio streaming.
  • Social Media: A page on usopen.com will be devoted to live updates of aggregated tweets from @USGA and @usopengolf, as well as players and broadcasters. In addition, fans will be invited to connect with each other by using the #usopengolf hashtag and by sharing their U.S. Open experiences, comments and photos at Facebook.com/usopengolf.
  • Virtual U.S. Open: Fans can play the challenging holes at The Olympic Club just as the best players in the world will. Developed in association with World Golf Tour, the Virtual U.S. Open will allow users to experience golf’s toughest test. Players who make the cut will qualify for a chance to win airfare, lodging and tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.
  • U.S. Open Mobile Application: Starting June 1, fans on the go can access live video, photos, real-time scoring and tweets on Android, iPhone and tablet devices. In addition, they can stream radio and utilize social media to interact with ESPN Radio analysts.

“We set out to create a multi-functional, easy-to-use website that will provide the outstanding digital experience that fans of the U.S. Open have come to expect,” said Sarah Hirshland, senior managing director, business affairs for the USGA. “With superb photography and video, compelling articles and enhanced interactivity, usopen.com extends beyond the desktop to bring the championship experience to the user.”

“We’re collaborating with the USGA to connect fans to the U.S. Open, no matter where they are located,” said Rick Singer, vice president of Client Executive Marketing for IBM, the official Information Technology partner of the USGA. “Our goal is to help golf fans feel like they’re on the course and part of the action in every round – from the first tee shot to the last putt on the 18th hole.”

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.

The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA or to follow all the action at this year’s 112th U.S. Open Championship online, visit www.usga.org.

For golf fans like myself, I couldn’t ask for a better way to follow this year’s U.S. Open action!

Written by turbotodd

May 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Internet Insecurity

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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.”

Recorded conversations?

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.

More details on Flame as they emerge…

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM VP & GM Yuchun Lee On Marketing Automation & Optimization

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Yuchun Lee is vice president, Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM), in the Industry Solutions division, IBM Software Group. EMM is comprised of Coremetrics and Unica technologies, providing the foundation for solutions to help companies automate, manage, and accelerate core business processes across marketing and demand generation.

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.

Written by turbotodd

May 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM Product Manager Mark Frigon On Smarter Web Analytics & Privacy

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Mark Frigon is a senior product manager with IBM’s Enterprise Marketing Management organization, a key group involved in leading IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative. Mark’s specialties are in Web analytics (he joined IBM as part of its acquisition of Coremetrics) and Internet privacy, an issue that has come to the forefront in recent years for digital marketers around the globe.

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.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: IBM VP Maria Winans On Smarter Commerce Marketing

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Maria Winans, IBM vice president, Industry Solutions Group, has helped champion IBM’s marketing strategy for its “Smarter Commerce” initiative, and has been instrumental in leading IBM’s efforts to reach beyond the traditional IT audience and into the “C-suite,” including most recently, to chief marketing officers.

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.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: Jose Luis-Iribarren On Social Network Diffusion

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Jose Luis-Iribarren is a 25-year veteran of IBM who led the Olympics Web projects for the Atlanta Summer games in 1996, Nagano in 1998 and the Sydney games in 2000, where he received the IBM Chairman Award for his work. At the Institute of Knowledge Engineering, Jose Luis has most recently been applying Social Network Analysis techniques to e-marketing. His goal with that effort is to develop a quantitative model of information diffusion through online social networks.

The strangest things happen when you find yourself walking out of an elevator (or, as they call it here in Europe, a “lift”) in hotels halfway around the world.

In my case, I stumbled upon an old friend this morning, Jose Luis-Iribarren, a former IBMer and now social networks innovation manager with the Institute of Knowledge Engineering here in Madrid.

Jose Luis spent 25 years at IBM, where he led the creation of the first official Web Site for an Olympic Games for Atlanta in 1996.

I also had the opportunity to hear firsthand some of his experiences in “pathfinding” the early digital marketing milieu, as well as some fascinating stories about his experiences helping manage the Web (including learning about the “Bento Box” effect in the 1998 Nagano Olympic Winter Games).

It was a far-ranging discussion about the cutting edge of digital marketing, and a great opportunity to renew the acquaintance of old friend.

And all because of the serendipity of an elevator, and the real-world network effect!

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