Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘japan’ Category

Sony and Sony Global Education Develop a New System on IBM Blockchain to Manage Students’ Learning Data

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IBM Japan today announced that Sony Corporation and Sony Global Education, a subsidiary of Sony that works to provide global educational services, have developed a new blockchain-based student education records platform.

With the solution, school administrators can consolidate and manage students’ educational data from several schools, as well as record and refer their learning history and digital academic transcripts with more certainty. The new platform, developed using IBM Blockchain, uses blockchain technology running on the IBM Cloud to track students’ learning progress, as well as establish transparency and accountability of scholastic achievements between students and schools.

The new system can record student data, sharing it with the network of need-to-know parties including school administrators and prospective employers. Using IBM Blockchain, student educational data on the platform is verified.

Educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities can use it to share data to help teachers more easily determine and implement unique teaching methods for each student, as well as help vendors target offerings based on verified needs. In addition, the platform can help manage a variety of student services offered by different parties and consolidate them in a single repository of information. It also enables parties to reliably share digital transcripts with one another.

Blockchain technology can help bring transparency and help build trust to transactions. It enables users to create networks that are permissioned and immutable; meaning they cannot be changed or altered by any one party. When a transaction takes place on the blockchain, all members of the network can see it, therefore operating from a common truth.

“Blockchain technology has the potential to impact systems in a wide variety of industries, and the educational sphere is no exception when educational data is securely stored on the blockchain and shared among permissioned users. We are pleased that we have worked together with IBM to build a new system which can help effect real change in the education sector,” said Masaaki Isozu, President of Sony Global Education.

The platform is built on IBM Blockchain, which is delivered via the IBM Cloud and powered by Hyperledger Fabric 1.0, a blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Sony Global Education is working with various educational institutions with the intent to launch the blockchain-based service in 2018. Beyond the education sector, blockchain can be used in a wide range of fields, including supply chain and logistics. As Sony Group, which owns a variety of business domains, continues to evaluate and develop the system, it is considering how to apply blockchain to additional products and services.

IBM is the leader in open-source blockchain solutions built for the enterprise. As an early member of Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, IBM is dedicated to supporting the development of openly-governed blockchains. IBM has worked with more than 400 clients across financial services, supply chains, IoT, risk management, digital rights management and healthcare to implement blockchain applications. For more information about IBM Blockchain, visit www.ibm.com/blockchain.

Todd "Turbo" Watson
Twitter:@turbotodd
Blog: www.turbotodd.com
Email: toddhttp://about.me/toddwatson

Written by turbotodd

August 9, 2017 at 11:31 am

Robots Moving East

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The robot wars are headed east.

TechCrunch is reporting that Japanese tech giant Softbank is buying robotics firms Boston Dynamics and Schaft from Alphabet.

Direct from the press release:

Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., said, “Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots. I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling.”
– via SoftBank Group

The release also explains: “The transaction aligns with SoftBank’s investments in paradigm-shifting technology and its vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics.”

But this likely isn’t just about robots for robotics’ sake. A recent CNBC story explained that Japan’s service sector accounts for 70 percent of its economic output, and yet its labor productivity is 40 percent less than in the U.S.

And Japan’s population is declining faster than any other country:

Economists argue that Japan either needs to accept more immigrants or put robots to work.
– via CNBC

Okay, robots, smoke break’s over, get back to work!

Written by turbotodd

June 9, 2017 at 9:49 am

Mizuho Bank And IBM Japan Building Trade Financial Platform With Blockchain

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Mizuho Financial Group, Mizuho Bank and IBM Japan today announced they are building a blockchain-based trade financing platform for trade financing. With the platform, Mizuho is aiming to streamline trading operations and improve supply chain efficiency.

The timely and highly secure exchange of trade documents is essential for stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem. Digitizing trade information on the blockchain can help change the way information is shared, infusing greater trust into transactions to make it easier for parties involved in the supply chain, including exporters, importers, shippers, insurance companies, port operators and port authorities, to share critical shipment data in near real-time.

Mizuho Financial Group is working with IBM Japan to ultimately conduct actual trade transactions based on Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.

Specifically, the project exchanges digitized letters of credit for actual trade transactions between Japan and overseas clients. As the letter of credit is digitally shared among parties including importers, exporters and their banks, it is expected to simplify the associated document creation and exchange processes, which have traditionally been time- and paper-intensive.

Also, the system will enable all parties to view the latest shipment status data, which can result in reduced trade transaction and processing costs.

“We are pleased to be the market leader in Japan in powering our processes and workflows with distributed ledger technology and continue to work aggressively towards expanding our portfolio of its implementations across the group,” said Daisuke Yamada, Managing Executive officer and Chief Digital Innovation Officer of Mizuho Financial Group. “The global expertise in digital technology of IBM complements our vision and has opened further avenues for us to tap the potential of distributed ledger in transforming our processes and workflows for better enterprise agility, transparency and regulatory reporting.”

This first phase of the project will lead to Mizuho conducting actual trade transactions using blockchain in June 2017 advancing the trade financial platform for commercialization. Mizuho continues to utilize new technologies, like blockchain, for innovative and better financial services for customers. Mizuho worked with IBM on another blockchain pilot focused on currency settlement.

IBM launched IBM Blockchain on Bluemix for organizations that require blockchain networks that are trusted, open and ready for business.

You can learn more about IBM Blockchain on Bluemix here.

Written by turbotodd

April 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

Digital Diet

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We’re less than 24 hours away from financial Armageddon.  I’ve been stocking up on water and non-perishables in my garage, just in case.

No no, no tin foil helmet radio for me.  Justttt kiddingg.

I’m confident our politicians are going to reach some fiscal sanity, and my understanding of the process is that the Senate is about to vote on the bill passed last evening by the House, so my fingers are crossed.

But let it be known that the U.S. Congress isn’t the only legislative body that’s busy attending to the peoples’ business.

In Japan, IBM announced yesterday that it’s helping the National Diet Library of Japan, the country’s only national library, to digitize its literary artifacts on a massive scale to make them widely available and searchable online (The Diet is the legislative body in Japan).

The prototype technology enabling the system was built by IBM Research and allows full-text digitization of Japanese literature to be quickly realized through expansive recognition of Japanese characters and enabling users to collaboratively review and correct language characters, script and structure.

The system is also designed to promote future international collaborations and standardization of libraries around the world.

“Nearly two decades ago in his book Digital Library, Dr. Makoto Nagao, the director of the National Diet Library, shared his vision that digitized and structured electronic books will dramatically change the role of libraries and the way knowledge will be shared and reused in our society,” said Dr. Hironobu Takagi, who led the development of the prototype technology at IBM Research – Tokyo.

“Until now, the breadth of the characters and expressions within the Japanese language had posed a series of challenges to massive digitization. In order to enable this transfer of knowledge from print to online, we realized the need for both machine and human intelligence to understand information in every form.”

Compared to other languages, which rely on just a few dozen alphabetical characters, Japanese is extremely diverse in terms of script. In addition to syllabary characters, hiragana and katakana, Japanese includes about 10,000 kanji characters (including old characters, variants and 2,136 commonly used characters), in addition to ruby (a small Japanese syllabary character reading aid printed right next to a kanji) and mixed vertical and horizontal texts.

Aside from ensuring quality recognition of Japanese characters, IBM researchers aimed to optimize the amount of time needed to review and verify the accuracy of the digitized texts. By introducing unique collaborative tools via crowdsourcing, the technology allows many users to quickly pour through the texts and make corrections at a much higher rate of productivity and efficiency.

Written by turbotodd

August 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Cloud Expansion In Japan

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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.

LotusLive Expansion

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.

Written by turbotodd

July 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

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