Turbotodd

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

Archive for the ‘pattern recognition’ Category

Big Data, Big Security, Big Boxes

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There’s been some substantial “Big Data” announcements over the past week from Big Blue.

Late last week, on the heels of the public disclosure of security breaches at a number of major media organizations, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, IBM announced its new “IBM Security Intelligence With Big Data” offering, which combines leading security intellignece with big data analytics capabilities for both external cyber security threats and internal risk detection and protection.

You can learn more about that offering here.

IBM is also working to make it easier for organizations to quickly adopt and deploy big data and cloud computing solutions.

Today, the company announced major advances to its PureSystems family of expert integrated systems.

Now, organizations challenged by limited IT skills and resources can quickly comb through massive volumes of data and uncover critical trends that can dramatically impact their business.

The new PureSystems models also help to remove the complexity of developing cloud-based services by making it easier to provision, deploy and manage a secure cloud environment.

Together, these moves by IBM further extend its leadership in big data and next generation computing environments such as cloud computing, while opening up new opportunities within growth markets and with organizations such as managed service providers (MSPs).

Big Data Only Getting Bigger

Across all industries and geographies, organizations of various sizes are being challenged to find simpler and faster ways to analyze massive amounts of data and better meet client needs.

According to IDC, the market for big data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015, up from $3.2 billion in 2010.1

At the same time, an IBM study found that almost three-fourths of leaders surveyed indicated their companies had piloted, adopted or substantially implemented cloud in their organizations — and 90 percent expect to have done so in three years. While the demand is high, many organizations do not have the resources or skills to embrace it.

Today’s news includes PureData System for Analytics to capitalize on big data opportunities; a smaller PureApplication System to accelerate cloud deployments for a broader range of organizations; PureApplication System on POWER7+ to ease management of transaction and analytics applications in the cloud; additional options for MSPs across the PureSystems family including flexible financing options and specific MSP Editions to support new services models; and SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure to ease management of virtual desktop solutions.

New Systems Tuned for Big Data

The new IBM PureData System for Analytics, powered by Netezza technology, features 50 percent greater data capacity per rack3 and is able to crunch data 3x faster4, making this system a top performer, while also addressing the challenges of big data.

The IBM PureData System for Analytics is designed to assist organizations with managing more data while maintaining efficiency in the data center – a major concern for clients of all sizes.

With IBM PureData System for Analytics, physicians can analyze patient information faster and retailers can better gain insight into customer behavior. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) relies on PureData System for Analytics to handle an enormous volume of data in its trading systems and identify and investigate trading anomalies faster and easier.

You can learn more about these and other new PureSystems capabilities here.

To aid in the detection of stealthy threats that can hide in the increasing mounds of data, IBM recently announced IBM Security Intelligence with Big Data, combining leading security intelligence with big data analytics capabilities for both external cyber security threats and internal risk detection and prevention. IBM Security Intelligence with Big Data provides a comprehensive approach that allows security analysts to extend their analysis well beyond typical security data and to hunt for malicious cyber activity.

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: A Q&A With Nate Silver On The Promise Of Prediction

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Day 3 at Information On Demand 2012.

The suggestion to “Think Big” continued, so Scott Laningham and I sat down very early this morning with Nate Silver, blogger and author of the now New York Times bestseller, “The Signal and the Noise” (You can read the review of the book in the Times here).

Nate, who is a youngish 34, has become our leading statistician through his innovative analyses of political polling, but made his original name by building a widely acclaimed baseball statistical analysis system called “PECOTA.”

Today, Nate runs the award-winning political website FiveThirtyEight.com, which is now published in The New York Times and which has made Nate the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.

In his book, the full title of which is “The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t,” Silver explores how data-based predictions underpin a growing sector of critical fields, from political polling to weather forecasting to the stock market to chess to the war on terror.

In the book, Nate poses some key questions, including what kind of predictions can we trust, and are the “predicters” using reliable methods? Also, what sorts of things can, and cannot, be predicted?

In our conversation in the greenroom just prior to his keynote at Information On Demand 2012 earlier today, Scott and I probed along a number of these vectors, asking Nate about the importance of prediction in Big Data, statistical influence on sports and player predictions (a la “Moneyball”), how large organizations can improve their predictive capabilities, and much more.

It was a refreshing and eye-opening interview, and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as Scott and I enjoyed conducting it!

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: A Q&A With Manoj Saxena About IBM’s Watson Being Put To Work

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IBM General Manager of Watson Solutions Manoj Saxena is responsible for the commercialization efforts of IBM’s Watson technology globally.

This morning on the IBM InterConnect stage, IBM general manager for the IBM Watson Solutions organization, Manoj Saxena, explained to the gathered audience in Singapore how IBM has taken Watson out of its “Jeopardy!” TV show playground and put Watson to work!

I last discussed Watson with Manoj this past April at the IBM Impact event, when Watson had just matriculated into the workforce, getting jobs in both the healthcare and financial services industries.

During our interview yesterday here at IBM InterConnect, Manoj and I conducted a mid-year performance review for Watson, and the evaluation was overwhelmingly positive — Watson will continue to stay gainfully employed, but as with any cutting edge technology, there are always areas for improvement.

We discussed all of this, and how Manoj’s team has made Watson smaller and smarter, during our interview here in Singapore. Manoj also explained how Watson has really become a demonstrable example of “one of the most dramatic shifts we’re going to see in our life times,” the shift from transactional to cognitive computing.

You can view the interview here.

A New Class Of Security

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Click to enlarge. This graph outlines some of the key types of security attacker types and techniques that the 2011 IBM X-Force Trends Report identified as being most common. By the end of last year, the frequency and scope of these incidents persisted, and continue to bring awareness to the basic tenants of operating a business and protecting its assets in an increasingly connected world.

As hackers increasingly find new and nefarious ways to threaten the global digital infrastructure, recent policy advancements such as the proposed “Cybersecurity Act of 2012” in the U.S. have been introduced as solutions to the world’s growing cybersecurity problem.

While IBM accepts it is an imperative to properly secure critical systems, private sector advancements should be balanced with pragmatic legislative policies that avoid overly-prescriptive mandates that can inhibit the very innovation needed to ensure cybersecurity.

Consequently, IBM moved quickly and sent a letter urging the U.S. Senate to address flaws in the proposed cybersecurity bill.

According to IBM’s X-Force 2011 Trend and Risk Report, cyber attackers are adapting and moving quickly to target newer information technologies such as social networks and mobile devices. This rapidly evolving nature of cyber attacks necessitates a new approach to enabling cybersecurity.

Responding to the ever-changing nature and volume of attacks requires agility, risk-based management, and a commitment to innovative defensive measures. IBM supports bipartisan, cybersecurity legislation, but the “Cybersecurity Act of 2012” would add bureaucracy to a process that needs speed to succeed.

Government and industry would be best served by a common-sense approach to cybersecurity that allows for investment in R&D, improved information sharing between public and private sectors, better security for federal IT networks, and criminal penalties for cyber-crimes.

Industry Solutions To A Network Problem

Advanced threats, rapid adoption of social media, and Web applications have also been driving the need for new, intelligent approaches to security.

As employee access to the Web has become ubiquitous, enterprises are struggling with massive increases in malware as well as Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), which can compromise proprietary data.

Many of today’s security solutions often offer limited visibility and control over network activity, which can put the company at risk.

To help clients proactively protect against evolving security threats, including those posed by social media sites and malicious websites, IBM today announced a new class of network security appliance that delivers a more granular view of a company’s security posture and a simplified security management interface.

This new next-generation intrusion prevention appliance helps clients address advanced attacks targeting their organization, providing visibility into exactly what applications are being used on the network, where users are going on the Web, with the ability to monitor and control this activity, which can result in improved security and reduced operational costs.

IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5000

IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5000 is a next-generation intrusion protection system specifically designed to address the constantly evolving, increasingly sophisticated threats that organizations face today.

It builds on the proven, core security features found in IBM Security Network Intrusion Prevention System, including helping protect against “zero-day” exploits, by adding new levels of visibility and control over the network, applications, data and users to help improve security by helping prevent misuse and identify previously undetectable threats.

IBM Security Network Protection incorporates global threat intelligence from X-Force, including a Web filter database of over 15 billion URLs — capable of monitoring and categorizing millions of Web servers and applications each day to provide superior protection against the changing threat landscape.

Gaining Control, And Visibility, Into Security Events

Once organizations are aware of the nature of activity on their network, the new application control features enable clients to have granular control over what is happening on their network; this means granular user and group-level control over which applications and Websites are permitted, and how they are used down to individual actions or activities within these applications and sites.

IBM Security’s Advanced Threat Protection Platform helps clients by providing the following features and capabilities:

  • Proven security to help protect against zero-day threats: enables preemptive protection against a full spectrum of advanced threats, including Web application attacks and exploits hidden in files. IBM’s protection engine is built upon years of security intelligence gathered by X-Force Research, and can stop entire classes of attacks — including new and unknown threats – without updates; most solutions available today match individual protection signatures — a process that can be too slow to stop evolving threats and can result in higher rates of false positives and false negatives.
  • Visibility and insight: provides application awareness, monitoring and control, with high level dashboards for drilling down into events and reporting. Also provides deep insight into the nature of activities on the network through broad application awareness and flow data analysis. Integrates with QRadar Security Intelligence Platform to provide even greater levels of insight including anomaly detection and event correlation.
  • Control: utilizes intelligence related to Web applications, Websites, and non-Web applications, including Web application and Web site coverage with over 15 Billion URLs across 68 categories and support for 1000+ applications and actions.

IBM Security Network Protection XGS 5000 will be available starting in 3Q12.

 About IBM Security

IBM’s security portfolio provides the security intelligence to help organizations holistically protect their people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM offers solutions for identity and access management, security information and event management, database security, application development, risk management, endpoint management, next-generation intrusion protection and more.

IBM operates one of the world’s broadest security research and development, and delivery organizations. This comprises nine security operations centers, nine IBM Research centers, 11 software security development labs and an Institute for Advanced Security with chapters in the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. IBM monitors 15 billion security events per day in more than 130 countries and holds more than 3,000 security patents.

Look To The Heavens

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If you’ve ever fancied yourself a sort of Walter Mitty-ish astronomer, you’re going to like this one.

IBM announced today that the Victoria University of Wellington, on behalf of the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) Consortium, has selected IBM systems technology to help scientists probe the origins of the universe.

This effort is the result of an international collaboration between 13 institutions from Australia, New Zealand, U.S. and India.  The MWA is a new type of radio telescope designed to capture low frequency radio waves from deep space as well as the volatile atmospheric conditions of the Sun.

The signals will be captured by the telescope’s 4,096 dipole antennas positioned in the Australian Outback in a continuous stream and processed by an IBM iDataPlex dx360 M3 computing cluster that will convert the radio waves into wide-field images of the sky that are unprecedented in clarity and detail.

The IBM iDataPlex cluster will replace MWA’s existing custom-made hardware systems and will enable greater flexibility and increased signal processing.

The cluster is expected to process approximately 50 terabytes of data per day at full data rate at a speed of 8 gigabytes per second, the equivalent to over 2,000 digital songs per second, allowing scientists to study more of the sky faster than ever before, and with greater detail.

The ultimate goal of this revolutionary $51 million MWA telescope is to observe the early universe, when stars and galaxies were first born.

By detecting and studying the weak radio signals emitted from when the universe consisted of only a dark void of hydrogen gas — the cosmic “dark age” — scientists hope to understand how stars, planets and galaxies were formed. The telescope will also be used by scientists to study the sun’s heliosphere during periods of strong solar activity and time-varying astronomical objects such as pulsars.

The IBM iDataPlex cluster will be housed on-site in the Murchison Radio Observatory (MRO) site around 700 km north of Perth, near the radio telescope antennas.

With a 10 Gbps communications link to Perth, it will allow the images to be transferred and stored and made available for research. The MRO site will also be the Australian location for a significant portion of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope and is being co-hosted by Australia and South Africa.

The MWA project is led by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University and is one of three SKA precursor telescopes.

You can learn more about the MWA telescope here.

Futbol And Football

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Anybody following the UEFA Champions League semi-finals this week?

If you’re a soccer fan, it’s been a “must-see” week, with Chelsea outing the world-class Barcelona team on a 2nd half lay-up by Fernando Torres in a match earlier this week, and Real Madrid losing to Bayern Munich last night in a heartbreaking 3-1 penalty shoot-out after Bayern had tied Real-Madrid 3-3 in the aggregate.

Bayern, a four-time champion of the Champions League, will now have reached the final for the second time in three seasons, and will take on Chelsea at Allianz Arena May 19.

Of course, if you’re more interested in the football that takes place on this side of the Atlantic (I happen to enjoy both!), then you’ll want to tune in to ESPN this evening at 8 PM EST for the first round of this year’s NFL draft.

The first five projections? Stanford QB Andrew Luck is expected to go to Indianapolis at #1.  #2 is Baylor’s QB Robert Griffin III to the Redskins.  #3 is offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC, expected to head to the Vikings. #4 looks to be Alabama running back Trent Richardson, expected to be picked up by Cleveland. And bringing in the rear is LSU corner back Morris Claiborne, expected to be taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But this is all pure speculation, so watch tonight’s first round tidings to know for sure.

Meanwhile, IBM made an important announcement today in the healthcare research field.  It announced that researchers from The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo are using IBM analytics technology to study more than 2,000 genetic and environmental factors that may contribute to multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

As part of the initiative, Researchers will tap into IBM’s analytics technology to develop algorithms for big data containing genomic datasets to uncover critical factors that speed up disease progression in MS patients.  Insights gained from the research will be shared with hundreds of doctors to better tailor individual treatments to slow brain injury, physical disability and cognitive impairments caused by MS.

Using IBM analytics technology, SUNY Buffalo researchers can for the first time explore clinical and patient data to find hidden trends among MS patients by looking at factors such as gender, geography, ethnicity, diet, exercise, sun exposure, and living and working conditions. The big data including medical records, lab results, MRI scans and patient surveys, arrives in various formats and sizes, requiring researchers to spend days making it manageable before they can analyze it.

Using an IBM Netezza analytics appliance with software from IBM business partner, Revolution Analytics, researchers can now analyze all the disparate data in a matter of minutes instead of days, regardless of what type or size it is. The technology automatically consumes and analyzes the data, and makes the results available for further analysis. As a result, researchers can now focus their time on analyzing trends instead of managing data.

MS is a chronic neurological disease for which there is no cure. The disease is believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, infectious and autoimmune factors making treatment difficult. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, there are approximately 400,000 people in the US with MS, and 200 people are diagnosed every week. Worldwide, MS is estimated to affect more than 2.1 million people.

You can learn more about IBM’s Big Data strategy and portfolio here.

Big Data, Bigger Business Opportunity

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IBM today is making some significant announcements in the business analytics realm that builds on the already $16+ billion the company has already invested in smarter intelligence over the last half decade.

Smarter business analytics and intelligence is an idea whose time has come. Even as the global economy strengthens organizations are faced with difficult choices: Many are still being asked to do more work with less — less people, less investment, less of everything — and so we find ourselves at a crossroads.

Do we continue to do business the way we’ve done so for the past half century, one that was generally based upon a presumption of generous abundance?

Or, do we begin to acknowledge instead an abundance of scarcity — in natural resources, in human talent, in financial capital —  and instead start to work “smarter,” to use technology to help us better understand and make — or as may often be the case, “remake” — the world around us?

Big data is the digital convergence of structured data found inside databases, and unstructured data flowing from new sources like social networks, mobile devices, sensors, RFID, smart meters and financial systems. Today in NYC and London, IBM announced new consulting services and software that takes the power of predictive analytics to new levels of impact against C-suite decision makers' highest priority issues.

The Coming Information Gusher

As IBM CEO Ginny Rometty outlined in our recent annual report, “the world is uniquely positioned to deliver the benefits of a vast new natural resource — a gusher of data from both man-made and natural systems that can now be tapped to help businesses and institutions succeed in an increasingly complex and dynamic global economy.”

This “gusher” is one of the most exciting and game-changing phenomena to arrive on the scene since the advent of the microprocessor. But it’s arrival will be both opportunity and disruptor, and how organizations choose to take advantage of this new natural resource may well be the determining factor in shaping their destiny.

What problem in the world, you may be asking, are we trying to solve?  The much better question may be, what problem in the world are we not trying to solve?

Why Are We Spending So Much To Get So Little?

The healthcare industry spends $250-300 billion on healthcare fraud, per year, some $650 million per day in the U.S. alone? Is that a gap that we can really afford to ignore in such a resource-constrained world?

Or how about the retail business, where, according to the IHL Group, we see $165 billion in missed sales each year due to company supplies being mismatched with the needs of customer demand. Is that money the retailing industry can really afford to leave on the storeroom table?

In a world where natural resources become increasingly scarce, even as the often unstructured data generated about the use and consumption of those resources is delivered in abundance, the ability to act and act quickly upon those insights will itself become a scarcity.

Those organizations  are able to act on such information quickly and efficiently will find themselves in increasingly circumscribed company, and will soon be putting distance between themselves and their competition.

This is why today, in New York City at the IBM Smarter Analytics Leadership Summit, IBM is convening 100 business leaders to talk about the next big bets and emerging categories being driven into front office operations of global organizations.

As part of the forum, IBM is announcing new consulting services and software that marry the latest advances in predictive analytics with the power of big data.  Specifically, we’re working to help address the highest-priority issues of C-suite decision makers — managing financial operations, decreasing fraud and improving customer relationships.

These new solutions will be delivered by IBM consultants, supported by applications management services  as well as cloud offerings.

Our customers are the biggest proponents of this new direction.  Check out the video below to hear how the University of California has reduced its cost of risk and saved nearly half a billion dollars over six years using IBM Smarter Analytics.

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