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

Posts Tagged ‘boston

Sweet Caroline’s New High Tech Glasses

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I wasn’t in Boston over the weekend, so I wasn’t there to see Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline” live and in person at Fenway Park.

But I was introduced to the tradition during my own first visit to Fenway a year ago this May, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to kick away the dust of fear and horror last week than something as American as having Neil Diamond show up at the ball park to sing “Sweet Caroline”!

If you’ve never experienced it firsthand, basically here’s how it goes: In the middle of the eighth inning, since 2002, “Sweet Caroline” is played over the loudspeakers at Fenway, and the great citizens of Bostons (and Red Sox fans everywhere) do a little audience participation. It’s not quite a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” level of audience participation, but then again, this is baseball and we’re between innings people!

Go find some of the video recaps to see for yourself, but if you did see Diamond out there on the diamond doing it live this weekend, amd if that didn’t send a couple of tears to your eyes, you’d better check to make sure the drones from Tom Cruise’s new movie “Oblivion” (and which I saw this weekeend…two thumbs up!) haven’t taken over.

Of course, I guess if you didn’t want anyone to see you cry you could invest in some of these new techno glasses, Google’s or otherwise.

According to The New York Times, Oakley’s also getting into the act, working to introduce goggles that can display incoming text messages, have embedded GPS, Bluetooth, and video cameras.

Skiers, please, keep your eyes on the slopes at all times!

That goes for you cyclists looking to check your heartbeat in your newfangled high tech cycling glasses every five seconds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having performance biometrics, even in real-time, but I think we have to think very carefully about how that information is presented back to athletes, especially those mid-mountain or mid-peloton.

If you’ve ever nearly been run over by someone who was texting while driving, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I texted while driving for a time. But about the fourth time I nearly rear-ended someone, it dawned on me that texting while driving was a bad idea. Very bad. And this was well before any of those anti-texting public ad campaigns had emerged.

These days, I find myself constantly scanning my rear-view mirror in fear of some other idiot not having come around to a similar conclusion, which is its own kind of dangerous distraction.

So what’s going to happen on the ski mountains across the globe when folks are too busy checking their optimum heart rate to see those trees racing up towards their performance glasses?

There will be an inordinate demand for well trained ski patrol professionals, that’s what!

Written by turbotodd

April 22, 2013 at 8:43 am

The Green Monster

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I picked a heckuva week to travel up to Boston.  I arrived the same day as the Boston Marathon, and apparently, the weather this year for the run was “hellish.”  In fact, I met a guy on the rental car shuttle bus who had just run the marathon, and he explained all he wanted was a beer, he was SO sick of drinking Gatorade to stay hydrated during the race.

But also this week, we’re witnessing the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, one of the classic old baseball parks and home to the 7 time World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

No sooner do I arrive in Boston than I start reading that former Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is stirring up agita amidst the player ranks in Boston — ah, we miss you down in Texas, Bobby.

I’m expecting to attend the Rangers/Red Sox game this evening at Fenway, my first time there.  I’ll be the crazy Texan along the third base line wearing the cowboy hat (not really).

Since age-based segmentation schemes no longer suffice in the connected consumer era, IBM Media & Entertainment is finding that behavior-based segmentation is now essential. IBM's 2011 survey revealed four prominent types of digital personalities that are not age-based, but instead are based on the combination of degree of access to content and intensity of content interaction This type of analysis is now essential to delivering compelling consumer experiences.

Now, out in viva Las Vegas, the National Association of Broadcasters show has kicked off.  As part of the festivities, IBM just released a new IBM study of the media and entertainment market, which reveals that as consumers adopt an increasing number of digital devices, four distinct new “digital personalities” are emerging.

Think Sybil for iPad users!

This shift, in turn, is compelling companies to adopt more innovative business models that deliver personalized experiences.

Here’s some details behind the study: First, not all these folks are college students, contrary to popular belief. Sixty-five percent of respondents aged 55 to 64 report surfing the Web and texting with friends while watching TV.  Take that, young whippersnappers.

Eighty-two percent of surveyed global consumers aged 18 to 64 embracing connected digital devices.  And more than 50 percent of consumers in China and the United States are moving away from traditional forms of media and using online sources for breaking news.

The New Personalities: Instant, Efficient, And Social

With the growth of digital devices, one-way communication and distribution of content is no longer enough. Connected consumers these days are demanding instant access to personalized content on their own terms.   These new “personalities” look as follows:

  • Efficiency Experts: With 41 percent in this category, these respondents use digital devices and services to simplify day-to-day activities. Efficiency experts send emails rather than letters, use Facebook to communicate with others, access the Internet via mobile phones, and shop online.
  • Content Kings: Are generally male consumers, who frequently play online games, download movies and music, and watch TV online. This audience represents 9 percent of the global sample.
  • Social Butterflies: Place emphasis on social interaction – they require instant access to friends, regardless of time or place. Fifteen percent of consumers surveyed reported they frequently maintain and update social networking sites, add labels or tags to online photos, and view videos from other users.
  • Connected Maestros: 35 percent of those surveyed take a more advanced approach to media consumption by using mobile devices and Smartphone applications to access games, music, and video or to check news, weather, sports, etc.

“Media companies need to engage with consumers based on their digital personalities, if they are going to maintain a sustainable and connected relationship, said Saul Berman, Global Strategy Consulting Leader, IBM Global Business Services, and co-author of the study. “With the mass infiltration of digital devices, organizations can now enhance, extend or redefine the customer experience within minutes due to a steady stream of real-time data via social media. Future success is dependent upon successfully executing on insights based on this data, to reach the right consumer, at the right time and place, using the right tools.”

According to the IBM study, media and entertainment companies’ payment infrastructures need to be flexible and scalable to allow a variety of innovative pricing approaches to attract consumers with different preferences to their content.

The need for payment option flexibility, even for the same set of consumers, is apparent by looking at those most active in adopting new devices.

This group’s preferred mode of payment to watch a movie on a website is by viewing advertising that is included with the movie (39 percent of this segment chose this option), while they prefer to see movies on a tablet by purchasing a subscription (chosen by 36 percent). But to watch movies on a smart phone, they prefer to pay per use (the payment choice of 36 percent).

IBM surveyed 3,800 consumers in six countries – China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States for this study, and also met with global representatives in broadcasting, publishing, as well as media service agencies, and telecommunication providers, to evaluate digital consumption behaviors.

You can register to download the full report here. 

Live From Impact 2011: Changing Medicine At Boston Children’s Medical Hospital

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In another section of today’s opening general session of Impact 2011, Dr. Jeffery Burns, MD and had of the Division of Critical Care Medicine, brought home to the audience how technology is playing a role in not only transforming and making business more agile.

No, Dr. Burns made a powerful house call, pleading with the audience of technologists that the medical field needs their help, particularly to change the healthcare “information bottleneck.” He made the point through a life saving story, whereby he was working to save a critically ill young girl who had a septic bloodstream infection and who was being attended by Dr. Burns and a team of 20 nurses and doctors.

Fortunately, she made it, and two years later, Dr. Burns received a call from a doctor friend of his, from Guetemala City, facing a very similar situation. Dr. Burns attempted to help his colleague through some primitive videoconferencing, but it was very difficult to send the specific medical steps and shared data necessary to his colleague to help him learn the procedure.

Somehow she, too, made it, but Dr. Burns was convinced there had to be a better way to share and transfer medical knowledge.  In medical school, and in their residencies, what one student sees on a shift one evening could be dramatically different for another student the next.  How could technology help create some repeatable, and virtual, education solutions that would better help students learn and retain medical knowledge??

The answer came in the form of the X-Box game, Call of Duty 4, which Dr. Burns witnessed his son playing one Friday evening with some friends (including a new German one located in Munich — and when two weeks later, Dr. Burns visited the IBM-produced Masters golf tournament Web site.

Soon, he was meeting with the IBM Interactive group from Atlanta and Boston, and demonstrating to them his need to map what we called the “Adult Learning Cycle” to an interactive prototype application that could be loaded on a thumb drive, but reach into the cloud for new content.

Dr. Burns explained to the Impact 2011 audience that the prototype medical education application was shortly in trials around the globe, from Beirut to Cambodia, and helping medical students utilize it to garner valuable medical knowledge in a “learn by doing” mode — the most effective way for many adults to learn.

Dr. Burns wrapped up his compelling discussion by relating a quote from that most famous of anthropologists, Margaret Mead.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can chance the world; indeed, it’s the only thing it ever has.”

Written by turbotodd

April 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

The Massive New IBM Mass Lab

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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!

Written by turbotodd

June 16, 2010 at 1:54 pm

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