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

Posts Tagged ‘davos

Not Back In Davos

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It’s that time of the year.

The year when all the smart, rich, famous and well-connected show up in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.

I’m sure it’s nothing personal, but once again for as many years as I care to remember, my invitation never showed.

That’s okay, as things are pretty busy around here as we get off to a fast start in 2013.

However, I did really enjoy Alison Smale’s big picture set up piece for Davos this in The New York Time’s DealBook.

And if I were in attendance, that’s the type view I would be eagerly seeking — What are the general macroindicators and movements that smart peeps think are going to shape the year?

Some will be currents we can’t yet see, and as Smale observes, “Our footing is uncertain, as on this ski resort’s slithery streets, and we have steep slopes to climb, as the Magic Mountain will remind the global elite this week.”

Troubles in north Africa, the challenge of free information in China, anemic growth in Germany, the averted fiscal cliff but once again looming U.S. debt ceiling…”Crisis, in short,” writes Smale, “is the new normal.”

Speaking of Germany, also increasingly normal is the threat of cyber intrusion, according to a panel at the DLD conference ending today in Munich.

In coverage by Frederic Larinois from TechCrunch of Eugene Kaspersky, founder of Kaspersky Lab, the Internet security firm, and F-Secure’s chief research officer, Mikko Hypponen, it became readily apparent that cyber intrusion sophistication is reaching new levels.

Kaspersky spoke of recent cyber attacks like Stuxnet and Red October, suggesting such efforts have reached the equivalent of the “space station” in terms of their sophistication and impact, while Hypponen said the “happy hacker” of the 80s and 90s was long, and that instead “we now have to deal with criminals who try to make money from their malware and botnets, hacktivists who try to protest and governments attacking their own citizens and other governments for espionage and full-scale cyber warfare.”

The cyber genie, in other words, is well out of the virtual bottle.

So, let’s forget about all these woes for a few, shall we, and go shopping instead?

IBM’s new study of 26,000 global consumers will be coming out soon, and the early skinny has it revealing some interesting insights, including the fact that 35 percent of shoppers are unsure whether they would next shop at a store or online.

Talk about a confused consumer!

It also revealed that nearly half of online purchases result from “showrooming,” a growing trend whereby consumers browse goods at a store, but ultimately buy them online.

You’ve done that before, haven’t you?  You just didn’t know there was a fancy name for it!

Ultimately, consumers are seeking an integrated shopping experience.  So, in response, retailers need to connect their online and physical stores, blending the benefits of each — from research to purchase to building brand loyalty, to that ultimate golden chalice of retail, repeat sales.

IBM is helping through its analytics capabilities, helping retailers measure sales metrics across digital channels to spot consumer buying patterns and visualizing product display, promotions, and even coupons in new ways.

Visit the IBM Smarter Retail web site to learn how your organization can create an integrated shopping experience.

Me, I’ve got to run down to the Amazon store for some new typewriter ribbons. 😉

Written by turbotodd

January 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Big Data In Davos

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Doggonit, someone lost my invitation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, once again.

And once again, I’ll have to follow the global, economic bouncing ball remotely via the blogosphere.

And once again, no better place to do so than the NY Times Bits blog.

Nick Bilton posted a scintillating post about Davos this morning, and he suggested this year’s hot topic in Switzerland would be data…and lots of it!

Even “Big Data,” as we at Big Blue have come to define it, but in Bilton’s case describing Davos, the big data discussions aren’t limited to the tech meetings.  He writes:

Meetings here this week include: “From data to decisions: How are new approaches to data intelligence transforming decision-making?” “Data deluge and citizen science.” “Incidents from digital crime to massive incidents of data theft are increasing significantly, with major political, social and economic implications.” “How is big data being used to uncover individual and collective human dynamics?”

Bilton also points out, however, that where big data is being discussed, privacy can’t be far behind, which is why Google’s Tuesday announcement about the change in its privacy policy and use of personal information couldn’t have been more timely.

Is it just me, or is Google purposely taunting the U.S. Department of Justice?

In the Google Blog, Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineer, explained the change:

The main change is for users with Google Accounts. Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.

Our recently launched personal search feature is a good example of the cool things Google can do when we combine information across products. Our search box now gives you great answers not just from the web, but your personal stuff too. So if I search for restaurants in Munich, I might see Google+ posts or photos that people have shared with me, or that are in my albums. Today we can also do things like make it easy for you to read a memo from Google Docs right in your Gmail, or add someone from your Gmail contacts to a meeting in Google Calendar.

Great, so let me make sure I got this straight: Google’s gonna collapse 60+ privacy policy statements into one, collapse all these different services I signed up into a single service, and that way, all the stuff I look at can be more uniformly monitored and targeted against so that Google can sell more ads and change the terms of our service agreement several years after the fact!??

Rock on!  I’m glad the Google Borg has my best interests in mind.

Can you hear the clarion charge of the Google “Do No Evil” Light Brigade?

Of course, back across the pond in Davos, things don’t appear to be so cut and dry.

Bilton also spoke with Viviane Reding, the European justice commission, who presented in Brussels yesterday new regulations that would implement “one sweeping data protection regulation that would apply to all of Europe.”

Bilton explains:  “The new regulations are part of the discussion at Davos as these new rules would drastically affect the way companies operate and collect data. For example, one component of this legislation will require companies to communicate to users why they are collecting this data and how long it is being stored on company servers.”

That, of course, would include companies from around the globe, including the Goog.

At IBM, our focus has been less on simply gathering more data, and instead helping our customers learn how to do more with the data they already have, even as they prepare for the inevitable onslaught of gathering more.

This would be an opportune time to hand you over to the IBM Big Data web site, where you can find videos and other assets about how IBM customers are capitalizing on the opportunity and challenges of big data.

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Dawdling At Davos, Innovating @ IBM

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The World Economic Forum officially kicked off in Davos, Switzerland earlier today.

Once again, there must have been a misunderstanding, as my tickets never arrived or got lost in the snow or something.

That’s okay, I’m too busy getting ready for Lotusphere, but I do like to keep at least one eye on the discussions and memes emanating from Switzerland this time of year.

Joke though you may about the $100,000 cocktail parties and fancy dinners featuring dishes with fish we’ve never even heard of in Texas, and would much less put in our mouths, there’s plenty of important people talking about issues relevant to the day, and to the global business environment.

If you’re looking for some venues to follow the tidings yourself, The Wall Street Journal has a special Davos section. And The New York Times “Dealbook” has its “Davos Diary.”

Even the headlines of the coverage so far are most revealing.  These from the Journal: “Europe’s Fate Still Looms in Davos.”  “Uneven Global Growth Bedevils CEOs.” “Banks Return With a Goal: Pushing Back.” “At Davos, Focus on China.” “Food Prices, Inflation Seen as Key Pressures.”  “Michael Dell Sees Upside of Austerity.”

I’m sorry, did someone mention there was a global economic recovery going on somewhere on the globe?  Anybody?

Even the headlines on China coming out of Davos seem bearish, as if waiting for the Great Red Chicken Little to come clucking down from the top of the Great Hall of the People to announce China’s growth has receded into single digit positive growth territory.

Me, I’m more of a glass half full kinda guy.  (Though I’m not going to specify what it’s typically half filled with. This is a family blog!)

And so, it seems, is Michael Dell. According to the Journal’s report, Dell reckons the austerity measures will prod governments and companies around the globe to invest in technology in order to boost productivity.

I’m all for that.  Imagine me now doing my Jim Cramer “Mad Money” impression: BUY BUY BUY!

To be somewhat fair and balanced, there was at least one slightly bullish headline: “Davos Forecast: Crowded With a Chance of Optimism.”

Niiiiice layup (of a headline).

The story goes on to observe though there are still lingering concerns around financial risk and sovereign debt and the like,  others are looking towards longer-term threats (like managing cybersecurity threats or natural-resource scarcity).

Note to Self: We’re also going to have to become more sensitive to the feelings of those “emerging” economies around the globe.  WPP’s  head honcho, Martin Sorrells, explained that we had to “get out of the lexicon the words ‘developing’ or ’emerging.'”

To which I pose the question, how, really, emerging can you be when you’ve had years of double-digit economic growth while much of the West has been trying to dig out of a big, black hole that even Stephen Hawking might have trouble finding the bottom of?

That’s why I liked Obama’s SOTU speech last evening.

Innovation.  Education.  Infrastructure.  Those are all ideas I could get my head around and which seem a logical way forward if we in the U.S. wish to become a “re-emerging” economy.

So, team, I’ve decided it’s time for a pep talk, or in this case, a pep video.

I share this following video, by one of my favorite documentary filmmakers, Errol Morris, commissioned by us as an homage to IBM’s contributions to the world over the past 100 years.

So go ahead, please, and ignore the Davos idle chatter and doom and gloom.

Put that purchase order through, everything’s going to be okay.

We at IBM have already helped invent this future and send a man to the moon.

As we stand on the precipice of this still new century, why wouldn’t we stand ready to innovate our way around the globe and through the next 100?

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Super Wednesday

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Wow, tomorrow is gonna be some Wednesday.

First, the World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos, Switzerland. Once again this year, my tickets seem to have gotten lost in the mail.

Second, President Obama is slated to make his first State of the Union speech before Congress and the American people.

But we all know what the really big story is for this particular Wednesday: Steve Jobs’ introduction of the new Apple Tablet computer tablet thingamajiggy that I don’t think Apple has ever even confirmed existed, much less what its feature/functions are.

Once again, the brilliance of the no talky Apple marketing machine speaks volumes without ever even so much as a head nod.

Me, I don’t need another Apple device.  But, I’ll likely end up buying one, anyway.



Almost most assuredly.

Can I go ahead and pre-order one now?

(Full disclosure: I bought some Apple stock recently.  I’m banking on this tablet sucker taking their stock sky high, and with the profits I hope to make off the sale of the stock, I’m going to turn around and buy an Apple tablet.)

That means all the rest of you have to go out and buy one first so that you send their stock into the stratosphere so that I can make enough to buy one for myself.

Now, I don’t own many shares, so that means you all really need to go out and buy two tablets just to give me a safe margin.

Sound like a plan?

Of course, with Apple’s quarterly earnings announced yesterday against a record sale of Macs in a single quarter, we’re well on our way.

I just pray the new tablet isn’t the second coming of the Newton.

Written by turbotodd

January 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

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