Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘new york times

Now That’s Some Serious Spin!

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Steve Lohr with The New York Times has gone long on “big data.”

In his piece, Lohr explains how big data has gone mainstream, and using IBM’s Watson computer that beat “Jeopardy!” world champions last year as a key inflection point in its evolution, and also quoting IBM exec and technical fellow Rod Smith.

Some excerpts:

Rod Smith: “Big Data is really about new uses and new insights, not so much about the data itself.”

And on Watson: “The Watson computer from I.B.M. that beat human “Jeopardy” champions last year was a triumph of Big Data computing. In theory, Big Data could improve decision-making in fields from business to medicine, allowing decisions to be based increasingly on data and analysis rather than intuition and experience.”

I mentioned in some prior posts the upcoming Smarter Commerce Global Summit IBM will be hosting at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort (which you can learn more about and register for here).

Just out of curiosity, I went and did a query to see if any sessions would include “big data” as a featured topic, and as it turns out, there were four, including “Crunch Big Data for Digital Analytics Using Netinsight on Premises and Netezza,” and “Big Data, Big Campaigns: Using Unica Campaign Management & IBM Netezza Data Warehousing Appliances.”

So, it’s pretty clear that the era of “big data” is certainly upon us with respect to marketing as well.

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I also wanted to highlight some news just emerging from our friends in IBM Research.

Yesterday, they announced a new breakthrough that has potential impact for semiconductor transistor manufacturing.

With the announcement, they revealed the first-ever direct mapping of the formation of a persistent spin helix in a semiconductor, an effort jointly conducted between IBM Researchers and scientists with ETH Zurich.

Until now, it was unclear whether or not electronic spins posessed the capability to preserve the encoded information long enough before rotating.

But through this new experiment, they demonstrated that synchronizing electrons extends the spin lifetime of the electron by 30 times to 1.1 nanoseconds — the same time it takes for an existing 1 GHz process to cycle.

Why do we care?

Well, today’s computing technology encodes and processes data by the electrical charge of electrons. But that technique is limiting, as the semiconductor dimensions continue to shrink to the point where the flow of electrons can no longer be controlled. Spintronics could surmount this approaching impasse by harnessing the spin of electrons instead of their charge.

This new understanding in “spintronics” not only gives scientists unprecedented control over the magnetic movements inside devices, but also opens up new possibilities for creating more energy efficient electronics.

However, this effort could get colder before it warms up and leads to massive technology transfer into the marketplace: Spintronics research takes place at very low temperatures at which electron spins interact minimally with the environment.

In the case of this particular research, IBM scientists worked at 40 Kelvin (-233 Celsius, -387 Fahrenheit)!!!

You can read the full scientific paper entitled “Direct mapping of the formation of a persistent spin helix” by M.P. Walser, C. Reichl, W. Wegscheider and G. Salis was published online in Nature Physics, DOI 10.1038/NPHYS2383 (12 August 2012).

The Hidden Side of Everything

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Okay, it’s Monday, and I want to welcome you back to the Turbo Monday edition of “Guess Who’s That Keynoter?”

For this particular edition, we’re going to jump ahead to the Information on Demand event being held in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada, in late October.

All our IBM conferences tend to be smokin’ hot good (and, I’ll even dare say it, fun), but the Information on Demand event holds a special place in my heart.

First, I’ve been attending and blogging at IOD since 2006.  There, I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the coolest, smartest speakers and authors from across the landscape.

More importantly, I get to talk to so many of you, our customers.

This year’s not going to be any different.

But before we get to the keynote build up, let me tell you a few things about this year’s event.

First, we’re expecting some 9,000+ attendees.  Yes, IOD has gotten that big, but in this case, bigger is better, because we’re rolling our Business Analytics event (which Cognos once sponsored) under the IOD tent this year.

Second, this year we’ll be looking more holistically at what IBM and its partners bring to the Information on Demand table, including hardware, software, and services.

We also expect to have over 600 tech sessions, 160 Cognos and SPSS sessions, 11 industry-focused business and IT leadership sessions, 128 hands on labs, 300 customer speakers, and IBM’s largest exposition from all its events around the globe.

For 2010, we’ll also have two full days of business partner programs, and we’ll have our regular standard fare that you’ve asked to continue, including networking opportunities and 1-1s with IBM execs.

Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Now, back to the spotlight on our featured speakers.  They not only think out of the box — they don’t even know the box exists.  Because to acknowledge the box would be to acknowledge its limitations.

Like any good business analytics experts, they view the world through a very different lens by pointing out how numbers don’t lie, and, when carefully considered, can speak volumes to actual truths on the ground.

Do you know who they are yet?

If not, know their first unlikely collaboration resulted in an international bestseller. Its premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work…this book will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Anybody?

They went on to publish another best seller, and also to produce a podcast series on iTunes as well as a blog on The New York Times.

Okay, I’ll spare you the drum roll.  But I’m talking about Steven and Stephen, of course.

Steven D. Levitt, the professor of economics at the University of Chicago, and Stephen J. Dubner, an author and journalist living and working in New York City.

In their first tome, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economics Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, these two gentlemen delivered story after story that addressed ways to create behavior change and demonstrate what incentives work and what didn’t — with the research and data to back up their often controversial claims.

Hailed by critics and readers alike, the book went on to spend more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list, and has sold more than 4 million copies around the world in more than 30 languages.

Those are the kind of numbers that simply don’t lie.

This past October, they came out with their second book, Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance.

You can hear Steven and Stephen speak at Information on Demand, IBM’s Premier Forum for Information & Analytics, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center this October 24-28 in Las Vegas.  Visit here to get all the details and to register.

Meanwhile, whet your appetite for more from the Freakonomics guys by reading their blog.

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