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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Future Cities

Future Cities
Smart buildings are becoming interconnected to create systems of energy-efficient, well managed, and well maintained facilities and services. Linking buildings to a smart grid for energy management may be the starting place that quickly expands to include smart transportation systems, waste management, logistics systems, emergency services, and other vital organs of the urban environment. The cloud services that enable this model allow management and analytics to create a smart city, one capable of meeting the needs of its residents better than ever before, in a way that sustains resources and optimizes costs.

In this Webinar, speakers from the industry and from IBM will explain how smart buildings become smart cities. Attendees will learn the basic characteristics and functions of smart buildings; how these facilities are interconnected; what kinds of urban systems can be included in such a network; and how the cloud model can create a smart, sustainable, and self-regulating city from the foundation of smart buildings.

This Webinar will feature an all-star lineup of expert speakers:
  • Jim Sinopoli, Principal, Smart Buildings LLC
  • John D'Angelo, VP Engineering and Facilities Operations, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Joe Phillips, Director, Smarter Buildings/Smarter Cities, IBM Global Business Services

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

IBM CEO Predicts Three Ways Technology Will Transform The Future Of Business - Forbes

IBM CEO Predicts Three Ways Technology Will Transform The Future Of Business - Forbes
With cloud, mobile, social and big data advances all happening at once and at lightning speed, how will shifts in technology impact the way businesses are run? According to Ginni Rometty, the first female CEO of IBM, it will change everything.
Last night, speaking at an event organized by the nonprofit Council on Foreign Relations, Rometty predicted that data will be the basis of competitive advantage going forward, calling it the “the next natural resource.” She believes it will change how decisions are made, how value is created and how value is delivered. Here’s a look at what the future may hold.
Data Analytics Will Revolutionize Decision-Making
“Many more decisions will be based on predictive elements versus gut instincts,” Rometty said. Even in the most scientifically oriented fields, she noted that decisions are still being made based on anchoring biases. In other words, leaders and managers interpret information through the lens of their subjective perspective and set of experiences.
However, with the incoming “tsunami of information,” Rometty believes that those companies that are able to use data to their advantage will make better, more objective calls. As an example, she cited IBM’s use of software analytics in its CRUSH (Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History) initiative with the Memphis Police Department. Finding a correlation between rapes and outdoor pay phones, they decided to move the phones indoors, which ultimately contributed to a 30% reduction in crime.
Still, Rometty said that just because the technology exists and will become increasingly accurate, the shift will require new ways of thinking. “At the end of the day, it’s about mindset and culture,” she said.
The Social Network Will Drive Value
“The social network will be the new production line in a company,” Rometty predicted. The primary benefit of new social platforms, she said, is that today’s knowledge workers have access to each other. In the near future, she believes “your value will not be what you know, but what you share.”
This social sharing shift will change the way businesses hire, who they hire and how they compensate workers, said Rometty. Employees will be rated by bosses, colleagues and even customers on the value of the information they create, she said, which could impact compensation. A one-star rating would result in a one-star compensation range, just as a five-star rating would ensure five-star compensation. Like data analytics, more and varied input on each employee’s performance may create more objective pay models.
Consumer Segments Will Cede To The Individual
Technology shifts will also change the way businesses deliver value. “What you will see with rapid data and social sharing is the death of the average and the era of you,” Rometty said. Rather than meeting the needs of different consumer segments—geographic, age or income segmentation, for example—businesses will be able to truly serve the individual. “If you have a call center, it’s no longer about a script,” she said. “It’s about a dialogue.”
What Rometty calls “the third wave of technology” may contribute to this individualized approach. In the first era of computing, computers counted. In the second, they could be programmed to perform instructions. In the next era, computers will learn by themselves, she said. “That’s the wave that starts now.”
IBM’s prized innovation, supercomputer Watson, is one such example. The Jeopardy winner can download and analyze hundreds of thousands of data sets, interpret language, and make decisions based on the research it’s reviewed. Watson is already being piloted as a medical adviser to doctors—suggesting diagnoses, providing confidence levels and explaining the evidence that backs them up—and working with call centers. Rometty said because supercomputers are better able to stay current on and more quickly recall data, they may help create more efficient and individualized service.
“The greatest contribution of this shift,” Rometty concluded, “is that it will force every entity to become an authentic organization.”

Monday, March 4, 2013

People's Resource Center to Give Away 10,000th Computer - Wheaton, IL Patch

People's Resource Center to Give Away 10,000th Computer - Wheaton, IL Patch
People’s Resource Center (PRC) on Wednesday will host a celebration in honor of its Computer Access program, which is giving away its 10,000th free, refurbished computer to a PRC client.
PRC also offers free computer classes to low-income citizens of DuPage County, and students in these classes are eligible to receive a computer for their home. The program was designed to help eliminate the "digital divide" by giving people the tools to achieve mainstream wages and a career path—long term solutions to escaping poverty.

“Distributing 10,000 computers is an enormous milestone," Kim Perez, Executive Director of People’s Resource Center said in a statement. "Through this program, PRC seeks to improve economic opportunity for low-income individuals and families living in DuPage County by increasing computer access.
PRC celebrated giving away its 8,000th computer in October 2010.
"These computers make it possible for children to do their homework at home, for students of all ages to improve their computer skills by practicing what they’ve learned, and for job seekers to keep up with their job search without needing to leave home to do so. We are thrilled that through the support and talent of so many, PRC has been able to make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors," Perez said.
Frank Goetz of Wheaton, one of the founders of PRC and a dedicated volunteer, came up with the idea of giving away computers and worked tirelessly to make the idea come to fruition, according to a news release from PRC.
“Each of those 10,000 computers has a story behind it involving a person or organization that donated the computer to PRC, a person or team that made it operate to our standards, and usually one or more persons that trained the recipient in its use,” says Goetz.
PRC, an authorized Microsoft Registered Refurbisher (MRR), receives donated computers from local businesses including Tellabs, College of DuPage, DeVry University and Cadence Health. Other donations come from schools, libraries, and individuals. Computers are refurbished by a team of volunteers in the Computer Access department before they are given out. Since 2003, when the program began and PRC became a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, all computers have come equipped with Microsoft software.
Individuals with a technology background are encouraged to volunteer in the Computer Access program or become a tutor for a computer class. Classes are held at both PRC locations (Wheaton and Westmont) and partner sites around the county. A new session of classes starts every seven weeks. To volunteer, go to and fill out the volunteer application.
PRC Wheaton also accepts PC’s from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Computers currently being accepted include: working Windows-compatible standard desktop/tower computers (minimum speed: 2.0 Gigahertz), with typical equipment such as CD-ROM, memory, hard drive, 56K modem, Ethernet adapter.
There are plenty of ways to keep up with Wheaton news:
Related Topics:Computer Access Program, Donate Old Computers, People's Resource Center, Refurbished Computers, and free computer classes