How Watson Changed IBM


By Brad Power – IBM, a company with a long and successful tradition of internally-focused R&D activities, is adapting to this new world of creating platforms and enabling open innovation.

So how does it work?

With multiple business models. Mike Rhodin, IBM’s senior vice president responsible for Watson, told me, “There are three core business models that we will run in parallel.

The first is around industries that we think will go through a big change in “cognitive” [natural language] computing, such as financial services and healthcare.

The second is where we see similar patterns across industries, such as how people discover and engage with organizations and how organizations make different kinds of decisions.

The third business model is creating an ecosystem of entrepreneurs. We’re always looking for companies with brilliant ideas that we can partner with or acquire. more> http://tinyurl.com/lp6cnqp

Will Your Next Hard Drive Be Liquid?


By Cabe Atwell – Two material scientists, Sharon Glotzer and David Pine, are on a mission to create the world’s first liquid hard drive. Their current calculations estimate that one teaspoon of this liquid data would be able to store 1 TB of data.

This research is building on the work of other researchers to find denser ways to store data. Harvard researchers have recently stored 700 TB on a single strand of DNA, so DNA still takes the cake when it comes to natural data-storing ability.

However, it may not become a USB stick anytime soon. more> http://tinyurl.com/qf7kzso

Argentina’s Exchange Offer May Not Be Clever Enough Yet


By Matt Levine – And the other day Argentina’s government introduced a bill in parliament to do a debt exchange to get around Judge Griesa’s orders, which he specifically told it not to do.

So yesterday (Aug 21) the holdout bondholders went to court to try to get Judge Griesa to hold Argentina in contempt, and Judge Griesa basically said (pdf), well, this is pretty contemptuous, but he still didn’t hold Argentina in contempt.

Because what good will that do? They’ve ignored him so far. more> http://tinyurl.com/ld2uzqs

Galactic Views (135)



SPACE WATCH

Supernova Seen In Two Lights

NASA – The destructive results of a mighty supernova explosion reveal themselves in a delicate blend of infrared and X-ray light, as seen in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton.

The bubbly cloud is an irregular shock wave, generated by a supernova that would have been witnessed on Earth 3,700 years ago. The remnant itself, called Puppis A, is around 7,000 light-years away, and the shock wave is about 10 light-years across.

The pastel hues in this image reveal that the infrared and X-ray structures trace each other closely. Warm dust particles are responsible for most of the infrared light wavelengths, assigned red and green colors in this view. Material heated by the supernova’s shock wave emits X-rays, which are colored blue. Regions where the infrared and X-ray emissions blend together take on brighter, more pastel tones.

The shock wave appears to light up as it slams into surrounding clouds of dust and gas that fill the interstellar space in this region.

From the infrared glow, astronomers have found a total quantity of dust in the region equal to about a quarter of the mass of our sun. Data collected from Spitzer’s infrared spectrograph reveal how the shock wave is breaking apart the fragile dust grains that fill the surrounding space.

Supernova explosions forge the heavy elements that can provide the raw material from which future generations of stars and planets will form. Studying how supernova remnants expand into the galaxy and interact with other material provides critical clues into our own origins.

Infrared data from Spitzer’s multiband imaging photometer (MIPS) at wavelengths of 24 and 70 microns are rendered in green and red. X-ray data from XMM-Newton spanning an energy range of 0.3 to 8 kiloelectron volts are shown in blue.

Credit: NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/IAFE

Wrecking an Economy Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry


By Dean Starkman – The megabanks are finally feeling the hurt for the depredations of the mortgage era. That’s what the government, and some in the financial press, too, would have us believe.

There’s a much deeper problem here, however, and one that has received far less attention:

Not only has the Department of Jus­tice (DOJ) failed to build any criminal cases for financial-crisis misdeeds, but it’s also now settling with these banks without even filing civil complaints.

A complaint is the cornerstone of civil litigation, the foundation for even routine lawsuits.

One of its primary benefits—and of adversarial legal proceedings generally—is that a complaint can bring huge amounts of previously undisclosed information into the public record. more> http://tinyurl.com/paqp7yc

Related>

From CEO ‘Takers’ To CEO ‘Makers’


By Steve Denning – The rotten foundations of shareholder value theory in the writings of Friedman and Jensen are now lost to the public view.

Business schools in particular have a responsibility to stop teaching shareholder value in their core curriculum to their students and start systematically teaching the better idea: the primary purpose of the corporation is to serve customers’ interests.

Business schools must recognize that it is not enough to teach Customer Capitalism as an optional subject. Textbooks that teach shareholder value theory as a basic assumption must be discarded. more> http://tinyurl.com/pe3bvbb

Related>

The Intricate Puzzle Known as Chip Design


By Bob Smith – These days, chip design may seem like an intricately connected jigsaw puzzle, including small, oddly shaped interlocking pieces.

Instead of static parts of a puzzle – typically, 300, 500, 750 or 1,000 pieces – spread across a coffee table, a chip under design has loads of dynamic parts located in a variety of directories or sub-directories found on various computers.

The focal point is the processor, not the center of a well-known and photographed painting or skyline, as is often the case with puzzles.

Ah, but memories are playing almost as big a role as processors, especially in chips slated for mobile multimedia devices with higher bandwidth and performance, and low-cost and power requirements.

Fortunately, things aren’t that dire any longer for engineers worried about a chip’s system yield and reliability. One clever engineering group was motivated to figure this out. It set a goal to implement a DDR memory subsystem that would deliver the highest performance and quality within a small footprint and minimal power consumption. more> http://tinyurl.com/k4evteq