Archive for IBM

IBM Is Out Of The Facial Recognition Business Citing Racial Profiling Issues Among Others

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 9, 2020 by itnerd

A bombshell dropped earlier today from IBM who announced that they are getting out of the facial recognition business. This news came via IBM CEO Arvind Krishna in a letter to Congress today. Here’s the reasons why:

IBM no longer offers general purpose IBM facial recognition or analysis software. IBM firmly opposes and will not condone uses of any technology, including facial recognition technology offered by other vendors, for mass surveillance, racial profiling, violations of basic human rights and freedoms, or any purpose which is not consistent with our values and Principles of Trust and Transparency. We believe now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that can help law enforcement keep citizens safe. But vendors and users of Al systems have a shared responsibility to ensure that Al is tested for bias, particularity when used in law enforcement, and that such bias testing is audited and reported.

Finally, national policy also should encourage and advance uses of technology that bring greater transparency and accountability to policing, such as body cameras and modern data analytics techniques.

Clearly this is related to the protests tied to the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. Companies like IBM are clearly re-evaluating their relationships with police agencies and making adjustments. However, I would say that into this void other companies will step in. Clearview AI who appear not to have the same moral standards as IBM is likely to fill this void. Which means that this tech will still be out there.

IBM To Acquire Red Hat… Wow!

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 29, 2018 by itnerd

IBM has decided to drop $34 billion to acquire Red Hat who are one of the leaders, if not the leader in the enterprise Linux space. According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Given that shares of Red Hat were at $116.68 on Friday, that’s one hell of a premium that IBM has to pay to score this company. Red Hat will become a unit of IBM’s Hybrid Cloud division, with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst joining IBM’s senior management team and reporting to CEO Ginni Rometty. So clearly there’s a cloud related play here.

Trust me, this deal is going to get a lot of attention in a lot of places. Most notably in Redmond Washington.

GM & IBM Team Up To Create OnStar Go

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 26, 2016 by itnerd

General Motors and IBM today announced a partnership to bring the power of OnStar and IBM Watson together to create OnStar Go, the auto industry’s first cognitive mobility platform. Starting in early 2017, OnStar is expected to give millions of GM drivers the ability to connect and interact with their favorite brands. The platform will deliver personalized content through the dashboard and other digital channels supported by the OnStar Go ecosystem to make the most of time spent in the car.

OnStar-Go.jpg

Combining OnStar’s industry leading vehicle connectivity and data capabilities with IBM Watson APIs will create experiences that allow drivers and passengers to achieve greater levels of efficiency and safety. These experiences could include avoiding traffic when you’re low on fuel, then activating a fuel pump and paying from the dash; ordering a cup of coffee on the go; or getting news and in-vehicle entertainment tailored to your personality and location in real time.

The GM/IBM partnership will expand the existing OnStar AtYourService offers and deals platform by launching new capabilities supported by OnStar Go with IBM Watson. These capabilities will be available in more than two million 4G LTE connected vehicles and millions of GM vehicle brand app-enabled mobile devices in the U.S. by the end of 2017.

With the customer’s consent, Watson will learn the driver’s preferences, apply machine learning and sift through data to recognize patterns in their decisions and habits. This information will allow brand and marketing professionals working with IBM and OnStar to deliver individualized location-based interactions that directly impact their target audiences. Companies in retail, fuel, hospitality, media and entertainment, restaurants and travel and transportation and more can use OnStar Go to build individualized mobile, in-vehicle experiences for a growing population of connected drivers that opt-in.

The new cognitive mobility platform enables brands to design Watson-enabled consumer experiences. Examples of potential uses include:

  • OnStar Go taps Watson Personality Insights and Watson Conversation APIs to remind a working father to pick up diapers and formula at the pharmacy a few miles before his exit, so he won’t have to leave the house again once he gets home.
  • The platform employs Watson Tradeoff Analytics to give a traveling foodie dining recommendations from celebrity chefs when driving in a new city.
  • Watson Retrieve and Rank, used by OnStar Go, lets the driver know that their order is ready for pickup at a nearby retail store and one of the store’s employees will load their purchases into the car.

“IBM and GM are changing the whole notion of where valuable, daily rituals occur.  The combination of IBM Watson and industry-leading OnStar connectivity will enable vehicles with intelligent branded skills and services to empower drivers and passengers,” said Paul Papas, Global Leader, IBM iX. “Simply put, OnStar Go with IBM Watson transforms time wasted in the car into time well spent.”

ExxonMobil, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Mastercard and Parkopedia are the first brands to join the platform.

  • ExxonMobil will use the cognitive mobility platform to help drivers quickly locate Exxon and Mobil retail fuel stations, recommend the best fuel and lubricant product for their vehicle, and authorize fuel payment from inside the vehicle. Consumers can even pay for a car wash or, when away from their car, get notified when they are low on fuel.
  • As a location technology partner in the cognitive mobility platform, Glympse enables consumers and businesses to manage customized real-time location sharing with anyone on any device.
  • iHeartRadio will use Watson insights from OnStar Go to curate personalized experiences that leverage on-air personalities and local content from radio stations across the U.S. Drivers will be invited to share information from their calendars, social graph, location, music preferences and more, to create dynamic and locally relevant entertainment experiences only available through the power of radio.
  • Mastercard will enable drivers and passengers to safely make simple, secure and seamless payments for goods and services from the comfort of their cars. By integrating the security of Mastercard tokenization platform — Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) — and Masterpass digital payment service within OnStar Go, Mastercard will enable consumers to complete transactions using credit or debit cards stored in their Masterpass wallets.
  • Parkopedia will provide detailed parking spot information — including opening hours and up-to-date prices as well as booking and payment capabilities. Drivers find, reserve and pay for parking all at the click of a button.

The cognitive mobility platform was designed and developed by IBM iX in conjunction with OnStar, using iX’s expertise in experience and mobile design. iX is also working with GM to design OnStar’s intuitive, touch screen interfaces for consumers on the go. The Weather Company, an IBM Company, will provide rich weather and location data to support personalized targeting and warnings about driving conditions.

GM began the connected vehicle revolution 20 years ago with the launch of OnStar and has more connected vehicles on the road than any other automaker. By the end of 2016, GM expects to have 12 million OnStar connected vehicles on the road worldwide.

IBM Plans to Acquire The Weather Company’s Product and Technology Business

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 31, 2015 by itnerd

IBM today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties. This includes WSIweather.comWeather Underground and The Weather Company brand. The TV segment – The Weather Channel – will not be acquired by IBM, but will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract. The combination of technology and expertise from the two companies will serve as the foundation for the new Watson IoT Unit and Watson IoT Cloud platform, building on a $3B commitment made by IBM in March 2015 to invest in related offerings and services.
Some interesting related information:

  • The Weather Company’s data platform hosts the fourth-most used mobile app in the U.S.
  • Cloud-based service handles 26 billion requests a day.
  • IBM ramps up new Watson IoT unit with powerful cloud platform for cognitive business.

Upon closing, IBM will acquire The Weather Company product and technology assets that include the world’s leading meteorological data science experts, precision forecasting capabilities and a high-volume cloud platform that ingests, processes, analyzes and distributes enormous data sets at scale in real time. The company’s sophisticated models analyze data from three billion weather forecast reference points, more than 40 million smartphones and 50,000 airplane flights per day, allowing it to offer a broad range of data-driven products and services to more than 5000 clients in the media, aviation, energy, insurance and government industries.

BlackBerry Stock Tanks On News Of Apple/IBM Partnership

Posted in Commentary with tags , on July 16, 2014 by itnerd

As I type this, BlackBerry stock is down 8% on the news that Apple and IBM are going to join forces exclusive partnership that will see them teaming up to “transform enterprise mobility” through a series of new business apps and services for iOS devices. But it doesn’t end there. This partnership also includes the following:

  • IBM will begin selling iOS devices to its corporate customers
  • More than 100 industry-specific native apps that are built from the ground up for the iPhone and the iPad will be created. They will start to appear in the fall.
  • IBM will provide cloud services optimized for iOS with capabilities like device management, security, analytics, and mobile integration.

My take on this is that is groundbreaking and affects more than BlackBerry. Anyone in the enterprise mobility management space such as Mobile Iron, SOTI, and AirWatch should take note as well as this partnership has the potential to allow Apple and IBM to take over the enterprise mobility management space. Thus you can fully expect anyone in that space to respond in some way, shape or form shortly.

 

 

IBM/Sun Deal Is Off…… For Now

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 5, 2009 by itnerd

The New York Times is reporting that the proposed merger between IBM and Sun Microsystems is apparently dead because IBM has pulled the $7 billion offer off the table:

After the legal review, I.B.M. shaved its offer Saturday from $9.55 a share, the offer on the table late last week, to $9.40 a share, said one person familiar with the talks. The offer was presented to Sun’s board on Saturday, and it balked. The Sun board did not reject the offer outright, but wanted certain guarantees that the I.B.M. side considered “onerous,” according to that person.

Sun said it would no longer abide by its exclusive negotiating agreement with I.B.M., a second person familiar with the discussions said. On Sunday, I.B.M.’s board decided to withdraw the offer.

The question is, where does Sun go from here? Does it try to make a deal with somebody else? Will customers be scared away from buying Sun product? It’s hard to say. Maybe IBM will come back to the table and get a deal done at a lower price? Perhaps Sun will beg IBM to come back to the table as they’ve been basically shopping themselves around for some time.

We’ll see what the next move is in this game…. If there is one.

IBM To Buy Sun? We Shall See…

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 18, 2009 by itnerd

The New York Times has a detailed piece on rumors that IBM might purchase Sun Microsystems.  That would be huge if this actually happned as it would give IBM control of the Solaris operating system as well as JAVA which is used on everything from cell phones to enterprise servers. It would also make IBM #2 in the UNIX marketplace behind HP.

Of course, this all assumes that an anti-trust challenge doesn’t get served up by the feds the second this happens.

The other concern is duplication in their product lines. I can’t see a merged company running duplicate lines of hardware and software. The best example of this is the HP/Compaq train wreck. That merged company got Tru64 UNIX and HP-UX. Customers on the Tru64 UNIX platform were told to migrate to HP-UX. Some didn’t and took their business elsewhere.

With Sun and IBM, they’ve got to choose between either a massive duplication of effort, or pick one of Solaris/AIX, MySQL/DB2, SPARC/POWER, Galaxy/iSeries, Storagetek (including the ZFS-based products like Thumper/Amber Road)/IBM storage, Websphere/Glassfish, Netbeans/Eclipse – the list goes on.

I wouldn’t want to be the guy making those decisions as you can be guarnteed that some customers are going to get ticked at the end of the day.

IBM And Apple Settle Differences… Mark Papermaster To Start At Apple On April 24th

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on January 27, 2009 by itnerd

Ex-IBMer Mark Papermaster who left IBM to join Apple before IBM slapped a lawsuit on him to stop that from happening, which led to Papermaster filing suit against IBM to kill their lawsuit is now going to start working full time at Apple:

Apple® today announced that Mark Papermaster will be coming to Apple as senior vice president of Devices Hardware Engineering, reporting to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, on April 24. Papermaster, who comes to Apple from IBM, will lead Apple’s iPod® and iPhone™ hardware engineering teams. The litigation between IBM and Mark Papermaster has been resolved.

I’m guessing that some cash changed hands or a deal was negotiated between the legal teams of Papermaster, IBM, and Apple’s iLawyers. In any case, it is good to see this saga resolved.

Papermaster Counter Sues IBM….. Things Are About To Get Interesting…

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 18, 2008 by itnerd

Mark Papermaster whom you’ll recall from a previous post was tapped by Apple to run the iPod and iPhone division until IBM sued to stop that from happening, is now counter suing IBM. Information Week spotted the filing late last week and has observed that IBM is out of bounds in terms of trying to stop him from working for Apple because they don’t compete with each other :

“IBM primarily provides business enterprise services, while Apple’s primary business is the design, manufacturing and marketing of consumer products,” Papermaster claims.

Wait, there’s more:

“Papermaster also claims that the agreement is invalid because it’s meant to apply to work performed in New York State. Papermaster was employed at IBM facilities in Texas and is moving to a California-based company. “Both states hold that such noncompetition agreements are unenforceable as a matter of public policy,” Papermaster argues.”

I have to admit that this was not a plot twist I expected. What I did expect is Apple sending in the iLawyers, not Papermaster taking matters into his own hands. But it should prove interesting to see how long this drags on before somebody pays to make this go away.

EX-IBM Exec Told To Stop Working For Apple

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 10, 2008 by itnerd

According to ComputerWorld, A US District Court Judge on Friday told ex-IBM Exec Mark Papermaster to stop working for Apple (click here to see why Apple wants him):

U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Karas ruled that Mark Papermaster, who was announced as Apple’s new vice president of devices hardware engineering only last Tuesday, must “immediately cease his employment with Apple Inc. until further order of this court.” Karas did not explain his reasons for the order, saying only that he would issue an opinion at a later date.

If you read the rest of this story, you’ll note that Papermaster claims that when he gave his two weeks notice, IBM let him work the two weeks instead of walking him out the door. Wow. I’ve had security escort me out the door upon giving my two weeks notice and had my personal items show up in a box a few days later. And I wasn’t an exec at one of the biggest computer companies in the world at the time. If that’s true, you have to wonder what IBM was thinking. Either that, or he’s not as much of a risk to them as they would lead you to believe.

I’m expecting Apple to send in the iLawyers at any moment.