China, already outpacing the U.S., Japan and many European countries in the expansion of their railway system, has now broken the world train speed record, clocking in at 258.86 miles per hour during the trial run of a new high-speed train on Tuesday.
“It started with a $24.8 billion price tag and was supposed to be completed in 13 years. It was heralded as a sweeping investment that would connect our country from coast to coast, improve national security, and create opportunities for economic development. In reality it took 35 years to finish, cost more than $129 billion, and was over 46,000 miles long. “It” was the national highway system, which received initial funding from President Truman before President Eisenhower completed the tab in 1956.”—High-speed rail: the long view — Metropolitan Planning Council
Aircraft could soon be covered in new technological cobwebs. Inspired by the gossamer strands of spider webs, scientists from Stanford University have created an ultra-fine mesh of strain and temperature sensors.
Wrapped around an aircraft, the sensors could help craft monitor their internal well-being. This added awareness could prevent microscopic cracks from developing into catastrophic failures. Beyond aircraft, the new technology could create a new breed of intelligent automobiles, packaging and medical devices.
The new commander of the military’s cyberwarfare operations is advocating the creation of a separate, secure computer network to protect civilian government agencies and critical industries like the nation’s power grid against attacks mounted over the Internet.
The officer, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, suggested that such a heavily restricted network would allow the government to impose greater protections for the nation’s vital, official on-line operations. General Alexander labeled the new network “a secure zone, a protected zone.” Others have nicknamed it “dot-secure.”
It would provide to essential networks like those that tie together the banking, aviation, and public utility systems the kind of protection that the military has built around secret military and diplomatic communications networks — although even these are not completely invulnerable.
“It’s not just the marketers that are throwing petabytes of information at problems. Scientists, intelligence analysts, governments, meteorologists, air traffic controllers, architects, civil engineers-nearly every industry or profession is touched by the era of big data. Add to that the fact that the democratization of IT has made everyone a (sort of) data expert, familiar with searches and queries, and we’re seeing a huge burst of interest in big data.”—Big business for big data - O’Reilly Radar
The real-time model of business intelligence, though, requires not just software, but a tight integration with hardware. I.B.M. has been working on this for years, namely with its System S technology for what is called “stream processing” - parsing data in streams rather than after it is stored in data bases. Most of the business intelligence companies are also working on so-called in-memory processing systems. Again, the goal is to decipher data on the fly, not after it has been stored in a database. “Massive amounts of data that can be analyzed instantly has tremendous value,” John Schwarz, the former chief executive of Business Objects, said in an interview months ago.
Acquisition can help align risk management with analytics across the business and IT
With OpenPages, IBM gets to throw its hat further into the risk management ring, but that’s not all. OpenPages provides IBM with strong synergies around other IBM business opportunities like: 1. Analytics. IBM has invested billions and dedicated thousands of people to create an advanced data analytics capability. Now that this expertise is in place, IBM has an analytics foundation to look at just about any type of data-centric issues. With OpenPages, IBM can combine risk management and analytics products with its existing IT and vertical industry strengths for new product and services sales. 2. Information security. Over the past 10 years, information security has slowly evolved from tactical threat management to regulatory compliance controls. Given the global cybercrime wave, this is no longer enough — large organizations need real-time IT visibility and solid threat management analytics. IBM can combine OpenPages with the compliance management assets it purchased from Consul as well as its traditional Tivoli security products. If customers need help here, IBM Global and Managed services will be happy to chip in. 3. “Smarter planet” projects. IBM has always told a great story around “smarter planet” projects like health care networks and next-generation smart grids. True, these visionary initiatives can cut cost and improve efficiency but what happens to the smart grid in the event of a Category 5 hurricane or a cyber supply chain attack that makes 1 million “smart toasters” part of a global botnet? With OpenPages, IBM can now build a “smarter planet” while keeping an eye focused on increasing risks.
Making sense of the data is viewed as a big opportunity, something Netezza understood very well. In this second quarter of 2010, Netezza saw its sales jump 45 percent year-over-year. Netezza has more than 350 clients across a variety of industries have adopted Netezza, including eHarmony.
IBM has struck an agreement to overhaul the back-office technological infrastructure of a major telecommunications operator in Africa. The 10-year deal being announced Friday with New Delhi-based Bharti Airtel Ltd. represents a major opportunity for IBM while helping expand access to reliable mobile phone service. It doesn’t have a published price tag. The agreement is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter. IBM, which has managed Bharti Airtel’s information-technology infrastructure in India since 2004, will consolidate Bharti Airtel’s technology in Africa and manage the technologies behind day-to-day operations.
Edison2’s Very Light Car won the $5 million top prize of the X Prize competition to build an uber-efficient car. The Virginia-based company was one of three who were awarded prizes Thursday morning at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.