What Are the Smarter Planet Graphics All About?

Ever wondered where the inspiration for IBM’s Smarter Planet graphic design came from?

“In a bid to ‘show the world that the thinking and technology that’s needed to solve the world’s biggest problems exists today,’ creative studio Office were asked by Ogilvy & Mather New York to work on IBM’s Smarter Planet campaign.

Inspired by the creative vision of designer Paul Rand’s work for IBM in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, Office chose clear and bold designs that aimed to create an emotional connection with people.”

Paul Rand is famed for creating the IBM thirteen-stripe and eight-bar logos, the Eye-Bee-M logo, the OS/2 logo, IBM’s 1964 World’s Fair Brochure, the THINK letterhead, 15 annual report covers and designs for all kinds of packaging and adverts.

More pictures of the Smarter Planet marketing at PSFK.  But much more interesting is a collection of Paul Rand’s work for IBM at Paul-Rand.com.

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Can Cloud Help Businesses Affected by Riots?

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Image by belkus via Flickr

What: “The torching of businesses over the last few days by the rioters who looted them has opened up a new business case for the on-line, off-site, data back-up that is an integral feature of cloud computing.”

Why: “…the smoking heap of wreckage was a small business in a city centre, a superstore in a retail park or a national distribution depot for consumer goods, the case for having off-site processing and data storage has suddenly become much stronger. But the vulnerabilities of data centres to power problems and of communications networks to similar disruption (including lightning strikes and cable theft) also need much greater attention.”

Interesting thoughts from Philip Virgo’s blog on ComputerWeekly.

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Watson Creates New Entry for Gartner Hype Cycle

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies 2010

Image by marketingfacts via Flickr

What: “Gartner’s 2011 Hype Cycle Special Report provides strategists and planners with an assessment of the maturity, business benefit and future direction of over 1,900 technologies, grouped into 76 distinct Hype Cycles. The Hype Cycle graphic has been used by Gartner since 1995 to highlight the common pattern of overenthusiasm, disillusionment and eventual realism that accompanies each new technology and innovation. The Hype Cycle Special Report is updated annually to track technologies along this cycle and provide guidance on when and where organizations should adopt them for maximum impact and value.”

How: “a new entry for natural language question answering recognizes the impressive and highly visible achievement of IBM’s Watson computer in winning TV’s Jeopardy! general knowledge quiz against champion human opponents.”

Full overview at MarketWatch.

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Government Policy – What If?

Diagrams - System Dynamics

Image by plemeljr via Flickr

What: “System Dynamics for Smarter Cities is designed to help mayors and other municipal officials reduce the unintended negative consequences of municipal actions on citizens, as well as uncover hidden beneficial relationships among municipal policies.”

Why: ” A more thorough understanding of how policies affect each other over time will enable officials to reduce or avoid negative results before they happen. Leaders will also be able to “double down” on policies that are projected to have positive ancillary results.”

How: ”

a project starts by using the existing dynamic engine which contains over 3,000 equations from past work with cities. At the beginning of a new engagement with a municipality, IBM government experts conduct a series of knowledge-gathering workshops with dozens of people who have expertise about that particular city, including economists, educators, police officers, city planners, demographers, elected officials, business leaders, electric and water utility providers, real estate developers, transportation experts, health care providers, and other community leaders. This vital information – representing decades if not centuries of hard-won expertise — is codified and combined with existing government data such budget allocations, number of K-12 students, unemployment rates, population growth and density, number of grocery stores, vehicle miles traveled, and city GDP to create a deep corpus of information about that city.

Next, the input from city subject matter experts and data is analyzed with software specialized for determining how systems evolve over time, incorporating feedback and delay. The resulting system of simultaneous differential equations is calibrated and evaluated against up to 10 years of historic data from the client city. The result is a model that builds on experiences from past clients but uniquely simulates the dynamics of the client city. For instance, the dynamics surrounding water policies might look very different for a city like Phoenix than it would for Seattle. The revenues of a city that relies on a sales tax will have different funding cycles and patterns over time from one that uses a property tax. Yet each can be represented in the system dynamic model.”

Easy. Full explanation on Final Cut Pro.

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The Future of Mobile Working?

FR Macher-desks

Image via Wikipedia

What: “Workspace-finding applications, such as Desktime, LiquidSpace, Loosecubes, and OpenDesks, are cropping up to help people in situations like these find good places to get things done. Some apps also help office owners fill extra space with people who have established a reputation for reliability.”

How: “Typically, a service can be accessed via either a website or a mobile reservation and payment app. These contain a catalog of temporary office spaces—some in dedicated shared work buildings, work-friendly coffee shops, and business centers, and others within the offices of startups or corporations that have unneeded space. Loosecubes, for example, offers about 1,800 spaces in 52 countries.”

Why: “The apps aim to take advantage of the trend toward increasingly mobile workers. These days it’s not just freelancers, consultants, and the self-employed who go hunting for wireless signals with a laptop bag slung over one shoulder. Forty percent of IBM’s workforce works outside IBM real estate. The U.S. General Services Administration announced at the end of July that it will renovate its Washington, D.C., office building to accommodate about three times as many employees, mostly by eliminating private spaces and instituting a system whereby employees schedule desk space when they plan to come in to the office.”

Full article on technology review.

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