Nathan Ingraham of The Verge reports, “Google has just purchased Nest Labs, the maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat and Protect smoke detector, for $3.2 billion in cash. According to a Google press release, Nest will continue to operate independently under the leadership of co-founder and CEO Tony Fadell; co-founder Matt Rogers will also make the move to Google. While the transaction is subject to the usual regulatory review, Google says it expects the sale to close within the next few months. Google Ventures had already invested over $100 million in Nest, so the company has been on Mountain View’s radar for some time now. It’s not yet clear exactly how Google plans to use Nest, but the company obviously sees it as an important part of its future. A combination of Nest’s home solutions coupled with Google’s language recognition could give Google its strongest path yet into your home.” Read more
Drew Hendricks of Sys-Con recently wrote, “Over the course of the past decade, there’s been a lot of hype pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT) and how China leads the U.S. in this technology – yet many who are active on the Internet are still unaware of its existence. In its simplest form, IoT is an evolving wireless network of objects and devices that will eventually all be connected with each other. Using RFID, Bluetooth, GPS and other emerging semantic technology, and working in tandem with cloud computing, Web portals and back-end systems, in essence our “things” will be be able to “talk” with each other.” Read more
IBM is getting down to business with Watson. Today it officially launched its NYC-based IBM Watson Group at an event in downtown Manhattan. The new business unit – a $1 billion investment for Big Blue – will be headed up by Mike Rhodin, senior VP for Watson and formerly its Software Solutions Group lead,
“We don’t form a business unit very often. When we do it’s to make our company, our clients, our partners accelerate progress. It’s not just about business—it’s about advances that make a big difference to all of society, said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at the event, which took place at 4 World Trade Center and also was streamed live online. Declaring us to be in the “cognitive” era of computing, in which computers will learn, get smarter over time and unleash insights from Big Data, to help us make better judgments, Rometty discussed IBM’s plan of having entrepreneurs and developers leverage its Watson Developer Cloud to create their own solutions, and the interest by some 750 companies in working with them towards those ends.
Some 2000 people will be part of the new IBM group, which will be situated in the East Village’s Silicon Alley. To drive the ecosystem it wants to see around Watson Cloud-delivered cognitive apps and services, it’s making $100 million of that billion dollars available for venture investments in startups and businesses. The fundamental idea, Rhodin noted, is pulling together the cloud, content, and investment to get things up and running. “The first thing you need in an ecosystem is the developer cloud, the second thing is…content, the fuel of a cognitive system,” he said, and you need to “make a pool of talent available to the ecosystem to accelerate its speed and build-out.”
A new article out of the organization reports, “In cooperation with European research partners, researchers of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam have developed the technical infrastructure of an online fire monitoring service. The application is developed for the detection of forest fires and is available now for expert users. The European research project called TELEIOS, was funded by the European Union and lasted from 2010 to 2013.” Read more
The Open Data Institute has announced that Jeni Tennison has been awarded an OBE in the “Queen’s New Year Honours.”
For those not familiar, King George V created these honors on 4 June 1917, during World War I. The honor was intended to reward services to the war effort by civilians at home in the UK and servicemen in support positions. Today, they are awarded for prominent national or regional roles and to those making distinguished or notable contributions in their own specific areas of activity. There are three ranks to the honors: Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE) and Member (MBE). Tennison is being given the OBE.
The official release reads:
Open Data Institute (ODI) founders, Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee have warmly welcomed news that the organisation’s Technical Director, Jeni Tennison has received an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
Tennison, who grew up in Cambridge, first trained as a psychologist before gaining a PhD in collaborative ontology development from the University of Nottingham.
Before joining the ODI, she was the technical architect and lead developer for legislation.gov.uk, which pioneered the use of open data APIs within the public sector, set a new standard in the publication of legislation on the web, and formed the basis of The National Archives’ strategy for bringing the UK’s legislation up to date as open, public data.
Speaking about today’s Honour, ODI Chairman, Sir Nigel Shadbolt said: “Jeni inspires affection, loyalty and admiration in all who know her. She has a special blend of deep technical know how and an intuitive sense of what works in the world of the Web. In Jeni the ODI has a fantastic CTO and the open data community a great role model. It has been a privilege to work with her for over two decades and it is wonderful to see her recognised in this way.”
Before taking up her post at the ODI, Tennison worked with Shadbolt on the early linked data work on data.gov.uk, helping to engineer new standards for the publication of statistics as linked data; building APIs for geographic, transport and education data; and supporting the publication of public sector organograms as open data.
NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Hoyos Labs, a recently launched digital infrastructure security company, today announced that Dr. Scott Streit and Dr. Boris Kravtsov have joined the Company as Chief Computer Scientist and Chief Computer Vision Scientist, respectively. The Company has added these new talents to bolster its technology team and further develop its identity assertion platform. Read more
Seth Fletcher of Scientific American recently wrote, “Last month molecular geneticist and crusader for intellectual property reform Richard Jefferson wrote a Forum column for Scientific American in which he explained the concept of ‘innovation cartography’—the idea that mapping the vast and inscrutable world of patents will enable more players to create more innovations, some of which might end up doing a lot of good. Since then, Jefferson and his colleagues have launched a new version of The Lens, an open resource for searching and analyzing patents issued worldwide; published a paper in Nature Biotechnology on using The Lens to explore global gene patents; and announced a new round of funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I suspected Jefferson had more to say than he could fit into that Forum piece, so I gave him a call.” Read more
Richard Adhikari of Linux Insider reports, “The Linux Foundation on Tuesday announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, a cross-industry consortium working on a standard of interoperability among devices connected to the Internet of Things. Alliance members include LG Electronics, Panasonic, Sharp, Silicon Image, Qualcomm, HTC, Cisco, D-Link and Sears Brand Management. LG will incorporate the Alliance’s technology into the smart TVs it offers next year. The alliance’s technology framework is based on Qualcomm’s AllJoyn open source project. It runs on regular and embedded versions of Linux, Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows.” Read more
The Plante Moran 2013 Innovation Survey that was recently released doesn’t have anything specifically to do with semantic, Linked Data, AI, machine learning or related technologies. But it’s hard to ignore their place in innovation, which 94 out of 100 business leaders responded is a priority for them.
The survey reported that more than 90 percent of leaders saw innovation as being important to sustainability and growth; 85 percent recorded that it matters to new or improved processes; and more than 70 percent saw its value for improved products or services, to name just a few critical areas. Most readers of this blog likely will recognize that such outcomes are often realized by companies that follow semantic and other smart and innovative technologies down paths of innovation to new offerings and other key returns (Google anyone?).
Companies still experience constraints on making innovation happen, though, one of them being lack of access to new technology, according to the survey. But the report also finds that collaboration was considered a possible jumpstarter for innovation among three out of four of the respondents.