Thursday, February 21, 2008

Big Blue starts to Jam

Blue Note is one of the well known Jazz labels in the world. Now it's Big Blue that starts to Jam. Last week I received an email by IBM's Rick Reesen with an update on Jazz, Open Sim and lots of other stuff. I never got round to blogging it , but as IBM's "Power Up" has been hitting the blogoshpere in the past days I'm going out of sync.

The most blogged IBM event was the launch of "Power Up - the Game" which basically is a game about powering up, i.e. energy.

Power up is an educational world, named Helios (Greek for Sun - no competition intented probably) for teens with a focus on energy and climate Al-Gorish hypes. Teens can explore and work in this virtual plant to save the us all from disaster.

A more interesting release though was the opening of Jazz which basically is a software development project, which was publically announced at January 14:

ARMONK, NY - 14 Jan 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled new software and research innovations aimed at improving the way employees across an organization collaborate in a globally integrated enterprise.

The challenges of globalization are forcing companies to become more nimble, using an increasingly geographically-dispersed and virtual workforce to remain competitive. In the world of software development, this means 24x7 collaboration with specialized teams around the globe to pick up where another left off. IBM is also examining
how virtual worlds can help software development teams break down the barriers caused by globalization.

IBM is announcing it is opening up its development platform based on Web 2.0 technologies for developers to collaborate and contribute to software under development at is an open, commercial community designed to help companies globally and transparently collaborate on the development of Jazz-based technology.

More on Jazz (such as a promo) can be found in Second Life on IBM's codestation.

IBM's involvement in the Metaverse:

Somehow I keep running into IBM-ers working with virtual worlds in some way or the other. It doesn't matter if it's a Sogeti event or a VW Seminar or Symposium, but they're always there... and they're evangelising the metaverse. Some have asked me if I know what their budget is. Somewhere I picked up a figure of 100 million USD, but no doubt it's huge.

The IBM SL community holds about 6.000 members, which is impressive. What I've learned though is that only a few of these are paid to explore the metaverse and that the vast majority consists of enthusiasts which contribute in their spare time, which puts it all into perspective. For companies like mine (Sogeti) or Capgemini, most of the virtual world attention and development is still a spare time excercise of enthusiasts trying to figure out ways for their employers to coin in, or find meaningfull use of metaverses. Taking in the total population of IBM worldwide, one might even say that Sogeti's community in Second Life is even bigger (percentage wise) with over 90 members in a total of 3.000 employees in the Netherlands. Alas we don't have full time funding as ABN Amro has had over the past year.


One last thing that is nagging me about the email I received is the mention of the UgoTrade blog as a reference. I've been reading Tish's blog over the past year with great pleasure as she really writes good indepth stories on technology in Virtual Worlds. But when companies like IBM start to use it as a base of reference for their work in VW's I'm getting a wee bit hesitant.

Tish, please don't turn into a corporate blogger....

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

ICEX - Spanish Export

Today I visited the ICEX island, which I've spotted mid april and found it open to public.

In april I wrote: "As far as I can tell from the logo in the bottom right corner, the ICEX Servicios sim is set up by the Instituto EspaƱol de Comercio Exterior." Well, I was right.

In short, ICEX is -as far as my Spanish goes - an Intstitute to promote Spanish companies abroad (though surprisingly I only found Spanish text and no English).
At first look the sim looks quite unorganised and messy, but some investigation led me to the website of Exporta 2007, and is about an export exposition. This explains the many corporate stands bordering the island.
The main venue is on clean energy. The picture above (right) shows some windmills and solar energy stands, and the main building (below) holds information on a solar station Spain is working on.
Now I recall a radio broadcast a few months ago where they'd discussed 'green energy' and one of the remarks was that much of todays green energy technology is coming from Western Europe and Scandinavia, and that the Southern European countries are lagging severely. Especially Spain.
What I recall from my holidays in Spain (Canary Islands and Costa del Sol) is that Spain isn't concerned with the environment at all. The country is drying up, but the coasts are getting greener and greener due to heavily showered golf-courses and palm-lined tourist resorts. As temperatures will rise and Spain will be seeing more and more sun, it would naturally be a country to invest in Solar energy technology. Now it seems they're getting that message, and now want to announce that Spain too is getting 'climate-savvy'

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