Have you seen … Smarter Planet

A Horizon Watching (HW) post alerted me not just to the referenced article, but to the existence of the blog Building a Smarter Planet.

First things first. I was interested in the HW link to information about work IBM have been doing to create an “operating system for sensor networks”. A year or two back now, after the California brown-outs, at least one Silicon Valley firm realised that (a) their buildings were already well instrumented with sensors; and (b) that by smart use of these they could take control in a brown-out. Rather than accept whatever their power provider did to them, they could say “Leave it to us, we will manage our demand down to the appropriate limits”. Creating the management system was a relatively straightforward mashup based on the sensor network that was already there; it was simply re-purposed from monitoring to management.

Now IBM have created infrastructure which, presumably, will allow this to be done more systematically. IBM call this their Fabric for Sensor Network Management and Data Transfer. Developed in the UK, Fabric lets services, policies, security, filters, transformations and event detection algorithms be deployed into the sensor network. In their online resource there are case studies and FAQs.

The route to this information was from Horizon Watching through the Building a Smarter Planet blog, which is worth reading for additional commentary and, perhaps, worth watching in its own right.

• A Smarter Planet, HW post on LinkedIn, 7 Jun 2010
• IBM Researchers create an Operating System for Sensor Networks, Building a Smarter Planet, 7 Jun 2010
• Fabric for Sensor Network Management and Data Transfer, IBM Alphaworks, 21 Sep 2009
• Building a Smarter Planet, blog home page

Blog Index: Gartner’s Burton analysts integrated

There’s been a major upgrade to the InformationSpan Index to Analyst Blogs, the first for some time.

The most important change is that, although Burton Group continues its quasi-independent existence, several analysts have moved their blog content into personal pages within the Gartner Blog Network. This has been reflected by integrating them fully into our list of blogs by analyst name: you can click through to their blogs – and to their bios, which are still on the Burton website – just as for any fully-fledged Gartner analyst.

In the index by topic areas, there is a new section for Burton’s categorised topics. That’s both easier and, for you, more reliable than trying to map Burton’s categories onto Gartner’s.

As always, the situation is different with AMR. AMR’s legacy website is all but defunct, and there’s been no new content in the AMR legacy blogs since before the New Year. There’s a new Supply Chain major category in Gartner’s coverage (and interestingly, it’s in the technical category despite Gartner’s assertion that AMR would take them into a new non-IT constituency). But no analysts from within that area are blogging.

By contrast, Burton’s surviving topic-area blogs (linked, like Forrester’s, to their research categories) are still active. Although they carry spasmodic farewells from contributing analysts decamping to the Gartner network, other analysts continue to write within them. On the “Other” page of the index, therefore, the continuing Burton and legacy AMR blogs are listed but I’ve moved the AMR ones to the bottom of the page!

A couple more tasks to do. Integrate the continuing Burton blogs into the Gartner Blog Search on our page, and review Forrester’s blogs which I haven’t included in this project.

This was a major piece of re-analysis, so if anyone spots mistakes in the new lists please let me know! The Index can be found here.

Click here for the Index, and

Green? We still don’t get it

I’m reading my way into a sustainability event I’m assisting at tomorrow. There’s a tranche of background reading from one of the keynote speakers from a variety of sources including McKinsey (and others), the UK Government, and the World Wildlife Fund.

And before I even think about the content, I’m sceptical. These are documents which are quite clearly not prepared to be read without being printed out. The WWF document, for example, comes as a PDF – but some major tables (and a lot of headlines) are clearly intended for two printed pages side by side. The material spreads straight across the side margins, appearing on two successive PDF pages. Quite impossible to read on-screen. Not to mention the amounts of white space: the Government report is full of completely blank pages.

And (a quite different gripe): why are publication dates almost never given on reports like this? This stuff moves fast and goes out of date quickly.

Save the planet, but chop down lots of trees to do it!

Smart 2020 report,  A report by The Climate Group on behalf of the Global eSustainability Initiative (GeSI), Smart 2020, 2008 (the link is to the Publications page with various versions and summaries available)
• Outline for the first global IT strategy for CO2 reductions, World Wildlife Fund, PDF, undated
• Greening Government ICT, Cabinet Office, 2008, PDF, linked from archived Cabinet Office press release World first as Government computers go green, 17 Jul 2008