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Friday, 28 August 2015

Hear from the best at IBM Connect 2015

The countdown towards IBM Connect 2015 begins! The can’t miss half-day session on 3 September, brought to you by tech giant IBM in collaboration with Tech in Asia, seeks to provide attending startups tips on growth hacking their business. If you’re a founder looking at how you can scale your business quickly, this is the event for you.
We’ve locked down several key speakers and VCs so here’s who you can meet:


The morning event will kickoff with a welcome address delivered by Karthik Padmanabhan, ecosystem development head (Asia Pacific) at IBM. Then hear from Amit Anand, partner at Jungle Ventures, as he reveals his secrets on growth hacking a startup to success in a keynote session.
Next on the agenda is a series of lightning talks on bootstrapping at speed, facilitated by Stephan Wissel, cloud development advocate at IBM; William Lim, SoftLayer guru; and Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer at Viki.
Just before you head to break, stay on for an exciting panel discussion on why startups and large enterprises should tango. Panelists include Saemin Ahn, managing partner at Rakuten Ventures; Nathalie Benzing, COO at TradeGecko; Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding president and CEO of Graymatics; and Tim Greisinger, CEO at IBM Singapore.
The fun continues after the break, where four different sessions will take place concurrently. At Startup Clinic, selected startups get to engage on a one-to-one session with IBM experts, Amit Anand, and Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker. The group will evaluate and analyze your startup’s top challenges and provide solutions to tackle these problems.
Alternatively, make your way to the Force Multiplier segment, where you can gain an insight or two on how to reach, engage, and retain your customers. The Learning @ Speed Solution Zones will also offer a platform for startups to experiment and learn more about IBM’s technologies and how it can give your business the boost it needs. If, on the other hand, you are craving for some action, Pitch @ IBM SmartCamp is the place to be – watch six startup teams across ASEAN battle it out in a pitch competition of innovation and wits to win a trip to Silicon Valley!

Which VCs are attending?

So far we’ve got GREE Ventures, TNF, Yello Mobile, Spaze Ventures, BlueHill Asset Management, Pix Vine Capital, and LeoTech. With this great bunch of VCs in attendance at IBM Connect, you can be sure that there will be plenty of networking opportunities at the event.

I’m in! Now what?

If you’re a CEO/Founder, COO, CIO or entrepreneur whose startup has secured at least seed funding and above, we want you!
IBM Connect is free to attend, and you can register your interest through the button below.
IBM Connect registration


9am to 9.25amWelcome Address by IBMKarthik Padmanabhan, Ecosystem Development Head, Asia Pacific
9.25am to 9.40amKeynote: Growth Hacking to Success: Shifu’s Secrets RevealedAmit Anand, Partner, Jungle Ventures
9.40am to 10.15amLightning Talks: Bootstrapping @ Speed

  • Innovate @ Speed
  • Operate @ Speed
  • Growth @ Speed
Amelia Johasky, Cloud Leader (ASEAN), IBM

William Lim, SoftLayer Guru
Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer, Viki
10.15 am to 10.45am
Panel Discussion: Why startups and large enterprises should tango
Entrepreneurs want to scale their company. Large enterprises must embrace change or else decline into irrelevance. How does the CEO of a large firm enlist the entrepreneur who will disrupt his business before it happens? And how can startups work with large enterprises despite the cultural differences? This panel discussion will get viewpoints from both sides of the coin and bring forth best practices.
Saemin Ahn, Managing Partner, Rakuten Ventures

Tim Greisinger, Managing Director, IBM Singapore
Nathalie Benzing, Chief Operating Officer, TradeGecko
Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding President and CEO of Graymatics
10.45am to 11amBreak
11am to 12pm(please note that these 3 sessions will happen concurrently)Force Multipliers: How to power your startup

  • Business expansion with Analytics
  • Acquiring customers with Digital Marketing
  • Differentiating your startup with Watson
Gunasekharan Chellappan, Business Unit Executive, Big Data and Cloud Data Services, IBM

Antonia Edmunds, Digital Marketing Solutions Leader, IBM
Stephan Wissel, Cloud Development Advocate, IBM
Startup Clinic
1-on-1 deep dive session with IBM and VCs to address specific challenges of growing startups.
Amit Anand, Partner, Jungle Ventures

Paul Santos, Managing Partner, Wavemaker
Pitch @ IBM Smartcamp
Learning @ Speed
Solution zones will be set up for startups to experiment and learn more about IBM technologies.
12pm to 1pmLunch & Networking


Resorts World Sentosa

Compass Ballroom, Basement 2

8 Sentosa Gateway, Sentosa Island

Singapore 098269

Speakers profile

Stephan Wissel, cloud development advocate at IBM
Stephan Wissel
Stephan helps customers navigate the IaaS, PaaS and SaaS jungle. Working with IBM’s fast evolving Bluemix platform, he interacts with startups and venerable corporations alike, energizing development teams and mediating between business and IT.
Nathalie Benzing, COO at TradeGecko
Nathalie Benzing is the Chief Operating Officer at TradeGecko, a fast-growing Singapore startup providing a SaaS inventory and order management platform solution. With its recent $6.5M USD Series A financing, Nathalie’s focus is on driving, enabling and supporting TradeGecko’s aggressive product expansion plans. Prior to this, Nathalie spent six years as Autodesk’s Global Head of Acquisition Integration within Corporate Development. In this role and her previous one, as Autodesk’s EMEA Integration Lead, she led more than 60 merger integrations, from due diligence through to integration completion.
Dr Abhijit Shanbhag, founding President and CEO of Graymatics
Abhijit Bio pic
Dr Abhijit Shanbhag is the founding President and CEO of Graymatics, developing a highly scalable, contextual image and video analysis platform. He was the first awardee of the Global Executive Entrepreneur investment and a recipient of Rising Star Innovator award from Singapore’s Prime Minister’s Office (National Research Foundation).

Prior to this, he was the CTO of Scintera, which he founded in 2001, and continues to be on Scintera’s Board of Directors. Scintera is a leader in algorithmic mixed-signal IC’s and is backed by some of the top venture capital firms.
Amit Anand, partner at Jungle Ventures
Amit is the founder & managing partner of Singapore based Jungle Ventures, an early stage venture firm focused on investing and building regional category leaders in Asia Pacific. At Jungle, he focuses on early stage investing in consumer and enterprise tech companies. His recent investments include India-based LivSpace, Pokkt, and Zipdial (acquired by Twitter), Singapore-based Travelmob (acquired by NASDAQ listed HomeAway), Voyagin (acquired by Rakuten), and CrayonData, Malaysia-based iMoney and CatchThatBus, Thailand-based Pomelo Fashion, and Australia-based Edrolo, amongst several others.
Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker
Paul is the managing partner of Wavemaker Partners, an early-stage, cross-border venture capital firm with dual headquarters in Los Angeles and Singapore. Wavemaker aims to back the best founders in Southern California and Southeast Asia. Since 2003, it has invested in more than 150 internet, mobile, and enterprise technology startups. Wavemaker Partners is a member of the Draper Venture Network, the world’s leading venture capital collective with nine firms spread across four continents.
Rohit Dewan, chief technology officer at Viki
Rohit Dewan
William Lim, SoftLayer Guru
william lim
William Lim is the Guru at SoftLayer, and in charge of identifying and developing new channels, recruiting and enabling new partners, forging new initiatives and solutions with key industry providers in order to build a comprehensive ecosystem for both IBM and SoftLayer’s partners and customers across Asia Pacific.
Prior to SoftLayer, William was a Global Account Manager Enterprise at Starhub.
Saemin Ahn, managing partner at Rakuten Ventures

As the managing partner of Rakuten Ventures, Saemin leads and evaluates investments, conducting due diligence and analyzing deal structure. Since Rakuten Venture’s inception, it has made investments in verticals including C2C marketplace, payment infrastructure technology, visual search technology, and file transfer platforms.
Prior to Rakuten Ventures, Sae was at Google for 5 years from 2008 to 2013 managing sales and business development for Asia.
Tim Greisinger, Managing Director, IBM Singapore
Tim Greisinger is the Managing Director at IBM Singapore. He currently overlooks sales, marketing, research and services operations in the country. Prior to his current role, Tim held the role of Vice President of IBM Asia Pacific, where he led an integrated, cross-brand sales force of IBM industry, solution and technical experts across the region.
Antonia Edmunds, Digital Marketing Solutions Leader, IBM
Antonia is the Digital Marketing Solutions Leader at IBM. Previously the Director of Client Relationships for Silverpop, Antonia was responsible for the overall EMEA customer base, working with strategic clients to ensure they met their marketing and ROI goals through maximising their use of Silverpop’s technologies and services.

Editing by Michael Tegos
(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

Hear from the best at IBM Connect 2015:

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Monday, 17 August 2015

IBM Teams With Canonical To Put Ubuntu Linux On Mainframes | TechCrunch

You might not think that ‘Linux’ and ‘mainframe’ belong in the same sentence, but IBM has been putting various flavors of Linux on its mainframe computers for 15 years. Today IBM and Canonical announced that the two companies were teaming up to build one running Ubuntu Linux. The new unit is called the LinuxOne.
The announcement comes as part of a broader strategy from IBM designed to drive mainframe usage to a wider audience. This new approach includes a monthly subscription pricing model, deeper involvement with other open source projects, contributing a huge cache of mainframe code to open source and participating in thenewly launched Open Mainframe Project.
The new mainframes come in two flavors, named for penguins (Linux — penguins — get it?). The first is called Emperor and runs on the IBM z13, which we wrote about in January. The other is a smaller mainframe called the Rockhopper designed for a more “entry level” mainframe buyer.
You may have thought that mainframes went the way of the dinosaurs, but they are still alive and well and running in large institutions throughout the world. IBM as part of its broader strategy to promote the cloud, analytics and security is hoping to expand the potential market for mainframes by running  Ubuntu Linux and supporting a range of popular open source enterprise software such as Apache Spark, Node.js, MongoDB, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and Chef.
IBM lands between 10 and 20 mainframe customers a quarter, according to Ross Mauri, general manager for IBM Systems. By offering an elastic, cloud-like pricing model, it is hoping to land more customers who might have been scared away previously by the up-front cost of investing in a mainframe.
The  metered mainframe will still sit inside the customer’s on-premises data center, but billing will be based on how much the customer uses the system, much like a cloud model, Mauri explained.
At first glance, Canonical and IBM may seem to be an odd pairing, but Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT says it’s recognition by IBM of the growing relevance of Ubuntu Linux in the enterprise.
In fact, John Zannos from Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu says that IBM approached his company when it began running into more customers running Ubuntu. He added that this isn’t the first time, the two companies have worked have come together, having also worked on the OpenPOWER project.
“For me what is most exciting is that IBM is working through a paradigm shift and looking at Z systems and the mainframe, expanding them and deepening open source software  enablement,” Zannos said.
King thinks the deal should ultimately benefit both parties (as any good deal should). “It should help IBM by opening doors in customers where Canonical is particularly strong. But Canonical is likely to benefit even more through exposure to the large enterprises that make up IBM’s traditional mainframe customer base,” King said.
The overall approach aims to widen the potential market for mainframes as IBM tries to find creative ways to increase sales. In its most recent quarterly earnings report last month, the company extended its sales slide to thirteen straight quarters, posting revenue decreases across all of its major business lines, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
In light of these numbers, IBM is looking for ways to increase those sales. Partnering with Canonical and encouraging use of open source tools on a mainframe gives the company a new way to attract customers to a small, but lucrative market.

IBM Teams With Canonical To Put Ubuntu Linux On Mainframes | TechCrunch:

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Friday, 14 August 2015

Getting Loaded with IBM dashDB - BlueMix Dev

So you’ve heard the buzz about dashDB, and you’re ready to try out this amazing new cloud database offering from IBM. You signed up, got your brand new dashDB account, and you went ahead and created a database to hold your data. The next step is obvious: you need to get the data loaded. But how?
There are many options open to you, including some tools that you might already be familiar with. But did you know that dashDB also provides easy-to-use options directly through the dashDB console? The following diagram will help you choose the option that is right for you:
Where is your data coming from?
Where do you start? Consider where your data is located, and its format and size. dashDB enables you to directly load your data if it happens to be in a flat file or geospatial shapefile, or if it’s located in a cloud-based object store. You also have the option to sync data directly from a Cloudant database into dashDB. If your data comes from a source that can’t be loaded into dashDB as-is, you can export it to a file and load it using dashDB. Or you can use the IBM Bluemix DataWorks service to extract, transform, and load your data into dashDB, all through a single tool.
Need more help evaluating these load options? Check out these developerWorks demos and tutorials:
You can also find these videos on the dashDB YouTube channel.

Getting Loaded with IBM dashDB - BlueMix Dev:

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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Et tu, Watson? IBM's supercomputer can critique your writing

Et tu, Watson? IBM's supercomputer can critique your writing:

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It's bad enough that robots are writing professionally (albeit badly), but now they're criticizing, too? IBM has unveiled the Watson Tone Analyzer, the latest tool in its "cognitive computing" suite of cookinghealthshopping and other apps. Once you input a piece of text, the system will perform a "tone check" to analyze three different aspects of it: emotional, social and writing style. Each of those is divided into further categories -- for instance, it can tell you if your writing style is confident or tentative, and whether the emotional tone is cheerful, angry or negative. From there, it can give you a breakdown of the overall tone and suggest new words to "fix" it.
But why? IBM says in the same way that you spell-check a document, you can now "tone-check" it too. For instance, if you want an employee letter to be more "agreeable," Watson suggests changing the word "disappointing" to "unsatisfactory," and "difficult" to "challenging." By swapping out enough words, you eventually get the right level of "agreeableness" or "cheerfulness" in a passage. IBM thinks this could help, say, advertisers, to make sure a marketing campaign matches "the personality attributes of target customers." In other words, Watson can help companies hawk beer.
Playing around a bit, I found it occasionally helpful, but it fell down more often than not. The main problem is that Watson was missing context, especially for words that have multiple meanings. In the sentence "I know the times are difficult!" it nonsensically suggested "arithmetic operation" for "times." It also doesn't understand sarcasm, humor and other styles, and just picks out individual words to determine the tone.
That said, the Watson Tone Analyzer is impressive considering that it's still experimental. For fun, I had it analyze a financial story generated by another robot, Automated Insights'WordSmith. If you'll recall, it wrote that story in a competition against an NPR staff writer, with readers judging the final result. Watson found Wordsmith's article unremittingly cheerful (96 percent), conscientious (94 percent) and analytical (49 percent). In other words, you'll get the facts, but you won't have any fun reading them. In comparison, Watson found the same story from an NPR writer to be negative (90 percent), but it wasoverwhelming voted more enjoyable to read -- by humans, anyway.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

If you’re not using what you already have, how can something else be ’better’

If you’re not using what you already have, how can something else be ’better’:

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If you’re not using what you already have, how can something else be ’better’

Mat Newman  April 22 2015 02:13:29
A constant theme in customer meetings recently has been educating our users about the entitlements they already have, the capabilities that are already available to them, and the tools that they have at their disposal. 

Figure 1: Shiny, BETTER? REAllY? 

Too often we have engaged with customers where the competition has demonstrated something "shiny" (for want of a better word), which the customer has gleefully latched onto as their reason for purporting to switch to another platform, without consulting their existing vendor to see if something equivalent - dare I say "Better" - is already available to them. 

Here is a short list of items that have featured heavily in those discussions:

  • ID Vault: The ability to easily reset passwords and sync security credentials with mobile apps,
  • Managed Replica's: Turns the Notes client into a "push-mail" app, effectively removing the requirement for mail replication schedules,
  • Managed Replica's: Enables the Notes client to send mail "in the background", alleviating delays in "Sending" email,
  • Full Text Index's: Want awesome search, on mail content, and attachments? it's been in Notes for years,
  • User policies: Control virtually every setting in the Notes client, enabling consistent configuration and enables many of the features that are not turned on in Notes "by default",
  • TDI/SAML: Single-Sign-On, for Notes, for external applications, and for browser based access, neat-O,
  • Live-Text: The ability to recognise almost any content within ANY Notes application (Not just the Email database, ANY Notes document),
  • Actions: What happens when Live-Text is recognised within a document? Configure an Action to perform the "Next Step" with that recognised text,
  • Widgets: Funky little gadgets which can be surfaced from any web-based application, linked with Live-Text and Actions to radically empower a user and dramatically increase their productivity,
  • Plug-Ins: Those add-ons that can totally transform the Notes client experience and interface,
  • Embedded Experiences: Going beyond Live-Text, Actions and Widgets to surface actionable content directly within an email message,
  • Connections Profiles: The ability to see who a person is within your organisation, their contact details, and access the CONTENT that person has created,
  • Connections Files: Send an attachment? Create 6 copies of a file in a simple exchange "Can you please update...", Really?
  • Presence: Is someone in the office, in a meeting, working on mobile, who knows?
  • Chat: You're online and I have a simple question ...

As I mentioned ... it's a short list (only 15 items), and if you're currently running IBM Notes 9, everything listed above is available to you NOW, FREE-OF-CHARGE with your existing IBM Notes client entitlements. 

And that's even before we start talking about the amazing development platform that is IBM Domino, with the ability to create truly transformational business applications that integrate with virtually any external system. Oh, and did I mention those applications can run natively in Notes, a Desktop Web-Browser or a Mobile device with very little effort? 

Got any questions about the items on the list? 

I would be happy to speak with you on how your organisation can get a "better", using what you already have. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Updates to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix - BlueMix Dev

Updates to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix - BlueMix Dev:

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A new version of IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix is now available for download. Here are some highlighted capabilities introduced in this update:
  • Map and unmap projects to cloud applications
    In the past, when an application was deployed outside of the Tools, you had to remove the application from the server before you could publish that same application from the Tools. The new map and unmap project feature allows you to map or unmap an Eclipse project to an existing application that is deployed outside of the Tools without redeploying the application to Bluemix. To map a project, right click on an existing application in the Servers view and select Map to Project.
    mapProjectDialog Updates to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix
  • Service creation wizard improvements
    The service creation wizard has been redesigned to:
    • Support the creation of multiple services and multiple instances of the same service in a single wizard flow.
    • Show service icons so you can easily find services.
    • Select free service plans by default. The free plans are denoted as ‘free’.
  • mutlServiceCreation2 Updates to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix
  • Dedicated Bluemix support
    The Tools now support connecting to a dedicated Bluemix. You can click on theManage Cloud button in the Bluemix server creation wizard and add the dedicated Bluemix URL to connect to a dedicated Bluemix.
    dedicatedBluemix Updates to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix
  • Password update
    You can update the password for an existing Bluemix server instance by right clicking on the server on the Servers view and selecting Update Password (previously you needed to recreate the server if the password had been changed or no master password had been set on the Eclipse secure storage).
  • Other improvements
    A number of performance and usability improvements have been introduced in this release:
    • The Tools are now more responsive during publish operations. Only changed applications are refreshed instead of refreshing all applications on the server.
    • The progress indication has been improved for long-running operations.
In addition to adding new capabilities in this update, we have also included a number of bug fixes and addressed a security vulnerability fix in this version.
If you are new to IBM Eclipse Tools for Bluemix, or you want to find out more, you can find more information below:

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Daniel Nashed's Blog

Daniel Nashed's Blog:

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First Perfect Forward Secrecy Ciphers shipped with 9.0.1 FP2 IF2

Daniel Nashed  30 March 2015 13:14:58
As posted before IBM shipped a new IF that introduces TLS 1.2 Along with this new version a set of ciphers have been added. 
Some of them are enabled by default and other can be enabled using notes.ini settings. 
Other ciphers that are regarded as "weak" have been removed from the default cipher list. 

So by default without any additional settings you get the ciphers that IBM currently recommends. 
What has been added to the default are the AEAD (AES-GCM) ciphers -- see details below. 

There are additional ciphers that will provide "Perfect Forward Secrecy" (PFS) for some platforms/browsers. 

IBM implemented Ephemeral Diffie-Hellman (DHE) ciphers. Those ciphers are used by many but not all platforms. 
That's why even if you enable them you the SSL Test Site will not give you a better rating because not all the reference browsers will use PFS. 

In addition those ciphers have a higher overhead to your Domino Server. Therefore IBM left the decision which cipher to add to administrators. 
You have to find the right balance between security and performance. 
Probably on a smaller server it will not have that much overhead. But on a larger server you might want to take special care and watch the CPU load of your server before and after you enabled the DHE ciphers! 

The current default setting is that the cipher order on the server takes preference. 

As mentioned before all the fixes currently have no design change because that will have to wait until 9.0.2. 
Therefore also the cipher spec has to be enabled using notes.ini settings as already described in our ConnectED presentation. 

There is a notes.ini setting described in a recent Wiki entry. Each cipher has an internal reference number that is standard. 
Domino uses the two digit hexadecimal number to specify the ciphers you want to have enabled on your server. 
The order of entries does not matter. You just have to make sure that you always use a two digit value per cipher -- even the cipher itself might have just one hex digit. 
There is no space between the cipher numbers. 

Here is what you get by default without any changes: 


3D = SA_WITH_AES_256_CBC_SHA256 


In addition to that you have the folllowing new DHE ciphers available. 


So as an example when you want to enable all DHE ciphers and keep the other ciphers you set the following notes.ini setting and restart the servertasks like http. 


So you could add those ciphers to your cipher list using the notes.ini setting. 
Once you are done you can use the SSL Labs Test Website https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/ to check if the ciphers are properly configured. 
What is nice on the website is that the website will "simulate" which client type will probably use which type of cipher when connecting given the current settings of your server. 

Now you should have all the default ciphers and the DHE ciphers enabled. 

You should take special care which ciphers to disable because you could block out certain devices types. 

When testing with the SSL Tabs Test and also using Java applications I noticed that they will pick the DHE ciphers. 
But Java 1.6/1.7 does currently not support more that 1024 bits. By default Domino uses higher key-length. 

So Java sees that DHE ciphers are enabled and will try to use them. And it does not check before using it that it cannot handle larger key sizes than 1024. 

That means if you enable DHE ciphers you might have to consider to lower the key-length used. 
If you change the key-length to 1024 the SSL Labs Test site will report that your key is "weak". 

So you have to balance lower security with compatibility at this point. 

There is a notes.ini setting to specify the key-length for DHE ciphers. 

You could set notes.ini SSL_DH_KEYSIZE=1024 to resolve this incompatibility. 

There have been also discussions about other PFS ciphers that are used by other applications like older IE versions. 

"Elliptic Curves ciphers" (ECDHE..) are supported by older IE versions and by Windows mobile. 
But they are currently not implemented on the Domino side. 

All the development work in this area based by priorities and demand. And IBM is releasing it step by step with IF fixes. 
It's not confirmed IBM is working on those type of ciphers. I just wanted to mention it to explain why not all platforms will use PFS ciphers when you enable the DHE ciphers. 
Also the ECDHE ciphers have better performance than the DHE ciphers. But the first priority was to implement the DHE ciphers because most platforms support it. 
This was for sure not the last functionality update we get via a IF. I am looking forward to see that is next on the list. 

Not all of the notes.ini settings are documented yet. I expect that IBM will publish another Wiki article soon. 
I might update this blog entry or have a more complete article with more details as soon more information is available. 

-- Daniel 

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