IBM gets cognitive computing contract

By Faranaaz Parker, ITWeb Junior copy editor
Johannesburg, 20 Nov 2008

IBM gets cognitive computing contract

IBM and five university partners have been awarded a contract to work on a cognitive computing project that will, essentially, attempt to simulate the brain's power and efficiency, reports CNet.

According to Dharmendra Modha, manager of IBM's cognitive computing initiative, the idea is for him and his team to try to re-create the brain's perception, cognitive, sensation, interaction and action abilities, while also simulating its efficient size and low-power consumption.

Modha and his team feel the time has finally arrived for computer scientists to at least begin to approach the brain's abilities because of strides made in neuroscience, supercomputing technology and nanotechnology.

Consumers seek handsome gadgets

Fed up with ugly routers and clunky hard drives, a growing number of consumers are looking for well-designed gadgets that complement decor instead of cluttering desktops and clashing with furniture, says Reuters.

Many credit Apple's iPhone, with its strikingly simple forms, for raising the bar on expectations for good design in consumer electronics.

While art and design professionals say gadgets like mobile phones and personal computers are becoming increasingly well-designed, they also say many electronic products still need to work on their appearance.

Yahoo Music to be revamped

Yahoo Music chief Michael Spiegelman is trying to revamp Yahoo's music site, according to CNN Money.

The former number one music site has tapped classic rock as part of its comeback strategy. "The youth market is a very important part of the audience we serve, but we also have a lot of people in their 30s, 40s or 50s," Speigelman said. "They are passionate about music. But they are not necessarily waiting for the new Rihanna track."

Yahoo Music needs to do more to keep its users - both young and old - from decamping to competing sites. As recently as October 2007, Yahoo Music was the Internet's largest music destination with 22 million monthly users, according to comScore. A year later, Yahoo has lost 18% of that audience and has fallen behind AOL Music and MySpace Music.

Vista woes spill over

A series of lawsuits have been brought against major US companies by staff claiming unpaid overtime based on the time it takes Windows Vista to start up and shut down, states The Register.

Mark Thierman, a legal practitioner based in Reno, Nevada, told The Register employees are losing up to two hours of pay a week thanks to Windows Vista.

Thierman calculated damages could run into millions of dollars over a three-year period. He is representing employees of Cigna health insurance, with cases also pending against AT&T and UnitedHealth Group covering thousands of employees.