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German CeBIT Show Ends, but International Offspring Abound

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With attendance reaching almost the half-million mark, organizers this year will take their success to other shows around the world.

 

CeBIT in Hannover, Germany, experienced a modest rebirth this year as show organizers reduced the time of the trade fair from seven days to six and took other steps to invigorate the format. Final numbers for participation by the end of the show affirmed that the effort apparently worked. Some 5,845 exhibitors from 77 countries participated, and attendance totaled 495,000, up 3 percent over last year.

 

The show was not just for Europeans, since 100,000 visitors came from abroad (about one in five). Attendees from both North and South America this year arrived in far greater numbers than in prior years. Exhibitors leaving the show reported departing with smiles on their faces, taking with them numerous leads and hard orders, or, as one writer put it, their order books were "bulging."

 

Show organizers have spawned smaller CeBIT events around the world, so if anyone wants a taste of this big boy, they can get a whiff without having to travel to Germany. Needless to say, these are much smaller shows.

 

Here is a list of the upcoming world CeBIT events:

 

  • CeBIT Australia 2008 (May 20-22, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, Australia)
  • ISCe 2008 A CeBIT Event (June 10-12, Hilton Hotel Mission Bay, San Diego, California)
  • CeBIT Bilisim Eurasia 2008 (October 7-12, Tüyap Exhibition and Congress Center, Beylikdüzü-Istanbul, Turkey)
  • CeBIT Asia 2008 (October 27-30, Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Pudong/Shanghai, PR China)

 

Below is a continuation of the list of notable product highlights from the exhibit floor that we started to bring you in last week's TNT. Though many of these companies are European and may not be familiar in the United States, we thought it worthwhile to bring you a glimpse of what's going on across the Atlantic. (Many companies exhibiting are familiar but have European divisions.) Here is the second half of that products and solutions list, and we will have coverage of several keynote speeches from CeBIT in a future issue of i Technology Manager. Again, thanks to the CeBIT PR staff for compiling this information that we have edited for our readers here.

Text and Speech Recognition

Both the Voice Reader Home from Linguatec and the Vox 2.0 from Nomadic Solutions are able to convert text files into audio files. Using the Voice Reader, you can turn a PDF into an MP3 to play on your PC or iPod, while the Vox 2.0 converts texts received by SMS, GPRS, WiFi, or Bluetooth into the spoken word.

 

Language technology expert Linguatec showcased specialist solutions for the Voice Pro 11 speech-recognition program. This program builds on the new IBM Via Voice technology and recognizes speech with amazing accuracy. The company offers complete medical and legal editions of the software.

Language Translators

The PROMT Mobile 6.0 from Promt GmbH has no trouble translating text messages and even Pocket Word documents, emails, and Web pages and operates using the Windows Mobile platform for PDAs and smart phones.

 

Language technology expert Linguatec unveiled a world first at CeBIT. Shoot & Translate, the first translation software for cell phones and smart phones, uses the built-in camera and Internet access popular in today's cell phones to its full potential.

Disaster Relief and Medical Technology

Of the many applications on display at CeBIT, two deliver solutions relating to disaster relief and medical technology. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology have developed a system that helps to coordinate rescue efforts in the event of a disaster and keep those affected up to date with the latest information.

Electronic Risk Management Architecture (ERMA) aims to deliver flawless crisis management and is equipped with a range of functions to help keep damage and loss to a minimum.

 

The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology has joined forces with Berlin Heart GmbH to introduce an innovation test system that checks cardiac support devices and ensures they are working perfectly before being implanted in heart patients.

High-Stakes Gaming

CeBIT has its share of computer game technology, and several competitive events sponsored by Samsung and Intel have six-figure prize funds. Samsung's World Cyber Games (WCG) and Intel Extreme Masters II competitions could make a few players quite wealthy. Hundreds of gamers from 30 countries presented their eSporting credentials at the show.

Customer Relationship Management

SAP, one of the largest software providers in the world, reported it signed up 21 new partners in China, German, France, and the UK for its Business By Design continued rollout. The on-demand software solution, which costs as little as $149 per user per month, targets small and medium businesses with a complete solution that covers these areas:

 

  • Financials
  • Customer relationship management
  • Human resources management
  • Supply chain management
  • Project management
  • Supplier relationship management
  • Compliance management
  • Executive management support

 

Mesonic presented five new service-oriented CRM products, including CRM Sales for sales and marketing purposes and CRM Support, which features call-center and help- desk functions. Since all data can be accessed online, the products let workers operate from anywhere, anytime.

 

The Cobra Web CRM program runs directly online. You don't have to install it if you want to synchronize contact data; all you need is a browser. The Cobra Mobile CRM is based on Windows Mobile and can be used with Smartphones and BlackBerries.

Navigation Devices

A new generation of navigation systems can be controlled by speech alone and can also take photos. Some models can even make phone calls. Cutting-edge devices such as the Garmin Nüvifone appear to do everything.

 

The Falk F Series describes local landmarks, works out currency conversions, and even can help decipher a foreign language. This may be more suitable for Europe than in the U.S.

 

The Scout Navigator from Merian not only lets users enjoy pictures and videos of local sites, but also plays audio texts featuring the travel writings of literary luminaries.

The Stylish Mouse

Have you ever imagined using a mouse as thin as a credit card or one with an ergonomic design in elegant black and silver? Consider a mouse with no buttons and no scroll heel.  Users can select their favorite mini mouse from the new range of ultra-stylish models.

The key features of any mouse are size, design, and user-friendliness. That's why the M930 Bluetooth mouse from Hama is both ultra-small and super-slim. When not in use, the mouse fits neatly into a PC card slot where it self charges.

 

Genius has a new mouse that has no buttons or wheels; the mouse is moved using a tilting action while a sensor on its surface "feels" scrolling movements.

 

Ergonomic design is the key at Gembird, which features a different and more comfortable black rubberized surface.

Driving-Based Insurance

International Telematics has introduced a new concept in insurance. The "pay as you drive" model features software technology whereby a computer monitors driving behavior and then calculates a tailor-made vehicle insurance premium based on the driver's habits and frequency behind the wheel.

 

During your journey, a telematics box receives and evaluates GPS signals. Data is collected and sent to the insurance company, which then calculates a personalized premium. Under the system, drivers who use their vehicles infrequently or travel only short distances would pay less; the insurance premium is dependent on the individual's driving characteristics.

Auto Emergency Systems

Another pioneering telematics application is the eCall emergency system, which, similar to GM's OnStar, automatically puts out an emergency call and transmits the GPS data of the vehicle in the event of an accident.

New-Generation Webcams

Featuring flash, infrared technology, and dual lenses, the Web cams of tomorrow are both high-tech and stylish. Web cams such as the Laplace from Speed-Link ensure that users enjoy crystal-clear images at home or in the office. Expect razor-sharp pictures from the new Genius Slim collection with its night-vision infrared technology, while the "Double Lens" Web cam from Hama bears a resemblance to Star Wars' R2D2.  The camera features two lenses for close-ups and wide-angle shots.

Internet Radios

Internet radio is all the rage in Europe, and whatever kind of music you're into, from the blues to big band, Internet radio brings music from around the world into your living room. Olympia has broken new ground with its first collection of Internet radios. The radio logs onto the 'net via WLAN but also plays back music files stored on the PC. Hama and Terratec also showed how users can receive literally thousands of stations, including their local favorites, via the Wireless Internet Radio.

RAID Storage

RAID systems for small companies as well as home users usually have two hard drives. This allows users to choose whether data should be mirrored for top-level security or distributed to both drives for maximum memory utilization and an increased data rate. The new ReadyNAS Duo from Netgear can, for example, be used as a stylish network memory to store up to 2TB of data or 1TB if you use optional RAID 1-data mirroring. Raidsonic's ICY BOX IB-NAS4220-B is also a RAID system revealing a top-quality design for home and office networks. It is easy to configure via Web browser and provides space for two 3.5" SATA hard drives.

Open Source Annual

The Open Source Annual is a reference work for the open-source community. The Open Source Annual offers a rich variety of texts from high-profile authors on all aspects of the subject. Information technology, economics, law, and sociology provide the backdrop for important new debates on open source. Professor Bernd Lutterbeck and the Open Source Annual project team from the Informatics and Society department of the Technical University Berlin have managed to establish the annual as a successful standard reference work because it is a key source of information for scientists, IT managers, and public-sector administrators. The group was exhibiting at CeBIT.

Flash Memory Video Cameras

In the age of You Tube and vlogging (blogging via video), video cameras for everyday use are becoming increasingly popular. Instead of recording onto DV cassettes, DVDs, or hard drives, the new cameras use an integrated flash memory or SD card. With no moving parts prone to error that consume large amounts of energy, Canon's FS video cameras are robust and efficient. Another innovation was Toshiba's GSC-A100F, an ultra-small hard-drive camcorder with full HD resolution.

Microsoft's Coffee Table PC

Cross a PC with a coffee table and the result is a new Microsoft product called the Surface Computer. Microsoft brought a bit of the future to CeBIT with the new device that has no mouse. The device is like a giant iPhone: a huge, touch-sensitive display. If successful, this innovation could revolutionize office work. Bill Gates says he is confident the future belongs to these touch-sensitive super PCs. The company's latest invention that was displayed is called Surface and is a product resembling a coffee table but with the added feature of a 30-inch display. Integrated infrared transmitters detect every gesture and movement of your fingers, enabling images or files to be sorted on the screen with a single hand movement. (The company chose to introduce Internet Explorer 8 at its own Mix 2008 conference running concurrently in Las Vegas.)

High-Speed Satellite Internet

Accessing the Internet is possible today, but the best speeds leave much to be desired. A new solution zooms data through the 'net at lightning speed, 32 times faster than ISDN. The result of collaboration between ASTRA (Europe's largest satellite operator), the European Space Agency (ESA), and Hamburg-based StarDSL, a new satellite-based Internet access service features an integrated backward channel. For a flat rate, anyone can surf the 'net at DSL speed. The solution is ideal for working in rural areas or anywhere access to cable or DSL is impractical.

Linux Programs

The penguin is a very apt choice [VM1] as a symbol of the open-source operating system Linux. LinuxPark was organized by show organizer Deutsche Messe and Linux New Media AG. During the first four days of this year's event, visitors were able to delve into topical issues such as green IT, security, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Attendees will enjoy a program of events this weekend in LinuxPark that includes presentations on Web 2.0 and multimedia applications.

Simple, Low-Priced PCs

CeBIT is highlighting the growing trend toward creating PCs that are simpler than the norm. Increasingly, users are discovering they don't really need super-complex PCs. The current favorite is the Asus Eee PC that retails for as little as $300. The replacement for its Eee PC 4G, the Eee PC 900 costs about $100 more but has a larger display and more memory. The Thin Economic Office (TEO) from "christmann informationstechnik + medien GmbH" is an uncomplicated system in a stylish outer garb ranging from bright pink to jet black.

Digitizing Robot

The best way of preserving the written word for future generations is to convert it into digital format. An innovative robot has been built that works tirelessly and quickly to do just that, and it requires very little human intervention. Working with the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB) in Lower Saxony, Treventus Mechatronics GmbH has developed an electronic librarian. This machine is working on the SUB project "Qualitative Mass Digitization of Cultural Assets," which aims to digitize the cultural and scientific treasures of Lower Saxony. The robot is able to work 10 times faster than conventional scanners. Despite its speed, the robot works very carefully and processes works that, for conservation reasons, would otherwise never have been considered for digitization or only under the very strictest of conditions.

A Glimpse of the Future

While the above highlights are just a fraction of the many solutions on display at CeBIT 2008, they may give us a glimpse into the direction that European and larger U. S. firms will be taking over the next 12 months.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith was the Senior News Editor at MC Press Online from 2007 to 2012 and was responsible for the news content on the company's Web site. Chris has been writing about the IBM midrange industry since 1992 when he signed on with Duke Communications as West Coast Editor of News 3X/400. With a bachelor's from the University of California at Berkeley, where he majored in English and minored in Journalism, and a master's in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Chris later studied computer programming and AS/400 operations at Long Beach City College. An award-winning writer with two Maggie Awards, four business books, and a collection of poetry to his credit, Chris began his newspaper career as a reporter in northern California, later worked as night city editor for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and went on to edit a national cable television trade magazine. He was Communications Manager for McDonnell Douglas Corp. in Long Beach, Calif., before it merged with Boeing, and oversaw implementation of the company's first IBM desktop publishing system there. An editor for MC Press Online since 2007, Chris has authored some 300 articles on a broad range of topics surrounding the IBM midrange platform that have appeared in the company's eight industry-leading newsletters. He can be reached at chriswriting@cs.com.

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  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.