Project Lichtnstein (The greenest house in Minnesota)

Over the weekend I was invited to see an amazing house that was completely off-the grid, self-sustaining, and incredibly eco-friendly. Christian Milaster designed and built the house from scratch and says that he only pays about $100 a year in utilities. He called the house — Project Lichtnstein (Light and Stone in German). The entire house is heated by both the natural sunlight and the radiant heat generated from the unique stone fireplace. It was truly an amazing piece of engineering and architecture that allows the house to be so energy efficient. Christian is pioneering a new field of engineering. I call him a “green” engineer and I truly believe that this is a field of study that will be in high demand in the not-so-distant future. If you’re more interested, read about Project Lichtnstein and subscribe to his blog.

IBM Blue Business Platform morphs into IBM Smart Business

IBM Smart Business — After two years of work, I and hundreds of other IBM employees finally see the fruits of our labor. Here’s a press announcement about the general launch of the IBM Smart Business platform to the public.

Some background into IBM Smart Business… The premise was simple. There was a tremendous need to make IT less complex for small and medium businesses. To address this, three things were created.

  1. Smart Market: a Web-enabled, one-stop SMB marketplace clients can use to browse, rate and buy solutions or collaborate with other clients, industry experts and vendors from around the world.
  2. Smart Cube: a secure, turn-key computer designed to deliver integrated solutions directly to the client. Smart Cubes install and connect users to Smart Market within minutes.
  3. Smart Desk: a Web-enabled dashboard that clients can use as a single-point-of-contact for Smart Business maintenance, from updating applications automatically or subscribing to an on-demand service.

The model we tried to emulate in the project codenamed BBP was to think just like the Apple iPod model — the iTunes Store (Smart Market), iPod (Smart Cube), and the iTunes desktop application (Smart Desk).

I can only speak for the Smart Desk side of things, as I played a hand in its initial phases, parts of the GUI, and the build automation/testing of the Smart Desk.

UPDATE: I needed to retract some parts of this posting. Sorry about that.