IBM announced a new enterprise-grade deployment of IBM Blockchain. Blockchain enables companies to make, run and monitor ledgers on IBM’s cloud. IBM told the press about other commercial versions of IBM Blockchain available now or soon-to-come.

Bitcoin made the blockchain concept popular. The virtual currency uses distributed ledgers to oversee transactions. Due to the currency’s growth, companies took the concept beyond trading money. This includes tracking shipments and verifying identities.

The company developed its blockchain product in conjunction with the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger project. Several companies tried the fruit of the partnership’s labor. For example, SecureKey will “make it easier for consumers to verify they are who they say they are, in a privacy-enhanced, security-rich and efficient way.”

The tech giant has been in the news for other reasons too.

As we reported, Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the company regarding a computer contract. The contract involves a service system for unemployed citizens. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration sued the tech giant over the $170 million contract argument. Wolf says IBM defrauded Pennsylvania by charging for unprovided services. The governor argues that Pennsylvania taxpayers gave IBM about $170 million for a modern computer system. What happened, he said, was the opposite. The state’s Department of Labor and Industry had to continue its programs via expensive legacy systems. This costs millions to maintain due to maintenance costs.

In his words: “Instead, the Department of Labor and Industry has been forced to continue to support many of its UC program activities through a collection of aging, costly legacy systems, incurring tens of millions of dollars in server, support and maintenance costs.” This is an interesting twist for the tech giant. As reported previously, IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty proclaimed that they will hire 25,00 new U.S. employees before meeting with president-elect Trump. She supports establishing educational opportunities for U.S. workers to acquire skills needed for tech jobs.

Rometty calls these “new collar” jobs. She wrote for USA Today, “Consider just one industry in one country. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than half a million open jobs in technology-related sectors in the United States. At IBM alone, we have thousands of open positions at any given moment, and we intend to hire about 25,000 professionals in the next four years in the United States, 6,000 of those in 2017. IBM will also invest $1 billion in training and development of our U.S. employees in the next four years.”

IBM Laid Off Thousands

In contrast, IBM laid off several thousand workers over the last few years; however, Rometty promises to hire an equivalent, if not greater, amount of U.S. workers going forward. An IBM spokesman refused to say whether the $1 billion investment was an increase from prior years.

In a letter to Trump. They opposed him openly. They believed he stood for everything they were against. And in conclusion stated: “We stand against Donald Trump’s divisive candidacy and want a candidate who embraces the ideals that built America’s technology industry: freedom of expression, openness to newcomers, equality of opportunity , public investments in research and infrastructure, and respect for the rule of law…” Interestingly, Rometty did not sign this letter.

Source: Ars Technica


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