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Bad news for employees of Big Blue

ibm_Alice Bartlett.jpg
Alice Bartlett
via Flickr
That is, if they'll let you keep your job.

IBM is implementing another wave of downsizing, and workers are understandably disappointed.  Craig Wolf reports for Gannett that one Endicott, N.Y.-based senior project manager lost her job after nearly three decades of service:

"No gold watch," she said. "Just a gold kick in the pants. I guess I sort of expected this sooner, but it's still hard when it happens."

Wolf reports that the firm ditched 194 jobs in the (succinctly named) "Global Business Services Application Management Services Global Accounts unit:"

Job cuts happened Thursday in a part of IBM's Global Business Services division, according to an IBM document obtained by the Poughkeepsie Journal. IBM spokesman Douglas Shelton said in an e-mail: "IBM does not discuss its staffing plans publicly however, we are constantly managing resources across a base of more than 400,000 employees as client demands evolve."

That bad news comes after a blitz of good publicity following the highly publicized Watson victoryMcKinsey Quarterly (requires registration) has a first person account from Jeopardy! champion, Greg Lindsay, who fought Watson - and won.  At least in practice rounds:

While I was pleased to win, what stands out for me about our matches is how easily Watson trained me to play the game his way. Yes, I won, but my confrontation with an alien mind changed me as a player. To beat Watson, I was convinced I’d need to play a perfect game. His speed on the buzzer would be lightning-fast, and with a full 30 seconds to calculate an answer in Final Jeopardy, I feared he would be invincible. My only hope was to steer him into categories where the clues would be full of allusions and wordplay—and pray that the semantic difficulty would trip him up long enough for me to buzz in first and bet big. Otherwise, he would wage a war of attrition, strip-mining clues off the board as I fell further and further behind. I would need to beat him to the Daily Doubles in order to launch the Hail Marys that would keep me in contention—and guarantee a lead going into Final Jeopardy.

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