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Reinventing energy at ARPA-E: Plastic light concentrator [photos]
28 February 2012 | CNET
by Martin La Monica
"The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit brings a number of startups but a large portion of the exhibitors are from national labs, universities, and research organizations. PARC, which is a Xerox company, has an energy research arm and is displaying this solar concentrator. It reflects light with dies in a sheet of plastic and then directs it up through the Fresnel lens on the top. The idea is to manufacture this at very small scale so that you could use sheets of plastic with this design embedded in it to reflect light cheaply."
Wanna Manage The Innovation Process? Focus On Planning Scenarios, Not Fighting Fires [PARC comment]
22 February 2012 | Fast Company Co.Design
by Jeffrey Phillips
article excerpt: "Perhaps the most important transition point is between idea selection and product development. History is replete with examples of organizations that generated hundreds of great ideas that were never developed or implemented. ...Scenario planning isn’t difficult and it is a great tool to begin to anticipate possible futures."
PARC comment excerpt: "Sure, scenario planning is a useful tool, and great for helping companies innovate when they know where they want to go. But the reality of innovation is that people in boardrooms and laboratories don't decide what's successful in the marketplace: people do. That's why incorporating human factors insights from social scientists and ethnographic observations of people in context (which reveal what people do, not just what they say they do) can help companies determine where they SHOULD go. In other words: don't just focus on solving the problem 'right', but focus on solving the 'right' problem."
Meshin Introduces Recall Into The Android Market
[and] 10 Questions With Meshin CEO Chris Holmes
22 February 2012 | The Droid Guy
"…Meshin have introduced another great app to the Android Market. Our Apps Editor… has his own way of reviewing apps, for me though most apps that I consider 'best' are apps that qualify as productive or business. Meshin Recall is one of those apps. It integrates with your Evernote account and all, or as many of, your calendars that you want."
"Meshin came out of PARC with their biggest chunk of funding coming from Xerox..."
DoD Taps PARC To Help Detect Insider Threats
PARC, famous for its innovations, will develop technology for the Department of Defense that aims to identify inside security threats, using behavioral data, social networks, and other sources.
15 February 2012 | InformationWeek
by Elizabeth Montalbano
"PARC...is spearheading a new effort called the Graph Learning for Anomaly Detection using Psychological Context (GLAD-PC). The project will leverage large-scale behavioral data sets as well as information from social networks and other sources to determine when someone inside the military could pose a security risk.
...The DoD has awarded PARC $3.5 million for its role in the project, and the technology developed could have commercial potential after it's deployed within the government."
The perils of Farmville: A look into the social gaming phenomenon [audio]
15 February 2012 | WHYY Radio
by Marty Moss-Coane
"Zynga, a social games company that has created hits like Farmvilleand Words With Friends, made headlines recently after Facebook released data indicating that Zynga is responsible for about 12 percent of its annual revenue... Generating billions of dollars and claiming over 50 million users, they are extremely popular and an important part of the gaming industry. But these types of games have been embroiled in a debate...
We also here from Nick Yee of PARC, who studies player motivations and the psychological implications of social gaming."
The Perils and Pleasures of Online Gaming for Married Life
14 February 2012 | Scientific American
by Ferris Jabr
"...Nick Yee of PARC in California has surveyed more than 35,000 players of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft. He has found that only 25 percent of MMORPG players are teenagers. What’s more, nearly 36 percent of players are married and 22 percent have children."
Love and Warcraft: Spouses Being Pushed Aside For Video Games
14 February 2012 | U.S. News & World Report
by Jason Koebler
"A survey has found an increasing number of spouses who don’t play video games are becoming 'gaming widows', seeing their significant other spend all their time in online worlds.
...Nick Yee, a research scientist at PARC who focuses on social interactions in virtual environments, says the findings aren't surprising..."
A Revolution of Machines Quietly Hums
9 February 2012 | New York Times
by Chrystia Freeland
"Mr. Arthur’s contention is that a second, machine-to-machine economy is emerging and that it will bring deep economic, social and political change comparable to the transformation wrought by the Industrial Revolution."
Progress in Printed Electronics: An Interview with PARC’s Janos Veres [podcast]
31 January 2012 | ElectroIQ
by Pete Singer, Solid State Technology
"PARC is a pioneer in the development and commercialization of thin film transistors, circuits, and sensors. With a 40 year history of commercial innovation, PARC scientists have a deep knowledge of printing technology applied in domains such as displays, image sensors, and medical sensors, PARC's technical expertise and facility support printed dielectrics, nanoparticle metals, organic, oxide, and silicon (amorphous, polycrystalline, printed nanowire) semiconductors. Solid State Technology editor Pete Singer caught up with Janos Veres, area manager for printed electronics in the electronic materials and devices laboratory at PARC."
Printed Stickers Designed to Monitor Food Temperatures
Effort aims to merge technology from four companies to create the first sticker with all-printed electronics.
30 January 2012 | Technology Review
by David Talbot
"A plastic temperature-recording sticker that could provide detailed histories of crates of food or bottles of vaccine would be the first to use all-printed electronics components—including memory, logic, and even the battery. The cost per sticker could be only 30 cents or less.
Thin Film Electronics, based in Oslo, Norway, aims to marry the company's printed memory with printed transistors from PARC in Palo Alto, California; a printed temperature sensor from PST Sensors, a spin-off from the University of Cape Town in South Africa; and a printed battery from Imprint Energy, a spin-off from the University of California, Berkeley. The first prototype using all the components is expected later this year."
Printable smart tags could link carrots to the internet of things
25 January 2012 | SlashGear
by Chris Davies
"The culmination of several decades of R&D by ThinFilm Electronics, with some help from PARC’s printed transistors, the multilayer tags combine a year’s worth of battery power, sensors and a small display, and will initially be used to show a temperature record of perishable food and medications.
...by adding in PARC printed transistors, meanwhile, the tags can collect information themselves and process it."
State of Green Business 2012
[invited/ guest contributed]
18 January 2012 | GreenBiz.com
by Scott Elrod
"Someone at PARC once famously quoted, 'The best way to predict the future is to invent it.' When that concept is applied to cleantech – where the future is focused on deploying solutions at a massive scale, and where there is no Moore's Law for PV – I'd say the best way to predict the future is to 'innovate' it."
Man vs. Machine: Behind the Jobless Recovery
17 January 2012 | Wall Street Journal
by Timothy Aeppel
"The trend toward using labor-saving machines and software isn't limited to factories. W. Brian Arthur, an economist at PARC, says businesses are increasingly using computers and software in the place of people in the nation's vast service sector. Many companies, for instance, use automation to process orders or send bills. 'It's not just machines replacing people, though there's some of that,' Mr. Arthur says. 'It's much more the digitization of the whole economy.'"
Venture capitalists need to put their money on real risk [PARC comment]
11 January 2012 | Harvard Business Review
by Bruce Gibney and Ken Howery
article excerpt: "It's time for VCs to return to boldness. We must find and help build the revolutionary startups that will generate transformational change and create billions in value. That is where the returns lie."
PARC comment excerpt: "We'd like to point out, though, that there are problems that are simply too big and complex for any one type of entity... So if VCs and startups want to play a role in fostering disruptive change, they need to connect the players, beyond their typical networks. Besides enabling access to expertise and resources not otherwise available to small companies, PARC for example helps create the partnerships and ecosystem necessary to solve big, complex problems."
It’s a new day at the PARC
6 January 2012 | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
by Diana Samuels
"'It's amazing from a small company's point of view to work with these guys because you have ideas that you want to see as an extension of your product and some of these research centers, amazingly enough, are working on these concepts,' Pfeiffer [CTO of Power Assure] said. 'You can find really amazing case studies, research that you can then leverage for your own development.'"
Reinventing Xerox PARC As a Money Maker
22 December 2011 | Slashdot
The Comeback of Xerox PARC
...Xerox's R&D subsidiary has a new strategy for innovation: make money.
21 December 2011
"PARC, which once served only Xerox, now has an expanding list of technologies in development with outside partners that include Fujitsu, Motorola, NEC Display Solutions, Microsoft, Samsung, SolFocus, and Oracle. The change in strategy has helped turn it from a multimillion-dollar financial sinkhole into a modest, but growing, innovation business.
For PARC, the partnerships are signs that open innovation is working. 'There are plenty of great ideas at PARC, but you learn early on that execution is often the hard part—execution and timing,' says St. Claire. '...You almost have to be as innovative in the commercialization—especially when you have game-changing technologies—as on the technology side.'"
PARC: A Brief Nod to the Minds Behind Laser Printing, Ethernet, the GUI and More
Technology News and Analysis
20 December 2011 | TechSpot
by Matthew DeCarlo
"Although we generally associate technological advancements with the companies that successfully commercialize them, there are often underappreciated bodies toiling away behind the curtain. In many cases over the last 40 years, PARC has been that hidden player…
PARC continues to tinker with bleeding edge technology, with much of it focused on 'clean tech.'…It's also studying sensemaking along with other human behaviors and working on 'context-aware, content-centric' networking to improve the way data shifts around the Internet."
PARC Spin-Out PowerCloud Systems Raises $6 Million From Qualcomm
14 December 2011 | TechCrunch
by Robin Wauters
"PowerCloud Systems, a spin-out of PARC that offers a ‘networking-as-a-service’ platform for OEMs and service providers, has raised $6 million in Series B funding in a round led by Qualcomm Ventures, with prior backers Walden Venture Capital, Javelin Venture Partners and PARC participating...PowerCloud Systems is not only a spin-out from PARC, but its technology is also supported by intellectual property developed at the research center, including 10 patents in areas ranging from cloud-virtualized network controllers to usable security."
Thinfilm CEO Davor Sutija Wants Your Stuff To Talk To You
14 December 2011 | Forbes
by Alex Knapp
"'For example,' Sutija says. 'Think of your car. Right now you rely on a maintenance schedule for replacements, repairs, service, etc. But imagine that the individual components of your car can be tagged – your brakes can tell you when they need to be replaced by using its own sensors and reporting the information.'
That’s the future that Thinfilm is working towards through a new partnership with PARC, a Xerox company. Last October, the two companies announced that they had created a printable chip using PARC’s transistors and Thinfilm’s memory to create a low-cost, low-power memory that’s capable of being subject to programming logic."
PowerCloud Systems Secures $6 Million in Series B Funding Led by Qualcomm
Funding Fuels Growth of Networking as a Service (NaaS) Platform for OEMs and Service Providers
13 December 2011 | release
by PowerCloud Systems
"PowerCloud Systems is a spin-out from PARC, a premier center for innovation, and the technology underpinning the CloudCommand platform is supported by intellectual property developed at PARC..."
Men, women – and machines
The rise of interconnected digital machines is threatening to change our economy in profound ways
9 December 2011 | Financial Times
by Gillian Tett
"One might almost call these machines the third great sex: in the labour market now, it is not simply a question of men versus women, but men, women – and machines.
Does this matter? Brian Arthur, an esteemed economist, scientist and visiting scholar at PARC, thinks it does. For the crucial thing to understand about these new digitised machines…is that they are not automating human processes; …these machines have been communicating with each other and interacting with decreasing human oversight. The net result is the rise of a second, 'digitized economy', which is operating alongside the 'real' human world – and threatening to change our economy in profound ways."
The Empire Strikes Back
How Xerox and other big corporations are harnessing the force of disruptive innovation.
1 December 2011 | Technology Review
by Scott D. Anthony and Clayton M. Christensen
"As Burns plunged Xerox into the services business, she devoted R&D resources—at the storied PARC lab and elsewhere—to developing...
This is disruptive innovation—making the complicated simple, making the expensive affordable, driving growth by transforming what exists and creating what doesn't. And it appears to be working: profits in Xerox's services business rose..."
Can the Jobs-and-Income Crisis End Well?
Some economists believe that today's grinding unemployment and slow growth are masking the transition to a vibrant digital economy
25 November 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
by Chris Farrell
"In recent writings, such scholars as Eric Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee, W. Brian Arthur, and Richard Florida, as well as consultants at McKinsey & Co., have made a strong case that we’re living through a transition toward an economy dominated by a digital ecosystem. 'Technological progress—in particular, improvements in computer hardware, software, and networks—has been so rapid and so surprising that many present-day organizations, institutions, policies, and mindsets are not keeping up,' write Brynjolfsson and McAfee, scholars at the MIT Sloan School of Management and authors of the e-book, Race Against the Machine. Adds Arthur, a visiting researcher with PARC in a McKinsey & Co. essay: 'Is this the biggest change since the Industrial Revolution? Well, without sticking my neck out too far, I believe so.'"
On moving printed electronics from enabling technology to application
22 November 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx
"IDTechEx recently visited PARC in California and learnt of its business model today, culture, and legacy pioneering technological change...among many other industry contributions.
Below, I share some updates on what IDTechEx has been observing at PARC. Taken together, these updates convey an important movement beyond the enabling materials, processes, equipment, and components."
Fresh Copy: How Ursula Burns Reinvented Xerox
Xerox's PARC research center has already developed a host of technologies to transform the service industry--parking meters that can call 911 and road sensors that ticket you if you go too fast.
19 November 2011 | Fast Company
by Ellen McGirt
"'Look,' Burns chimes in [a joint conversation with PARC CEO Steve Hoover], 'not everything that happens here makes it to the marketplace. But PARC now has a model that allows them to dream beyond the boundaries of what Xerox can use...'"
Who Are the Power Players Out West?
16 November 2011 | AlwaysOn
by Tony Perkins
"...check out the list of players that have already been nominated" -- includes PARC.
Digitized Decision Making and the Hidden Second Economy
Techonomy [invited/ guest contributed]
10 November 2011 | Forbes
by Stephen Hoover
"There’s something big happening right now. I’m not referring to any of the popular technology memes per se—big data, social, cloud, mobile, augmented reality, context, post-PC devices, consumerization, 3-D printing, etc. I’m referring to something behind, and beyond, all of these technologies: the digitization of decision making. This increasing trend is creating a 'second economy' underneath and alongside the physical economy we know so well, and on a revolutionary scale…
[PARC visiting researcher and Santa Fe Institute external professor W. Brian] Arthur argues that this second economy, which author Nick Carr in turn dubs the age of 'deep automation,' may represent the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution, and lead to increases in productivity output as well as decreases in physical jobs.
...Since joining PARC, a Xerox company approaching its 10-year anniversary as a business for open innovation with multiple clients, I have been focused on the following question: just what will happen to invention and innovation in this second economy? More specifically, what will be the role of R&D and innovation organizations in a new global innovation landscape?"
PARC's Best Idea Today: A Better, Faster, Stronger Internet
We asked the Palo Alto Research Center -- the guys who invented the Ethernet...and the laser printer -- to tell us the most interesting thing they're working on today. Here's what they gave us.
10 November 2011 | The Atlantic
by Derek Thompson
"The problem: …The tubes, if you will, get congested. This is partly because the Internet was designed to be a communications network -- in which users connect with each other -- but it has become a distribution network, where one piece of media goes out to many different users. We need a new Internet to deal with new media.
The idea: PARC is trying to build that new Internet with a technology called 'content-centric networking' or CCN. Here's a dramatically simplified version of how this idea is supposed to work...
The potential: A faster, more powerful, more secure, and all-around better Internet."
Dentsu and PARC reach ethnography agreement
Research firm Dentsu Marketing Insight and its ad agency parent have reached an agreement with Xerox-owned innovation firm PARC to source ethnography services.
9 November 2011 | Research
by James Verrinder
"PARC Ethnography Services Group will work with the Japanese firms to make naturalistic, in-person studies of consumer behaviour available to Dentsu clients.
Kenichi Kobayashi, CEO at Dentsu Marketing Insight, said: "Ethnographic research scientifically defines how to truly understand your customer. We know our clients will now see their services, brands, and products in a completely new light through these ethnographic findings."
Meshin for Android tackles communication chaos
2 November 2011 | GigaOM
by Kevin C. Tofel
"Meshin, a Xerox-funded incubator project at PARC, updated its beta Android application that hopes to 'bring order to communication chaos.'
...there’s a number of companies working on this problem. However, I’m surprised that these applications aren’t getting adopted by the mass market: More people are buying smartphones, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that these same people are or will be inundated by notifications and messages.
Am I the only one with 'communication chaos' or do I just have too many digital contacts across my work and personal worlds? Regardless, I’m keeping an eye on this space."
Why Ideas are Unprofitable
American companies are not proficient at turning original concepts into vibrant businesses. What they need is a balanced approach to innovation
27 October 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
by Matt Reilly
"The dirty little secret about American ingenuity is that we’re terrible at translating original ideas into profit-producing businesses. This might be considered heresy in the era of popular thinkfests such as TED and Davos, but ideas are inherently unprofitable. The value of an idea (and its inventor) is essentially zero. True economic value lies in the person or company that can figure out how to scale an idea and deliver it efficiently to market.
...Companies presently caught in the innovation death spiral need not despair. In 2002, Palo
Alto Research Center was incorporated as an independent business. Today, it is a $60 million research organization that helps clients leverage their own technologies while seasoning them with concepts originated in-house."
Stephen Hoover on Innovation: The business of breakthroughs [video]
Babbage: Science and Technology
27 October 2011 | The Economist
"In this Tea With the Economist video, PARC CEO Stephen Hoover talks about the business of invention, employing laser-printer know-how to purify water, and creating an internet of content."
Researchers Couple Printed Logic with Printed Memory
The device processes only small amounts of data, but at a very low cost.
26 October 2011 | Technology Review
by Kate Greene
"Printed electronics have been advancing in bits and pieces for years -- a crude processor here, a basic memory device there. Now researchers at PARC and the Norwegian company Thinfilm Electronics have announced a printed electronic device that, for the first time, marries transistors with memory.
...Earlier this year, Thinfilm showed off a handheld device capable of reading cards printed with circuits that store 20 bits of data. In May, the company announced engineering deals with two major toy manufacturers who plan to use its printable memory.
...The prototype is a 'building block' that can be used for a number of different applications, says Raghu Das, CEO of IDTechEx, a research firm. 'There has been a huge effort on printing transistors globally,' Das says, 'but very poor effort on making useful building blocks like this, which can be used horizontally for many applications.' The announcement by PARC and Thinfilm, he says, is 'very good news.'"
America’s New CIO Wants To Disrupt Government And Make It A Startup
26 October 2011 | Talking Points Memo
by Sarah Lai Stirland
"It’s not a coincidence that my first speech is being made in PARC," Steven VanRoekel tells a roomful of curious people in Silicon Valley who have come to spend their Tuesday evening to find out what the nation’s federal chief information officer actually does.
"America’s future now depends on our capacity to innovate, and to harness technology," VanRoekel says during his first public speech in his new role as America’s second chief information officer at PARC’s auditorium in Palo Alto. The event was organized by the Silicon Valley social and business groups The Churchill Club, TechNet and TechAmerica.
The legendary PARC has played a role in the development of many game-changing aspects of modern computing from the development of personal computers to key details such as the graphical user interface. The company, a subsidiary of Xerox, continues to work with both private companies and governments to come up with new ideas in computing and business processes."
Hand-in-Hand: Security and Innovation
'Future First' Theme of VanRoekel's First Speech as Federal CIO
26 October 2011 | GovInfoSecurity.com
by Eric Chabrow
"We shouldn't make the false choice between security and innovation," VanRoekel said Tuesday at PARC, the storied Xerox research company in Palo Alto, Calif. "In fact, innovation can make us more secure as long as we build security into everything we do."
Addressable memory for RF devices in progress
26 October 2011 | EE Times Asia
by Peter Clarke
"Thin Film Electronics ASA and PARC have combined their printed memory and organic addressing regime, respectively, to create a working prototype of a printed non-volatile memory. The ferroelectric polymer storage is addressed with p- and n-type organic circuits similar to CMOS circuitry."
NFC Technology Drives Thinner, Cheaper Circuits
24 October 2011 | Mobiledia.com
by Kendra Srivastava
"Cheaper, two-way circuits may change the way objects and phones carry and transmit information, but their success depends on NFC's wider adoption in the mobile payment marketplace.
The Addressable Memory transistors by Thinfilm and PARC are printed on thin plastic and cost a fraction of their silicon equivalents, RFID tags. They can also both send and receive data from smartphones, unlike the passive product labels available on today's market.
The chips are set to be unveiled in 2012, with plans to have them wirelessly broadcast information about products by 2013."
New printed chip could spark cheaper sensor networks
21 October 2011 | GigaOM
by Stacey Higginbotham
"Thin Film Electronics ASA...has developed a way to add computing to its circuits through a partnership with Xerox PARC. This means it can offer thin, disposable tracking tags for a few cents apiece, and it could soon provide a valuable component for the Internet of things.
Thin Film is an Oslo-based company that has been in business since the mid-90s. It has been manufacturing thin-film memory chips that provide about 20 kilobytes of storage, which were used in toys and games. But thanks to its partnership with PARC it has added transistors to its circuits, which gives the chips a soupcon of intelligence — enough to perhaps track inventory or send environmental data from a sensor back to the network. It has also added a bit more memory.
…A low price is important, because it makes the technology far more accessible than RFID or other technology that today is used for tracking high-value inventory. RFID chips are built on silicon and can cost a few dollars, so aren’t practical for everyday items."
Printable transistors usher in 'internet of things'
Billions of systems, printed dirt cheap
21 October 2011 | The Register
by Rik Myslewski
"Thinfilm and PARC's breakthrough is a technology that can print not only memory onto, well, thin films, but can now also print transistors to address and manage that memory.
…Up until Friday's announcement, Thinfilm's non-volatile, ferroelectric memory was completely passive – it just sat there, holding those 20 bits in its memory cells. To be rewritten or read, it needed to be accessed by an external device which used one access pad for each memory cell. What Thinfilm and PARC have now developed is the ability to print not only the memory cells, but to also print the logic onto the same substrate needed to manage those memory cells.
…Thinfilm and PARC aren't working in a vacuum. 'There are a number of companies, [Thinfilm CEO] Sutija told us, 'that have been working on printed sensors, printed power sources, printed displays, and we're going to be active in build an ecosystem with these other partners to be able to then create integrated products.'"
Thin Film, PARC tip printed 'CMOS' memory
21 October 2011 | EE Times
by Peter Clarke
"...produced a working prototype of a printed ferroelectric polymer non-volatile memory that is addressed with p- and n-type organic circuits, the equivalent of CMOS circuitry.
The companies claimed that the combination of Thin Film's printed memory and PARC's organic addressing regime is the key to producing roll-to-roll printable memory that can be used in the Internet-of-Things where everything has an IP address and is connected to the Internet via a smart tag. Such smart tags require rewritable nonvolatile memory that is low cost and supports integration with sensors and other electronic components, which this technology supports, the companies said.
...The prototype will be publicly demonstrated at PARC on Monday, Oct. 24, in conjunction with a visit from the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry, His Excellency Trond Giske."
Collaborating with Industry on Printed Electronics
[invited/ guest contributed]
6 October 2011 | Industrial + Specialty Printing
by Dr. Ross Bringans, PARC
"Printing enables low-cost advantages and novel form factors not easily attained by other electronics-manufacturing methods. The applications, from consumer electronics to biomedical devices, are endless. A great deal of progress has been made recently in printed electronics, but why don't we see printed devices around us everyday, everywhere?"
Smart objects may talk, but will we listen?
27 September 2011 | GigaOM
by Barb Darrow
"The drive to web-enable all manner of non-computery things...means that people can be reminded to do something... This 'Internet of Things' is already here… But the design of the notifications — in addition to that of the devices themselves — has to be considered very carefully from the start, according to speakers at Mobilize 2011 on Tuesday.
'There will be a proliferation of smart objects, just like there is a proliferation of apps in the app store,' said Bo Begole, principal scientist at PARC, which does a lot of work in this area. Some of these apps will deal with important healthcare matters and some with less urgent consumer-oriented tasks. That means that the alerts and alarms have to scale accordingly to avoid potentially perilous alarm fatigue. 'We have to unify the feeds into one channel and then prioritize them,' Begole said."
...List of 2011 Senior Executive Exits
19 September 2011 | eWeek
by Clint Boulton
"The year has also been marked by an unusual level of rapid churn among high-profile tech executives...However, high tech has seen some other more graceful exits by CEOs, key executives and engineers... Well, there are many reasons for the wholesale turnover. Take this brief trip with eWEEK through the carousel of CEO departures and other changes."
Is Ubicomp at a Tipping Point?
23 August 2011 | Intelligence in Software
by Tim Kridel
"PARC coined the term 'ubiquitous computing' in 1988, but it took the next two decades for the PARC researchers’ vision to start becoming a part of the workplace and the rest of everyday life. As manager of PARC’s Ubiquitous Computing Area, Bo Begole is shepherding ubicomp into the mainstream with some help from a variety of other trends -- particularly the growth in cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, smartphone adoption and cloud computing.
Begole recently discussed what enterprises need to consider when deciding where and how to implement ubicomp, both internally and as a way to better serve their customers. One recommendation: People need to feel that they’re always in control."
6 computer labs that gave birth to the digital world
17 August 2011 | ExtremeTech
by Sebastian Anthony
"Throughout history there is a recurring theme of like-minded individuals coming together to create a shared 'hive mind' intelligence that is greater than its constituent parts. There are extremely rare cases of geniuses that worked on their own, but for the most part almost every famed inventor, pioneer, or philosopher was part of a group or cadre of other great thinkers. The fact is, we work best when we have something to bounce ideas off...
By far the youngest laboratory in this list is PARC, which was set up as a division of Xerox in 1970. By this point all of the major components of computers had already been invented, and so PARC set to work on doing interesting things with computers..."
PARC hosts summit on content-centric nets
12 August 2011 | EE Times
by Rick Merritt
"PARC will gather as many as 100 researchers in September for the first event focused on content-centric networking, a new direction for organizing Internet traffic. The approach promises greater security and faster connections to popular content but will require new protocols and changes in router chip and systems designs.
Content-centric networking represents a shift from today's focus on using network addresses to find content... The idea is largely the brainchild of Van Jacobson, an Internet pioneer who helped develop multicasting and trace route capabilities for Internet Protocol. About four years ago, Jacobson brought the concept to PARC which has been gestating it ever since."
Reinventing Innovation at PARC
28 July 2011 | Harvard Business Review HBR Blog Network
by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer
"A few weeks back, we saw firsthand a hotbed of innovation in a place that many observers had long ago given up on. Its resurrection convinces us that other organizations can do the same by creating a culture of consideration, coordination, and communication, and marrying that culture to a responsive business model. That resurgent hotbed is PARC (formerly Xerox PARC)…
Over the past several years, PARC — spun off as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Xerox in 2002 — has reinvented itself as a font of innovation for Xerox and a variety of other organizations worldwide. It has delivered a stunning array of software and hardware innovations to global corporations, startups, and the U.S. government, and it does a brisk business in IP licensing.
How is it that this place, widely ridiculed 20 years ago, has revived? When we visited, we not only saw pieces of PARC's storied past, but we saw what happens there today, how it happens, and how innovation continues to thrive."
Parsing the Twitterverse: New Algorithms Analyze Tweets
Smarter language processors are helping experts analyze millions of short-text messages from across the Internet
22 July 2011 | Scientific American
by Francie Diep
"But the research tools at scientists’ disposal are highly imperfect. Keyword searches, for example, return many hits but offer a poor sense of overall trends.
Scientists at PARC recently developed one such program. It relies on text processors, called parsers, which are typically tested on news articles. Parsers can distinguish between words and punctuation, label parts of speech and analyze a sentence’s grammatical structure. But 'they don’t do as well on Twitter,' says Kyle Dent, one of the Palo Alto researchers. He and his co-author wrote hundreds of rules to account for hash tags, repeated letters (as in “pleaaaaaase”) and other linguistic features perhaps not common in the Wall Street Journal…
Dent and his colleagues also tried to use their program to distinguish between rhetorical questions and those that require a response. Businesses could use such a program to find what people are asking about their products. In a recent trial, their program classified 68 percent of 2,304 tweets correctly. 'For a brand-new field, that sounds like a decent first attempt,' says Jeffrey Ellen of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, which provides intelligence technology to the U.S. Navy."
Tech leaders ponder future of mobile
The pace of innovation and change in mobile devices is so dizzying it is difficult to predict the winning platforms and products of the next few years.
21 July 2011 | PhysOrg
by Chris Lefkow
"With that caveat, a panel of technology executives and experts nevertheless took out their crystal balls on Wednesday at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in this Colorado resort to take a glimpse into the mobile future.
Before an audience of movers and shakers from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, they looked at trends among smartphones and the fast-growing market for tablet computers pioneered by Apple's iPad.
...Stephen Hoover...said next-generation mobile capability will involve the seamless 'integration of the physical and digital worlds.' Mobile devices will be able to provide 'the information that's most relevant to me now, physically where I am, and in the context of what I'm trying to do,' Hoover said. 'We're at the cusp of really being able to integrate all of these different sources of data and understand people's intention in context and give them the information that's useful at the time they need it,' he said."
ESGR presented the Patriot Award, an Above and Beyond Award, the Seven Seals Award and also the Statement of Support to PARC. PARC was presented "these Prestigious Awards of Honor by one of their own contractors with Securitas Security, Inc, Sergeant Robert M. Lopez, USMCR, currently deployed and is the PARC Security Site Supervisor, who nominated PARC for these honors. PARC and their Directors have a very strong commitment to their employees who serve in our Military Service and have many Veterans in their organization."
Printed Electronics -- Materials Thought Leaders series
...insights from the world's leading players
13 July 2011 | AZoM - The A to Z of Materials
by Dr. Gregory L. Whiting [PARC]
"As a manufacturing method printing brings many benefits including processing over large areas at high speed or over curved surfaces. Using an additive method which places the material only where it is required greatly reduces the number of steps needed compared with a subtractive method where the material is deposited everywhere and then etched back into the required pattern. Printing also readily allows digital methods to be used (such as ink-jet), so that new layouts can be created directly from the design, enabling rapid prototyping and facile customization. Furthermore, printing should also enable manufacturing sites to be set up at a fraction of the cost of conventional semiconductor fabrication lines, allowing smaller, more diverse organizations to be involved in the manufacture of electronic components."
100 great things about America
Sometimes it's easy to overlook our country's glory. For the second year running, we present 100 outstanding things about the U.S.A.
1 July 2011 | Fortune/ CNN Money
by Andy Serwer
"The Silicon Valley lab where Ethernet and laser printing were born; a veritable genius center for the hatching of big tech ideas."
PARC: Still Inventing Cool New Stuff After All These Years
The Tech Trade
1 July 2011 | Forbes
by Eric Savitz
"And PARC is still at it, hiring Ph.D.’s and putting them to work on some of the world’s bigger technology problems.
…In the new PARC, Xerox is the largest client, but accounts for just half of the center’s overall workload, with the rest for a variety of government and commercial clients. Hoover says PARC has a 'solid business base,' with growing revenues."
Internet's next evolution: 'a Facebook without Facebook.com'
22 June 2011 | ZDNet
by Joe McKendrick
"That’s the way Teresa Lunt, VP and director of the computing science lab at PARC, describes the Internet that will be emerging within the next couple of years — driven by content and data that is completely independent of underlying systems or network points..."
How PARC wants to reinvent the Internet
22 June 2011 | GigaOm
by Janko Roettgers
"Forty years later, the lab is back at it: Teresa Lunt, VP and director of the computing science lab at PARC, showed off a new networking technology dubbed Content-Centric Networking (CCN) at GigaOM’s Structure conference in San Francisco today.
…Sounds futuristic? Lunt believes that first commercial applications based on CCN could appear in the marketplace within 18 months. PARC has been busy making that happen, partnering with Samsung, releasing CCN open source code for Android and maintaining an open source community at CCNX.org."
Software Extracts Your Location on Twitter Even When It's Secret
34 percent of Twitter users don't fill out the "location" field with accurate information, but a new algorithm can infer it from their tweets
17 June 2011 | Technology Review
by Christopher Mims
"Part two of the researcher's efforts involved applying a machine learning algorithm to the corpus of 10,000 active Twitter users' recent tweets. While it wasn't able to pull out their address or even their zip code, it was able to determine what country and state users inhabited. Analyzing the data after the fact, the researchers even discovered that some terms were highly predictive of location."
Twisted structure preserved dinosaur proteins
Collagen coils might have kept Tyrannosaurus molecules safe from harm for millions of years.
14 June 2011 | Nature
by Ed Yong
"Scientists have discovered how fragments of the protein collagen might have survived in fossilized dinosaur bones…The results, which are published in PLoS ONE, support the contentious claim that dinosaur proteins have been recovered and sequenced.
The study is 'interesting and plausible, but speculative', says Marshall Bern, a computer scientist at Palo Alto Research Center in California, who has also analysed dinosaur-protein data. 'It's hard to extrapolate too far from the little bit of sequence that has been found,' he says."
Context Awareness, Contextual Intelligence, and Information Overload
IDC Link: Real-time IDC Research opinion on industry news, trends, and events (subscription required)
8 June 2011 | IDC
by Susan Feldman
"As great a step forward as today's context aware systems are, though, they still depend on a limited set of clues about who you are and what you want. The next step will be to tie additional clues from the physical world to the online clues, and to put some intelligence behind interpreting the purpose of your information gathering, and to then predict what information you will need and what your next steps might be in using it. This may sound like either a step toward Big Brother or an impossible dream. In fact, some of these systems already exist. Ubiquitous Computing for Business, a new book by Bo Begole, Principal Scientist at PARC, delineates the possible sources for contextual intelligence that these systems might use…"
Gladwell on Innovation: Truths & Confusions: Part 1 & Part 2
23 May 2011 | Forbes
by Steve Denning
From Part 1: "Malcolm Gladwell’s article on innovation in The New Yorker entitled Creation Myth is a brilliantly written piece that, in the process of killing some innovation myths, creates some new ones…What Gladwell’s article doesn’t shed any light on is how the Apple of the 2000s (and other firms) have learned how to generate continuous innovation in sector after sector, along with disciplined execution. Nor does it shed any light on how the world of innovation in the 1980s is fundamentally different from the world of innovation in 2011."
From Part 2: "What has emerged over the last decade is a group of firms...that have learned how to get to the root of the problem and combine continuous innovation with disciplined execution. They are managed in a radically different way from traditional management. Their practices create workplaces that are congenial to the 'commandos' while also generating disciplined execution and customer delight. There are five fundamental and interlocking shifts."
Innovation That Lays the Golden Eggs
22 May 2011 | Marketoonist
by Tom Fishburne
"There is an inevitable friction in bringing ideas to life within a company. That friction can polish an idea and make it stronger, sand the edges of the idea and make it weaker, or kill the idea altogether. Anyone who works in innovation is familiar with that tension. Navigating it is part of what makes innovation so difficult.
Malcolm Gladwell wrote an illustrative New Yorker article on the mythic 1979 story of Steve Jobs and Xerox PARC...
The modern day Xerox PARC replied to Gladwell’s article with a fascinating post on the merits of open innovation as one way to resolve that friction…
There is no longer merely a 'go' or a 'stop' in innovation, as Gladwell originally characterized. There are other options for the golden eggs."
Malcolm Gladwell Discovers That Innovation And Invention Are Not The Same
from the indeed dept
20 May 2011 | Techdirt
by Mike Masnick
"In his latest piece, Gladwell goes a step further in his exploration of innovation, in writing about the difference between invention and innovation, picking apart the classic story of Steve Jobs seeing the GUI/mouse combo at Xerox PARC and "copying" it for the Macintosh. Gladwell points out that the lessons that some take from the story aren't really correct…
It's interesting to see that the modern day PARC has responded to the story directly, pointing to some key 'lessons learned' that are demonstrated by the article, and with some additional background…
The PARC blog also talks up the importance of 'open innovation,' and sharing ideas outside of a company, recognizing (frequently) that others may be better able to take an idea and run with it by creating something really powerful on top of that."
A tour around “first church of technology” PARC [videos]
(the innovative lab that started a ton in tech)
17 May 2011 | Scobleizer
by Robert Scoble
"While there I met with several people to get a taste of what they are working on now. Visiting here is like visiting Jerusalem (home of the first church). It’s where everything seemed to start and is still filled with brilliant people."
PART ONE: Future of Networking
PART TWO: How Ethnographic research leads to new business ideas
PART THREE: Ubiquitous Computing research
PART FOUR: Keeping our Cloud Computing Safe
PARC Responds – Apple and the Truth About Innovation
16 May 2011 | Blogging Innovation
[This post was syndicated to Blogging Innovation.]
Innovation, a story told by patent applications
15 May 2011 | The Decision Tree blog
by Brian Mossop
"As Gladwell says in his story, it’s difficult for a company to be both a true innovator and one that can readily bring consumer products to market. And as the patents show, Xerox PARC and Apple weren’t adversaries, because it seems they were never competing for the same prize."
The Problem with Fitting New Ideas Into Old Business Models
13 May 2011 | Innovation Leadership Network
by Tim Kastelle
"Malcolm Gladwell retells the story of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in the latest issue of the New Yorker… The story of PARC is fascinating, and Gladwell provides a nice twist to it.
…This leads to a key point. PARC is still there, and they are still coming up with brilliant ideas. It has actually been an incredibly successful operation for an extended period of time. By focusing on the ideas that didn’t work so well for them, we recreate a myth of innovation – that every idea that we have must work for us to be successful."
PARC Fires Back at New Yorker, Claiming Old Apple Legend Misses Point of How Innovation Works Today
13 May 2011 | Xconomy
by Wade Roush
"Three staff members at PARC, aka Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center, have published a feisty response to Malcolm Gladwell’s May 16 New Yorker article, 'Creation Myth: Xerox PARC, Apple, and the Truth about Innovation.' In short, the post acknowledges that the legend of Xerox PARC—the oft, oft, oft-repeated story (repeated once again by Gladwell) that Xerox 'flubbed the future' by giving away its best idea ever, the personal computer, to a young Steve Jobs—is basically true. But the essay points out that it took some circumstances unique to PARC to generate the idea in the first place, and that the story wouldn’t play out the same way if were happening today.
...PARC is now largely in the business of open innovation, helping its clients capitalize on their own technologies and seasoning them with concepts homegrown at PARC."
NASA ARC Award
FRACSAT: An integrated Lifecycle Decision Support Toolkit for Fractionated Spacecraft Architectures
13 May 2011 | SpaceRef
by Ames Research Center
"PARC and its partners will design, develop, and deliver an integrated lifecycle decision-support toolkit for fractionated spacecraft architectures. When completed, the FRACSAT toolkit will enable space mission designers to rapidly generate feasible mission architectures, select optimal design solutions given programmatic uncertainty, justify the business case using mission-relevant cost and benefit metrics, and adapt to unforeseen events or changes during the program lifecycle for maximum mission impact."
We want to invent the next killer app
[invited/ guest contributed]
12 May 2011 | Front End of Innovation
by Tamara St. Claire
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard this... Because most companies have incremental and next-generation innovation down – it’s the disruptive, non-core, 'next big thing' innovation that eludes many and presents the most challenges. Yet this type of innovation is a necessity for any business that wants to access new markets, create a new line of revenue, or re-invent themselves in anticipation of future directions. So here’s my question: what happens AFTER you conceive the next killer app for your industry?
Thinfilm's financial report first quarter 2011
10 May 2011 | Reuters
by press release
"BUSINESS REVIEW In the first quarter, Thinfilm passed its first milestone towards creating integrated systems and introduced the OBA demo game powered by printed rewritable memory.
...'Activities with PARC have generated significant interest from both prospective customers and technology companies to link printed components, such as electrochromic displays, thin-film batteries, and sensors with Thinfilm memory,' [Thinfilm CEO Davor] Sutija continues."
Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation.
9 May 2011 | The New Yorker
by Malcolm Gladwell
"The fair question is whether Xerox, through its research arm in Palo Alto, found a better way to be Xerox -- and the answer is that it did, although that story doesn't get told nearly as often." ... "Gary Starkweather's laser printer made billions for Xerox. It paid for every other single project at Xerox PARC, many times over."
25 ways IT will morph in the next 25 years
9 May 2011 | Computerworld
by Carolyn Duffy Marsan
"Experts say the overall pace of innovation in the IT industry will speed up, resulting in a mind-boggling array of developments…These changes will revolutionize industries... 'I use the term technology avalanche,' says Dave Evans, Chief Futurist at Cisco. 'We're on the precipice of huge developments. Things are going to start changing very, very quickly...Where it's going is unlimited computer and storage and networking speeds, and the birth of some pretty exciting times.'
Here are predictions that leading researchers are making about what IT will look like in the year 2036: ...21. A fundamentally different Internet architecture may evolve. Researchers at PARC are working on a new underlying architecture for the Internet called content-centric networking…"
Making Memories With Specialty Printing
The success of PE memory devices depends significantly on the cost.
3 May 2011 | ISP (Industrial + Specialty Printing)
by Randall Sherman
"ThinFilm Electronics announced the first commercially available rewriteable memory device produced using roll-to-roll printing processes...ThinFilm received its first order through one of the ten largest toy manufacturers out of Japan and hopes to apply its technology to interactive games, collector cards, RFID, and biometric applications. The company is targeting addressable applications of 40- to 128-bit memories and hopes soon to merge printed transistors together through an alliance with PARC."
Executives Call for More R&D
29 April 2011 | Internet Evolution
by Michael Singer
"Research and development is under budgetary pressures these days, and yet more and more executives are touting its benefits. Why is there a disconnect? And what can be done about it?
The primary issue around R&D spending is that by itself, research and development doesn't guarantee profitability. Companies must weigh how much they are willing to invest in future innovations that may never pan out.
During the Internet Evolution Radio program this past week, Dr. Steve Hoover, CEO of the Palo Alto Research Center, noted that companies need to really prioritize research and development projects based on their long-term investments."
Are Social Bookmarks Still Delicious?
YouTube's cofounders plan to rehabilitate one of the first social-media services.
29 April 2011 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone
"Researchers also mined Delicious for data. The Palo Alto Research Center, for example, used the tagging data created by Delicious and other social-bookmarking services to build an engine for Web search and exploration."
Researchers Create Printed Battery That Stores 40% More Energy
15 April 2011 | Discovery Treehugger
by Jerry James Stone
"A new manufacturing process developed by Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) will increase the energy a lithium-ion battery can store by 40%. The technology is similar to that of printed solar cells...
It seems the free gift with purchase here is not going to be shaving off the cost but extending the cars range to meet our perceived driving needs. As drivers of the Chevy Volt are already reporting 1,000 miles per tank, it will be interesting to see if PARC can change the electric car industry as they did solar."
Business Intelligence and Technology-Mediated Social Participation
Opportunities in Government
12 April 2011 | BeyeNetwork
by Dr. Ramon Barquin
"I often catch up on my reading backlog on airplanes, and it was on a recent flight that I had the opportunity to attack about five issues of Computer, the IEEE Computer Society’s monthly journal. Computer is very often the carrier of excellent articles that make a contribution to clear and positive thinking on technology in general and information technology in particular. It was thus that I read the November 2010 issue and believe that it is a 'must read' for anyone truly interested in the future of social media and its impact on the world as we know it.
This was a special edition co-edited by Peter Pirolli (Palo Alto Research Center) and Jenny Preece and Ben Shneiderman (University of Maryland) on technology-mediated social participation (TMSP)."
PARC: How to build a cleantech portfolio 101
[invited/ guest contributed]
6 April 2011 | SmartPlanet
by Scott Elrod
This is a guest post from PARC, which became an independent Xerox subsidiary in 2002. One of the first areas PARC examined was cleantech. What follows are some steps and thoughts on balancing the environment, impact and commercial realities...
PE Europe 2011 Highlights New Opportunities, Needs for Market
6 April 2011 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano
“The design, which combines Thinfilm’s memory technology with PARC’s printed transistor technology, allows compact higher-density printed memories and enables new applications, including integration with other printed elements, such as sensors, power sources, and antennas. The prototypes for the addressable memory will be ready during 2011. Transfer to production is expected in 2012. There are significant horizontal markets, markets that meet the needs of a wide variety of industries, waiting for this technology to be ready.”
Thinfilm & PARC extend printed electronics commercialization engagement
By working together to further co-develop Addressable Memory technology, PARC and Thinfilm are complementing each other
5 April 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by company release
"PARC and Thinfilm's collaboration on next-generation printed memory solutions kicked off last year with joint design of Thinfilm 128-bit Addressable Memory, which combines Thinfilm's unique non-volatile memory technology with PARC's printed CMOS transistor technology. Given the success of the initial design phase, this next phase extends the engagement to prototyping the product for manufacturing readiness."
Thinfilm, PARC Extend PE Commercialization Engagement
4 April 2011 | Printed Electronics Now
by company release
"Thin Film Electronics ASA (Thinfilm) and PARC, a Xerox company, announced that they have entered the next phase of their co-innovation engagement."
PARC Battery Electrode Breakthrough
1 April 2011 | Printed Electronics World
"While the solar cell application has a near-term sales opportunity, commercial application of the technology to battery electrodes is probably 2-3 years out, Elrod noted. There is further opportunity for the method in air cathodes. The current density in an air-breathing electrode is proportional to the amount of electro-catalytic surface area that is exposed to air. The PARC technology provides a directed-assembly printing method for producing a greater proportion of this 'three-phase boundary' than conventional electrode manufacturing methods—up to 10x the air-breathing surface area of conventional electrodes."
PARC Orders Aixtron MOCVD System For Lasers and LEDs
After delivery in the second quarter of 2011, the system will be used for the epitaxial growth of InGaAlN LEDs, laser diodes, and electronic devices.
31 March 2011 | Compound Semiconductor
by company release
"...the system will be used for the epitaxial growth of InGaAlN LEDs, laser diodes, and electronic devices. A local Aixtron support team will commission the new reactor within a specially dedicated facility in PARC's electronic materials and devices research division...
'We will be able to develop new processes in a commercial reactor that are compatible with a prospective scale-up to full production scale in due course. Working closely with the experienced Aixtron support team, our group expects to, for example, quickly optimize conditions for growth of GaN alloys with a high percentage of Al as required for deep-UV optical emitting devices.'"
The PARC Vision Of Clean Technology
29 March 2011 | EarthTechling
by Nino Marchetti
"The many office parks of the Silicon Valley hold a myriad of technology firms large and small trying to make a name for themselves in the annals of history. There are obvious giants like Apple and HP, but another player, Xerox, is one which can be credited with a chunk of the modern technology we take for granted. The company many are most familiar with in regards to copiers is also the founder of PARC, a research and development subsidiary that is independent and wholly owned. It has been known for inventions and game changers such as laser printing, the graphical user interface and Ethernet connectivity.
PARC has recently turned its attention to the developing cleantech space, focusing on areas like an experimental system for modeling and evaluation of geothermal reservoirs. To get a better handle on what PARC has in mind around a cleantech tomorrow, we turned to Dr. Scott Elrod, who directs the organization’s efforts in this area."
PARC invests in plastic memory hopeful
28 March 2011 | EE Times
by Peter Clarke
"Thin Film has been commercializing printed, rewritable memory using ferroelectric polymer material for application in specific markets — including toys and games — for a number of years and is developing contact‐based memory arrays for higher‐capacity applications."
PARC, a Xerox company, takes minority stake in Thinfilm
25 March 2011 | Printed Electronics World
by Thinfilm release
"Thin Film Electronics ASA ('Thinfilm') is a publicly-listed Norwegian technology company with its head office in Oslo and product development in Linköping, Sweden. Thinfilm is a pioneer in the field of Printed Electronics, and provides fully-printed non-volatile, rewritable memory for applications in toys & games, logistics, sensor, and ID systems...
Using printing to manufacture electronic memory makes it possible to reduce the number of process steps, resulting in dramatically lower manufacturing costs, and also reduced environmental impact as compared to traditional semiconductor processes."
U.S. Patents Awarded to Inventors in California
20 March 2011 | TMCnet
"PARC has been assigned a patent (7,897,439)...for an 'electronic device with unique encoding.' The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: 'An electronic device comprising a thin film transistor (TFT) array and manufacturing methods thereof according to various embodiments. Jet-printed material is deposited on selected partially formed transistors to form completed transistors... Such uniquely encoded devices have applications for encryption, identification and personalization of electronic systems.'"
US Patent Issued...on "Concentrating Solar Collector with Solid Optical Element"
18 March 2011 | ElectroIQ
by U.S. Fed News
"United States Patent no. 7,906,722, issued on March 15, was assigned to Palo Alto Research Center Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) 'Concentrating Solar Collector with Solid Optical Element'. According to the abstract released by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: 'A Cassegrain-type concentrating solar collector cell includes primary and secondary mirrors disposed on opposing convex and concave surfaces of a light-transparent (e.g., glass) optical element. Light enters an aperture surrounding the secondary mirror, and is reflected by the primary mirror toward the secondary mirror, which re-reflects the light onto a photovoltaic cell mounted on a central region surrounded by the convex surface. The primary and secondary mirrors are preferably formed as mirror films that are deposited or plated directly onto the optical element. A concentrating solar collector array includes a sheet-like optical panel including multiple optical elements arranged in rows. The photovoltaic cells are mounted directly onto the optical panel, and the primary mirrors of the individual collector cells include metal film segments that are coupled by the photovoltaic cells to facilitate transmission of the generated electrical energy. Bypass diodes are connected in parallel with the photovoltaic cells.'"
Tuning Multiple-Page Conversion Flows
14 March 2011 | ClickZ
by Tim Ash
"Even the most systematic conversion flow can leave visitors lost or frustrated if it lacks a strong and obvious connection to other content on your site that could maintain or increase the visitor's psychological momentum toward the conversion goal.
Researchers Peter Pirolli and Stuart Card at PARC (formerly known as Xerox PARC) have worked for many years on their information foraging theory. It describes how people hunt for information on the Web much like wild animals in search of their prey. They follow information scent in order to determine if they are getting closer to their goal. They will keep clicking on additional links if they feel that the scent is getting stronger. Otherwise, they might simply give up and start foraging in some other location (your competitor's website, for example).
The information scent is conveyed by clues in a visitor's immediate environment, usually in the form of links on the page. Tuning your multiple-page conversion flow may include enhancing the information scent at various steps in the flow and testing the connections between pages."
PARC building cleantech portfolio; co-extrusion printing of novel battery electrodes and carbon-neutral renewable liquid fuels from atmospheric CO2
9 March 2011 | Green Car Congress
by Mike Millikin
"Two of the projects Elrod and PARC were discussing at last week’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington DC were a technology for the co-extrusion printing of novel battery electrodes, enabling higher energy and/or power densities; and an approach to producing carbon-neutral renewable hydrocarbon fuels using air, water and CO2 captured from the atmosphere.
Electrodes. ...The PARC technology provides a directed-assembly printing method for producing a greater proportion of this 'three-phase boundary' than conventional electrode manufacturing methods—up to 10x the air-breathing surface area of conventional electrodes...
Carbon-neutral liquid fuel. ...In a paper published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, the PARC researchers present results indicating that the energy consumption required to regenerate CO2 gas from aqueous bicarbonate (carbonate) solutions using this method can be as low as 100 kJ (200 kJ) per mol of CO2 in the small-current-density limit."
IEEE Computer Society Names Technical Achievement Winners
Five technologists who have made outstanding and innovative contributions to the fields of computer and information science and engineering or computer technology will be recipients of 2011 IEEE Computer Society Technical Achievement Awards.
8 March 2011 | IEEE Computer Society
"Garcia-Luna-Aceves received a BS in electrical engineering from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 1977, and an MS and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1980 and 1983, respectively. He holds the Jack Baskin Endowed Chair of Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is chair of the Computer Engineering Department, and is a principal scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center. Prior to joining UCSC, he was a center director at SRI International. He has been a visiting professor at Sun Laboratories and a principal of protocol design at Nokia. His research focuses on computer communication. Garcia-Luna-Aceves is a Fellow of IEEE, AAAS, and ACM. He holds 35 US patents, has published three books, and more than 400 journal and conference papers, and has supervised more than 30 PhD dissertations."
The essence of the 'Net: a history of the protocols that hold the network together
7 March 2011 | Ars Technica
by Johnny Ryan
"As a later PARC memo on the specifications of the PUP [PARC Universal Packet] noted:
Pup communication is end-to-end at the packet level. The inter-network is required only to be able to transport independently addressed Pups from source to destination. Use of higher levels of protocol is entirely the responsibility of the communicating end processes.
This moved control over the operation of the network from the connecting infrastructure to the actual devices participating in the network themselves. This was a centrifugal approach, and it suited the requirements of the network of networks that ARPA had in mind."
PARC's plan to stop the Internet from crashing [video]
7 March 2011 | ZDNet
"'Content distribution has reached a scale that simply doesn't work,' says Van Jacobson. The scientist and research fellow at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center talks to ZDNet's Sumi Das about Content-Centric Networking (CCN) a new technology he's developed that could make content distribution on the Net more efficient."
Squeezing More Energy Out of Batteries
A new printing process could increase battery capacity by over 10 percent.
2 March 2011 | Technology Review
"PARC has developed a new printing technology that promises to pack more energy into batteries for electric vehicles...
The biggest challenge for electric vehicles remains bringing down the size and cost of their batteries. For them to compete with conventional vehicles, some experts estimate, battery costs must come down by about 75 percent. And if the batteries could store more energy, automakers could use fewer of them, thus saving money...
The work is still at an early stage, but the basic printing concept has been proved with a method PARC developed for printing thin silver lines on solar cells; these are being commercialized by a major solar manufacturer..."
On the importance of government-supported R&D [video]
2 March 2011 | Popular Mechanics/ self
by Michael Belfiore
"I caught up with Scott Elrod...while we were both at the 2nd annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit near Washington.
In this era of government cutbacks, I think it’s important to underline the importance of continued public funding for long-term technology research and development that may not lead to profitable products for some time.
In this video, I asked Elrod to describe the importance of government funding to some of his company’s work."
Why the U.S. Must Promote Engineering
America will suffer in global competition without reengineering its attitudes toward engineering...
2 March 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
"The PARC Hydrodynamic Separation technology is a low-cost, energy efficient technology whose potential applications include municipal water treatment and pretreating seawater for desalination. Given how critical the shortage of drinkable water is all over the world, this is an exciting breakthrough."
A new printing technology
2 March 2011 | Investor's Business Daily
"A new printing technology that can produce more efficient electrodes for batteries has been developed by engineers at PARC. The electrodes could improve the energy storage capacity of batteries by 10% to 30%, with minimal effect on manufacturing cost, they say. The printing technology specially aligns electrode and conductive materials."
How We Waste Time on Email
28 February 2011 | Private Equity Hub
by Joanna Glasner
"The inbox, used appropriately, can be one of the most successful productivity tools of all time. For most of us, however, it ends up being a huge time sink.
That was one of the findings of Victoria Bellotti of PARC, who combines backgrounds in psychology and human-computer interaction to study how people are actually using (and misusing) the digital technologies that are supposed to make their lives easier. Bellotti, who spoke at last week’s Inbox Love conference in Silicon Valley, says that in the case of email, certain practices are particularly unproductive...
Overall, Bellotti says, startups and enterprises could do a lot to improve the email experience. Particularly useful would be tools to make it easier to determine which bits of information are important, and once having determined that, to be able to find them.
'I would love to see email turned into a knowledge worker’s dashboard,” she says. “It should be integrated with SMS and voicemail and social networking… and your system should have the capability to recommend these things that might be a priority.'"
Inbox love and hate mail
26 February 2011 | Financial Times
by Chris Nuttall
"I’m not sure whether it should be love or hate...
All of the speakers were against the notion that email was a dying technology, next to more social and instant interactions such as Facebook and instant messaging...
Victoria Bellotti of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) said its researchers had studied the inbox as a habitat and found that it was doing a lot of things it wasn’t designed for – to-do lists, project tracking, document archiving and batch processing.
It was a Grand Central Station for knowledge work, where people were still doing most of their communication. Overload was a real problem, where people could be handling 30 different threads of conversations at the same time as well as their regular work."
Departing PARC CEO looks back wistfully on blue skies of the past
23 February 2011 | Ars Technica
by John Timmer
"PARC, which started out as Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, is rightly famous for its role in the development of far-reaching technology like Ethernet, the laser printer, and the graphical user interface. But, as with some of the great industrial labs of an earlier era, PARC has slipped out of the public view, even as it was spun out from Xerox as an independent entity. But PARC is still around, and recently celebrated its 40th birthday. We had the chance to chat with its CEO, Mark Bernstein, shortly before he announced his departure. Bernstein described how PARC has evolved over the years, and talked a bit about the end of the blue sky research labs that US companies used to support...
He ended on a note of optimism, focusing on the efforts of Energy Secretary Steven Chu (formerly the head of the nearby Lawrence Berkeley Labs) to direct these labs and the Department's stimulus money into technology development, including blue-sky work funded by an advanced projects (ARPA-E) group. 'I'd like to see what happened in 2009—that the government rethinks... how scientific funding is allocated,' Bernstein said, 'and they look more towards what the Obama administration seems to be focused on, to invest in the potential collaboration between academia, industry, and the government to build new industries, to create jobs.'"