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PARC in the news

 

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Is Ubicomp at a Tipping Point?
Expert Insight
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."

 

PARC Receives Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Awards
14 July 2011

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

80. PARC

"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
Structure
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
RETHINK
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."

 

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."

 

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."

 

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."

 

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."

 

Creation Myth
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)."

 

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.”

 

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...

 

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"
(California Inventors)
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
by release

"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."

 

A new printing technology
2 March 2011 | Investor's Business Daily
by Investors.com

"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."

 

Why the U.S. Must Promote Engineering
America will suffer in global competition without reengineering its attitudes toward engineering...
2 March 2011 | Bloomberg BusinessWeek
by Viewpoint

"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."

 

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."

 

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..."

 

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
FTTechHub
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.'"

 

Managing Research as an Investment Portfolio: Lessons from PARC
[invited/ guest contributed]
16 February 2011 | Xconomy SF
by Lawrence Lee

As part of its transformation from an internal research center to a commercial business, PARC has needed to innovate its business practices, as well as its research and technology. How do we balance the seemingly conflicting goals of long-term research vs. short-term profits, of creating breakthrough innovations vs. providing client services, of diversifying research into many markets vs. developing critical mass in just a few?

 

Fantastic Plastic, Part 3: Polymemories
The search is on for inexpensive alternatives to increasingly complex and costly silicon-based memory systems...simple device structures, ease of fabrication, compatibility with flexible substrates and comparative low cost.
10 February 2011 | TechNewsWorld
by Ned Madden

"The time for PMDs might finally be at hand ... even if the first application is the humble radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags used in retail store product tracking and toll-road electronic collection systems.

As silicon technologies plunge ever deeper into nano-scale dimensions, pushing microchip densities to the level of the atom, business is looking for inexpensive alternatives to ever-more complex and costly silicon-based memory systems -- the collection of microchips that determines the size and number of programs that a computer can run simultaneously, as well as the amount of data that can be instantly processed.

...But it's Thinfilm, which has 15 years of experience in the field of non-volatile memories using functional polymers, that seems to be everywhere, working with just about everyone else in the polymer memory field.

...Researchers at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) have been developing a suite of materials for making printed electronics, including sensors and transistors. PARC works with Thinfilm to make higher-capacity printed memory devices that incorporate the research center's printed transistors."

 

Finding inbox meaning in a time of overload
Email is a habitat: the place where many knowledge workers spend most of their working day online. [invited/ guest contributed]
4 February 2011 | Inbox Love blog
by Victoria Bellotti

"Email is, for many knowledge workers, a habitat: the place where they spend most of their working day online. Indeed it can be thought of as knowledge work’s Grand Central Station as far as information distribution and workflow are concerned...When taking prototypes to the real world as products, the main challenge for new technology adoption in this area is that people tend to stick with the email client they have, despite its shortcomings. This could be due to factors such as employer policy, dependency on legacy content, or fear of upheaval in mission-critical aspects of work. And makers of the dominant mail clients do not seem to be highly motivated to overhaul the email user’s experience."

 

Trends in Mobile Authentication and Fraud Deterrence with PayPal and PARC [podcast]
RSA 2011 Conference
25 January 2011 | ITAC Blog

"an exclusive 'Countdown to RSA 2011' Podcast Series hosted by the Identity Theft Assistance Center with Richard Chow, Research Scientist at PARC and Markus Jakobsson, Technology Strategist for Customer Security and Malware at PayPal. Both of these gentlemen are participating in an RSA panel called 'Trends in Mobile Authentication and Fraud Deterrence'"

 

World's first printed rewritable memory array with logic circuitry
Thin Film Electronics with PARC have completed the design of a 128-bit addressable memory. The design combines Thinfilm's memory with transistor technology developed by PARC, and includes CMOS circuitry to significantly contact pads.
21 January 2011 | EE Times Europe
by Julien Happich

"Thinfilm and PARC announced in October that they are working to provide next-generation memory tags using printed electronics, and is now developing prototypes of the addressable memory. These prototypes will be ready later this year. Transfer to production is expected in 2012."

 

There’s a One in 200 Chance You’re Tweeting From Inside Justin Bieber
MediaMemo
19 January 2011 | AllThingsD
by Peter Kafka

"Big picture: The PARC report explains convincingly that you shouldn’t take the self-reported geographic information in Twitter profiles at face value. And, I’d argue, that extends to the rest of the information as well. On the other hand, if you’re an advertiser trying to find a lot of Justin Bieber fans, this stuff may be very, very useful."

 

Only 66% Use Twitter Profile Location Field as Intended, Says PARC Research Study
19 January 2011 | ReadWriteWeb
by Sarah Perez

"What this means, of course, is that research studies that simply enter a Twitter dataset into a geocoder will have corrupted results."

 

Online games reveal players' personalities – to who?
19 January 2011 | New Scientist
by Jim Giles

"Websites that track your buying and browsing habits can seem to read your mind - but you ain't seen nothing yet. Future sites may attempt to gauge your personality, and tailor what they show you accordingly.

That's the possibility raised by a new study of computer gamers, which has revealed that a player's behaviour within the game mimics their real-world character traits. Using similar information from the internet as a whole, it might one day be possible to profile a web surfer's personality.

Most sites currently present the same content and layout to everyone who visits...

Nick Yee and colleagues at PARC in California reckoned this personalisation could be made far more sophisticated if websites could assess visitors' personalities. He also had a hunch that the real-world traits that define an individual's personality could be gleaned from their online behaviour...

Yee's hunch proved correct."

 

Thinfilm Addressable Memory Design Completed
19 January 2011 | Printed Electronics World

"The design of the world's first printed rewritable memory array with logic circuitry is ready... The design combines Thinfilm's memory technology with transistor technology developed by PARC, and includes CMOS circuitry to significantly reduce the number of contact pads necessary to control the Thinfilm Memory."

 

Wikipleadia
The promise and perils of crowdsourcing content
13 January 2011 | The Economist

"Wikipedia’s leaders say this reflects the fact that the large majority of subjects have now been written about. Perhaps, but some evidence suggests that neophytes are being put off by Wikipedia’s clique of elite editors. One study by researchers at PARC looked at the number of times editorial changes were subsequently reversed. It found that roughly a quarter of the edits posted by occasional contributors were undone in late 2008, compared with less than 2% of those posted by the most active editors. And it noted that this gap had widened considerably over time."

 

PARC names new CEO
12 January 2011 | EE Times
by Mark LaPedus

"PARC is involved in several R&D projects.

In September, PARC announced it was one of four project teams chosen by NSF to pursue ways to build a ''more trustworthy and robust Internet.''

...In November, PARC and PowerCloud Systems Inc. announced the spinout of PowerCloud Systems, which has been incubated at PARC since early 2008 and is initially focusing on offering cloud-managed networking solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

...Also in November, PARC and Soligie Inc. announced an agreement aimed at advancing the commercialization of printed electronics technologies and capabilities. In September, Thin Film Electronics ASA, a provider of advanced printed memory technology, and PARC announced that they are working together to provide next-generation memory technology enabled through printed electronics."

 

Steve Hoover appointed CEO of PARC
11 January 2011 | San Francisco Business Times
by Patrick Hoge

"PARC, which has been in operation for four decades, was spun out as a wholly owned Xerox subsidiary in 2002."

 

PARC names Steve Hoover as new chief executive
Famous research centre gets new head
11 January 2011 | V3.co.uk/ vnunet
by Shaun Nichols

"The transition will provide a new leader for a research centre that has been a legend in the technology world for four decades."

 

PARC Names Veteran Xerox Executive as New CEO
11 January 2011 | eWeek
by Chris Preimesberger

"Hoover's new position is going to entail as much sales and marketing responsibility as research, due to PARC's longtime entrepreneurial approach. PARC has served as an IT incubator of sorts for a number of different startups in the green IT, Web development, IT infrastructure and network communications businesses."

 

Silicon Valley R&D legend gets new CEO
11 January 2011 | VentureBeat
by Dean Takahashi

"Few places in Silicon Valley are as legendary as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, where fundamental computing inventions from the mouse to the personal computer were first conceived.

That’s why it marks a new era whenever PARC gets a new chief. Today, Xerox is announcing that Steve Hoover will become the new CEO of Xerox PARC, replacing retiring chief Mark Bernstein. Under Bernstein, PARC endeavored to make its inventions into commercial successes. It became an independent subsidiary in 2002 and has actively licensed its technologies to outside companies.  The job carries a lot of responsibility, since PARC is one of America’s biggest national treasures.

…PARC needs both R&D vision and business acumen these days as it has to earn its keep."

 

Steve Hoover named CEO at Xerox PARC
11 January 2011 | Silicon Valley Business Journal

"The reins are being passed at the Palo Alto Research Center, the legendary Xerox Corp. R&D center where the computer mouse, ethernet, laser printer and the PC were born.

Steve Hoover is taking over from the retiring CEO Mark Bernstein...Bernstein led efforts at PARC to turn its inventions into commercial successes, making the R&D center an independent subsidiary in 2002 and licensing its technologies to outside companies."

 

PARC names new CEO
11 January 2011 | ZDNet & SmartPlanet
by Larry Dignan

"Hoover takes over Feb. 1. In a statement, Hoover said he will continue PARC’s 'open environment where employees, technology visions, and business success can flourish globally.'"

 

Bernstein’s Retirement Brings Changing of the Guard at PARC; Q&A with Incoming CEO Steve Hoover
11 January 2011 | Xconomy San Francisco
by Wade Roush

"Hoover...will be only the second person to lead PARC since its transformation from Xerox’s flagship research laboratory into a contract R&D organization earlier this decade.

...But the 170-member lab does serve numerous outside customers, from big tech companies like Fujitsu, Motorola, NEC, and Samsung to government agencies such as the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. In 2009, about 40 percent of PARC’s $60 million in revenues came from customers other than Xerox, and the organization also incubates its own spinoffs, such as Powerset, a semantic search company bought by Microsoft in 2008 for more than $100 million."

 

Assessing Wikipedia, Wiki-Style, on Its 10th Anniversary
How the online "temple of the mind" became the go-to site for looking stuff up: A drama told in the open-source style of Wikipedia
6 January 2011 | BusinessWeek
by Drake Bennett

"The worry for some who have followed the encyclopedia over its first decade is that as the site matures, it will have a harder time attracting and retaining the volunteers who make it work. A research team led by the computer scientist Ed H. Chi at PARC has found that Wikipedia's growth, whether measured in entries, edits, volunteers, or even bytes, has been falling off for a few years."

 

Sensor robots to aid military in recon missions [video]
3 January 2011 | SmartPlanet

"PARC...developing robots to help soldiers in urban combat and civilians on rescue missions. The sensor robots are equipped with infrared bump and odometry sensors, which make it possible for the robots to create digital maps of any rooms they enter."

 

The WoW Factor: How much do you know about the players behind the avatars?
22 December 2010 | WoW Insider
by Lisa Poisso

"How much do you think you know about your fellow WoW gamers? WoW Insider brings you this exclusive quiz designed by MMORPG researcher Nick Yee, based on actual U.S. data from the PARC PlayOn 2.0 study linking player survey data with their armory data."

 

PowerCloud’s Network-as-a-Service Offering Leverages Other Vendors’ Channels
17 December 2010 | Presti Research & Consulting

"A newly-emerging startup, based at PARC, is giving the industry new ways to look at networking, cloud computing, and even the channel strategies that would drive its services into the market.

PowerCloud Systems, which is backed by Javelin Venture Partners and Walden Venture Capital, is offering the deployment and management of secure networks, leveraging the rapidly evolving 'as-a-service' business model to establish lower costs and ease of use. The current iteration is based on 802.11n wireless technology, and features an impressive level of self-configuration."

 

LEDs on Ostendo/TDI’s semi-polar GaN 2.5x brighter than c-plane LEDs
16 December 2010 | Semiconductor Today

"Ostendo Technologies Inc of Carlsbad, CA, USA (which develops solid-state lighting-based display technologies and products for commercial and consumer markets) and Technologies and Devices International Inc (TDI, part of the UK’s Oxford Instruments Group) say that LED structures grown on their semi-polar (11-22) gallium nitride wafers have resulted in more than 2.5x the emission intensity of c-plane GaN-based LED structures...

In 2008, Ostendo and TDI entered into an Information Exchange Agreement with PARC to make semi-polar GaN wafers available on which PARC could grow LED and laser diode structures, and to independently validate and report the results achieved."

 

What social networks reveal about interaction
Business can benefit by observing the evolution and maintenance of information on the web
10 December 2010 | The Irish Times
by Karlin Lillington

"To some, online social networks and sites of huge group interaction like the Wikipedia encyclopedia, microblogging site Twitter and information tagging communities like Delicious.com may seem like just a bit of fun for people with a lot of time on their hands.

But a research team at PARC in Silicon Valley, where much of modern computing was invented in the 1970s – thinks these social network systems reveal insights valuable to businesses and organisations about how groups can efficiently analyse, filter and use information, harnessing the 'wisdom of the crowd'."

 

Stretchable Silicon Could Make Sports Apparel Smarter
...wearable electronics to monitor athletic performance.
9 December 2010 | Technology Review
by Katherine Bourzac

"Working with organic materials, researchers at Xerox's PARC have made printed sensor tape for the U.S. military that's mounted inside helmets to record blast strength, temperature, and other data, and includes transistors to process the data."

 

...retool workings of Net
6 December 2010 | Arizona Daily Star
by Victoria Blute

"'The Internet was built in the early '70s, and the fundamental architecture hasn't changed much,' Zhang said. 'However, almost everything else has changed. The applications have changed. We use the Internet for online banking, Facebook and YouTube. It's totally different.' Scientists have tried to make small improvements in the past, but this is the first time a large group has come together with this consensus, Zhang said.

Project manager James Thornton, who works at PARC, said this is the first model that considers memory and storage as part of how the Internet works...Thornton said PARC already has produced initial open-source software, but the final product will be expanded from that base."

 

Beyond Passwords: PARC Spin-Off Introduces Individual Device Authorization
ReadWriteEnterprise
3 December 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Klint Finley

"We all know the problems inherent in passwords. Make your password requirements too simple, and passwords can be too easily cracked. Make them too difficult, and users will write their passwords down next to their computers. Not to mention users using the same password for everything. PowerCloud, a startup spun-off of Xerox's noted Palo Alto Research Center, is pushing what it calls 'usable security' - an approach to making reality converge with security. Its first project is a partnership with D-Link to improve wireless networking security."

 

PARC Readies Printed Electronics for Market
Early 2011 will see printed memory devices in toys and printed sensors in packages used to ship drugs.
3 December 2010 | Technology Review
by Katherine Bourzac

"Inexpensive printed sensors, transistors, and memory devices that aren't as speedy or as high-capacity as silicon devices could enable the widespread use of sensors in places that aren't cost-effective today. Disposable devices could monitor and store information about the temperature of drugs, the safety of food during shipping, or air quality.

Researchers at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which is owned by Xerox, have been developing a suite of materials for making printed electronics, including sensors and transistors. This week at the Printed Electronics USA conference in Santa Clara, California, PARC announced details about two partnerships to develop products based on its research prototypes."

 

PowerCloud Systems Spins Out Of PARC, Gets More Backers
TechCrunchIT
30 November 2010 | TechCrunch
by Robin Wauters

"PARC is spinning out PowerCloud Systems, the cloud-managed networking solutions provider that it has incubated through the Startup@PARC program since early 2008. PowerCloud has also gained more backing, with Walden Venture Capital and Javelin Venture Partners joining the line-up.

PowerCloud offers cloud-based technology for OEM vendors that is designed to make business networking devices easier to deploy, secure, and manage. The company builds on intellectual property developed at PARC, including two exclusive and eight shared patents in areas ranging from cloud-virtualized network controllers to 'usable security.'"

 

Churchill Club: PARC at 40 and the business, innovation intersection [podcast]
Between the Lines
26 November 2010 | ZDNet
by Larry Dignan

"In this latest installment of the Churchill Club podcast series, a panel talks about 40 years of the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and innovation lessons. Over the past 40 years, PARC has made a profound impact on innovation in the Valley and beyond. The birthplace of the GUI and the Ethernet, today the halls of PARC are walked by scientists making breakthroughs in clean tech, the newest phase of networking, and other commercially impactful products. As we look forward to the next 40 years, what has changed in innovation? Have we—and even can we—learn from our past? Can business and innovation co-exist? And what is next?"

 

Want to Test Next-Gen Network Architecture that May Save Mobile Networks? Get an Android
ReadWriteMobile
24 November 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Sarah Perez

"Have you heard of CCN? CCN is an open-source implementation of 'content-centric networking' or more commonly 'named data networking.' It's a technology being actively developed by PARC, formerly Xerox PARC, the birthplace of computing mainstays like the PC, Ethernet, laser printing and the graphical user interface. So what's CCN? It's an alternative idea about how computer networking should work - and it could very well one day be the future of Internet communications, most importantly, mobile networks...

CCN could one day roll out alongside or on top of IP - it wouldn't have to be a case of either/or. For use on the Internet, all that's needed is its integration into the routers and networking equipment that move data packets across the net. That's no small thing, however. CCN is likely years and years away from real-world use. But clients testing PARC's software solution, the open source technology hosted at CCNX.org, are just 18 months to 2 years from using it commercially."

 

PARC scientist built a machine that purifies water through movement [video]
23 November 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Boonsri Dickinson

"I went with the SmartPlanet video crew to PARC to visit Lean’s cluttered laboratory to see the water inventor in his element and to see exactly how the device worked...

...There’s a real market for a machine like this."

 

Meltdown ahoy!: Net king returns to save the interwebs
Cometh the hour. Cometh the Van. Again
22 November 2010 | The Register
by Gavin Clarke

"When you need to save the internet, who ya gonna call? Van Jacobson.

...More than twenty years on, the internet is on the cusp of yet another congestion and scale crisis, thanks to an explosion of content on sites such as Facebook and YouTube, and the proliferation of devices used for accessing and downloading that material: smart phones, tablets, and netbooks. Service providers are worried.

...Jacobson is now proposing a fundamental shake-up to the way the internet is architected, to solve not just the scale problem but also to put privacy and disclosure in the hands of users.

...Jacobson and his PARC team have produced early protocol specifications released under an open source implementation called CCNx, used in NDN. Separately, PARC is talking to network, consumer, and cellular service providers about using the technology in the near term."

 

Speculation on networking alternatives
16 November 2010 | SearchSOA

"It is appropriate from time to time to step back and look at what the more far-out thinkers are speculating on. The revolutions which took us from dial-up time sharing and BBSs to the present internet took some imaginative jumps by people who were 'far-out' at the time...Several approaches to large scale content-centric networking have been proposed. Right now, Project CCNx, a PARC sponsored open-source project seems to be the most active. PARC Research Fellow Van Jacobson is the visionary behind this research... Content-centric networking hearkens back to Ted Nelson's attempt to let the user ignore the details of how content is located. Jacobson points out that the move from the telephony model of dial-up to the packet switching model of the Internet required a big increase in network intelligence to support DNS lookup and packet addressing. Moving to CCNx will also take a huge increase in network computing power but this is clearly already happening, for example with 'cloud' computing."

 

Why Software is More Important Than Sensors in the Internet of Things
9 November 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Richard MacManus

"As the Internet of Things slowly becomes a commercial reality, led by industries such as food and logistics, the underlying technologies (RFID, sensors, QR codes and more) become less important than what is done with the data. As Bo Begole, Principal Scientist and Manager of Ubiquitous Computing at PARC, put it to me recently: 'the algorithms are more interesting now than the sensors.'

Begole's group at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, a subsidiary of Xerox) puts more emphasis nowadays on technologies such as predictive analytics, context engines and 'Behavioral Ware'. It's much more about the software, than the sensors."

 

Magitti: The Future of Location Apps From PARC?
8 November 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Richard MacManus

"Begole showed me an app that brings the concept of 'ubicomp' to a commercial reality. Magitti is a next generation location-based mobile app, currently in commercial trials in Japan. It goes further than popular apps like Foursquare and Gowalla. As well as using GPS data to figure out where you are, Magitti computes a user's preferences and context. It then makes recommendations of near-by places to go, based on that personal data. Location has been one of the biggest trends in 2010 and Magitti is one probable future of such apps, so let's check it out...

Magitti is currently in trials in Japan, one of the most advanced Mobile Web nations on earth."

 

PARC talks innovation, Steve Jobs and Xerox
Between the Lines
8 November 2010 | ZDNet
by Larry Dignan

"The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has a storied history and is responsible for much of the computing technology we take for granted. Today, PARC has a more refined mission as a wholly-owned yet independent subsidiary of Xerox. We caught up with PARC CEO Mark Bernstein to talk shop and innovation. Bernstein has led PARC since 2001. The conversation was spurred by a question raised by Marvell co-founder Weili Dai, who argued that the U.S. needs a new Bell Labs. What follows is a recap of my conversation with Bernstein with a bit of color commentary..."

 

PARC CEO: Past, present, and future [video]
5 November 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Larry Dignan

"SmartPlanet's Larry Dignan talks with Palo Alto Research Center CEO Mark Bernstein about the research lab's rich history, its current business model as a subsidiary of Xerox, and new areas of focus, including clean tech, concentric networking, and contextual information delivery."

 

PARC to submit Content-Centric Networking code to Android
Between the Lines
3 November 2010 | ZDNet
by Larry Dignan

"Palo Alto Research Center, best known as PARC, will submit some of its Content-Centric Networking code to Android. In an interview, PARC CEO Mark Bernstein said that Content-Centric Networking (CCN) is one of the research group’s big bets...

Samsung and PARC are already teaming up on next-gen content distribution, networking and communications technologies on mobile platforms. Now PARC is upping the ante a bit with a contribution to the Android project. The CCN project is worth checking out. Here’s a presentation on the topic..."

 

VCs and Solar Startups
Is there still room for new technology and VC investment in the solar industry?
3 November 2010 | Greentech Media
by Eric Wesoff

"The solar market continues its meteoric growth. No other renewable energy market has grown this fast for this long. A number of solar vendors have entered the 'one gigawatt capacity club' and the sheer heat in the market has convinced a bunch of Fortune 500 firms to enter the field. Along with this growth, however, has come falling ASPs, excess capacity and intensified competition. Solar panels produce electrons and electrons are arguably a commodity product. That makes solar panels look like commodities, as well. Is there still for room for next-generation technology and new companies in the solar field? Are there still opportunities for solar startups and their VC investors? The Fountainblue organization put on an event at Palo Alto's PARC with solar investors and entrepreneurs and tried to answer those questions.

The panelists: Scott Elrod, VP, Director of Hardware Systems Laboratory, PARC.  Elrod believes that the current crop of U.S. concentrated solar power (CSP) projects are going to run into "regulatory roadblocks" and has concerns over their water usage..."

 

Shooting for the Sun
1 November 2010 | The Atlantic
by Logan Ward

"In the winter of 2008, Johnson received a promising call from Karl Littau, a materials scientist with the Palo Alto Research Center (known as PARC), a subsidiary of Xerox. PARC, which gave the world the laser printer, Ethernet, and many other groundbreaking technologies, had expanded into alternative-energy research, and this had led Littau to the JTEC [Johnson Thermoelectric Energy Converter]. Like Paul Werbos, Littau initially feared that the device sounded too good to be true, but he and several other PARC scientists set up elaborate three-dimensional computer models to analyze fluidics and heat-flow behavior in the JTEC under various conditions, and they came away from those experiments, he says, 'really impressed.'...When I spoke to Littau, he ticked off the potential advantages of the JTEC over typical heat engines...All of these advantages mean longer-lasting performance and potentially higher energy-conversion efficiencies."

 

PARC applies IT innovation to cleantech problems
21 October 2010 | ZDNet
by Heather Clancy

"Much has been made about the 40th anniversary of PARC, which started life as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. What you might not have heard is that approximately 10 percent of the research facility’s research and development activities are now focused on cleantech innovation. I recently spoke with Scott Elrod, a PARC vice president and who is manager of what PARC calls its Cleantech Innovation Program (CIP).

Elrod says there are four primary areas where PARC has a role to play in cleantech: Energy efficiency, water purification, solar energy and carbon emissions capture. 'We created this with no background in those markets but in strong competency areas that we thought could be applied to cleantech,' he says.

Not surprisingly, the facility’s roots in LCD and printer research — PARC has more than 1,800 patents — have been called upon for at least one of these research areas, water purification..."

 

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technologies for 2011
19 October 2010 | MarketWatch

"Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt. A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. As such, these technologies impact the organization's long-term plans, programs and initiatives...The top 10 strategic technologies for 2011 include:

...Context-Aware Computing.

...Ubiquitous Computing. The work of Mark Weiser and other researchers at Xerox's PARC paints a picture of the coming third wave of computing where computers are invisibly embedded into the world."

 

Continuum computing: I want the right thing, everywhere
500 words into the future
16 October 2010 | ZDNet UK
by Simon Bisson and Mary Branscombe

"I'm going to be demanding. Software - or rather tools and experiences - have to work wherever I am, on whatever device I'm using, with the appropriate interface and tools and context for whatever device and input I'm using. It just makes sense...

The idea of things you do over a period of time, on different devices, at your own convenience is something we've been thinking about since the Web got useful in the 90s. Ubiquitous and context-sensitive computing has been a research area for decades; check out the Xerox PARC ideas about pads, tabs and walls for a sense that the technology is finally catching up with some of the vision - but having the hardware isn't enough, until we have the processes and tools and apps and services to deliver it as well.

We recently spent a month at different conferences and promisingly, that was one of the themes of just about all of them..."