home › parc in the news
PARC in the news
ACM Turing Award goes to creator of first modern personal computer
Thacker, founding member of three major research labs, linked to tablet PC and other major innovations in computing – past and present
9 March 2010 | Association for Computing Machinery
"ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery today named [former Xerox PARC researcher] Charles P. Thacker the winner of the 2009 ACM A.M. Turing Award for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers. Thacker’s design, which he built while at Xerox PARC, reflected a new vision of a self-sufficient, networked computer on every desk, equipped with innovations that are standard in today’s models... The Turing Award, widely considered the 'Nobel Prize in Computing,' is named for the British mathematician Alan M. Turing."
Is ARPA-E Enough to Keep the U.S. on the Cutting-Edge of a Clean Energy Revolution?
ARPA-E, the U.S.'s energy transformation agency, is doling out funds for greener power, but is it too conservative?
3 March 2010 | Scientific American
by David Biello
"...$100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (better known as the stimulus) was made available on March 2, to be awarded via ARPA–E to the best proposals for new grid-scale storage devices, better power converters and more efficient air conditioners, such as the ones being developed by PARC that rely on sound waves rather than mechanical pistons to drive compressors."
Top Picks from the ARPA-E Summit
Novel technologies from the energy agency's first conference.
3 March 2010 | Technology Review
by Kevin Bullis
A conference being put on by the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy (ARPA-E) this week is packed with companies exhibiting intriguing approaches to clean energy. I'll be looking into some of them in more detail in upcoming stories, but here's a few that caught my eye.
...PARC, spun out of Xerox PARC, is developing a new form of refrigeration that could be three times as efficient as existing forms. It's based on thermoacoustics, a technology that works for cooling at extremely low temperatures (such as for liquefying gases), but hasn't been used for cooling at room temperature (what you need for household refrigeration). The company thinks it's found a way around previous limits to the technology.
Can Sound Waves Reduce Power Consumption?
PARC says it may have developed a way to run air conditioners on sound waves.
1 March 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
However, that [laboratory thermoacoustic compressor] equipment works best in extreme situations and is not particularly efficient or economical for keeping office buildings at 72 degrees. PARC's breakthrough lay in devising a thermoacoustic device for ambient temperatures...If it works and can go commercial, the cooling sound from PARC could take a substantial chunk of out U.S. and even global power consumption.
SHARKFEST '10 Keynote Presenters Announced
Network Analysis Pioneers Van Jacobson and Harry Saal to speak at this year's Wireshark Developer and User Conference
19 February 2010 | CACE Technologies
SHARKFEST '10 will open with PARC Research Fellow Van Jacobson's presentation: "25 Years of Packet Tracing - A Personal Retrospective. " Jacobson is one of the primary contributors to the technological foundations of today's Internet and leads PARC's content-centric networking research program.
PARC works on content-centric networking
Mark Bernstein, CEO of the famed facility, says content-centric networking will be hitting the market within the next couple years
16 February 2010 | InfoWorld
by Paul Krill
"PARC (Palo Alto Research Center), previously known as Xerox PARC, has been responsible for some of the greatest innovations in computing, including the graphical user interface and laser printing. PARC was spun out of Xerox in 2001 as an independent subsidiary and now is working on projects like content-centric networking."
Microsoft Global High-Tech Summit Highlights How Manufacturers Can 'Accelerate Through the Economic Turn'
Interactive session will feature live polling, presentations from industry leaders
10 February 2010 | PR Newswire
PARC CEO Mark Bernstein to present "Empowering Excellence: Accelerating Through the Turn" keynote at the Microsoft Global High-Tech Summit on February 11, 2010 in Santa Clara, California where industry leaders in the high-tech and electronics industry will share their companies' economic recovery preparation strategies.
Apple's iPad could revolutionize the way people read
1 February 2010 | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Steven Adams and Bill Zlatos
"What makes the iPad interesting, and the reason why I think it will change the way people read, is because now it's possible not only to carry the books you want to read, but the entire Web as a reference library with you," said Edward H. Chi, who leads a team of researchers at PARC studying systems that enhance people's ability to remember, think and reason through computers. ... "That presents an entirely different reading experience than reading a book," he said.
PARC Works with Startup to Save Data Centers Power
Project aimed at moving data centers from being “Always On” to “Always Available” by virtualizing the power consumption
29 January 2010 | Green Technology Journal
by Maureen O'Gara
"Power Assure Inc, a California fledging developing power management solutions company, and the great Palo Alto Research Center, a k a PARC, have gotten themselves a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to reduce data center power consumption without impacting quality of service.
Power Assure will commercialize the project. The work is described as "transformative." It better be. Data centers in the U.S. are supposed to be eating through 100 billion kWh a year by next year although server utilization will still be at only 10%-15%."
Innovators Win Prism Awards
27 January 2010 | Photonics.com
PARC Director of Business Development Jennifer Ernst presented one of ten Prism Awards to Hamamatsu Corporation at a ceremony honoring photonics innovation during SPIE Photonics West.
Commerce Secretary Locke Names New Members to Patent and Trademark Public Advisory Committees
15 January 2010 | United States Patent and Trademark Office
by Peter Pappas and Ruth Nyblod
PARC vice president and chief intellectual property officer Damon Matteo was appointed for a three-year term as chairman of the Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
Silicon Valley R&D legend gets new CEO
11 January 2010 | VentureBeat
"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..."
Power Assure Selected by U.S. Department of Energy for $5 Million Grant
Funds to be Used for Commercialization of Energy Efficiency Software for Data Centers
7 January 2010 | Business Wire
"The DOE award was granted to Power Assure based on its principal goal of transforming data center energy strategy from an 'Always On' to an 'Always Available' model, which dramatically increases the efficiency of data centers. ...Power Assure’s novel approach will leverage 'model-based' optimization technology from PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). Power Assure and PARC are working closely together to enable the 'always available' approach."
US feds kick in funny money for green data centers
Helping IT vendors help themselves
6 January 2010 | The Register
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
"Power Assure has created software tools that can put servers to sleep and wake them up just before they are needed to support changing workloads...[and] could cut power consumption of these devices by 50 per cent. Power Assure is working with Xerox's PARC lab on research and development and had secured venture capital money in addition to the DOE grant to extend its products from servers to encompass all the other gear in the data center."
2020 Vision: Why you won't recognize the 'Net in 10 years
U.S. computer scientists rethink everything about the Internet, from IP addresses to DNS to routing tables
4 January 2010 | Network World
by Carolyn Duffy Marsan
"Another radical proposal to change the Internet infrastructure is content-centric networking, which is being developed at PARC. This research aims to address the problem of massive amounts of content — increasingly multimedia — that exists on the Internet... PARC has an initial implementation of content-centric networking up and running, and released early code to the Internet engineering community in September... [Van] Jacobson says the evolution to content-centric networking would be fairly painless because it would be like middleware, mapping between connection-oriented IP below and the content above. The approach uses multi-point communications and can run over anything: Ethernet, IP, optical or radio."
PopSci's Future Of: PARC
10 December 2009 | Popular Science/ Discovery.com
by Baratunde Thurston
Hosted by author/pundit/comedian and The Onion editor Baratunde Thurston, each PopSci: Future Of episode examines, through in-depth interviews with maverick scientists and hands-on experience with breakthrough research and extraordinary prototypes, how important aspects of human life will fundamentally change or evolve within our lifetimes.
While the PARC technology featured in this episode highlights adding efficiency to dressing rooms and decision-making when shopping, the mirror prototype demonstrates the potential for computer vision to bridge the physical and digital worlds to enable user control, infer preferences, make recommendations, and more.
Next-Gen Touch Screen Inspired by Coffee Rings
The tendency of ink to form coffee ring-like stains seeds an idea for a new kind of touch-screen device.
4 December 2009 | Discovery News
by Eric Bland
PARC's Ana Arias has "been experimenting with silver nanoparticles for touch-screen devices...Instead of allowing the silver rings to form naturally, Arias formed the silver nanoparticles into long lines, packing the particles against each other while remaining transparent. A patent on her method is pending."
What printed-electronics leaders are working on now
3 December 2009 | Converting Magazine Blog
by Mark Spaulding
PARC, a recent spin-off of Xerox, is working with DARPA (the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) on some pretty cool items. One is a sensor tape that measures a soldier’s accumulated exposure to the dangerous sound levels of explosions...Knights also described an X-ray detector that acts like a “reverse LCD” to help detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices). The sheet of plastic with printed electronics on it integrates imaging processing with other applications to make a useful product to protect our men and women in uniform.
A beginner’s guide to virtual advertising
3 December 2009 | Transforming Management
by Michael Solomon
"Can we apply what we know in these contexts to create effective virtual advertising? The small number of researchers (such as...Nick Yee at PARC) who delve into online source effects do find evidence that the avatar forms we take and those with whom we interact in virtual worlds influence our experiences and even our feelings about our RL selves."
Time for a green power trip
Renewable energy technologies offer not only huge commercial opportunities but also some pretty novel science
1 December 2009 | The Times
"PARC in California is seeking a commercially viable way to make carbon-neutral fuel using sunlight, water, and air...The process is carbon-neutral because the CO2 released into the atmosphere when the methanol is burnt was extracted from the air in the first place. PARC expects that the technology to make the process commercially feasible will be available within ten years."
Volunteers Log Off as Wikipedia Ages
23 November 2009 | The Wall Street Journal
by Julia Angwin and Geoffrey A. Fowler
“...unprecedented numbers of the millions of online volunteers who write, edit and police [Wikipedia.org] are quitting. ‘People generally have this idea that the wisdom of crowds is a pixie dust that you sprinkle on a system and magical things happen,’ says CMU assistant professor [and PARC collaborator] Aniket Kittur. ‘Yet the more people you throw at a problem, the more difficulty you are going to have with coordinating those people.’ In 2008, Wikipedia's editors deleted one in four contributions from infrequent contributors, up sharply from one in 10 in 2005, according to data compiled by social-computing researcher Ed Chi of PARC.”
Self-Policing Cloud Computing
IBM security tool searches for and destroys malicious code in the cloud.
20 November 2009 | Technology Review
by David Talbot
"...combined research by PARC and Fujitsu pointed out other ways that clouds could help provide security. Specifically, clouds can provide convenient places to cheaply and easily do computing that helps diagnose and solve security threats. 'When people use the words "cloud" and "security" together--it is often with a frown. But we are saying it is a huge boon,' in enabling easy processing of security-related tasks, says Markus Jakobsson, a principal scientist at PARC. 'If we don't use it, we are missing out on something truly amazing.'"
Printed electronics needs new design rules
18 November 2009 | Printed Electronics World
by Dr. Peter Harrop
"The irony of the integrated circuit - the silicon chip - is that it integrates so little... Printed electronics is very different. It can integrate all these things. For example, PARC and Soligie in the USA are printing components on top of each other. They connect but they can also interact - beneficially or problematically. The interaction of printed components and the use of new components that can only be made as thin films means that this new technology needs completely new design rules. This need is underpinned by the fact that the elements of the new electronics have new limitations, not just new capabilities."
Algae Company #60 Takes Design Cues From Servers, Telecom
13 November 2009 | greentechmedia
by Michael Kanellos
"Bioreactor design remains one of the principal areas of research for companies hoping to grow algae in large quantities...Separating the water from algae – perhaps the biggest technological hurdle today – can also be impacted by the bioreactor design. (PARC has come up with a way to use a vortex to separate algae.)"
Stanford-led research helps overcome barrier for organic electronics
Electronic devices can't work well unless all of the transistors, or switches, within them allow electrical current to flow easily when they are turned on. A team of engineers has determined why some transistors made of organic crystals don't perform well
10 November 2009 | Stanford Report
by David Orenstein
"The research, which could help engineers design better digital displays and other devices, was published online Nov. 8 in the journal Nature Materials. ...the researchers employed information from extensive theoretical calculations, made by co-author John E. Northrup at PARC..."
What Your Phone Might Do for You Two Years From Now
4 November 2009 | The New York Times
by Bob Tedeschi
But James Begole, a principal scientist at PARC, the research lab based in Palo Alto...said screens, at least, would be fundamentally different.
PARC’s software, called Magitti, is in its testing phase in Japan, and could reach the American market in the spring of next year.
AIP awards Industrial Physics Prize to inventor of digital x-ray detector
Robert Street of PARC recognized for key medical imaging technology
30 October 2009 | American Institute of Physics
"The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is awarding the 2010 Prize for Industrial Applications of Physics next month to Robert Street of PARC. Street's pioneering work at PARC in the early 1990s led to the development of flat-panel digital X-ray detectors, a commercially available technology that has replaced traditional film X-ray machines for many medical applications. His current research explores finding novel low-cost and large-area electronics for applications ranging from new flat panel displays to radiation sensors. Projects he has been involved with in recent years include ink-jet printing of organic electronic devices, constructing flexible electronic displays, developing technology for truck-size scanners for homeland security, and researching new solar cell structures."
PARC part of $16.75M information network center
19 October 2009
Funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, the INARC (Information Network Academic Research Center) was recently formed to study information network challenges in complex, mobile, self-forming, and rapidly-changing networks.
Since "addressing information network challenges in this environment requires a multi-disciplinary approach that breaks new ground and builds on existing research in communication, information, and social and cognitive research", the INARC will bring together a team of world-class researchers in several disciplines.
Participating organizations include the University of Illinois, UC Santa Barbara, IBM, CUNY, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and PARC.
FlexTech Alliance Opens Registration and Announces Keynote for 2010 Flexible Electronics & Displays Conference
12 October 2009 | FlexTech News
"Kicking off the three-day Business and Technical Conference will be a keynote address by Mark Bernstein, President and Center Director for PARC. Bernstein will share his thoughts and observations on flexible electronics as a strategic technology and how it fits into PARC's research relationships with its industry partners."
PARC overflowing with new ideas
9 October 2009 | BBC News
by Ian Hardy
"Bo Begole, manager of the ubiquitous computing area in PARC, is working on a project that allows computers to recognize our presence immediately and react accordingly - one application of the technology could be in a changing room in a clothing shop...In another part of the building, PARC researchers are working on a centrifugal water filtration system that separates molecules without using membrane barriers and - at the same time - saves energy, vast amounts of equipment and space. Meng Lean, principal scientist at PARC, says: 'One possible use for the equipment in the future is seawater purification, which many see as vital as the world gets warmer.'"
Palo Alto gets green recognition
6 October 2009 | The Stanford Daily
by Ryan Mac
"Currently PARC is working to use completely compostable materials and recently started installing automatic light sensors. Other initiatives include subsidizing an alternate transportation program in which the company gives small financial incentives for employees that take the bus, ride bicycles or carpool to work."
Where Wikipedia Ends
28 September 2009 | Time
by Farhad Manjoo
"...revisions made by infrequent contributors are much likelier to be undone by élite Wikipedians. [Ed] Chi also notes the rise of wiki-lawyering: for your edits to stick, you've got to learn to cite the complex laws of Wikipedia in arguments with other editors. Together, these changes have created a community not very hospitable to newcomers. Chi says, "People begin to wonder, 'Why should I contribute anymore?'" — and suddenly, like rabbits out of food, Wikipedia's population stops growing."
PARC’s Solution for Algae Fuel: Going Down the Drain
A technology for water purification and toner cartridges could cut the onerous cost of getting algae out of water.
25 September 2009 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"PARC has built a prototype that can cycle 1,000 liters of fluid a minute and is now seeking a grant in conjunction with a major oil company from the Department of Energy to experiment with it on a larger scale...If it works on a large scale, scientifically calibrated swirling could become one of the more notable advances in algae in the past few years. Separating the algae from water sounds easy, but it's time-consuming and energy intensive...PARC's research seems destined to draw other companies into this space as well."
FCC to World: How Should We Do This Broadband Plan?
10 September 2009 | Public Knowledge
by Michael Weinberg
Dr. Van Jacobson of PARC "noted today’s internet was designed to share resources, not to share data. This distinction is at the heart of a number of problems manifesting themselves today – especially security problems."
Robert Spinrad, a Pioneer in Computing, Dies at 77
7 September 2009 | The New York Times
by John Markoff
"Robert J. Spinrad, a computer designer who carried out pioneering work in scientific automation at Brookhaven National Laboratory and who later was director of Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center while the personal computing technology invented there in the 1970s was commercialized, died...
'Big Ideas' on Broadband Likely to Push Threshold of User Adoption, Say FCC Experts
3 September 2009 | BroadbandCensus.com
by Christina Kirchner
"A concern brought up by Van Jacobson, research fellow at PARC, is that advancing broadband speeds do not ensure higher quality of security. 'Internet is a big part of our lives,' said Jacobson. 'We use it for online banking, to pay bills and to check updates on our checking account. When you want to transfer funds online, are you giving your account number to the bank or to the host that is supposedly representing your bank?'"
Wikipedia to Add Layer of Editing to Articles
24 August 2009 | New York Times
by Noam Cohen
“Ed Chi of PARC, which specializes in research for commercial endeavors, recently completed a study of the millions of changes made to Wikipedia in a month. He concluded that the site’s growth (whether in new articles, new edits or new contributors) hit a plateau…also found...that there was “growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content.”
The Origin of the Computer Mouse
Now an endangered species, it was crucial to the development of personal computing and the Internet
18 August 2009 | Scientific American
by Larry Greenemeier
"Mouse technology found its way from Engelbart's lab to Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto Research Center...in 1971, when Bill English, a computer engineer who had worked for Engelbart at SRI, joined PARC. Xerox was the first to sell a computer system that came with a mouse—the 8010 Star Information System in 1981, but the term 'mouse' wouldn't become a part of the modern lexicon until Apple made it standard equipment with its original Macintosh....The emergence of the Microsoft Windows operating system and Web browsers hastened the mouse's pervasiveness throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of the 21st century."
Wikipedia Passes the 3 Million Article Mark
17 August 2009 | ReadWriteWeb Enterprise
by Steven Walling
"The studies by PARC are some of the best scientific analysis of Wikipedia's community ever done, but it has led to some rather sensationalist conclusions by media outlets. PARC's models for Wikipedia's growth and community are ones shared by some within Wikipedia's community, but neither contingent is openly saying that the site is on its last legs."
Wikipedia approaches its limits
The online encyclopedia is about to hit 3m articles in English – but growth is stalling as 'inclusionists' and 'deletionists' fight for control
12 August 2009 | Guardian
by Bobbie Johnson
"The website that has become one of the biggest open repositories of knowledge is due...to hit the mark of 3M articles in English...From the numbers, it looks as though Wikipedia is stagnating. Why? One of those who has spent his time studying what happens on Wikipedia is Ed Chi...at PARC.... His team...wanted to understand what was happening on the website in order to build better collaborative software."
Chart of the Day: Wikipedia's Growth Tumbles
6 August 2009 | Silicon Alley Insider
by Dan Frommer
"It had to happen at some point, but it looks like Wikipedia's growth has hit its peak. ...(More charts and discussion here from PARC.)"
Is Wikipedia in Decline? Scientists Search for Answers in Wikipedia's Numbers
4 August 2009 | Fast Company
by Clay Dillow
"Wikipedia's ascendancy to the top of a large pool of online reference sites has come to an end, new research shows." The PARC "team will present its research at the International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration this October, though Dr. Chi has already begun blogging about the team's analysis."
After the boom, is Wikipedia heading for bust?
4 August 2009 | New Scientist
by Jim Giles
"...a new study shows that [Wikipedia's] explosive growth is tailing off and also suggests the community-created encyclopaedia has become less welcoming to new contributors... Ed Chi and colleagues at PARC ... warn that the changes could compromise the encyclopaedia's quality in the long term. 'It's easy to say that Wikipedia will always be here,' says Chi, a computer scientist. 'This research shows that is not a given.'"
Tech meccas: The 12 holy sites of IT
The fathers of invention
3 August 2009 | InfoWorld
by Dan Tynan
Tech mecca No. 6: Xerox PARC -- Palo Alto, Calif.
"Besides being the geek equivalent of Jerusalem, Mecca, and the mythical city of El Dorado rolled into one, PARC is also an independent research business, having spun off from Xerox in 2002. It now delves into such arcana as context-aware computing, human-machine interfaces, and biomedical systems, to name but a few. In other words, don't even think about trying to get in without a VIP pass, though a regular Thursday lecture series is open to the public."
Dinosaur Study Backs Controversial Find
31 July 2009 | AAAS ScienceNOW [sub required]
by Robert F. Service
"When scientists reported 2 years ago that they had discovered intact protein fragments from a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex, the skeptics pounced. They argued that one of the main lines of evidence, signatures of the protein fragments taken by mass spectrometry, was flawed...prompted Asara to release his complete mass-spec data set to other experts to allow them to judge for themselves. So researchers from PARC in California and the University of California, Davis, decided to do just that. They reanalyzed Asara's mass-spec data using a different set of bioinformatics tools and statistical tests."
Reanalysis of T. rex Spectra Confirms Findings of 2007 Study
30 July 2009 | Genome Web - ProteoMonitor
"A new study lends support to a 2007 study in which researchers said they discovered proteins in a 68-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex fossil... In the current JPR study, the researchers from PARC and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis reevaluated the entire T. rex data set...and searched the spectra against the database using ByOnic tool. They then compiled a protein list using the program ComByne. Based on their results, the researchers concluded that 'the identification of bird-like collagen at the protein level is clearly significant.'"
NEC Reinforces Human Interface Research and Development
Developing easy-to-use HI and reducing costs in cooperation with global research organizations
29 July 2009 | NEC
NEC announced a partnership with PARC and Carnegie Mellon at the 2009 HCI International Conference: "This collaboration with leading human interface research centers provides additional support for NEC's existing HI development designs, and incorporates 'usability modeling' as an important new tool for efficient, low-cost development of easy-to-use HI for a wide variety of products."
Privacy matters: When is personal data truly de-identified?
24 July 2009 | Computerworld
by Jay Cline
Validating that personal data can be de-identified in a way that still retains commercial and social usefulness could set a precedent for many other privacy-related standards and debates...
Philippe Golle of PARC in 2006 published a paper that used the 2000 U.S. Census data to estimate that one could use these same data fields -- gender, ZIP code and date of birth -- to uniquely identify 63% of the U.S. population.
Wikipedia Expert Tips: How to Keep the Facts at Your Fingertips
Wikipedia has become an extremely valuable Web resource. Make it work even harder for you with these simple tricks.
20 July 2009 | PC World
by Thomasz Finc
"But if you want to go deeper and become a Wikipedia power user, the following tips and tools will get you started... To track changes to Wikipedia edits inside Wikipedia, click the History link at the top of any page; but to turn those sometimes confusing edit trails into an easier-to-understand chart, visit website WikiDashboard."
PARC's Responsive Mirror = Every Girl's Shopping Fantasy Come True
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Lisa Katayama
By streaming video taken by the camera through their spatially oriented machine learning software, PARC researchers have figured out how to give people like me a real-time interactive comparison shopping experience... The technology hasn't hit retailers yet, but PARC researchers are hoping to implement it in dressing rooms soon.
Mr. Taggy & the History of Search at PARC
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Steven Leckart
There are plenty of nifty search engines that don't begin with "Goo" and end with "gle," as Wired points out. But one site they forgot to include is MrTaggy, which was created by PARC's Augmented Social Cognition Area...The goal: be part-search, part-recommendation engine by tapping the wisdom of the crowd.
PARC: Flexible Electronics
30 June 2009 | Boing Boing
by Lisa Katayama
By building circuits and electrical connections into bendable plastics, glass, and metal foil substrates, they're paving the way for new technologies like flexible flat-panel displays, medical image sensors, and electronic paper. Because flexible electronics are super lightweight, rugged, and can be rolled or folded into smaller pieces, they are expected to take mobility and portability to new levels.
Cell Phones That Listen and Learn
22 June 2009 | Technology Review
by Kristina Grifantini
Kurt Partridge, a researcher at PARC, who has also created cell-phone software that tracks behavior, believes that the SoundSense project exploits an underused resource. "I don't think the field has really realized both how little power audio-based activity-sensing takes, and how informative it can be," Partridge says. "Audio can distinguish so many more activities [and] adds a social aspect to contextual sensing that's not possible otherwise."
Department of Energy awards more than $9 million to Bay Area solar companies
19 June 2009 | Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
PARC is one of "[f]ive Bay Area businesses...awarded a U.S. Department of Energy grant....These Bay Area companies were awarded the funding because they address the photovoltaic supply chain and cross-cutting technologies."
Why E-Books Are Stuck in a Black-and-White World
9 June 2009 | Wired
by Priya Ganapati
"The hitch is that color e-ink technologies aren't anywhere near ready for prime time. 'People don't like color screens that are dark,' says Raj Apte, manager of prototype devices and circuits for PARC, 'and so far, the displays for e-readers we have seen lack the brightness that makes color screens attractive.'"
Open Innovation for packaging: A must do
1 June 2009 | Packaging World Magazine
by Phil McKiernan
"In a global economy, you need all the help you can get to stay ahead of the competition... How are leading organizations like Procter & Gamble and Kraft improving the odds? Both organization have created new innovation models... In both cases, the goal is collaboration with outside entities...."
Your Morning Commute is Unique: On the Anonymity of Home/Work Location Pairs
13 May 2009 | 33 Bits of Entropy
by Arvind Narayanan
"Philippe Golle and Kurt Partridge of PARC have a cute paper on the anonymity of geo-location data. They analyze data from the U.S. Census and show that for the average person, knowing their approximate home and work locations — to a block level — identifies them uniquely...The paper is timely, because Location Based Services are proliferating rapidly."
A Smarter Way to Dig Up Experts
8 April 2009 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone
"Peter Pirolli at PARC, who studies Web searching behavior, says that analyzing social networks can also reveal another type of expert: one who is good at carrying information from one specialized group to another. The ability to carry information between specialized groups can be crucial to innovation, and may be something that companies want to look for when hiring, Pirolli says. He suggests that this type of expert could be found by analyzing social networks and looking for people with strong ties to members of two distinct expert clusters."
Innovation in a World of E-Commerce Woe
8 April 2009 | E-Commerce Times
by Walaika Haskins
"'When it comes to search engines, there are a number of technologies from larger and smaller companies that could still shine'...says Susan Feldman, an IDC analyst. MrTaggy, an experimental site developed by PARC, uses metadata to help users find what they're searching for. ...when Feldman was preparing to give a speech on innovation, a keyword search for serendipity, innovation, industry, etc., did not yield the results she sought. However, when she put the term into MrTaggy, the application returned the phrase 'Ah ha moment.' 'That is what I should have been searching for, and there has been a lot written on it,' Feldman said. 'I wouldn't have found it. That's the kind of thing we need so we can explore things that are tangential...'"
How Distracting are Social Media Tools?
A study shows that tagging articles stops users from actually reading them.
8 April 2009 | Technology Review: TR Editors' blog
by Erica Naone
Raluca Budiu, a user-experience specialist for Nielsen Norman Group, "investigated a tagging system designed at the PARC called SparTag.us, which lets users click words in an article to create tags, rather than typing them in at the end. The idea was that SparTag.us would help users engage more with an article, but at a lower cost. Budiu found that SparTag.us didn't reduce recall. In fact, it enhanced a user's ability to recognize particular sentences."
Ethernet — (a networking protocol) name for the ages
Michelson, Morley, and Metcalfe
13 March 2009 | The Register
by Cade Metz
"Technological innovation is the source of all progress," [former Xerox PARC inventor Bob Metcalfe] says..."It’s the highest calling. Democracy. Freedom. Prosperity. It all stems from technological innovation."
Carbon capture: Scrubbing the skies
5 March 2009 | Economist
"[T]here might be a simpler way to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere: to build 'air capture machines'... At PARC, researchers propose building towers several metres high through which the air would be wafted, coming into contact with a sorbent mist. Having absorbed CO2 from the air, the liquid would drain into a chamber where the gas would be extracted..."
Origin of 'T. rex' protein questioned
27 February 2009 | Nature
by Rex Dalton
"Marshall Bern, a computational biologist at PARC in California...said he leaned in support of Asara's collagen analysis. 'Asara has met Pevzner's test,' says Bern. 'All this scrutiny makes the two peptides [that Pevzner verified] look good. And I'm not ready to discount the other five. Contamination is now the issue.'"
Photos: Inside the Palo Alto Research Center
10 February 2009 | CNET News [slideshow]
by James Martin
"In 1970, Xerox Corporation founded the PARC with the charter to create information architecture...recently showed CNET News around the now-independent facility where laser printing and Ethernet networking -- among many other innovations -- got their start. Come along on our tour."
Investment bank revisionism, Wiki edition
10 February 2009 | Financial Times blog
by Tracy Alloway
"a new feature for Wikipedia, the user-generated online encyclopedia ...WikiDashboard, created by Silicon Valley's PARC...shows which users are editing specific Wiki entries, how often, and in what ways. And so...it's straight to the investment banking pages!"
Who's Messing with Wikipedia?
6 February 2009 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone
"Ed Chi, a senior research scientist for augmented social cognition at PARC, and his colleagues have now created a tool, called WikiDashboard, that aims to reveal much of the normally hidden back-and-forth behind Wikipedia's most controversial pages in order to help readers judge for themselves how suspect its contents might be."
Why Computers Can't Kill Post-its
22 January 2009 | Forbes.com
by Lee Gomes
"Victoria Bellotti with the Palo Alto Research Center... said the best office tools have many 'affordances,' a word used by researchers for an attribute of a tool that corresponds to something about human beings. Post-it notes, she said, have multiple affordances, such as the ability to be stuck to a door where someone coming into a room can easily see them."
Making the case for content-centric networking
15 January 2009 | ACM Queue
by Craig Partridge
"Now a Research Fellow at PARC, [Van] Jacobson continues to do groundbreaking work. His latest work on content-centric networking took the networking community by storm..."
ACM Names 44 Fellows for Contributions to Computing and IT
Many Innovations Made in Areas Critical to Global Competitiveness
15 January 2009 | Association for Computing Machinery
ACM recognized 44 of its members for their contributions to computing technology that have generated a broad range of innovations to industry, commerce, entertainment, and education...including PARC Principal Scientist Jose Joaquin Garcia-Luna-Aceves for his contributions to the theory and design of computer communication protocols.
SolFocus takes on $47.5M more in quest to sell concentrating solar
9 January 2009 | Venture Beat
by Chris Morrison
"SolFocus has stood out by being one of the earliest founded, and most heavily supported, of the CPV outfits. The company was founded in 2005, and spent its early years at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where some of today's most uniquitous technologies were first conceived."
"Ethnography" which studies users in depth - 2009 key word
6 January 2009 | Nikkei Net
by Shuji Honjo
PARC is the first place that introduced ethnography into company settings in 1979...
Among Japanese companies, Osaka Gas (Information Network division), Dai Nippon Printing (Information delivery service Magitti), and Konica Minolta Technology Center have started using ethnography as a tool. For example, Fujitsu and Dai Nippon Printing have incorporated ideas developed by PARC.
Applications: Blast Strips Record Explosion Exposure
1 January 2009 | Photonics Spectra
by Amanda D. Francoeur
"The wound most characteristic of soldiers...is traumatic brain injury... PARC, a Xerox company, under the DARPA Sensor Tape Program, has devised a way to record the number and intensity of explosions that soldiers experience by applying a blast dosimeter to their helmets."
What is the problem with innovation?
1 January 2009 | ElectroOptics
by Peter Hallett
Jennifer Ernst, director of business development at PARC, suggested at the SPIE Innovation Summit that innovation happens at the overlap between technical possibilities and customer needs. 'I believe getting close to the market as early as possible is the cornerstone of accelerating innovation.'"
ContentGuard Licenses Digital Rights Management Patents to Sanyo for Mobile Handsets
18 December 2008 | ContentGuard
ContentGuard technology enables the consumer-friendly implementation of digital content distribution models such as content rental, content subscription, variable pricing, and secure peeer-to-peer distribution. ContentGuard was spun out of Xerox PARC in 2000...
CIO Sessions: PARC VP, hardware systems laboratory: Scott Elrod [video]
Staying on the edge of innovation
2 December 2008 | ZDNet.com
by Dan Farber
Scott Elrod, VP of PARC's Hardware Systems Laboratory talks about PARC's Cleantech Innovation Program and what it takes to stay on the edge of innovation.
PHOTONIC FRONTIERS: SEMICONDUCTOR UV LASERS
Materials are a tough challenge for ultraviolet diode lasers
1 December 2008 | Laser Focus World
by Jeff Hecht
"'A lot of progress is being made in deep-ultraviolet LEDs,' says Noble Johnson of the Palo Alto Research Center. Quantum efficiency at the shorter wavelengths is limited, but LEDs don't require the high drive currents that make materials problems acute in UV lasers. Johnson [is] among researchers who have turned to UV LEDs as a more tractable problem."
Powerset Gives Microsoft Semantic Search Tools
After its Powerset acquisition, Microsoft is pushing semantic search as the replacement for traditional keyword search.
1 December 2008 | Redmond Developer News
by John K. Waters
"Powerset relies on very deep natural language processing (NLP) technology... Powerset's semantic search app uses this technology— which the company licenses from Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)..."
Black Swans and Greenwashing
21 November 2008 | Greentech Media
by Eric Wesoff
"...According to [Vinod Khosla], who spoke at the Palo Alto Research Center [PARC Forum], the new green is 'Maintech' not 'Cleantech' and we need to go after huge markets like engines, lighting, appliances, cement, water, glass and buildings and not fritter away our time and effort on PV and wind."
The Paper Chasers
Isn't it ironic: Xerox is hoping it can profit by teaching companies how to reduce their printing.
21 November 2008 | Newsweek
by Daniel Lyons
"PARC scientists have discovered something surprising: their expertise in printing transfers surprisingly well to technologies like solar panels. PARC's expertise in particle manipulation, developed while researching toners, has led to a water-filtration system that uses much less energy than conventional methods; it could find use in municipal water-treatment plants and desalinization plants."
Top 10 New World-Changing Innovations of the Year
1 November 2008 | Popular Mechanics
by Logan Ward and the Editors of Popular Mechanics
"'The JTEC (Johnson Thermo-Electrical Converter System) could have widespread impact,' says Karl Littau, a materials chemist at the Palo Alto Research Center. 'You look at it and say, Wow, why didn't someone think of this before?'"
The Future of...Paper
1 November 2008 | ZDNet [video]
by Sumi Das
"It's a possible fix for the reams and reams of paper that are printed, used briefly, and then tossed everyday. ZDNet correspondent Sumi Das takes us inside PARC where scientists are developing a way to print an image that disappears, allowing the paper to be used dozens of times."
A Helmet Patch to Measure Blasts
Researchers are developing a cheap, lightweight plastic strip that can be worn on a soldier's helmet to help diagnose brain injury.
14 October 2008 | Technology Review
by Brittany Sauser
"..the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $5 million, three-year contract to PARC to develop a strip of plastic that can be 'taped' onto a soldier's helmet to measure his or her exposure to explosions. The tape, which will cost less than a dollar per strip, is a flexible plastic substrate that will contain printed electronics, analog memory, and sensors."
Cloud computing pondered at eBay event
Questions raised at ResearchFest about latest buzzword in technology realm
30 September 2008 | InfoWorld
by Paul Krill
Participating in a panel discussion about trends in technology research, PARC president and center director Mark Bernstein said '...personalization of information services would be a trend the next 20 years.' [Regarding] the impact of patents: 'From my perspective, patents are a fundamental asset to creating business value to the research you do. Now all that's changing.'"
SolFocus Completes Spanish Project, Eyes California
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company will turn on its first commercial installation in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, it's got its eyes on a third funding round, manufacturing growth and a new project in the Golden State.
25 September 2008 | Greentech Media
by Jennifer Kho
"SolFocus Inc. has completed its first commercial project, installing 500 kilowatts worth of concentrating-solar equipment in Spain. SolFocus, a Palo Alto Research Center spinoff, uses small lenses and curved mirrors to concentrate sunlight and direct it into solar cells."
PARC, Still Making a Difference
23 September 2008 | Conde Nast Portfolio
by Kevin Maney
"...Microsoft bought a search technology company called Powerset for an alleged $100 million. Powerset was built on technology licensed from PARC. [PARC] has also won some attention in the past week for unveiling a way to print documents so the ink disappears in a day, allowing the paper to be reused."
SPIE to hold tech Innovation summit
Focus is on leveraging solar, biophotonics, solid-state lighting IP
8 September 2008 | SPIE
PARC director of Business Development Jennifer Ernst will be a panelist for a "Paths to Funding" session. Panelists will give their perspectives on working with multinational corporations in converting advanced research into high-value business opportunities, the DoE Solar Program, driving innovation through industry partnerships, and growth-stage financing for equipment manufacturers in the renewables sector.
Human Hardware: Foraging for Information
29 August 2008 | Search Engine Land
by Gord Hotchkiss
"When looking to predict how MBA students and analysts would find information in a digital environment, Peter Pirolli found his answer in an unlikely place: animal's foraging patterns. Pirolli, working at the Palo Alto Research Center, was trying to predict with some mathematical accuracy the behavior of humans when searching for information but was having challenges finding models..."
Bringing Sports Psychology to the Realm of Video Games
26 August 2008 | Kotaku
by Owen Good
"'The gamer generation tends to be less risk averse and more willing to try things, even in the face of overfailure,' said Nicholas Yee, a research scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center, whose Daedalus Project studies behavior in MMORPG players. 'It's not the main focus of the field, yet, but there is a little data we can extrapolate from it.'"
"Forgot Your Password?" May Be the Weakest Link
26 August 2008 | MSNBC
by Bob Sullivan
PARC principal scientist Markus Jakobsson said "...answers to password reset questions have become so valuable that a black market has developed for personal information like dog's names. Criminals buy buckets of personal information, obviously with an eye towards foiling security systems, for about $15 per set."
Wikimedia pegs future on education, not profit
24 August 2008 | San Francisco Chronicle
by Chris Cadelago
"Ed Chi of the Palo Alto Research Center is the creator of WikiDashboard, a social dynamic analysis tool... Chi discovered a huge drop-off in the number of [Wikipedia] edits, to the point that 1 percent of editors were editing 50 percent of the content. ...Chi said the waning interest among editors does not bode well for the site or community."
What is worse than reusing passwords?
12 August 2008 | ITWorld
by Markus Jakobsson
"Do you use the same password all over the place? Yes, you probably do whether you know it or not. PARC Principal Scientist Markus Jakobbson says 'When you have forgotten your password, some sites send you an email with a link for you to click. Phishers who have stolen access to your email account can do that, too.'"
Get Design Help from Internet Dwellers
User reaction is crucial to designing and tweaking new products and services, but getting solid feedback can be expensive. Will "crowdsourcing" help?
1 August 2008 | Kiplinger
by Aniket Kittur, Ed H. Chi & Bongwon Suh
Crowdsourcing may change the way companies gather information prior to putting their products on the market..."Crowdsourcing through 'micro-tasking' -- where many users perform tasks that take just minutes to perform for a small reward -- is already widely used for certain types of jobs, according to researchers at the groundbreaking Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)."
Dressing Rooms of the Future
22 July 2008 | Forbes
by Jeanine Poggi
"...'bricks and mortars have not done much to make shoppers want to spend more time in their stores,' says Bo Begole, principle scientist at PARC, a firm specializing in innovation and scientific research for technology companies. One solution might be installing a responsive mirror in retailer's dressing rooms...which allows shoppers to simultaneously see pictures of themselves in all the items they try on..."
Company sets focus on 'information overload'
21 July 2008 | abc7news
by Richard Hart
"'Everybody's being bombarded with more information than they can digest' says Teresa Lunt. As Director of the Computer Science Lab at Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), Lunt is leading a project to create a new kind of network for information. A network that provides it only when and where you need to know it -- context-based services."
ContentGuard Licenses Digital Rights Management Patents to Nokia Corporation
17 July 2008 | ContentGuard
ContentGuard Holding's, Inc., a leading developer of digital rights management (DRM) technology, today announced a worldwide patent licensing agreement with Nokia Corporation, a global leader in mobile products and services. ContentGuard was spun out of Xerox PARC in 2000...
Microsoft Buys Semantic Search Specialist Powerset
Microsoft has purchased San Francisco-based Powerset, an Internet search engine startup founded in October 2005 that specializes in so-called semantic search techniques.
2 July 2008 | SearchEngineWorld
by Lane R. Ellis
"'Powerset brings to Live Search a set of talented engineers and computational linguists,'[Microsoft Senior Vice President Satya] Nadella said, and praised the Powerset employees, called them a 'great team with a wide range of experience from other search engines and research organizations like PARC.' The roots of the Powerset's search technology date back more than three decades to methods founded by Xerox's famed PARC subsidiary, which the company has combined with its own in-house technology...
Nadella said Microsoft had acquired Powerset because 'we're impressed with the people there,' and because 'Powerset brings with it natural language technology that nicely complements other natural language processing technologies we have in Microsoft Research.'"
Microsoft to Acquire Powerset
1 July 2008 | Powerset
Microsoft has signed an agreement to acquire Powerset...a company set out to improve search by indexing Web pages based on the meaning expressed in them rather than just the literal words. Powerset licensed breakthrough technology from PARC...
The next search frontier: Just ask your question
Powerset aims to top Google by teaching computers to understand English.
18 June 2008 | CNNMoney.com
by Chris Taylor
"Powerset's main asset is a partnership with PARC.... In 2005, [Powerset co-founder Barney] Pell discovered that PARC researchers had been working for 30 years on turning English into software code. Pell promptly licensed PARC's research..."
Countermeasures against targeted attacks in the enterprise
12 June 2008 | SearchSecurity.com
by Markus Jakobsson
"Security organizations often struggle to compensate for unknowing employees who fall victim to social engineering attacks. It's the unenviable job of information security to prevent that from happening. In this tip, Markus Jakobsson details the ills of social data mining and how technology can help thwart attacks that seek to exploit trusted relationships."
Water scarcity woes point to big opportunities in desalination
12 June 2008 | VentureBeat
by Lee Bruno
"According to Meng Lean, manager of microfluidic systems at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the energy cost of desalination runs at about eight times that of conventional water... PARC researchers have been working on membrane-less filtration systems that have a very low energy cost [that] ...could eventually be used in pre-treatment for desalination systems."