home › parc in the news
PARC in the news
Smart technology scouting - Part 1
5 August 2010 | IT World blog
by Jennifer Ernst
PARC Director of Business Development Jennifer Ernst says: "Technology scouting has been happening for many years. Yet the models for how best to find and secure opportunities are still emerging as companies increasingly look outside." She shares some advice for effective technology scouting, including defining the Why and the What, and tackles the Who, Where, and How within the popular "want-find-get-manage" framework.
Printed Electronics Flexing their Muscles
20 July 2010 | Market Watch
by Lauren Rudser
"Circuits printed on flexible materials are the technology of the future, according to developers and innovators at Semicon West in San Francisco." PARC's Ana Claudia Arias describes a flexible tape that could enable different functionalities by changing sensors; for example, non-invasive medical applications for monitoring a patient's health or applying it to a box for monitoring its shipment.
Tiny Springs Could Reduce Microchip Waste
A new manufacturing approach could end the junking of several chips when one fails.
13 July 2010 | Technology Review
by Tom Simonite
"For now, the collaborators are developing their springy approach for the high-performance processors used in supercomputers or high-end servers. These chips are combined in closely packed groups known as multichip modules. Such modules need the processors to be packed closely together in order to speed the transfer of signals between them...They showed that their approach works on a test chip from Oracle that simulates the electrical and thermal behavior of a high-end processor."
If you've got great genes, it pays to be extrovert
5 July 2010 | New Scientist
by Bob Holmes
Meanwhile, evidence from a different quarter suggests that Lukaszewski might be onto something. Studies of individuals in immersive online "worlds" such as World of Warcraft show that their personas within the game become more gregarious when they are given subtly more attractive computer selves, or avatars, says Nick Yee of PARC. Indeed, the effect carried over into the real world for at least a few minutes, Yee says.
The Tesla IPO: Gentlemen, Start Your Electric Motors
28 June 2010 | Greentech Media
by Eric Wesoff
"Serdar Uckun of PARC believes in the inevitability of EVs, but contends that now may not be the right time for their ascendancy. He cites these significant gaps in battery technology..."
Creative Young Engineers Selected to Participate in NAE's 2010 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
25 June 2010 | The National Academies
by Janet Hunziker
PARC scientist Ana Arias is one of eighty-six of the nation's "brightest young engineers" chosen to participate in this year's National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 16th annual U.S. frontiers of Engineering Symposium being held September 23-25 in Armonk, New York.
Internationally recognized for her expertise in polymer-based electronics and flexible electronics (including organic light emitting diodes, photovoltaics, and thin-film transistors), Arias manages PARC’s printed electronic devices team. The team specializes in using inkjet printing techniques to fabricate organic, active matrix display backplanes for paper-like displays and most recently for flexible sensors.
The Age of the Mobile Mash-Up
29 May 2010 | CrunchGear
by Lars Erik Holmquist
Fortunately, we are not working in the dark – we can build on a foundation of several decades of research. Some 20 years ago, Mark Weiser, a research scientist at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto, had a vision of the future: he called it ubiquitous computing. He imagined that dozens, even hundred of small computers would be available everywhere, and seamlessly support us in our everyday tasks. Unlike the personal computers at the time, these devices would be un-tethered, user-friendly, aware of their surroundings, and conducive to communication and collaboration in the real world rather than through a screen. To explore this vision, he and his team built a number of computing devices in different sizes – they called them Tabs, Pads, and Boards. Each was connected to a wireless network and aware of its location and other factors in the environment, the so-called context.
Today, this vision is reality...
In Praise Of What Tech Lacks
We've built so much, thanks to what's missing.
27 May 2010 | Forbes
by Quentin Hardy
But if we step back a bit and look at the process of the creation of this or any other technology, there are implications that suggest much more is going on. That is what W. Brian Arthur did in his slim book entitled "The Nature of Technology," published last summer...Arthur is a trained engineer and economist who has worked at Stanford, PARC, and the Santa Fe Research Institute.
PARC's Teresa Lunt: 'Figuring out what is valuable for you to know right now'
26 May 2010 | Knowledge@Wharton
Teresa Lunt, who directs the computing science laboratory at the Palo Alto Research Center, is involved in a wide range of activities, including ubiquitous computing, security and privacy, and ethnography for organizational environments and technology design.
During a talk with Knowledge@Wharton at the recent Future of Publishing Conference in New York, she discussed a few of her current projects -- such as research into workplace efficiencies, a study on mobile advertising and the creation of a rich media information service for a customer in Japan.
An uncommon influence for a research paper
11 May 2010 | PhysOrg.com
An article written in 2004 by Lehigh engineering professor Mayuresh Kothare and his former student (PARC researcher) Ashish Pattekar has received more citations than any publication in its field. Titled “A microreactor for hydrogen production in micro fuel cell applications,” the paper has been cited 97 times.
"The paper describes one of the earliest attempts to integrate a chemical reactor on a silicon chip for micro fuel cell applications. 'A reformed hydrogen fuel cell could provide an order-of-magnitude increase in energy storage density over today’s batteries,' the researchers say."
PARC and its partners are developing a reformed hydrogen fuel cell power system that could yield energy storage densities at least 8X those of existing rechargeable batteries such as Lithium ion, and up to 4-5X that of current state-of-the-art fuel cell approaches.
Fast Moving Fronts - 2010
Ashish V. Pattekar & Mayuresh V. Kothare talk with ScienceWatch.com and answer a few questions about this month's Fast Moving Fronts paper in the field of Engineering.
1 May 2010 | ScienceWatch.com
One of us, Ashish V. Pattekar, is currently at PARC, which has an active cleantech program. In a recent analysis, we have compared this approach to that of the current recharging-discharging model of supplying portable power using batteries.
It turns out that, on a per watt-hour basis, the overall cycle of generating electricity in a coal-fired power plant and then converting to low-voltage DC for recharging at the point-of-use results in almost twice as much CO2 emissions overall, compared to the production and use of methanol in a portable fuel cell as discussed in our publication—leading to significant environmental benefits as well, apart from the performance improvements over today's rechargeable battery technology.
Palo Alto researchers create tool for dealing with Twitter's "information overload"
30 April 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Sarah Perez
"Researchers at PARC are developing a new Twitter client application that aims to derive meaning from the next-ending influx of tweets. The application...automatically groups tweets for you into topics mentioned either explicitly or, unlike most Twitter clients that also provide topic browsing, implicitly. The end result is a Twitter app you can use to quickly find the popular discussions within your own personal Twitter stream, either by search, tag cloud, timeline or category list. It even suggests tweets..."
What's in a Tweet?
The messages are hard for machines to interpret, but a new approach could help.
27 April 2010 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone
"Researchers at PARC are developing new ways to deal with the torrent of information flowing from social media sites like Twitter. They have developed a Twitter 'topic browser' that extracts meaning from the posts in a user's timeline. This could help users scan through thousands of tweets quickly, and the underlying technology could also offer novel ways of mining Twitter for information or for creating targeted advertising...Chi says that his team is working on a platform for managing various kinds of information streams...The longer-term goal, Chi says, is to build tools that can be optimized for enterprise customers."
Eddi organizes all the crap on Twitter into neat piles
A clever hack by PARC feeds tweets into a search engine, to extract their subject matter.
27 April 2010 | Fast Company
by Cliff Kuang
"...a group of researchers at the legendary PARC lab, in Palo Alto, has finally created an intuitive approach to browsing tweets that just might take hold...One highlights tweets that you'll probably find interesting, given who's writing them and any overlaps with your own tweeting history. But the second grouping system is really ingenious..."
It's Not All About You
26 April 2010 | Harvard Business Review
by Deborah Ancona & Elaine Backman
"Further, PARC employees learn the company's business model, financial priorities, and strategic imperatives so they can align their work to organizational objectives."
Challenging the limits of open society
23 April 2010 | The New York Times
by Anand Giridharadas
"To improve accuracy and avoid defamation, Wikipedia has added new layers of rules and editing, and the result has been a steady desertion by amateur editors and an increasing dominance by experts. Volunteers who make 100 or more edits a month now account for a majority of edits, and those who make 1,000 or more account for a quarter, according to Ed H. Chi, a researcher at PARC in California. "
Distributed leadership at work
On Leadership Panelists: Modern organizations need distributed leadership models to empower employees.
22 April 2010 | Washington Post
by Deborah Ancona
"For example, at PARC, engineers are encouraged to aim for 'triple word scores' that pair technical innovation with customer satisfaction and economic return for the firm."
Will we ever achieve the paperless office?
Paper use is falling, but only 1% a year
18 April 2010 | The Guardian
by Leo Hickman
"Imagine a world where you can 'call up documents from files on the screen, or by pressing a button', or get 'mail or any messages' from a 'TV-display terminal with keyboard'. These were the thoughts – in 1975 – of George E Pake, the head of Xerox Corporation's Palo Alto Research Center, when quizzed by BusinessWeek on what the office of the future would look like. Predicting 'a revolution in the office over the next 20 years', he pretty much nailed it – except for one detail. 'I don't know how much hard copy [printed paper] I'll want in this world.'"
Did Steve Jobs Steal The iPad? Genius Inventor Alan Kay Reveals All
Apple proclaims that the iPad is magical. Steve Jobs himself said that it would be one of the most important works of his life. But is there a story to the iPad that the public doesn't know? We take you 38 years into the past, when the iPad was invented.
17 April 2010 | Tom's Hardware
by Wolfgang Gruener
"Before you crucify me, yes, this article’s headline carries a bit of sensationalism, and depending on your perception of Apple, you have answered that question for yourself already. I don’t want to change what you already believe, but I would like to give you some food for thought. I will take you along a fascinating journey that took me back four decades in time to the origins of personal computing. There is a side of the iPad I am sure you don’t know."
Tech helps fuel green businesses
16 April 2010 | CNET News Green Tech
by Martin LaMonica
"It can be tempting to dismiss talk of sustainability in business as greenwash...But for someone who follows green-technology business developments every day, it reminded me of how deep the potential is for tech and business innovation. And in many cases, the Web and IT play a significant role, particularly for us consumers. Here are some of the ideas that were floating around...
"'We're looking at things in different ways. We're looking through the lens of sustainability and developing new technologies to address really big problems,' said Scott Elrod, vice president and director of hardware systems Laboratory at PARC, which is developing technologies for cheaper water treatment or techniques to convert carbon dioxide from power plants into a liquid fuel."
Will Twitter's Ad Strategy Work?
Twitter will have to overcome several challenges for the scheme to be successful.
15 April 2010 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone
"Michael Bernstein, a researcher at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at MIT, has been developing algorithms for automatically identifying the subject of tweets in conjunction with researchers from PARC, including senior research scientist Ed Chi. The good news, Bernstein says, is that a lot of the interaction on Twitter happens around trending topics (the most popular subjects of conversation at a given moment). Bernstein thinks Twitter could easily insert ads into these conversation streams, much as advertisers already target the audience of a particular show on television."
When Was the iPad Really Invented?
12 April 2010
by Chris Pirillo
"...He made a number of predictions, many of which are true of the iPad that Apple just released. In the paper, Kay states that 'current trends in miniaturization and price reduction almost guarantee that many of the notions discussed will actually happen in the near future'...How cool is it that we have gotten to be a part of history in the making?"
Why machines do not understand human speech
From the moment people are born, they learn to make associations and to understand words depending on the context of a sentence.
9 April 2010 | BBC News
by BBC Click [broadcast]
Over the years researchers have been making in-roads into improving voice recognition and speech-to-text software. But being able to recognise words is still a long way from machines actually understanding what people are saying. Now the American Palo Alto Research Centre (PARC) is working on an ambitious project with the aim to take computers' language skills to the next level. PARC's research on natural language processing was bought by search engine Powerset who combined it with data from online encyclopaedia Wikipedia...Microsoft has now bought Powerset technology for use on its Bing search engine.
PARC helps drive innovation in PE
8 April 2010 | Printed Electronics Now
by David Savastano
"Today, PARC is an independent for-profit entity, having been spun out by Xerox in 2002. With its background in printing, graphics, and foundational innovation, PARC has turned its expertise to the areas of printed and flexible electronics with key successes. The company developed printed thin-film transistors utilizing amorphous silicon (a-Si) on flexible substrates as early as 1983, and in 2003, created some of the first plastic semiconductors. Today, sensors and displays are among the key areas of focus for PARC. "
Apple iPad Was Conceived Nearly 40 Years Ago
The general design and specs for Apple's magical tablet were first outlined as the 'Dynabook' -- 38 years ago
6 April 2010 | PCWorld
by Preston Gralla
"...found a research paper...Kay described a portable, tablet PC with high resolution, a secure payment system, global information connectivity, the ability to play games, big storage capacity, and other specs that match the iPad. Amazingly enough, Kay wrote the paper in 1972, when even personal computers essentially didn't exist, must less portable ones with global connectivity. He even got the price right."
Building a handheld HIV detector
Researchers race to bring cheap HIV testing to rural regions of developing countries.
1 April 2010 | Inside Science
by Devin Powell
Researchers at PARC "have shrunk the laser technology inside large laboratory machines down to about the size of an iPod. Their cheap, handheld device promises to provide an immune system check-up on the spot and in less than 10 minutes. The technology analyzes a small sample of blood drawn by a finger prick. 'The quality of their test is great,' said researcher Bernhard Weigl of PATH, a non-profit reviewing a variety of CD4 testing technologies. 'If you look at their graph, it pretty much looked like the graph you would get from a big instrument.' PARC's prototype cost about $250 to build, a hundred times cheaper than the large flow cytometers currently in use."
How do you define innovation?
[invited/ guest contributed]
1 April 2010 | The Economist blog
by Mark Bernstein
"Innovation is a sorely overused word, yet we are constantly asked to define it. A number of theorists and practitioners have offered up their variations: product-, business model-, technology-, design-, radical-, incremental-, disruptive-, open-…and so the -innovation list goes on. I don't have a pat answer, catchy definition, or compelling metaphor for this. But here’s what I do know: however it is defined, innovation is a valuable change, unconstrained by the way things are. (In moving from Xerox PARC to PARC Inc., I think I can safely claim we’re speaking from experience.)..."
Scaling, collaboration are keys to maintaining U.S. cleantech edge
[invited/ guest contributed]
1 April 2010 | EE Times
by Scott Elrod
"...Why is this trend telling? The consequence of such slow materials development is that a new or complex materials like nanostructured photovoltaics do not have a real shot at mitigating global warming...Given the math, it is clear that global warming needs to be addressed by rapidly scaling the technologies that are already proven at gigawatt scales (wind, PV, nuclear), and by implementing energy savings technologies that are not based on radically new materials. So, while it might be possible for a technology or company to be a "winner" in terms of VC investment, this is not the same as winning against global warming. With those realities in mind, I highlight several promising technologies from the ARPA-Energy event:.."
Are you ready for the new, easier Wikipedia?
26 March 2010 | Search-Internet Marketing
"Wikipedia, the online user-created encyclopedia and the number six website on the Internet today, is about to get a makeover. And it’s a big one. According to a blog post from the Wikimedia Foundation User Experience team detailing the changes, the upcoming Wikipedia redesign, due to launch April 5th, aims to make the site easier to navigate, easier to search and, perhaps most importantly, easier to edit...Recent reports point to slowed growth, a downward trend that may be partly to blame on the increasingly complex editing process, according to some experts. Dr. Ed H Chi, a scientist at PARC in California, told the Telegraph that the site had become a 'more exclusive place,' where only a handful of the most experienced editors were responsible for editing and maintaining the site. In other words, Wikipedia became a site that wasn’t representing the 'wisdom of the crowds' anymore, but 'wisdom of an elite group.' That in, turn, may have caused the slowdown."
Mobile recommendation service now in field trials in Tokyo
25 March 2010 | Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), who collaborated with PARC just 3 years ago to extend its existing publishing business with the creation of new digital media technology platform, is now running a limited user trial of the resulting mobile recommender system. They are conducting the trials in the Ginza and Yurakucho districts of Tokyo through a downloadable iPhone application called "Machireco" (literally, "city" + "recommendation"), which provides recommendations based on location, history, user likes/dislikes, time of day, and other contextual information. DNP plans to monetize the service by offering it for all smart phones later this year.
Can this egg beater double the power output of wind farms?
If you make mini-tornadoes, you can get more power, says Wind Harvest
24 March 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos
"Vortexes might sound a bit New-Agey: Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids are alleged to be massive energy vortexes. But companies such as Watreco in Sweden and PARC are similarly trying to harness the physical forces generated of water vortexes to reduce the cost of desalination, water purification, and/or producing algae fuels. Vortexes also explain why fish can stay stable in onrushing currents and bicyclists or animals can travel in packs with less effort."
Creating Innovation in the PARC
Interview - Mark Bernstein of PARC
21 March 2010 | Blogging Innovation
by Braden Kelley
"I had the opportunity recently to interview Mark Bernstein, Chief Executive Officer of PARC. Mark Bernstein has been the head of PARC since 2001, when he led the firm in its transition from a research division of Xerox to an independent business. PARC is among the world's best-respected centers of research and innovation, and its relationships include client services for industry leaders in consumer electronics, information and decision systems, networking and communications, and renewable energy."
Innovation Hub in India
17 March 2010
PARC Director of Business Development Nitin Parekh, who was part of the brainstorming team, will be working with the recently launched Xerox India Innovation Hub to leverage opportunities for PARC technologies in India and other emerging markets, including Singapore and the Middle East.
Dowa presents 320–350nm UV LED samples
17 March 2010 | Semiconductor Today
by Mike Cooke
"The company is presently offering prototype samples emitting at wavelengths of 320–350nm with 1.4mW output power at 20mA current and is seeking to start mass production. The nitride semiconductor epitaxial layers are grown using technology developed by PARC in the USA and Japan’s RIKEN. Dowa sees opportunities for UV LED application in resin curing, adhesion, drying, medical treatment, analysis, photo catalysis, water purification and sterilization. A particular attraction of LEDs is their more environment-friendly character when compared with UV mercury lamps. The economic factor of longer life is also attractive."
Dowa Electronics Materials Co., Ltd., "has successfully developed practical applications for a deep ultraviolet LED that generates shorter wavelengths than the ultraviolet LEDs currently available on the market...The company created an LED with the world's highest output in wavelengths by combining the AIN template (high-quality AIN film growing on the sapphire substrate) that it has and an ultraviolet LED epi growth technology introduced from [the] PARC and RIKEN and by applying the technology."
A Talk with Charles Thacker, the Turing Winner
9 March 2010 | New York Times
by Steve Lohr
"The Turing Award, often called the Nobel prize of computer science, was announced...and the 2009 winner was Charles P. Thacker...a member of the storied crew who shaped the future of computing with a series of hardware, software and networking advances at Xerox PARC during the 1970s...Like many computer scientists of his generation, Mr. Thacker was a lapsed physicist who caught the engineering bug."
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.)"
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.'"
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.'"
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!"