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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Speculation on networking alternatives
16 November 2010 | SearchSOA

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

...Context-Aware Computing.

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


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

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

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

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


Supplying Less, Revealing More
Will automatic filters help people deal with information overload?
15 October 2010 | Technology Review
by Erica Naone

"Social Lens is far from the only such project, even within IBM. At the same event, the company demonstrated Audrey, a system that tries to solve the same problem by focusing on personalization. The Palo Alto Research Center's Augmented Social Cognition team is also developing tools that can help business users navigate the landscape of social media efficiently, and Microsoft's Fuse Labs is conducting similar experiments.

Technologies to refine the flow of updates are definitely needed to help people work efficiently, says Joanne Cantor, outreach director of the Center for Communication Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of the book Conquer Cyberoverload."


Thinfilm, PARC team on polymer memory
Thinfilm Film Electronics ASA, a provider of polymer memory technology, has announced it is working with Palo Alto Research Center Inc., a subsidiary of Xerox, to develop memory technology enabled through printed electronics.
14 October 2010 | EE Times [international]
by Peter Clarke

"Thinfilm (Oslo, Norway) has been commercializing printed, rewritable memory using ferroelectric polymer material for application in specific markets — including toys and games — for a number of years and is developing contact‐based memory arrays for higher‐capacity applications. Combining Thinfilm's memory with PARC's printed thin‐film transistor technology will allow the development of integrated systems as part of Thinfilm's product roadmap, the company said."


Check Out PARC’s 40th Anniversary Doings
8 October 2010 | AllThingsD
by Kara Swisher

"Recently, there was an event in Silicon Valley to celebrate the 40th anniversary of PARC, the pioneering research facility that birthed a lot of tech’s most potent innovations. Ever heard of laser printing or Ethernet networking or the graphical user interface? Yes, that and much more...Here are some videos from the celebration, including an alumni panel, as well as predictions for 40 years hence:"


PARC guys blue-skying about the future
Beyond the Beyond
7 October 2010 | Wired
by Bruce Sterling

"*That video down there, where all these veteran PARC pundits are handwaving at their
celebratory party, is really kinda great."


PARC, R&D and the ROI of Long-Term Thinking
1 October 2010 | The Thinking Executive
by Leslie L. Kossoff

"The former Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) - now just PARC - just celebrated its 40th anniversary. And what a track record of innovation it has... It was, originally, Xerox's closed door R&D house for all the technological innovations that any of their researchers pursued. The scientists and researchers at PARC changed the face of technology. They still are.

...Long term thinking leads to high ROI."


Silicon Valley tech innovator PARC celebrates 40th anniversary
Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center has been an ever-evolving lesson in how corporations can and should manage R&D.
29 September 2010 | LA Times
by Michael Hiltzik

"Institutions, like human beings, often treat their 40th birthdays as occasions for mid-life stock-taking. So it's not surprising that the 40th anniversary celebration at PARC last week was devoted as much to looking ahead to the future as to looking back at its fabled history...

I've been a close observer of PARC for more than a decade. That's not only because it's been that long since I wrote 'Dealers of Lightning,' a book about the place, but because PARC has been an ever-evolving lesson in how corporations can and should manage R&D — not only the innovations that play to their core markets, but those they can't exploit themselves."


NSF Grant Boosts Content-Centered Internet Architecture Research
28 September 2010 | Computing Now
by George Lawton

"Research to improve the underlying Internet architecture got a boost in August with a $7.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Named Data Networking (NDN) aims to enable direct access to network content by name, without reference to specific source and destination machines, as today's TCP/IP transport suite requires...

[UCLA's Lixia] Zhang will lead the NDN project, which includes researchers from eight other universities. Additionally, Van Jacobson, a research fellow at PARC, will be the NDN chief architect. Jacobson launched PARC's content-centric networking (CCN) research, which is contributing early protocol specification and open source as a base for the NDN project...

Jacobson expects network carriers, telcos, and cable companies to be early commercial adopters. In the long haul, he sees NDN changing the way data is shared across personal computing devices. Instead of transferring movies, songs, and calendar information to each new device we use, we can have our settings and content follow us. 'Users won't have to manage the plumbing to get what they want,' he said."


DOE Selects EPRI Collaborative to Lead Cyber Security Project
Initiative aims to secure electric sector from cyber attacks.
28 September 2010 | distributedenergy.com
by press release

"The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) said today that the U.S. Department of Energy has selected its cyber security collaborative to assess and develop technologies, best practices, metrics and standards to protect the U.S. electric sector against cyber attacks. The DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and the collaborative will negotiate a funding level for the public-private research initiative.

The EPRI-led collaborative comprises national research and commercial research laboratories, universities, and subject mater experts in key areas of cyber security... The participants bring diverse experience in technology, business, standards and policy. It was among 10 cyber security initiatives representing an investment of more than $30 million that was announced last week in Washington by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.

...The EPRI-led collaborative comprises Enernex, Flowers CCS, Xanthus Consulting International, N-Dimension, Palo Alto Research Center [PARC], SRI, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Sandia National Lab, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Telcordia, University of Houston, Mladen Kezunovic (Texas A&M University), University of Minnesota Smart Grid consortium (including Adventium Labs and Honeywell), UCLA, UC Berkeley, Inguardians, and Arc Technical. Siemens and ABB..."


Enough with the Keyword Searches: New Outlook Plug-In Uses More "Human" Ways of Reeling In Information
Meshin first to apply semantic technology to search tool that scans email, RSS feeds, social networks
28 September 2010 | Meshin
by press release

"Incubated at PARC, a Xerox company, Meshin is part of Xerox's effort to develop technologies that help businesses gain back productivity that has been lost when trying to manage the overload of information bombarding today's knowledge worker."


What PARC Will Do with Its Next 40 Years
IT Infrastructure
27 September 2010 | eWeek
by Chris Preimesberger

"In human terms, the Palo Alto Research Center is in middle age, but it continues to invent important things with youthful vigor..."


PARC has a plan to make the internet more speedy
26 September 2010 | VentureBeat
by Dean Takahashi

"...content-centric networking, or CCN. It’s a complex technology based on a simple idea."


Meshin brings semantic smarts to organizing your email
26 September 2010 | VentureBeat
by Dean Takahashi

"...Meshin, a startup that is being incubated inside PARC...uses semantic technology, or artificial intelligence techniques that allow a computer to parse natural language and understand it."


Kiffets.com - Read Only The News That Matters
26 September 2010 | KillerStartups

"Presented by PARC, Kiffets is a social indexing engine that can recommend content to users based on their interests, tastes and preferences...

At the end of the day, if we see so many engines for the automatic recommendation of content then that is simply because the Web grows in depth by the minute. Ultimately, which one you would choose might as well be a matter of personal tastes - they all are quite effective. Kiffets certainly is, with its mixture of self-learning technology and human input to curate what is featured. Give it a try and see if it is in your wavelength or not - you can do it for free."


PARC Predicts the Future of Mobile Tech, Circa 1991
In 1991 Xerox PARC shared a vision of the future and 'ubiquitous computing' that resembles today's digital trends dominated by tablet devices and smartphones.
24 September 2010 | PCWorld
by Harry McCracken, Technologizer

"I'm spending the afternoon at PARC -- the Xerox subsidiary formerly known as the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center -- for a fascinating event celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the legendary research organization. Ethernet, laser printers, and much of the concepts and technologies in every modern graphical user interface all emerged from PARC; among the many legendary alums here today are Adele Goldberg, Alan Kay, Bob Metcalfe, and Charles Simonyi. And I just shook the hand of the man sitting next to me -- Alvy Ray Smith, a computer graphics pioneer and former PARC employee who cofounded Pixar.

...[the video] doesn't predict the iPhone-but it's still fascinating and prescient, like much of the work done at PARC over the past four decades."


PARC at 40
24 September 2010 | Connected Internet
by George Garza

"Eight years ago, PARC spinned off from Xerox and serves as a research hub for other companies. It is still very much in the middle of the future of technology. PARC is deep into clean tech, biomedical engineering, and natural language processing. It counts Microsoft, Dai Nippon Printing, Sun/Oracle, Samsung, NEC, and Fujitsu among its clients. Many of its other high-profile clients prefer to keep their relationship with PARC secret so as not to tip of competitors."


PowerCloud, D-Link Prep Managed APs for SMBs
24 September 2010 | PCMag
by Mark Hachman

"A company incubated by PARC is preparing to launch a managed access point for small businesses, a niche that the company claims is not adequately being served by other companies. PowerCloud Systems and its partner, D-Link, are preparing to launch the D-Link AirPremier N, a line of 802.11n access points with the company's remote-management software, called CloudCommand, built in. PowerCloud showed off its managed AP system as part of PARC's fortieth anniversary, where PARC incubated PowerCloud as part of PARC's Startup@PARC program."


Six Definitions of Smart Content
24 September 2010 | The Intelligent Enterprise blog
by Seth Grimes

"Smart Content is information, typically originating in unstructured formats, that is findable, reusable, more profitable (however measured) for the producer, and more useful for the consumer. While technology facilitates smart content, it is business value -- not analytics, semantics, or XML storage -- that is central. This principle, and the realization that others from diverse backgrounds may have differing and informative views, underpin the Smart Content conference, October 19 in New York...

I recruited PARC's Mark Stefik...for the Visionaries Panel that opens the Smart Content conference. Mark's smart content definition, he says, came out of discussions at PARC..."


PARC Turns 40: The 'Oldest Startup' Preps for the Future
23 September 2010 | PCMag
by Mark Hachman

"It's not that far-fetched to say that as PARC celebrates its 40th anniversary this week, so too does Silicon Valley...

As one of the centerpieces of Silicon Valley, PARC has driven and reacted to change, inspiring and being inspired by generations of startups. We sat down with Tamara St. Claire, vice president of global business development for PARC, to find out how PARC has moved from a research house to an 'innovation center,' and on what technologies PARC is placing its bets."


PARC Looks Back on 40 Years of Invention
IT Infrastructure
23 September 2010 | eWeek
by Chris Preimesberger

"PARC started out...as Xerox PARC, the R&D arm of Xerox. The idea was not to build a better document copier but to get into the overall 'business of breakthroughs,' as the institution describes itself. In 2002, PARC was incorporated as a wholly owned yet independent subsidiary company of Xerox. Currently, PARC has an impressive list of customers, with about 40 percent of its business from Xerox and 30 percent from government contracts. Its 2009 revenue was about $60 million. Many familiar inventions were dreamed up at PARC, including the graphical user interface for computers, laser printing, computer programming languages, Ethernet networking and VLSI (very large-scale integration) circuit design. The following slide show highlights some of those innovations."


Silicon Nanowires for Solar, Desalination Via Gravity on Tap at PARC’s 40th
The legendary lab turns 40. Here is what’s next. Video too.
23 September 2010 | Greentech Media
by Michael Kanellos

"...many of the presentations focused on how the lab managed to come up with and popularize some of its storied inventions, while also looking toward the future."


PARC celebrates its 40 years of Silicon Valley innovation
23 September 2010 | CNET News
by Daniel Terdiman

"Most people who spoke up on the topic seemed to agree that the secret sauce that made PARC so successful was its highly talented employees."...

"These days, eight years after its 2002 spin-off, PARC is no longer serving Xerox exclusively but is still very much in the middle of the future of technology. According to Tamara St. Claire, PARC's vice president of global business development, the research hub is deep into clean tech, biomedical engineering, and natural language processing, among others, and counts among its clients Microsoft, Dai Nippon Printing, Sun/Oracle, Samsung, NEC, and Fujitsu. Many of its other high-profile clients prefer to keep their relationship with PARC secret so as not to tip off competitors, St. Claire said."


Reverse Combustion: Can CO2 Be Turned Back into Fuel?
Various efforts are underway to find a cheap, efficient and scalable way to recycle the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into the hydrocarbons that fuel civilization
23 September 2010 | Scientific American
by David Biello

PARC work included in video.


Inside the labs of PARC
23 September 2010 | SmartPlanet
by Deborah Gage

"Not all of PARC’s projects were hits, though, and over time, making a profit from the lab became more important to Xerox. So in 2002 it spun PARC out as a subsidiary. PARC’s researchers now work with government agencies and private companies in addition to Xerox, whose managers want PARC’s inventions commercialized where possible."


Playing Woodward and Bernstein at Xerox PARC
Tech Talk blog
22 September 2010 | IEEE Spectrum
by Tekla Perry

"So the story of Xerox PARC was irresistible—a research lab with amazing technology that was reported to have an incredibly special work environment, including a room full of beanbag chairs used for meetings."


PARC Turns 40
WYSIWYG, the "worm," and the Smalltalk language are just a few of the computing innovations dreamed up at the famed research center
22 September 2010 | Dr. Dobb's blog

"The Palo Alto Research Center, better known as PARC, turns 40 this year. Founded by Xerox Corporation in 1970 under the direction of Dr. George Pake, the charter for Xerox PARC was to create 'the office of the future,' and the storied center for technological innovation has more than made good on its mission."


Innovation PARCs here
Palo Alto Research Center that paved way for PCs in the '70s is far from fading, but now looking to solar and other new technologies
22 September 2010 | San Jose Mercury News
by Troy Wolverton

"While acclaimed for inventing the laser printer, the desktop interface for PCs and the idea of 'ubiquitous computing' that paved the way for the PalmPilot and iPad, PARC isn't mired in the past. If anything, PARC, which was spun off from Xerox in 2002, has a broader mission today...

'PARC has not just survived but it's absolutely thriving,' said Paul Saffo, a longtime valley watcher and the managing director of foresight at San Francisco-based Discern Analytics. 'It's a vibrant organization that is still helping reinvent the future. ...An astounding number of the foundational ideas for Silicon Valley came out of PARC,' Saffo said."


PARC, where technology suddenly turned 'personal'
War on Error blog
21 September 2010 | Techworld
by John E. Dunn

"The fabled PARC celebrates its official 40th anniversary this month, another opportunity for a grateful industry to ask the relevant question: where did it all go right?"


PARC turns 40: Marking four decades of tech innovations
On its 40th anniversary, PARC researchers provide a behind-the-scenes peek into the company's culture and projects, past and present.
20 September 2010 | Computerworld
by Todd R. Weiss

"For 40 years, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (commonly called Xerox PARC, now just PARC) has been a place of technological creativity and bold ideas. The inventions it has spawned, from Ethernet networking to laser printing and the graphical user interface (GUI), have led to myriad technologies that allow us to use computers in ways that we take for granted today...

As PARC prepared to celebrate the start of its fifth decade in ceremonies at its Palo Alto headquarters on Sept. 23, Computerworld talked with some of the key people in PARC's acclaimed history, asking them what it was like to work for Xerox PARC years ago and what they're working on today. Here are their stories, in their own words."


PARC turns 40: mice, money, and the new interwebs
A place whose time has come. Again
20 September 2010 | The Register
by Gavin Clarke

"Spend enough time talking to anybody involved with PARC's present or past and at some point, they'll tell you the same thing: contrary to popular thinking, the 'ideation' phase of development is 'easy.' That takes just 20 per cent of your time. Developing that idea into a successful or desirable technology or business is the sweaty part."


Getting Personal: A Q&A with a PARC Pioneer Reflecting on "The Office of the Future" 40 Years Later
PARC research fellow David Biegelsen, who has been at Xerox's legendary R&D lab from the beginning, talks with Scientific American about being at the forefront of the personal computing revolution that changed the way we work and live
18 September 2010 | Scientific American
by Larry Greenemeier

"Nevertheless, to a large extent, today's sprawling array of software apps, wireless gadgets and social networks owe their existence to a team of researchers that was assembled 40 years ago in California's fledgling Silicon Valley to envision and create 'the office of the future'...

PARC may have missed out on becoming a household name, but few could deny that the organization has demonstrated an uncanny ability to envision technology way ahead of its time. Researchers there continue to work in dozens of areas, including water treatment, renewable energy generation, organic and printed electronics, and artificial intelligence. Earlier this month the National Science Foundation chose a team that includes PARC as one of four project teams to participate in the Future Internet Architecture program. PARC, which was incorporated in 2002 as a wholly owned independent subsidiary of Xerox, is part of a project (with nine universities) worth about $8 million to develop an architecture called 'Named-Data-Networking,' which seeks to create a more flexible and secure network by identifying data through names (rather than numbers alone) and routing it based on those names.

We caught up with David Biegelsen, a charter member of Xerox PARC and currently a research fellow, to talk about PARC's early days, its bittersweet successes and its future. PARC is holding a formal celebration of its 40th anniversary on September 23."


Future of Context-Aware Computing
15 September 2010 | PCMag.com
by Matthew Murray

"In his keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum here this morning, Intel vice president and chief technology officer Justin Rattner focused on "context-aware computing," in which devices anticipate your needs and desires and help fulfill them—before you even ask...

Context-aware computing was first described back in 1991 at PARC, and Principal Scientist and Manager of the Ubiquitous Computing Area Bo Begole joined Rattner onstage to discuss the theory and history of the movement. They admitted there hasn't been much commercial success for context-aware computing yet, but that they believed 2010 was the beginning of the mainstream adoption of the idea."


How Context-Aware Computing Will Make Gadgets Smarter
Gadget Lab
15 September 2010 | Wired
by Priya Ganapati

"Context-aware computing is different from the simple sensor-based applications seen on smartphones today...

Researchers have been working for more than two decades on making computers be more in tune with their users. That means computers would sense and react to the environment around them. Done right, such devices would be so in sync with their owners that the former will feel like a natural extension of the latter.

'The most profound technology are those that disappear,' Mark Weiser, chief scientist at PARC and father of the term 'ubiquitous computing' told in 1991 about context awareness in machines. 'They are those that weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life.'"


Meet your next 'Net?
Academics rethink the Internet's guts
10 September 2010 | Ars Technica
by Matthew Lasar

"Now NSF has given her [UCLA's Lixia Zhang, working with PARC and other institutions] $1.5 million to evaluate this NDN concept for its scalability, security, and privacy via testbeds, simulations, and theoretical models."


NSF: Time for an Internet do-over
Future Internet Architecture grant winners to address routing, security, wireless and cloud computing
9 September 2010 | Network World
by Bob Brown

"The National Science Foundation (NSF) has doled out grants worth up to $32 million in total to a pack of universities [and a corporation, PARC] dedicated to rethinking everything about the Internet from from its core routing system to its security architecture and addressing the emergence of cloud computing and an increasingly mobile society...project – which focuses on the Internet's central role in content creation and dissemination – uses a 'dramatically different' routing approach than IP routing..."


PARC Tapped to Research the Future Internet
IT Infrastructure
7 September 2010 | eWeek
by Darryl K. Taft

"The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded the famed PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) research institution to look into the creation of a new Internet architecture."


PARC Releases New Semantic Technology (in Form of an Outlook Plugin)
6 September 2010 | ReadWriteWeb
by Sarah Perez

"At first glance, [Outlook plugin] Meshin looks like the ugly stepsister to a similar Outlook tool called Xobni, as it also loads into an email sidebar window, displaying sections dedicated to recent conversations and a summary of attachments shared back and forth via email, among other things. But what makes Meshin different is the engine powering it underneath: a semantic technology that uses 'natural language processing' to understand entities, how they connect and what they mean.

...Meshin arose from a Xerox-funded project inside PARC whose goal is to commercialize older PARC IP for a broader audience. The project has been in development for only a year, with a small core team and support from PARC researchers. The long-term goal for Meshin is to extend itself beyond Outlook, in order to connect other types of information streams together."


New PARC grant worth up to $8M
1 September 2010 | Silicon Valley/ San Jose Business Journal

"PARC -- the sole commercial organization funded within the entire FIA program -- will be collaborating with nine universities in a team led by UCLA."


Re-thinking the Internet with security and mobility in mind
31 August 2010 | Scientific American
by Larry Greenemeier

"The Internet's original design accounts primarily for information to be passed from one host server to another along a wired network. Attempts to secure these hosts and networks have come as an afterthought (ARPANET was originally a closed network) and have struggled to keep pace with society's expanding economic and social reliance on the Internet. Likewise, the host-based architecture (where computers seek access to information from a specific server or group of servers) is starting to look creaky as the number of computers and mobile devices seeking access multiplies exponentially each year.

An NSF-sponsored FIA project headed by Lixia Zhang, a computer science professor at UCLA, seeks to create a more efficient Internet through the distribution of data." Zhang and her team [which includes PARC] are developing what they call a Named Data Networking (NDN) architecture...


Make Your Outlook Inbox Smarter with Meshin [INVITES]
30 August 2010 | Mashable
by Christina Warren

"Quick Pitch: Meshin is an Outlook sidebar that organizes information contextually so that you can work faster and smarter.

Genius Idea: Using semantic technology and natural language processing, Meshin can take information from your inbox and connect it with related information on the web and conversations on social networks.

Meshin is a Xerox-funded project incubated at PARC, where the Meshin team has worked on developing semantic technologies to create what they call 'context-aware information services'. In other words, this is technology that can go beyond keyword matching and create actual meaning."


The smart grid - utilizing demand response technologies
28 August 2010 | Examiner.com
by Michal Lenchner

"‘Intelligent’ power grids present us with several possibilities...The following upcoming events will focus on these questions and more, discuss the integration of large scale and residential technology, innovative business models, and investments and returns. The challenges that smart grid enterprise faces will drive innovation and move us forward."


NSF Announces Future Internet Architecture Awards
Awards will help develop new ideas and innovations towards the development of a more robust, secure and reliable Internet
27 August 2010 | NSF press release
by National Science Foundation

"The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today awards for four new projects, each worth up to $8 million over three years, as part of the Future Internet Architecture (FIA) program. These awards will enable researchers at dozens of institutions across the country to pursue new ways to build a more trustworthy and robust Internet. Earlier this year, NSF challenged the network science research community to look past the constraints of today's networks and engage in collaborative, long-range, transformative thinking inspired by lessons learned and promising new research ideas..." PARC is a collaborating institution for Named Data Networking.


First Real-time Search, Now Real-time Sentiment. But Does It Work?
26 August 2010 | Marketing Vox

"While such offerings are still experimental for many marketers, those in the field believe they will become a commonplace tool in the future. Ed Chi, [PARC] area manager... says companies will eventually recognized the value of tracking sentiment as part of a public-relations effort..."


Wired For Information: A Brain Built To Google
26 August 2010 | MediaPost
by Gord Hotchkiss

"In my last Search Insider, I took you on a neurological tour that gave us a glimpse into how our brains are built to read. Today, let's dig deeper into how our brains guide us through an online hunt for information...[PARC's} Peter Pirolli believes we 'forage' for information, using the same inherent mechanisms we would use to search for food. So, we hunt for the 'scent' of our quarry, but in this case, rather than the smell of food, it's more likely that we lodge the concept of our objective in our heads. And depending on what that concept is, our brains recruit the relevant neurons to help us pick out the right 'scent' quickly from its surroundings.  If our quarry is something visual, like a person or thing, we probably picture it. But if our brain believes we'll be hunting in a text-heavy environment, we would probably picture the word instead. This is the way the brain primes us for information foraging...

This starts to paint a fascinating and complex picture of what our brain might be doing as we use a search engine."


Mining Mood Swings on the Real-Time Web
24 August 2010
by Erica Naone

"Experts agree that sentiment-analysis tools are becoming increasingly significant as companies try to stay on top of the discussions happening across the Web...Ed Chi, [an area manager at PARC]...believes that eventually companies will need to track sentiment as part of a comprehensive public-relations effort. Future platforms could classify topics being discussed, suggest possible responses, and analyze a company's message to determine how likely it is to go viral. 'Sentiment analysis will be a component of a much larger dashboard,' Chi says."


Innovating when you don’t know what you don’t know: The view from PARC
[invited/ guest contributed]
16 August 2010 | Xconomy San Francisco
by Mark Bernstein

Startups, especially in Silicon Valley, have been glorified as the vehicles of disruption and creative destruction...Yet… the reality is, when corporations are innovating incrementally, there’s probably not much difference between acquiring a startup, licensing a patent or two from a university, or building a technology with internal R&D. Because in all these cases, the company clearly knows what it wants...But what happens when the market doesn’t exist yet?...

What if there’s a disruptive change in the industry? An incremental venture in a disrupted market yields a delta of 0.1 when a 1.0 change is happening. When a corporation wants to innovate exponentially—create a new business or initiate a potential market—the question becomes: how do you acquisitively or organically grow when you don’t know what you don’t know?


Smart technology scouting - Part 1
[curated syndication]
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
by interview

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."


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:.."


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.)..."


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.

view screenshots and/or download iTunes (Japan) app here


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."


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."


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 succeeds in practical application for mass production of a deep ultraviolet LED chip having the world's highest output
15 March 2010 | Asahi

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."


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."


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."


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.