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Original author: 
Johnny Chung Lee


A little less than than a year ago, I transfered to a new group within Motorola called Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) which was setup after the Google acquisition of Motorola last year (yes, Google owns Motorola now).

The person hired to run this new group is Regina Dugan, who was previously the director of the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency (DARPA). This is the same organization that funded projects such as ARPANET, the DARPA Grand Challenge, Mother of All Demos, Big Dog, CALO (which evolved into Apple's Siri), Exoskeletons, and Hypersonic Vehicles that could reach any point on earth in 60 minutes.

It's a place with big ideas powered by big science.

The philosophy behind Motorola ATAP is to create an organization with the same level of appetite for technology advancement as DARPA, but with a consumer focus. It is a pretty interesting place to be.

One of the ways DARPA was capable of having such a impressive portfolio of projects is because they work heavily with outside research organizations in both industry and academia.  If you talk to a university professor or graduate student in engineering, there is a very good chance their department has a DARPA funded project.  However, when companies want to work with universities, it has always been notoriously difficult to get through the paperwork of putting research collaborations in place due to long legal discussions over IP ownership and commercialization terms lasting several months.

To address this issue head on, ATAP created a Multi-University Research Agreement (MURA). A single document that every university partner could sign to accelerate the collaboration between ATAP and research institutions, reducing the time to engage academic research partners from several months to a couple weeks. The agreement has been signed by Motorola, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Texas A&M University, and Virginia Tech.  As we engage more research partners, their signatures will be added to the same document.

"The multi-university agreement is really the first of its kind," said Kaigham J. Gabriel, vice president and deputy director of ATAP. "Such an agreement has the potential to be a national model for how companies and universities work together to speed innovation and US competitiveness, while staying true to their individual missions and cultures."

This may seem a little dry.  But to me, what it means is that I can approach some of the smartest people in the country and ask, "do you want to build the future together?" and all they have to say is, "yes."

Let's do it.

Full press release here.

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Original author: 
Amir Efrati

In one of the largest exoduses from Stanford University’s computer-science programs, more than a dozen students have left to launch a startup called Clinkle Corp. that aims to let other students — and eventually anyone — use their mobile devices to pay for goods and services.

Several professors also are funding and advising the company, in what may be the epitome of a Stanford-fueled startup.

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aaron swartz lead

I met Aaron Swartz in Cambridge shortly after he’d been indicted for downloading lots of JSTOR articles on MIT’s network in 2011. My Wired colleague Ryan Singel had been writing about his story, and I’d talked a lot with my friends in academia and publishing about the problems of putting scholarship behind a paywall, but that was really the level at which I was approaching it. I was there to have brunch with friends I’d known a long time only through the internet, and I hadn’t known Aaron that way. I certainly didn’t want to use the brunch to put on my journalist hat and pepper him with questions. He was there primarily to see his partner Quinn Norton’s daughter Ada, with whom he had a special bond. The two of them spent...

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Panda: A System for Provenance and Data

Google Tech Talk October 26, 2012 (more info below) Presented by Jennifer Widom, Stanford University. ABSTRACT The goal of the Panda (Provenance and Data) project has been to develop a general-purpose system for modeling, capturing, storing, exploiting, and querying data provenance in a wide range of applications. Abstractly, provenance (also referred to as lineage) describes where data came from and how it has been processed over time. In Panda we consider "data-oriented workflows" whose nodes are arbitrary queries and transformations, challenging us to integrate data-based and process-based provenance, to handle a spectrum from well-understood to opaque transformations, and to develop compositional formalisms and algorithms suitable for arbitrary workflows. On the system side, we strive to enable efficient provenance operations while keeping the capture overhead low. In this talk, we lay the foundations for data-oriented workflows, then discuss how provenance is defined and captured in this environment. We describe the basic provenance-enabled operations of backward tracing, forward tracing, forward propagation, and refresh, and explain how we support these operations in three settings: provenance as general predicates, provenance as attribute mappings, and provenance in workflows composed exclusively of Map and Reduce functions. We briefly describe the prototype Panda system, and we discuss possible follow-on work: extensions to the provenance model and operations <b>...</b>
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Genius is at Your Fingertips: Jason Chua and Eugene Korsunskiy at TEDxManhattanBeach.mp4

According to his mom, Jason Chua learned to read by staring at cars and road signs from his car seat, and he has been fascinated with moving vehicles ever since. This might explain why, upon graduating with degrees in product design and mechanical engineering from Stanford University, he promptly set off on a 14000 mile road trip across the country in a truck full of tools. A strong believer in the value of creative exploration and prototyping, Jason has spent the past four months on the road with SparkTruck, a project he co-founded at the Stanford d.school that seeks to inspire, enable, and celebrate young creators all over America. Having come to this country as a 9 year old with limited English skills, Eugene Korsunskiy knows a thing or two about feeling scared in unfamiliar situations. Now that he has a Masters degree in design from Stanford University, he wants to help other 9 year olds get over their fear of the unknown and prototype their way through failure. This summer, he spent four months on the road with SparkTruck, a project he co-founded at the Stanford d.school that seeks to promote "buildy" confidence through hands-on tinkering. AboutTEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self <b>...</b>
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stanford logo change

Earlier today, we reported that the prestigious Stanford University quietly, but officially, changed its logo.

The question on many an alum's mind: Why?

Business Insider talked to Lisa Lapin, associate VP of university communications and the woman who oversaw the update, and it looks like the reason for the change was very Stanford-appropriate.

It turns out that the university — which is in the heart of Silicon Valley and has produced tech giants including the founders of Google, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard — was using a logo that just didn't work in the digital world.

"The other mark is very pretty and academic and classic, but it was designed specifically for print and stationery," Lapin said."The world has changed in the last 10 years."

Lapin explained that the previous font "didn't work digitally. It's too thin and fine. People were struggling with the mark online, and we were struggling even further when we were making mobile sites — It doesn't translate to an iPhone screen."

The previous logo also didn't translate well to signatures (like for the school of Engineering) and clothing, so the university primarily went with block letters that merely resembled the official font.

Thus, Stanford hired Bright, a design firm out of Marina del Rey, to create a new logo. Bright had previously done the mark for UCLA.

stanford law school"They spent a lot of time studying Stanford's architecture," Lapin told BI. "They did come up with a font that reflects the architecture of the campus, primarily the arches."

Since the logo is now a trademarked piece of original art, this solves another challenge of Stanford's old mark: Licensing.

The last logo was Sabon font, and Lapin explained that was expensive to license.

"Lots of units wanted to have it throughout the campus, so we were spending," she said.

Now Stanford owns the logo design, which means that it can also prevent others from replicating the school's likeness by just using Sabon art.

But don't worry, the emblematic tree and Stanford seal aren't going anywhere.

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