back to article Intel invests millions in social computing research center

At Intel Labs' annual outing, Chipzilla has announced it is investing millions in a new social research center and explained how it plans to avoid the mistakes of researchers in the past. The new Intel Science Technology Center is a $15m program funding five years of research into social and anthropological research into how …


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  1. William Higinbotham

    I do not see the connection

    I feel that Palo Alto Research Center did not fail. What fails with most research centers is the managers decisions on projects. The lack of concepts, ideas/connections to applications or more applicable - fads/gimmicks. Also allot of research is on cutting edge design and development - high cost to manufacture. Most research is only to provide incentive to build patents (to possibly sell to another company) and publish papers. It looks like IBM beat Intel already. See NY Post - Big Blue is turning into your Big Brother

    Read more:

  2. Graham Wilson

    Cynical me.

    Cynical me, but it smells--pongs--of subterfuge. Reckon it's an excellent way for Intel to lock up and protect new and future patents by obfuscating the 'real' reason for its existence. Social computing--ergonomics et al--will be researched but ultimately the research will end up in patents.

    After all, the lesson learned is that ultimately the Palo Alto Research Center failed to protect or properly utilize its patents.

    1. DryBones

      Re: Cynical me.

      Bang on. This is doublespeak for "We're going to look into all the different ways you can interact with data, and patent them. Then you'll be paying us if you want to use your technology in a new way."

      Appropriate icon is appropriate.

  3. Don Jefe

    PARC Fail?

    You're sure PARC was a failure? They may not have maximized revenues on some of their developments but they did give Jobs & Gates something to play with & their toys sparked an online war that's still going on.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      Re: PARC Fail?

      It didn't fail as a creative enterprise, but it probably failed in terms of making Xerox shedloads of cash. Imagine if you will a world where Xerox had been the ones to bring to market Ethernet, the personal computer, etc. It probably wouldn't make that much of a difference to the consumer, but Xerox would be a household name for something besides unreliable photocopiers.

    2. Graham Wilson

      @Don Jefe - Re: PARC Fail?

      Is only is if you think it should be Xerox Windows or PARC Windows instead of Microsoft Windows.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The big failure is that while R&D people can create revolutionary stuff, it is too difficult for the management to identify what is revolutionary and what is just whacky.

    You only have to see the failures at Microsoft with to see that people in authority can behave like children. Cleartype and the lack of a touchscreen capable version of Office are two big examples of that.

    Intel have never produced anything revolutionary as far as I know, just evolutions of existing tech. Even Thunderbolt is just PCI express sent across a wire.

  5. MondoMan

    'tweren't PARC, but Doug Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute who invented the mouse.

  6. steeplejack

    I have just read this article twice. What is it on about?

    Please can the writer take lessons in plain English.

  7. mvbii

    From one who was there...

    I worked at X during the 70's and 80's. I never worked at PARC (I didn't have the requisite PhD). I had one of the first Altos outside of California in 1975 in Dallas, Texas. From '75 to '90 when I was downsized out, I used PARC technology daily to do my job. In the late '80's I had responsibility to take some of PARC technology to the market. On Jan 1, 1986 X sponsored a multimillion $ extravaganza at Lincoln Center in NYC to announce a set of integrated products. I personally managed the installation support of many of these products at the show and at some first customers with my group from CA. These inventions were taken to market by X, BUT when it came time to roll these products into the market the money was nowhere to be found!

    In the late '80's Xerox Corporation, world-wide used these products successfully in their daily business with over 40,000 workstations, ethernet -connected via Xerox Network Systems (XNS) software scattered all over the world; did anyone ever hear about that?

    Here's my personal assessment:

    1. The products were technologically advanced but too expensive to manufacture

    2. Only customers like Boeing, the US government and a few others could afford them

    3. Xerox upper management didn't understand the value proposition of these products

    4. Xerox upper management preferred to count meter-clicks from copiers instead of investing in the future of the company

    It makes me very sad to see the state of Xerox today.

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