Stories from the Week that Was – 6/3/12-6/9/12

New reasons to protect trademarks through registration

Tech-Savvy Seniors: Half of U.S. Adults Over 65 Are Online

Purdue Professor Claims Free Speech Rights Violated Over Facebook Post

Crypto breakthrough shows Flame was designed by world-class scientists

Got another big story from this week that should make the list? Leave a comment below.

“I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours.” -John F. Kennedy

Twitter’s first commercial:


Purdue Builds Top Supercomputer on Unreleased Chips

Purdue University is home to one of the fastest supercomputers in the country and the 54th most powerful in the world, according to the international list. The twist is that the system uses Intel chips that haven’t been released to market yet and aren’t expected until next March.

The new supercomputer, nicknamed “Carter,” for Purdue alumnus Dennis Carter, is an HP Cluster Platform 3000 SL6500. It features Intel Xeon E5 “Sandy Bridge” eight-core, 2.6 GHz processors, which haven’t yet been released to market, along with HP ProLiant servers and Mellanox FDR Infiniband cluster interconnects. The system has a total of 10,368 cores and runs the Linux operating system.

Read more at Campus Technology.

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI offers new Sustainable Technologies Certificate

The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI recently announced a new “Sustainable Technologies Certificate” available to help students prepare for the changing green job market. This certificate is designed to address a growing need for professionals who can contribute to the green workforce with knowledge in sustainable practices in current technologies. The Sustainable Technologies Certificate is useful to students who want to have knowledge in areas of green building, renewable energies and sustainable design.

Here’s a link to the school’s other certificate programs.

Source: Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI

Indianapolis Company Wins Award to Develop Enhanced Blind and Low Vision Technology for Students

Independence Science LLC, an Indianapolis company based in the Purdue Research Park, has received a $500,000 SBIR Phase II award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop technology that enhances hands-on science learning for students affected by blindness and low vision.

Independence Science will use the award to further develop Talking LabQuest, the first portable scientific data collection device equipped with text-to-speech technology to help students in science laboratory classrooms.

The company is developing Talking LabQuest in partnership with Vernier Software & Technology LLC of Beaverton, Ore.; HumanWare Inc. of Drummondville, Quebec, Canada; and ViewPlus Technologies Inc. of Corvallis, Ore.

For more, see Inside INdiana Business.

President Obama Honors Top U.S. Scientists and Innovators

President Obama yesterday named seven eminent researchers as recipients of the National Medal of Science and five inventors as recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honors bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers, and inventors. The recipients will receive their awards at a White House ceremony later this year.

“Each of these extraordinary scientists, engineers, and inventors is guided by a passion for innovation, a fearlessness even as they explore the very frontiers of human knowledge, and a desire to make the world a better place,” President Obama said.  “Their ingenuity inspires us all to reach higher and try harder, no matter how difficult the challenges we face.”

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Nominees are selected by a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. Nominees are selected by a distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors.

This year’s recipients are listed below.

National Medal of Science

Jacqueline K. Barton
California Institute of Technology
For discovery of a new property of the DNA helix, long-range electron transfer, and for showing that electron transfer depends upon stacking of the base pairs and DNA dynamics.  Her experiments reveal a strategy for how DNA repair proteins locate DNA lesions and demonstrate a biological role for DNA-mediated charge transfer.

Ralph L. Brinster
University of Pennsylvania
For his fundamental contributions to the development and use of transgenic mice.  His research has provided experimental foundations and inspiration for progress in germline genetic modification in a range of species, which has generated a revolution in biology, medicine, and agriculture.

Shu Chien
University of California, San Diego
For pioneering work in cardiovascular physiology and bioengineering, which has had tremendous impact in the fields of microcirculation, blood rheology and mechanotransduction in human health and disease.

Rudolf Jaenisch

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
For improving our understanding of epigenetic regulation of gene expression: the biological mechanisms that affect how genetic information is variably expressed.  His work has led to major advances in our understanding of mammalian cloning and embryonic stem cells.

Peter J. Stang
University of Utah
For his creative contributions to the development of organic supramolecular chemistry and for his outstanding and unique record of public service.

Richard A. Tapia
Rice University
For his pioneering and fundamental contributions in optimization theory and numerical analysis and for his dedication and sustained efforts in fostering diversity and excellence in mathematics and science education.

Srinivasa S.R. Varadhan
New York University
For his work in probability theory, especially his work on large deviations from expected random behavior, which has revolutionized this field of study during the second half of the twentieth century and become a cornerstone of both pure and applied probability.  The mathematical insights he developed have been applied in diverse fields including quantum field theory, population dynamics, finance, econometrics, and traffic engineering.

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Rakesh Agrawal
Purdue University
For an extraordinary record of innovations in improving the energy efficiency and reducing the cost of gas liquefaction and separation. These innovations have had significant positive impacts on electronic device manufacturing, liquefied gas production, and the supply of industrial gases for diverse industries.

B. Jayant Baliga

North Carolina State University
For development and commercialization of the Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor and other power semiconductor devices that are extensively used in transportation, lighting, medicine, defense, and renewable energy generation systems.

C. Donald Bateman
For developing and championing critical flight-safety sensors now used by aircraft worldwide, including ground proximity warning systems and wind-shear detection systems.

Yvonne C. Brill
RCA Astro Electronics (Retired)
For innovation in rocket propulsion systems for geosynchronous and low earth orbit communication satellites, which greatly improved the effectiveness of space propulsion systems.

Michael F. Tompsett
For pioneering work in materials and electronic technologies including the design and development of the first charge-coupled device (CCD) imagers.

Purdue Chemist to receive Nobel Prize for Chemistry

Ei-ichi Negishi, Distinguished Professor of Organic Chemistry at Purdue University, will be awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry today in Stockholm, Sweden.

In speaking of the award, Negishi displayed the optimism found among many chemists: “We believe as chemists that we can sort in a satisfactory way many of the problems that we face today — food issues, energy issues and global warming issues — in chemical, if I may say so, (a) predominantly organic chemical way.”

Congrats and good luck to Ei-ichi Negishi!

2009 Prize:

Source: Indy Star

Purdue opens new Tech Center in Bay Area

Purdue University will be opening a new west coast center in Mountain View, CA in NASA Research Park, the same base where Pennsylvania-based Carnegie Mellon also runs a university. The new center is intended to link Purdue’s engineering and technology faculty and researchers with high-tech companies and entrepreneurs.

The new center is being funded by Purdue Research Foundation and the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The foundation runs Purdue’s Indianapolis-based research park and also manages the intellectual property developed at Purdue.

Source: Campus Technology

Global recession increasing intellectual property risks, Purdue study finds

A new study conducted by Purdue University researchers notes that the global recession is putting vital information, including valuable intellectual property assets, at greater risk than ever before.  The study was commissioned by McAfee and conducted by researchers from Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS).


Of 800 senior IT decision makers surveyed in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan, China, India, Brazil and the Middle East, it was estimated that a combined $4.6 billion worth of intellectual property was lost in 2008 alone, and approximately $600 million was spent repairing damage from data breaches.  Based on these numbers, McAfee projected that companies worldwide lost more than $1 trillion last year.

“Companies are grossly underestimating the loss, and value, of their intellectual property,” said Eugene Spafford, professor of computer science at Purdue and executive director of CERIAS. “Just like gold, diamonds or crude oil, intellectual property is a form of currency that is traded internationally, and can have serious economic impact if it is stolen.”

McAfee and CERIAS identify three trends that will make critical information more vulnerable:

The first trend is that the insider threat will grow. Business failures, mass layoffs, decimated markets and a poor economic outlook will lead to a vastly increased number of financially desperate current employees and laid-off staff stealing valuable corporate information, both for financial gain and to improve their job opportunities.

Secondly, there will be more sophisticated and targeted attacks from cybercriminals. Attackers will comb blogs, press releases, magazine and newspaper articles, corporate information databases and social networking sites to gather details of executives’ public and private lives in order to gain access to user IDs, passwords, financial and systems account information and other sensitive corporate data. Web 2.0 technologies and cloud computing where people collaborate, share and use existing components to build new applications will create an environment of great innovation but can also create a back door for cybercriminals to steal sensitive data.

The third trend that McAfee observed was geo-information “hot zones.” As China and Russia’s economies soften, there will be even more pressure to “appropriate” intellectual property as a means to continue economic growth. Organized crime and state-sponsored groups in both Russia and China will continuously seek out new and profitable targets. Pakistan looms as potentially the largest threat, with attackers motivated by ideology rather than economic gain.

As information becomes increasingly vulnerable, it’s important to take extra precautions to maintain and enforce your intellectual property rights.  Make sure that your company is protecting it’s valuable IP assets and not letting your investment slip out the back door!