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Displaying articles for: July 2012

HP Research Predicts Our Online Social Interactions



It is often assumed that our online social interactions are close to random. New research from HP Labs, however, suggests that they’re actually predictable to a surprising degree. 


By using techniques that were first developed to predict genetic sequences, HP researchers have shown that our past social networking activities can be used to make accurate predictions about our future interactions – with obvious consequences for improving the design of social networks.


The research, conducted by HP Labs’ Bernardo Huberman and Stanford University PhD student Chunyan Wang and available here, examined datasets from the websites Epinions and Whrrl featuring hundreds of thousands of user comments and check-ins to explore the social behavior of people acting both as individuals and as members of online groups.


“Interestingly, we found that individuals are slightly less predictable when they are acting as part of a group than when they are acting alone,” says Huberman, Senior HP Fellow and director of the Social Computing Group at HP Labs. The finding, he notes, contrasts with the assumptions behind many models of online group behavior, which suggest that group behavior ought to be easier to predict.


In the past, adds Huberman, we’ve made predictions about what people are really searching for, or about what they’d be interested in buying, by comparing their interests with those of millions of other people who are more or less like them. 


That statistical approach has proven useful for search, online recommendations, link prediction and advertising. However, he says, “it’s not clear that this approach works well as a predictor in more interactive processes such as contacting friends within social networks, participating in online discourse and exchanges of email and text messages.”


As Huberman and Wang’s paper shows, it turns out that one can predict an individual’s future social actions based solely on that person’s past social behavior. 


“It’s not that we can now perfectly predict what people are going to do,” explains Huberman. “But we are showing that our social interactions online aren’t at all random and we’re suggesting that it would be wrong to assume that they are.”


Incorporating this new understanding ought to help us better analyze the vast sets of social data now available to us, and to better predict how people interact with each other. That, in turn, should lead to improved social media and services. It could even be used to improve the statistical algorithms that currently dominate recommendations, advertising and search.


“I can see HP using this to tap into the way people talk about our products,” Huberman suggests. “And it applies even to interactions inside the enterprise. We could predict fairly accurately how employees will interact with each other, for example, and what kind of resources they will make use of through the internet. That’s can to have a positive impact on an enterprise’s ability to run its own processes and to reach customers more efficiently.”

The City is the Computer

(This is an excerpt from a post on Innovation at HP Labs by Cullen Bash, interim director of HP Labs’ Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group)


As we move further into the 21st century, it’s clear that we are entering a period of resource depletion. The cause this time has less to do with geopolitics than a lack of the raw materials needed to generate energy in its various forms, especially fossil fuels. Countries like China and India that used relatively little fossil fuel throughout the 20th century now depend on it to drive their newfound prosperity. Developed economies like the United States and Europe, which benefited from a seemingly endless supply of energy in the last century, are now faced by its growing scarcity and are looking for ways to insure their economies against it. One promising solution lies in micro-grid technology.


Read the full article on Forbes' CIO Network blog.

HP Recognized as a Leader in IDC MFP MarketScape 2012

(This entry was posted by Erin Collopy, HP Global Communications, LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions)


HP’s innovation in multi-function printers (MFPs) was recognized by IDC Research, which named HP a leader in the latest IDC MFP MarketScape report titled US Shared, Networked Multifunction Peripherals for the Distributed Office 2012 Vendor Analysis published today.  IDC specifically noted HP’s established brand and print market leadership within the IT channel and with direct customers.


According to the new IDC report, “HP’s potential in this market cannot be ignored as the company is firmly positioned as the industry’s de facto standard for print solutions and technologies, ranging not only on the products, but also all technologies related to print (e.g. network printing) and where the market is heading (e.g. technologies to enable cloud, web and mobile print).”


We see IDC’s ranking of HP’s strategy and feature capabilities among the top scores of all market participants as a reflection of our ongoing innovation initiatives such as the Converged Cloud announcement we made earlier this summer. That announcement featured our new ePrint Enterprise mobile printing technology, among a host of other cutting-edge cloud-based offerings from HP. 


IDC also notes that HP has “demonstrated strengths in all of the key factors identified to IDC to ensure MFP market success, including a broad product portfolio, solid market share, support for a wide range of customer targets, pricing models that fit customer requirements and a solutions/service model to drive value-added differentiation.”  Our latest MFP offerings, including WebJetAdmin, Jet Direct, and ePrint Enterprise have enabled HP to maintain its role as industry leader by providing software and solutions that integrate wired and wireless printers/MFPs, offer mobile printing support, streamline customer work flows, and help manage printer capabilities.


For more information about HP’s solutions, please visit:

HP mentors high school students to change the world for good



Now in its second year, the HP/Junior Achievement Social Innovation Relay (SIR) has once again succeeded in developing young entrepreneurial minds to benefit the environment and society.


Junior Achievement announced this year’s global winner – a team from South Africa. HP warmly congratulates all of the 21,000+ high school students who participated in this year’s global competition, as well as the 300+ HP volunteer mentors who have supported and guided students since this collaborative HP/JA program began in 2010.


This year, the secondary school students are from 13 different countries; they formed teams to submit their innovations and entrepreneurial ideas on a sustainable business concept designed to benefit their local community and beyond.


The winning concept submitted by Emulsified Environmentalists, a team of students from Sandton View High School, South Africa, won the competition with a concept for a solar-powered lamp, made from recycled materials that will provide light to disadvantaged communities, while also eliminating the environmental and health damage caused by traditional kerosene lamps. Working with an HP mentor, the team developed their concept in response to the problems of electricity shortages and growing respiratory problems in South Africa. Teams from China and Slovakia were runners-up with ideas for a program that trains young volunteers to work with China’s elderly population and an educational DVD with supporting training designed to raise awareness around migration issues for young people, respectively.


The SIR is the largest global education initiative to be run with both virtual and face-to-face mentoring. Each team of students that reaches the finals is paired with a volunteer mentor from HP – they connect with their mentor via HP Virtual Rooms or face-to-face, and work together using online resources to bring the team’s concepts to life.

This challenge exposes the young participants to many valuable new experiences including business practices such as teamwork, working under pressure, making presentations, communicating, and leadership, as well as gaining hands-on ICT experience, and skills essential to compete in and contribute to the 21st century workforce – entrepreneurial thinking and innovation, global sustainability, and societal contribution.


The breadth of concepts submitted by the finalists in this year’s SIR is amazing. In addition to the winning concept, finalists submitted ideas intended to resolve a broad range of environmental and societal challenges, from generating power from rainfall, to using theater performance to improve education, and from creating services that prepare the next generation to support its senior citizens, to manufacturing safety products designed to enhance the visibility of cyclists


Congratulations to every young person who participated, and to all the HP mentors who gave so generously of their time and talents.


JA and HP have worked together for 20 years on youth-focused programs.

HP is first contributor to UoPeople Women Scholarship Fund

students small.jpg


Young women sometimes face special barriers to study – their community may disapprove or disallow their education, their families have no money to pay school fees, or their homes are in remote and resource-poor locations around the planet.


For a lucky few, a newly announced scholarship, with HP as its first corporate sponsor, overcomes these societal, financial, and geographic constraints. With a donation of US$ 200,000, HP is funding 100 female students in 2012 and 2013 to pursue the associate degree programs of their choice at the online non-profit University of the People (UoPeople).


The donation was announced by HP Sustainability and Social Innovation vice president, Gabi Zedlmayer as a panelist at this year’s DLD Women Conference (July 11-12) in Munich, Germany. Discussion focused on new rules and new values in education, and how these are affecting girls and women around the world. Gabi said, “By educating the women who are underserved, UoPeople exemplifies the use of technology as a force of powerful good. We are extremely happy to support UoPeople in their most critical mission to change the lives of many women through education and technology”.


HP has long been a champion of democratizing higher education. Around this time last year, the company started providing virtual internships to under-resourced students in collaboration with the educational organizations in the HP Catalyst initiative who are innovating and applying technology to break down learning barriers for disadvantaged youngsters everywhere.


Should we be doing more? Join the discussion on Facebook


How can I help? Donate to the scholarship fund


What’s new with the HP Catalyst initiative – find out more:


University of the People link:

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