Puralytics tackles water quality on global scale
February 2011
0211_SolarBagAfter taking a coveted first place at the Cleantech Open last year, Beaverton-based Puralytics, a startup that uses LED lights to purify water, is turning its focus to aiding the global water and humanitarian crisis.
PSU prof invents Parkinson's monitor
January 2011
0111_Next01Measuring the severity of Parkinson’s disease is difficult, which leaves doctors adjusting medications by “eyeballing” symptoms. James McNames, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Portland State University, thinks a little more precision might help.
OSU researcher attacks microbial spoiling
December 2010
1210_Next01Oregon State University food microbiologist Mark Daeschel has figured out a way to keep wine from getting funky.
PSU prof develops law enforcement headsets
November 2010

Police gather vehicle and driver information in two problematic ways. They can either enter license plate numbers into a computer, which requires them to be inside their cruisers and distracts them while driving, or they can call a human dispatcher and wait for clear radio bands. Warren Harrison, head of Portland State University’s computer science department, decided to do something about it.

Next: Internet detours relieve web congestion
October 2010
1010_Next01University of Oregon associate professor Reza Rejaie is developing detours on the Internet highway that may help relieve the congestion caused by streaming live content.
Next: Cancer software
August 2010

0810_Next01MRIs have been a longstanding alternative to using painful and invasive biopsies to diagnose breast cancer. But MRIs accurately distinguish malignant from benign breast cancer tumors only 30% of the time. Charles Springer, a senior scientist at the Advanced Imaging Research Center at Oregon Health & Science University, five years ago began developing MRI software that looked past the image’s brightness to analyze how fast dye traveled out of the tumor cells.

New dye could help police fight crime
July 2010

0710_next01Rob Strongin’s work developing chemically complex dyes has led him from cancer to crime. Strongin, a professor of chemistry at Portland State University, made the transition after the Orange County Sheriff’s Department asked him to develop a dye that could make fingerprints on bloody surfaces show up more clearly.

Pressure is on to make data centers green
June 2010

0610_Data01Locals reacted with shock and glee when Facebook revealed in January that it would be building its first data center in humble Prineville. But the story did not stay so gleeful. Electricity generation is the leading source of carbon emissions in the U.S., and data centers are notorious power hogs.

Wax in walls could cut heating and cooling costs
June 2010

WaxInsulationPortland State Universityhas developed a better, greener heating and cooling system for buildings: wax that absorbs and releases heat.

Wood waste flour could create a new building material
May 2010

NEXTAn Oregon State University professor says wood waste can be turned into a “flour” that makes a composite hybrid material when mixed with thermoplastic.

UO professor develops energy-smart awning
April 2010

NEXT-CONCEPTUniversity of Oregon professor Ihab Elzeyadi developed an awning that generates and saves enough electricity that buildings using it could potentially have zero net energy consumption.

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Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda



Sunday, December 07, 2014

On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.


Water World

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fred Ziari aims to feed the global population.


The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Crowdfunding 2.0

Tuesday, December 02, 2014
120214-crowdfund-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with attorney Erich Merrill about the latest way to raise money from large groups of people.


Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.

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