Time To Fix Patents

The Economist on innovation

Patents are supposed to spread knowledge, by obliging holders to lay out their innovation for all to see; they often fail, because patent-lawyers are masters of obfuscation. Instead, the system has created a parasitic ecology of trolls and defensive patent-holders, who aim to block innovation, or at least to stand in its way unless they can grab a share of the spoils. An early study found that newcomers to the semiconductor business had to buy licences from incumbents for as much as $200m. Patents should spur bursts of innovation; instead, they are used to lock in incumbents’ advantages.
The patent system is expensive. A decade-old study reckons that in 2005, without the temporary monopoly patents bestow, America might have saved three-quarters of its $210 billion bill for prescription drugs. The expense would be worth it if patents brought innovation and prosperity. They don’t.
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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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Teaching Machines to Understand Us

The first time Yann LeCun revolutionized artificial intelligence, it was a false dawn. It was 1995, and for almost a decade, the young Frenchman had been dedicated to what many computer scientists considered a bad idea: that crudely mimicking certain features of the brain was the best way to bring about intelligent machines. But LeCun had shown that this approach could produce something strikingly smart—and useful. Working at Bell Labs, he made software that roughly simulated neurons and learned to read handwritten text by looking at many different examples. Bell Labs’ corporate parent, AT&T, used it to sell the first machines capable of reading the handwriting on checks and written forms. To LeCun and a few fellow believers in artificial neural networks, it seemed to mark the beginning of an era in which machines could learn many other skills previously limited to humans. It wasn’t.

That's how the fantastic featured story by Tom Simonite begins in the latest issue of MIT Technology Review. It is definitely worth the read. 

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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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Not an Introvert, Not an Extrovert? An Ambivert

Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal

Ambiverts have introverted and extroverted traits, but neither trait is dominant. As a result, they have more balanced, or nuanced, personalities. They aren’t the folks yammering your ear off. Nor are they the totally silent ones happily ensconced in the corner.
Ambiverts move between being social or being solitary, speaking up or listening carefully with greater ease than either extroverts or introverts. “It is like they’re bilingual,” says Daniel Pink, a business book author and host of Crowd Control, a TV series on human behavior, who has studied ambiversion. “They have a wider range of skills and can connect with a wider range of people in the same way someone who speaks English and Spanish can.”
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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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Worrying About Stuff Is a Sign of Intelligence

Melissa Dahl for Science of Us

The tendency to worry about stuff could be a sign of a certain kind of intelligence, according to a paper in an upcoming edition of the journal Personality and Individual Differences (hat tip to Christian Jarrett at the British Psychology Society's Research Digest for spotting it first). A team led by Alexander Penney of Ontario's Lakehead University gave 126 undergrads a litany of surveys and questionnaires designed to measure both their intelligence and how much they tended to stress about events in their lives. (For instance, they were asked how strongly they agreed with statements like, "I am always worried about something.") After analyzing the results, Penney and his team found a correlation between worrying and verbal intelligence.
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Antonio Ortiz

Antonio Ortiz has always been an autodidact with an eclectic array of interests. Fascinated with technology, advertising and culture he has forged a career that combines them all. In 1991 Antonio developed one of the very first websites to market the arts. It was text based, only available to computer scientists, and increased attendance to the Rutgers Arts Center where he had truly begun his professional career. Since then Antonio has been an early adopter and innovator merging technology and marketing with his passion for art, culture and entertainment. For a more in-depth look at those passions, visit SmarterCreativity.com.

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