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In Short: How you can review patent applications, and the uncertain future of book covers

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Enjoy these fascinating reads from across the Internet:

  • Last week, NYU law professor Beth Noveck asked us to “demand a more open-source government” in her talk from TEDGlobal 2012. Read this article on her Peer-to-Patent approach, which allows experts outside the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to weigh in on whether an application is something new or whether earlier inventions cover the same territory. The system has reduced the tremendous backlog in patent applications and has also been adapted in the U.K., Japan and Australia. [Wall Street Journal]
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  • It’s the standard beauty queen response for a reason: who doesn’t want world peace? Here, a playlist of TEDTalks that give good starting points for making it a reality. [Life With TED]
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  • New thing we are obsessed with—BitCasa, which allows you to make any folder on your computer an all-you-can-eat space buffet. [Netted by the Webbys]
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  • James Bridle—who gave the TED Talent Search talk “A new aesthetic for the digital age”—worries that book covers may soon be a thing of the past, given the rise of e-books. [The Guardian] Here’s hoping he feels a rush of hope after watching Chip Kidd’s talk from TED2012, “Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.”
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  • Why is it so hard for pandas to get pregnant? Here, a detailed look. [Mental Floss]
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  • Nicole Bourgea, an artist in Washington D.C., has made beautiful oil paintings of 10 people she saw randomly over the past year—from the lawn maintenance guy at a park, to a man eating a croissant on a bench. Rather than try to sell the paintings, she has left them at the spot where she saw the subject, along with a note that reads, “If this is you, this painting is yours to take.” [PSFK]
  • Surgeon Marty Makary gave the scary statistic this weekend that medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets. However, he’s offered five interesting solutions. [WSJ] Julian Treasure offered a sixth idea in the TEDTalk “Why architects need to use their ears” last week—make hospitals less noisy to enable better concentration. See his specific hospital recommendations on the TED Blog.
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  • Here, a great interview with a food truck chef in San Diego who offers delicious food for the homeless. [KPBS]
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  • And finally, watch the “5 Best Literary TEDTalks” — from Elizabeth Gilbert on “your elusive creative genius” to presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin on “what we can learn from past presidents.” [Book Riot]

Image: Shutterstock

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