Why We Can’t Afford to Blame the Trolls for the Patent Problem: The patent system is flawed, some would say broken. And patent trolls — less pejoratively known as non-practicing entities (NPEs) — are to blame, no matter how good a case they might make for their role in the patent ecosystem. Or are they? Trolls are an easy target because they don’t make anything, choosing instead to enforce patents against those who do. But curing the patent problem requires general solutions … not ones targeted just at patent trolls. More here.
With Graph Search, It’s Facebook vs. Facebook: Facebook announced a series of incremental updates to Graph Search yesterday — as revealed by a peek under the hood — and I think it’s a good thing they’re doing the feature and user release so gradually. It might be for technology scalability and resource reasons, but it’s also good psychology. A slow and steady rollout gives Facebook time to preserve its feel of a digital living room (or neighborhood bar), a place where we can safely hang out with our friends. It also gives users time to figure out and get comfortable with where their information ends up as it is indexed and made searchable. More here.
Investing Where Others Fear to Tread: Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group at Franklin Templeton Investments writes: I’ve been given many humorous nicknames over the years, including the “Indiana Jones of Emerging Markets Investing” and “the Yul Brynner of Wall Street.” I’ve even been the subject of a comic book: Mark Mobius – An Illustrated Biography of the Father of Emerging Markets. All of those are glamorous creations, but the moniker I favor these days is “frontiersman.” In our quest for investment opportunities, my team and I have been looking far off the beaten path in places such as Nigeria, Egypt, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh, to name a few. We consider these to be “frontier markets,” which are generally less liquid and have lower market capitalizations than other emerging or developed markets. Economic development, size, liquidity and market accessibility are the criteria which generally determine whether a country is classified as “emerging” or “frontier.” More here.
New new world
Internet epidemiology: Correspondents of The Economist discuss viral content, online prediction markets and how to create black holes in a lab. Watch the video here.
CEO Tech Guide to Privacy Policies: The Bloomberg Business Week has a series of articles on privacy. It covers why mobile apps privacy is important, protecting privacy on the Internet, how companies can balance privacy concerns with the need to sustain customer engagement and more stories. Read here.
The Deadly Cost of a B-Player: Here’s how mediocre employees can take down a business. Don’t let it happen to you. Read here.
Eric Ries: Whatever You Do, Make the Customer King: You might call Eric Ries the kingpin of start-up analytics–he’s a big promoter of constant company analysis. Known for his book The Lean Startup: The Movement That is Transforming How New Products Are Launched And Built, and for popularizing the term “pivot” in business, Ries is also a popular speaker. I caught up with him by phone to get his advice for building brand new companies. More here.
Why Google Plans to Shut Down Reader: Google Reader, the popular service that lets users subscribe to and receive a digest of content from their favorite websites, blogs and other publishers, is shutting down. While many agree the service’s sharing tools made it ahead of its time when it launched in 2005, the rise of sophisticated social networks and the decline in popularity of RSS has led Google to pull the plug on Reader. The service will go dark permanently on July 1. Read more.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Is Completely Amazing and Utterly Boring: Did you see Samsung’s theater of the absurd yesterday? No? Good for you. It unleashed a pale imitation of a Broadway show to roll out its amazing new flagship, the Galaxy S4. There’s a reason Samsung felt the need to put on one hell of a show for one hell of a phone — because, much like the Apple iPhone5, the S4 is in just about every way delightful but ultimately not that intriguing. More here.
Five Smart Things to Say About the Higgs Boson: Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, announced yesterday that they’re even more certain than they were last summer (like, more than 99.999999999 percent sure) that they’ve seen a Higgs boson particle—even if it’s not the Higgs boson particle. At this point you might be wondering: What’s the difference, and why does it even matter? Let’s be honest. This is some seriously complicated science—a discovery that could, you know, potentially change our entire understanding of how the universe works. If you end up schmoozing with particle physicists this weekend, just stick to this script. Read more here.
How NASA’s Giant New Space Telescope Will Make Life On Earth Better: The James Webb Space Telescope will soon launch into space, but before it has even left, the technologies used in its construction are already finding uses back here on Earth. More here.
How to build a multiverse: THE heavens do not lend themselves to poking and prodding. Astronomers therefore have no choice but to rely on whatever data the cosmos deigns to throw at them. And they have learnt a lot this way. Thus you can even (see article) study chemistry in space that would be impossible in a laboratory. Some astronomers, though, are dissatisfied with being passive observers. Real scientists, they think, do experiments. It is impossible—not to mention inadvisable—to get close enough to a star or a black hole to manipulate it experimentally. But some think it might be possible to make meaningful analogues of such things, and even of the universe itself, and experiment on those instead. More here.
10 Questions to Ask Before Quitting Your Job to Start a Business: Giving up the security of a full-time job to start your own business is a risky, often stressful move. “The biggest reason people don’t end up quitting is the fear of uncertainty. They don’t know what might happen and they don’t want to give up the security that they already have,” says Sean Ogle, who quit a job in finance to live in Thailand and run a virtual search engine optimization and Web consultancy. How do you know when the time is right to make the leap? Here are 10 questions to ask before you quit your job. Read here.
Stop Fast-Tracking Your Career: “I’ll give it two weeks. If I don’t sign my first retailer by then, I’ll shut the company down and do something else.” I had asked Sam to lay out his strategy for the new venture he had launched six months earlier. The plan made sense, except that he was trying to cram three months’ worth of important groundwork into a near-impossible 14-day time frame. More here.
Write E-Mails That People Won’t Ignore: Your clients and colleagues don’t have time to engage fully with every e-mail they get. Some of them receive hundreds of messages per day. That’s why they start with the ones they can deal with quickly. They may never get around to answering — or even reading — the rest. So how do you earn their attention? Try these tips. More here.