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    1. Uncovering the Secrets of the 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'

      Uncovering the Secrets of the 'Girl With a Pearl Earring'

      “How did the ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ come to life? What steps did Vermeer take to make this painting?” These are some of the fundamental questions we still have about Johannes Vermeer’s beloved 1665 painting of a young woman in a blue and yellow turban, glancing beguilingly over her shoulder, according to Abbie Vandivere, paintings conservator at the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery here. Image Emilie Gordenker, the director of the Mauritshuis, and Abbie Vandivere, the museum’s paintings conservator. Credit Michel deGroot for The New York Times The answers may lie below the surface of her luminous face ...

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    2. F.T.C. Is Said to Plan Inquiry of Frivolous Patent Lawsuits

      F.T.C. Is Said to Plan Inquiry of Frivolous Patent Lawsuits

      The chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission is expected on Thursday to recommend a sweeping investigation of “patent trolls,” companies that buy large portfolios of technology patents and use them to sue software designers and makers of products like smartphones and tablet computers, people briefed on the inquiry said. The chairwoman, Edith Ramirez, is planning to ask the full commission to approve an inquiry that will include the issuance of subpoenas to companies that are known as patent-assertion entities, or, unflatteringly, as patent trolls. The move comes after the issuance of several executive orders by President Obama directing executive agencies ...

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    3. Obama Orders Regulators to Root Out ‘Patent Trolls’

      Obama Orders Regulators to Root Out ‘Patent Trolls’

      One company threatened to sue 8,000 coffee shops, hotels and retailers for patent infringement because they had set up Wi-Fi networks for their customers. Another claimed that hundreds of small businesses were violating its patents by attaching a document scanner to an office computer system. One claimed rights to royalties from anyone producing a podcast. Now the Obama administration is cracking down on what many call patent trolls, shell companies that exist merely for the purpose of asserting that they should be paid because they hold patents that are being infringed by some software or electronic process.

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    4. Cracking Open the Scientific Process

      Cracking Open the Scientific Process
      The New England Journal of Medicine marks its 200th anniversary this year with a timeline celebrating the scientific advances first described in its pages: the stethoscope (1816), the use of ether for anesthesia (1846), and disinfecting hands and instruments before surgery (1867), among others. For centuries, this is how science has operated — through research done in private, then submitted to science and medical journals to be reviewed by peers and published for the benefit of other researchers and the public at large. But to many scientists, the longevity of that process is nothing to celebrate.
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    5. Doctor Is Pressed Again on Ties to Device Makers

      Doctor Is Pressed Again on Ties to Device Makers
      Two leading senators have charged that a well-known heart doctor affiliated with Columbia University may have failed to tell the university about millions of dollars in payments and other income he received from medical device makers.... not reported all the payments he had received from companies that included Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and the Volcano Corporation....
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