Tag: tesla

Inventions, should we even try?

Inventions, should we even try?

Inventions, should we even try?

inventions-ipad-660

It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention.  Having been down that road so many times in my life, I would have to say that is one of the truest statements ever said.

The problem with this is that the system is rigged against you (the inventor.)

Back during the days of VCR’s I was one of those that went to school to learn how they worked, and how to repair them.  Back in the day they were $1,200 for the cheapest, and it went up from there.

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End of tape sensors back in the early day were accomplished with visible light. Tape makers would have some clear leader spliced on to the tape so when light was visible the machine would know to stop, “whatever function it was doing.”

Later in the years infrared light was used instead of visible, which made troubleshooting much more difficult.  As the light was 950nm instead of the 850nm currently used in night vision cameras, there was not even the slight red glow.

950nm led
As seen through a CCD camera sensitive to 950nm light

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850nm infrared LED visible glow to naked eye

Infrared light as soon through camera with no IR CUT function
Infrared light as soon through camera with no IR CUT function
I devised a portable infrared detector.  When the test button was pushed with the sensor in the path of the infrared light a green LED would illuminate thus telling me that the emitter was not the issue.  If no light was visible a red LED would illuminate thus telling me to check the voltages on the emitter “which was a job” and if present, replace the emitter, which was also a job as it was soldered in unlike the bulb which was plugged in.

vcrshrp

This was also handy for testing remote controls as they too were using, and still do use 950nm infrared LED’s so you would get a pulsing green LED if the batteries and or remote was functioning.

In short, this was the “cat’s ass” and it was my invention.

So, now that it was built I needed to downsize it into a more portable device, like a pen.

I started the process of downsizing the electronics and was trying to figure out how to get a “housing” created for it when a family member came to visit who is “was” handy and knew certain things that I did not.

Long story short I called it the B.I.R.D.  Battery operated Infrared Detector.

Before my “family member came for a visit” I wrote a letter to Sencor, which was a test instrument maker in the day.  I did not divulge anything of my idea other than I had one and a working prototype that I would like to discuss with them.

The response went something like this:

Dear Mr. Taylor,

I work in the mail room and it is my job to look for and intercept letters like this and send them back to the sender. 

We hire the brightest and best here at Sencor and therefor do not need input from the public as we have the best.  If it is a new device that is needed, our engineers will think of it and create it and we will market it. If we don’t create it, it is not needed.  “Damn what hubris!”

Thank you for your time, good day!

It was about this time my “family member came” and I shared my frustration with him.  He was very interested and sympathetic.  Looked over my invention as well as the schematics etc. and told me he knew some folks and would get back with me.

Of course you know the rest of the story without me typing it but….

Two months to the date of his visit in the back of one of my electronic magazines that I took, was the BIRD complete in a pen enclosure with my wording verbatim!

This family member came into copious amounts of money, and never spoke to me about the invention.  Because I could not prove what happened, I did nothing but learned, never share any more inventions with even family as when money is concerned; blood means nothing. 

Some of my ideas over the years were too grandiose for me to create a prototype of, and some are as simple as the following:

I am a technician by trade, but an engineer at heart.  While working at many companies in my life, I have re-engineered their inventions. Many of those modifications have been incorporated into their products making them better.  Working for them however; you get your paycheck, and maybe a pat on the back, and maybe a $200 American Express Check thank you check!  Don’t spend it all at one place….

Dyson Vacuums’ is another company that I contacted because their product lacks in certain design areas, and I really thought that they could benefit from my ideas.  I am a nice guy, had they treated me with any respect I might have given them the damned ideas.

I wrote them a letter regarding some ideas I had for their product and not unlike the letter from Sencor, they too were rather insulting with their response.  They too hire the brightest and best and they certainly don’t need the input from someone who actually bought one and uses it!  Yes, they were about that truculent.

While I will not give the ideas for free, if at all, I would tell them that they should have their engineers and or technicians actually use their vacuums, and pay attention to all of the ways that it works.  I don’t mean throw some dust on the floor and suck it up, they all do that, actually take the damned thing home and use it!  I think I know the secret to why their product “sucks so well,” It starts with management…

The simple fact is that I have several ideas which some I can create myself, and some like the BIRD, I need others to add to the collective, to make it the best.

The problems with inventing are many and they start with “protecting your idea.”  You can see that if a family member that you trust will screw you and then pretend that they don’t know you when the money comes in, what would others do?

A couple of years ago I wrote Apple because they needed to re-design their app so one could re-design the app layout on your phone through the Itunes app on your computer.  I wrote them a nice long letter telling them what I needed, why, how it would benefit their customers and ask them to do it. Three months to the date it was done.  Do you think I even got a thank you from them?  Some employee at apple I am certain read the letter and said, wow, what a great idea and submitted it from him or herself.

I needed it done so it was the most expedient way to get it done. I have written them since on this blog with ideas because let’s face it, they hire the brightest and best and don’t need you or I telling them anything…..  Did I mention that I actually met Steve Jobs years ago when I was working on NEXT computers, I wonder if he was British at heart?

Now, let’s revisit the BIRD and let’s say, I wanted to protect the idea.

You go downtown wherever and find a patent attorney, have them sign a non-disclosure so you can talk with him or her and then basically tell them what you are up to.

They either listen intently or they pretend to listen waiting to see if you can fork over a check to retain them.  Back when I first checked on this for an idea I had for a security device for all of the world’s airports and government buildings, this is the way it went down.

“I will need a check for $10,000 to start the process.”  For any country that you want it protected in other than the US; that is another $3,000. For arguments sake that is 196 countries. So for another $588,000 we stand a pretty good chance of protecting your idea but, we have to catch them stealing your idea and then we have to take them to court and with luck before they saturate the place with a knock off of your idea, maybe we can get the courts to get an injunction and stop them from creating any more widgets (in that country) while they drag it through the courts for years all the while selling the widgets that they have already created or are having created in other countries that you have not caught them doing so yet.  You might be able to do your own patent search these days but I would suspect that the attorney will have to do it officially via some flunky intern and charge you as if they personally did it.

Now, maybe you have some appreciation why I have been known to give ideas away, just to get the damned thing out there as the world needs it.  I have actually tweeted ideas to the whole Effing world just to get the thing done!

Much like the artist that creates a masterpiece does not get the accolades or the dollars that it is worth, I think the same is true of the inventors.  Someone somewhere at some time in the future may benefit from it, but not you, so the question that has to be asked, why?

Farnsworth was screwed by RCA on the Television / video camera and while he had an ok life, RCA got the patent and profited through licensing such inventions.  Tesla was a genius but had no business acumen; he too was screwed by the greedy bastards of the world including Edison, and died poor and somewhat nuts!

Philo Farnsworth
Farnsworth the guy who invented TV

TeslaPortrait
This out of the box thinker is a personal hero of mine…
I hesitate to even mention the vultures that want you to buy their easy patent guide.  The simple facts are that a lot of inventions go nowhere.  Some might end up on those late night commercials with “but wait” as the tag line but, some people just need to be told the truth.  The folks that will take your money to “help you” are in business to “take your money.”  Much like the companies that are in business for those that want to write a book.  No publisher will touch them “because they suck, or are too much of a risk, or an unknown,” so people spend thousands to self-publish!  Some actually promote their books through enough different outlets to break even; but not really.  They have failed to include their time and efforts into selling the 500 copies that they had to buy in the first place.  The simple facts are inventors, artist and authors are seldom objective when it comes to their project.  Much like a mother with the ugliest hair covered baby you ever saw.. She will think how great the baby looks, and the husband and family will cringe and say oh yes, that is the best looking one around.   (PS one of the few times it is OK to lie, not only OK but advised! another is “does this dress make me look fat!?  Oh Hell No! )

Am I telling you all this to quash your dreams?  Hell no!  I am telling you this to give you the reader, a dose of reality,the naked truth! 

Guess what, this is at no charge!

If you truly want to write there are some great books at Barns and Nobles that walk you through the process.  Bottom line, start with short stories and submit them to magazines.  After you get paid your $500 per story, and get published a dozen times or so; on your cover page of your manuscript you simply say published in …….

If you get that far by all means purchase the book and follow all of the guidelines including how the manuscript should look. Different publishers have different ideas of how the manuscript should look and how it should be submitted so do your research and edit edit edit…..

Does that guarantee you will get published, shit no.  What it does; if the person who opens your manuscript sees “published in and the format looks acceptable…. they might read more than the cover page.   Much like writing a good resume or CV, you got about 15 seconds to grab their attention and that includes the time it takes to get it out of the envelope!

-Best

© All rights Reserved 2015

www.timedok.com

www.guard-protect.com

NO!

No

 

“No” is a word that too many CEO’s need to hear.  The problem is that too many hire people that will agree with them or say “yes” or “great idea” or some other such yes-man technique as they either fear that their boss does not want to really hear the truth or they are cowards or simply not well informed. 

 

It is not only CEO’s that need to hear the word “no” but a lot of politicians need to hear it as well.

 

For instance, did Truman really need to drop not one but two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war?  I would argue that one would have been enough and I would also argue that it could have been dropped on a small island that we were loosing so many marines on or perhaps an unpopulated island. Leveling that island would have been enough to demonstrate our resolve and abilities.

 

The simple truth is that Japan was already war weary and the people of Japan did not want this war. We could speculate who and why things transpired the way that they did but the end results of those decision have still not fully played out.

 

Yes, Japan surrendered. But now any dictator or want-to-be dictator in the world set their sites on getting an atomic bomb too.  If the US had them than of course Russia needed them hence so many years of the cold war. Of course China would need them and of course any country with a dictator would need them as well!

 

Like Gunpowder, this is something that Einstein should have kept under his hat.  Any time anyone makes any sort of advancement in technology, the dictators of the world wonder how to use it as a weapon.   If one country has it, than they need it as well.

 

We have enough weapons of mass destruction to kill every living thing on earth many times over and yet we still keep trying to make something just a little more lethal.

 

No, that is not a good idea.  Wasting so much money and resources on finding better ways to kill is just so juvenile.  Now you put these weapons of mass destruction in the hands of irrational dictators and you place the entire earth and all of its inhabitants in grave danger.  Brinksmanship is not lost on today’s “leaders” who seem to be nothing more than your classic neighborhood bully who will gladly get someone else to do his fighting for him.

 

If a race of beings from another planet were to visit and watch some of our news or other “entertainment” they would most certainly put some sort of beacon around our solar system warning anyone else to stay the hell away!  We have entire countries to this day that are xenophobic in nature and bent on destroying anyone that does not agree with or cow down to them.   This is 2014 and this is going on today!

 

Imagine if you will the difference between you and the Chimpanzee. Where DNA is concerned there is exactly one percent difference between human DNA and that of the Chimpanzee.  That is 1%, that is it!  Now let’s talk about intelligence of humans compared to that of the Chimpanzee.  We think that we are intelligent because we have a space station, physics, music, weapons of mass destruction and of course we have E=MC2.  The Chimpanzee can make and use tools, stack boxes to get to a banana and even use tree branches to escape their confinement in a zoo.

 

If this race of Aliens were watching us they may very well compare us to their progeny when they are in kindergarten.
Their 1rst grade kids may come home from school with something that looks like your masters thesis while ours come home with macaroni art or clay ash trays.   To think that we are intelligent and that we could have anything to offer to a race of aliens that can traverse interstellar space borders on hubris.

 

One of our most beloved “inventors” was Thomas Edison.  What history does not tell you is that this man was anything but nice.  When Tesla came up with the concept of AC vs. DC as a way to power the city, Edison was furious. Instead of being an open minded person, he tried his best to discredit the idea.  One of the ways that he did this was to electrocute an Elephant in public trying to turn public opinion on AC.

 

While both men were “out of the box” thinkers, one needed some morals; the other needed some business acumen.

 

Some CEO’s of auto manufacturers really needed someone to say “no” to them.

 

The Chevy Vega with that crappy engine comes to mind along with the Pinto’s exploding gas tank.  GM using plastic parts in transmission was another not so bright spot in trying to make things cheaper.  Liquid filled motor mounts was another costly invention that failed and let’s not forget “air bag suspension!” “Not a better idea!” 

 

Bringing German engineering to Texas was really not too smart in the early days, as air cooled engines in 100 plus degree weather did not work so well.  The VW Microbus while a really cool looking van was not really very well suited for Texas or any place that was not flat.  They were so lacking in power that if one had to go up hill, they may very well not make it.  On top of that if the engine got a little oil and or grease on the housing and one did not take great care to keep it clean, it might very well catch on fire as was the fate of many of those vehicles.  It would be an interesting statistic to see what percentage of microbuses did not burn up compared to those that did.

 

Aluminum wiring for houses was another area where someone should have said “no.”  While aluminum wire conducts electricity better than copper and while it is cheaper than copper; that is where it stops.  When you connect aluminum wire to electrical outlets, switches and so forth that are not specifically designed for this, you increase the chance of fire.

 

Dissimilar metals have different coefficients of thermal expansion due to differing resistances of the metals. I have actually tracked down problems like this in a house that was made in 1957.  Using an old transistor radio tuned off of any station, I tracked the source of interference down to an electrical socket in one of the rooms of the house.  Removing the cover of the socket revealed a blackened terminal that was arcing right in front of me when a load was present. This arcing causes heat to be generated.  The heat can be sufficient enough to cause a fire to start.  Houses made in the late 50’s 60’s and 70’s in the US should be checked for such wire and if it exist, should be brought up to code.

 

Even though it would have cost the builder a few more dollars, they elected to save a few dollars on each house and use aluminum.  Someone should have said “no.” How many people have died in house fires caused by aluminum wire?

 

Ralph Nader, love him or hate him is such a person who is an activist for humanitarianism among other things.  Back in the day, I was not a fan because it was his activism which did away with the Corvair.

 

The 61 Corvair was probably one of the coolest cars to drive but also very dangerous.  Rear engine cars create an environment that would allow a car to spin out more easily as the weight was behind the axle.  Along with cars like this, his activism did away with the metal dash.  

 

I restored an old Victrola not too long ago. While the genius of the device “again thanks Edison” is impressive, looking under the hood so to speak is what impressed me more.

 

Under the deck is a large spring and a governor consisting of weights that move out the faster the turntable spins.  This governor is quite an impressive piece of mechanical engineering. The weights resemble steel balls that when expanded, slow the rotation down.  Much like a ballerina bringing her arms in, speed up; so too the governor of the Victrola.  This is where the phrase “balls to the walls” came from.  The idea was of course to go fast enough to cause the balls of the governor to expand far enough to hit the casing “walls” around them.

 

Anyone in power of anything needs a governor. Even Bill Gates needs such a thing, although I suspect it is his better half.  We all need someone to challenge our decisions from time to time.  Some would argue that religion serves in such a capacity, others would argue, that is why we have laws. 

 

So if we had neither; what would we be like as a people today?

 

One only has to study history to learn the answer to this.  The problems are that we are too busy doing other things to look back.  If I were to tell you that early man hunted, killed and ate each other as matter of day to day life, some of you would not believe me.  Some of you would say that you had heard of it in the deepest darkest parts of Africa a long time ago.  It amazes me that we have survived our animalistic instincts and tendencies.  

 

If I were to tell you that there was a group of people that considered torture an art form, you might shake your head.  Certainly not you decry..  [1]

 

If reading about the Assyrians does not give you nightmares, read about some of the 25 most brutal torture techniques. [2]

 

[3] Vlad the Impaler was someone history should learn from.  Real nice guy!

 

History is full of this stuff.  When we hear on the news that someone was murdered in some drive by shooting or some crime of passion, by histories standards, that isn’t nothing!  I don’t mean to diminish their acts but by yesterday’s standards, that is child’s play.

 

There is a culture that is into bondage and such and one has to wonder if it is a leftover from earlier times when nothing was off limits.

 

The very cross that people wear around their necks is a miniature copy of a device that was made for torture.  The traditional way to punish a criminal in those days was to nail them to that cross.  This made it very difficult for them to breath so they would let them suffer for several hours before they would come along and break their legs so they could no longer support themselves, thus suffocate.

 

When they execute someone by lethal injection they are executing them on a device that looks like that very cross, just a little wider place to place the body, soon to be corpse, arms stretched and tied and feet held in place while the paralytics enter into the body and stop the bodies ability to breath.   Some say that this is too kind and that they should be killed in some horrific manner.  Really, does that sound familiar?

 

These documents are hard to read.  This is important stuff as this is where the human race came from.  This is where you and I came from.  This is where Stalin and Hitler and many other modern day killers, came from.

 

We are capable of horrific acts!  We can choose.  We also come from the likes of Brahms, Ptolemy, Aristotle, Plato, Chopin, Pythagoras, Newton, and Voltaire to name just a scant few.

 

I often wonder about these violent video games that some play.  They are very much simulators for war, violence and the conditioning of the brain to accept such things.  We come from a very violent past and much like the alcoholic, steering clear of such things is probably a good idea.  

 

We have thousands calling for stricter gun control.  Do they think that laws regarding guns will affect criminals?  It is a knee jerk reaction to violence, nothing more, and would serve nothing other than emboldening the criminal element among us.

 

Japan would never invade the mainland and it was never their plan.  Why?  They knew even back then that most Americans had guns.

 

If you think that I am full of shit, ask yourself “why these video games are developed in the first place, who thinks up this stuff.”  Than ask yourself, “why do they sell so many of them, why are they so popular.”

 

Pornography fills something inside us that is basic and part of the programming.  Violence does the same thing both in movie and of course video game and I would argue that some people who practice it for real have the need for the adrenalin etc that it releases.   

 

It would be an interesting experiment for someone to develop video games where one can capture and torture their victim in ways mentioned below.  Complete with screaming and gnashing of teeth and so forth.  As sad as it is, I would bet that they would sell.  The interesting part would be to see what demographic buys them, how many hours they “play the game” and how does it affect them. I would argue that it would condition them to be “monsters in the making.”  The world needs less of this stuff, not more of it.  That is my humble opinion.

 

Science makes arguments against the existence of God.  A belief in God humbles one and I think assist us with being moral.  Some will claim that they are a good person and don’t need such a belief to “be good.”

 

If you use God as an excuse to stop asking questions than that is a problem.  Where there is mystery, a question to be answered, than search for that answer.  Science and God must necessarily co-exist.

 

The links below are to some sites that speak of evil people and or techniques used to torture people.  These are a scant few that history is full of.

 

All through the history of man, violence prevails.  Some of the violence is mystical in nature and some is downright evil.  The American Indian tortured white man by some horrific means as did the [6] Chinese torture people as did the Japanese. [5]

 

When you read about some of this stuff, it really makes you wonder why God would allow this?

 

[1] http://faculty.uml.edu/ethan_Spanier/Teaching/documents/CP6.0AssyrianTorture.pdf

 

[2] http://list25.com/25-most-brutal-torture-techniques-ever-devised/

 

[3] http://www.vladtheimpaler.info/the_impalement.html

 

[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captives_in_American_Indian_Wars

 

[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

 

[6] http://www.ishr.org/Methods-of-torture-in-the-People-s-Republic-of-China.1047.0.html

 

These links are a drop in the bucket.  That is the sad part.

 

No, no advanced race or being would come here looking for anything from us.  They might come here to enslave us, eat us, kill us and take our resources much like we exterminate insects before we build a house on the land they occupied. 

 

Unless they like music, or poetry or our understanding of math and science and physics I would not hold much hope for a friendly meeting.

 

As always I welcome your thoughts, input, and of course enlightened conversation regarding this or any other blog that interest you.

 

-Best to you and those that you care about.