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Showing posts from 2006

Dual-Mode Vehicle Takes to Road and Rail

This from Gizmodo: Execellent concept.

Is it a bus or a train? This dual-mode mini train is both. The JR Hokkaido Railway Company in Japan has been testing a bus that can switch between steel wheels and street-ready rubber tires, tooling around on the train track as a solo vehicle and avoiding accidents with satellite assistance, and then driving on city streets just like any other bus.
After its successful test run last month, the company vows to make its first trip with paying passengers next April. In addition to its versatility, the vehicle's $150,000 cost is just a seventh of the price of a conventional diesel rail car, and it's easier and cheaper to maintain, too. When these babies hit the road, every street wil be a potential train station. – Charlie White

Bedouin Companies

"Bedouin Companies" is a term that's been floating around for some time, and I wish I could give the writer a credit because it really captures the idea of a truly distributed company. According to a famous book by the name of "Discipline of market leaders " there are only three legitimate company styles, the Walmart-ish market share model of centralized expertise and minimal wage workers, the Nike-ish expert-driven market share model and the IBM customer centric model.A Bedouin Company represents in my mind the ultimate expert driven market share business.... in today's climate, expertise is diverse, specialized and powerful... so powerful that it is impossible to employ a guy (even a very smart guy) and expect him learn some specific field of expertise when, in a connected world, finding the specialist is a web search and two web sites away... as long as you are set up right...When the term Bedouin Company was first coined it referred to a decentralized, …

Media

Los Angeles TV News (UPN 13) 2001: news coverage of the release of the unlockable TitleWave software library on a CD on the front cover of Family PC Magazine.
View the video

ABC National Radio (Australia Wide) 1992: Radio Interview by one of Australia's top technology journalists with Ric Richardson discussing the implications and background of the Uniloc technology.
Audio coming soon....

ABCTV National News story (1993): Television news story about IBM signing deal to represent Uniloc globally.
Video coming soon...

More coming soon.

Strengths

The following report was provided as part of a report generated and copyright © 2000 The Gallup Organization, Princeton, NJ. All rights reserved. Clifton StrengthsFinder ® and each of the 34 Clifton StrengthsFinder theme names are trademarks of The Gallup Organization.

Top Five Report for Ric B Richardson

Ideation
You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle. You love all these ideas because they are profound, because they a…

Media

Los Angeles TV News (UPN 13) 2001: news coverage of the release of the unlockable TitleWave software library on a CD on the front cover of Family PC Magazine.
View the video

ABC National Radio (Australia Wide) 1992: Radio Interview by one of Australia's top technology journalists with Ric Richardson discussing the implications and background of the Uniloc technology.
Audio coming soon....

ABCTV National News story (1993): Television news story about IBM signing deal to represent Uniloc globally.
Video coming soon...

More coming soon.

Quips

About creative thinking...
"The simplest most elegant solutions are frequently dreamed up by the people who most want to avoid the work of doing it the existing way... present company excluded." Ric Richardson 2006
About perceptions of Inventors...
"Most people who think they know a person who thinks outside the box is only talking about a guy who can move boxes really fast. Speed does not equal novelty, the true basis of invention."
Ric Richardson 2006
About invention...
"If you want someone to think outside the box, then find someone who doesnt know what a box looks like."
Ric Richardson 1992 This quip came from Ric's reaction to explaining why someone from MIT didn't come up with the Uniloc idea first. The fact is that often education limits your scope to solving problems by telling you paths that are not worth investigating, when with a little imagination those paths can be adapted to do completly new things. About Leadership... "Leadership is the …

Quips

About creative thinking...
"The simplest most elegant solutions are frequently dreamed up by the people who most want to avoid the work of doing it the existing way... present company excluded." Ric Richardson 2006
About perceptions of Inventors...
"Most people who think they know a person who thinks outside the box is only talking about a guy who can move boxes really fast. Speed does not equal novelty, the true basis of invention."
Ric Richardson 2006
About invention...
"If you want someone to think outside the box, then find someone who doesnt know what a box looks like."
Ric Richardson 1992 This quip came from Ric's reaction to explaining why someone from MIT didn't come up with the Uniloc idea first. The fact is that often education limits your scope to solving problems by telling you paths that are not worth investigating, when with a little imagination those paths can be adapted to do completly new things. About Leadership... "Leadership is the …

Patent Listing

US 5,490,216: (The Uniloc Patent) Method for software registration. The underpinning technology for software Activation, Try and Buy and device based authentication for security and privacy applications.
Link to patent


US 6,400,293: (The Logarex Patent) Data compression system and method. A new approach to data compression using cyclical algorithmic calculations.
Link to patent

Other listings coming soon….

The 8 week cycle

About two years ago I started reminiscing about my youth and particularly the 6 weeks of vacation that most Aussies of my generation got to enjoy at the end of every year starting mid December and going to the end of January. Surfing in the morning, motorbike riding in the afternoon, camp fire steak and salad, some cards and a really great sleep.

The wonderful thing about this was the way you can really change gears… get out of the rut of the work cycle and get a chance to look at things a-fresh…

These happy thoughts came to me after a particularly intense 6 months at work. This memory combined with a natural awareness of my own biorhythms (self awareness of waves of emotional, mental and physical highs and lows) gave me the impetus to explore a work cycle engineered to have its own peak and lull.

In some ways its similar to the quarterly peak and lull of a corporate calendar, but in this case the cycle is geared towards your own particular cycle, not a companies mandated cycle… over the…

GUI for the UX... great stuff

The UX is working out wonderfully. The little control app button to the lower right of the UX can be programmed for any app so I cooked up a quick control panel with an exe based flash file that uses callto instructions to invoke skype to call my favorite people.

I am now looking at the merits of other applications but this makes the UX really user friendly, and the customization factor makes it really fun to explore... there is a big future in custom GUIs for UMPCs.

Picked up a Sony UX280 today... why do people NOT get it?

Today my co founder and I received delivery of two spanking new Sony UX280’s. For most of the office there was definitely an oooooo factor. Oooooo what’s that? Is it a phone? Does it run XP? The screens small…. How can you use that all day? And on and on….. for me the UX is a first test to see if I can migrate up from a cell phone.
The UX represents to me the first time to get the best of all worlds.A phone (with Bluetooth headset and Skype), a cool customizable interface (I’m using flash to write a palm-like GUI) for a few often used tasks and traveling use.. (more later) and finally as my main operations PC (i.e. Outlook comms website passwords and documentation).
The first test was tonight when I video conferenced at full screen with my brother in Australia while sitting in the family room. The optimization of the integrated webcam was spectacular only 1/3rd of a second delay over 11g. My wife grabbed the UX to show my brother the dogs asleep on the couch and then went to her compu…

Ostentatious idea

Browsers were built by a University mentality… where information wants to be free. Everything about the browser is about openness and free gifting of information and technology. Even one of the most powerful web technologies (namely Flash Video e.g. You Tube) is free with no way to make money from it. The only way Adobe makes money is from selling the content generation tools, but hey if your content represents your life’s work then you’re out of luck. To me selling content creation tools without making money on the content is like selling razor handles and giving away the blades!One day soon the great multitude will wake up to the fact that content is king and that something needs to be done about it. What if… a new breed of browser was born. A browser with a foundation based in fairly priced, easy to use but PAID content… or private content… where who got to see what was not a function of a logon and password and a bunch of SSL servers but rather a monetized environment. Where infor…

Surfer magazine picturesque web promo works

Surfer magazine has started using an excellent promotion channel to
get people to link from their mags to their web site... many of their
inspired wave double spreads have been provided as desktop backgrounds
with the link discretely advertised in the corner of the page.Why should this idea be limited to pics of waves. Wired mag is full of
inspirational, thought provoking artwork and pictures, every one of
them an excellent opportunity to build the readers association/
loyalty...My only request. Keep the promotion to a minimum (IE a little
reference or copyright in the corner) no one likes to feel like their
monitors desktop is an advertising billboard.

Wired Magazine as paper... yes.

I discontinued my subscription to Wired because it got tangled in my
mail and triaged as does all my mail into specific time slots...
picking up an issue at the corner store somehow has more of a sense of
occasion.Interestingly, I always spend more time in one session looking through
the paper version than I ever would looking at the RSS feed for the
Wired online. Even more interesting is the fact that the focus the
paper version lends to each article means that the full import of a
story or a new idea is felt so much more strongly. The commitment to
the time to thumb through the magazine results in a more thoughtful
open minded perusal by the reader.

The music industry… past, present and future

I'm no expert but I think the music industry started when Edison
recorded the first vocal performance by an opera singer. But that's
technology. The industry as we know it has always been about control.
Control of distribution, the talent and promotion (i.e. the way people
hear new music).This all worked very well when the promotion channels were few and
highly subscribed. Two or three regional radio stations, three or four
television channels and talent eager to sign the next ten years of
life away for the opportunity make it big in the next year. This all
added up to maximum profits at minimal cost and high efficiency in
distribution and promotion.The excellent book "The Long Tail" proves that with more diverse media
promotion options (take MySpace by itself) and the ability for talent
to self distribute, the industry is facing a sharply down turning
future.A few things that have contributed to the change of affairs for the
industry is the miscalculation that the MP3 file forma…

Dr Dobbs lives

When I first started Uniloc back in 92 I remember somewhere along the
line picking up a copy of Dr Dobbs, the programmers programmer
magazine. After making the rounds of all the usual technology haunts
(slashdot etc) I'm back at the trusty Dobbs website now as
authoritative as ever.Just wish they'd allow custom search with RSS feed as the subject
matter of the site is so diverse and low level it's hard going using
the category RSS feeds to find articles and news that I'm really
interested in...

Brute force attacks focussed on small to mid size companies

CIO India notes: CIO India - More 'Brute Force' Attacks on SMBs, says Security Software Vendor: "'Prior to this, what we noticed out there being directed at mid-sized companies was the more broad-based sweeps or scans, which means that there were certain well-known vulnerabilities that were being targeted, but they were being broadly targeted,' Smith said. 'That means that the bad guys were broadly sweeping a bunch of companies ... for these general vulnerabilities and when they found those vulnerabilities they would find a way in.'

Now, however, hackers are targeting their attacks at specific services like File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and are employing the brute force password cracking technique, Smith said." This growing problem is a big for us at Uniloc... one idea we are really exploring is an adaption of Apples old keyring methodology. The idea being one unlock code that unlocked a "keyring" of other passwords. In Apples case it was an i…

Where did Cyclical Unlock codes come from?

I was recently asked how I came up with the idea of "Cyclical Unlock Codes". Well its pretty simple association that frequently ends up being the inventors best friend. To start off there has been a school of encryption called "compound encoding" where rather than applying an encryption algorithm to individual chunks of data at a time, the data itself is used to encrypt the next chunk of data. This means that you really don't know if you have decrypted any data until you have used the reverse algorithm pretty much to the whole chunk of data you want to protect. Cyclical unlock codes is the same idea where the first parts of the unlock code are used with different algorithms as the code is built by the computer to make the relatively short length of numbers (which is more convenient for a human to use and repeat) much more secure. So there... simple... it does sound complicated doesn't it.

Boing Boing: Circuit City offers DVD ripping service

Boing Boing: Circuit City offers DVD ripping service: "A Circuit City store is offering 'DVD transfer service' to an iPod at $10/disc. This seems like a natural service for a store that sells iPods to offer, except that ripping DVDs is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). It's not that making a copy of your DVDs for your iPod is illegal -- that part's all right. It's breaking the flimsy anti-copying locks on a DVD that's against the law -- the DMCA prohibits breaking any lock, even if you're doing it for a lawful purpose. Link "

Yet another example of why anti-piracy measures need to be more intellegent. From the beginning we at Uniloc have opted for "fair use" capable version of copy control software. For example should you be able to let your Dad see a movie you recommentd to him via broadband? Yes. Should he have a copy that he can share with others? No. Thats fair use... common sense. Unfortunately DRM has become…

Suns CEO's blog is interesting read

Today his blog featured:

"Lunch with Prime Minister Tony Blair...
I had lunch with Tony Blair today. (And yes, I have been waiting all afternoon to type that.) "

Full of interesting tidbits like that SUN's first two letters refer to Stanford University (alluding to the link between innovative companies and universtities in close locale, and a survey of all the CEOs visiting with the PM... all of them where public shool educated.

New threat from 'suicide' virus | Tech News on ZDNet

ZD Net reports from Australia:

"According to Denehy, techniques used not only include 'the obvious ones' such as encryption and rootkits but also 'compression bombs'--which are compressed files that try to make life difficult for forensic tools by attempting to expand to an infinite size when executed."

This is a new twist on a strategy that has really not been exploited fully by hackers, that of impersonation of legitimate applications. Anti-virus tools use checksums at differnet locations in a file to assess the legitimacy of a file against known results from verified software. If this procedure is known then hackers can get their malicious software to look, feel and act like legitimate software.

SightSpeed - worthy of a Skype rethink?

Just when I am really settling in on using Skype along comes Sightspeed.

Why consider it?

The video images are very smooth and... "Create video clips and post them as Video Blogs!" they even host your videos with links to blog them. I dont know whether its time for you to see my beak on this page yet, but it sure makes things interesting... kind of like an automated videomail to youtube to blog play. Very interesting.

Skyping from hospitals - Skype Blogs

The Skype Blog states: "The Estonian daily Postimes reports that Estonian hospitals are increasingly equipped with wifi networks so that the patients can use their time at hospital productively with a laptop." I have a family member going in for an extended stay and it would be great to say hello via Skype rather than doing the call in/ extension/ nurse thing... what a great idea... tip-o-the-hat to Estonia.

Stealing Free Wireless

Bruce Schneier makes the following comment:
"What do you do when you find someone else stealing bandwidth from your wireless network? I don't care, but this person does. So he runs 'runs squid with a trivial redirector that downloads images, uses mogrify to turn them upside down and serves them out of it's local webserver.' The images are hysterical. He also tries modifying all the images so they are blurry."
What we really need is a simple tool in our tasktray that tells us when a new computer comes onto our network, gives us a look to see who it is and lets us blackban them or not.. simple... I feel like getting someone on rentacoder to do it right now.

Ray Ozzie... a breath of fresh air

What big shoes Ray has to fill at Microsoft, now being one of two replacements for Bill Gates as technical lead for the company. He is promoting interesting concepts such as an intellegent clip board for exchanging data over the web. It could make exchanging data on the web as easy as exchanging data between apps using the desktop clipboard. His blog is at: http://rayozzie.spaces.live.com/

Testing... one, tsoo... one, tsooo

Ever since we revamped the company website weve been talking about putting up an official Uniloc blog. And now, less than 10 months later, voilà. Oh well, we are only a small team. But I guess other Unilockers have been a little busy.

Anyway, I'm happy the blog's up. We're going to post some good stuff here - regular blog things: What we had for lunch. What the weathers like in southern Orange County. And perhaps, news about Uniloc, and our thoughts on whatever crosses our horizon. Oh, and we have email feedback too. So we hope to hear from you, as well.

Ric Richardson
Blog Evangelist and Uniloc Founder

Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage and upgrade to Windows Product Activation (WPA)?

This article from Arstechnica writer Ken Fisher quite rightly positions Microsoft's new Windows Genuine Advantage program as an upgrade to Windows product Activation.

The guts of the change are that it appears Microsoft has decided to implement phone home constant monitoring of the license state of your PC.... Basically Activation with automated checking at intervals set by Microsoft.

Two major problems seem to be floating to the surface as the story progresses: People are tagging the system as Spy ware and quite rightly since the user is never asked permission to contact Microsoft... the communication takes place in the background without the users consent which is by definition spy ware and ;
The tolerance schema Microsoft is using seems to be constantly trigger false positives meaning that the software thinks it is on a new machine and is asking the user to re-activate in a wildly disproportionate rate of occurrence. Both problems can be linked to what may be a intentional decisio…

Own your own last mile to the web

Robert Cringely hits the nail on the head this week by suggesting that communities band together to get their own fiber connections to their home... cutting out the Telco's/ cable companies... so true... I have been waiting for 6 months for fiber to arrive at my place deep in the heart of orange county and still wait to be charged $75 per month when according to him I could be paying less than $20 per month to get my own connection... where do I sign up?

Vendor liability for ignoring patents... who should pay?

Wired writer Bruce Schneier makes this valid point:

http://wired.com/news/columns/0,71032-0.html?tw=wn_index_23


"Make Vendors Liable for Bugs Security Matters" Security is at its best when those with the capability to fix security holes are also the ones who get hurt by them. Surprisingly, this isn't the way it works now. Commentary by Bruce Schneier."

But why stop there... what about legal liability? What if the vendor is knowingly abusing a patent protected technology? Can customers of such a vendor take out a class action suit? Should end users really be expected to find out if the product they are using is infringing a patent?
Any comments?

The noble spirit behind patent laws

Patents... legal jousting and intellectual corporate power plays are what comes to mind but... whatever happened to the original ideal... namely a guy/ girl comes up with a valid new idea and the government does the right thing in protecting their right to make a living from the invention without letting all comers just steal the idea and leave them in the dust... especially is this the case when the one wanting the idea for their own is a corporation with consolidated funds and manpower of thousands of investor and employees...

The other fly in the ointment is that the idea of an inventor taking their invention from concept to mass sale is increasingly unrealistic... with the specialized skills and large resources needed to be competitive in any of today's markets, the inventor can at best expect to get the idea into a commercial product and either sell it to a distribution or roll out partner and stand aside while hopefully retaining some equity in the products future success....

The USPTO. An example of how NOT to do PKI...

I have started the process of getting secure access to my patent portfolio on the US patents web site... what a glorious pain in the rear this is...

1. Get an ID number (by mail with apdf form to fill out)
2. Get a notorized application for a PKI certificate... more mail and pain
3. Use two seperate passwords emailed or physicallly mailed to obtain the initial PKI certificate authentication...

All this, when I can fill out one form and have a password mailed to me by most banks to do wire transfers of over 100k per transaction! What a nightmare...

BluRay Crack?

Dan Ackerman of c|net published a bit of a long shot hack to work around BluRays copy control software.

Its more like an automation/ script kiddy outline that shows how to exploit BluRay video players on PCs that fail to stop someone from getting hi-res screengrabs from each frame in a movie and re-assembling them as a full motion video file.

All the same it won't be long before a full AACS (the scrambling software for BluRay) crack floats to the surface. Unfortunately it is a sitting target with no dynamic anchoring features.

Crossing the Chasm getting easier?

A real insightful book is Crossing the Chasm by Geoff Moore. As he suggests (and quite rightly in my mind) the gap that kills a lot of companies occurs between the tail end of the early adopters and the beginning of the early majority in the marketing bell curve.

After spending a bit of time grappling with the impact of blogs and web news it occured to me that early adopters can reach and influence so much more of the early majority customer base that it theorectically means that Geoff Moores "chasm" is on its way to closing... As a tip-of-the-hat to Mr Moore it is probably true that the world has become more geared to niche customer groups and the days of mass marketing are numbered.

That being said it may also be true that if you can get and keep the attention of a small but strong group of vocal early adopters, you are bound to make it all the way to the lucrative early majority stage of the curve without falling into the chasm that swallowed many a fledgling company just …

Tooing and froing with Seth Godin

Earlier today new age marketing guru Seth Godin kindly entered into a cycle of emails to try and convince him to add his considerable insight into some of Uniloc's developer relations campaigns... what amazed me is his responsiveness. He often got back within hours and sometimes minutes, even responding at 2 in the morning (ie 5 his time). How does he do it? That level of commitment to responding to people must really generate a lot of goodwill for him. At first I thought he must use ghost writers but every answer rang true of him... truly amazing.

Caddy + Led Zepellin + Visit = Sweet

Earlier today I received word that the brains and instinct behind GM's Caddy/ Led Zep adverts is paying a visit to Uniloc in the near future... it will sure be interesting to see what that kind of instinct does with some high technology.

For those of you like me who connected with the idea of a Caddy interupting a ballroom full of Mercedes to the tune of Led Zeps Rock and Roll, here is a link to the video.

Fishing for breakfast.

Fishing for breakfast.
Originally uploaded by ailanpair.

Fishing for breakfast.

Fishing for breakfast.
Originally uploaded by ailanpair.
Flying Manta Ray

A great idea... seems to come from Queensland
Amazing 11 year old!!!

Check this little girl out... amazing...

Google Labs... what a great idea

Google Labs is one incredible approach to innovation, even for a small few person shop like R2Labs... the idea is simple, don't theorize, don't spec just do it... get the idea working on a web site, warn visitors that it may not handle capacity or may not work as advertised... and tweak. Tweak till the cows come home....

You'll notice on their main page http://labs.google.com that each listing has three components:
1. The project name (usually catchy) with a cute pithy description and linked..
2. An email contact
3. A discussion group area on googlegroups.

When you go to the site, the idea is usually explained in simple terms and as quickly as possible you are presented with an opportunity to try, experiment or use the project....

As an inventor myself, I cant resist the opportunity to explain the idea and discuss it before committing the time and resources to getting a publicly accessible version of the project running, but the Google approach is truly inspiring...…

For an example of how NOT to do PKI...

I have started the process of getting secure access to my patentportfolio on the US patents web site... what a glorious pain in the rear this is...1. Get an ID number (by mail with apdf form to fill out)2. Get a notorized application for a PKI certificate... more mail and pain 3. Use two seperate passwords emailed or physicallly mailed to obtain the initial PKI certificate authentication...All this, when I can fill out one form and have a password mailed to me by most banks to do wire transfers of over 100k per transaction! What a nightmare...

Own the last mile...

Robert Cringely hits the nail on the head this week by suggesting that communities band together to get their own fiber connections to their home... cutting out the Telco's/ cable companies... so true... I have been waiting for 6 months for fiber to arrive at my place deep in the heart of orange county and still wait to be charged $75 per month when according to him I could be paying less than $20 per month to get my own connection... where do I sign up....

Blog/ Promotion Aggregator

Getting a working model with this project is a little harder than expected... sequencing is the current issue... do you post to the newsgroup or to the blog first... there are pros and cons... posting to the newsgroup first makes it easy but the formatting is quirky....

Xpert group - good dvd video and spy stuff

The most amazing soccer skills I have ever seen

It takes a few moments... the guy warms up then... magic.
laird and teaupoo

Yes.. it includes THE wave of the decade...

Robert Cringely.. opinion squared

One of the most entertaining commentators on the computer industry and so often on point, but in the case of his latest article regarding Microsoft:

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20060615.html

I have to disagree. When you look at Bill Gates' background for example in excellent books like Hard Drive, it is easy to see that internal innovation IS NOT part of the master plan. From buying in DOS and loaning the Mac Interface, the talent always has been in seeing what customers will want and moving quickly to deliver a finished product to the customer as quickly as possible at minimal cost... even if that means not paying some people who should really and legally be paid!

To say, as he does, that Mr Gates is getting in the way of innovation at MS is to say you do not understand how the whole business operates..

The power of IT

How irritating, just spent 1/2 an hour trying to find the book where I got this great idea... so you all know I'm not pulling this out of the ether. Not one listing on Google... how weird... anyway the basic message is this... how to present a position is as follows:

1. What is the problem? (KISS)
2. What is needed to solve the problem
3. IT- present the idea in tangible form
4. Pros/ Cons/ options
5. Next Steps

I've had many a standup argument that documentation far surpasses mockups and what many call smoke and mirrors, but the bottom line is paperwork never captures the imagination, but something that a person could relate to as being a real working prototype will always do a better job... its the epitome of suspension of belief, helping a person jump the gap between what is and what could be.

So on this note, I vow to do a working mockup whenever I can afford the time to do one.

Blog/ Promotion Aggregator

Just toying with the idea of using GoogleGroups as Blog and Mailing list agregator... the basic idea is send to a google group and enter blog submission email addresses (both internal and external) as subscribers.

The Result.... Enter one place and remail multiple places and enter from anywhere. Ill report how this works out in a week or so...

The 10 step process

An old friend once outlined this process to me and it has been pretty fundamental for over two decades for me now... although it really works for smaller and consumer oriented products the idea seems to be relatively similar to running out much larger projects:1. Concept on paper
2. Rough prototype
3. Legal - trademark, patent prov
4. Working model
5. Promotion/ user assessment
6. Small direct retail selling
7. Local promotion/ trade show
8. Distribution
9. Regional promotion
10. Exit - sellMy personal business process has grown a lot more then this, but the basic steps are consistent across much more applications than an inventor/ entrepreneur like myself.

Started work on the Universal Database

The beginnings of a little database project is now taking form at the lab...
we are calling it the Universal Database. The idea is that you can set the
database field name to whatever you want and collect any information you
want in it and basically send to it from anywhere... on top of that it sends
a copy of the record to you via email... its an open data collection tool
that can be used by anyone from anywhere with the aim of making it easy for
people to collect information and have it sent to them without having to go
thru the pain of setting up a database or running your own server database
application....

Logarex progress

Last night I set my PC working on an algorithm to find all the logs for numbers between 10 to the power of 15 and 10 to the power of 16... and it was still running this morning... this is the latest in a drive to get the Logarex prototype site up for visitors to play with... I hope within a week or so to have a web site/ lab project up to allow anyone to submit any 16 digit number to see how much the Logarex algorithm will compress the number... will update in a few more days.

The noble spirit behind patent laws

Patents... legal jousting and intellectual corporate power plays are what comes to mind but... whatever happened to the original ideal... namely a guy/ girl comes up with a valid new idea and the government does the right thing in protecting their right to make a living from the invention without letting all comers just steal the idea and leave them in the dust... especially is this the case when the one wanting the idea for their own is a corporation with consolidated funds and manpower of thousands of investor and employees...

The other fly in the ointment is that the idea of an inventor taking their invention from concept to mass sale is increasingly unrealistic... with the specialized skills and large resources needed to be competitive in any of today's markets, the inventor can at best expect to get the idea into a commercial product and either sell it to a distribution or roll out partner and stand aside while hopefully retaining some equity in the products futur…

Vendor liability for ignoring patents... who should pay?

Wired makes this point:"http://wired.com/news/columns/0,71032-0.html?tw=wn_index_23 Make Vendors Liable for Bugs Security Matters " Security is at its best when those with the capability to fix security holes are also the ones who get hurt by them. Surprisingly, this isn't the way it works now. Commentary by Bruce Schneier."But why stop there... what about legal liability? What if the vendor is knowingly abusing a patent protected technology. Can customers of such a vendor take out a class action suit? Should end users really be expected to find out if the product they are using is infringing a patent?
Any comments?

From the Lab... still on the drawing board

Following are ideas that have become full blown projects but are not ready for prime time. Please feel free to browse them and paly with the prototypes that we are developing for each project as the become available.
Password Packing
With key loggers and Trojans waiting to snatch your banking password something is needed to make their life a bit harder. Password Packing is a technique that adds nonsense characters to your password making it harder for a hacker to know what your password is yet no harder for you to remember. Site Triage
A simplified password system for people who want privacy but do not want their visitors to sign up for anything.Personal Server
Automates collection of important information on your home computer and gets it to you over the web or on your cell or pda. Digital Furnace
One computer for the whole household, a new multi-user approach to household computing. Wireless Repeater
Uses light sockets to power wireless internet connections around the home and around the …

Password Packing - more secure ATMs and...

Password Packing is an idea we came up with make the smaller simpler passwords we all find so easy to remember much safer. For example ATM passwords are only 4 digits long which means we can only stop someone from guessing our passwords if they cant get access to a system to try the 10 to the power of 4 possible combinations ie 10000 different numbers.
The general idea is that the terminal works with you to hide your four digit number so that anyone watching or any digital eavesdropping technology is dealing with a number much longer and without nowing which part of the number you type in is actually your password.
For example an ATM could say to you:Please type 376 - you type 376Please type the first digit of your password - you type itPlease type 1 - you type 1Please type the next two numbers of your password - you type themPlease type 21 - you type 21Please type the last number of your password - you type itNow type 4 - you type 4The above could be made a lot simpler but typing 376x1…

Download music sales exceed pirate downloads

According to Wired magazine May06 edition pg 058 (not on their website for some reason) Matt Honan reports that 11+ million users now download songs that are sold and only 10 million frequent song download networks yet the music industry is just as sick as ever.The problem: The download sites mainly sell 99 cent singles.As a musician and a former member of the music industry myself I know the value of the album format. How many people would have known about "Levee breaks" or "Going to California" if "Stairway to Heaven" was available as a single?Simple solution: Sell the album for $8 (15$ less shipping and packaging and storage costs) by allowing punters to unlock all the other tracks in an album when they buy one track.For a bit of a reality check:Allowing their songs to be included in compilations are the artists choice and it's the same as batch buying singles anyway. The album format is not necessarily a conspiracy by the record companies to get y…

Protecting Games before they hit the street

According to this BBC article some 50,000 copies (or about $3 million worth) of the game were being downloaded at one point on Sunday, August 1st, two days before it was scheduled to appear on store shelves.

Something is needed to protect this intellectual property even during the development cycle not just after it’s boxed and being placed on shelves. One technique we are looking into at Uniloc is investigating how to do polite machine activation that puts the brakes on mass distribution without the strict “one license – one machine” mantra that is seen on so many of the consumer software publishers activation systems.

Polite activation’s psychology is to capture every copy of a game on every machine (ie know where they are) but don’t police the copies until the copy count gets really stupid. Its pretty easy to see the difference from a gamer who owns his own in home multi-player network and a posting on a P2P network… and then just turn the offending serial number off…. The bottom lin…

Passmark a bargain for RSA?

I may be a bit behind the news but could not resist the temptation to comment on RSA's recent acquisition of PassMark Security. Articles like this RSA not content to grow slowly see RSA's moves as aggressive but think about the economics of the deal.

Here is PassMark, with an Intuit heavyweight opening doors for them and having bagged the 800 pound gorilla of the online banking community Bank of America and all the press you can poke a stick at when... they get bought out for $50 million.

$50 million?

All that traction and hype for $50 mill... it is this humble bloggers opinion that the BofA deal was, and is a love job... which leads me to the validity of their colorful image based security system and their browser locking technologies... are they really legitimate? Can they really be counted as a legitimate second factor in a multi factor security system? Maybe not... maybe we have a little further to go to.

Still riding but...

DSC_0093
Originally uploaded by ricricho. Just a half hor before these I went over the handlebars... trying to look in control but...

Riding sabove the Snowline in the mountains north east of LA

DSC_0094
Originally uploaded by ricricho. Thats Paul in the front and me to the back on the KTM. We had good fun that day... Mark Dixon came too it was great to get out get dirty get some fresh air and have a laugh.

Mahon Pool Sydney

Mahon Pool Sydney
Originally uploaded by hangingpixels. This looks like North Narrabeen... not real clear but its got that Sydney rock pool feel.

dust forest in australia

dust forest in australia
Originally uploaded by no.zomi. This is from Queensland but for some reason it reminds me of a trip to Mudgee in late autumn... went with Edna and the Family and took the bikes... no TV just mist in the nose a camp fire and some billy tea.

Bill & Tonis - Sydney

Bill & Tonis - Sydney
Originally uploaded by Fikapaus. Somehow this makes me more homesick for Sydney than any pic of the coat hanger or the opera house....

Wired News: RSA Security Conference Review

Ryan Singel from Wired News:: writes a fair analysis and roundup of technologies represented at the recent RSA security conference. Even though the term "two factor" authentication has been circulating the industry in application to minimum security products like Passmark it continues to amaze me that no one has stopped to think that displaying a graphic on a web page is really not a legitimate second factor to a username and password.

Also the comment repeated in the article that PGP''s Callas' "likes PassMark Security's solution, which examines the device a user logs in from, looking for a number of factors including IP address and a secure cookie or Flash object the bank has previously stored on the machine".

The technology is clearly not a legitimate two way strong authentication system worthy of being termed a "second factor". It's more like one-and-a-half-factors which will get banks and consumers in hot water sooner than later.

The…

Richardson Background

Ric Richardson is the inventor of a (if not THE) foundation activation and machine locking US#5,490,216. He is the founder of Uniloc with which he now works as resident technologist while also exploring new technologies and inventions. Ric was born in Australia and is now a US resident based in Southern California.