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Showing posts from 2009

Container dwellings

I have been looking at container based dwellings for some time now and am just amazed at the ingenuity that is being shown lately.

With a 40 foot container being available for less than $3000 it looks possible to get  a home decked out with IKEA gear for less than 20k. Also with its transportability the requirements of local government can be fairly easily accommodated and you end up with quite a respectable little place.

This looks cool... now if only you had a view out that window... maybe if you could locate it near a good coffee shop.. then you'd have... voila .. a dickmobile!

Prezi, a great way to do presentations

Normally I don't include web findings in the blog but this cool little technology really caught my eye. It's basically an infinate white board that allows you to automate a presentation from one section of the whiteboard to the next... really cool.

Jim's wife will let me help publish memoirs

Jim would have resisted having his memoirs published while he was alive... he wasnt just humble. He was an anti-egotist if there is such a word.

Sadly due to our loss his memoirs can now be published.

There are many people who would love to help Jim's dear wife Rosemary publish his work but I have volunteered to help get it all moving. Many options are popping up... self publishing, a small publisher, but most logical and most suting it would be for ABC books to publish his book... that is my goal working with Jim's family over the next few weeks.

Jim Revitt (1931-2009) remembered in a major newspaper

A wonderful article recognizing my mate Jim Revitt appeared just a few days ago...

Jim will be missed by many more people than he could have imagined... plans are in place to publish his memoirs so please contact me directly if you are interested in getting a copy.

Click photo to see full size.

11 year old reader of Washington Times

With the young ladies permission I have reproduced an interaction between her and I to illustrate the power of a positive story.

------------- Nov 15, 2009 -------------------

Dear Mr. Richardson,

Hi how are you doing on this blessed day? My name is AM. I am an 11 year old and my mommy read to me about you in the newspaper - The Washington Times. My grandfather inspired me to be a surgical doctor and now you inspired me not just to be a doctor but also an entrepreneur.

My question to you is how to be an entrepreneur. I love when a newspaper is talking about you but you are talking about other people, like your wife, the staff at your company and the shareholders. Also what are shareholders? Thank you so much for inspiring me and reading my correspondence. Your new friend, AM
------------ Here is my reply -------------

Dear AM,

What a bright and courteous young lady you are. From your letter it sounds like you will be able to do whatever you set your mind to. Your mum must sure be proud of you…

Jim Revitt (1931-2009)

Just moments ago I got off the phone with Jim's oldest boy David who had just told me that Jim had passed away. What a terrible loss. Just a few weeks ago he was singing support for me on the Australian Story Episode "The Big Deal"... and here he is now... gone.

Jim has been battling a string of bad conditions that seemed to be relentlessly ganging up on him over the last few weeks. A failing kidney, pneumonia and then heart problems. I saw him Wed week ago when he was having a real tough time. My heart went out to him and his dear girl Rowe as they battled the distress of severe health damage.

I'm flying to Sydney tomorrow and will try to console my friends loyal family. But I for one will surely miss my old mate Jim.

An evening with the Entrepreneurs Organization: Melbourne Chapter

I just had a great evening with 8 real smart guys from the Melbourne chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization. They were staying in Byron and had me in to talk shop and ideas. Over 5 hours we discussed everything from focusing on strengths, to automated task management (tazkmachine) for building contractors, to tile based online magazine publishing (zkimmer) and centralization of personal data in custom screen scraping technology. It was great fun and I encourage any of the guys from that group to email me at to keep the discussion going. As soon as I get patentmachine going I can hardly wait to get their feedback. Thanks guys for a great time... and BTW my Mrs really enjoyed the bottle of red.

ABC Radio - Northern Rivers talkback

It was great fun today with Tony Johnston at Radio ABC in the News South Wales Northern Rivers. His blog can be seen here. I spoke to him a few weeks back when he was following up on the Judges reversal of the $388 million USD jury verdict in favor of a company I founded (Uniloc).

Before talking to people on the phone Tony asked for some good advice for inventors. What came out of that was the following:
Have a go at patenting yourself (ie filing a provisional patent) to get yourself protected while you work out if your invention has legs or not. The book I recommend is called "Patent Pending in 24 hours" and can be purchased from Amazon or downloaded from NOLO press as an e-book if you wasn't to get going ASAP. Advice on how to use the book can be read about here.

Find someone to compliment your weaknesses... if you are great at inventing but cant do sales or cant do business, then build a team that can.. share the equity with them...

Every invention should have a business…

Thanks for the Support

I must say that it has been a wonderful boost to receive all the support and well wishes of people from all over the world and especially from Aussies. In fact some of you were so strong about your feelings, I felt really privileged to have warranted such a sympathetic reaction.

Even the media, especially in Australia has been very fair and to an appropriate degree sympathetic.

As I have said to the Sydney Morning Herald and other newspapers, fighting this battle is not like winning the lottery... you don't buy a ticket, win and go pickup the money... it's a long hard battle.

Even thought the initial win with the jury verdict was good reason to celebrate, the realistic approach is to be ready for the next phase which was anticipated to be a Microsoft appeal... even though we were not expecting what happened (the judge to reverse the jury's decision), we all knew that more rounds were involved.

So yes, I for my part and for my family's part are primed to work past this setb…

Judge reverses Jury decision in Uniloc MS case

At the moment I am waiting my turn to talk to the Uniloc lawyers, but the news is disappointing.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald:

"But on Tuesday in the US (today Australian time), US District Judge William Smith "vacated" the jury's verdict and ruled in favour of Microsoft."

The full article can be read here and a listing of all the articles on Google News can be viewed here.

Ric is on Australian Story - Mon 24th August at 8pm

By Site Admin - 19th August 2009. After two months in the making, one of the most reputable programs on Australian television, Australian Story, has featured Ric Richardson and a company he founded called Uniloc that received a jury verdict of $388 million US dollars.

The Australian Story episode couches the jury win in the context of Ric's life, his 16 year journey of building the business that is based on the invention he patented back in 1992 and how it has affected him since he decided to make his main base of operation back in Australia.

Some links you may enjoy include:
Background info on the people in the Australian Story such as IBM US Corporate veteran Ravi Marwaha and surfing legend Bob McTavish and even Ric's physical trainer.
Stories from Behind-the-scenes of this episode.
What it's like to be interviewed by Australian Story.
Answers to Questions many people have asked Ric about the show. Many people have asked why there is little mention of the Uniloc company or it…

Australian Story - what it's like to be interviewed

By Ric Richardson. Wed Aug 16th- 5 days before the show airs.
Being interviewed by Australian Story is not like any other interview experience I have ever had.

When the news of the Microsoft court case win first hit Australia I was inundated with requests for interviews by everyone from the news programs to “A current affair”. My initial reaction was to try and make something more constructive out of all the attention than simply being the guy who invented the thing that ended up winning a court case against Microsoft for $388 million.

A decent message takes more than a 5 minute snippet to communicate… so I bided my time, until my good friend Jim Revitt convinced me that a request from Australian Story should be taken seriously.

Having been away in the States for the last decade meant that I didn’t have any idea what Australian Story was like, but having a glowing reference from Jim (who I hold as one of Australia’s most valuable behind-the-scenes television people) meant it was well wor…

Exporting Ideas

At the outset please let me invite anyone who sees an opportunity with one of my inventions to email me... if you are an entrepreneur that would like the opportunity to run with one of these inventions, just say the word... I'm up for anything. That said I am also looking to set up a professional pipeline that takes patented technologies and ideas from Australia to the US in the most efficient way. The normal path to international success is to build your business here, and then once the product is proving itself, set sights on the US. Unfortunately in my mind this is like committing corporate suicide.
You can only raise money and you only have so much equity to trade for funding and before you know it you've used all your money and all your equity before you even get to the market that really matters.The approach I am developing and hope to set up for others to use is a strategy where Australia is only used for initial development and some limited market testing, w…

Australian Story - the people from the episode

This article is a quick introduction to the people interviewed in the Australian Story episode featuring Ric: Karen (Ric's wife), Jim Revitt, Steve Cox, Ravi Marwaha, Bob McTavish, Jim FitzSimons, Francois Naef

Also we will introduce you to the team from Australian Story who made the episode possible: Kent Gordon (Producer), Kristine Taylor (Researcher), Anthony Sines (Cameraman), Marc Smith (Sound)

And some people who should have been mentioned: Fred and Helen Richardson (Ric's Mum and Dad), Sky Richardson (Ric's brother and business manager), Lily Richardson (daughter), Craig Etchegoyen (business partner and good deeply trusted friend), Brad Davis (Exec at Uniloc and friend), The Uniloc team.


Karen Richardson (Ric's Wife)- Karen is Ric's wife and dearest friend who faithfully followed him as the journey took them to the States and back. In the episode Karen features strongly as a grounding influence that gives Ric relief …

Australian Story - Answers to viewers questions

Questions answered so far:Why hasn’t anyone from Uniloc featured in the Australian Story episode?What about your parents, Ric? Did they not have a part in your success? Why weren’t they interviewed for the story?Your business partner Craig Etchegoyen is mentioned but is not interviewed in the story. Is there something missing there?The case must have cost millions. How did Uniloc pay for it?The case must have been a big thing for you. Why didn’t you go over there for the proceedings?
Why hasn’t anyone from Uniloc featured in the Australian Story episode?
The people of Uniloc are a good and competent team and they should get credit for their part in the jury decision. However the enforcement of the patent only really involved a few members of the team and me as the inventor since its really about the patent and some of the facts surrounding our relationship with Microsoft over the years.There is also the fact that the judge has not as yet ruled on damages and there is a very r…

Australian Story - behind the scenes

The following are some little stories and background that may be of interest to you if have seen Ric’s episode of Australian Story. These notes are from Ric’s recollections:

Link to some behind the scene photos (shooting on location in Byron)

The McTavish surfing shot
The episode opens with a sequence of shots featuring surf legend Bob McTavish while he is surfing. The idea is to demonstrate how I was able to help Bob patent his ideas which would be worth millions if he had done this in the past with inventions such as his short surfboard.

When we first checked out the surf for the day of the shoot the beach we chose was in an out of the way place just north of Byron Bay. Within moments the police turned up doing their normal rounds and I thought we’d get in trouble parking the truck at a funny angle in the beach car park. As soon as they saw Bob they said a cheerful hello, asked the crew in a friendly way what they were doing, and looked on for a few moments. They were really cool abou…

Making your ideas fly

By Ric Richardson 19th August 2009. Expanded and updated 29th August. A lot of people I meet are desperate to try and see their ideas and inventions come to life. My heart goes out to you. Unfortunately I can’t help everyone and the fact is that I’m an inventor. Being an entrepreneur is only a necessary evil in my book since I’d prefer to invent something, make sure it works, and hand it off to someone so I can get on with the next thing.
Most people that meet me, need me to be an entrepreneur… to evaluate their idea or invention, to mentor them. Some people even privately or overtly ask me to invest. Unfortunately that person is not me for the most part. However I love sharing information and things I’ve learned about inventing. What follows is some things I’ve learnt over the years that may be of help:

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and the following advice is only based on my experience so please consult professionals before making important legal decisions.

This is usu…

Inspiring inventor kids

My wife and I were having our Friday late lunch early dinner and this guy wizzed past on a skateboard that had no deck! My wife gave me a look and I bolted out the door to track the guy down to see how this new contraption worked.... unfortunately he was a promoter (not the inventor) offering lessons on how to ride this deckless skateboard... however what was interesting is that two kids came over asking really good technical questions about the invention... one of them proudly stated that he was an inventor and working on a secret project... he said it with such pride that it made me wonder if the same nurturing was done in young people of invention as it is in celebrity or sports success, that there may be a bigger pool of both in the kids of today.

About Ric's Van as seen on Australian Story

Truck: 2003 Longbase Ford Transit with 5 speed triptronic
Where did I get it: Cheap at Govt auction in Sydney
Features: Tinted rear glass for privacy.. note: as fully enclosed rear area ie no glass is hard to park in town. Also supper high roof (Im 6ft and can stand with a slight crouch) good for rainy days.

Those of you who saw the article in the Sydney Morning Herald may recall the headline "How the man in the van beat Microsoft". At the time the setup I was using was a proof of concept that allowed me to test the viability of using a van to combat cabin fever and get out and about when solving invention problems... well the outdoor furniture and bench seat have been replaced with a perspex desk and an executive chair... things are rather more comfortable... in software development parlance, the project is now beta but requiring some fine tuning... the desk is way too flimsy, there is a definite need for a power outlet and monitor mounting and some other obvious office amenit…

zkimmer online publication viewing

This video shows the newer version of the technology we are using to display online publications. Basically it is an adaptation of the the satellite imagery technology used in sites like Google Maps but adapted to the viewing of multi-page online publications. Everything from newspapers to photo albums to textbooks.

Facebook frustration

Ive been looking at Facebook for some time now investigating its various capabilities such as pages (fan pages), groups (centralized themed comments etc), and Personal pages/ walls. The goal is to see if any or all of these can be used to share information about inventions and business plans but at the same time encourage feedback and interaction. The promise of privacy and more open communication is also a big draw. For example I could share more detailed information with prospective investors than with the general public.

After many days investigation I keep running into brick walls. Facebook is so bent on being friend inclusive that it is painful to set up controlled access. The design of the privacy controls is always pushing you to be more open with information that it almost makes it impossible to create tightly confined access to private information. This also applies to people who want to share their life with friends but want to keep their life private from people just outsid…

What's next? zkimmer, Logarex and The Swappery

While the dust settles around the Uniloc case, lots of work is being done on 3 current projects:
zkimmer is now handling much bigger publications. For those of you who dont know zkimmer, basically it is a way of using googlemapsish satellite imagery technology to view magazines, textbooks, fine art and photos... the team just did our first 200 page file so text books look like they are now a solid proposition.
Logarex - the clouds are clearing on this project. It's a high risk long shot and possible follow up to Uniloc. Now that there is a little more time to focus some of the big issues regarding the log tables are starting to get broken down. Maybe fitting a Bluray disk on a USB stick is not impossible...
The swappery - the final pieces to this puzzle are falling into place. This project is being evaluated for patent opportunities but in the meantime I can say that the basic idea is to virtualize everyones libraries of CDs and LPs, and to leverage personal fair use/ and ownership p…

Who is Jim Revitt

It was really disappointing to search Google for mentions of my good friend and supporter Jim Revitt to find only a mish-mash of references to books he's published and references to his community service.

This post is a small attempt to add a little clarity.

Jim is one of Australia's greatest ever journalists. Period.
As a young reporter he traveled to Canada and the US, then to return home to be Australia's eye and ears during the Vietnam war and a correspondent for Australia's national radio and television networks.

I met Jim when he was editor for ABC television Weekend Magazine (video) in Gore Hill Sydney... I remember convincing him to let me have some ABC-TV stickers working with my dad as a pre-teenager.

Since leaving the ABC Jim has been a tireless worker for his community in the northern beaches area of Sydney. While doing this he also supported and edited some of the books written by his talented neice Di Morrisey who has been Australia's biggest selling femal…

Sorry that was a bit cryptic...

Sorry that was a bit cryptic... Im getting ready to go limited beta on a small community classifieds site... Craigslist for towns rather than counties... maybe it will work... Ill send a link soon so you can look if you want...

This morning...

Just spending the morning revving up for the latest experiment 'dlist' going live on Friday Eastern AUS time...

Visiting with surfing Legend Bob McTavish

Spent a bit of time today with short board revolutionary, Bob McTavish trying to talk him into the advantages of patenting surfboard designs. Some really great ideas are percolating in his head including a radical new design that world champ Kelly Slater is looking at using.... stand by for some interesting paperwork to hit the US patent office soon.

Ric in the News

August 25th, 2009 -Byron Shire Echo (Newspaper and online) article on win against Microsoft.July 24th, 2009 -Northern Rivers Echo (Newspaper and online) double page spread including interview with Ric regarding future projects.April 29, 2009 - Sydney Morning Herald (Newspaper and online) front page mention and main article page 4. Title "The Man in the Van".April 8th, 2009 - Bloomberg (Online) as far as I can tell this is the first mention of the $388 million dollar jury verdict result.Feb 4th 2008 - Engadget(Online) Hotswap Laptop Battery concept picked up by popular Gizmo site Engadget.Mid 2001 - California UPN channel 13 - (Video) Family PC magazine does a Uniloc enabled cover disk. Ric was the company CEO at the time.Coming soon: The original 7.30 report for Uniloc in 1992; The ABC TV New video footage of the IBM partnership announcement; video from 1995 for a Uniloc enabled copy of Doom that was distributed on a Warner Records Hip Hop bands CD.
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