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Showing posts from 2010

Inventor Roadshow TV show test in Bangalow 16th Jan 2010

It’s been a while since I last updated the blog and here is the reason…

The Inventor Roadshow.


It’s a concept for a television show that is designed to encourage buddying inventors and just people with good ideas to come in and share them with the aim of helping you get going with your invention or project.
The mini event is to be held in Bangalow near Byron Bay on Sunday 16th January is a little test to see how the idea works out…

Simply its Antiques Roadshow (the UK based BBC television show) but with Inventions rather than antiques. People bring their ideas into a community hall and have them assessed by professional investors or Venture Capitalists.

The experts chosen to help you have been screened to be supportive and upbeat so you will feel as comfortable as possible talking about your idea or invention.

For those of you I have helped over recent months, please feel free to go directly to the registration page by clicking above and registering for the event if you think you can …

At the US patent office

It is a great privilege to have visited the US Patent office to support some legal proceedings surrounding one of my patents. You know, for me, I always thought of the US patent office as one of my first investors… I didn’t pay someone to examine my patent… yes there was a fee but no way could it cover the many hours it takes to search for relevant patents and make a decision about allowing the patent or not…All that effort was given to me and my company as an investment in my future giving me the opportunity to go out and try and make good on something I invented by protecting my ability to do that without competition for a decent period of time….To stand in front of these people and to say thanks to them was a real highlight and one I’ll not quickly forget.

TheIncubator.com.au – A planned Aussie resource for inventors

For over a year now
I have been chewing over how to consolidate all the expertise, goodwill and intellectual horsepower that is willing to support Australian inventors.Well after just a few phone call this afternoon, it is clear that there are some really good people at our Universities and in State Government who want to see this happen for Australia. After just one day of ringing around for help I am already half way to finding sponsors who are willing to work along with me in setting up a home for the Australian Invention community.The project has been tentatively called The Incubator and if you would like to know more there is a wiki page discussing the project here.

#159 Modular Car system

Below is one of many attempts to come up with a solution to a problem that has been nagging at me for years, namely the waste of driving cars around designed to transport a whole family when most of the time you only need the car to transport one or two people…

This modular approach may not be the most streamlined or pleasing to the eye but hopefully you will see that it is very practical.
The rear wheels swivel up out of the way so that the front tires of the module behind tucks into the the module in front. The flush front surface fits neatly into the back of the module in front and the windscreen glass retracts down into the space below as does the rear screen of the module in front to allow communal travel space and for mums and dads to make sure the kids seat belts are in place!
The work page for this project is here.

Project #160: Trolley system for moving heavy furniture

Guess what? I moved house last week, which became a treasure trove of problems to solve and invention opportunities. I haven’t had time yet to check if something like this has been done before, but short of a prior art search I’m pretty sure that the idea is pretty fresh.

The basic idea is a two trolley system. The main trolley is like a traditional moving trolley but it has the ability to suspend the scoop tray at the bottom 2” higher. An additional single wheel trolley with the ability to swivel goes at the other end of the item being moved.

I could have used this invention last week.

Work page for this invention: http://r2labswiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Furniture_and_large_object_trolley_moving_system

US Billionaire Mark Cuban invests in Uniloc spinoff

Mark Cuban is better known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks Basketball Team in Texas than for his role in building Broadcom and selling it to Yahoo in 1999.But there is no denying it. Mark is a very smart man. Which is why I am delighted to see that Mark has chosen to become a major investor in a spin-out from Uniloc called BlueCava.It looks like he may even be sitting on the companies board which means I will have a legitimate reason to meet him some day soon. I am so pleased for the guys at BlueCava. They have been working hard and making strong headway. I hope to get to say hello to them all when I go to the States in a few weeks for some business in Washington DC.

Proof that Uniloc people do more than sit at desks

Co-founder of Uniloc, USA at Newport Beach October 19th getting tubed.Craig Etchegoyen is one of the most hard charging, determined and smart businessmen I have ever met. And he’s a good mate. But I’ve always felt guilty that he has taken by far the brunt of responsibility for day to day operations at Uniloc ever since we started working together back around 2003.Well it’s great to see him enjoying a real love in his life.. surfing. And great to see things settling down for him at Uniloc.

Wall Street 2 inspires new office setup

After seeing Wall Street 2 I was inspired to re-think my next home office setup and opted for something along the lines that appear about 3 minutes into the movie.A trader setup of 6 x 20” monitors and;Wire display boards for project and information display.At any given time I am working on over a dozen projects and being able to scan them all in a flash really helps to get an overview of whats next… Seb and I are moving to a new office so it’s an opportunity to experiment.The work page for the project is on our wiki. Have a look if you want.

A week in the Outback with Fortescue Metals

Last week I had a fantastic experience working with one of the most dynamic companies in the world, at one of the most interesting places in the world… a red dirt surface mine in the Pilbara of Western Australia.The week of work was truly amazing. I don’t know how Andrew Forrest has placed his mark so heavily on the culture of the company, but he has.Mines are dangerous places, so safety is a priority. So you’d expect everyone to be walking around cowering under the watchful glare of a safety monitor. Not Fortescue! Their mantra is “when you do something, think of your mate his mrs and their kids before you do something..” simple but powerful.With BHP as a competitor Andrews mantra of “think with your head, not your wallet” means that the two year old operation is catching BHP and Rio Tinto at an incredible rate.I had the privilege of meeting lots of great people, hard workers, clear and open thinkers and enthusiasm to burn.. and not a single naysayer amongst them….I’m going back if t…

For the Sydney Uni students – an actual provisional patent filing

For the students who I spoke to at Sydney Uni last Friday I promised Id show a simple example of a patent to give them an idea of how it all works… this patent was abandoned after finding prior art but it show you how simple the provisional can be… in this case the drawings were hand drawn and very quickly processed…If this patent went to full application I’d use PowerPoint to redo the drawings in a more presentable way but basically the text would remain the same:This is for the patent  text This is for the patent drawingsWhat I liked about this patent was that the time from final drawings to filing was about 14 hours. The above pdfs were from the actual filings with the USPTO.

Presentation from todays seminar at Sydney University

The following presentation was done for some students from Sydney University who I spoke to about the importance of Intellectual Property to start up businesses.
The audience was smart but a lot more business oriented than invention oriented and the enthusiasm for invention and protecting great ideas just wasn't as important to this group as to most groups Ive spoken to.... this is not to say that there was not a lot of potential in the group.

The course is being put together by Matt Barrie from Freelancer.com and Bill Bartee from Southern Cross Ventures so it is a serious education opportunity and i wish them both success in the future as they try to build the profile of the course over the coming years.


Intellectual Property and Startups on Prezi

The importance of Momentum

n.pl.mo·men·ta (-t) or mo·men·tums1. Symbol pPhysics A measure of the motion of a body equal to the product of its mass and velocity. Also called linear momentum.momentum = mass x velocityIn business terms this means the same thing. Bringing weight of experience and resources to bare (mass) with speed of execution (velocity).This lesson was classically illustrated today. I met some really smart surf tech types today with my mate Bob McTavish. They have a really great product and idea but were ginger about committing. They even have a patent but are all cautious and wary.What they have come up with is probably of real importance to the surf industry and they need to be careful that they are not run over by bigger players, but that is what the patents for.The meeting nearly went nowhere as they have limited resources and could not even give a sample to Bob to try out… then the breakthrough… the momentum.I convinced the guys to give Bob all the gear they had so that Bob could make his ow…

Reputation Driven Social Networks - 2 Sheeters

Recently I started using a tool I've called "2 sheeters" to help get a message across quickly and visually. In a recent business meeting I went through 5 fairly complex iPhone app concepts in about 20 minutes, mostly because I had a 2 sheeter for every concept... what do you think of the idea?

More news from the states regarding Uniloc

I can now talk about it because Uniloc’s CEO just announced that the total companies Uniloc has sued besides Microsoft has gone up to 60 now with 20 companies taking a license with the company.“The company, with U.S. offices in Irvine, California, has sued 60 companies and reached licensing agreements with more than 20”, Chief Executive Officer Brad Davis said in a telephone interview.

Another patent granted U.S. No. 7,804,079

Just got word that another of my patents has been granted in the US. This one has been assigned to Uniloc and covers the use of the imperfections in optical fibre to uniquely identify the location and identity of a device on a fibre optic network…Its pretty cool stuff if I don’t say so myself….For those of you into the technicalities here is the patent application info as I don’t think the patent database has been updated with the granted number yet…http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=18&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=ric&s2=richardson&OS

Uniloc vs Microsoft Appeal Hearing completed

Last week the Appeal Court in the US had it’s hearing for arguments from Uniloc and Microsoft regarding the appeal against Judge Smith’s reversal of the jury verdict in favour of Uniloc.The panel of three judges asked a wide range of questions ranging from the technicality of the subject matter to justifying the settlement figure.For those of you following the case closely you can listen to a recording of the case online at:http://oralarguments.cafc.uscourts.gov/Audiomp3/2010-1035.mp3The appeal court judges final decision can take weeks or months so I have no idea how long the wait will be at this stage.

Making your ideas fly - the book (outline)

I have been asked by dozens of people to consider writing a book about the process I use for my own projects. This mind map can be edited if you want to add some questions of notes so feel free... please comment on anything you would really love to see covered.

Map of Ric's Activities for fellow project workers

For those of you who I work with I have included a little mind map that you can help me edit to keep updated.
Use tab to create a new sub node and return to add a new peer node.

Please note: This is by no means complete but will become more comprehensive as my team members and the people I am working with fill in the blanks over time...

News story from 1992 just weeks after filing the Uniloc patent

I was looking through some videos that were returned to me after the Australian Story episdoe (they asked me for any video I had that may be relevant) and found this... a segment from the 7.30 report done a few weeks after the Uniloc patent was filed back in 1992... it was a pretty exciting time.

A little Google Robot experiment that may work

Sorry to drag my readers through an unproven experiment but hopefully the following will actually work…I have done a little experiment to see how search engine robots work and have planted hopefully a unique term “Testaramarizer” in such a way so that it is clear how the technology works.Before writing this article a search for the term at this search url:http://www.google.com.au/search?q=TestaramarizerDelivered no results… but hopefully after the Google Robots visit there will be at least two results… one for this article and the second to show the results of my test where the search results actually point at a video from my YouTube account…The link that triggers all this is:http://ric.r2labs.com/redi/FMPro?-db=redi.fp5&-format=main.htm&docid=1&-findHopefully by morning this will all be working….I have also included the following test do to ensure I know if the Google robot is being detected improperly…http://ric.r2labs.com/redi/FMPro?-db=redi.fp5&-format=main.htm&…

Highlights from Tech 23

Had a great time at Tech23. Caught up with some of the people I met last year and a lot of new people… had 11 meetings starting 7.30am!Here we go:First up at brekky met Ryan Junee a young fellow who has successfully sold his business to Google.. power to himBit of circulating talking to a few of the guys that will be presenting to my panel later in the day then…10am Peter Fox, the guy who turned Home and Garden into a web aware TV/ Magazine show and I discussed a new technology to allow kludging of online video into other projects and tracking royalties and rights at the same time… that was fun…11am met with Bill Bartee from Southern Cross Ventures. What an open enthusiastic gentleman.I’m looking forward to matching his funds needs in the future and having him up to Byron for a visit.12 noon. Steve Berry - Global Head of Business Management at Macquarie Bank also old mate and friend caught up.. talking about one time use credit cards, a new transaction model for credit cards and some…

What to patent… what is the example embodiment?

Lots of people have asked me what to place as their prime example of an invention when they submit a provisional patent.When you write a patent you have a core idea which is meant to be expressed using an implementation that demonstrates what you think at the time is the best possible example of the invention in practise (i.e. in actual use).The problem here is that many people start writing up a specification for their product instead of showing a version of the invention in use that is the simplest you can possibly show that discloses how you actually intend to use the invention in real life.In my mind there are three implementations of an invention you need to consider when writing a business plan which need to be considered before showing your invention in a patent:The simplest implementation. What is the thing in its most basic form. No puffery. No additional features. Just the bare minimum. Simple but enough to enable someone who knows the business to duplicate what you are doin…

Rail Trucking: Some maths for the Sydney to Brisbane Rail line

Your browser does not support iframes.
Ok… so how many trucks could the Sydney Brisbane rail line handle? How many trucks could we get off the Pacific Highway?
10… 100… 1000? Is this all worth it?
Here are some figures.
The station manager I interviewed at the Casino rail station said that up to 15 trains pass through per day with the maximum on the weekends.This manes that 7-8 trains pass every day going opposite directions. This means one train passing every spot on the line every 2 hours on average.Each train is up to 1.5km in length and must go on the side rail at least twice in a 12hour Syd Bris trip to allow other trains to pass. During this time they are waiting for the other train to clear the main line since it is shared by trains going north and south.The Sydney Brissy line is about 1000km long.During a 12 hour trip there would be at least seven other trains on the line with you at the same time.Given that the train is 1.5km in length and a 10 km buffer is needed in front of e…

Rail Trucking Research with Engineer and trucker

Last Wednesday I was out on the road doing research with the fabrication engineer for Rail Trucking collecting information for the initial drawings of the Rail Trucking bogeys (see Rail Trucking article). Along the way I flagged down a truckie going past and asked him if could measure his truck for Rail Trucking specifications. While the engineer measured wheelbases and tire widths etc, I interviewed the truck driver about what its like to be a truckie.Towards the end I eventually explained to him what we were doing and how Rail Trucking works. I fully expected to be palmed off since it very unconventional to think of trucks on the rails but I was truly surprised to find that his reaction was very positive… in fact his biggest problem was with the thought that truckies would find it so relaxing to drive by rail that they will be falling asleep…--- thus to him the biggest problem would be the installation of what is called a deadmans’ brake… some kind of device that allows the truck to…

Thankyou for all the support

4,000 visitors in one day from the Sydney Morning Herald article. Again I feel privileged that the Uniloc story and our fight has been of so much interest. To me its just stuff that has to be done, but it is so great to have the support of everyday people.Thank you.A small but vocal few persisted in touting their contrary opinion which is fine but mislead. The fact that Asher Moses reported an inflammatory comment by a local lawyer may be necessary to be seen as neutral reporting, but his position that there may be doubts about the integrity of our patent claim are truly unfounded.For the record:Patent trolls do not spend 18 years building business that they are only trying to defend.
We only took action after it was blatantly published by Microsoft exactly what they were doing.
If we were patent trolls, do you think we would go after the biggest software company in the world by choice?
If we were only in it for a quick buck, why would we pick the most expensive case to fi…

Sydney Morning Herald Article Today

After speaking to Asher Moses from the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday, he reported on the new Uniloc suits on the SMH.COM.AU website today.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/van-man-1-microsoft-0-now-aussie-rics-gunning-for-more-tech-giants-20100805-11ihy.html

It's amazing that everyone is so supportive of what Uniloc (and I...) are trying to do. Even though there are a handful of ridiculous murmurs calling Uniloc a patent troll in the US, everyone seems to understand that you can't lay claim to a patent and then walk away from it as soon as things get a bit hard.

Here are some of the quotes I gave to Asher:“What many people don’t realize is that the validity of the Uniloc patent was not being questioned by the court. In fact it’s validity was maintained  even under the test of all of Microsoft’s legal resources. The judges decision simply showed that he agreed with Microsoft that the method used by them for Activation is different to the method described i…

Invention: Outback grass fire blanket

Update 31st August 2010: Research results so far into fireproof tire coverings and under chassis heat protection have been a bit depressing, but I am not giving up hope... since I wrote this a few fire-ees have approached me for help with their own inventions and I am bringing their experience to bare on the problem. I also at this stage would like to formally confirm that the results of these tests and any invention that comes out of it will be made available in the public domain to ensure that the technology is provided as cheaply and widely as possible if we are successful.

This idea has been on the cards for some time after seeing the bushfires in southern Australia last year. One of the easiest things to do to stop a bush fire spreading is to attack it before it gets into the trees.
This concept involves a protective blanket that protects the underside of a tractor and a trailing blanket of fire resistant material that is 30 feet wide and up to 100 feet long that gets dragged beh…

Uniloc is now enforcing its patent rights with others besides Microsoft.

As I am not on the board at Uniloc and not privy to a lot of non public information about the company, I learned along with a lot of you that Uniloc has gone to court with another group of large software publishers including Sony and McAfee.Even though I spent most of my time preparing for the Microsoft case before I left Uniloc to become a full-time inventor, I knew this kind of thing was on the cards and really what else can Uniloc do?As I said in ABC’s Australian Story, you cant decide to file a patent and then just let it flap in the wind. It’s a gutsy thing for the guys at Uniloc to do and I fully support them.Yes, I am a shareholder, and yes there is money involved in winning these cases but there is also a financial return in reclaiming money stolen from a bank. It’s not a way to make a quick buck, its just a way to get justice when someone just takes something that isn’t theirs and is forced to pay you for what they took.

The Example Planning Cap Table

As promised in a previous blog I have enclosed and example of a cap chart that could be used in planning out the equity and dilution of ownership over the life of a company.Please click to enlargeThis approach includes two features that I find very useful in my new circumstances operating in Australia but ultimately doing market entry in the US.In summary this cap table shows the following key events:In the initial inception of the company I sell 15% of the stock in a holding company to obtain 600k in operating cash for the market entry team to live off while they are raising cash for their own modified business plan. This assumes an angel round valuation at $4mill. I have done start-ups ranging from $900k to $8mill as start-up angel valuations in the past. Next I may give 3% as a sign on equity to an experienced CEO who has taken a similar product to market entry. The CEO will also have performance equity bonuses ranging from an additional 5% for completing the raise and a total of 1…

Write provisional patents not white papers: my advice to Universities

Note: The statistics in this article come from Sydney and NSW Universities who are in the mid range in terms of patent filing activity ahead of most US Universities but behind technology centres like Stanford and MIT.After visiting now two of Australia’s premiere Universities it is clear to me that there is a major opportunity here. Some stats first:With thousands of researchers and students at each campus and tens and often hundreds of millions invested in education how many projects are submitted for patent application: approx 100 per year.How many of these get provisional filings? 40-60And how many get granted? About 15.15 patents from hundreds if not thousands of great brains… WHAT A WASTE.If any of these researchers are like me at all they are capable of at least 10 provisional patent apps per person. So why isn't there thousands of provisional apps being filed?I hope to find out… but for now here is an idea to explore.Make provisional patent writing a basic requirement of an…

University of NSW wrap up

Thanks to you all at the University of NSW for the interesting night we had last Wednesday. I was expecting mainly business and science post grads and students but was surprised to find faculty, University business partners, researchers and even some VC’s made up the majority of the audience… so they knew all the industry lingo and were very tuned in to the subject of business development… we moved very quickly and due to the interactivity explored lots of area together… I have a few ideas from the time together and will explain them in upcoming articles but here are two that stand out…The need for a change of culture at Universities to write provisional patents rather than whitepapers and my suggestion to UNSW to then place these in a portal that allows third parties to buy or license the technologies. Then if the patents aren't sold or licensed to simply publish them as public domain after the 12 month expiry of the provisional. It’ll cost $200 each but will open a commercializa…

Come and say hello – tomorrow Wed 28th July 5-7pm Uni of NSW Sydney

Hello everyone, if you are in Sydney please accept my invitation for you to come to the University of Sydney to talk about making your ideas fly.The uni invited me to talk and have reserved some space for some of my blog readers to come if they want… but you have to register so please use the banner advert above to do that.I will be talking a bit about the Uniloc story but more so talking about refining the process of making ideas fly from inception to reality, maximizing speed and keeping momentum.I will also talk about the importance of IP/ patents in particular and the differences between doing business in Australia and overseas, especially the US.I hope to make it interactive with lots of audience participation and questions at the end…Ask questions about your own projects, or businesses or inventions… about government grants and loans… I’ve had a bit to do with a lot of stuff so hopefully I can share some insights as someone who has  been around for a bit. Would be great to see y…

Chilean surf film with eco theme

My missus and I were having lunch today at a nice restaurant near Lennox head when a confident young Chilean girl asked for some of our time having recognized us from the Australian Story episode.Kaz (Karen) good naturedly accommodated her as she explained her passion for her home country and a film she and her partner were working on… I spent a little time coaching her on her plans and promised to try and think of some contacts or angles to help in her success…Later she sent an email with a link to a trailer for the film that will include music artist Jack Johnson working with a famous Chilean musician with lyrics based on Chilean poetry…The short just overflows with authenticity and ethnic awareness and is well worth recommending to my visitors… hope you enjoy it…

Customizable and expandable auto speed cruise control…

Cruise control kits, (even add-on kits – see bottom of article) have been around for a while but most of these were designed for the good old days where you got on the highway and sat on 110k’s (or 70mph in the states) until you got to where you were going… … these days with traffic and speed zones that change all the time maybe more is needed…Thus this invention– a customizable and expandable SMART vehicle cruise control.[Click to enlarge]Its just like any other cruise control kit, except you select buttons to set the cruise control speed…Why? Why not use the old “adjust your speed and reset” type cruise control technique?Because that reset requires constant tweaking of the speed up and down on the set controls to dial in your desired speed. With this invention you see a 60 sign and you hit the 60 quick select button and your vehicle settles into that speed…. the box 3even has a tap button to turn on the backlit display so you aren't driving around with buttons glaring at you dur…

Remail2Aus: Latest front page for the site

This article relates to the ongoing project called Remail2Aus which is being designed to make it cheaper for Aussies to get stuff re-mailed to them from the US.Hopefully this iteration makes more sense to you all… with so many people showing an interest in the service I hope this helps explain better how the site/ service works…This version show the simple 3 steps involved in getting your goods re-mailed to you. To have a look click on the image above or click this link.The back end for a service like this is relatively simple once you get the strategy right so your feedback would very much be appreciated…

Remail2Aus update: decrypting the US postal rate calculation…

This article relates to Rics work on a cheap remailing service to have things bought in the US sent back to Australia using the US postal services cheaper rates…Decrypting the way the US postal services rates work is harder than I thought… it goes something like this:You tell them what weight your package is thenYou work out what speed of delivery and size tolerances you want as well as whether you use the USPS boxes (cheaper) or use your own packaging…The problem with building Remail2 Aus is that I have to basically rebuild this site!This is the initial postal service selection screen found at:http://ircalc.usps.gov/Default.aspx?country=10013&m=6&p=12&o=0This is the detailed service selection page that follows at: http://ircalc.usps.gov/MailServices.aspx?country=10013&m=6&p=4&o=0These is also some forms that need to be filled out for international shipping/ customs… sooooo things are starting to get complicated… but not a deal breaker.WHAT IS ENCOURAGING is …

A quieter dirt bike exhaust… stick a car exhaust on it

Iv’e been an avid dirt bike rider since my pre teens… I love the countryside, love being in the bush, love riding but hate the noise of dirt bikes.. always have.But with the conservation conscious area I live in it has become a deal breaker to not have some kind of massive noise reduction system…I know the idea below looks daggy but hey it’s quiet… An alternative is the zero enduro electric bike… they seem to be getting much more powerful with each new model…http://www.zeromotorcycles.com/gallery.php

High Def Video using Remote Control Helicopters

I’ve been watching this space for some time watching how people have been getting better and better quality from smaller and cheaper gear.This Australian guys project is looking like its getting very close. Eventually I’d like to experiment with using RC Helicopters to film guys in the surf around my home here at Byron Bay…But as this technology matures I can see some really great applications for it… and for some reason the one that really stands out to me right now is expensive rural properties where you can get an idea of the land, the views, the house and its position and even indoor footage as long as its an electric RC helicopter…. how cool.

Something learned about Street Graffiti deterrents

The effectiveness of any deterrent is directly related to how long after the tagging session the graffiti is removed. Generally it has been found that taggers take delight and gain momentum from apathy to their activities.The faster the graffiti is removed and with the least fanfare as possible, the less satisfaction they get from their actions.The idea of a good deterrent is to make it cheap and quick to get rid of the offending graffiti and to do so without making a big deal about it…Getting their art on the news only fuels their ego.

Searching for a street graffiti solution

If you look back over past posts you will see that street graffiti (tagging) has been an interest focus of mine  for a long time.So how to solve it? Beside the obvious sociological approach of education etc, the deterrents I have looked at involves making it easier to remove the graffiti than to put it up in the first place.Things I have tried:A Teflon coat applied after painting that allows a quick spray of detergent then a wash off of the offending spray can paint.
[FAILED] Spray can paints adhere to Teflon coating only marginally less than to any other surface which was really surprising.
An online paint colour  matching service which allows graffiti vigilantes an easy way of finding out what paint to buy to paint over graffiti. It involves putting white paper over the top of the base wall colour to get a colour corrected assessment of its pigments and then use a colour database to find the closest off the shelf canned or spray colour equivalent.
[FAILED] Sadly when ta…

Ric appears on regional TV news item regarding street graffiti

I was in a session with my assistant and a business manager when we saw a guy with a video camera go past the office window. Next thing you know he was interviewing me for a segment on the local news about the proliferation of graffiti in the area around Byron Bay.The resulting segment aired last night. Except for the fact that I was quoted as saying I have no idea what to do about the graffiti (which I do) it was great to have the privilege of having a say on a subject that is a real blemish on what is one of the most picturesque places in the world.Click to view the segment

Rail Trucking and the local Fire Brigade

My wife and I were out for our morning walk locally which lately has been doubling up as an opportunity to inspect the state of the local unused rail lines to see if they could be used for Rail Trucking tests.While on one of these walks just a few days ago we ran into members of the local Fire Brigade (we call them Firies in Australia) who were walking the rail lines using them to plan fire breaks for next summer.When we exchanged pleasantries, the conversation of Rail Trucking came up and suddenly the Firies eye lit up as they said that accessing the rail to get to fires would be really important and a fantastic advantage since rail often goes in places where roads don’t… they also loved the idea that the rail bogeys are not permanently attached to the truck like the Hi-Rail gear does…All this was very encouraging for me since there is a fallback plan emerging that allows the Rail Trucking tech to at least find a home at Australia’s regional fire brigades if the main thrust of the Ra…

Strong response to Remail2Aus

The response to the idea of the Remail2Aus service has been quite strong. Its also been interesting to see how many people has recommendations to the dummy website we set up to get some feedback.Things we learned include:Keeping it simple works for Google but NOT for a re-mail service!People need to see examples and savings calculations.People wanted to know quickly if it will work for them or not so a list of scenarios is needed to clarify how the service works…And a clear section “of how much I will save” type examples…We will be getting a new dummy page up soon with a vote counter on it so if you want to participate come back in the next day or so… with the kind of feedback we have been getting it will be much faster for us to get up as site and service that really makes sense.Thanks so much for giving us your feedback.
Ric

Remail2Aus Needs your help. Does this page make sense?

For those of you interested in doing some user testing Id really appreciate your comments on this dummy front page for the Remail2Aus project.http://dl.dropbox.com/u/180478/remail2aus/index.htmIt’s not working yet in terms of the ability to give a quote but I’d love to know if you have no idea how it works or if you think its pretty obvious how to get a quote to get US shipping for your stuff. Also what do you think of the pricing?Any feedback would be appreciated, just leave it in the comments below. Regards,Ric

Remail2Aus: Remailing service for Australians buying in the US

In a call last night the right elements came together to start working on a project that has been waiting to happen for a long time… Remail2Aus.
It’s a re-mailing service that allows Aussies to send their purchases to a US address and have them re-mailed to Australia using cheap US Postal rates rather than expensive courier company rates… sure it takes a long time (often 10 days), but the price is much lower.
For example I wanted a hard-to-get watch from Amazon.com … its hard to get here and the price is twice the US price… the watch costs $70 bucks there but the international shipping is $45… since id have to pay $15 in Australia if I bought the same watch at $135 I’m still out ahead.
But if I used a good re-mail service where the US Postal rate is $13 for the same package and a $10 handling charge Im only paying  $7 more than my local courier charge…
The trick is to make it simple… no accounts to set up, just get a quote number and pay for the re-mail service by credit card or Pay…

Update on Rail Trucking: Started virtual engineering

This article refers to the Rail Trucker project invented by Ric Richardson that allows trucks and other vehicles to drive the rails under their own steam using easy roll-on roll-off bogey wheels.And we’re off! Yesterday the Rail Trucker project broke virtual ground by starting the engineering drawing and planning phase. It’s really interesting doing a heavy industries project with steel fabricators.Many of the visualizations you have seen on this blog were done in Google Sketchup, but now things are serious as we start you do the full design work in AutoCAD.Our first session explored alternate rail wheel positions and trying to get the truck centre of gravity lower.The fabricator is a local steelworker who is also a wonderful artist/ painter so the hand renderings of his ideas come quick and fast… and look great.

Loogle is dead. Long live Barcodie

The project started as Loogle has now been renamed Barcodie. The original logic for the name Loogle was that the technology was a local search engine for finding stuff to buy. .. … local +google = loogle.Since we have worked on the project it has become clear that the project is all about barcodes… ie the ability to scan a bar code on a book or a CD or a toy and automatically have the software fill in all the information about what you are selling except the sale price and the condition and voila… instant searchable selling website for asll your neighbours to see…Thus, the clear center of the idea is the barcode… if you can find a barcode on the thing you want to sell then you can scan it and sell it… with your iPhone or your web cam…Thus the name…. Barcodie.Coming soon to Barcodie.com

Simple home heating system

A home experiment I read a little while ago gave me the idea to try a simple home heating idea to combat the chill that creeps into the house where I live. The houses are designed for summer… open plan, elevated floors and lots of airflow, but in winter the cold is conversely effective in invading the house. Damp is also an issue as it rains year round here.The solution? Not much is needed. Just enough to dry out the air a bit and to get the rooms warm for the first 4-6 hours of the night before hitting the sack… so here goes What I came up with is 100 meters of matt black painted aluminium tubing with two hoses and a fan. The fan keeps the circulation and recirculation going of the air and the black tubes are laid out on the roof connected by automotive hoses in a closed loop system. Tests will show whether it is worth the effort but it is my hope that ill get 5-7 degrees Celsius or 15 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth out of the system.The only problem I see is that most other systems���…

Ric’s recipe for highest velocity – choose the right CEO…

My American mate Craig Etchegoyen will disagree with me but I stick to my view that the single biggest factor for success in any new business is finding the right CEO for a business execution.Sure a great idea needs to be in place, and a good business plan needs to be put together by the founders (if for no other reason that to make sure the right CEO with the right target market/ exit is chosen) but the right CEO remains in my mind the single biggest factor to success after a good idea has been produced.What about money? Money will come if you have a proven CEO… and the best money to have is the money that comes from people who have already had success with your chosen CEO.Sure money can solve lots of problems but in the end the only way to reduce risk is to find a guy that has sold something like your product or idea before, can verify that it can be sold, and has experience in using the same customer base and marketing to get you there.Why can’t a founder be the CEO? Because no one…

Using your LAN/ home WiFi to receive and make normal landline telephone calls

I came across this design when working out another invention involving triggering an automatic Skype video call from a normal landline telephone handset.I’m amazed that it seems no one has designed such a system… its really simple. The idea is that you use your home network to connect standard telephones around your house rather than using a traditional wireless phone system.In this model, the incoming telephone call gets converted to network packets and then is picked up by a de-converter box on the network that sends the traditional analogue signal onto a traditional handset.Why would someone want to do this? Well wifi has a better range than normal telephone wireless and running cap5 through your house just makes more sense than running telephone lines as well.In my case however, I am thinking of another application where the telephone is used as a simple control system for network devices. For example I want to allow my parents to call me using a normal telephone and when they typ…

Ric’s Invention Development Process

Over the years I have developed an invention/ business development process that is the fastest way I know to getting some success and also maximizing momentum where as little energy as possible is needed to keep things moving forward.The process is geared around what I feel is the most important aspect of a projects success… the person driving the project. In my case I as the inventor drive the conception to angel funding cycle and then a proven CEO is chosen to drive from angel funding to market entry. The steps are explained below the pyramid picture.Conception: This is where the initial idea is explored and conceived. This is where I flesh out the idea and see if its worht persuing… it is also where I do research to find out what other people have done in the space and also try to captivate what it means to the end user… who is the end user and why they would want to use this invention? Conception usually ends with me crystallizing the most important parts of the invention down int…
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