Wednesday, June 15, 2011

5 out of 10. 5 to go.


From Uniloc legal counsel:

“Yesterday the USPTO mailed a Notice of Allowance for Ric’s invention entitled “Method and Apparatus for Using Imperfections in Computing Devices for Device Authentication”.

This will be the 5th US patent granted to Ric Richardson and Uniloc.”

Another milestone. This marks the halfway of the granting of the patents I did for Uniloc before I left day to day at Uniloc back in 07. This patent covers the use of making a fingerprint not only from devices within or attached to a computing device but also by looking at imperfections and damage to any of those parts or devices… for example some CPUs take longer or shorter time to compute certain calculations based on impurities in their design… its a very cool idea and I feel privileged to have had the USPTO grant me inventorship.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Can RailTrucking alleviate Australia's trucking congestion?

Over the months since I started working on RailTrucking the idea has been growing from an interesting idea to be handed off to a captain of industry to something that is a real need and should be executed properly sooner rather than later.

The idea of taking over 5,000 trucks off the road between Brisbane and Sydney may sound audacious, but it is also critical in so many ways.

  1. Diesel conservation/ carbon conservation. Trucks on rail can safely travel at 135km/p hr instead of 100 on rail that has a co-efficient of friction that is a fraction of road tire friction. Plus rail has a maximum 4% grade compared to 8 or even 10 on some parts of the Pacific highway. Better yet the minimum radius of a turn on rail is 1km. Road turn radius's can be as short as 150 metres!
  2. Driver fatigue. While the drivers do have to hit a dead-mans brake button (a braking system that kicks in if the driver does not respond) the level of concentration compared to driving on the road is far less stressful and far healthier for the driver.
  3. ROI on the cost of rail infrastructure.... just think... 1000km of rail only services 15 trains a day on the busiest day... what a waste.
  4. And best of all... safety. Taking trucks and driver fatigue out of the travel equation just has to be safer...
What do you think?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why the Van helps Ric get thing’s done


Ever found yourself solving big problems on a jog, or on the ferry on the way to work, or while quietly enjoying a cappuccino in your favourite cafe. It’s not uncommon. Some people like the discipline of a cubicle or an office… but for creativity I find that most of the people I ask, they say very little is accomplished in a traditional work setting.

The van is simply a tool that helps me kick start the process that happens when most people run in a park or find their favourite seat on a ferry going across Sydney harbour. You clear the head, in an environment with no reminders of the myriad pressing matters that scream at us every minute of most working days, and let the mind move. Let your mind pace itself and settle on the issue or opportunity that presents itself when the noise quiets down.

If my van was in a tech feature film or a tech blog you would expect a battery supply, AC power points, wall to wall monitors and a fridge. Sure there is a comfy office chair and a steel foldaway work desk, but that’s all. Just some space to work and whatever I bring for the occasion. A legal pad… some folders, a sketch pad and maybe my iPad and my cell phone which are usually set to silent.

So basically the Van is my way of going for a thoughtful jog… without the jog bit.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Computer screen for the blind

Flying back from Fortescue last week I was thinking about a doco I saw
on the Senior Australian of the year who is a blind gentleman. I have
seen the audio support for windows that uses text-to-speech to help
blind people know what is on the screen but it struck me as odd that
the blind person has to sit in front of a screen that they obviously
can't see... So I came up with...
... what if?
What if each pixel on the screen was a pin head and the pins raised by
a millimeter or two to separate black text from white background...
the whole screen could become a braille space... amazingly the
gentleman I saw was an amazingly fast touch typist so the input is not
the issue... its the output and the feedback... it will be interesting
to see where this project goes.
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