0827: "My Business Idea"

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phillipsjk
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

pegasos989 wrote:If I now say "We should use the laughter of children as a power source instead of fossil fuels" I can't patent that. If I actually designed a specific way - that isn't obvious to experts in the energy industry - to do that, I can claim a patent to that technology.


I think the most straight-forward implementation (converting sound energy into electricity) would work better if you could get the children to scream :)
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ConMan
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby ConMan » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:11 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
pegasos989 wrote:If I now say "We should use the laughter of children as a power source instead of fossil fuels" I can't patent that. If I actually designed a specific way - that isn't obvious to experts in the energy industry - to do that, I can claim a patent to that technology.


I think the most straight-forward implementation (converting sound energy into electricity) would work better if you could get the children to scream :)

The main problem, as I've heard it described, is that sound energy is surprisingly unenergetic - a stadium of screaming football fans produce enough energy to boil a cup of tea.

And I claim prior art on anyone who wants to patent a screaming-crowd-powered kettle.
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby BioTube » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Gaëlounet wrote:I'm the single remaining live descendant of the guy who first thought about the wheel. No, honest, I am.
It's actually more likely than you think - the wheel wasn't invented until recorded history was well underway.
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby Cool Username » Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:30 am UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
Cool Username wrote:Classic xkcd: a gem of a good idea and a decent punchline buried underneath maddeningly shoddy execution. I think this idea could be fairly funny, but Randall's lack of competence in constructing it ruins the whole thing.

File this one under "Reasons Randall needs an editor" alongside most of his comics. *sigh*...


Stanislavski's An Actor Prepares has an excellent chapter on imagination, explaining how it can be trained and exercised, that it must be stimulated and not forced, and I think it applies to pretty much any kind of art: it's necessary to have an active, available imagination to "fill in the gaps" and create an homogenous, interesting whole out of an idea or fragments of ideas. I think that's what lacks to Randall.


Exactly. God forbid people exercise their minds creatively as well as academically.

But then again, Stanislavski wasn't a PHYSICIAN and only LIBERAL ARTS MAJORS read him, therefore he deserves nothing but spite. :P


A liberal arts major? where?! KILL IT WITH FIRE

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby littlelj » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:25 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:
littlelj wrote:
So.... posts on Halfbakery don't constitute prior art when it comes to patent law? That's a shame.


At the risk of getting into it, if the posts are date-stamped early enough they could be prior art... Hell, an old photo of a dinghy constituted prior art in one case.


As far as I understand it, anything published can be considered prior art: but only if the device is described in enough detail that somebody skilled in the art can implement it. That may require the author to do some "proof of concept" calculations to show that it could really work.


Pretty much, although examiners tend to be a bit vaguer when they cite something against inventive step rather than novelty.
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby smoki » Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:When I have a really really good idea and I know I will never come around to working on it, I write up a short story about it or mention it on a fora or tell smart people the idea. Not because I want credit for the idea but because I want the idea to become real because it would be really really cool.

:idea: You know, like a database that links license plate numbers to phone numbers so you can call people in front of your to tell them they left their turn signal on.


A database would be a slight overkill for this purpose. What you want is a scrolling LED display on your car and you can say whatever is on your mind to your fellow commuters!

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby Anonymously Famous » Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

smoki wrote:
neoliminal wrote:When I have a really really good idea and I know I will never come around to working on it, I write up a short story about it or mention it on a fora or tell smart people the idea. Not because I want credit for the idea but because I want the idea to become real because it would be really really cool.

:idea: You know, like a database that links license plate numbers to phone numbers so you can call people in front of your to tell them they left their turn signal on.


A database would be a slight overkill for this purpose. What you want is a scrolling LED display on your car and you can say whatever is on your mind to your fellow commuters!

An LED that scrolls backwards with backward letters, so that the one with the persistent turn signal can read the message in their mirror.

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby adavies42 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:40 am UTC

JTL wrote:Ash Tree Lane's from House of Leaves...
Yes, I did indeed sign up to say that...
In addition there are only five houses in that cul-de-sac! So unless they have a 'pick your own' numbering system, or one is actually the house from the book and the owner's decided to rent out their extra space I doubt there's a number 137!

137 is the reciprocal of the fine structure constant....

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby serrath » Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:When I have a really really good idea and I know I will never come around to working on it, I write up a short story about it or mention it on a fora or tell smart people the idea. Not because I want credit for the idea but because I want the idea to become real because it would be really really cool.

:idea: You know, like a database that links license plate numbers to phone numbers so you can call people in front of your to tell them they left their turn signal on.


There's actually already a way to do that: flash your high beams for a second or two. (A phone database would just end up letting angry drivers shout at each other and stalk attractive women in convertibles.)

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby raj.k » Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:33 pm UTC

If only...
Image

Image

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:51 am UTC

Not long ago it occurred to me that any kind of unidirectionally permeable membrane, or any kind of conduit across which something (heat, air, a fluid) is only permitted to flow in one direction, could be used to reverse entropy and extract useful energy from the ambient heat of a system even at thermodynamic equilibrium (maximal entropy).

Consider some kind of membrane through which air can only move one direction. Imagine you put this across a torus. The air inside the torus is warm, and thus the air molecules are all moving about randomly. The ones moving in the permitted direction across the membrane will move through it to the other side, and the ones moving the other direction on the other ("far") side will bounce off and change direction. Pressure on the far side of the membrane will increase while pressure on the near side decreases, and an air current will be induced inside the torus. As the motion of the air molecules becomes more evenly unidirectional and the air speed increased the overall air pressure will drop and it will get colder: the entropic heat energy of the air having been converted into useful mechanical energy. If you allow more air to be drawn in from outside the torus, you can draw it into the current as well, converting its heat into more mechanical energy. After a while you'll have a frigid ring of dense air spinning inside the torus at high speeds. You can then vent this out into a turbine somewhere to do useful work, in effect converting the ambient heat of the air in which this torus is situated (it's now colder around the torus) into useable energy. The waste heat of whatever that energy powers can then be fed back into the system. Voila! Entropy overcome, perfect recycling of energy, "perpetual motion" if you want to call it that.

Similar systems could be constructed by only conducting electrical current, or heat, or just about anything really, in only one direction. The directionality converts the random, high-entropy flows of energy into orderly, low-entropy, and thus useful, flows of energy. No energy is being created out of anywhere, but the useless waste energy output by every process that uses energy can be recycled and made useable again. (Incidentally, I believe you could also extract useful work from waste energy by destroying the waste energy, if such a thing were possible: if you had something that just sucked in air and vented it into nonexistence, or some perfect absolute-zero heat sink that just made the heat going into it cease to exist, you could extract useful work from the air or heat or whatever on its way in. It's the differential that allows you to extract work from it).

The second law of thermodynamics would thus imply that any such unidirectional permeability or conductivity is impossible, or necessarily is so inefficient as to negate the possibility of the above. For example, our unidirectionally air-permeable membrane may reflect the motion of air molecules on one side, and allow the motion of molecules on the other side to continue, but in both cases some of the energy of those molecules' motion is absorbed by the membrane, which then radiates it back out as heat, wasting more energy than it extracted.

I'm curious to see if anyone can name where the inefficiency in the osmosis-powered generator is.
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby phillipsjk » Sun Dec 12, 2010 12:03 pm UTC

Resetting the system back to the starting point, presumably. The turbine will also have losses.

For example, in that saltwater/freshwater power plant diagram, the sea water will be under pressure, so new salty water must be pumped in against that pressure. If not, the salt-water will become dilute, and the machine will stop. That "Pressure exchanger" will always have some slippage, BTW.
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby makc » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:13 pm UTC

This comic is not funny. That's exactly how patents work.

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:42 pm UTC

LucasBrown wrote:Image
Alt text: "We didn't believe you at first, but we asked like three people who were at that party. They not only corroborated your story, but even said you totally mentioned wanting to start a company someday. Sorry! If this isn't enough money, let us know."

If only the government were willing to put in that kind of effort to corroborate stories and actually give out the money...

And that FedEx guy must be either very suspicious or very confused.
Quoting OP to note that this thread needs a new title due to the strip changing name to avoid a clash with the latest strip (1721). Any chance of changing it? :P
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby niauropsaka » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:01 am UTC

This one has been renamed "My Business Idea."

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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:08 am UTC

Oh wow, I didn't even notice the image needed changing as well...
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby karabinjr » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:57 am UTC

The funniest idea for gas stations I've had yet was this:

To ban motorized fuel pumps.
So that it would be a workout to fill up the tank on a private vehicle.

Many would carpool more, and drive around less, take a bus maybe.
Maybe less people would take a job that involves moving a metric ton of gas-powered steel for 200 kilometers every day.
Maybe NASCAR could be more of an athletic competition with a fun ride in between the games.
Maybe you could meet more people at a gas station while pumping, have a meaningful conversation.
Gas pumps would be like a quick gym.
You could wait for the girl you like at the gas station and help her out.
And if someone is willing to offer their service for a payment, pump for you, - good then, a quick buck for a hobo.
Maybe kids would fill up jerrycans and sell an easy fill on their driveway.
Screw lemonade stands.

I returns into my head every year or so, and it's fun to think it for an hour :)
Good one.

Let's totally not do it though.

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flicky1991
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby flicky1991 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:33 am UTC

karabinjr wrote:The funniest idea for gas stations I've had yet was this:

To ban motorized fuel pumps.
So that it would be a workout to fill up the tank on a private vehicle.

Many would carpool more, and drive around less, take a bus maybe.
Maybe less people would take a job that involves moving a metric ton of gas-powered steel for 200 kilometers every day.
Maybe NASCAR could be more of an athletic competition with a fun ride in between the games.
Maybe you could meet more people at a gas station while pumping, have a meaningful conversation.
Gas pumps would be like a quick gym.
You could wait for the girl you like at the gas station and help her out.
And if someone is willing to offer their service for a payment, pump for you, - good then, a quick buck for a hobo.
Maybe kids would fill up jerrycans and sell an easy fill on their driveway.
Screw lemonade stands.

I returns into my head every year or so, and it's fun to think it for an hour :)
Good one.

Let's totally not do it though.

You're in the wrong thread - this is the other comic. :P
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Re: 0827: "Business Idea"

Postby LucasBrown » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:24 pm UTC

OP here. 'Tis changed.


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