Category Archive 'Inventions'

15 Aug 2012

So He Sits Down in This Coffee Shop in Portland…

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This young tech blogger dude sits down in a coffee shop in Portland to catch up on his email and do a little blogging on his Macbook Air, when an incredibly ancient geezer comes along and starts up a conversation about Apple computers.

The old guy doesn’t approve of Apple’s iPad approach: all consuming, no programming, no creating, no doing anything which hasn’t ever been done before. The young guy asks the old geezer what he ever did that hadn’t been done before, and the old guy replies: “I invented the first computer.”

It turns out that blogger Joel Runyon has just run into the 82-year-old Russell A. Kirsch.

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

04 Aug 2009

Commuter Roads Too Crowded?

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Martin Jetpack

If someone had come up with a working version of the kind of transportation device described in this Fox News story back in an earlier time, when Americans were much more frequently gifted mechanics and free of government regulations on everything and the threat of litigation, it would not have been very long before wealthy enthusiasts would be playing with these and arrival in the mass marketplace not far off.

Today? Well, when the Segway personal transportation device came out in 2001, San Francisco hastily banned it, before it had ever even been used on that city’s streets.

New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft unveiled a strap-on mini helicopter designed to travel at a speed of 62 mph for about 31 miles.

“To be able to fly solo in a fixed-wing aircraft can take 15 hours of flight training, but most people wanted to be able to learn to fly the jetpack in a few minutes,” inventor Glenn Martin said.

So, for now, adrenaline junkies will be able to get the thrill of flying solo through the air with a smaller version that goes about 6 miles an hour and is in a controlled outdoor area.

“It will still be flying as it’s never been done before, just in the confines of a rugby field-type space,” Martin Aircraft Company Chief Executive Richard Lauder told the Australian Associated Press. “Just because you have to stay under [6 miles an hour] doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting experience.”

The cost will be about the same as other outdoor adventures like bungee jumping or skydiving, the company said.

The catch — it will only be available in New Zealand. …

Each Martin Jetpack costs about $150,000.

13 Apr 2008

Hazardous Self Defense Gadgets

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Rodion Medvedev picks the 13 “most irresponsible” self defense gadgets.

How about a flashlight which doubles as a single-shot .410 shotgun? The catch is: It fires out the rear, so that when you are using it as a flashlight, the business end of the shotgun is pointing in your direction.

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