Management Implications of Statistical Process Control
When I took a 10 week SPC class I was expecting a boring hard to keep awake type of ho - hum class. It turned out that the first few weeks were about the mathematics behind the SPC concept. In a few words: In any process that is under control the outcome will vary by no more than +/- 3 Sigma. (Sigma is also called the standard deviation.) If the outcome exceeds 3 Sigma then there is a "special cause". For example if a machine shop is turning parts that should be 1.000" in diameter and the Sigma for the process is 0.002" then you would expect all the parts to be within the range 0.994" to 1.006". If this is the case then management can not ask the operator to improve the Sigma, that is a management function. If, however, a part measures 1.2" inches then the operator should explain what happened since it is a "special cause", something like "someone dropped the calipers and they are broken".
In a semiconductor application the operators were keeping a control chart on a number of their processes. They noticed that the engineering run would have a large variance but when they ran the production parts the variance was much smaller. The engineering run could not be used to predict the production run. They then started to make a pilot run, where they just threw out the wafers, then the engineering run and finally the production run. In this way the engineering run had data very similar to the production run.
In the meeting example above, the manager should ask why if the project was ahead of schedule or under budget by more than 3 sigma. He should not ask about being behind schedule or over budget of the variance is below 3 sigma. Most managers that I have seen don't have a clue where or what 3 sigma means in this context and are flying blind.
This concept has profound implications for the management of any concern. Some excellent articles on the management aspects of SPC can be found in the following three articles which I highly recommend.
To find these on the American Society for Quality web page, click on Quality Progress, then select "search abstracts", input variation, select the document by title and scroll down the order form. There will be more abstracts than those below, just scroll then click on them to see more detail and a descriptive text for each. They have a system that is constantly reassigning URLs to the abstracts, so I have not found a way to link to a particular title.
Understanding Variation by Thomas
W. Nolan and Lloyd P. Provost in Quality Progress,
May 1990, QIC ID 41798
"In supervision, it is crucial to know when variation in a person's performance is caused by system factors that the person cannot control."
Variation Through the Ages by
LLoyd P. Provost and Clifford L. Norman in Quality Progress,
Dec. 1990, QIC ID 41845
"..Walter Shewhart's statistical theory of variation emphasized common and special causes."
Variation, Management, and W. Edwards
Deming by Brian L Johner and Marle A. Gaudard, Quality Progress
Dec. 1990, QIC ID 41844
"These basics of the theory of variation apply to the management of people. Managers should help their people identify and remove special causes and reduce the occurrence of common causes. Managers should internalize knowledge about variation."
American Society of Quality Control - The above articles are classics and are still on the QP web page as back issues!
There is a classic example of the management implications of
SPC that is called the Deming red bead experiment.
The teacher picks a few people from the audience to be "workers"
making widgets. They do this by using a paddle to scoop
balls out of a sampling bowl. Of course it is a random
process. If they scoop up any red balls they get
demerits from other members of the audience that were picked as
"QA inspectors". The "accountant" keeps track of the
quality of each "worker's" results. After a few rounds the
teacher (manager) calls the worker that has the best score up
and praises them and gives them a raise. Then calls up the
worker with the poorest score and scolds them and mentions
firing them if they don't improve. After a few more rounds
the top performer is offered a promotion and the poorest worker
is fired. This can cause people in the class to break out
in tears because they recognize that there is no basis for what
is going on, both in the class and on their jobs.
Lightning Calculator - makes the SBL-2000 Sampling Bowl used as described in Chapter 4 of The Deming Dimension.
SPC Press - The Deming Dimension - and other Excellent SPC related books
W. Edwards Deming - wrote many books but the ideas that are directed to management rather to the full field of SPC
In the class one of the VIPs from Raychem talked about the group that was composed of people that were "wire feelers". They felt new manufactured wire between their fingers to find defects. Every now and then there would be a bad splice which had a wire end sticking out that would poke a hole in the finger of one of the "feelers". Needless to say they were motivated to find a fix to this problem. They were operating their group according the the above methods and had backing all the way up to the company president (this is an important factor). After many years they fixed the problem and in the process saved Raychem many millions of dollars per year.
I have been in groups of people that already knew the group dynamic process so that they could quickly get going, and often a problem could be solved in a very small number of meetings. A well functioning group has a high energy level and is an exciting place.
It is interesting to note that in a well run group the highest ranking person in the room is typically NOT the group leader. In companies that don't understand this the highest ranking person in the room is ALWAYS the head of the group.
The SPC class was taught by: Bob McQueen, Greg Swartz and Phil Turner of the San Jose State University Center for Productivity and Manufacturing Engineering in 1991.
Virginia Commonwealth University - Group Dynamics:
Theory, Research, and Practice -
Facilitation Skills For High Performance - a group with a good facilitator works much more smoothly than without one
University of Edinburgh - MECD - a good overview of the issues free on the internet - this would cost $2,000 per person from a "Corporate training group".
Facilitator links - International Association of Facilitators - Facilitator Central - Facilitation Library (Books) -
A neighbor who was the founder of a well known Silicon Valley company loaned me this book and said that most if not all of it was true although it is written in a humorous way. After reading it I think he was correct.
For me all the "patterns" with high ratings feel correct. If you pay attention to the concepts in the book it can help you have a better life by making your surroundings much more pleasant and relaxing..
After a few years of cautious cutting of what is forest land that has been here forever, I have found a "pattern". The original forest was so overgrown that all you could see was vegetation. When the small (<4" dia.) shrubs are cut out so that you can walk the ground the feeling changes radically. Now the land is very much like a park.
The "patterns" are universal the world over, not tied to any one culture. Music also seems to be for the most part cross cultural.
An application of this book to web pages -
the book at amazon.com - plus other books in the series
Some Notes On Christopher Alexander. - a summary of Christopher Alexander's wide-ranging contributions - The Nature of Order - New book due mid/late 1999 and a course = Architecture ( ARCH ) 160 The Nature of Order (3 units)
Architecture Dept. at U.C. Berkeley - where Christopher Alexander works
This is an ancient Chinese idea of how to do space planning so that you will have a good result. For example if you are going to build a farm house where to locate it on the land, which direction should it face, how should the rooms be laid out, etc. Much of the original version, that made use of a special magnetic compass, was based on practical observation. For example it is better to locate the farm house part way up a hill rather then beside a river that may change it's course and destroy the house. It is better to orient the house so that those rooms used during the day will face the Sun. This older school is based on a magnetic compass or Lo-Pan.
American Feng Shei Institute -
Web Links - Grouped by the old and new schools
The newer school of Feng Shei (Black Sect Tantra) uses the direction of the main entrance and the relation of the lesser elements to it rather than the compass. For me this does not seem as good as the compass based version.
Both schools of Feng Shei have a strong relation with the pattern language mentioned above. Feng Shei is promoted as having the ability of improving your life but not as having the capability of turning around your life. There is no question that making changes based on Feng Shei or pattern language can have a profound effect on the feeling a space imparts to it's occupants. In the case of a business this may mean the difference between staying solvent and going broke.
Feng Shui - A Layman's Guide to Chinese Geomancy, Evelun Lip, Heian International, Inc. 1987, ISBN 0-89346-286-1
Interior Design with Feng Shui, Sara Rossbach, E.P. Dutton, 1987, ISBN 0-525-48299-7
Yun Lin Temple - Professor Thomas Lin Yun practices the modern school of Feng Shei
Feng Shui Society - in the United Kingdom with many web links
The Feng Shui Web Index -
Skeptical Inquirer - They debunk many claims that have no basis. Some of the Feng Shei web sites are also into paranormal ideas that I don't believe in.
My thought is that thousands of years ago great people spent a lot of time observing the human condition and trying to improve man's life. They saw that if people had certain ways of thinking about what was happening to them those people suffered and if other people looked at the same things with a different attitude they did not suffer. This may have been in a practical way such as observing that if people ate the meat of pigs many of those people got sick and died. Today we know about trichinoses and the need for refrigeration and through cooking, but thousands of years ago they didn't. In order to get people to not eat pork the great people came up with a religious reason. I think this was required because most people would not change their habits based on practical observations. I can remember that when reports started becoming available that smoking caused medical problems, a great many people did not believe that was the case. Even today, almost 50 years later, there are still people who think that smoking will not hurt them. By having a religious reason to do or not do something, peoples behavior can be changed in a way that benefits them.
Different religions have different philosophies on how you should live based on their religious beliefs.
A Modest Proposal about LifeToday (1998) there is a large effort to understand the DNA molecule. This is what determines your genetic make up. We all know that physical traits are passed from the parents to the children. A common example of a dominant physical trait is red hair. If either parent has red hair then all their children will have red hair. Other physical traits only get passed on depending on other conditions. There has been research that says that if either or both of the parents have great knowledge in some subject that does not mean that their children will inherit the knowledge.
What has not yet been addressed, as far as I know, is a more subtle trait. For example a study, of identical twins that were separated shortly after birth and had not been in contact, showed that they had an amazing amount of commonality in their preferences and behavior. This was in the area of what jobs they liked, the type of people they choose for their spouse, the way they dressed etc. I think that your "pre-disposition" in a certain area is genetically based. It is interesting that the Blues musicians B.B. King and Albert King are brothers. Another case is that of the Fenwick brothers, both made great contributions to the art of radio. In the case of the Kennedy's (some would argue about their quality) but they both were important in Politics. I think that many more cases can be found. This is very similar to the Buddhist idea of Karma. Some things are going to happen to you because of something that happened in the past.
My wife (and her son) have many behavioral characteristics that are clearly a family trait. This is very clearly genetically controlled behavior. Fighting it just causes suffering, better to work with it.
In the Sci-Fi movie Gattaca only physical traits are discussed, but the behavior traits will also be on the table in the not too distant future.
As a clarification, based on an input from Vikki, I don't think that heredity determines who you are, it is just one of the factors. As far as I know it is not now considered in a light similar to the concept of karma but I feel it has that effect. Your environment and free will can make a big difference.
Human Gnome Project -"Begun in 1990, the U.S. Human Genome Project is a 15 year effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health to Identify all the estimated 80,000 genes in human DNA, Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical bases that make up human DNA, store this information in databases, and develop tools for data analysis. To help achieve these goals, researchers also are studying the genetic makeup of several non human organisms. These include the common human gut bacterium Escherichia coli, the fruit fly, and the laboratory mouse. A unique aspect of the U.S. Human Genome Project is that it is the first large scientific undertaking to address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project."Gene Expression -
Booke's Note: this project is just to identify the sequences, I don't think they are looking at what the sequences actually do.
The way this is taught in schools can be a very boring . But when revolutionary concepts in economics are understood they can have a profound impact on your life. This is the case for me with both the "Two Factor Theory of Economics" and "New Economics".
Two Factor Theory of Economics
Many people in the U.S. have been taught the Puritan Ethic or more properly said - cursed with the Puritan Ethic. It says that if you work hard you will be rewarded. This idea is what is called a single or one factor of economics viewpoint and is not correct. In the U.S. and most other countries there are two ways of making money, they are:
(1) Labor - Labor is clear, you work for someone and get paid in proportion to your value to them.
(2) Capital - If you invest capital (money) somewhere then you can get a return on your capital.
This idea was published by Louis O. Kelso (Wiki) in a book Two-Factor Theory: The Economics of Reality/How to Turn 80 Million Workers into Capitalists...Louis O. Kelso and Patricia Hatter. 1967 Published by __________ Lib of Congress #___________ Pub date _________, Link---- (I think I have a copy, but it is hiding amongst many other books) He also wrote The Capitalist Manifesto and other books on economic topics. Many companies have an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which came directly from his efforts. Democracy and Economic Power : Extending the Esop Revolution Through Binary Economics is another of his books.
The classic example is the case where we set up two moving companies each with one employee, one with a modern 18 wheel tractor trailer rig and the other with a horse and buggy. After one year we come back and ask: Which company made the most money and Which person worked the hardest? It is clear that the modern truck allowed it's operator to make more money than the horse and buggy moving company and at the same time the operator worked less and in the comfort of an air conditioned cab. The reason is the capital invested in the truck.
So the idea is rather than working hard, just work smart and invest you disposable income and spend your extra time managing your investments rather than trying to get a promotion. There is no limit on your investment income but there are very real limits on your income if it is from working for someone else.
New EconomicsOct. 2002 - in retrospect the stock market was at it's peak when the New Economics information was written. I still think it is an important factor but would not account for overpriced stocks.Starting in the late 1990's the P/E ratios of some stocks seemed to be extremely high. The classical stock valuation methods like "value line" would say that a P/E of 14 was reasonable but many stocks had/have P/E ratios into 3 digits!
I discovered this "New Economics" concept while web surfing at "The Motley Fool" web page: "Can't You See The Assets?". - "Accounting is broken, Lev says. The 500-year-old system developed by Pacioli Luca misses some of the most valuable and compelling aspects of a business today. ....Accounting, in other words, no longer delivers accountability." This led to . .
Fast Company site "New Math for a New Economy". - "Look at the Standard & Poor's 500 -- 500 of the largest companies in the United States, many of which are not in high-tech industries. The market-to-book ratio of these companies -- that is, the ratio between the market value of these companies and the net-asset value of the company (the number that appears on the balance sheet ) -- is now greater than six. What this means is that the balance-sheet number -- which is what traditional accounting measures -- represents only 10% to 15% of the value of these companies."
Intangible Assets Plus Hard Numbers Equals Soft Finance - a similar article, but they are beating around the bush.
Financial accounting Standards Board - Edmund Jenkins is COB and did study for American Institute of CPAs titled:
"Improving Business Reporting—A Customer Focus (a.k.a. The Jenkins Report)" is on line under the sidebar "pubs". For me this report also is beating around the bush, it does not get to the heart of the matter as Lev does.
Baruch Lev - Professor of Accounting and Finance at New York University has done a lot of research in this area and the two articles above are from his work. His web site is a gold mine of information!
10/20/2000 Brookings report on Intangibles.doc -
The current GAAP practice of expensing R&D is quite wrong. There are many other intangibles that should be accounted for so that investors and even more importantly managers will have the information they need to make go/no-go decisions.
Elizabeth A. Demers - was a co author on some of these New Economics papers.
In 2012 I ran for the US House of Representatives and as part of that studied a number of issues. The economy was one of them. It turns out that Modern Monetary Theory is the best explanation of how the economy of a country works.
Free to Choose : A Personal StatementThis book by Milton & Rose Friedman is very good at explaining who spends for whom:
The efficiency of the result in the above cases is very different. When you spend your own money for yourself the efficiency is high because you have to live with the result. In the case of government spending someone else's money on others the efficiency is very poor because what difference does it make to them.
- spend your money for yourself
- spend your money for others
- spend someone else's money on yourself
- spend someone else's money on others
Eat the RichThis book by P. J. O'Rourke looks at the economics of some Cities and comments on what is right and wrong with them. He misses two factor theory but clearly sees capitalism.
Freedom of Choice (Title?)An interesting concept about the relation between economics and politics is that a politician's first priority is to get re-elected so he tends to vote for bills that move money into his district rather than what is good for the country. Another is that voters are very good at voting on any measure that effects their own personal economic situation but very poor on voting for all other things (like who will be president).
When I was young our house was on a 1/4 acre parcel and our block of houses was surrounded by apricot, prune and strawberry fields. I now know that I had allergies, but at the time all I know was that I got a lot of sore throats and then a lot of antibiotics. Later as an adult I had a very bad case of pneumonia and got a whopping dose of antibiotics. I had the runs more than others, like after eating at a nice restaurant, but the others did not have any "food poisoning". I developed hemorrhoids and the doctor that removed them said that one of the causes of hemorrhoids was a lot of the runs and that could be caused by Lactose intolerance. I did a test and ate a few grilled cheese sandwiches, which I had stopped eating because they upset my stomach and .... sure enough a couple of hours later .... you guessed it. (See the movie "French Kiss and listen to Meg Ryan's line on this topic.)
I was also seeing a doctor for my allergies to get shots and prescriptions for Seldane. I asked him what could be done for Lactose intolerance and found out that it is caused by the lack of helpful bacteria in your body. These bacteria can be killed by antibiotics. The solution is to go to your pharmacy and ask for "Lactobacillus Tablets". They do not require a prescription, but you will never find them by looking around because they need to be kept in the refrigerator. Another source for restarting the helpful bacteria is a health food store. Tell them you are taking antibiotics and they will recommend a product like "BioFlora" that is kept in the refrigerator. It contains: Bifidobacterium Longum, Bifidobacterium Bifidum, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, FOS (fructooligosacchrides) and Champigon Mushroom. The directions are on the bottle. Note that this is a real cure not just a treatment of symptoms.
To get rid of the allergies I used a Chinese herbal "green pill" (Pe Min Kan Wan) and took them four times a day for a month. The plastic bottle that holds the pills comes in a box that is about 2 1/2" high and just over 1 1/2" square. The label is green with white Chinese characters. There are two small characters on the top and four larger ones on the bottom. I will try to get a translation of the label. I used a dozen bottles (they also come packaged that way). Ingredients:
I tried other Chinese herbal allergy remedies and this one worked. You may need to try the others if this one doesn't work for you.
Cang er zi: Cocklebur huo xiang : Agastache Xin Yi hua: Magnolia ju hua: Chrysanthemum jin yin hua Honeysuckle bai zhi: Angelica (root)
Another product that offers a cure is "beano" to build up the bacteria that help digest beans. This helps prevent things like the camp fire scene in the movie Blazing Saddles. Note that AkPharma Inc. that makes beano also makes Lactaid which is an enzyme that helps digest lactose but is only works when it is taken. That is to say it is treating symptoms and is not a cure.
For about a year I went to meetings where the Seath Speaks idea was discussed by a very perceptive Chinese man. By paying attention to where people sat, their posture, clothes, etc. he could tell a lot about a person, not by magic, just perception. He had translated the book "Seth Speaks" by Jane Roberts, Bantam Books, 1972, ISBN 0-553-25592-4 into Chinese. Almost all of the participants were Chinese but often they would speak English so that I could follow. The idea was that your mind was very powerful and you could accomplish anything if you had a strong enough desire for it. Also in many cases if you know the essence of what you want you may already have it!
Another aspect of this class that amazed many of the participants, including myself, was that I understood a lot about what people were talking about and yet I did not understand a word of what they were saying. On a number of occasions someone new would come to the group who did not speak English or wanted to speak Mandarin because they were much more comfortable with it. They would tell the host a story which where I could not understand any words. Later they would ask me what was going on, and I was able to tell them based on non verbal communication. You may have heard that only 20% of communication is in the language, well I think this is really the case.
In one of my photography classes, taught by a photographer (Wickers?) that had worked for Hiller Helicopters, I learned not only photography but philosophy. I liked this very much but some of the other students did not appreciate the philosophy. He taught us "Be careful what you want ... you may get it." I found this to be true in my life. If I really wanted anything I would end up with it.
When I had Kaiser Medical Insurance I heard that it was their policy to set up an annual budget to be used for diagnosing what was wrong with patients. At the end of the year any money left over was distributed to the doctors as a bonus. In my opinion this is a conflict of interest. Now for some facts:
I Survived Terminal Lung CancerI was feeling very weak and sick and went toKaiser in Santa Clara. They ran a number of tests including a chest X-ray. I was so weak that I was using a wheel chair. When the doctor was going to tell me what he found I asked him to tell my wife because I could not remember all the details of what pill to take when and how many times and how many pills....
After I went home my wife treated my very well and gave me the pills and any food that I wanted. After a week or so she told me what the Kaiser Doctor had told her...I had terminal lung cancer and there was nothing that Kaiser could do for me, so I should go home to die. As you know I am not dead. The doctor did not properly diagnose that I had a bad case of pneumonia.
My father in law passed a Kaiser medical examination and in two days had a massive heart failureWe received a call from my in-laws saying that my father in law was having very bad chest pains. We knew at this time that Kaiser was on the flaky side and since they had Kaiser medical insurance we told them to have an ambulance deliver him to El Camino hospital in Mountain View at our expense. They found his heart to need a pacemaker and installed it. The doctor at El Camino said that anyone who listened to his heart two days ago could not help but to hear the problem.
Butcher Bob gets a job at KaiserA good friend of mine worked at a large company that had a company doctor. It turns out that this particular doctor was called Butcher Bob (I have changed the name). While my friend worked there, every now and then, there would be a Butcher Bob story. One day while I was at Kaiser in Santa Clara I discovered that Butcher Bob now worked there.
San Jose Mercury Runs a Week long feature on KaiserThe San Jose Mercury ran a series of articles describing all kinds of malpractice problems at Kaiser. I still remember the one about the women that went to have her baby. Kaiser strapped her to a table, gave her some drugs and then the doctors and nurses left her. Her baby came out and onto the floor. Kaiser is self insured for malpractice and when you join them you must agree to binding arbitration. You can not sue Kaiser for malpractice.
Sister in Law sent to Stanford for SurgeryMy sister in-law was with Kaiser and had a major medical problem and Kaiser sent her to Stanford for surgery. It was an easy diagnoses.
ADVICEIf you are with Kaiser and have a problem, go to a private doctor for diagnoses. Get a written statement form the doctor and take it to Kaiser.
If Kaiser (or any doctor) gives you a diagnoses that is negative, GET A SECOND OPINION.
One of the books my mother had (for some time she worked as a nurse) was the Merck Manual. In it all kinds of problems are described with symptoms and treatments. The tricky part is you seem to have whatever problem you are reading about, but you can figure out a lot.
These were invented by Buckminster Fuller. There are a number of books on this subject, but the key to understanding his domes is the original patent. The idea is to have the joints be on (or near) the surface of a sphere.
Geodesic Domes "Structures and Homes" -
DOME magazine -
Buckminster Fuller Institute - Patents -
Patents tend to have information that you will not find in books, I currently don't know why this is, but so far I find it to be true. There may be a reluctance on the part of authors to write about patented ideas or maybe they just don't know about them. Most patented ideas are not discussed outside of the patent so remain hidden from most people.
The free U.S. Government Patent Office has the older patents on line ( Expired Patents means within the active time, but not renewed by owner, not the same as old patent) on their Search page. There are a lot of important ideas in these that should be accessible like Fuller's original dome patent. Derwent also has patent searching.Not all patentable ideas are actually patented. For example TRW made any inventions into "trade secrets". Anyone working at TRW signed an agreement not to disclose their "trade secrets". This was good for TRW in that they were not publishing their capabilities. The formula for Coca Cola is handled as a trade secret rather than a patent. The problem comes after these companies go out of business and the information is lost. If someone else "invents" what has already been made a "trade secret" then the person with the trade secret has no liability to the patent holder since then can show dates when their idea came about. But the "trade secret" holder can not go after the patent holder unless they can show that one of their employees gave away the secret.
SearchingThis is how I find patents.
Update Nov 2007 - There are now two approaches that can be used by going back and forth adding a tremendous amount of search power.
KeywordsIf you're trying to find the first patent for something, for example Flashlight, and you search on that word you will not find it. That's because before it was invented there probably was no word for it. For maybe the first 100 years the patent titles were very unimaginative and typically the vast majority of patents in a sub class or group of subclasses all had the same title.
Old Method = USPTO Only
- First go to the Search page and enter one or two key words and search. You can only search 1976 to the present for many different items, but only on patent number and class number prior to 1976.
- In the list of hits find a patent that is close to what you are looking for and note it's primary/secondary class number.
An alternate way to get a class number is to look at the list of major class numbers and then find an appropriate sub class. The Sunnyvale, CA patent library files their patents by class number, not in patent number order, making manual searches much easier. You can go through a number of stacks for a given major class number quite quickly.
- Now you can use the Search page to search for the class/sub class number desired for ALL patents.
- If you are lucky enough to find a patent where there is more than just the image in the post 1976 results there will be a list of referenced patents (which don't have the patent title probably because the reference MIGHT be to an image only patent) this is a path back in time to explore. Also there is a link to all the patents that call the current patent so you have a path to current time.
- By going back or forward in time and looking at the sub branches you very quickly will have a large number of patents on the topic you are investigating.
- 30 May 2006 It turns out that the USPTO Advanced search function does allow searching the old patents on more fields than the web page states. So for example you could search for an inventor's name, a date, etc and there's a good chance it will work. I expect that once this is fully operational they will publish it.
Note the older patents are on line only in image form. You need to have a TIFF viewer (there is a web page explaining how to get a free viewer) to see them. The older patents can only be accessed by either their patent number or by the primary class/sub class number. NOT by date, title, inventor etc.
Some of the image only patents have references to other patent numbers. These typically appear on the first page of specifications, the last page, or occasionally in the description of prior art.
New Method = Google PatentsGoogle has in beta form a patent search based on the same Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that they are using to scan books where the copyright has expired. The very good news is that you can search on every character in the patent, i.e. it includes names, dates, everything. The bad news is that it's got bugs. The common problems are the classical grabling of letters when the source document is of poor quality and a format problem. For example if the inventor's name is at the top of the page above the real title the name and title get partially merged so neither is correct. This means the advanced search often fails because the OCR is not good at knowing who the inventor, or asignee really is. Current class numbers is another area where Google is very weak. Also poor on date range searching. All these are related to the quality of the OCR and not being smart about patent layout formats. BUT being able to search the complete document is very powerful like in the plain Google Patent search.
The method is to use the plain Google patent search for some key words (which can be in any order) and then use the link to sort the result in date order. This can give you a toe hold in the form of a class number which can then be used at USPTO where it can be combined with a date or date range. You can also use Google Advanced Patent Search where the most powerful searches are at the top in the blue filed:
with all of the wordsAll the words in any order is good for a list of unconnected words.with the exact phrase
Here the order of the words is important so is good for dates and nameswith at least one of the words
This is good when you don't know the word that may be used, for example it might be Flashlight, Flash Light, Lamp, Lantern, Candle, illuminationwithout the words
This is good to get rid of a similar series of patents that have some common key word that can get them out of the search resultsThe search boxes in the white area are of the "contains" type. So if you enter just one word if that word appears in that catagory you get a hit, but if the OCR messes up on the catagory you will not get a hit. Worth a try, just keep in mind it may be missing things.
My Patent Pages
In the past I have used commas in the patent numbers on my web pages, but find that search engines think all commas are item separators and don't find the patent numbers. As of Feb 2006 all commas have been removed from patent numbers so hopefully search engines will work and the links have been updated to the stable format. If you cut and paste a URL to any USPTO patent that link will become bad in the future becuase it's based on a list points to a search result.
Also it's my understanding that the U.S. government can use any patented technology if they are the end user. For example if a company is bidding on a contract where the end user (probably not the buyer) is the U.S. government they can use their competitors patented technology for that contract. So a defense contractor, like TRW, has a big advantage in keeping trade secrets rather than getting patents.
I agree with the case that Don Lancaster has made against getting a patent. I have heard that the U.S. is divided up into patent districts and the district for the central U.S. has NEVER found for the patent holder in any disputed case. Only recently has the Eastern court found for Polaroid over Kodak for making instant cameras. In the case of the individual that patented the windshield wiper delay idea that the cost of bringing the lawsuits used up all the money won.US Patent No./Date Reference Table - this is a great help when looking for pre 1976 patents.
Table of Issue Years and Patent Numbers, for Selected Document Types Issued Since 1836
Fringe Patents -
National Inventors Hall of Fame -
UK Patent Office -
Japanese Patent Office - Other Patent Offices are listed, but this is a frames page so no links here
Trilateral Database - search EPO, JPO or USPTO databases from a common starting point
European Patent Office - Patent information on the Internet - another URL - Countries & years for images -
MicroPatent USA - searching for a fee
Patent Fetcher high speed site - Free Public Site - they generate a pdf version which you then download limited use
FreePatentsOnline - may have better search for older patents, have not yet tested
Fresh Patents - service to track patent applications
Patent Storm - on line search service
freePat™ for Windows - Windows program downloads patent as a pdf file
Patent to pdf - Commercial site Free site - download a USPTO patent in pdf format unlimited use
DEPATISnet - German Search engine - has English interface and patents are in their native language
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) -
The Delphion IP Network (formerly IBM Patent server) has current patents with a lot of on line info. This was originally the IBM patent data base and has now been commercialized. No longer user friendly and now charges a fee.
My Patent Pages[date links changed to stable format & commas removed)
Automatic Astro Compass [17 July 2006] top of page pat dwg
Battpat Battery Patents
Cryptographic [ 10 Nov 2005]
Disiplined Oscillators and Time & Frequency related [21 Dec 2005]
Crystal Temperature Compensation [21 Dec 2005]
Faradic and other quack devices like Violet Ray
FCP Frequency Counter Patents
Fluxgate (& other) Magnetic Sensors [ 14 Feb 2005]
Flashlights - created 2007 with photos of may patented flashlights
GPS [8 Sep 2005]
IntrusionAlarmPatent - Intrusion Alarm Patents
Leclanché Battery [9 Feb 2005]
Leroy Lettering [12 Aug 2006]
Loran Navigation [30 Dec 2006]
Microwave Test Equipment - [21 Dec 2005]
RF & Microwave Power Sensor Patents [27 July 2006]
Music [19 Dec 2005]- synthesizers
Pendulums Pendulum Patents
PSPatent RF & Microwave Power Sensor Patents
Sensors [ 28 May 2005]- has some patents on the page
Stellar Timekeeping (satellite navigation) [17 July 2006]
StkTckPat Stock Ticker Patents
Sundials [19 Dec 2005 & added dozens more]
Surveying [21 Dec 2005]
Telephone [ 10 Feb 2005]
ttw_pat Tilting Three Wheeler Patents
Vibrators - massage type
VoiceX Voice Scrambling US Patents
Xtc Crystal Temperature compensation Patents
Formerly Secret Patents - These are patents that were held for many years instead of being granted in the normal manner. Typically because of government military security.
Wiki List of Patents -
Bad UPPTO URLs8 Sep 2004 - After doing a search when you click on a link to a patent the URL is NOT for the patent, but rather is pointing to one of the patents in the list of results. If this URL is saved and later clicked, then a new search is run and whatever patent is in the same list position will be displayed, so if the list changes most linkey a different patent will be displayed. Because of this most of the links to patents on my web pages were broken but have been repaired as of Feb 2006.
Operational Notices and Status - This web page explains about the unstable URLs you get at USPTO. Apparently they have multiple servers and so can not simply provide a stable URL when you are viewing a patent. You need to manually force the URL to look like:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5123456 where the patent number is at the end.
All of these have to do with how the brain is perceived to operate.
UNO - Learning Theories -
Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) - Theories On Brain-Based Learning -
Jung Typology Test - based on the Jung - Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality
Myers-BriggsThis seems to indicate that for marriage people should have similar personality types. A common goal is also very desirable so that the both people are heading in the same direction.
Gifts Differing : Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers -
Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David W. Keirsey,
A Summary of Personality Typing (FAQ)-
Keirsey Temperament and Character Web Site - many sub pages & test
Keirsey Temperament Sorter - on the tests web page
What is your Myers-Briggs Personality Type? - on line simple test with links for the different 4 letter groups
Multiple (seven) Intelligence Theory (MI)I did some teaching and could see many of these in action. This required some unconventional teaching methods that in my opinion worked very well for those students that were not intelligent in the classical reading and hearing modes.
Multiple Intelligence's : The Theory in Practice by Howard E. Gardner - Wiki -
HOWARD GARDNER Multiple Intelligence Theory Proponent - a basic intro to the idea
Developing Higher Order Thinking Skills and Multiple Intelligence's -
UNO - Multiple Intelligence's -Comparative Links -
Odyssey of the Mind - a great program for school children to learn many things in a project environment
Rube Goldberg - another program for school children, a web search on his name will turn up over 1,000 web hits
Left-Right BrainI took a test at work and found it very difficult to choose the answers to the questions. I didn't know what was being tested and complained that the test was not very good. Others that took the test had no problem choosing their answers because they were either left or right brained. People with balance tend to see both sides of a question and have a harder time making decisions but make good decisions.
Left Brain, Right Brain : Perspective from Cognitive Neuroscience by Sally P. Springer -
UNO- Right Brain/Left Brain Thinking -
Left and Right Sides of the Brain - one page with a number of different takes on this
Neuroscience for Kids - 1--One Brain...or Two?--2 - excellent site for ALL ages -
Pandora - Left Brain/Right Brain Ask yourself: - Pandora also has a bunch of pseudo science stuff
Intelligence Quotient (IQ)Your IQ is your mental age divided by your physical age expressed as a percent. If they are both the same (which is the usual case) then your IQ would be 100. If your mental age was twice your physical age then your IQ would be 200. If a 20 year old man has an IQ of 150 then his mental age is 30. Another man 40 years old (with an IQ of 100), will know more than the first man. In many cultures there is a tradition of respecting the elders. As people get older, if they keep learning, they will know way more than the younger kids.
But . . . (see MI above) . . intelligence may be related to the subject area. Classical education is based on the learning through reading or lecture and if your IQ in this area is high you do well in shcool, but if it's high in another area you will not do that well. It's not uncommon to hear of high school drop outs doing very well in business, the arts, entertainment, music, etc.
a bunch of online IQ tests -
TEST YOUR IQ! - Mensa related - they are a group that only accepts high IQ people
Traditional IQ tests - Personality tests on the Web -
Traditional IQ Tests on the WWW -
www.brain.com - free tests to support their products (books, vitamins, etc.)
BooksAmazon.com Search: - Left-Right Brain - Multiple Intelligence's - Myers-Briggs -IQ - this web site has reviews of the books and music CD-ROMS that can give you a pretty good feel what they are about.
Mind Bender Try to read this. I'm sure you can....very interesting.
fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe can.
i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.
An interesting thing is that IQ (see above) is related to how much knowledge you have acquired and is really independent of reasoning. Reasoning has to do with the truth of relationships . People with high IQ can come to conclusions that are far from logical.
The Demon Haunted World by Sagan - Maybe a couple of times a year a couple of people show up on my doorstep and want me to read their religous publication. I have offered a trade where they promise to read The Demon Haunted World in exchange, but they seem to have closed minds and will not accept.
Why People Believe Weird Things by Shermer
How we Know What isn't So by Gilovich - the graphs in the early part of the book all seem to be wrong in that they proport to show rapid unending growth, but in fact all of them have an upper limit or cap that will change the slope from steep to flat.
Dumbth by Allen
911 Myths - I found this site by pruning the URL for the paper http://www.911myths.com/WTCREPORT.pdf that has an analysis based on common physics that supports the many of the observed facts surrounding the colapse of the twin towers. Assumptions are made then tested.
Carl Sagan's Baloney Detection Kit - Based on the book "The Demon Haunted World" Carl Sagan Productions, Inc. -
Critical Thinking Community - Resources - Library - History of C.T. - Socrates - Readings -
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) - encourages the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and disseminates factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public. Publishes the Skeptical Inquirer that has on line articles. There's a Skeptical References section with an alphabetical list of topics.
Australian Skeptics - Links -
Quackwatch - Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions
Journal of Irreproducible Results - Some articles - more articles - Scholarly articles written by famous scientists, but with wrong & humorous ideas. Subscribe
Annals of Improbable Research - Ig Nobel Prizes -
See my Roswell UFO comments for similar stuff
Darwin Awards - are given, usually posthumously, to the individual(s) who remove themselves from the gene pool in the most spectacular fashion
Virtual Kick in the Pants (VKP) -
James Randi Educational Foundation - If you are or one of your friends is psychic -> apply and collect $1,000,000. Pigasus Awards -
Massimo Polidoro - Ranidi's apprentice
News Group: sci.skeptic -
Skepdic.com - Skeptic's Dictionary
The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science -
Robert L. Park - The Seven Warning Sings of Voodoo Science
Silicon Zoo - Graphics images hidden in Silicon chips
Silicon Art -
When you go to court, for whatever purpose, pay attention to what's going on.
- Those who testify take an oath to tell the truth, but not all do.
- The Lawyers, who are being paid, do not take an oath to tell the truth and in most cases it's clear that one of them was lying.
- Expert witnesses are paid to testify, a clear conflict of interest, and in every case the witnesses for one side somehow gave wrong testimony. How many times has an "expert witness" who was lying under oath been fined or sent to jail?
- The judge, who does not take an oath, has personal biases that can cause rulings that have nothing to do with the facts.
- The OJ case demonstrates the the side that spends the most money wins.
The L3-L4-L5 disks in my back fused solid it is impossible to properly clean my bottom. The solution was to install a Magic Clean SB-620 toilet seat. This required both a plumbing and electrical connection. Highly recommended for much better cleanliness than can be achieved with toilet paper.
Installation TipMy house is only a few years old and so had both a GFI outlet in the bathroom and copper plumbing. The existing shut off valve feeding the toilet had the connecting tube made as part of the valve. This is an indication that the valve uses a compression connection to a copper pipe that is sticking out from the wall. In order to remove the compression ring from the pipe coming from the wall to allow installing the new valve with a new compressioon ring requires a trick.
By using a Dremel tool and the narrow cutting wheel (or a hack saw would be much more work) a slot is cut into the ring but not all the way to the copper pipe. Then a flat blade screwdriver is used to "pop" the ring off of the pipe. This worked great for my installation and saved the need to buy a special puller that could have also removed the old ring.
Some info related to the Yamaha DX-7 Synthesizer, mostly music synth patents.
Our local health food store carries WigWam socks. These are by far the best socks you can buy. Both very comfortable and long lasting.
Good both summer and winter.
|When a bad (stiff) back
(L3-L4-L5 fusion) it's difficult to bend over to tie shoe
strings. I came up with this lacing method so when
sitting in a chair you put one foot on the opposite leg
and both shoe strings are on the top side.
It's probably easier for most people this way.
PS Mephisto shoes are very comfortable and extremely long lasting. They are waterproof. But not cheap. Wig Wam socks, see above.
It was named for Linda Riggs, the daughter of the founders.
Linda's was a one of a kind 1950s style hamburger stand located at the intersection of El Camino and Escuela in Mountain View, CA. It was one of the hangouts for those who attended Mtn. View High. They served crisp Tater Tots instead of ordinary frys.
They also had the:Parisian Burger
It was made from two ordinary patties grill fried (not Bar-B-Qued which changes the flavor) with a slice of cheese added and melted. The key was the sauce. It contained ketchup and dehydrated onions, and two more ingredients. I think the sauce was cooked and served heated. I have found the recipe, but on the condition that I don't publish it or use it commercially."Two fresh ground beef patties
our own special sauce & cheese
served on a Fisherman's wharf
style sourdough bun."
Painted on front window shown in the 1985 photo.
The steak sandwich was thin steak on a French roll. I think it too used their special sauce.
Around 1999 there was a Galvin's Bar & Grill a few miles from Linda's location. It was next to the rail road tracks about a mile from Castro St. and they were serving "Linda's Parisian burgers" and also Tater Tots. The flavor was the same as the original. I heard Sam Galvin died and now there are offices in that location.
2009 - The Armadillo Willy's locations close to Linda's old location have been offering the Parisian Burger maybe as a trial.
I'm sure that when I got one at Galvin's he had the sauce simmering on the stove, and I'm reasonably sure that at Linda's the sauce was on the hot plate (off in a corner that was not that hot), the idea being to serve the sauce hot.
Spivie's Drive in and the Standard Station at Grant and El Camino were related local landmarks.
A Mountain View Century -
A Guide to Mountain View - Downtown Mountan View -
By Kim Boatman for the Mercury News Article Launched: 01/02/2008 01:51:04 AM PST Home Plates: Secret to Linda's Parisian burger eludes devotees - Linda's-style Parisian burgers Receipe not quite the same as mine, but close
Extremely well thought and accurate depiction of Earthlings.
Earthlings 101 Channel Trailer
01, Episode 2)
, Episode 3)
1, Episode 5)
Aesthetics: What is beauty? (Earthlings 101, Episode 6)
Social Mechanics: Bonding, Gratitude and Karma (Earthlings 101, Episode 7)
Humour: Funny things, laughing, and jokes (Earthlings 101, Episode 8)
Food: Eating, drinking, and cooking (Earthlings 101, Episode 9)
Language: A reef of dead metaphores (Earthlings 101, Episode 10)
Rituals: The gears of society (Earthlings 101, Episode 11)
Vision: How the world gets into the brain (Earthlings 101, Episode 12)
-----These are not Earthlings 101 lessons ------
Basic Saucer Physics (a video response)
Spinning Disk Trick
Spinning Disk Trick Solution
No Edge: The Shape of the Universe. (Part 1: Flat Models)
No Edge 2: The Curvature of the Universe.
Walter Lewin MIT
8.01 Classical Mechanics - YouTube - Academic EarthRichard Muller UC
8.03 Electricity & Magnetism - YouTube - Academic Earth
8.03 Vibrations & Waves - YouTube - Academic Earth
Page crested 29 Jan. 2000.