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Old 07-16-2011, 04:59 AM   #61
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And then there's where I am now, which is an even larger base, where we're staying in a "clamshell" tent with two AC units and four "Port-a-Cool" boxes to try and cool it. Problem is there is no floating layer so you can feel the heat getting in, and it's too much for the AC to handle. So then those in charge open the ends of the tent to try and generate a breeze. All the while, the Port-a-Cool boxes are humidifying the air. Ah, logic.
So it's not just my unit that's full of idiots....good to know. Have you been through Marmal (in mazar-e-sharif) at all since you've been over here?
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #62
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(...) but at least with a floating shade layer on top to shield the tents from some of the radiant heat.
I noticed this feature on the image of the tents that I included in the very first post, and that did strike me as a very clever thing to do.

I've had the same idea rolling around in my head for many years- not for tents, but for houses. Particularly in the southeastern US, where daytime temps in the summer are routinely over 100F and the sun beats down mercilessly, I have never understood why they continue to use the same basic roof-and-attic technology that the northern Europeans invented several centuries ago.

Ever been in the attic of a house in Florida in the summer? Even with all the fancy ventilators, it's hotter than **** up there. And all you've got separating that from the air-conditioned living space is a thin layer of sheetrock and maybe a sprinkling of fiberglass insulation.

WTF?

They need to double-layer the roofs. In the simplest possible interpretation, just build the roof as-is, but project some galvanized or aluminum studs from the rafters by about a foot before you lay on the initial plywood. Once the "regular" roof is shingled (or otherwise covered), construct a second, free-floating roof above it, separated by an airspace, on the projecting studs. Doesn't have to be anything fancy, you can use the same construction techniques as for a traditional roof. Just create a space through which air can flow un-impeded, thereby effectively placing the entire house under shade.


I tried for years to think of a way to monetize this idea.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #63
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Joe, the double roof you're talking about is exactly something I imagined decades ago when I lived in the tropics myself.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #64
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Joe, the double roof you're talking about is exactly something I imagined decades ago when I lived in the tropics myself.
I assume that you were never able to implement it because of restrictive government policies designed to protect the interests of the corporate roofing industry?

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Old 07-16-2011, 02:04 PM   #65
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Kpaf - Neg, I'm in (you know where) with less than 3 days left in country, with visions of my large pile of re-up bonus funded Miata parts dancing in my head.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:10 PM   #66
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I tried for years to think of a way to monetize this idea.
1) File your "invention" with the USPTO.
2) Lobby enough so that it becomes mandatory in all new constructions.
3) Wait for patent to be approved
4) ???
5) Profit!
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:16 PM   #67
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Kpaf - Neg, I'm in (you know where) with less than 3 days left in country, with visions of my large pile of re-up bonus funded Miata parts dancing in my head.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:19 PM   #68
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1) File your "invention" with the USPTO.
Well, I've screwed myself now by disclosing the invention, which prompted Jason to reveal the existence of prior art.

Ah, well. It's in the public-domain now. Maybe that'll cause the roofing industry to seem out a new equilibrium.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:49 PM   #69
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Well, I've screwed myself now by disclosing the invention, which prompted Jason to reveal the existence of prior art.

Ah, well. It's in the public-domain now. Maybe that'll cause the roofing industry to seem out a new equilibrium.
I'd bet Jason is fundamentally against IP protection laws anyway, so I doubt he would mind anyone using his idea for profit. Just don't try to lock others out of the market.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #70
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I remember seeing one house that had it. I thought "hey someone's done it already".

Years later I talked to an architect and asked him why it wasn't done. He said cost, keeping the roof on in a hurricane (the 2nd roof would look like a wing and would lift), and someone would need to keep the lower roof clean. Which didn't make sense to me, because our gutters need cleaning, not the roofs.

And, a soffit + ridge vent arrangement may be nearly as good for much less cost:






http://www.roofwerks.com/roofinfo/ventilation.asp

P.S. I suspect society would be better off overall without IP protection laws.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:12 PM   #71
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The plot thickens:
http://oikos.com/esb/30/atticvent.html

Parallels with vented hoods.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #72
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Yeah, ridge & soffit vents are standard equipment on pretty much every home that's been built in Florida over the last 20 or 30 years. They're ******* worthless. Way too restrictive compared to the meager pressure differential created by a slight breeze and/or the tendency of warm air to rise.

What you need is a completely open, unrestricted path through which even the gentlest breeze will create a continual turnover of fresh air.

And I see no reason why a second roof would by any more susceptible to taking flight in a hurricane than a traditional roof which overhangs the structure on all four sides by about 2 feet, all of which is perforated soffit vent. (eg: for Floridans, soffit vents aren't discrete things that you stick into the overhang at evenly-spaced intervals- the entire lower covering of the overhang is a perforated mesh.)




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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau
I'd bet Jason is fundamentally against IP protection laws anyway, so I doubt he would mind anyone using his idea for profit. Just don't try to lock others out of the market.
Yeah, I'd forgotten that the entire US Patent & Trademark office serves no other purpose than to stifle scientific innovation, in much the same way that laws which protect private property stifle individual creativity. Lord knows I'd be a lot more productive if I could just walk into my neighbor's house and use his welder any time I wanted to. Stupid police, trying to prevent me from exercising my constitutionally-guaranteed freedom to construct a roll-cage.

Down with the tyranny of property rights!
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:16 PM   #73
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The difference between physical property and IP is, your neighbor can't use his own welder while you're using it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:32 PM   #74
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The difference between physical property and IP is, your neighbor can't use his own welder while you're using it.
What if you and your neighbor could use the welder at the same time, but your neighbor who payed for the welder can't use it like he likes to because he can not weld as quickly when you are using it at the some time.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:29 PM   #75
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Did someone say something about NASA?
This is more NASA related than IPs and radiant barriers.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:37 PM   #76
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The difference between physical property and IP is, your neighbor can't use his own welder while you're using it.
So it's only OK to steal certain types of property, but not others.

Ok, I'll play along.

The difference between IP and physical property is that I can just go out and buy a welder for $300. In order to profit from my own invention, I first have to spend a lot of time money developing and testing the invention first.

Now, if someone else were permitted to come along and copy my invention as soon as it was finished, they would probably be able to sell it for less money than I would (even if we both had identical manufacturing costs) because while I would need to charge some extra margin in order to pay for the R&D costs, they incurred no such costs and thus can accept a lower margin.

By your reasoning, this is inherently good for the marketplace. Whoever can build and sell something most cheaply should be allowed to do so.

However, if I knew that as soon as I had spent all the time and money inventing something, someone else would immediately be permitted to copy my finished invention and sell it in competition with me and at a lower price, I would be seriously disincentivized from inventing things in the first place. And I say this from the perspective of an engineer, which is a person who invents things for a living (albeit in the form of works-for-hire.)

Take the pharmaceutical industry as an example, which is one that everybody loves to hate. Everyone "knows" that name-brand drugs cost too much and that drug companies are greedy, profit-mongering megacorporations. Ok, fine. But that's largely because it costs billions of dollars in research, development and testing in order to invent a new drug and get it approved by the FDA.

Generic drugs are "good" because they cost less to buy. But that is only possible because the companies that make them don't have to spend billions in R&D- they just wait for the patents to expire and then clone what already exists.

Now, if there were no patent protection, would the large pharmaceutical companies even bother doing all of the R&D anymore, knowing that as soon as they released a new drug to the marketplace it would immediately be copied and sold at a much lower price than they need to charge to cover their expenses?

Doubtful.

Personally, I think that the world is a better place as a result of having Loratadine (an antihistamine which allows me to come into contact with cats and dogs without asphyxiating), and I don't mind that Schering-Plough was granted a period of exclusive rights to manufacture it (as Claritin) until 2002. Now, we as a species not only have Loratadine, but we have cheap Loratadine as well. Were it not for patent protection, we would have neither.



So, having lost this argument, what aspect of modern civilization do you wish to impeach next?
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:09 PM   #77
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Joe --

Having established by your argumentation that what we call intellectual property is, in fact, rightly property and thus the creator has property rights, how do you defend expiring patents?

If the creator "owns" that property, under what principle is it appropriate to then violate those property rights, simply because a specified number of years have passed?
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:41 PM   #78
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Having established by your argumentation that what we call intellectual property is, in fact, rightly property and thus the creator has property rights, how do you defend expiring patents?
Like most laws, it's a compromise. Very few things in life are ever as black-and-white as a snippet from a blog might make them seem.

In an "ideal" world, patents would be valid for the lifetime of the patent holder, kind of like how copyright originally worked.

Unfortunately, as a practical matter, the patent system is subject to what some would call "innovative use" and others would call "abuse." Take, for instance, people and companies (eg: SCO) who make a living doing nothing but patenting everything they can possibly imagine, with no intent whatsoever of doing anything useful with those patents, and then filing patent infringement suits against anyone they can find, valid or not.

The webcomic Help Desk uses this as a frequent plot device. The company which it depicts (and its competitors) have managed to patent singing, making a sandwich, the use of an OK button in a software product, having feelings of determination and optimism (eg: hope) in a computing environment, the concept of being offended, pretty much every aspect of computer games as a whole, and the process of displaying a patent as evidence in a courtroom.


And, of course, some inventions really do need to be generally available in order for progress to occur. Transistors, for instance. I think we can all agree that humanity, as a whole, is better off for having easy access to transistors.

On the other hand, would Bell Labs have been motivated to pour so much time and energy into inventing them if they knew that they'd never be able to make any money selling them? (Yes, I know, Julius Lilienfeld came up with the idea 20 years earlier, but he never published, nor did he ever actually try to build one.)


So we have a middle-ground. Give people (and corporations) incentive to do serious R&D by ensuring that they will be able to profit from their inventions, but put in an escape clause to ensure that the development of technology, as a whole, is not unduly stifled in the process.




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Old 07-17-2011, 05:34 PM   #79
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What if you and your neighbor could use the welder at the same time, but your neighbor who payed for the welder can't use it like he likes to because he can not weld as quickly when you are using it at the some time.
For what it's worth, I try to be considerate of my neighbor's needs by only breaking into his house and using his welder when he's not at home. I also clean up after myself, and occasionally leave a new spool of welding wire behind, and take his bottle of shielding gas to the local supplier to get it refilled.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:11 PM   #80
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So, Joe, essentially what you seem to be describing is an ad hoc system in which uninvolved third parties get to decide who does and does not get to profit from any particular idea. I'm assuming you find the current patent lengths appropriate? They strike the perfect balance between competition and innovation? Can you provide any evidence that the current regulations actually do benefit innovation? Not anecdotal "just-so" stories about particular companies, but actual economic studies?

Why not do away with IP altogether? Sure, it removes the reward of guaranteed monopoly for a period of years, but it also removes the danger of inadvertent patent violations (and resulting penalties and injunctions) for innovative companies.
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