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Archive for May, 2008

A New Way to “Scan” Books

This afternoon, I went out to my BIG mailbox and discovered that another eBay purchase had arrived. When I got back to the office, I discovered that the package contained a certain, very large book I had won (over 1,600 pages). While I am not going to tell you what book it was (sorry), I CAN tell you that its contents got me very excited. I immediately knew the book had to be scanned…but then I remembered how much a pain in the @$$ scanning a book can be…especially on that size. Then I thought about…I’m sure they’d scan it for me, but I can’t imagine what a 1,600 page book would cost me (I do highly recommend the folks BTW).

As I’m sitting at my desk, flipping through this massive book, when, all of a sudden, an idea came to me. I tested the idea right away and was blown away by the result…I was able to “scan” 30 pages from the book at 275 dpi in just 2 minutes and it was a simple process. I didn’t have to rush and the files opened right up in Photoshop. And here’s the COOL part…at that speed (15 pages per minute), I could scan 900 pages in just one hour. That means that I could have my entire 1,600 page book scanned in under 2 hours and NOT be ready to pull my hair out (what little there is).

So what was my brilliant idea? I pulled out my Canon 20D digital camera and photographed the pages! The 20D is an 8.2 megapixel camera, which, for the book photos I was taking, resulted in a letter-size file at 275 dpi…and the images were sharp, thanks to autofocus. Now get this…you don’t need a high-end camera to do this…any digital camera will work. All you need is even lighting (I used two 500 watt spiral fluorescent lightbulbs) and a piece of plexiglass to help keep the pages flat. That’s it. It might not be a bad idea to use a tripod and a cable release, but I photographed (I mean scanned) my pages handheld.

So there you have it…I just increased your book scanning process by a factor of 5 or more! Now get to it!


Talking About My Girls…

I’ve shared before about my family’s cultural heritage and how we dance at powwows. I thought I’d share a photo of my girls from the last powwow they danced at. Don’t they look fantastic?! My wife is wearing her newest, white regalia which tooks her months to finish (it takes a while to do all that beadwork). Enjoy!


L to R: Tekakwitha (close friend), Courtney, Ashlea, and my wife, Deborah

The World of Patents Is a Bizarre Place…for Product Development

Here’s a fun post for you…

Ever since beginning research on the product creation potential of patents, I find myself drawn more and more to research the types of things that make me go, hmmm. For your curiosity (and entertainment), here are a few VERY interesting inventions I re-discovered tonight that took me back through some of the fond memories of my life:

 200+MPG Carburetor: 02026798  

My grandfather built a similar carburetor back in 1964, but after trying to patent it, he was later “encouraged” to not build anymore (and Dad won’t tell me how he built it…I asked him again tonight).

Oscillating Wave Device (Developed to Cure Cancer): 1,962,565

One of my early mentors (Mr. Houck) actually built a working model of one of these and saw some success with it before he was accused of being a spy by the US Government and thrown into Federal Prison. Of course he never really stayed in the prison…they had him working in one of their labs for nearly 14 years (seriously).

Anti-Gravity Device: 03626605
Flyer Saucer: 02912244

Now the flying saucer technologies…well, we just don’t talk about that much anymore, but you should have been in Upper Strasburg, PA that one July night back in 1976…holy cow was that spaceship big!

You think I’m kidding…

Sometime I’ll tell you about the experiments my friends and I did with plants…boy were those plants smart!

BTW…you can pick up a copy of my newest e-book, “Discovering the Product Creation Potential of Patents” over at my Marketing Yard Sale page ( Have fun creating new products from patents! 

To your continued success…


Here Are Millions More…

Over the past several months, I’ve revealed how to find and use for your product creation, millions of Public Domain Books, millions of Public Domain Magazines, millions of Public Domain images, and millions of everything else (audios, videos, and lots more). You’d think that I’ve revealed just about everything there is to be revealed as sources for incredible content for your projects, right?

WRONG! Dude, we’re just getting started! Wait until you check out my latest discovery…the vastness of this content is going to blow you away! It surprised me and I thought I had this all figured out!

Imagine being given exclusive access to the most brilliant, innovative men and women to have ever lived…the very ones responsible for imagining and creating every benefit and technology we enjoy today.  What if they offered you their best, most creative secrets…


You could build upon their ingenuity and innovation to create brand-new products! And what if they told you that you didn’t owe them ANY type of payment or royalty for using their ideas…that you could keep ALL the money for yourself? Would that be a good deal? Would that be an amazing deal? Well, I’m going to tell you how to gain access to those men and women in a brand-new ebook, and it’s through a research method that you’ve probably never considered before…

You can find out what that method is over at Tony’s Yard Sale…that’s where you’ll find the new ebook!

Head over there right now and find out what new treasure field I’ve been playing in. Hey, and while you’re there, make sure you click on Kola to find out what he’s up to (you’ll see him over on the left…watching you). That crazy dog is always into something! See you there!

To your continued success!

Tony Laidig
The Public Domain Expert

HP Looks to Public Domain for New Technology

 If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times…the opportunities are endless when it comes to the Public Domain. The problem is that we as product creators tend to have a narrow view of what product creation looks like or what opportunities are available. The truth is, opportunities to use content from the Public Domain abound…much more than you or I are currently taking advantage of. The challenge is to “allow” ourselves to think in ways that are different than we’re used to thinking. The classic definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over but expect different results. And based on THAT definition, most of you are probably insane…lol. I feel that one of my “jobs” in teaching about the Public Domain is to challenge you to get out of the box with your creativity and innovation so that you can tap into some truly amazing product creation ideas rather than accept the mediocrity of copy-cat product creation.

Last night, I was reading up on science and tech news when I came across a curious article about HP and some new technologies that they have been developing based on ideas that are in the Public Domain. I’ve included excerpts below. Notice that the article flat-out admits that the concepts were in the Public Domain (and the author is still living!).

Hewlett-Packard scientists reported Wednesday in the science journal Nature that they have designed a simple circuit element that they believe will make it possible to build tiny powerful computers that could imitate biological functions.

The memristor, an electrical resistor with memory properties, may also make it possible to fashion advanced logic circuits, a class of reprogrammable chips known as field programmable gate arrays, that are widely used for rapid prototyping of new circuits and for custom-made chips that need to be manufactured quickly. The memristor was predicted in 1971 by Leon Chua, an electrical engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. There have been hints of an unexplained behavior in the literature for some time, Mr. Chua said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

He noted, however, that he had not worked on his idea for several decades and that he was taken by surprise when he was contacted by the Hewlett-Packard researchers several months ago. The advance clearly points the way to a prediction made in 1959 by the physicist Richard Feynman that “there’s plenty of room at the bottom,” referring to the possibility of building atomic-scale systems.

“I can see all kinds of new technologies, and I’m thrilled,” he said.

The original theoretical work done by Mr. Chua was laid out in a paper, “Memristor — The Missing Circuit Element.” The paper argued that basic electronic theory required that in addition to the three basic circuit elements — resistors, capacitors and inductors — a fourth element should exist.

Because the concept of a memristor was developed almost 40 years ago by Mr. Chua, it is in the public domain. The Hewlett-Packard scientists, however, have applied for patents covering their working version of the device.

This article also reminds me again of an idea I threw out to the listeners of my Public Domain Teleseminar Series concerning the product ads you see in old magazines. We often think that physical product development based on existing products is off-limits because of patented technology, when the truth is that patents expire after 20 years and cannot be renewed. That means that any patent filed before 1988 (20 years ago) can now be used as the basis for any NEW product creation you can think of. That’s HUGE! Think of ALL the inventions that have occured over the past 100 or 200 years. It’s all available for you to use now as the foundation for new products. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now offers the ability to search patents (full text back to 1976 and full images back to 1790). You can use their search tool here:

Have fun!