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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Million Dollar Idea of the day

   
Author Topic: Million Dollar Idea of the day
Darth_Mauve
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Here is the place to post your brilliant ideas--the ones that if you could figure out how to do it, and weren't so lazy, and had the money to invest, you would like totally make it and earn millions of dollars.

Idea's like Outdoor Christmas Lights that change color over the year to correspond to the holidays. Put them up once, and you don't have to take them down--ever. Just pick different colors every month.

or

Training Unicycle...make a unicycle with one of those fat/wide tires used by racing cycles. Anyone would be able to keep there balance on those. They may be harder to pedal, but still--you wouldn't fall.

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theamazeeaz
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A pill that changes the taste of alcohol with increasing blood count. Depending on the pill, alcohol becomes completely undrinkable at the driving level or the vomit/blackout level.
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scifibum
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Can I poke holes in the ideas? Thanks

I don't think right-left balance is the hard part of a unicycle.

I think that pill would simply encourage faster binge drinking.

Here's my idea:

Forget hovercars and helicabs. We're going with fully ballistic travel. Giant ball pits form the hubs. Terror factor mitigated by blackout caused by 10+ g-force launches.

Some weather and queueing related bugs to figure out.

Next idea:

No more tank tops, the societal cost/benefit is way bad.

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theamazeeaz
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I disagree. You market it to alcoholics and people who can't biologically have "just one" but want to.
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scifibum
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I consider the hole provisionally plugged and volunteer to bartend clinical trials.
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Samprimary
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A way to distill and sell your delicious tears when our broken patent system ruins your good idea
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Vadon
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First invention: When you flush the toilet, if the seat is up, a servo will gently, automatically lower the seat.

Second Invention: A custom toilet paper holder that has a button to flip the roll 180 degree. It will be big enough to press with an elbow, because we're all about hygiene. The point is that the debate over which way the roll is supposed to roll can be mitigated (but not solved. I imagine future arguments over not remembering to flip the roll back the way it was).

Third Invention: A valve based toothpaste dispenser. Once you break the seal, the pressure differential will open the valve to let toothpaste out when you squeeze it, but the moment pressure is released it closes. No more problems with lids being left off.

Honestly, I'm just trying to save marriages. Reconciling one irreconcilable difference at a time.

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TomDavidson
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Children's underpants that are printed with black and white designs and/or licensed characters, are sold 7 to a pack, and come with a palette of washable fabric markers.
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Lyrhawn
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Watch covered entirely in fleece or flannel for the winter months so it's not cold on your wrist when you go outside.

An App for blind people that scans your bills and tells you the denomination with beeps.

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steven
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An online, ongoing series of music education videos from the best players in the world, designed for young band students to learn from.

Most band directors are only good at their own instrument, and struggle to teach good technique on all the other instruments. For instance, I play timpani at a respectable professional level, but I couldn't teach trumpet/clarinet/flute/etc. to save my life (and I'd make a bad band teacher for young players, because of that). Most band directors, especially younger ones, simply haven't got the training to teach really good foundational technique on anything other than their primary instrument.

A great deal of what determines someone's future ability to win professional auditions is the quality of the first teacher(s) they had. If they learned bad technique, then they will spend many years either struggling with the limitations from that bad technique, or years rebuilding their technique from the ground up.

Most band students won't go on to become professionals, but the overall playing level of a band will be much higher if all the players started out with good technical models to work from.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Watch covered entirely in fleece or flannel for the winter months so it's not cold on your wrist when you go outside.

An App for blind people that scans your bills and tells you the denomination with beeps.

Aside from the US being a stupid country with all of their bills the same size, there's a really easy low-tech solution for this:
http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?SectionID=40&TopicID=215&DocumentID=2232

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Watch covered entirely in fleece or flannel for the winter months so it's not cold on your wrist when you go outside.

An App for blind people that scans your bills and tells you the denomination with beeps.

Aside from the US being a stupid country with all of their bills the same size, there's a really easy low-tech solution for this:
http://www.afb.org/section.aspx?SectionID=40&TopicID=215&DocumentID=2232

What's more, many countries also have the denominations "printed" in raised symbols that reflect the relative values of bills, so by feeling the top right corner of a bill, you can detect its value by the number of wavy lines, and their orientation (up/down left/right)
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Hobbes
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Stealing other people's million dollar ideas.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Lyrhawn
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Sure, but America's bills all look the same, and I don't believe they have raised surfaces. I know that they teach blind people to fold their bills a certain way, but what if someone hands them money and they want to see what it is without having someone help them? What do they do before they fold it? What if it accidentally becomes unfolded?

There are many situations where such an app could be helpful.

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Darth_Mauve
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Create a virtual robot to pass the "Turing Text Test" which is not only fun to say, but incredibly easy--since with texting grammar, spelling, and logic play no part.

After each input from a call, the robot responds with a random response--one of the following, or one from a dozen similar:
1)LOL
2) Here's a picture of my cat
3) (send a picture of a cat)
4) Its all Obama's fault.
5) Its all Congress's fault.
6) WTF
7) Powned!
8) TWSS (That's what she said).

Such a robot would increase student and worker efficiency, as they could get back to work without disrupting their busy virtual lives.

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GaalDornick
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Bread that comes presliced.
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ak
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1. Tornadoes are caused by a sink of something. Not air, of course, but most likely charged particles of some kind pulling the air along with them. From what I can tell, the weather scientists studying tornadoes don't realize this.

2. Sexual selection theories all seem to treat female choice as a non-heritable, non-selected-for trait that drives males toward having characteristics (huge antler racks or long peacock tails) that would otherwise make the males less fit (due to metabolic costs, awkwardness in escaping from predators, etc.) The real truth is that female choice is heritable and selectionable just like anything, and if females made choices that reduced the fitness of their offspring in the long run, they would be selected against and that sort of choice wouldn't continue to be seen in females. So you must realize that females are choosing well. Meaning that despite the lowered fitness of their male offspring to survival, they still come out ahead. How can that be? Because daughters will inherit the fitness that allowed their dads to survive despite their big handicaps, without inheriting the handicaps themselves. So daughters must matter more than sons to long term fitness. Key insight.

A peacock with a large beautiful tail is advertising "extra-fit daughters if you choose me" despite the fact that the sons will be burdened with the wasteful awkward excessive tail. The only reason this can persist is that daughters must matter more.

3. Once in the history of science, there was a problem that the earth seemed to geologists to be older than the solar system did to astronomers and physicists. Of course, the earth was better understood and better known because closer to us, and the earth's age was the right one. (Nuclear processes in the sun were discovered that made it possible for the sun to be much older than we thought it could be earlier.)

Another time much later there was a problem that globular clusters seemed to be older than the universe. Again, the clusters were better understood and closer to us, and their age turned out to be the correct one. (Dark energy means the universe is actually much older than we thought, because it has sped up over time instead of slowing down due to gravity.)

General principle: when two theories conflict, and one is about something closer to us and studied in more detail, that one is correct.

4. Eventually, some deadly illness will decrease the population to about 10% of what it was before. The interdependence of the world's economy now and the high population, high travel rates, decreased isolation of human populations, and the increasing dependence on technological society to feed and supply people compared to past times in human history when plagues and pandemics have happened means nobody knows how severe civilization will be impacted by this illness. Possibly very severe impact, meaning people will need to be able to feed and care for themselves with no grocery stores functioning and no utilities or banks working for 3 to 6 months. Almost nobody (outside a few Mormons) seems to want to prepare for this. If we all were prepared, then we'd do much better overall. The way to prepare is to first make a 72 hour kit, then gradually build up 3 months supply of nonperishable food, water, and supplies including savings in both bank accounts and some cash. Extend to 1 year supply as time allows. This won't get you through every possible disaster, but will cover most. Your family will be covered, freeing you to be able to help others.

Think of it as the ultimate savings account. You need to learn to prepare these foods, and rotate your supply so it doesn't go bad.

5. We need to have a tested functional asteroid impact defense. It's a shooting gallery out there. It's completely preventable, and way worth the cost to implement. We need to do it now. We should start sending all the near earth asteroids to impact the moon, now, while we can, and before there are any moon bases to be disrupted. We need to think beyond our time because we aren't sure if in 10,000 years we'll still have the technology to do it. Civilization could fall. Hopefully not, but we just don't know. That's why we should act to remove this threat to the full extent possible while we can do it.

6. We need to be studying how to avert human extinction by every means possible. This means looking at a long list of topics with that end in mind. Energy. Population. Peace and stability. Space exploration and colonization. DNA libraries in various places around the solar system. Closed ecosystems and how to keep them viable. Asteroid impact prevention. Public health and pandemics. Study of Anomie and how to most quickly reestablish the rule of law in conditions of lawlessness. Global development. Health care as a human right. Infrastructure. Moral/Spiritual development. This stuff is getting real now and it's time for us to grow up and figure out how to sustain ecosystems and get busy and build a lot of them all over the solar system. The earth is far too fragile a basket for the human species to put all its eggs in (said Heinlein, and I agree.)

[ June 20, 2013, 05:24 AM: Message edited by: ak ]

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scifibum
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But how do you sell those in an infomercial?
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ak
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Not easily. However, the time thread on the xkcd forum is revolutionizing my view of human capacity to wait for it. I think if the power of all that patience can be harnessed for good, we may, indeed, avert human extinction. Surely that's more important than mere wealth?
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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Colonize Venus with floating cities.

The atmosphere is ~100x denser than Earth's, which makes a balloon filled with hydrogen (or perhaps a rigid structure with oxygen at 1 atm like a submarine; I haven't done the math) able to carry much more weight.

The Venusian surface is hot enough to melt lead, but high in the atmosphere it will be much cooler (for the same reason high mountains are snowcapped on Earth). There could be a sweet spot where you have enough buoyancy to support your floating city and be cool enough for the structure to stay intact.

There's no shortage of wind and solar power on Venus; at the right altitude, you have pretty much constant hurricane-force winds, and the sun is much brighter, so solar panels would be more space-efficient.

The atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide, which you can just run through a bunch of plants/algae to get oxygen, so you don't even have to bring all your air from Earth.

Getting water is trickier, but if I recall correctly, there is water vapor in the Venusian atmosphere. If they could develop a way to efficiently extract it in that environment, then you've got a reliable source of the key ingredient of life.

The upper atmosphere does rain sulfuric acid, so anything you build would have to withstand that. I don't know enough about metallurgy or material-science to know if that's a deal-breaker.

It might even be possible to extract mineral resources from the surface, if you can make something that can last on the surface long enough to scoop something up. For pretty much everything else, though, you can stay in the clouds, high above the hell below.

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