The strange and unusual world of patents

A device for the treatment of hiccups (United States Patent 7062320)

A device for the treatment of hiccups (United States Patent 7062320)

Which famous inventor was furious when his father-in-law applied for a patent before the inventor thought it was ready to go? Answer below, or in this book: The Reluctant Genius by Charlotte Gray (TK6143 B4 G73 2006 in the Schulich Library).

Before the answer, you should know that there are still lots to be invented. The patent application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a hiccup treatment is a cup that gives you a shock when you take a drink. However, a patent has yet to be granted. (more…)

Life of an iPhone addict: apps librarians can’t live without

Two touch screen phonesIf you’ve seen the commercials then you already know – there’s an iPhone or iPod app for just about anything.

Short for applications, apps are fun or practical software (often both) and we have more than a few favorites at the Library. At the top of the list is Bump, a free app that lets you share files, photos, and contact info when you bump hands with a friend and their iPod Touch or iPhone. Here are a few others that we just can’t keep to ourselves: (more…)

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