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Offline helius

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #450 on: May 18, 2016, 02:27:55 PM »
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.
 

Offline jurge24pez

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #451 on: May 18, 2016, 03:53:24 PM »
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there? 
 
 

Offline PaulReynolds

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #452 on: May 18, 2016, 06:15:22 PM »
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.
 

Offline georgesmith

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #453 on: May 18, 2016, 06:54:30 PM »
Saying that someone was convicted when they weren't is "libel per se". It can get you in serious trouble. It's not even possible to be convicted in a civil suit.

The headline of one of the news stories about them was literally "Bitcoin Miner Manufacturer Found Guilty of Fraud" (link). It's obvious (after reading all the court documents) that that wasn't a fair summary, but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source. (Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.) I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.

Quote
There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Thanks, I'll go back and edit the post. Sorry that your first post here had to be like this...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #454 on: May 18, 2016, 08:14:05 PM »
Hash fast was in the news due to its founders so the correlation with ubeam continues.  The bigger question is the choices of a talented engineer to go to the likes of these companies, but it appears he's doing the wise act and looking for his self now as when one googles him he's got his resume posted live "Currently I am looking for my next role." And lists ubeam in his repertoire so it is a current post.http://www.taffler.com/Taffler/Welcome.html  Wonder how many other engineers will be flying the coop now from there?

That web page has been like that since at lest Feb 19th.
But yeah, Resume shows uBeam, so unlikely he updated his resume and his "currently looking for work" page.
Good chance he's gone.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #455 on: May 18, 2016, 08:21:29 PM »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610
 

Offline Howardlong

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #456 on: May 18, 2016, 09:52:13 PM »
I asked nicely in one of my blog posts - please don't insult any engineer, current or former, at uBeam.

There were several world-class engineers there. He's one of them, both in capability and character.

Welcome to EEVBlog!

A very thought-provoking blog, I downloaded it all the other day for my commute. I certainly couldn't understand why any engineer would want to work at uBeam bearing in mind the claims they were making, but I can see how it would attract some if you get to play with the latest toys.

May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
 

Online amspire

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #457 on: May 18, 2016, 10:07:49 PM »
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

It makes as much sense as using tracking high powered lasers to charge a phone. Actually, a laser is a much better idea then uBeam. I can claim it will be totally safe by just saying I will have this software that will turn the laser off the instant before any direct or reflected beam hits an eye. It is very easy saying that.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:11:23 PM by amspire »
 

Offline VNFTW

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #458 on: May 18, 2016, 10:24:38 PM »
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #459 on: May 18, 2016, 10:28:16 PM »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

Editted to add (and correct one literal above): It just occurs to me that the people who did our libel training were very good. It's many years later and I remember all of it. More importantly, while I was writing I got several companies very angry with me, with good justification on my behalf (i.e. I said that crap products were crap), but we never got sued so I think the training paid off. /Edit

... but no, it's never libel to mistakenly rely on an inaccurate source.

Good luck telling the judge that, he will tell you different. There's no need to prove malice in a libel claim, carelessness or recklessness is quite adequate.

(Otherwise, any time a media outlet got something wrong, every reader who told a friend something would be guilty of libel.)

It's not "libel", it's slander and only then when monetary loss can be proven. And not "guilty" as defamation is a tort, a civil wrong, not a crime.

I'm sorry I screwed up, and didn't check sources carefully enough.

The expressed remorse might take a few quid off, but your last five words probably just doubled the damages. Just imagine counsel for the appellant, at your libel trial, saying: "So, Mr. Smith, before you rushed to accuse my client in print of fraud, did you check your sources? Did you bother to find out the truth before blackening my client's character? Or were you so hell bent on doing him harm that you were completely reckless as to the veracity of your claims?".

A public apology, at least as prominent as the original libel, and a retraction, is actually a defense in a libel action. It might be a good idea to cover your arse and issue one.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 10:51:10 PM by Cerebus »
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online coppice

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #460 on: May 18, 2016, 10:30:36 PM »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #461 on: May 18, 2016, 10:42:45 PM »
May I ask, did you, or any of your technical colleagues, ever expect to see the phone charging product deployed and selling in the wild?
No. It never made any sense.

Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.

Mind you, if I was him, my reply might be "On advice of counsel I'm declining to answer that question". <- note, no smiley.

Really, uBeam is the kind of thing that ends in court and while we can speculate as wildly as we like, it might be a good idea for one of the participants to choose his public, on the record, words very carefully. I imply no wrongdoing on his behalf, and you should infer none, but it would be in the interests of some parties to share the blame around and some carelessly chosen words might just be enough to do that, even if that flies in the face of the actual facts.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Online amspire

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #462 on: May 18, 2016, 11:05:36 PM »
Erm, I don't really think it's your place to answer on behalf of those engineers when we've got one here now who can speak for himself and who the question was directed to.
Fair enough. My mistake in not realising it was THE Paul Reynolds.
 

Offline theatrus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #463 on: May 19, 2016, 12:27:27 AM »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.

The trick with WSJ articles:

Open incognito window
Go to google.com it's self and paste the URL into the search box
Click through to the article from the search results page
 
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Online Bud

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #464 on: May 19, 2016, 01:07:20 AM »
Wasn't it WSJ who catapulted uBeam into the bright future back then

https://m.facebook.com/meredith.perry/posts/10201377478782470
 

Offline edavid

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #465 on: May 19, 2016, 01:07:54 AM »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #466 on: May 19, 2016, 02:05:32 AM »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)

Hence the, "in English law", in there. BUT, the US legal system is the closest to the English legal system on the planet outside of jurisdictions that still hold the English courts as their highest courts of appeal - e.g. Jamaica*. In point of fact, past and present precedents from English courts are still held as 'persuasive' in US courts. Both hardly surprising as the US legal system is descended from the English and both are what are known as 'common law' systems as opposed to 'civil law' systems. While the two systems may vary in detail, they have the same DNA and the concepts of jurisprudence in both are near identical.

The English courts have been the international venue of choice for libel claims for many years. (Like the Texas circuit is for patent claims.) It has been quite common for both sides of a libel case in the English courts to have been from outside the UK as long as the libel was 'published**' in the UK. Part of the reason for this was English libel law has allowed one to bundle all sorts of third parties into the action. So you might have the appellant, the writer of an allegedly libellous piece, his editor, his publisher, a printers and a chain of high street newsagents all involved in the action. The writer is penniless, the high street chain is not - thus damages awarded are likely to be actually recoverable. English libel law has recently undergone and is currently undergoing changes to modify this and you can expect less and less cases to make their way to the English courts.

What this adds up to is, if you're defaming someone on the international stage you'd better be prepared to be sued in England. And that means working to English legal definitions and precedents which are frequently not what the general public think they are. For instance, in English law strict factual accuracy is not necessarily a defense in a libel claim. So calling someone a "fat smelly glutton" when they are overweight, malodorous and eat more than they should is risky unless you can show there is 'a public interest' in these facts (which is not the same as 'the public finds this interesting'), or that it is 'fair comment', or 'a genuine and honestly held opinion' and that you didn't publish the facts maliciously. On the other hand calling them a 'motherf******  bloody son of a whore' is OK, because you have a defense that it is merely 'foul mouthed abuse' and it is immaterial whether their mother actually engaged in prostitution or not, whether they used her services or not or indeed whether they were covered in blood.

Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Now we have to determine if, in a discussion between engineers "You obviously don't understand" qualifies as 'fighting words' and what the venue for the subsequent brawl will be.  :) :)


*No, she went of her own accord.

**Which word has a special technical meaning with relation to libel law in England. Essentially something is 'published' if it is written and the writer knew that *anyone* other than the person being libelled would or would be expected to read it. A 'private' letter, dictated to a secretary can libel the addressee, a handwritten letter shown to no-one else can't.
Anybody got a syringe I can use to squeeze the magic smoke back into this?
 

Offline Monadnock

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #467 on: May 19, 2016, 08:01:20 AM »
new WSJ article on uBeam sound interesting from the title, but behind a paywall:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/ubeam-vcs-created-hype-cycle-1463484610

Same article I believe, no paywall, just a click-through box
http://www.wsj.com/articles/scholars-doubt-ubeam-claims-pitch-deck-calls-tech-commercially-viable-1463484603
I don't seem to be able to click through on that page. I only get options to sign in or subscribe.

The trick with WSJ articles:

Open incognito window
Go to google.com it's self and paste the URL into the search box
Click through to the article from the search results page

Does that loophole still work? Just tried it and it didn't for me.
 

Offline georgesmith

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #468 on: May 19, 2016, 09:59:43 AM »
Quote
It is not a substantive finding of fact, nor a judgement, and nowhere anything like a conviction or finding against any party.

It's not online, but PACER shows that there was in fact a large judgement entered by the court against one of the defendants. This isn't really relevant to uBeam, but I want to be sure the facts are straight here.


It's exactly that kind of writing that gets you sued for libel. You take a quote that refers exclusively to a court direction on a motion to dismiss and conflate it with "a large judgement ... against one of the defendents". Whether you intend to or not, it looks like you're trying to find some way of ascribing guilt without having the facts available to support that. And that's what matters, at least in English law, that a piece of writing, taken as a whole is likely to be read as defamatory by a "right-minded person" - the appearance in the mind of the reader is what counts. I know wherewith of what I speak, I used to be a journalist and I've had formal training in libel law as my publisher, Felix Dennis, didn't like being sued (you may remember a little thing called the Oz trial).

You obviously don't understand the US legal system.  Don't worry, you won't be sued for that  :)

Hence the, "in English law", in there. BUT, the US legal system is the closest to the English legal system on the planet outside of jurisdictions that still hold the English courts as their highest courts of appeal - e.g. Jamaica*. In point of fact, past and present precedents from English courts are still held as 'persuasive' in US courts. Both hardly surprising as the US legal system is descended from the English and both are what are known as 'common law' systems as opposed to 'civil law' systems. While the two systems may vary in detail, they have the same DNA and the concepts of jurisprudence in both are near identical.

The English courts have been the international venue of choice for libel claims for many years. (Like the Texas circuit is for patent claims.) It has been quite common for both sides of a libel case in the English courts to have been from outside the UK as long as the libel was 'published**' in the UK. Part of the reason for this was English libel law has allowed one to bundle all sorts of third parties into the action. So you might have the appellant, the writer of an allegedly libellous piece, his editor, his publisher, a printers and a chain of high street newsagents all involved in the action. The writer is penniless, the high street chain is not - thus damages awarded are likely to be actually recoverable. English libel law has recently undergone and is currently undergoing changes to modify this and you can expect less and less cases to make their way to the English courts.

What this adds up to is, if you're defaming someone on the international stage you'd better be prepared to be sued in England. And that means working to English legal definitions and precedents which are frequently not what the general public think they are. For instance, in English law strict factual accuracy is not necessarily a defense in a libel claim. So calling someone a "fat smelly glutton" when they are overweight, malodorous and eat more than they should is risky unless you can show there is 'a public interest' in these facts (which is not the same as 'the public finds this interesting'), or that it is 'fair comment', or 'a genuine and honestly held opinion' and that you didn't publish the facts maliciously. On the other hand calling them a 'motherf******  bloody son of a whore' is OK, because you have a defense that it is merely 'foul mouthed abuse' and it is immaterial whether their mother actually engaged in prostitution or not, whether they used her services or not or indeed whether they were covered in blood.

Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Now we have to determine if, in a discussion between engineers "You obviously don't understand" qualifies as 'fighting words' and what the venue for the subsequent brawl will be.  :) :)


*No, she went of her own accord.

**Which word has a special technical meaning with relation to libel law in England. Essentially something is 'published' if it is written and the writer knew that *anyone* other than the person being libelled would or would be expected to read it. A 'private' letter, dictated to a secretary can libel the addressee, a handwritten letter shown to no-one else can't.

Very exciting! Now I get a chance to brag about how great American laws are, that doesn't happen very often :)

The UK's libel laws are so extreme that, in 2008, New York responded by passing the Libel Terrorism Protection Act. (Yes, it was really called that.) This law makes foreign libel judgements void, unless someone can show the same result would have been reached under American libel law, which is extremely difficult. A few years later, the law was extended to the entire US via the SPEECH Act, which was passed unanimously by both houses of the US Congress.

Here in the US, such lawsuits would be instantly laughed out of court, and the plaintiff would then be forced to pay all the defendant's legal expenses under anti-SLAPP statutes. See, for example, this response to a libel threat brought by a dentist in response to a bad Yelp review.
 

Online Cerebus

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #469 on: May 19, 2016, 10:56:38 AM »


Very exciting! Now I get a chance to brag about how great American laws are, that doesn't happen very often :)

I actually think the 'fighting words' laws are quite sensible, if they're applied sensibly. You could try very, very hard to get me to throw the first punch in a fight and you wouldn't normally succeed because my father taught me [you'll have to imagine a northern English accent here]: "Son, in this family the men never start a fight - but we always finish them". But, there are some things you could say to me, some of them in specific situations, that would make me see red and you see stars (and some tweeting birds if anybody from Hanna-Barbera or Warner Bros was handy). Some speech is so provocative that you should expect violence if you use it. The nuanced bit is understanding the speaker, the spoken to and the context.

Quote
The UK's libel laws are so extreme that, in 2008, New York responded by passing the Libel Terrorism Protection Act.

It's not that they are extreme. The basic law itself was well thought out and reasonable and that part of it hasn't changed. The problem was the traditional ability to attach moneyed third parties as respondents and that the law was sufficiently complex* that you had to have representation to defend yourself and that costs money. Hence it was often used for harassment by someone with money and easier access to lawyers against someone with 'lesser arms', as has been the case in the US. A notable UK case of this sort was McDonalds beating up on some animal rights activists leafleting against McDonalds. Recent changes to UK law have been very much along the line of SLAPP but in the opinion of some haven't gone far enough.

*The 'truth is always a defense' line that 99.9% of people believe to be the case points this up. It is quite possible to be 100% truthful and still libel someone if you publish that truth maliciously, that is, with the sole intent of harming the person and no other justification for it. Think back to when homosexuality was legal, but still not generally socially accepted - say 1968. If you published, truthfully, that a public figure (teacher, doctor, policeman, politician) was homosexual you could do them great harm. If you had no justification beyond 'outing' them that publication would be, rightly, considered libellous. God help the layman who has to handle this without professional help.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 11:03:08 AM by Cerebus »
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Offline georgesmith

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #470 on: May 19, 2016, 12:33:39 PM »
Quote
Of course the latter would, in some US states, fall under 'fighting words' legislation and permit you to kick them senseless without recourse to a libel action. And there, you said I didn't understand the US legal system.  :)

Can't tell if that was a joke, but it's certainly not accurate. The "fighting words" exception only ever allowed speech to be punished in court, it never justified initiating violence yourself. While it's never been officially repealed, it's also dead for all practical purposes:

Quote
The very next year, in Gooding v. Wilson, 405 U.S. 518 (1972), the Court cited Cohen and stated that speech that is “vulgar or offensive…is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.” Then, the very next term, the Court reaffirmed this stance in Hess v. Indiana, 414 U.S. 105 (1973) by finding that the pronouncement “we’ll take the fucking street later” did not constitute fighting words.
 
In assessing the fighting words doctrine at this point, it is important to note the speech involved in Gooding. While assaulting a police officer, Gooding shouted, “White son of a bitch, I’ll kill you.” “You son of a bitch, I’ll choke you to death.” and “You son of a bitch, if you ever put your hands on me again, I’ll cut you all to pieces.” If this speech doesn’t constitute fighting words, one would be hard-pressed to think of speech that would qualify.

Gooding was the nail in the coffin—if the fighting words exception has any real vitality left at all (and many commentators, including Nadine Strossen, think it is essentially dead) the Supreme Court has effectively limited the exception to only include abusive language, exchanged face to face, which would likely provoke a violent reaction.

(Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education)
 

Offline Zad

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #471 on: May 19, 2016, 01:10:34 PM »
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?

Offline zapta

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #472 on: May 19, 2016, 01:41:21 PM »
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?

Sue him.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #473 on: May 19, 2016, 01:48:10 PM »
Any chance you could continue this fascinating legal discussion in another thread, and we can get back on track?

Yes, please discontinue the legal talk in this thread and stick to the company and the technology.
 

Offline Chris Mr

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Re: The uBeam FAQ
« Reply #474 on: May 19, 2016, 08:35:13 PM »
First post so please have a right old go!

I would like to throw into the pool that air is elastic rather than hydraulic.

When you pump up a bicycle tyre you can feel the elasticity; the pressure increases and then when it gets just above the pressure in the tyre, more air goes in.  Same thing happens in an air compressor.  The big difference between these examples and someone like uBeam moving power through air is that they are contained somehow.  Imagine the bicycle tyre scenario with a hole in the end of the pump - the air velocity would need to increase to overcome the pressure in the tyre and the air being lost through the hole before more air went in; the larger the hole the larger the velocity.

Take a microphone (or whatever pickup is involved), with zero load it will flap about in the air nicely.  As you increase the load the elasticity of the air comes into play (it already was in play, this is simplified) and air starts to go in any direction that's easier than pushing on the load.

Another example, but not connected in exactly the same way, is that of a wind turbine generator.  There is a fundamental limit to how much energy you can extract out of wind (which is different in two major respects as it is planar and DC) because the more you try the more the air goes another way.  Betz's law determines this.  Build yourself a turbine out of any old blades and then apply a power tracker.  Adjust the blade angle a bit and see if the power increases or decreases - then keep it in a feedback loop so the power is kept at a maximum.  Now start playing with the number and shape of blades and what do you get - the current design of wind turbine blades!

My 2p  :box:
 


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