Abstract: The System includes an Alarm Unit and a separate Alert Unit. The Alarm Unit is securely affixed to the parcel before the parcel is left at the delivery site, and the Alert Unit is placed at a secure site that is within radio range of the delivery site. The Alarm Unit is armed by the deliveryman upon depositing the parcel at the delivery site, and arming of the Alarm Unit results in the transmission of messages verifying to the seller or delivery agent that delivery has taken place and notifying the purchaser or intended recipient that the parcel has arrived. Movement of the parcel after it has been deposited at the delivery site and has been armed results in messages being transmitted to the shipping agent and to the intended recipient announcing that the parcel has been stolen. Such unauthorized movement of the parcel also activates a very loud audible alarm affixed to the parcel and activates a tracking beacon in or on the parcel, permitting the whereabouts of the parcel to be determined or tracked.
Abstract: An improved fire detector is obtained by combining a conventional smoke particle sensor with a fire radicals odor sensor; the latter being an electronic nose tuned to respond to the presence of a family of radicals, produced by most fires, that is responsible for the odor associated with a fire. The conventional smoke particle sensor is prevented from producing an alarm signal unless the tuned electronic nose senses that the fire-produced radicals are increasing at a rate that exceeds a preset threshold rate. In another aspect of the invention, the smoke particle sensor is provided with a second, lower, threshold connected to a timer so that an alarm will be produced if the lower threshold is exceeded, without interruption, for a preset time. The improved fire detector, using the combined sensors, has greater sensitivity and a lower false alarm rate.
Abstract: A collapsible golf cart that is capable of carrying a fully-loaded golf bag includes an A-frame formed by telescoping members pivotally connected at their upper ends and having removable wheels at their lower ends. The cart includes a swinging V-shaped support stand that is attached at its upper ends to the telescoping frame members. The swinging lower end of the stand includes a spike extending downward from its front side and includes an auxiliary wheel at its rear side. When the cart is parked, the stand is in its rearmost position and the spike digs into the ground. When the cart is in motion, the stand is swung to a forward position in which the auxiliary wheel rolls on the ground. The spike also provides good electrical grounding for the cart. The cart also includes a telescoping lightning rod, the effectiveness of which is enhanced by the grounding provided by the spike.
Abstract: A collapsible luggage cart characterized by left and right telescoping members having top sections and bottom sections, the top sections being pivotally connected so that when the cart is extended for use the telescoping members provide an A-frame back for the cart, each bottom section having an axle on which a wheel is mounted, and each bottom section having a forwardly-extending arm pivotally connected to it, so that when the cart is to be collapsed, the arms are swung upwardly into the bottom sections, the telescoping members are then pivoted together until they are side by side, and finally the telescoping members are collapsed into the bottom sections, the exterior surfaces of which together then substantially enclose the collapsed cart.
Abstract: In a kaleidoscope having an object chamber containing a fluid and containing a number of objects, the objects are caused to move by setting in motion the fluid within the object chamber, using energy derived from a source mounted on the kaleidoscope. In a preferred embodiment, the fluid in the object chamber is set in motion by a small electrically powered pump that is powered by a battery mounted on the kaleidoscope under control of a microprocessor that relates the operation of the pump to the production of lighting effects and sound effects produced within the kaleidoscope. The apparatus results in a display of persistently moving patterns, even when the object chamber remains stationary, and requires no intervention by the user.
Abstract: One type of kaleidoscope has an object cell that contains a multitude of small objects immersed in a viscous liquid. By inverting the object cell, a user can enjoy a continuous ever-changing display of pleasing and colorful symmetrical images as the objects cascade through the viscous liquid under the influence of gravity. Eventually the objects settle to the top or bottom of the object cell as determined by their densities, and the viewer needs to invert the object cell again. It is desirable to prolong each cascade so as to reduce the frequency with which the object cell must be inverted. Several ways of accomplishing this are disclosed. The walls of the cell may converge and may be provided with bumps or other surface irregularities. The movement of the objects may be impeded by the provision of fixed obstacles within the object cell. In another approach, an upwelling and circulation of the viscous liquid is produced by a simple pump that is mobilized by inverting the object cell.
Abstract: A method for providing secure credit card transactions over the Internet generates a personal charge number from a user account number by inserting a user key into the user account number in accordance with an algorithm that uses a user insertion key and a permutation variable. After the personal charge number is used, the permutation variable is changed, and a new personal charge number is generated. A money source repository verifies the validity of the personal charge number by using the personal charge number and a user identifier to access a file with the user account number, the user key and the user insertion key, taking into account which permutation variable is valid at a given point in time. Alternatively, the money source repository could generate a string of valid personal charge numbers for a user which are sequentially accessed according to usage.
Abstract: A system and method for pseudo cash transactions allows a portion of the pseudo cash to be refunded through use of a credit back indicator which is used by a record adjuster to adjust the file associated with a pseudo cash unit which can then be accessed by the user with a user identifier to obtain a refund or credit.
Abstract: Totally anonymous or effectively anonymous cash-like transactions are accomplished by using a pseudo cash data package converter for inserting a user key into a pseudo cash preliminary data packet through the use of a user insertion key to generate a pseudo cash unit with a fixed monetary value that can be used to purchase goods or services via the Internet. A pseudo cash repository facilitates the cash-like transactions and maintains a record of the pseudo cash units and their fixed monetary value. Depending upon the level of anonymity selected by a purchaser, the pseudo cash repository can either transmit pseudo cash preliminary data packets or pseudo cash units to a first entity. If the first entity loses an effectively anonymous pseudo cash preliminary data packet, it can be replaced by the pseudo cash repository without risk of loss.
Abstract: A method for use in mass-producing, from a plane sheet of metal, a three-dimensional structure consisting of plane mirrors and plane structural members, said three-dimensional structure of a type in which each mirror or structural member has at least one edge that is collinear with an edge of another mirror or structural member, whereby said three-dimensional structure can be formed by bending the sheet of metal along various edges, the method including the steps of: producing masks bearing images defining the location of bending grooves, shallow grooves, separation grooves and holes for indexing pins, selecting a mask, applying a coating of photoresist to both sides of the sheet of metal, transferring the images on the selected mask to the coating of photoresist, removing those portions of the coating of photoresist to which the images were transferred, etching the sheet of metal where the portions of the coating of photoresist were removed, removing the remaining photoresist from the sheet of metal, and rep
Abstract: A portable instrument for locating leaks through the wall of a chamber uses a non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) type detector. The instrument includes a gas sampling probe into which a continuous sample of gas is drawn by a small suction pump. The sample is conducted from the probe through a flexible conduit and through a gas sample chamber. The gas sample chamber contains a source of light or infrared radiation and a detector. A narrow pass band filter is interposed between the source and the detector, and the pass band of the filter is centered on an absorption band of the test gas that is to be detected. When the test gas is present, it absorbs some of the radiation. The detector produces an electrical signal representative of the concentration of the test gas. The detector is connected to a signal processing circuit that responds to rapid changes of test gas concentration but ignores slow changes in concentration, thereby reducing the false alarm rate.
Abstract: Apparatus for detecting leaks in pneumatic tires includes a source of pressurized carbon dioxide gas that is used to partially re-inflate the flat tire, so that a strong concentration of carbon dioxide gas will be present in any gas that leaks out of the tire. In the vicinity of the leak, the concentration of carbon dioxide gas is greatly enhanced above the normal atmospheric concentration of 300 to 800 parts per million. The enhanced concentration of carbon dioxide gas in the vicinity of the leak is detected by a gas sampling system that includes an audible alarm that alerts the user when the location of the leak has been found.
Abstract: A retractable and extendable handle for a piece of luggage is provided at its distal end portion with a distal jaw, and spaced from that, a proximal jaw. These jaws facilitate loading the luggage into an overhead luggage compartment. The jaws may be integral parts of the handle, or they may be parts of an attachment that is affixed to an existing handle. With the handle fully extended, the distal jaw is brought up and over the lip of the floor of the overhead luggage compartment, and then with the proximal jaw pushing against the underside of the lip, the luggage is lifted to force the handle to retract into the luggage. Next, the luggage is pivoted upward about the tip of the distal jaw so that the proximal jaw clears the lip of the floor of the compartment. Thereafter, the luggage is pushed horizontally into the compartment.