Out of 26 million Texans, you may have an idea to change the world. You may have had several ideas to change the world. But only a tiny minority of you pushed through the U.S. Patent office from application to successful patent. We've seen Texans change the world many times over. Jack Kilby did it with Texas Instruments in 1958 with the integrated circuit, causing the start of the digital revolution, which, in part, is why you can read these words over your electronic device.
Over the last few years, Texas Business has brought its feature: Texas Business Patent of the Day. This list is of the ones that were either extremely clever, odd or strange. One thing becomes apparent from these patents and the patent that runs daily in Texas Business—Texans have a unique mind set.
Though the history of the Corn Dog is disputed, the State Fair of Texas claims to have introduced the Corny Dog sometime between 1938 and 1942. As a paean to that invention that now sits in the freezer section of every grocery store in the southwest, here are the fried foods the State Fair of Texas has introduced, or tried to introduce, in the last seven years.
Don't get caught up with John Wayne religion. For one thing, he's not Texan. He's in some fine movies involving Texas, most notably The Searchers, but none of his movies can make the best cut of Texas movies. Here's the short list.
Unsung Texas Business Journalists Mention that one is a reporter, and there's a spark of interest. Mention that one is a business news reporter, and watch the eyes glaze over. Except to the players, business and economic journalists are unappreciated. While many wish to become sports reporters when they grow up, most do not realize that business journalists cover the Real Game. Mention that reporter covers business, and watch the eyes glaze over. A toast to these below on the short list and the numerous unnamed ones slogging away. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Mexican Food: The Short List No, we're not going to debate the difference between Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex, Mexican and Texican food. Just know these establishments are the pinnacle of Texas Mexican fare. No brag, just fact. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Best Texas Burgers Texas Burgers. . While a hamburger is merely sustenance and gratification for a meal, the memory a good Texas burger can give rise to Homeric odes. The short list. Full Story » TexasBusiness.com
Texas Business reports: AUSTIN—The Texas Attorney General’s office issued the following statement about the resolution of the state’s investigation into Arizona-based JAWA and its owners, and the court order requiring the defendants to pay $2 million for defrauding wireless customers in Texas.
“After a thorough investigation, the state determined that JAWA was improperly adding expensive, unauthorized charges to Texans’ monthly cell phone bills. As a result, we charged JAWA and related entities with deceptive trade practices and sought to force the company’s owners to repay the customers they defrauded. Under an agreement reached today, JAWA and the related entities must pay $2 million to the state, repay customers for all unauthorized charges, and establish both a toll-free telephone number and a website to help all affected customers.”
The defendants’ current customers all received a text message informing them of their right to obtain a full refund. Former customers should review their billing statements for unauthorized charges. To obtain a refund, eligible customers should call (800) 482-5392, visit www.jawa.com or any other website for which JAWA has active customers. Customers must submit their cell phone number to request and obtain a full refund of amounts they paid to the defendants.
Under a judgment entered by a Travis County state district court, the state of Texas will receive $2 million from Eye Level Holdings, LLC; Cylon, LLC; Jason Hope; and Wayne Stefano.
The payment shall be allocated as $810,000 to State attorneys’ fees and costs and $1.19 million to the general revenue fund of the state of Texas.
The judgment also includes an injunction that imposes detailed restrictions that will govern the defendants’ provisions of services to existing customers and in any possible future sales of PSMS (premium short message services). For any future PSMS sales, the injunction requires that the defendants provide:
Detailed disclosures regarding the costs and material terms of services in all aspects of the marketing and sale of PSMS.
A comprehensive compliance program that will require the implementation of a written program with the assistance of an independent third party professional with expertise in compliant PSMS sales and periodic training of employees.
For five years, random semi-annual assessments conducted by independent auditors to ensure full compliance with the injunction. Historically, the defendants employed sophisticated “cloaking” technology to hide their advertised Web pages from regulators and cell phone carrier auditors, instead of displaying completely different versions of the pages when a regulator or auditor visited them. The compliance program and audits will ensure they cannot engage in these tactics in the future.
The Texas News Scrawl is a handy reference to stories Texas Business recommends from other news sources. Some of the stories that Texas Business currently suggests include: American Airlines continues to shed jobs; Chemical Safety Board shut out of West probe by ATF; America’s greatest threat: Unsafe work conditions; The West News proves the value of a great weekly newspaper in a community torn up with grief and chaos; Chinese investors checking out Texas, Austin; Texas makes bounce house operators carry liability coverage, but not plants like West Fertilizer; bSpaceX’s Grasshopper leaping to NM spaceport;and more.