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: DENTON—Researchers at the University of North Texas announced an online gaming competition that will allow the public to compete for prizes while also helping advance the development of next generation electronics.
As the demand for smaller and more energy efficient electrical devices continues to grow, electrical engineers are faced with the challenge of figuring out how to best fit all the electrical components into the devices.
Gayatri Mehta, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of North Texas, and her team of student researchers are taking an innovative approach to this challenge, turning the problem of efficiently mapping electrical components into a web-based computer game called UNTANGLED.
Participants will be able to compete for prizes by playing UNTANGLED between Aug. 10 (Friday) and Aug. 20 (Monday). Twenty gift cards will be awarded to the overall best players in the competition. Gift cards also will be given to the players with the highest score in each sub-game. Gift cards will range from $10 to $100, with the overall high scorer receiving $100. The game can be accessed at http://untangled.unt.edu. Registration is free and only requires an active email address.
The game features various series of blocks inlaid on a graph. Players are asked to arrange the blocks more efficiently while adhering to certain constraints, mimicking the challenge of efficiently organizing components within electronic devices.
“Our game brings together contributions from individuals from all points of view and backgrounds to solve important engineering problems,” said Mehta. “In addition, we have found that it can result in players themselves thinking in new ways. This way of addressing problems has been coined computational thinking. To the players it may be the insight that leads to a higher score or a more 'visually appealing' graph. To us, it is an approach that could lead to the next generation 'creative' mapping algorithm.”
Mehta and her team of students developed the game over the last year, and are now visually and mathematically analyzing the graphs of the top scoring players. The team hopes to harvest human intuition and develop new algorithms, or mathematical equations, that will help engineers develop the next generation of cell phones, medical devices and other electronics. The interdisciplinary project is funded by a $499,924 grant from the National Science Foundation.
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: 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;American Airlines, US Airways to name post-merger leadership within weeks; Texas power cushion seen at lowest level in a decade; Media outlets reflect Houston's diversity; and more.