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March 21, 2008 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Not content to rest on his laurels after creations like the portable kidney dialysis machine, the IBOT robotic wheelchair, the Segway, and the innovative cyborg replacement limbs, DEKA Research President Dean Kamen demonstrates his new vapor compression distiller on The Colbert Report.

Mentioned previously.
posted by mullingitover (71 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is the first time I haven't wanted to kick Kamen in the stomach. I hope this thing goes somewhere.
posted by tkchrist at 1:28 PM on March 21, 2008


Out of curiosity, the creation of the segway aside, when/why have you wanted to kick Kamen in the stomach?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2008


Operating principle (the name gives a clue, but what's the twist)? Specs? Not on the linked DEKA site as far as I could see.
posted by AppleSeed at 1:44 PM on March 21, 2008


Kicking Dean Kamen in the stomach would have no effect as he has stabilizing mechanisms to keep him upright.

Unless the President is riding him.
posted by unsupervised at 1:45 PM on March 21, 2008 [8 favorites]


Screw jetpacks -- WHERE'S MY STILLSUIT?!
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:50 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is there a link that explains what this is, for those of us not in the States and therefore unable to watch the Colbert Report video?
posted by chrominance at 1:50 PM on March 21, 2008


I'll second Appleseed's request for more information, I couldn't find it on the DEKA site either. The only other info I could find (well, within a couple minutes of searching) was in this 5-year old SF Gate article. Anything more up to date would be appreciated.
posted by Mr. Palomar at 1:51 PM on March 21, 2008


the creation of the segway aside

So I can't actually give you the reason becuase you pre-qualify my answer?

Describe to me why we have problems with Paris Hilton? Obnoxious slutty entitlement behavior aside. Why do we hate dictatorships. All the oppression aside. So what's the deal with poison. Killing you aside. Why can't you breath underwater? Drowning aside.
posted by tkchrist at 1:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


tkchrist: your comments speak to your total lack of attention to Kamen's pre-Segway Very Interesting Inventions. (tm)
posted by mkb at 2:01 PM on March 21, 2008


The technology is not new, but it looks like a neat little package. I'm skeptical about the energy use. If you can afford the fuel to run a generator to power the thing constantly, you can probably afford a better water source.
posted by Popular Ethics at 2:14 PM on March 21, 2008


Popular Ethics, it's easier to transmit or collect energy than it is to transport water. Anywhere there's wind or sun or rain or a river or hot springs or a tide you can generate a little bit of energy. The ubiquitousness of local energy generation isn't here yet, but I think that's what Kamen's betting on.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:16 PM on March 21, 2008


So I can't actually give you the reason becuase you pre-qualify my answer?

My point was that you say this is the first time you haven't wanted to kick Kamen in the stomach.

I inferred that this meant that when he came out with the portable kidney dialysis machine, you wanted to kick him in the stomach. When he came out with the IBOT robotic wheelchair, you wanted to kick him in the stomach. And when he came out with his innovative cyborg replacement limbs, you wanted to kick him in the stomach.

This seemed especially peculiar to me, unless someone close to you was murdered by a wheelchair-bound amputee with renal failure.

To check as to whether my inference was correct, I asked when and why, barring the obvious case of the Segway, you have wanted to kick Kamen in the stomach. The hope being that, if unable to comment on the segway, you would explain why you wanted to kick him in the stomach for the other accomplishments listed in the post, or perhaps introduce incidents not mentioned here that caused you to want to kick Kamen in the stomach.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:18 PM on March 21, 2008 [14 favorites]


It still amazes me how much the Segway has "tainted" Kamen's reputation. The Segway is indeed a great invention, IMHO, it had a noble purpose, and still does, but the media bandwagoning as well as the hype surrounding the release had a lot to do with it's downfall.

But back to my point. Kamen has got to be at the top of the list of America's greatest inventors. Including the Segway.
posted by lonemantis at 2:24 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, I don't know about tkchrist, but I want to kick him in the stomach because of the big red circular target I imagine he has tattooed there.
posted by cytherea at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2008


You can read more about it in his patent application.
posted by caddis at 2:28 PM on March 21, 2008


The short of it, is that Kamen and his people have invented a water purification device that doesn't rely on filters or osmosis, and can apparently purify water from any source; be it toxic waste, mud puddle, or a "50 gallon drum of urine." On top of that, due to its production capacity and its ability to purify nearly any source of water, it reduces the cost of producing water by removing the expense of transporting it. He didn't explain how it worked or how much a single unit costs to build, however.
posted by Atreides at 2:31 PM on March 21, 2008


Hating on Dean Kamen is like hating on Jared if Jared had lost all that weight by inventing a motherfucking gyroscopic medibot that treated cancer with laser vision. Cut dude some slack for the Segway hype thing. (And let's be clear: the Segway is actually a pretty awesome application of his previous research. It was the goddam "It" hype machine that deserves the gut kick.)

But if the stomach-kicking urge remains, allow me to present a dilemma: cops driving around downtown Portland on Segways. Because that shit is hilarious.
posted by cortex at 2:38 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


And I though he was gonna be bringing single malt scotchs to the poor and disenfranchised. Again, Kamen lets me down.
posted by ZaneJ. at 2:40 PM on March 21, 2008


To clarify, I think the segway is awesome, I've ridden one myself (in Disney! I was being a tourist! Give me a break!), and know that there are situations where the Segway is not a hipster-look-at-what-I-can-afford-woot-mobile.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:41 PM on March 21, 2008



tkchrist: your comments speak to your total lack of attention to Kamen's pre-Segway Very Interesting Inventions.


Yes. They sure do. Could that be because I had never heard of him until his hype machine inundated the intertubes, my email inbox and and every single media outlet for nearly two years with "THE INVENTION THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!" "WE WILL BUILD CITIES AROUND THE SEGWAY!" For an $8000 Scooter for dot-com fanboys?

And. That predictably changed next to nothing except propelling this guy to a celebrity and convincing city counsels to buy the stupid fucking overpriced things so that meter maid could get more obese all at tax payer expense.

How exactly was I supposed to know him before that? Is that my job? Maybe if laid off the bullshit with Segway and promoted his projects a bit less over the top I could take him more seriously. But that's HIS fault. Not mine.

Seems like this water thing is pretty cool. Maybe he should have waited to announce THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!!!
posted by tkchrist at 2:41 PM on March 21, 2008


This water purifier doesn't sound that revolutionary. From a quick glance at the patent, it's a Stirling engine combined with a distillation apparatus. Clever, but I'd like a better description of how this is an improvement on existing systems.
posted by pombe at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2008


There are more patent applications.

The latest one to publish.
posted by caddis at 2:48 PM on March 21, 2008


Cost to build?
Cost to run?
Overall efficiency?
Maintenance?
etc.
posted by caddis at 2:49 PM on March 21, 2008


Dean Kamen is up there with legendary inventors and tinkerers of all time both for his obvious brilliance and his dedication to inventing things that, fundamentally, help people. The iBot, the dialysis machine, robotic limbs for war veterans for christ's sake, and I'm not even going to start on the power that FIRST could have on American culture if it were more widespread.

The fucking segway could be powered by the tears of baby squirrels and it still wouldn't offest the good he has done.
posted by Skorgu at 2:54 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


I inferred that this meant that when he came out with... (list of other inventions)

None of which I heard of because The Segway ate up all the stomach kicking bandwidth. Again. His fault. Not mine.

And yes my mother was killed by a wheelchair-bound amputee with renal failure. Thanks for bringing it up.
posted by tkchrist at 2:57 PM on March 21, 2008


None of which I heard of

Well, they're in the FPP. With links.
Just sayin'.

But I'm sorry for your loss all the same.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 3:00 PM on March 21, 2008


And let's be clear: the Segway is actually a pretty awesome application of his previous research.

It's cool as a demo application, like "Hey, look at this goofy thing we can build with cool technology, but as a product to sell it's a $5,000 complex, energy-using replacement for a $200 simple, human-powered bicycle and it HATES AMERICA. COME ON!
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:01 PM on March 21, 2008


Kamen deserves a star in heaven for the FIRST Lego Robot Thingie alone.
posted by DU at 3:01 PM on March 21, 2008


Hating on Dean Kamen is like hating on Jared if Jared had lost all that weight by inventing a motherfucking gyroscopic medibot that treated cancer with laser vision.

No hating on Kamen is like hating on a guy who misunderstood the line between insane hype and sensible promotion who abused the Intertubes like the people who made Blair Witch abused the intertubes. For sheer personal gain out of all proportion. Which is not that big of a sin but worth a quick kick in the stomach. The Jared campaign wasn't Jared's idea. And the Jared Campaign didn't state that it would change the world as we know it.
posted by tkchrist at 3:02 PM on March 21, 2008


None of which I heard of because The Segway ate up all the stomach kicking bandwidth. Again. His fault. Not mine.

I think there is ample evidence that The Media likes to latch onto a single tiny aspect of a story and bombard us with it until we vomit, even if there are more interesting things to talk about. That isn't necessarily Kamen's fault.
posted by DU at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2008


The man's got some inventin' chops and history will vindicate him. I note that his inventions were primarily niche markets until the Segway, which would ultimately suffer from the hype it generated and is probably the reason why he's measuring the exposure of the distillation device; showing that it does work before the internet hails it as the savior of all things water-requiring. I'm pretty sure he will be a hero internationally once he gets this distiller operational in water-deprived countries that need it. But in the water-wealthy USA, he might not get the "mad props" until he converts water into Doritos.
posted by krippledkonscious at 3:05 PM on March 21, 2008


Well, they're in the FPP. With links.
Just sayin'.


Um. Which is why I said this is the first time... I hadn't really seen all that other shit before. Dig?
posted by tkchrist at 3:05 PM on March 21, 2008


DU: I think there is ample evidence that The Media likes to latch onto a single tiny aspect of a story and bombard us with it until we vomit, even if there are more interesting things to talk about. That isn't necessarily Kamen's fault.

No, but Kamen made a lot of incredibly stupid claims about the Segway (we'll design cities around it! It'll replace the car! etc.) without telling us what it was, thus creating massive hype. All for a device that, for the vast majority of situations and users, is inferior to the bicycle. That IS his fault.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:10 PM on March 21, 2008


I'm pretty sure that was Bezos that said we'd design cities around it.
posted by DU at 3:15 PM on March 21, 2008


People who are not primarily marketers by trade are wholly and unforgivably to blame when professional marketers take their ideas and act like marketers. It is a known fact; an evil sludge lurking in the diseased hearts of the hyped non-marketers. The marketers are innocent puppets in this tragedy; so, too, the press.
posted by cortex at 3:21 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


Well, I don't know about that particular comment. However, random internet sources suggest that he did in fact say that the segway "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy." He was fully involved in his hype machine.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2008


On one hand, Dean's other quite laudable inventions have been FPP'd 4 times previously, so I can understand why "kicking him in the stomach" would raise merry hell here on the blue.

On the other hand, can we all just calm the fuck down and stop clawing each other's throats out over who's "fault" it is? What are we, grade schoolers?
posted by PsychoKick at 3:30 PM on March 21, 2008


I think the idea is to put it in poor countries and supply a village. It looks to me from the patent app to be some sort of variable liquid fuel electric generator, with a built in water purifier as a bonus. One of these could supply a small village in Africa with power and clean water, but where will they get the fuel?
posted by Ludi at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008


Sarcasm filter on!
posted by sfts2 at 3:31 PM on March 21, 2008


"We're sorry but this video is not available."

Tried multiple times.
posted by dobbs at 3:33 PM on March 21, 2008


Ludi: One of these could supply a small village in Africa with power and clean water, but where will they get the fuel?

If it's the Stirling engine-based generator, then if I remember correctly it's supposed to be fueled by cow dung.
posted by PsychoKick at 3:34 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm honestly curious - has anyone ever seen any of Kamen's inventions out 'in the wild', with the exception of the rare Segway nearly always used for novelty value? It seems like a lot of his inventions sound cool, but are overly technological and overly complex and are destined to remain laboratory curiosities forever.
posted by Mitrovarr at 3:40 PM on March 21, 2008


If it's the Stirling engine-based generator, then if I remember correctly it's supposed to be fueled by cow dung.

Wow. Fantastic then. He really should have saved the whole "This will change the world" thing for this invention.
posted by Ludi at 3:45 PM on March 21, 2008


Mitrovarr writes "It seems like a lot of his inventions sound cool, but are overly technological and overly complex and are destined to remain laboratory curiosities forever."

Hopefully you'll never need to see it, but the kidney dialysis machine is manufactured by Baxter and you can buy one today for a paltry $15k.
posted by mullingitover at 3:57 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mitrovarr: yes, I've seen portable dialysis machines. They work. And save a lot of lives. Nifty stuff that.

That said, I could have done with less Segway hype as well. Some of it his fault, some others fault. Still a neat invention, just not one that is going to immediately change the face of transportation. I hope that some of the ideas it incorporates do go into broader production though.
posted by afflatus at 3:57 PM on March 21, 2008


A good technical description of vapor compression distillation (scroll down to 'commercial distillers').
posted by zennie at 4:00 PM on March 21, 2008


Cortex I understand Kamen is smart guy who has done interesting stuff. But the hype sin is his.

It was him on Good Morning America, Letterman, Regis and The Today Show laying out absurd outlandish claims about the Segway. It wasn't McCann Erikson or DDB it was Kamen.

It was Kamen that had the retreats with Bill Gates and Bono and the glitterarchy. Is all that forgivable? Sure. I'd say I have forgiven him. But the Segway thing was undeniably egregious consumer bullshit. It could be that he was doing so in order to boost his other more philanthropic and less commercial ventures. And that is fine. But the fact is he personally drove the hype and I don't have to give the guy virtual rim jobs.

Now let's make this thread less about my feelings about Kamen as an individual and l'd like to see more discussion about the merits of THIS invention so like maybe I can actually learn about the guy's other good traits.
posted by tkchrist at 4:01 PM on March 21, 2008


His vapor compression distiller could realistically save a million lives. In my book it makes up for his sins of marketing hype, in spades.
posted by mullingitover at 4:17 PM on March 21, 2008


More on vapor compression distillation (with a diagram). The Stirling engine aspect is a good fit. The vapor compression cycle requires mechanical energy for compressing the steam and a Stirling engine uses heat to make mechanical energy, and it also can use low grade fuel, anything that makes heat, like wood. You can't run an Otto cycle on wood.
posted by caddis at 4:25 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was him on Good Morning America, Letterman, Regis and The Today Show laying out absurd outlandish claims about the Segway.

And yet it was GMA, Letterman, Regis and TTS that booked That Guy With, You Know, The Thing. If the argument is that Kamen should have looked at the looming press/hype cycle and demurred instead of running with it, I can't fault you, but, eh. I think he falls somewhere in the vast rhetorical expanse between virtual rimjobs and virtual stomach-kickings, basically.

Now let's make this thread less about my feelings about Kamen as an individual and l'd like to see more discussion about the merits of THIS invention so like maybe I can actually learn about the guy's other good traits.

Deal. *fistbump*
posted by cortex at 4:25 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is people like him who pave the way for other people to add or build upon his ideas. All his inventions are applicable to everyday situations and if all he's really trying to do is make a pretty penny selling this stuff to the DOD then good on him.

I didn't hear about the Segway until I happen to be watching the Today Show on that specific day. Sorry to hear so many people feel slighted by advertising.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2008


Segways are used in D.C. by tourists. While I worked at the Capitol, daily you'd see flocks of people on segways just floating along. One company got creative and called itself, "Segs in the City" and the other was just, "Capital Segways." The former were painted a bright pink.
posted by Atreides at 4:55 PM on March 21, 2008


I can personally tell you for a fact that the portable peritoneal dialysis machine is the best thing ever for a non-diabetic person with renal failure. It beats the hell out of hemodialysis, which will leave you feeling washed out and exhausted 3 times a week. When you feel back to normal, it's time for another treatment. Also, the 15 gauge needles hemo uses are about the size of the lead in a wooden pencil. OUCH!

But riding around on a Segway would make me feel like a like a real dildocker, but that's only his first strike , IMO.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:56 PM on March 21, 2008


And BTW, I saw Jared getting lunch at Subway today. He rode up on a Segway and I said, "Hey Jared, it looks like you've put on some weight, maybe you should walk instead of riding that Segway." He gave me the finger with his robotic arm and rode off to consume his sandwich in private.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:07 PM on March 21, 2008 [5 favorites]


His greatest invention was obviously the device that made it impossible for easily offended mefites to change a TV channel. If I can get my hands on it I'm going to make you all watch reality TV shows about Paris Hilton 24/7/365.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:31 PM on March 21, 2008


@ chrominance: I'm in the UK, and I can watch The Colbert Report and its parent, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart just fine. YMMV depending on your available bandwidth.

These two combined make up a hefty proportion of my political news sources for America. I wish I had one for my home country - which isn't the UK, in case any snarky people wanted to get on my case.
posted by WalterMitty at 6:20 PM on March 21, 2008


So did Jared get fat again? I noticed in more recent commercials he's looked pudgier, and usually standing behind podiums, etc. And now they're running these ads saying "Congrats on losing 250 pounds and keeping it off for 10 years!" Well, does that imply he only kept it off for 10 years?

Also, I don't really think it's fair to blame Kamen for the hype around the segway. There was a book coming out about it's creation, and I would imagine the author and publisher had a lot more to do with the hype then Kamen.
posted by delmoi at 6:21 PM on March 21, 2008


Also, I don't really think it's fair to blame Kamen for the hype around the segway.

Trust me, he was the one. It didn't live up to the Earth altering hype, but it is pretty cool. I wish I had one. I am about seven to eight miles from work. I wonder if I could commute on one?.....
posted by caddis at 7:47 PM on March 21, 2008


This seemed especially peculiar to me, unless someone close to you was murdered by a wheelchair-bound amputee with renal failure.

(sobbing) WHY!!!! WHY HAVE YOU REMINDED ME!!!!
posted by jscott at 8:41 PM on March 21, 2008


Why should we go crazy over Kamen? The sad part is that he's treated like this philanthropist when he's just an ordinary capitalist. The crowd went crazy when he announced he was going to sell this thing as opposed to giving them away until he goes broke. Kudos for Dean for running such a successful business and developing innovating products, but Bill Gates' Foundation, for example, will do the world a lot more good than this guy ever will, yet no one expects me to go ga-ga over him. Which is fair, so dont ask me to go ga-ga over this guy.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:25 PM on March 21, 2008


We also have no idea how much this costs, nor how long it lasts, and if the above linked diagrams are correct then we are looking at something that uses electric heat to boil water. Wtf? In settings where you dont have infrastructure for water, but where you can get a few hundred watts of reliable power? You aint getting that from a simple solar setup.

Color me skeptical. Maybe there will be a wood burning model. Maybe this thing is reliable as anything and local talent can maintain and repair it. Maybe its affordable. But right now this may be the segway of water purification.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:34 PM on March 21, 2008


Did someone post to metafilter the story of those people with disabilities that use the Segway because it does not dehumanize them in the eyes of ignorant or prejudices people the way a wheelchair does, but still get abused by people who automatically assume they are just lazy ass hipsters flaunting their wealth, and by cities that will not consider a Segway a disability device, and who would give everything they own to be able to walk 10 yards without collapsing from exhaustion or pain, and have dreams of riding a bicycle and feeling the wind in their hair, only to wake up in tears?

In case it was not posted, here is the first one I could fins, and here is another one that helps people who don,t have money like the guy in the previous link.

Back to the topic: the technology is cool and innovative in several ways, but there are many similar products in the market. What sets it apart for me is the fact that THE WHOLE IDEA behind the distiller is to put it where it is more needed. Based on his track record, I imagine he will be able to do a lot of help.

People questioning the power consumption, cost, etc... remind me of those who said the $100 laptop and the whole OLPC was a pipe dream. Now even the big ones, like Dell and some Bill Gates thing, are trying to build their own and start a similar program.
posted by Dr. Curare at 10:36 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


BTW: Do you think someone Kamen is dumb or ignorant enough to think "These people have no access to WATER, but they must of course have access to 220v electricity and $15,000 dollars to spare, otherwise how can they afford a home and 2 cars in today's economy"?

If you think you are smarter than him, send a resume (no accent in this machine), he is always looking for bright people to hire.
posted by Dr. Curare at 10:40 PM on March 21, 2008


damn dirty ape:
We also have no idea how much this costs, nor how long it lasts, and if the above linked diagrams are correct then we are looking at something that uses electric heat to boil water. Wtf? In settings where you dont have infrastructure for water, but where you can get a few hundred watts of reliable power? You aint getting that from a simple solar setup.

Back in 2005, Kamen's stirling generator experiments in rural Bangladesh villages used cow dung for fuel. Now Emergence Bioenergy is performing larger trials to see if they can get Kamen's tech to scale to a national level.
posted by PsychoKick at 11:38 PM on March 21, 2008


Kamen's most brilliant invention is the digital cock punch. Ya'll haven't seen it yet. But you will.
posted by ryoshu at 2:46 AM on March 22, 2008


I've seen Dean speak at length about water and power at SegwayFest, but I had no idea he was. Combining them into one machine. Awesome. Also, I am so tired of defending the segway to haters who would rather I walk or bike the 20 miles it can take me. So instead, I'll just tell you suckers to enjoy your walk.
posted by hellphish at 8:49 AM on March 22, 2008


I don't care about any of that. I just want the damn thing to work. Where can I donate my $1K, which is all it takes to buy one for a village? I mean seriously, let's get moving on this, people need water now! Let's go!
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:54 AM on March 22, 2008


hmm... the diagram in the link caddis supplied looks eerily like the 3000 gal/day still that was the backup water supply to the submarine I was on. That thing was a total POS. It required constant babysitting by a dedicated watchstander to keep all of the heat balances correct. Any time the ship went through an area of water with different temperature, it would crash. That, and the water that came out smelled like boiled shrimp (because thats what the still was actually doing). Hopefully technology has advanced enough since the 1920's when the thing was designed to make an improvement on the usability of this type of machinery.

the main water supply was a vacuum evaporation unit that worked like a champ. It required steam to heat the water though...
posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:24 AM on March 22, 2008


Did someone post to metafilter the story of those people with disabilities that use the Segway because it does not dehumanize them in the eyes of ignorant or prejudices people the way a wheelchair does, but still get abused by people who automatically assume they are just lazy ass hipsters flaunting their wealth, and by cities that will not consider a Segway a disability device, and who would give everything they own to be able to walk 10 yards without collapsing from exhaustion or pain, and have dreams of riding a bicycle and feeling the wind in their hair, only to wake up in tears?

I don't mind using a wheelchair, and I certainly wouldn't "giv[e] everything [I] own to walk 10 yards", but I have looked at getting a Segway next time I buy a wheelchair. The thing that keeps holding me back is the lazy-ass-hipster image that so many people have of it. Pity, because I hear it handles curbs really well.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 11:25 AM on March 22, 2008


Do you think someone Kamen is dumb or ignorant enough to think "These people have no access to WATER

Yes, I believe even our capitalist masters do make mistakes. In fact I believe they make a lot of of mistakes and eventually they get something right and then become successful. Its called the crazy theory of 'humans try, sometimes they do well.'

Yes, considering he was telling people with a straight face that we would be redesigning our cities for his scooter, then yes, its easy to believe that he might be a tad full of himself or trying to sell another item that is a Good IdeaTM but in reality there may not be a real market for. Or that Good IdeaTM may be picked up by a better group and they can run with it.

Of course considering DEKA sits on the patents for this thing now I'm sure any healthy compeition will killed by lawsuits. Like i wrote, hes no humanitarian, he's an ordinary capitalist. Just because he works in the medical field sometimes doesnt make him Jesus. In fact this double standard can be applied to bigpharma, they make drugs that help lots of people, but theyre not held up as heroes. So why shoud DEKA be this Mefite hero? You obviously have never paid attention to his pricing. He makes bigpharma look like k-mart.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:43 AM on March 22, 2008


Has DEKA actually killed healthy competition with its patents before? Patents and copyrights get a lot of flak on the internet these days, but people forget that they serve as a shield as well as a sword- it costs a lot less to get a patent and keep it openly available than to not get a patent and fight off other patent-seekers over and over again. Unless DEKA has shown a desire to strangle the field with its patent, we shouldn't assume that's what it's going to do- if I invented something and wanted to provide the schematics for free, the first thing I would do is patent it.

I don't see any reason to hate Dean Kamen for this specific device. From what I've seen, it's supposed to filter water cheaply and efficiently- whether it does or not has absolutely nothing to do with him being a "capitalist master" or getting hit in the [anatomy part]. More details about the machine itself would calm a lot of people down.
posted by Maxson at 2:21 PM on March 22, 2008


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