I'm getting travel insurance for my upcoming trip so that if I get hurt or sick in Laos, I can be evacuated to a country with better hospitals. I found something funny in the policy offered by World Nomads, who specializes in insuring international travel. They have this to say about the coverage period:
Insurance shall be effective at 12:01 A.M. on the date the scheduled Trip begins....
Coverage ends at midnight on the date of return selected, ...
12:01 A.M. and midnight where? My home (assuming I have one)? Where I'm going or returning to? Where I happen to be at that moment? Their corporate headquarters? If it's defined by where I am, then what happens if the policy expires, then I board a plane and go somewhere that midnight hasn't passed yet? Am I covered again until it does?
I don't expect most contracts to specify this sort of thing clearly, but I did think this sort of company would know better. Surely it's come up before.
(I ended up choosing a different company because this one doesn't cover cycling outside of commercial tours. I looked at several insurers, and they all had similarly ambiguous contracts.)
Five or six years ago, after tripping over my laptop's power cord too many times and damaging both the laptop and the plug, I came up with the idea of attaching the cord to laptop with a magnet. I decided not to patent it, since that's a huge hassle and is rarely worth the trouble. I did consider sending the idea over to Apple, since they seemed to be the only company who might actually put that feature in a product, but I never got around to it. In the end, all I ever did with my idea was tell my friends about it, which is what I do with most of my ideas.
Well, at some point someone else thought of it and Apple just announced a new laptop sporting the feature. I don't regret not patenting it, but I do regret not posting about it sooner. Not only would that have been useful for showing you all how clever I am, but it also could have served as prior art to keep Apple from patenting it (and without a patent, the feature might have appeared in more laptops). Let that be a lesson to me.
I leave for my trip tomorrow. Some last minute updates: