Michael Giberson Inventor James Dyson is a fan of Thomas Edison and making lots of mistakes. From the November 2011 WIRED UK: Thomas Edison, the American inventor, is synonymous with trial-and-error innovating. He would build a prototype, test it, watch it go wrong, tweak the design and build another. Over and over again. … Dyson has … More WIRED UK profiles inventor James Dyson
Michael Giberson We talk a bit about the economics of electric power transmission and wind power here, but there is more to understanding the world than economics. Previously we have noted Virginia Postrel writing on the techno-glamour of, among other things, wind turbines. Now we take note of the Pylon Design Competition and its recently … More The beautiful transmission tower, the glamorous wind turbine
Michael Giberson Among U.S. water utilities, some are publicly owned and some are privately owned. Same thing for gas utilities and electric utilities. But unlike in the gas and electric power industries, the water business has become predominantly organized by publicly-owned utilities. Scott Masten explores why it was that public utility ownership became dominant among … More Why did water utilities in the U.S. become mostly publicly owned?
Michael Giberson Bob Jenks of Oregon’s Citizens’ Utility Board, writing at EnergyPulse, explains “Why Smart Grid Advocates Should Learn About Utility Regulation.” Reading between the lines a bit, the reason smart grid advocates should learn about utility regulation seems to be so that they will understand that their talent, inventiveness, and desire to make the … More The smart grid and the regulatory barriers thereto
Lynne Kiesling This special energy section in today’s New York Times has a lot of interesting articles, especially if you are curious about the business aspects of renewable energy. I particularly learned a lot from the article about control room operators, how they do their jobs, and how they and reliability standards have had to … More Special energy section in today’s NYT
Lynne Kiesling A team of highly skilled and design-savvy engineers have revealed Nest, an elegant, well-designed thermostat that can learn your preferred settings, analyze your data to spot energy-saving and money-saving opportunities, and look lovely on your wall. Earth2Tech has a review article on Nest, as does Greentech Enterprise. This summary description, from the Earth2Tech … More Nest’s elegant learning thermostat — but is it transactive?
Lynne Kiesling Here’s some outstanding geek attire! Monsters of Grok is a line of t-shirts that use rock band t-shirt logo designs, but the names are instead famous scientists and intellectuals such as Ada Lovelace (done as a Ladytron logo), Isaac Newton (as Iron Maiden), and Benjamin Franklin (as Black Flag). I fell over laughing … More Monsters of Grok t-shirts
Lynne Kiesling Here’s an interesting juxtaposition of two prominent executives performing sound public choice analyses, and I think they complement each other, at least in my work! This weekend’s Wall Street Journal featured an interview with Exelon’s John Rowe, A Life in Energy and (Therefore) Politics. Exelon is the third largest investor-owned utility/generation owner in … More Exelon’s John Rowe and Google’s Eric Schmidt: Truth to power?
Michael Giberson At Reason.com, social psychologist Jonathon Haidt writes about the foundational moral concerns that animate the Zuccotti Park protestors. Working from a Moral Foundations Theory* perspective, which Haidt and several others have developed, he said, “In my visit to Zuccotti Park, it was clear that the main moral foundation of OWS is fairness, followed … More What do the Occupy Wall Streeters care about? Haidt on the moral foundations of OWS
Michael Giberson I’m writing in praise of a New York Times article on natural gas fracking. Yes, really! Even more surprising, I’m writing in praise of a New York Times on fracking written by Ian Urbina. Yes, really! What is this marvel, you ask? I answer, “Rush to Drill for Natural Gas Creates Conflicts With Mortgages.” What is so … More Praise for a New York Times article on natural gas fracking (Or, How property rights help mitigate potential environmental harms)