Wind Power Without the Blades

Wind Power Without the Blades:

Noise from wind turbine blades, inadvertent bat and bird kills and even the way wind turbines look have made installing them anything but a breeze. New York design firm Atelier DNA has an alternative concept that ditches blades in favor of stalks. Resembling thin cattails, the Windstalks generate electricity when the wind sets them waving. The designers came up with the idea for the planned city Masdar, a 2.3-square-mile, automobile-free area being built outside of Abu Dhabi.

[Nice. And maybe these can avoid some of the NIMBY issues that the turbine based farms have suffered with… aesthetics matter more than many believe. You could even make this into a skate, pump track park.]


Did Apple skip a generation of video pros?

Why the video pros are moving away from Apple:

Everyone we spoke to agreed that Apple would have a much better standing among professional users if the company would just acknowledge them a little more and act like their concerns are being listened to. “Apple needs to be a little more open with third parties about how they plan to improve FCP over time. They need to enable those third parties to feel that when FCP improves, they can make more money selling their products,” Alper said.

[It’s easy to understand the argument being made. “We were loyal to Apple, now Apple should be loyal to us.” But it’s clear to me that this isn’t true. When the product worked for them, they used it. If it is not going to work for them, they’re going to switch. That’s not loyalty, but it makes business sense. I wonder if Apple didn’t decide to “skip” a generation here. Current folks with big suites of hardware and software are, despite their desire for new gear, are probably fine for a while longer. We’ll wait out this generation in order to push this in a direction we think is right, and see what makes sense from a hardware point of view down the road.]

Design Sets Tone at Square, a Mobile Payments Start-Up

Design Sets Tone at Square, a Mobile Payments Start-Up:

…we sat at a square table, in a square glass conference room — all of which are named after a famous town squares from around the world. Mr. Dorsey was eating nuts out of a square bowl. (Don’t worry, the nuts were still round, I checked.) Employees are even referred to as Squares.

“We believe strongly that the company is going to be reflected in the product and vice-versa,” Mr. Dorsey said. “The internal matches the external and the external matches the internal, and if we can’t provide a clean, simple, well-designed experience in here, it’s not going to be reflected in our identity. It’s in our DNA.”

[I’m not sure about the employees being called “Squares” thing. But the rest is thoughtful, if only potentially meaningful.]