Your Choice in Power

I got a letter from my electric company, We Energies, with an interesting offering.

They are offering me the choice to use alternate resources to power my home. These are resources that are local to state and renewable. They say it is a combination of wind (17%), small hydroeletric (8%), and landfill gas (75%). They offer three participation levels with the highest being able to match 100% of your electricity with the purchases of renewable energy. That highest level adds an additional $15 a month to your bill.

I thought this was pretty remarkable. You typically do not have alot of choice over the energy you consume in your home. The old answer was consume less. Their new answer is renewable energy costs more, but here is option to pay for it if you value it.

Notational Velocity

If you are a Mac user, I want to strongly recommend Notational Velocity.

It is just an outstanding program for taking notes.

Cool parts of NV:

  1. Everything you type is automatically saved.
  2. All of your notes are immediately acessible in one place. I have teleconference instructions, to-do lists, and conference session notes.
  3. If you type words in the top box, it will search your notes and show you matches. That can help eliminate you starting another note for something you already have.

It is another example of a simple elegant app designed to do a simple set of things.

Podbrix II

Have you been following the Podbrix phenomenon? These little artistically modified Lego men are all the rage.

The $16.99 first edition was an ode to the dancing figures in the iPod commercials. There were 300 produced and they sold out in 10 hours.

The second edition is a carbon copy of Mr. Jobs holding an iPod and an Shuffle. The release coincided with Jobs’ birthday on Thursday. Again, there were 300 numbered units and it only took 36 minutes to sell out.

I put a ebay tracker on these little guys as soon as I heard about the first sellout. There were three first edition Podbrix that showed up this morning. Each of the auctions has more than 5 days to go, but the top price is $157.25.

Skype Billing Disappointing Me

I have been working on a good way to record phone interviews for 800-CEO-READ Podcasts. I liked the solution that Glen Fleishman posted at MacDevCenter.com. It involves lots of software, but I think it is going to work great.

One of the pieces of that puzzle is using Skype for the phone connection. I don’t expect that all the authors I talk to are going to have Skype (requires download), so I signed up for SkypeOut (this let’s me make call to phone grid). I made my payment on Thursday. The transaction shows completed, but they credits are not showing up in my Skype application. I have been on the live chat three times and the best answer I can get is wait awhile and log back in.

A Feedster search finds many with the billing problems. Unbound Spiral has been talking about Skype alot. This post talks about the billing problems with Skype.

So, I am in a holding pattern on my project. Grrr….

Pure Genius

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a post about the Genius Bars located in Apple Stores.

The stat that caught my interest was “50% of the people visiting the Genius Bars are experiencing trouble with their iPods”. With 10 million in circulation, I think that stat can be a little misleading.

What also made the post catch my attention was that I was recently one of those visiting to get my new iPod replaced. The new 20GB was DOA and Brian at the Mayfair Genius Bar got me straighten out in a snap.

I can’t find the post, but I also saw recently that Genius Bar visits also generate more sales for the stores. During the exchange, I also bought a Griffin iTalk.

Thoughts from Boeing on A380

Randy Baseler is the Vice President of Marketing for Boeing’s Commercial Planes division.

Baseler has started what he calls a web journal. Later in the entries, he refers to having done research into web logs. I think his “web journal” needs permalinks and an RSS feed, but it is a start. I sent him an email about it. We’ll see if her responds.

Now for the thoughts. Baseler starts with this:

Along with the A380 being an engineering marvel it also represents a very large misjudgment about how most passengers want to travel and how most airlines operate.

It’s quotes like these which can come back to haunt, but I think he backs it up to a certain extent:

Airbus is calling for a significant shift in recent trends. It believes we will all fly from hub to hub, with one or more connecting flights to complete our journey. Boeing believes airlines will continue to give passengers what they want — more frequency choices and more non-stop, point-to-point flights.

Consider that Airbus says London’s Heathrow will use the most A380s during the next two decades. Yet, the 747’s share of departures at Heathrow hasn’t changed during the past twenty years. Airbus lists Tokyo’s two airports and Hong Kong’s as major A380 hubs. But at those three airports, the 747 as a percentage of departures is about half of what it was in the 1990s. If large airplanes solve congestion, the 747 departures would have been going up.

I am fascinated to see how the rivalry progresses and it is great to hear comments direct from Boeing.

[via commoncraft]