Is Wind Cleantech’s Next Ethanol Bubble? Not so Much

Although America recently became the world leader in wind electricity generation, can you really call our wind power growth a “boom” when it’s been spurred by government mandates and subsidies? That is the question The Atlantic asks as it compares the surge in wind energy investments to the bubble that occurred in the similarly regulated and subsidized biofuel industry — which was the darling of cleantech VCs, presidents and agronomists not too long ago.

The food-vs.-fuel debate was an unforeseen obstacle for biofuels but the hurdles for wind energy seem to be relatively well understood. Transmission shortcomings and inconsistent breezes are the two major challenges wind energy developers face as more and more wind capacity is added to the grid. So how much hot air is there around wind energy investments? Burned once, investors and regulators are already working to ensure the wind energy boom doesn’t go bust.
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Mobile Gadget Form Factors

Russell Beattie has a nice post on his blog that analyzes the various form factors that different mobile devices need to accomplish different tasks and he simplifies this overview with a wonderful abstract graphic of the different forms currently available.  The main point of his article is a search for the holy grail of mobile devices, the search for the perfect device for everyone.

I tend to take a different stance on mobile devices, the greater variation in device types we have the easier it is for each individual to find their perfect device.  Everyone’s needs and routines are so different that to try and pin everyone to one type of device is not only futile but actually impedes the incorporation of mobile technology into the lives of many.

The interesting thing I noticed when studying Russ’s form factor graphic is how intuitive it is in presenting pretty much everything available today.  It also makes it clear to me that trying to converge every mobile device function into a phone is not the way to go, at least for me.  I would rather see a small tablet-like device a little bigger than the Sony U750 that can easily fill four of the six functions that Russell depicts in his drawing.  The Sony U can actually fill the four functions right now, especially with a portable keyboard attached.  If you are willing to put up with a bigger device a Tablet PC will satisfy all of Russell’s needed functions right now.