Hoover Dam, March 2015.  Photo: John Fleck

Western states to California. Fix the Sacramento Delta now

26 March 2015

Pat Mulroy, former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, says California must fix Sacramento Delta water problems now, because the western states are in this together, what happens in the Delta affects Colorado River water usage, and vice versa. However, so far, the Colorado River community has been way more proactive, dare I say […]

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Wall Street technology will run new bitcoin exchange

25 March 2015

Small exchanges and independents in bitcoin are about to get steamrollered by well-financed big players. Nobel, which has tentacles from our favorite vampire squid deep within it, will be powered by NASDAQ technology. Another deep-pockets exchange, Coinbase, is partially backed by NYSE and is the first regulated US bitcoin exchange. I’m guessing neither exchange will […]

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Marketeers. Take a tip from Boyd Gaming (and all casinos)

24 March 2015

There’s plenty of good money to be made by having a niche. Casinos are expert at this. They appeal to their particular demographic. Boyd Gaming has three casinos in Downtown Vegas; Main Street Station, The California, and Fremont. 60-65% of their revenues come from visitors from Hawaii. It’s been this way for decades. Boyd markets […]

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California drought having minimal impact on Big Ag, so far

23 March 2015

The supposedly apocalyptic California drought is having little impact of agriculture in the Central Valley. However, this is probably because new acreage using groundwater is replacing low-value crops. Pumping large amounts of groundwater is not sustainable as a long-term strategy. However, the real damage caused so far by the California drought is environmental, like disappearing […]

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Summit. Red Rock Canyon Calico trail.

Calico Trails hike, Red Rock Canyon

22 March 2015

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is just outside Vegas. I did the Calico Trails hike today, 2.4 miles rated as moderate, however some of the pitches required fairly serious scrambling over steep rock inclines. The weather was perfect, about 75. In a couple of months it will be baking.

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Makani airborne tethered wind wurbine

Google testing airborne tethered wind turbines

21 March 2015

Google X will soon be testing a 84-foot version of their┬áMakani airborne wind turbine. It flies at 1,500 feet altitude, where wind speeds are much faster, and is tethered to the ground. Wind at altitude is also considerably more variable than on the ground, especially where the test will be, and Google says they want […]

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Posted in Renewable energy, Wind turbines0 Comments

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The Sim City model of growing a company. Screw VC money

20 March 2015

Danny Sullivan, founding editor of Search Engine Land details how his companies have never used VC money in an article about the unexpected and sad end of GigaOm, which closed suddenly after it ran out of money. If you grow organically, don’t get over-extended or have a crushing debt load, then your business can survive […]

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Ideas

All our great ideas are dead or dying

19 March 2015

When ideas that guide nations are no longer valid or have been corrupted, then new ideas must (and will) replace them. Without them, institutions, government, and societies begin to crumble. That’s what we’re seeing now. Few have respect for big government or big business today. Most everyone assumes both lie to us, that government spies […]

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Downward mobility in supposedly upscale suburbs

18 March 2015

So you bought a nice 4 bdr house in the suburbs with a pool and 2-3 cars in the garage and you’re living the dream, right? Maybe. Or maybe you’re in downward mobility and don’t know it yet. Granola Shotgun (“stories about urbanism, adaptation, and resilience”) runs the numbers, assuming the house costs $260,000 and […]

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Echo Bay Marina in Lake Mead clobbered by drought

17 March 2015

Ordinarily, Echo Bay in Lake Mead would be thriving on a pleasant March day with temperatures in the 80’s. But the drought has dropped water levels so much in Lake Mead that the road to the marina is closed because waters levels are too. The restaurant and hotel are shuttered. ┬áThere’s a bedraggled RV area […]

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