Saturday, March 17, 2007

I Love The Smell Of Turkey Litter In The Morning: It Smells Like Megawatts

It's reported that a Benson, Minnesota power plant will be fueled largely with turkey litter. For those of you who think that meat grows in those plastic packages in the back of the supermarket, turkey litter is, well, crap that's cleaned out of turkey houses.

The plant will burn about half a million tons of the stuff along with other bio waste and generate 50,000 megawatts of power, so 'tis said by the wire services that picked the story up.

I thought that number was mighty big so I checked and I was right, the power plant is only 50 mw according to SNC Lavalin, the people who are building it. It's a steam plant, which may make it more survivable long term than some of the earlier efforts I've heard about. Turkey poop and the other stuff are going to have a lot of erosive contaminants that may affect the life of the plant and its components.

That's no mean feat, though. Power is power, and power is where you find it. The Polk County landfill here, operated by the fine folks at the Metro Waste Authority produces enough methane to run a 5 mw power plant that's operated by the MidAmerican folks.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mobile Internet Advertising: Coming To A Cell Phone Near You?

A number of sources have reported the results of a study performed by the Online Publishers' Association (whatever that is). It seems that with the appearance of such things as mobile internet devices, there will be more and better ways to clutter your life with stuff you don't need and information you don't want to hear about.
What you see here is what's on my desk. It works well, it's fifty years old, and is unobtrusive (except for its color). It does what I want it to do and no more. It stays out of my face and out of my space. Efforts to market things to me via this device have been so far unavailing, and that's just how I like it.
The phone is a tool to help me do my job, and no more.
When I was dragged kicking and screaming into the cell phone era about three years ago, that's about what I wanted from a cell phone-a device that was unobtrusive, convenient, reliable, and uncluttered-and that's what I got from the folks from U.S. Cellular.
But it seems that if we have mobile internet, we're going to have advertisements and unwanted content. The article suggests that folks in more advanced places such as (of course) Europe are a lot more receptive to the idea of getting ads for TrimSpa and Viagra stuffed in your ears and all over your screen.
Not me. Life's tough enough as it is.