In the offices of Urban Future Lab, high above Brooklyn’s Metrotech Center, there’s a screen covered with charts and graphs over the receptionist’s head. A light bulb is turned off, and a bar graph dips in response. The air conditioning kicks on, and another chart jumps. On the screen, a dollar amount, now reading “$79” slowly ticks upward.
The graphs are monitoring the energy use of the tech incubator, which houses over a dozen startups focused on clean tech and infrastructure. One of the startups hosted here is Enertiv, who are unrolling a system that is giving us a look at how we’re using our energy, more closely than we’ve ever had.
If Singularity lover and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel can’t have Mars, he will instead control earth. Business Insider reports that the early Facebook investor has bestowed a $300,000 investment upon Canadian inventor Louis Michaud so that he can create man-made tornadoes.
This weekend, several outlets ran an AP story about New York’s startup scene, hitting all the high points–CornellNYC, the river of VC money, the local outposts of national companies like Google and Facebook. BostInno, however, has a quibble:
While riding the school bus one sun-dappled morning, a boy named Foster Gamble—heir to the bountiful Procter and Gamble fortune—had a strange vision that would permanently alter the course of his life. In the glare of the sun, Mr. Gamble, who was then 14, claims he spotted a whirlpool pattern that he would eventually determine to be the “torus,” an energy vortex that he believes could be the key to understanding the universe.
“I just knew that the flow of energy I was seeing was the same in the atom, as in our entire solar system,” the steely-eyed Mr. Gamble declares in his feature-length documentary Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take?, which debuted online to much skepticism and some derision in late 2011. “I felt deeply that I too was somehow made of that pattern. This vision was what originally got me into science.”
Speaking of scary software: Sounds like the hackers have finally realized that yes, they can make mischief for energy companies. Bloomberg News reports that a Qatari company is currently battling against a virus that’s shut down parts of its computer system. The site reports:
We thought it would be fun to get off the beaten path for a second and cover a tech company doing stuff outside the consumer web. This morning Brooklyn’s OwnEnergy announced it will develop a large wind farm to power more than 9,000 homes across Pennsylvania.
Like so many interesting tech projects in New York these days, OwnEnergy is the brainchild of a former Wall Street worker. Jacob Susman worked with Goldman Sachs for several years, helping to guide the companies investment in wind energy.