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AI – Where Tech Ends and Winning Begins

By Energy Rant No Comments
McDonald’s McNuggets I picked up an iPhone at the Verizon store for my mother last week as I visited her in Northwest Iowa. She’s wheelchair-bound with one good hand for daily functions such as eating. After the iPhone pickup, I decided to get some lunch for us at McDonald’s, and although I love McDonald’s hamburgers, I hadn’t been in one of their stores for a while. I guess the machines have mostly taken over – order at the in-store kiosk or online with an app. As I navigated that process, I thought, this is fantastic – another brick in the…
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Image shows fish on fishing pole with text "Giant Killing Customer Experience."

Giant Killing Customer Experience

By Energy Rant No Comments
The snow has melted for now, although a foot of snow is forecasted overnight as I draft this. The lake ice is gone, and folks are Jonesing for open water fishing. Back in the day, when my father was still with us, we fished to eat because he said so. In our home state of Minnesota, that meant we fished walleyes, which are attractive fish (there are ugly fish – catfish, carp, believe me) but boring. My mission was to fill the live well with the limit and get on to some real fishing for pike and muskies. They are…
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STEM Brilliance for You and Your Kids

By Energy Rant No Comments
It’s been cold here in the Midwest. In ten days in La Crosse, WI, where I am, the average low was -13.7F, average high, 4.3, and the average of averages over the ten days was -4.7F. We smashed one daily record. There have been no all-time lows, but this is a grind. In the middle of this grind, I woke up one morning thinking about greenhouse gases, GHGs. There is very little GHG in this weather because the dominant GHG is water vapor, and below-zero air has almost no capacity to hold water. Then I got to thinking; this is…
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Electricity – Breakpoints, Tipping Points and Imagination

By Energy Rant One Comment
The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article last week – it would be fascinating if it weren’t sadly true. The title: Everyone Hates Customer Service. It is a perfect addition to my continuation of last week’s post regarding innovation with electric utilities. Are Electric Utilities in for a Taxi Ride? Tales of Customer Service Last week during a raging thunderstorm, I was in the pickup-window line at Walgreens. It’s a pickup window, not a chat room. Every time, the cars ahead of me take at least five minutes each. What are they talking about up there? The baseball trade…
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STEM & Energy Efficiency – Begin with the End in Mind

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
It is awfully unfortunate that “begin with the end in mind” has been beaten to a cliché, because it is SO applicable to everything.  In recent years, I have seen about 5,200 articles, blogs, emails, newscasts, gum wrappers, and fortune cookie messages that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).  Perhaps I was a complete dork when I was a high school senior deciding what major to pursue in college, but it came down to three factors: what am I good at, what is the demand for the profession, and what is the pay for the gig? Begin: Amusing, Worthwhile,…
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