It's interesting to see that a tech firm as powerful as Apple, who is notorious for closed software programs like OSX, has joined the open source movement. Apple recently made their software for compressing music files open source.

What is Apple's goal? Why did they make this program open source?

With technology's advancement, the internet is become available to more people each day. As of March 31, 2011, Over 2 billion people were connected to the internet.

Soon, there may be even more people connected to the world wide web. This invention, called the Raspberry Pi, is a functional $25 computer that runs on Linux and is the size of a USB drive. Granted, one would still need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse of their own, but this is extremely cheap and could be extremely practical.

I was skeptical of how well this "ultra-low-cost" computer would work, but then I found some videos such as this, showing it can run computer games and apparently output 1080p video.

What do you think? Could Raspberry Pi make an impact on the world?

Infographic: The Most Valuable Digital Consumers | Nielsen Wire

If you like statistics that might support your push to move your company into the social/mobile/local space, print this infographic and take it to your executive team or business owner.
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In early October, leading Japanese toilet manufacturer TOTO unveiled its latest innovation: a motorcycle that runs on human waste. How? Well, the seat of the bike is literally a toilet, fully equipped with a roll of toilet paper too. The company says that the waste is turned into biofuel which powers the machine.

Any buyers? Doubtful. Regardless of the intentions of this initiative, it is a reminder that ideas need to be tested and evaluated before heading to market.

Dear White House: Please Tell us the Truth About E.T.
Petitioners Seek Everything From Boosting Raw Milk Sales to Legalizing Pot

Check out the article above to see how our government is using the ideas of crowdsourcing to help determine what people really want.

People can submit petitions for anything they feel is a large issue of today. Petitions are asking for a large range of things from legalizing marijuana to finding out the truth about E.T. The government has posted about 200 of these petitions online for the public to view. It's interesting to see niche interests get attention this way. The White House intends to form a committee to evaluate each petition. Could this be a form of designing applied to government?

From September 25-27, I had the opportunity to travel to New York City for NBC's Education Nation Summit as a representative of my student organization, Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda. About 250 of the nation's educators, professionals, politicians, and leaders (as well as a few studens) convened from around the country to discuss our current educational system and what we can do to improve it. More information about the event can be found here.

A very interesting part of the entire two-day summit was the competition hosted by NBC which featured three different student teams that had proposed new, innovative ideas for the classroom - the Innovation Challenge. The winning team, Class Dojo, won $75,000 from Citi based on their interactive program allowing teachers to better control behavior in the classroom. It was very interesting.

Another speaker at the event, Sal Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, really mirrored exactly what we talked about in class regarding user innovation. His story is unique. His cousins had problems with math so he started out by tutoring them. However, as busy students, they didn't always have time to meet, so Khan would record his lectures and upload them to YouTube for them to view later. His videos started to get very popular (millions of views).

Khan now has over 2,800 videos ranging from remedial addition to advanced calculus. He is operating as a non-profit by choice. His videos take the 'shame' that students could have by asking the same questions over and over again. They can now watch his videos dozens of times until they understand it.

I thought these were simply genius, and I wasn't expecting to see much innovation at this conference. It really was a great experience, and I loved my first trip to NYC!

This article is about how Matt Rutledge came up with the website, Woot, which sells products in small bursts and prides itself on being absolutely, painfully honest with its customers.

Matt Rutledge launched based on a simple concept: The site would sell only one product a day until the inventory ran out or the clock struck midnight, whichever came first. Rutledge saw it as a way to unload overstocked merchandise from his Dallas-based wholesale consumer electronics business. From the start, the site prided itself on honesty: If a vacuum cleaner was a putrid shade of green, Woot said so. Soon people came to the site just to read the snarky product descriptions. Today, Woot has four sites, 1.5 million registered members, and sales of $117.4 million.

Microsoft has finally come to accept tinkering with the Xbox Kinect technology. Microsoft's customers have been doing for awhile and it is now embracing it with a new research project KinectFusion. Hackers and Hobbyists have been tinkering with the Kinect since it came out. Microsoft is now realizing that it can gain from its customers contributions and it can revolutionize the way we produce 3-D images.


Est. 2008 | Aric Rindfleisch | Wisconsin School of Business | Banner Image by Bruce Fritz