Unbelievable: Bladeless Wind Turbine Is Better In Every Way

It may be hard to imagine that a simple stick rising from the ground can catch the wind, swirl it around and turn the vortex into electricity. Spanish startup Vortex has proved that it can be done, and the results of their bladeless wind turbine are so impressive that they put traditional wind turbines to shame. If the numbers are accurate and Vortex gets its funding, we could be in for a revolution of the first order in wind energy.

Vortex Bladeless seeks to reinvent the way we harness wind energy and turn it into electricity. It’s hard to put into words how the turbines actually work, but I’ll do my best using what I’ve gathered from the company’s blog.

The turbine itself is an asymmetrical cylindrical mast that starts off thin and bulges progressively towards the top. An articulation at the bottom harvests the effect of vortex shedding and causes it to giggle. It uses magnets to convert thse oscillations into electricity. For more context, see the short 3-minute video embedded below. You’ll also get to see the bizarre moving pillar in action. Now for some numbers.


bladeless wind turbine

Bladeless wind turbine Image creadit: Vortex Bladeless

More efficient, cost-effective, and green

Vortex seems to avoid disclosing the exact amount of energy its wobbly pole is capable of producing compared to traditional turbines (that use spinning blades and rotors). However, the company’s site does put forth some favorable numbers and other benefits that should get the attention of investors far and wide. Here’s some of them:

  • 53% off in manufacturing costs
  • 51% off in operating costs
  • 80% off in maintenance costs
  • 40% global power generation costs reduction
  • 40% carbon footprint reduction
  • No gears or bearings – drastically simplifies manufacturing and maintenance
  • Massive CO2 reduction thanks to fewer supplies and no lubrication oil
  • Noiseless
  • Doesn’t kill birds
  • Doesn’t require training

Currently valued at 70000 M€ with 318 GW power installation, the market is expected growth up to 600 GW power installation in 2020, with substantial increase of offshore installations. The Spanish startup says it has demonstrated the feasibility of this technology by carrying out dozens of wind tunnel tests. It is currently performing field tests using Vortex masts of various sizes and energy output.

The bladeless technology is said to be capable of powering whole buildings, allowing households and companies to cut the cord to the grid and never pay another electricity bill.

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How Co-Op Games Just Proved That Collaboration Is The Answer To Our Biggest Problems

John Velez, an assistant professor at the College of Media & Communication, has published the results of a study focusing on how cooperating with others in both violent and non-violent video games influences social behavior in real life.

I wouldn’t call the results surprising, but they are worth sharing here on our blog. After all, we live and breathe collaboration.

A friend in need is a friend indeed

I’ve always loved this saying. I consider it one of the most accurate proverbs I’ve come across in my lifetime. It applies in gaming too. Quite beautifully actually. As a gamer, surely you’ve faced the tough decision of leaving loot or supplies behind just to help out a partner who’s low on health. According to Velez, this triggers our empathy sensors and makes us better people, not just in the game, but in real life as well.


Sometimes it’s about watching someone’s back, not netting an extra frag

The test went like this. Gamers were given the chance to be mean to their partner by means of blasting their eardrums with a loud and annoying noise. What they found was that, regardless of the game type (i.e. violent or not), when cooperative play was involved the gamers felt less need for revenge. This, compared to those who played alone, who were found to be more aggressive when things didn’t turn out as planned in the game.

Make love, not war

According to Velez, “cooperative play seems to have the biggest effect in terms of decreasing aggression toward other people.” The study also found that “playing with a helpful partner increases the expectation of others to reciprocate that pro-social behavior and generally be helpful,” he said. In other words, collaboration is contagious.

This behavioral improvement was observed not only in individual gamers, but also in teams of players. The same research found that gamers are nicer to their opponents when co-op play is involved. Velez concluded that people who play co-op games seem to value relationships more than those who play alone (no surprise there!), and that they focus less on the aggression in the game (in the case of a violent title like Halo) and more on social aspects.

Amen to that!

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#ItCanWait: Startling Study Says 7 Out of 10 People Stare At Their Smartphones While Driving

Admit it! You’ve texted and socialized while driving, and you’ll probably do it again even if others tell you it’s wrong. Thing is, we rarely stop doing certain things unless something really bad happens. AT&T and Twitter don’t want drivers to find this out the hard way, so they’ve teamed up to create awareness through a campaign called #ItCanWait.

A study conducted by Braun Research has revealed that a whopping 70% of drivers keep their eyes peeled to their smartphone screens behind the wheel.

As its name implies, the campaign strives to convince 7-out-of-10 recless drivers that texting, talking on the phone, taking selfies, or socializing on Facebook and Instagram is something that can wait until after reaching the destination.


Some raw numbers

These are some of the smartphone activities people say they do while driving (complete with the actual number of people carrying out these activities): texting (61%); email (33%); surfing the web (28%); socializing on Facebook (27%); taking selfies behind the wheel (17%); Tweeting (14%); Instagram (14%); shooting a video (12%); Snapchat (11%); video chatting on Skype, FaceTime, etc. (10%).

Furthermore, 62% say they keep their smartphones within arm’s length to be sure they don’t miss any updates or calls, while 30% of those who post to Twitter while driving say they do it “all the time.” As many as 22% admitted to being addicted to social networks, citing this as the reason for pawing their phones while driving, and of those who shoot videos in the driver’s seat say “they do it safely.” Hence, the need of such a campaign.

The american wireless operator says it will collaborate with social platforms to share the message, and promises to launch a virtual reality tour this summer to prove that it’s not possible to use your smartphone and drive safely at the same time.

The reality is some things really can’t wait. So when you do need to make that urgent call or reply to an email from your CEO, just pull over. Because, if you want to take care of any future business, first of all  you need to be alive.

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4PSA Interns

A Biased Advice To 4PSA Interns

Yes, I love interviewing interns. I’ve met people who were less than impressed about this fact, claiming that I was losing valuable time because interviewing interns is very straightforward. I strongly disagree, I find it somehow more challenging to discuss with a student than with an experienced senior executive. I’ve learned a lot from these interviews and I will never stop meeting interns before they join our team.

This article is dedicated to our interns and comes with hands-on advice that you might find useful before your first day at 4PSA.

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Quote of the Day By Charles Cooley

Charles Cooley - looking glass self

A visual representation of Charles Cooley’s “looking glass self.” Image credit: popularsocialscience.com

Try to recall the last time you were surrounded by people who were on a completely different level than you. Did you feel imprisoned, misunderstood? The next time you feel that way, remember these wise words from Charles Cooley.

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How To Write Engaging Headlines and Convert Your Audience [Infographic]

Most people don’t put any effort into writing a compelling title for their blog posts, according to the latest research. But while many people do pay attention to this aspect, it’s still hard to nail it every time. So let’s see how you can write more good titles.

A catchy headline catches your audience

Your headline may or may not say it all, but it does create expectations for the reader – expectations that must be on par with the content in your blog post, otherwise the your reader could lose trust in you. So don’t sensationalize too much without backing those claims with your content.

In fact, according to the research done by Hubspot, Market Domination Media, and Outbrain, your title may be the only chance your blog post has to generate new page views and new visitors for your blog.

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How Highly Does Your Business Value UC&C?

That’s one of the many questions asked by Fujitsu in a survey-turned-contest-turned-infographic. Most businesses are in the early stages of implementing UC&C (Unified Communications & Collaboration), but at the same time these companies expect the entire infrastructure to be laid out and ready to be used on a regular basis in no less than three years.

The Japanese IT company wanted to determine the state of UC&C today by issuing a game-show-inspired set of questions to a bunch of companies big and small. The purpose was to help managers see beyond the technical hurdles and into the advantages of simplified communications and enhanced collaboration. Right off the bat I can tell you that VoipNow & Hubgets – our most prominent products – are the perfect answer to Fujitsu’s entire pop quiz.

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