Image of a man in a wheelchair
Image courtesy Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access

I was at the University at Buffalo interviewing a gentleman for a completely unrelated story when I stumbled upon an idea. Actually, the IDeA.

Primer: IDeA = the Center for Inclusive Design and Environmental Access. 

Officially, they practice human centered design through research, development, service, dissemination and educational activities. Hmm. That's a little too official for me. 

Essentially, they want to make the world accessible for everyone. That's "universal" design. 

Image of the New York State Capitol building
Image courtesy

It's plenty common to see a chief information officer in a business or even in a government - and now New York's state senate has one too. But can an open source advocate have an impact on a notoriously closed body? Zack Seward and Dan Bazile are on the case.

WMHT's Dan Bazile's video piece about the state senate chief information officer aired on Need to Know Rochester last week.

How ethanol is made

Aug 20, 2010
Aerial image of a field
U.S. National Archive / Creative Commons license

An old Miller Brewing plant in Fulton, N.Y. was retrofitted to make ethanol. Recently, Sunoco took over the plant.  

Read the story or watch the video to see how corn becomes fuel.

Image of a strange looking motor vehicle
Nationaal Archief / Creative Commons license

Patent attorney Mark Levy says he gets in to a flurry of calls on Monday mornings from independent inventors of all stripes. They've been sitting in their living rooms and their garages all weekend, he says, and on Monday they get on the phone to try their ideas on someone else.

Image courtesy

Frankly, we say this innovation thing has gone too far!

Mapping the wind

Aug 20, 2010
Image courtesy

When we started looking into wind power in New York state we thought there'd be a handy map that would show us where all the wind turbines are. We were wrong.

We'd heard of wind farms here and there, but as far as statewide context we were a bit stumped. So we made this map.

Image courtesy

We've been thinking a lot about building businesses in small cities. So our ears perked up at a recent article from Business Insider contributor, Chris Wertz, who writes that tech entrepreneurs can leave New York City.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates
Image courtesy

The big take away from Bill Gates’ discussion at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA was the idea that education will be less “place-based.”

According to MG Siegler's piece at, Gates said,” Five years from now on the web for free you’ll be able to find the best lectures in the world.” 

You can sort of already do that on sites like TED or just by doing a topic search on Youtube. Gates says that kind of widespread knowledge will be better than any single university.

Some of us have been doing more reading on the Marcellus Shale than should be humanly possible to prepare for our upcoming series. And we invite you (you!) to weigh in with your innovation angle on the drilling controversy.

Some trail mix to get you going:

Ryan Morden / WRVO

Today we went out to the Fenner Wind Farm where one of the turbines came crashing to the ground back in late December.


U.S. Photonics Hub Coming To Rochester

What does this mean for the economy of the Rochester region?