Mingis on Tech: Energy microgrids, what's up with Apple -- and drones!

Thumbs up for microgrids, thumbs down for overdue Apple hardware updates and a thumbs up for the DJI Mavic



When it comes to the latest in energy tech, solar panels are so 2010. Solar shingles and microgrids are the latest tech tidbits to have if you're looking to get (kind of) off the grid, help the environment and save some money to boot.

Computerworld senior reporter Lucas Mearian has the details on microgrids, which allow companies and even whole communities to generate their own power from a variety of sources -- natural gas, wind, solar, etc. -- to cover their own needs. And if there's excess, it can be sold back to the local power company.

If you're not ready for your own micro-grid, you might want to know more about the shingles, which Tesla will begin taking orders for this month. The advantage? Not only do they produce electricity from the sun, but they can last as long as 50 years and they don't cost dramatically more than regular shingles.

Plus, they look like...roof shingles.

Then it's time for Executive News Editor Ken Mingis and Apple expert Michael deAgonia (doing double duty here as our resident drone aficionado) try to figure out what's taking Apple so long to update the Apple TV. In fact, deAgonia has a few thoughts on what the next Apple TV should include. (Hint: 4K and gaming capabilities.)

And finally, our tech trio winds up this episode with a closer look at DJI's latest drone, the Mavic, which deAgonia managed to snag when a few of them showed up at Best Buy last week. (Good luck finding one; they're apparently very popular.)

The Mavic, which goes for about $1,000, is a compact, lightweight drone that's perfect for portability, and has now become deAgonia's favorite flyer. 

For an audio podcast only, click play (or catch up on all episodes) below. Or you can now find us on iTunes, where you can download each episode and listen at your leisure.

Happy listening, and please, send feedback or suggestions for future topics to us. We'd love to hear from you.

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