Category Archives: Environment

Workers Would Take a Pay Cut to Telecommute

Is This Fun?

Here is an interesting article from the folks at CNET about IT pros willing to take pay cuts to telecommute.

You know I could say a lot about the managers who are “reluctant” to allow telecommuting.  But I’ll be nice….and not call them idiots in this blog entry.  RETIRE!  Get out of the way you old geezer (I can say that ’cause I are one)….get with the 2011 world….DUH.

#Telecommuting = #Coworking = #Telework


Future of Video Conferencing from Corning

Got this Youtube link in an email this morning….although it is a Corning glass “infomercial” it shows us (at least partly) how video conferencing might evolve in the near future…using glass.


We already have videoconferencing on mobile smartphones, and on large walls in conference rooms, so the vision put forth by Corning, although very well done and interesting, is, at this time, just the next step in the evolution of videoconferencing.  (whew that was a complex sentence 🙂 )

I’m waiting for the next ground shaking video conferencing development…mobile, smartphone, video chat was predictable.  Implant in the brain?  Eyeglasses?  Application sharing, all encompassing video and audio experience (Cave like), by moving your eyeballs….or just thinking.  Complete, easy, interoperability between all devices now handling video calls.  Maybe cloud based (yes this is coming soon….)?  Robots that act as your avatars?

AH!  Here is an idea:  How about employers finally embracing TELECOMMUTING = COWORKING = TELEWORK ??

Geeezzz, people it is 2011 and the technology to work remotely is soooooo available.  Get off the roads, save time (the most precious of your resources), save gas, save money, save the environment, reduce traffic, reduce stress, increase productivity…..telecommuting is an absolute no brainer except the for the idiot OFB’s (Old Fashioned Bosses) who demand to see you at your desk……playing Farmville or chatting with your friends.

The paradigm of getting work done should change to project based.  “Here is your project…get it done by this date…..I don’t give a shit where, or how, you do it. “

Bay Area to Install EV Charging Stations

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board recently approved $5 million for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and home chargers.

According to the press release, the money will fund the installation of:

  • 3,000 home chargers
  • 2,000 public chargers
  • 50 fast chargers (off of freeways)

They say that transportation is responsible for 50% of the air pollution in the Bay Area.

My Advice

Although this is really cool, and a big step in the right direction for the environment.

The BAAQMD should push Bay Area employers and government to implement TELECOMMUTING.  That one simple thing gets cars OFF the road (thousands of them) completely, reduces traffic, reduces stress, reduces pollution, saves money,  increases productivity and increases morale.  And it can be implemented NOW….not 5 years from now, or 10.

DUH…it’s 2010…telecommuting should be the norm.

Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework

Solar Storm Tonight

Breaking News:

I’m NOT a breaking news kind of blogger, but, I was reading National Geographic (see this link) just now and there is a solar storm that will hit the earth late tonight (August 3, 2010).

Here is a video of the sun burp that will cause the storm…..VERY COOL

Gee…is my new HTC Aria (which is friggin awesome by the way) gonna die?

We will see…


What is Coworking?

Visit this site to start to learn more about Coworking

Short History

A couple of years ago, I read an article on coworking.  After reading it, I thought to myself…wow, this is just like the old Neighborhood Telecommuting Centers of the 1980’s.

Having co-written the first “Telecommuting Plan” at LLNL, I became a staunch advocate of telecommuting and in the early to mid-90’s, I pondered opening a Telecommuting Center in Tracy, CA.  Hey…205 was getting busier, 580 was packed most days,  lots of commuters complaining about their long commutes, and these commutes were getting longer and longer.  I thought “Wouldn’t it be perfect to give commuters a place to work, close to home?”.   However,  not having money or support, that never happened….probably a good thing.

Fast forward 15 to 20 years or so….

Now “retired” from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (but,  still needing to make money) I opened the Tracy Virtual Office (now AltamontCowork) as a “coworking” location on May 1, 2009.

Did I understand what coworking was?  Ahhh….No.  My mind was stuck in “telecommuting” mode, and commuters.  But, that’s ok…I’m great at learning on the fly.  I did.

Originally, as I sort of  said above, I thought opening a coworking location was a great way to get commuters off the roads, reduce traffic, save dollars, be closer to home, improve their quality of life and increase productivity.  All the benefits of telecommuting.  In other words, a modern version of a  Neighborhood Telecommuting Center…my dream.

Scratch that….

Fast forward, 14 months (and change)

I now understand “coworking” (at least from my own experience).

Before I move on, let me get the following out of my system, as I still believe VERY strongly in the benefits of telecommuting (working at home or, now, at a coworking location).  There are ZERO commuters using AltamontCowork.  ZERO.  Let me rant on that point for a few seconds:  If you are happy commuting over 4 hours a day from Tracy to the Bay Area, great, BUT, I DO NOT want to hear ANY complaints!  If you complain…then DO SOMETHING about it.  TALK to your Old Fashioned Boss (OFB) about telecommuting. Believe me, your OFB will NOT talk to you…he / she does NOT care one whit (maybe with an “s” in front) about your commute or quality of life.    If you are too chicken to do something about your commute (assuming your job allows you to telecommute)…don’t complain, pure and simple.  Ah….there, I’m done.  I feel better?  Arrrghhh….

Back to coworking.  🙂

A coworking location IS an open collaborative space where independents, freelancers, small / micro businesses can call “home”.

It is NOT a boxed 10 x 10 office, it is NOT a virtual office…which is just a time-shared boxed office.

Likewise it is NOT Starbucks or McDonald’s or Barnes & Noble where you can sit and work on your laptop (in isolation except for the noise) until you get booted out.

And it is not home.  This means you have to get dressed and go to work.  It does help you stay away from the refrigerator, helps you avoid distractions (honey-do lists, kids, pets, laundry, lawn, garbage), and fight off isolation.

It IS a place where you get to know your fellow coworkers, where you can work in environment similar to a company, but, you are your own boss.

It IS a place where IDEAS flow freely (you are no longer isolated).

It IS a place where you can get help just by asking.  “Can someone help me?”.

It IS a place where you can give seminars, teach a class, or have a meeting.

It IS a place where you and your coworkers can (and do)  go out to lunch together, enjoy birthday parties, have family nights, laugh, and enjoy other social events.  It is kid and pet friendly, and, geeezzz, you could field a softball team in your town.

It IS a place where you can meet clients without cleaning your house!  And feel safe.

By the way….a coworking location IS ALSO CLOSE to your home.  You can be with your family, you won’t miss important plays, games, doctor visits, etc.  You can ride a bike to work or walk (good for your health and the health of the world).  You will probably spend more of your money in town (good for the fiscal health of your town).

Coworking has MANY benefits….and it is super affordable for starting out.

One coworking location came up with a great description:

“Work FOR Yourself, Not BY Yourself”

I thought of another while running….rats, walking one day, we are:

“A Community of Independents” (since there are no commuters / telecommuters).


Coworking is a NEW way to work, and I predict it will be THE way to work 10 years from now as box offices and virtual offices knock down walls to become coworking locations.

The benefits of coworking are simply too compelling to ignore.

Commuters?…..hmmmm, well.  Have fun.  Until you get the nerve to talk to your OFB (Old Fashioned Boss) to  start telecommuting / coworking, have a good life on the road.  No complaining!

Telecommuting = Coworking = Telework

Is This Fun?

TracyVirtualOffice Hosts Tracy TweetUP


Social networking meets technology.

Last night, the TracyVirtualOffice coworking location (that be me…) hosted Tracy’s first TweetUP.  The event was well attended and the energy was palpable. Just like coworking. 🙂

This video was taken by a Tracy Press reporter (Justin) using one of those really cool Flip cameras.  The quality is excellent.  Eventually this video will show up on the front page and the words and still pics will be in a print article.

Coworking = Telecommuting = TeleWork

Enjoy the video…see if you can spot me!

Save money, save gas, save time, reduce traffic, help save the environment

Telecommute / Cowork !!!!

Tesla Introduces Model S

As you know, I am VERY interested in technology that can help save the Environment.  

As such I am becoming more active in areas that will help move us in that direction.  Coworking, telecommuting and videoconferencing being among them.  

This week I (and many others) got an email announcement from Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors announcing the Model S all electric car.  

Key points:

1. It goes up to 300 miles per charge (other battery pack options include: 160 and 230 miles…..(inteeerrresting….you can’t go 161 miles or 231 miles?….how did they get those numbers???).  

2. I connects to 120 volt, 240 v or 480 v charging plugs.

3. It can charge in as little as 45 minutes (using the 480 v station)

4. The floor mounted battery can be changed out in a swap station

5. Does not require an oil change (hmmmm, does that mean no oil at all?)

6. 0 to 60 in 6 seconds and top speed of 130 mph.

7. Anticipated price:  $49,900 (YIKES!!!) and that is AFTER a $7,500 rebate from the Gov’t.  


I’ve included the entire email below.  It is good Tesla is making progress with an all electric car.  

Let’s hope that the old special interests cannot kill this one (see the movie “Who Killed the Electric Car” for some scary details of how a terrific car can be killed and by who).

Price is a factor….that needs to come down, big time.  


Model S is here!

Just moments ago, we took the wraps off the Model S, an all electric family sedan that carries  seven people and travels 300 miles per charge. We also launched a web site and began taking orders for this historic vehicle, which will likely be world’s first mass-produced, highway-capable EV.

The Model S, which carries its charger onboard, can be recharged from any 120V, 240V or 480V outlet, with the latter taking only 45 minutes. By recharging their car while they stop for a meal, drivers can go from LA to New York in approximately the same time as a gasoline car.  Moreover, the floor-mounted battery pack is designed to be changed out in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank, allowing for the possibility of battery-pack swap stations.

The floor-mounted powertrain also results in unparalleled cargo room and versatility, as the volume under the front hood becomes a second trunk. Combining that with a four-bar linkage hatchback rear trunk and flat folding rear seats, the Model S can accommodate a 50-inch television, mountain bike *and* surfboard simultaneously.  This packaging efficiency gives the Model S more trunk space than any other sedan on the market and more than most SUVs.

“Model S doesn’t compromise on performance, efficiency or utility — it’s truly the only car you need,” said Tesla CEO, Chairman and Product Architect Elon Musk. “Tesla is relentlessly driving down the cost of electric vehicle technology, and this is just the first of many mainstream cars we’re developing.”

Tesla expects to start Model S production in late 2011. The company believes it is close to receiving $350 million in federal loans to build the Model S assembly plant in California from the Dept of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.

Building on Proven Technology

Tesla is the only production automaker already selling highway-capable EVs in North America or Europe. With 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, the Roadster outperforms almost all sports cars in its class yet is six times as energy efficient as gas guzzlers and delivers 244 miles per charge. Tesla has delivered nearly 300 Roadsters, and nearly 1,000 more customers are on the waitlist.

Teslas do not require routine oil changes, and they have far fewer moving (and breakable) parts than internal combustion engine vehicles. They qualify for federal and state tax credits, rebates, sales tax exemptions, free parking, commuter-lane passes and other perks. Model S costs roughly $5 to drive 230 miles – a bargain even if gasoline were $1 per gallon.
The anticipated base price of the Model S is $49,900 after a federal tax credit of $7,500. The company has not released options pricing. Three battery pack choices will offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge.

But the anticipated sticker price doesn’t tell the full story. Model S costs half as much as a Roadster, and it’s a better value than much cheaper cars. The ownership cost of Model S, if you were to lease and then account for the much lower cost of electricity vs. gasoline at a likely future cost of $4 per gallon, is similar to a gasoline car with a sticker price of about $35,000. That’s why we’re positive this car will be the preferred choice of savvy consumers.

The standard Model S does 0-60 mph in under six seconds and will have an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph, with sport versions expected to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration well below five seconds. A single-speed gearbox delivers effortless acceleration and responsive handling. A 17-inch touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity allows passengers to listen to Pandora Radio or consult Google Maps, or check their state of charge remotely from their iPhone or laptop.

Tesla is taking reservations online and at showrooms in California. Tesla will open a store in Chicago this spring and plans to open stores in London, New York, Miami, Seattle, Washington DC and Munich later this year.

We’re certain you’ll be hearing a lot more about Tesla in the weeks and months ahead, and we look forward to seeing you at the stores we’re opening soon!


Tesla Motors
1050 Bing Street
San Carlos, CA 94070
United States 

Obama Presidency

The nightmare is over….a new dream begins.

Electric Vehicle Charging Network in Bay Area

It’s 2008 in the San Franciso Bay Area and you own an electric car that is running low on charge.  What do you do?  Where do you go to re-charge?  Right about now you are wishing you had your gas guzzling, carbon emission spitting, automobile back and the heck with the environment.
But wait….fast forward a few years to 2012 and the San Francisco Bay Area is now dotted with electric car recharging stations where you can grab a fresh battery or recharge yours.  Parking lots, public buildings, even telephone and light poles have charging stations.  Suddenly, owning a car that reduces dependence on foreign oil is looking like a good deal.  And you are looking pretty smart.
Even though California could have been an innovator in the electric car biz over ten years ago (See “Who Killed the Electric Car” documentary for details on this debacle), maybe we can redeem ourselves in 2008.
A couple of days ago the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose agreed to work towards implementing, with Bay Area company Better Place, this charging infrastructure all over the Bay Area.  See this report for a lot more information.
I have written about the need to save the environment, telecommute, and find alternative energy sources.   This is great news!
I hope it works out, and I pledge to do all I can to help, starting with this Blog entry.  See all my Blog entries on Saving the Environment.
Here is more information on Better Place’s idea for an electric car and infrastructure.

Obama Wins!

At last…at long last….we have HOPE.