Green Blog
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Fascinating WebRTC Demos from WebRTC Expo

WebRTC has been described as the most disruptive communications technology of the decade. It has also been described as overhyped. Well, I...

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Restoration Hardware's E-commerce Fighting Formula

A Tasteful Blend of Starbucks and Apple Retail Experiences designed to make customers fall in loveApple has the most valuable retail real...

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Thoughts on ThinkGeek Customer Service

I’m on the phone with ThinkGeek because I purchased something which they shipped incorrectly. I tried email and didn’t get a...

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The Interworking Function (IWF) part of the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) now takes center stage

Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs) are the general term used to describe products that enable load balancing and scaling of Diameter signaling...

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New T-Mobile Pay as You Go LTE Pricing Changes Everything

Until recently, if you wanted a real data plan on a major carrier while using your cell phone, you were forced...

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How Sony May be Fighting to Unleak its Information

The recent attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment is about as scary as it gets as emails which insulted the company’s hired talent...

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4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects. One really wants to do the project but the people...

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To Go Green, Spend Green When You Waste

April 22, 2010

In some ways Earth Day/Earth Week reminds me of Sunday and in the Christmas season in the Christian faith. These are the times when we try to do good unto others and to think about how to be a better person. 

Yet alas all too likely too many of us go out to do the opposite but to varying degrees afterward. Why? Because unless the evil acts are criminal the only punishment we feel are in our consciences, and the degree by which happens depends on how much of a sociopath that each of us are.

The Green Side of The Iceland Ash Clouds

April 19, 2010

The Eyjafjoell volcano eruption in Iceland has been and may continue to play havoc with air travel, and with it stranding untold numbers of travelers, many of whom are running out of money. They have been caught in the risks and vagaries of transportation   There is, however, a green side to the massive ash clouds resulting from the calamity: strong demand for rail, for inter-island- and island (UK, Ireland especially)-European continent trips, marine travel and videoconferencing that are far environmentally friendlier than flying, especially for short-haul trips.   Many journeys that are taken by air--which have benefitted by massive direct and indirect public subsidies-- can be more efficiently handled by these other methods. Rail in Europe and in China and Japan at least, but alas only between Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.

Green Power Costs

April 12, 2010

I love contrarians because they make think. One great example comes by way of Margaret Wente's recent column in the Globe and Mail on the Province of Ontario's announcement of $8 billion worth of green energy initiatives (i.e. subsidies) on top of $7 billion already promised. Among her points:

*      The province will pay solar producers "around 80 cents a kilowatt hour for the power they sell back to the grid.

Green Campus Project

April 8, 2010


Here is something worth voting for, the Green Campus Project.  It is a candidate in Pepsi's Pepsi Refresh project where the firm is giving away $1.3 million each month to projects that gain viewers' votes.   The Green Campus Project "seeks to equip student-led electric transportation projects on two university campuses in Minnesota", explains Marty Leenhouts, Green Campus Project Administrator, with $50,000 it hopes to win from Pepsi.The goal he says is to expose some 60,000 university students to electric transportation.

The "Green Cloud"?

April 6, 2010

In my family the expression "green cloud" means the release and lingering of foul-smelling flatulence. Greenpeace appears to have a similar opinion of cloud computing as it is being applied by some companies. 

Last week, TMCnet editor Kelly McGuire wrote a great story on a report by Greenpeace on saying that cloud-computing-driving data centers could be dirtying up the air by relying on electricity from coal-fired plants. 

Greenpeace has a point: the way coal is extracted and burned in electricity generation is not exactly clean. Yet then again there are few sources that are--yes that includes Canada's infamous tar sands-- if one looks at the options, and at the total amount of environmental damages such as from transportation and distribution that all choices incur.

The Marketplace Is The Answer For A Green Planet...And Tech

April 1, 2010

Forget save-the-planet sentiments and actions like last Saturday's Earth Hour,  and laws, and regulations.

The only way people and organizations will truly go green, and saving the earth and in turn boosting the market for green products and practices is by making them i.e. us pay the full costs i.e. environmental and related healthcare and other expenses for the damage we incur both directly and indirectly and add that to the prices of what we buy. 

And then let the marketplace works its magic to efficiently allocate resources... 

In other words if you want to telecommute from an insulated-up-the tailfeathers townhouse that relies on solar energy for cooling and heating, supplemented by fans and hot-water bottles respectively...and if you want to drive a tank to your office park from a mansion whose A/C is at 60 and the heat at 75...both of which is your right...then you pay accordingly for the Earth you use.



Tandberg's FlyFree program

March 19, 2010

Air travel especially for business is an environment-killing, time-wasting, productivity-draining pain in the literal backside. If high costs, cramped seats, nonexistent food service that forces one to also juggle the grease-drenched so-called sustenance caked into landfill-bloating clamshell packaging, plus de facto strip searches, and weather and runway delays weren't enough then there's always labor disruptions.

And in anticipation of the latter, on British Airways (BA), Tandberg has wisely capitalized the opportunity to market its videoconferencing and telepresence solutions by offering TANDBERG FlyFree, a program that gives companies an easy and risk-free way of experiencing the power of high-definition video conferencing and telepresence.

By adopting Tandberg's technology, it says employees "can still make critical meetings, avoid unnecessary business travel and benefit from a better work-life balance by working around personal schedules. In turn, the technology can deliver serious business advantages and consistent return on investment, regardless of the BA strikes, as well as help companies make great CO2, time and cost savings."

"Businesses cannot afford to be slowed down by the impact of international travel disruption, especially at this time when continuity is so critical to success," says Simon Egan, Vice President, Western Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa, Tandberg.



Mining Environmental and Social Responsibility

March 11, 2010

Mining is one of the oldest industries there is and for good reason: the resources these firms extract are essential for practically every good and service we enjoy, directly and indirectly. There will continue to be mines for most elements as there is and will be for some time more demand for the products and services that the materials go into than what can be recycled and conserved. Even recycled steel melted in electric furnaces often needs bars of pig iron, created in coke (converted from coal)-fired blast furnaces.

While mining, like many industries, do pollute through both generating emissions and scouring and despoiling the earth, there is nothing intrinsically totally 'black' about it; holes can be filled or lessened and tailing ponds can be minimized and cleaned up.

Here's How to Help Keep British Columbia (Properly) Green After The Winter Olympics

March 1, 2010

Amidst climate change that has led to an unusually warm winter even by West Coast standards that made mush out of Cypress, the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games has seen some green achievements, some of which are staying and others which are leaving, but can stay if only businesses, governments and individuals can take action.

* One of the most significant is the expansion of the TransLink transit system both permanent and temporary to accommodate massive numbers of people, and they did. During the first week of the Olympics more people than ever before - way more - more than 1.6 million people per day rode TransLink's network of diesel and electric trolley buses, urban rapid transit and commuter trains, and ferries. 

Trust me: they were packed. Even from the car-oriented suburbs like where we live there were standees all the way in and out, nearly 24 hours a day. 

"Week one ridership has been staggering and our system has been equal to the task," says TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis.  "This is a testament to a solid plan that built in the flexibility to respond and the great execution of our planners, transit operators, mechanics, customer service personnel and transit hosts."

* Companies heeded the call to working from home including firms such as CounterPath, which makes softphones and Telus, a leading carrier which markets and supplies work-at-home solutions

The hope is that the high transit and telework use continues with the ending of the Olympics.







Full Cost Analysis Needed on Green Power

February 18, 2010

Full-cost analysis (FCA) examines both complete direct i.e. capital and operating costs and indirect i.e. environmental, health and social costs of private and public investments. 

FCA, many of whose methodologies are still being refined, is a much needed tool to enable companies and policymakers to accurately determine the true ROI of projects. It will hopefully end the free ride 'enjoyed' especially by highways, airports and sprawl.

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