Thursday, June 5, 2008

Embracing a winter's day in June in Denver

One of the things I've enjoyed during my short trip to Denver was the weather. Today, the high was about 55 degrees. Add the wind chill, and you have a need to wear a sweater and a jacket. I haven't worn that many clothes in south Texas for at least four months, and that was during our last "Blue Norther."

Flying United a day after they announce a major layoff

I am in Denver, working on behalf of HBMG Inc, and their work in construction security. Using Expedia, I flew U.S. Air to Denver, and now I am taking a return flight from United. Talk about a difference in airlines. The folks at U.S. Air were friendly and helpful. Meanwhile, United had about 10 people working at their HUB at Denver International. Getting any assistance with a bag or someone who wanted to give you info was definitely out of the question. I can't blame them in the wake of their recent announcement of another layoff.

I can only see a future of hassles flying on some airlines, with the exception of Southwest. Somehow, the peanut folks are still thriving, perhaps because they bought a lot of fuel futures. As San Antonio, my adopted home, was one of the original portals for Southwest, I have a lot of travel options with them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How 18 Microsoft Vistas is like taking one car off the road

Sitting at the Green Technology Alliance panel, you have to love the thoughts of Phil Wheat, Microsoft's local Austin guru. He said by using 18 Vista software packages for cameras, it's the equivalent of taking one car off the road. I'm not sure if that's my wife's environmentally sensitive Honda Hybrid Civic or is it one of those gas sucking Hummers I see in my neighborhood. I suspect it's the Honda hybrid.

Thanks Alan Weinkrantz for making viral marketing mainstream in San Antonio

I am in Austin for the Green Technology Alliance when I got a phone call from a client about Alan Weinkrantz's first column in the San Antonio Express News on viral marketing. When I first began working with this client, I had suggested that he looked at blogging and other viral marketing efforts as a way to publicize his product.

Now, that this client has seen Alan's column, he's convinced that we need to ramp up the viral marketing effort.

Environmentally neutral?

Sitting here at the Green Technology Alliance forum meeting, I am listening to Dean D. Campbell, a senior executive at Hitachi describe how his company is going to become environmental neutral by 2011. The term is very interesting, but I think this firm can make it happen because it's focusing its effort on conserving energy and resources within the computer server industry. And as Campbell notes: "This saves money."

If you read the Economist, you should read their June 2 article with its feature on Hitachi.

Are our IT processes really green?

"How can IT CIOs determine if their process is truly green?" That's a question posed today at the Green Technology Alliance forum, today, at the Microsoft Technology Center. It's an interesting concept that is under discussion today in Austin as members of this progressive city are looking at ways to lower the carbon footprint of the typical American human being.

One of the ways that we Americans can lower our footprint is to look at our processes. For example, I keep my phone charger plugged even though I don't use it. And, then there's the five computers in my office that stay on. Do I really need them on all the time?

These are the messages that I, a typical American consumer, must change to make sure that my children and their children have enough energy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How Starbucks is keeping me as a customer for life

What would most restaurants do when they have a water leak, causing them to shut down for the day. Most would put a sign up and leave it at that. But the Starbucks on Anderson Lane in Austin was different. They had someone from their staff passing out free coupons for a cup of coffee.