1000 miles in my Tesla Model S


So here it is…I’ve driven about 1000 miles in my Tesla Model S for an approximate cost of $36 (360 kW-hr at $.10/kW-hr). And no tailpipe emissions. Not bad.

If your car gets 16 mpg and a gallon costs $4, that’s $0.25 / mile vs $0.036 / mile– about a 7x difference.

UPDATE: My friend Aaron pointed out that in Texas (see this map), in terms of emissions, an electric car is competitive with an efficient ie 35 mpg car. Then another friends of mine, Packy, pointed out that natural gas economics have changed since the data used by UCS in the NYTimes map and that that’s changed the balance between coal vs. gas power. And this change skews things significantly in favor of electric cars (again, in terms of emissions).

Other benefits of the “home phone”

John Battelle wrote a short piece appreciating the “home phone” which I agree with. One thing I love about home phones is they can be corded and powered which means that:
1) they _aren’t_ mobile — ie they always remain in the same place and
2) they never run out of battery or power.

For these two simple reasons, our home phones are frequently used in our house (and, yes, one of them is in a family room and it does get used in a shared fashion like John describes).

In fact, I’ve long searched for a cordless phone system that gets its phone signal wirelessly, but is otherwise a corded handset that takes power from the wall. So it wouldn’t require me to have copper wiring where I install it but it still holds to #1 and #2 above. But this product doesn’t exist — Panasonic and the other multi-line handset makes haven’t figured out that this product has redeeming qualities.

The reason I bought this two-line multi-handset cordless phone system? Because it’s base is a corded two-line telephone.

12 year old: “This is MY life, and I shouldn’t suffer from not having a Mac”

My friend Daryl Morey (GM of the Houston Rockets) recently tweeted about a presentation that his 12 year old daughter recently sent him:

The presentation is a delightfully intelligent and impassioned plea for her Dad to get her a Mac laptop… Enjoy:

Quick running update

A few years ago, I started running again and recently I’ve been pushing myself on both distance and speed. So some recent running data points:
1) Houston Half Marathon 2012, Jan 2012: this was painful, but I managed to eke out 10 minutes a mile– slightly slower than my Houston Half Marathon 2011 run, which was about 9:50.
2) Houston Rodeo Fun Run (10k), Feb 2012: personal record for the 10k at about 54:40 — about 8:50 pace!
3) Woodlands Half Marathon, March 2012: personal record for the half marathon at 2:02:03 — about 9:19 pace!

So I’m getting faster… Going to start doing weekly sprint workouts that will hopefully help me increase my pace even further.

Photographs of the Houston Marathon should be “crowd-sourced”

I ran the Houston half-marathon yesterday and here’s an obvious idea that came to me: photographs should be crowd-sourced!

With more than 20,000 runners, I’d estimate there are probably 5,000 to 10,000 cameras shooting photographs from the sidelines– the friends and family of the runners.  The Chevron Houston Marathon should host a site where people can upload their photographs and the site would have the needed bib number recognition software to tag the photographs and make them searchable by bib#. How hard can that software be?

And the Cheveron Houston Marathon could do a *ton* of things with the photographs that are taken, for the purposes of marketing and promoting the race… Give runners the option of linking their marathon registration with their Facebook accounts and runners could check a box to allow the Marathon to post photographs of them.

And while we’re talking about it, why can’t the race organizers do a live stream of the entire run and also tie-in bib-number recognition so people can watch their friends and family run from home, from their iPhones, etc.?  Maybe a harder technical problem and a harder problem from an infrastructure standpoint (ie you’d have the codec problem of supporting all viewing platforms, and in general it’s harder to build an at scale video sharing site than a photo sharing website), but for similar reasons, it’s worth doing.

Zero email policy

Maybe the future? Certainly a bold experiment.

CEO Thierry Breton of the French information technology company said only 10 percent of the 200 messages employees receive per day are useful and 18 percent is spam. That’s why he hopes the company can eradicate internal emails in 18 months, forcing the company’s 74,000 employees to communicate with each other via instant messaging and a Facebook-style interface.

At the same time, this is in France where the work week is legally limited to 35 hours.

Cheap and easy international phone calls from your iPhone

I frequently make international phone calls for personal stuff and work.

And AT&T really gets you if you want to make such calls over the mobile phone network. Here are some examples of AT&T’s international calling rates:

  • India – $0.32 / minute or $3.49 / minute
  • United Kingdom – $0.28 / minute or $1.69 / minute
  • Germany – $0.26 / minute or $1.66 / minute

Sooo, what’s the best solution? First, let me say that there are 1,001 ways to get the job done. There are calling cards, callback services, Skype, Reliance CallIndia and everything in between.

What’s worked really well for me is my Google Voice account with the Google Voice iPhone app because:
1) The rates are low
2) Calls are made using the voice network so they’re good quality
3) It’s integrated with the iPhone contacts directory, so it’s easy

Here’s how to set it all up:

1) sign up for a google voice account at http://voice.google.com (be sure and choose the option to have it do more than replace your voicemail)

2) add your mobile phone to your google voice account (this is a simple process that will involve google voice calling you and your entering a 2 digit code)

3) now over to your iPhone… Install the google voice app (get it here). Sign in with your google account and assign a number to your phone.

4) add numbers you frequently dial from your iPhone phone book to the app’s “quickdial” menu.

5) now tap the number you want to call and you’re done!

Apart from the good call quality and convenience of being able to use your iPhone’s direcory, Google Voice’s rates are cheap. Examples:

  • India – $0.02 / minute
  • United Kingdom – $0.02 / minute to $0.24 / minute
  • Germany – $0.02 / minute or $0.10 / minute

Once you start using the service, you’ll need to add some $$ to your Google Voice account– do that from the web-based interface. Enjoy!