MICROSOFT

Will the Rise of the Eastside Eclipse the Seattle Boom?

The Eastside has long been eclipsed by Seattle. Now, however, it is challenging the big city on several fronts. The reasons are many: Microsoft’s revival; global tech companies opening engineering offices on the Eastside; the openness of Eastside local governments to new technologies; Seattle’s problems of homelessness, crime, traffic and subpar public schools; and the Seattle City Council’s hostile actions and rhetoric directed at tech companies.

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John Doerr: Obama Should “Kick Start” Green Energy Research

Legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers sat down for an interview at the recent Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco and shared some thoughts in this video from ZDNet (click here or on embed below): The money quote: The most important thing (President-elect Barack Obama) has got to do is kick start a huge amount of innovation and research in energy. We invest less than a billion dollars a year in renewable energy research and that’s contrasted with health care which is $32 billion, and I think we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of clean ways to use energy, to create energy. It’s the challenge of our generation. It’s the scourge of Read More ›

Microsoft’s Rob Bernard On “Zero, Shared, And Efficient Miles”

We’ve now got a full transcript (at bottom, here) of the address given by Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist Rob Bernard last month at Cascadia Center’s “Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation” conference. Stressing the growing potential of information technology to shape decisions about commuting and travel, Bernard outlined what might be called a hierarchy of mobility preferences. Or, as he put it, the best miles are zero miles, followed by shared miles and then efficient miles. So, zero miles….how do I leverage the information in my calendar to keep me from coming to the office? Because if I can stay home I can get a lot of work done. So by literally looking at the blocks of time, and there’s color-coding options Read More ›

Cascadia Center’s “Beyond Oil” Conference: A Wrap-Up

A crowd of 500 key influencers from the private sector, government, academia and the media filled Microsoft’s large meeting facility in Redmond for the Sept. 4-5 conference organized by Discovery Institute’s Cascadia Center, “Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation.” Gripping presentations by former CIA Director James Woolsey, electric car systems entrepreneur Shai Agassi of Better Place (pictured, left), and Microsoft’s sustainability guru Rob Bernard – plus groundbreaking vehicles on display, dozens of other great speakers and several high-level technical workshops – built a heady buzz and energized networking. Among the take-aways: U.S. national security is badly compromised by our dependence on foreign oil – we need to develop an even greater sense of urgency around breaking the habit. Electricity and the second-generation Read More ›

Seattle Region In Violation Of Clean Air Act

This just in, from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle is in violation of the Clean Air Act for the first time since the 1990s. Going over the legal limit for smog over the weekend means officials here will have to start hammering out a plan to improve air quality. That could feature a number of measures to put the brakes on pollution, including requiring reformulated, more expensive gasoline for the region. The final violation of the smog standard needed to push the Emerald City and the Puget Sound region into official violation of the act occurred Saturday afternoon, when a monitor at Enumclaw in south King County went over the official limit. It’s thanks to ozone emissions, which at ground level Read More ›

West Coast Mobility Solutions Key, Speakers Say

Last Thursday June 26, our Cascadia Center hosted the West Coast Tolling and Traffic Management Workshop at the Bell Harbor Conference Center on Seattle’s waterfront. Speakers came from up and down the West Coast, Washington, D.C. and London to share with a capacity crowd the latest developments in regional tolling policy, tolling and traffic management technology, and transportation public-private partnerships. First, our own quick-take on the event. Then some handy links to media coverage, and speaker PowerPoints. Discussion Highlights Democratic State Senator Ed Murray, a member of the legislative majority in Olympia and the ranking majority member of the Senate Transportation Committee, voiced strong support for public-private partnerships as one important tool to help fund the approximately $50 billion backlog Read More ›

Mobility 2.0 For Puget Sound

With the recent meltdown of the New York City cordon pricing plan, Puget Sound is moving to the forefront of innovative transportation planning — if our region can get its act together. The success of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, adoption by the Legislature with support from the Governor of a tolling policy for the State Route 520 floating bridge, and the pending State Route 167 HOT lane pilot project combine to fuel possibilities for a strategic pairing of HOT lanes and bus rapid transit in the 405 corridor; in reconfigured I-5 express lanes; and in other critical corridors. But to implement these and other roads and transit measures will take real money and a single point of accountability, namely a Read More ›

Plug-in Electric Vehicles Get A Charge

The U.S. transportation sector contributes more than any other to manmade greenhouse gas emissions which threaten the planet’s environment, while our nation’s dependence on foreign oil means – as former CIA Director James Woolsey so astutely puts it – that we are funding both sides of the war on terrorism. Some say the answer is to “get people out of their cars,” and certainly, the more who can be enticed to use public transit or telecommute, the better. I’m a regular Seattle bus rider, and telecommuter, myself. But cars are an uttter necessity for the majority of daily commuters, and indispensable for much discretionary personal transportation. That’s just not going to change. So, we can rail against cars and trucks. Read More ›