Google’s Vic Gundotra is leaving the company


Vic Gundotra & Bradley Horowitz of Google+
Vic Gundotra & Bradley Horowitz of Google+ (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

(by pio dal cin)

With these words Vic Gundotra announced his departure from Google.

“Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years,” wrote Gundotra in a post titled, “I’m also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many.”

Just a few hours ago Larry Page answered to Vic’s Post on G+ saying these words:

Vic — thank you for a tremendous almost eight years at Google.  You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great.  When I first used turn-by-turn navigation, it blew me away.  And, walking onto the stage at I/O last year, it was amazing to see developers so excited about Google.  These were vintage Vic projects.  Then you built Google+ from nothing.  There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion.  I really enjoy using Google+ on a daily basis, especially the auto awesome movies which I really love sharing with my family and friends.  Good luck with your next project after Google.  In the meantime we’ll continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.”

Read Vic’s Post on G+ and Larry Page’s answer here

Enhanced by Zemanta

G+ Bradley Horowitz Describes his Tesla Model S driving experience


Bradley Horowitz

7:24 PM (edited)  –  Public

Image representing Bradley Horowitz as depicte...
Image by Web 2.0 via CrunchBase
A Most Un-Peculiar Road Trip

A few weeks ago, we decided that we’d take advantage of the long weekend to drive down from the Bay Area to Los Angeles to see friends and family. The notion of driving down (v. flying) was made infinitely more appealing by the thought of taking our Tesla Model S.

In the intervening time, the +The New York Times +Elon Musk kerfuffle unfolded. I must say, it gave me a moment of pause about whether taking the Tesla was actually a good idea.

But I’ve already got more than 3000 miles on the car, and have learned to trust it.  So off we went.  And I started out by resetting the trip odometer, staying acutely aware of my energy consumption, etc.  But as the trip progressed (with another adult and two kids), we settled into the usual road trip rhythm of songs, games, and “Are we there yet?  How much longer?!”  It became clear that the fact that this was an electric car was a non-issue.  And so I stopped any notions of meticulous logging and just had fun and stayed present.  So this post is not in anyway intended as a rebuttal, filled with facts, figures, points and counterpoints.  Just one happy Model S owner’s experience, on one particularly well-supported route.

We trip was ordinary in the best possible sense. We had the air-conditioner going when it was hot (toward LA), the heater on when it was cold (back here), and we drove like we like to drive.  The car handled the steep grades on the path like a champ.  In fact the only thing missing was the roar of an engine struggling to make it up the hill.  😉

Per the attached map below, we stopped twice, breaking the trip into thirds.  This gave us an opportunity to eat, switch drivers, refresh… and of course recharge. In a gas-powered car, at least one of these stops would have been “optional” for me… maybe we’d have broken the trip into halves instead of thirds.  But we’d have still stopped to eat, and additionally I’d have definitely needed at least one bio-break and stand-and-stretch.  So in reality, there was a bit of a compromise.  For our second stop, what might have been a 15 minute pit-stop ended up being longer (by about 40 minutes.)  We put the time to good use, and it didn’t feel burdensome.

I heard a couple of NPR Marketplace correspondents last week describe this tradeoff well.  The first said (I paraphrase), “It’s not always appropriate to judge a new, disruptive technology against an incumbent across every dimension.  For instance, landlines almost never ‘drop calls.’  Cell phones do… a lot.  By that measure alone, you’d think that cell phones would fail.  But the added convenience of portability has trumped every other disadvantage.”  Another Marketplace reporter said (again paraphrasing), “I’m sure when gas-powered cars were first introduced some folks were dubious… since most of the oat-feeding stations in our national transportation network did not yet support gasoline pumps.  But that of course changed.”  😉

Here are some other random observations:
– One thing missing from the Supercharger stations – squeegees to clean the windshield of bugs! (+Tesla Motors help us out here!)
– This was my first experience using a Supercharger, and it’s pretty stunning how quickly it pours range back into the car.
– Lots of tumbleweeds blowing across I5.  Really big ones that folks had to brake for.
– Cost of travel for four to LA and back: $0 (thanks +Tesla Motors!) versus approx. $1000 for the flights we wanted.

Details:

Here’s a map of our route: http://goo.gl/maps/wpKpE

Palo Alto -> Harris Ranch Supercharger: 158mi
Harris Ranch Supercharger -> Tejon Ranch: 116mi
Tejon Ranch -> Koreatown (LA): 80mi

Total Distance: 354mi

Note that I actually passed a Supercharger in Gilroy, simply because I didn’t need it.  That was fun.  ;-)Collapse this post