random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries from March 7, 2010 - March 13, 2010


Whitman Visits UP Facility and Chaos Reigns

Yesterday, former eBay CEO and Republican governor candidate for California, Meg Whitman, toured the Union Pacific’s intermodal facility in Oakland, CA which resulted in a very odd, and perhaps, a very telling exchange between Meg Whitman and the press.

Watch the following two videos from the San Francisco Chronicle and you will see what I mean.

The first one is of Whitman’s spokesperson, Sarah Pompei, in a brief meeting with the press after Whitman’s tour of the facility had concluded, advising the press on what was going to happen next.  At this point the press was NOT allowed to accompany Whitman on the tour even though the press where invited to the event by Whitman’s campaign and, as seen in the video, they are not even going to get an opportunity to ask any questions of the candidate.


In the second video you can see the end of the “conference” between the Union Pacific managers and Whitman.  At this point the reporters try to ask questions of the candidate.  


If I were running for governor of California, I am confident that I would be in charge and know how and what decisions need to be made.  Especially in handling a press conference.  “How do want to handle this Sarah?” asks Whitman.  “I think we’re not going to take questions right now.”  Are you kidding me? 

Also, in the first video, you can see and hear Pompei clearly state, albeit in a stammering sort of way, that the reason that the press were not allowed to accompany Whitman on the tour was “UP did not want that to happen…”

According to reports, Aaron Hunt, a spokesperson for the Union Pacific, said “we planned, actually, to have press talk with Meg on the tour….we understood there would be media availability and we wanted to work with that.”  Clearly someone is not being truthful.  Since I have not seen video of the UP statement I placed a called to Aaron Hunt and I am awaiting his response.

Based on the compelling videos, I suspect that the UP is telling the truth.  Not a good way to launch your candidacy for governor to say the least, or ANY office for that matter.

I had hopes for Whitman, coming from the technology sector and all.  Meg Whitman is not very impressive at all and I even have lost respect for eBay!

Here is video from a post from CBS 5 in San Francisco for a more complete picture of the events:

Let me know your thoughts.


Green is Good - For the Environment and For Your Pocket!

Being the technology nut that I am, I have numerous older models of personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular telephones, laptop computers, and game consoles stored in the garage.  In part because I hate to throw out things that I might be able to re-use at some point, but also because of the disposal issues associated with electronic devices and their components, I have been resistant to getting rid of my “collection.”  Well, things are different these days.

The element of potential technological value has been greatly reduced due to the factors of Moore’s Law and the commoditization of devices such as computers, laptops, and cell phones.  It is so much cheaper to get a new one today rather than bring an older device up to snuff to be a productive component in almost any endeavour.

As for the disposal issue and its effect on the environment, a new breed of businesses have filled that gap.  Not only will these companies responsibly recycle your old devices, they will even give you fair market value for them.  One such company that I intend on trying out is Gazelle.

According to their website, Gazelle is the “nation’s largest reCommerce company.”  They provide a means to resell or recycle those old (to you) devices and put some money in your pocket as well.  Based on their demo video below, the process seems rather simple and good for everyone involved.

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