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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Post I.T. {vbar}The Power of Telecommuting

Using electronic devices to telecommute saves enough energy to power 1 million U.S. households for a year, according to a study released by the Consumer Electronics Association.

The study, commissioned by the association and conducted by TIAX of Cambridge, Mass., found that "just one day of telecommuting saves the equivalent of up to 12 hours of an average household's electricity use."

The country has about 3.9 million telecommuters, who collectively save about 840 million gallons of gas and 14 million tons of carbon dioxide emission a year. That's equal to taking 2 million vehicles off the road, the study said.

A lot of technology companies and groups have been promoting the benefits of working remotely, such as relieving the strain on highways and electricity grids. Of course, telecommuting also means that workers would need more gadgets, higher-powered computers and speedy Internet access, which would all benefit technology companies.

Some corporations have embraced telecommuting, while others fear it could adversely affect employee productivity.

-- Kim Hart

Faster Forward {vbar}Woes of the Independent Musician

The Future of Music Coalition's annual policy summit is meant to give musicians -- as opposed to the recording industry at large -- a chance to mull over the state of the business.

Because life isn't always too kind to independent musicians, the conference, which was held at George Washington University, can be a bit of an airing of grievances, with two recurring themes: Nobody plays us, nobody pays us.

At one panel discussion, Rich Bengloff, president of the American Association of Independent Music, cited figures from the performance-rights organization SoundExchange: In 2006, 37 percent of the songs played on "nonterrestrial" radio -- essentially, satellite and Internet -- came from independent artists. On AM and FM, the figure was below 10 percent, Bengloff said.

-- Rob Pegoraro http://

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