Dusty Baker always had great power, now his ambitious start-up is creating it

Dusty Baker played for four teams in his 19-year major league baseball career. He managed four others.

He was drafted, traded, signed as a free agent, granted free agency, hired and fired. In times of upheaval, he learned to follow the sun.

These days that pursuit is both figurative and literal.

Baker, who finished his playing career with the A’s, and who has served the Giants as a player, coach, manager and advisor, runs his own team now.

The Baker Energy Team — call them the Boys of Solar — is bringing renewable energy to a wide range of consumers.

According to a Bloomberg profile of Baker and his business, he got into solar after being fired by the Reds and before being hired by the Nationals. A chance encounter with an investment banker after being fired by the Nationals gave him entrees to networking and opportunity.

“There were no minorities,” he told Bloomberg. “Very few women. This (was) an opening for me.”

It isn’t as if Baker was lacking for interests. He makes wine on his 4.75-acre home outside Sacramento, and the Giants hired him last season in an advisory role. “That’s definitely something I learned about losing these (managerial) jobs,” he said. “You still got to live.”

The solar business, based outside Sacramento, is working on “large projects for historically black universities, cannabis-growing operations, tribal reservations and commercial businesses,” Bloomberg reported. Baker has expanded his line of products to include microgrids, battery and electric-vehicle charging stations.

While managing the Giants, Baker always seemed to have keen insight and personal knowledge of whatever the discussion du jour happened to be. He was a touchstone, ridiculously well-rounded. And that was 25 years ago.

“My best life might have been when I was playing,” Baker told Bloomberg. “But this is close.”

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Esquire gives Elon Musk a ‘dubious’ year-end honor

It’s that time of the year when certain “Person of the Year” awards are given out. Sports Illustrated, for example, on Monday named the NBA champion Golden State Warriors as its Sportsperson (or, should it be Sportspersons?) of the Year.

And early Tuesday, Time magazine bestowed its Person of the Year honor upon Guardians on the War on Truth — four reporters and the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

Then there is Esquire magazine, one of the pre-eminent magazines published in America today, and its Dubious Achievement Awards, a humorous look at some of the events and people who played a role in making the last year what it was — for better or worse. And no Dubious Achievement Award is more, well, dubious, than that of Esquire’s Dubious Person of the Year.

And this year, the winner of that accolade is: Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk!

Esquire was long in its, well, “praise” might not be the best word to describe why Musk is this year’s “winner.” But few could argue with Esquire’s justification for giving Musk its highest accolade.

Among the reasons Esquire said it chose Musk for the award are:

Shooting a car into outer space for no discernible reason.
Announcing via Twitter that he was planning to take Tesla private for $420 a share. (Get it?)
Composing said tweet on acid, according to Azaelia Banks.
Being fined $20 million by the SEC for said tweet.
Describing his own mind as a “never-ending explosion” while high as a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Esquire had other reasons for giving Musk the award, saying, “Yay, Elon! He earned it!”

Esquire also posted the text of Musk’s “acceptance speech” for the award. While Musk didn’t deliver the speech for real, it was …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Google CEO Sundar Pichai is, for the millionth time, streaming live

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Sundar Pichai is the man of the hour.

The Google CEO’s live testimony before the House Judiciary Committee is live-streaming everywhere you turn, a video wallpaper from one end of America to the other.

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As he fields in-your-face questions from the panel about complicated ethical dilemmas and raging controversy over the privacy rights of Google users, Pichai’s face is, at least for today, the face of the nation’s growing discomfort over tech companies’ use, and perhaps abuse, of Americans’ personal data.

But this is hardly Pichai’s first visit to the live-stream rodeo: The Google executive has a long and illustrious YouTube résumé. Here are just a few examples of past performances of the man on everyone’s screen this morning:

A look at Pichai’s house, lifestyle, college training and more …

A look at Pichai explaining how Google’s AI technology can get you a haircut appointment …

A look at Pichai dropping by his alma mater for a chat …

A look at how many smartphones Pichai has in his home …

A look at Pichai and the pitfalls of speaking Tamil …

A look at Pichai’s keynote address last year at Google’s annual developers conference, I/O …

A look at Pichai giving an inspirational speech …

A look at Pichai telling students to take risks in life …

A look at Pichai’s 2004 job interview at Google …

A look at Pichai speaking alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex …

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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