Greetings from Oxford, England.

Tuesday, 7/12/10
I took the train from London to Oxford this morning. Fast, smooth and quiet, quite unlike BART and CalTrain back in my home town. The trip is just 60 minutes, with a few stops, and costs between £19 and £24 ($30-$36), one-way, depending upon time of day.

Tomorrow is the first official day of TEDtalks, but registration starts today, and we enjoy a program of short presentations called “TED University” starting this afternoon at 4pm. Yours truly presented at TEDU in Monterey three years ago. My presentation was “Bottles to Bags: How your discarded beverage bottles became your TED bag”. That was TED 2008, where we launched our first Rickshaw product, the Commuter bag, featuring Steelcase/Designtex fabric made from 100-percent recycled polyester from post-consumer beverage bottles.

Thus began our tradition of designing and making the TED gift bags, which we have done for each TED conference since, including: TED 2009, TED Global 2009, TED India 2009, TED 2010 ( yes, we made the canvas artist tote), and now TED Global 2010. We are truly honored to participate in this way, and thankful to the folks at TED for their ongoing encouragement.

As TED is a forum for new ideas and innovations, we do something new for each TED conference. For this event we designed a special fabric called Rickshaw Performance Tweed ™. Our very own custom fabric, designed by us, and woven exclusively for us in the USA. Inspired by the famous woolen textiles of Scotland and Ireland, featuring the classic Herringbone pattern favored by British royalty, sportsmen and a famous Scotland Yard detective — refashioned for modern mobility in upholstery-grade, 100-percent recycled polyester, with a high-tech, eco-friendly, stain-resistant coating, and woven in twelve dashing colors. Using this fabric, we made a special edition version of our medium Zero messenger bag, just for this occasion.

That’s all for now.

Cheers!

-Mark

P.S. I’m traveling with just my iPhone (3GS, not 4) and iPad — no laptop computer. So far so good with the iPad. I’ve been able to do everything I need to do, since we do email, scheduling and accounting via web-based applications. I’m trying the iPad application called “Pages” for word processing. The only limitation I’ve yet encountered is the inability to transfer photos from my Casio camera, which I tend to prefer to my iPhone camera. I love the portability of the iPad, and I’m getting used to the on-screen keyboard (I’m a two-finger typist anyway). Give me a USB port and I’ll never need a laptop computer again. Hallelujah!

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