The Battle for Online Privacy Has Shifted to the States–And That’s a Good Thing

Last week saw some troubling developments for online privacy. First off, the Senate passed legislation that would essentially allow large telecommunications companies to sell your personal data to highest bidder. If that wasn’t enough, Congress is now working on a joint Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from ever writing new privacy protection rules in the future.

It’s obvious now that the federal government isn’t going to do much in the way of standing up for your digital rights, and that shouldn’t be surprising. But It isn’t all bad…

As the New York Times documented earlier this week, State governments are stepping in to fill the void left by the feds. They’re introducing privacy legislation of their own, which is proving to be much more effective at protecting consumer data. Specifically, states like Illinois, Connecticut, and even California have started crafting bills that would:

  • Give consumers a “right to know” which companies are collecting their data, and what they’re looking at
  • Limit the use of location tracking for commercial purposes
  • Prevent the involuntary use of microphones and cameras on smart devices
  • Restrict government access to online communications like emails
  • Prohibit companies from spying on their employees’ social media accounts without permission

While this approach may seem like a piecemeal strategy for influencing policy on a large scale, consider what happened when California adopted stricter fuel standards than the rest of the country in 2010. Even though automotive manufacturers could have produced two sets of cars, one for the more lax federal standard and one to meet California’s new requirement, they instead chose just to meet California’s standard because it was cheaper than developing two different vehicles.

While this comparison isn’t totally analogous to the situation regarding online privacy standards (because software is cheaper to build than cars), it does provide the opportunity for moral leadership, and regulations that could be implemented in the state these companies are probably based in: California.

California could choose to adopt more stringent privacy standards and additional legislation like the bills mentioned above because: a) it’s the right thing to do, and b) many of these larger companies that are in the business of managing consumer data (Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, etc.) are located right here in Silicon Valley.

While this new legislation may not entirely thwart these and other companies’ attempts to capture and sell consumer data, it will certainly create some legal hurdles for them to do so, which would at least lead to greater transparency. And if the New York Times article was illustrative of anything, it’s that legal and political compliance costs maybe the single greatest motivator to default to the highest level of protection.

The New iPhone Update is Coming. Make Sure Your Data Is Safe

Apple will be introducing a brand new file system in its upcoming iOS version: iOS 10.3. It’s called the Apple File System, and it will replace the older, existing format that’s quickly approaching 30-years-old — that’s a dinosaur in tech years.

When this new update goes live, all of the files on your iPhone will need to be converted to this new format. That means if something goes wrong during the update you could lose a lot of your important data. There’s an easy way to prevent disaster: be sure to back your phone’s data up. The easiest way to do this is to follow these instructions on Apple’s support website.

After everything is properly updated and working, you’ll find a lot of positive things about this update aside from a few new bells and whistles (no more lost AirPods with the new “Find my AirPods” feature!) and minor aesthetic changes. Apple is claiming that this change in the way files are stored will also mean stronger encryption, and more secure files.

There’s also fantastic news for folks that are constantly seeing notifications telling you that you’re out of space: the new file system could also make your iPhone more efficient. Files on your phone should take up less space than they do on the current version. That means the update may free up large chunks of data on your phone, leaving you with more room for dog and cat pictures!

 

Fiber Internet is #notthatkindoffiber

@notthatkindoffiberInternet infrastructure can be boring, like broccoli. We get that, but it’s also tremendously important. Think of how much of your life is absolutely dependent on the internet. Having consistent, fast, and reliable access to the digital world is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. That’s where Santa Cruz Fiber comes in.

Given its utter indispensability, you would think more people would take the time to actually learn how it works, but nope. In fact, we’ve found that when we talk about “fiber”, most people think we’re talking about vegetables, or whole-wheat cereal or something. But what if I told you that you need a healthy diet of both types of fiber to be successful?

That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to start a new education campaign about the benefits of a good internet connection, and no, it’s not about vegetables. While a heaping dose of food-based fiber can help keep your insides healthy, our fiber is aimed at helping your business, your productivity, and your HD Netflix stream instead. So you can keep going to the farmer’s market to keep your doctor happy by eating artichokes and broccoli, but we’re not about that kind of fiber here. We just want to make your internet as fast and affordable as possible.

Fiber’s the way to do that, and Cruzio is building that fiber — we call it Santa Cruz Fiber.

Keep your eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where we’ll be making sure you know that Santa Cruz Fiber is #notthatkindoffiber.

Santa Cruz Fiber: Project Overview

With only a few weeks left before we begin working on our brand-new fiber infrastructure, we wanted to make sure you know exactly why Santa Cruz Fiber is as great as we say it is. Here’s what you can expect to see when Santa Cruz Fiber comes to your neighborhood in our project overview:

The Benefits

There’s a lot of hype about fiber optic internet. Is it really that much better?

The short answer? Yes. Fiber will make a huge difference for everyone in our community. Think back to the days when people went from radio to TV — or oil lamps to candles. It’s that much of a generational change in technology, and it will lead to further changes in the services we can all use and enjoy.

The difference fiber makes is capacity. Right now the “information highway” is clogged because it’s not big enough for all the data — movies, photos, music, games — to flow through. The result is predictable: high demand when there’s limited capacity leads to high prices and strained service.

Fiber increases the capacity of internet connections by a factor of at least ten (to even a hundred) right from the start.

And that’s just the first stage. With upgraded equipment, internet connections can be thousands or even millions of times faster, and surely will be in years to come.
While it’s a leap forward, fiber is not a new or risky technology. It’s tried and tested. Big corporations and institutions have had fiber connections for decades, and fiber is already used as the backbone of communications networks. But now home users are now demanding as much throughput as a whole office building did ten years ago!

In fact, the kind of fiber Santa Cruz Fiber is working with was initially developed for installation under the ocean, connecting the continents. Talk about built to last! You don’t want to have to go repairing something at the bottom of the ocean.

Another one of the main benefits of fiber is that it’s future-proof — we expect fiber laid today to last as long or longer than the copper network we’re still using, most of which was installed over half a century ago. Fiber is a great investment in your home or office building, and a fiber-to-every-home network is a great investment in our community.

The Project

Fiber internet is on its way to you.

Cruzio recognized that Santa Cruz needs better internet infrastructure many years ago. Remember the fiber cut of 2009? That, plus generally unreliable service and inadequate investment from existing infrastructure owners, gave us a sense of urgency for our big build — and for becoming independent of national corporate networks. Enter Santa Cruz Fiber.

Since then we’ve been hard at work. Cruzio has “lit” fiber in several spots in Santa Cruz County over the last several years, most notably at our headquarters in downtown Santa Cruz. Our building is a showcase for what 10 gigabits of fiber can do — just ask our coworkers! We expect to light up our first full neighborhood, covering most of downtown Santa Cruz, in the summer of 2017.

And we’re just getting started.

There have been some bumps along the road. Our first plan was to connect the entire City of Santa Cruz in a two-year construction timeline. That proved too ambitious, and we’ve found it better to do a phased build, which we will accelerate as as more people get excited and sign up. The participation of our community is vital to the network’s growth.
We’ve done our homework. Cruzio has been researching fiber optic construction for so long that we’ve met the best and most reliable specialists from around the country, and we’ve hired them to design our network and train our 100% local employees in how to run it. We’re going first class, built to last.

Our first neighborhood will provide low-cost (aiming for around $50/mo!), extremely high-speed internet to residents and businesses, and we need uptake to make it successful. For Cruzio’s part, we will build the network right. It will create a long-term competitive environment for an important utility that benefits homes and businesses. And for your part:

  • If you’re in the first fiber neighborhood, you can help us by being a customer.
  • You can help us even if you’re not in the first neighborhood, by following our progress, spreading the word and by subscribing to our other services while we work on expanding. (Note: fiber-to-the-home isn’t our only gigabit service! We have lots of excellent fiber-backed options available right now.
  • Get really involved — become a fiber champion! It’s a team of local citizens who are working to get this done. We have meetups, events and generally have a lot of fun while spreading the word.
  • And if you’re currently a customer, thanks! You’re already helping build the future of internet in Santa Cruz County and you’re first on our priority list as we grow.

After our first phase, our plan maps for moving ahead to up to half a dozen neighborhoods. As the first build begins to pay off, the surrounding neighborhoods will follow. The more popular we are, the faster our network will grow.

What’s Fiber Like?

3d rendering of an optic fiber cable

Fiber optic cables contain strands of pure spun glass that can be miles long. Data travels along the glass in the form of light, and amazingly the cable can be bent up to 90 degrees or wrapped around columns and still carry the light. Hundreds of these glass strands are bundled together and placed in flexible but environment-protective sheaths.
One thing we love about fiber optics is that it’s a benefit environmentally. Power usage is lower than with other technologies. Electromagnetism and heat are reduced. Crystal-clear telecommuting will reduce the number of people commuting by car.

On each end of the fiber, lasers send and transceivers read the light, converting it into data that computers can read and display.
Some differences between fiber optics and other infrastructure:

  • Attenuation and interference are less of an issue with fiber than with copper phone and cable lines.
  • Fiber doesn’t heat up when it’s in use, and isn’t a fire hazard.
  • Fiber doesn’t carry an electric charge, so it is much less dangerous than power lines if cut.
  • Fiber optic cables are each thinner than a human hair, so a cable supplying hundreds or thousands of buildings is far less of a disruption to install than common construction projects like water or sewer lines.

How It Gets to You

Ah, construction. How will it affect the neighborhood, and your home, apartment or office building?

Cruzio plans to install the first neighborhood’s cable almost completely underground. We expect to use a technique called “trenchless installation” which uses a directional drill to push conduit up to hundreds of feet underground from relatively small holes dug at intervals along a street. When needed, we may also string cable on utility poles. We don’t expect to be digging long trenches like water and power lines often do. We are working closely with the Department of Public Works of the City of Santa Cruz to minimize disturbance to streets or traffic. We live here, and we don’t want to inconvenience our neighbors!

From the fiber main lines in streets, like other utilities we will extend branches to each building along a street that wants service. Usually, for residences, a box measuring about 1’ by 18” by 5” deep will be attached to the side of the house closest to the cable run. The box is weatherproof. It should not be opened by anyone other than Cruzio staff, but it can be painted or decorated — like the phone and cable boxes most people have today.

Normally, we will make two visits to a house for the outside connection. The first will be to assess the best route from the street to the building, and the next to actually install the connection. Residents don’t need to be present for those visits, though we are always glad to see you.

After the outside box is placed on the house, our technicians will schedule a house call. This time, the resident will need to be present as we’ll do the required inside wiring for the main connection, hook up the router which will serve all the devices in the house, test the connection and give a brief introduction to how it all works.

You will love our technicians. They all live locally and they are a knowledgeable, experienced and friendly bunch. They also have one goal: to get you an internet connection that will last you a lifetime and be as trouble-free and enjoyable as possible.

Wanted: Santa Cruz Fiber Champions

 

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Do you have a passion for lightning-fast internet? Do you like the idea of watching your favorite YouTube videos in crystal clear HD? Or, how does getting that massive file to your coworkers in a matter of seconds instead of hours sound? If this has you saying: “Golly gee, how can I be a part of making this a reality for everyone in Santa Cruz?” Then we want your help!

We’re looking for enthusiastic internet lovers like yourself to become part of our Fiber Champions Team.  Santa Cruz Fiber is going to be building out our gigabit-fast fiber network block by block, and we need your help to spread the word.

Our next meeting of the Fiber Champions is happening this Tuesday (tomorrow) starting at 6pm at Cruzio’s building downtown (newcomers welcome!). We’ll have an overview of the project, followed by a discussion about how we can spread the word about this amazing service to as many people as possible. And, of course, there will be pizza and beer to sweeten the deal.

If you want to become a fiber champion, or even if you are just a little fiber-curious, please come join us! You can RSVP through our Facebook page so we know how much pizza and beer to bring. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Santa Cruz Fiber: The Top 10 Reasons Fiber Generates a Business ROI

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Here at Santa Cruz Fiber, we spend a lot of time talking to businesses about the importance of high-speed internet, and the return on investment (ROI) opportunities that they can expect should they switch to gigabit fiber. After all, for businesses it’s all about the bottom line right? Well if you want to save money and improve the quality of your products and services, here are the top 10 reasons to switch to a dedicated fiber connection. (Hint: Did we mention it’s faster, better and cheaper than anything else out there?)

1. It’s Wayyyyy Faster

How much faster? Try 10 – 100 times faster, at least. And no, you didn’t misplace the decimal point, It Is That Fast. Typically your standard cable connection is going to get you anywhere between 20 to 100 mbps (and that’s being really generous), while DSL gets you 10-25 mbps. Santa Cruz Fiber offers gigabit speeds (that’s 1000 Megabits) and is infinitely scalable from there…. How fast is that? Think of being able to download or upload an entire HD movie in one second.  Woah. It’s also cheaper, but we will talk more about that later.

2. Internet is Essential to the Modern Workplace

Two business colleagues shaking hands across the table in congratulations during a multiracial business meeting at a conference table in the office

It’s pretty much a given now that most white collar jobs (and even many blue collar jobs) have to make use of the internet to be effective. So why wouldn’t you want to maximize their productivity? Just kidding, of course you do.

According to a recent Pew Research Survey, roughly 94 percent of all working adults used the internet regularly as an essential part of their work. Furthermore, greater access to the internet has been found to be directly correlated to higher rates of productivity and the number of hours worked. Bottom line: Your Employees Need It, Therefore You Need It. We All Need It. Even these generic businesspeople in the stock photo above need it!

3. It’s More Secure

One of the lesser known benefits of fiber internet, while still being extremely important, is that Fiber is much more secure than either a Cable or DSL connection. Whereas cable lines have been shown to be capable of hijacking with ease by that one guy down the street with miraculously free television, Fiber can only be circumvented by physically cutting into the line itself. It also gives you the bandwidth for your other security needs, too: cameras and alerts that can stream to your home computer, so you know right away when an alarm is serious.

4. Fiber is More Reliable

Remember that time too many people in your neighborhood tried to watch Netflix at the same time? Or maybe even that one time your internet stopped working for, like, no reason? That just won’t happen with Fiber. Even if every person in your household tried to stream an HD movie on all of their devices simultaneously, you wouldn’t see a drop in performance. Many traditional telecommunications methods are literally dependent on which way the wind is blowing, as the most common type of interference is electromagnetic.

5. Flexibility, On All Fronts

One of the most important attributes of a modern company is its ability to adapt to new challenges and changing circumstances. Fiber provides that flexibility in ways you probably never thought possible. Is traffic to and from work killing company morale? Try telecommuting. Think your sales team needs to live near the manufacturing plant to review product specs? Think again. With fiber you can manage your entire company on the go, avoiding unnecessary office trips while staying on task in the comfort of your own home.

6. New Technology Assumes You Have The Internet to Handle It

This isn’t your grandfather’s workplace anymore. Now, your average worker spends a typical day navigating between word processing, spreadsheets, .pdfs, and video chat, all without closing their internet browser. Add onto this all of the cloud applications and digital storage you are probably using, and the extent of your reliance on light speed ones and zeros should be pretty apparent. And software is getting more dependent on fast internet every day — imagine how it’ll be a few years from now!

7. Symmetric Bandwidth!

First off what is it? It’s being able to download and upload things at the same speed. Why is this important? Well with Cable and DSL connections you can only upload things at a tenth of the speed of your downloads. So what happens if you need to send in an important presentation in advance of a meeting? Or maybe you need to send a large data file to a customer? Cue that Jeopardy music… If you had fiber, you could have uploaded that file 10 times over by the time you finished reading this sentence.

8. It’s Cheaper

While we mentioned this a bit earlier in the article, it’s worth mentioning again how much cheaper Fiber is per unit of bandwidth than Cable or DSL. While a dedicated Gigabit per second of Fiber and your standard business cable option are going to be around the same price (~$100/month), the fiber is at minimum 10 times faster, and comes with infinite scalability (no further installation required). You buy it once, and forget about it. There is no penalty for cancellation. You don’t have to buy a new cable box every year. And we won’t reroute you to Bangladesh to save money on customer service. More time = less money spent.

9. Happier Employees

While this may not seem like the most direct benefit of a fiber connection, it certainly matters to your bottom line. Employees with greater internet access are more productive, and are statistically more likely to be in a better mood in the office. It’s not just about avoiding the dreaded “buffering” message when looking at cat videos. It’s about a seamless work environment where employees can maintain their focus and feel empowered in their jobs. The real bottom line: happy employees means more productivity, which means it’s really you who is the happy one.

10. Happy Customers

This one should be pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you forgot who makes the world go ‘round: it’s your customers. And boy are they something more than sophisticated, and certainly an impatient bunch.

Customers expect “it” (whatever it is you sell or provide), to work perfectly. All the time, every time. The second your website doesn’t respond to a mouse click, or you have to explain that you’re experiencing “technical difficulties” with a shoulder shrug, is the exact moment you begin to lose legitimacy. The customer is always right for a reason, and that reason is they don’t have to be your customer.

The bottom line: Make the investment. Get Fiber. Get Customers. It’s that simple.

2016 At Cruzio: Fiber, Fire, and Faster Internet

2016 has been a wild ride for us here at Cruzio Internet. It’s been a year of growth and action for us, as we expanded our network to be better than it’s ever been before, and prepared ourselves for one of our most important projects yet. Now that the year is almost over, we wanted to give all of you a look back at the last 12 months at Cruzio, and peek at what lies ahead for 2017.

We announced the beginnings of the Santa Cruz Fiber project

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Probably the biggest project on everyone’s minds here is the grand step we’re taking to bring the future of internet to Santa Cruz County: Santa Cruz Fiber. Early this year, we announced the beginning of the project, with the goal of providing affordable, next generation broadband to every home and business in the city of Santa Cruz.

Over the course of the year, we’ve teamed up with a number of different organizations to take the bold step towards a “fiber future” early next year. We announced that the first part of the project will be bringing gigabit speeds to around 1000 homes and businesses in Downtown Santa Cruz, then expanding outward from there. And if YOU want to be a part of bringing gigabit internet to Santa Cruz, you can fill out our survey here!

We made our growing network bigger than ever

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It’s been a year of expansion and exciting firsts for our hybrid fiber-wireless broadband network. In July, we launched the first commercially-available gigabit service in Santa Cruz. At 1000 Megabits per second, that’s way, way faster than anything else available! “This has been our goal for the last few years,” said Cruzio’s Director of Technology & Infrastructure, Chris Frost. “We’ve been rapidly deploying the latest in new technology and have been able to get speeds up to this benchmark level quicker than even I hoped.”

A couple of months earlier, in partnership with Siklu and the City of Santa Cruz, we were able to upgrade 15 buildings to gigabit speeds. The Tannery, Loudon Nelson, the Civic Center, City Hall and the Riverwalk Apartments are all among the buildings that  have the fastest internet in Santa Cruz. Along the way, we’ve also added dozens of great local businesses to our network, including Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Somagenics, Fullpower Technologies, and the Watsonville Film Festival.

We got a new sign!

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Cruzio’s HQ at the old Sentinel Building has been a downtown landmark for years of course. But in September, we became even easier to find with the addition of our shiny, beautiful new silver sign. You may have seen it if you’ve taken a stroll along Cedar Street.

Our Business Broadband service turned out to be faster than we thought

Thanks to your excellent field technician, Parker Alwardt, who created the graph

Thanks to your excellent field technician, Parker Alwardt, who created the graph

When describing our Business Broadband service earlier this year, we underestimated our own capabilities. We described the service as getting “up to 30 megabits per second” in speed. As it turns out, and as you can see in the graph above, most users are actually getting 50 megabits or more…with a good number getting as much as 90! As we look toward our fiber future, it’s worth remembering that fiber already exists in Santa Cruz through our various other products, including our hybrid wireless-fiber network. We’re already using fiber technology to bring in excellent speeds like these to people throughout Santa Cruz County. Fill out an inquiry here to find out if you’re eligible.

We Fought to Stay Connected during the Loma Fire

An eagle watches over the Loma Fire.

An eagle watches over the Loma Fire.

On September 26th, disaster struck in the Santa Cruz mountains. As firefighters scrambled to get the Loma Fire under control, back here at Cruzio we were also nervously watching the blaze. At first, we looked on as anyone else would; worrying about the people, pets and animals who might be affected. But as hours passed, the wildfire started approaching an important facility at the top of Loma Prieta where we’ve spent years building infrastructure.

View of the Loma Fire from Cruzio's security cameras, 8:36PM

View of the Loma Fire from Cruzio’s security cameras, 8:36PM

What followed was a saga of late nights, early mornings, and close calls as our excellent technicians worked to keep the power for our equipment on, so they could make sure as few people as possible would see issues with their service. We didn’t completely avoid an outage, but the number of people affected was small and the effect was brief. The real heroes were the firefighters who worked around the clock for weeks at a time to stop the fire, and keep the damage at a minimum. If you want to read about the full saga of Cruzio and the Loma Fire, you can read our comprehensive breakdown (and see more of the incredible pictures from the scene of the fire) right here.

Loma Fire road block September 27th

Loma Fire road block September 27th

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We welcomed a big new team member

Our new bucket truck "Number 88"

Our Director of Technology, Chris Frost, takes the bucket truck for a ride

Getting up to the top of tall buildings can be a difficult process for our field operations team So, last month we welcomed the newest member of our team: the Cruzio Bucket Truck — otherwise known as Number 88. So if you’ve got a very tall building, expect to see our new truck working hard with our team to make sure you have the fastest possible internet.

We held our 6th annual Open House Extravaganza

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As we’ve done every year for the past 5 years, we welcomed thousands of people to our coworking and technology hub to come party with us at Open House Extravaganza 6.0. Our works members showed off their passions and projects, as the Santa Cruz community walked in to drink free beer from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, eat fantastic food from the Ate3One food truck, and listen to great music from Full Moon Rooster (featuring Cruzio’s own Field Operations Lead, Ariel Carter.) The real stars of the event, however, were our Cruzioworks members, who did a fantastic job showing off the projects they’re doing in our coworking space everyday.

Full Moon Rooster played bluegrass tunes all night long

Full Moon Rooster played bluegrass tunes all night long

Sales and Marketing Associate Brian is ready to enjoy a delicious Philly Cheesesteak at the Ate3One Food Truck.

Sales and Marketing Associate Brian is ready to enjoy a delicious Philly Cheesesteak at the Ate3One Food Truck.

And we’re looking forward to 2017

As we look ahead to 2017, there are even bigger changes coming to both Cruzio, and the Santa Cruz community. Early next year, we will launch our Santa Cruz Fiber initiative in earnest, with the goal of bringing gigabit fiber internet to all of Santa Cruz County. We will begin construction soon. So as we take a look back at everything we’ve done in 2016, we’re looking forward to making 2017 the best year yet!
Happy Holidays, and a Fantastic New Year to you from: Chris, Peggy, Mark, Paul, James, another Chris, Sandi, Ralph, Colin, Adia, Jesus, Alison, Dan, Morgan, Ariel, Justin, Andrew, David, another David, Alex, Brooke, Parker, Ani, Max, Josephine, Iasha, Josh, Laurie, Robert, Alana and Brian;

our fantastic interns & apprentices: Cameron, Rafferty,

and Jake, Annika & Carly (the grown “kids”)

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In Memoriam: Doug Ross

Our coworker and friend Doug Ross passed away last week. He was a member of the Cruzio community for many years, and being forced to speak of him in the past tense is hard.

Doug at his marine mammal rescue post

Doug at his marine mammal rescue post

Doug was a big man: strong, tall, enormously talented; generous, with a great big heart. He enriched what he touched and improved what he joined.

How to describe all that Doug did for us and for the world?

His art. We know his print-making best, but Doug could work in so many media. He once brought a beautiful Calder-esque wire horse sculpture to our workspace. He’d made it by twisting some wires together. Doug pivoted from commercial art to fine art several years ago, and we’re grateful for the freedom that gave him. His art is unique, memorable, and very recognizable.

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Doug at Cruzioworks

Doug at Cruzioworks

His participation. At our coworking “Bounce Hour” get-togethers, Doug explained how he approached art, shared his Toastmaster training,and even organized an evening of sketching for our community. He led a chapter of Toastmasters. He was a beloved longtime member and leader, well known to other coworkers for his warmth and willingness to help.

His care for marine mammals. How many of us look out at the big ocean, full of wild creatures, and think, “I can help with that.” But perhaps the animal world has the most to thank Doug for. He regularly saved stranded sea lions and whales caught in garbage and debris. From time to time he’d get a call at work and he’d rush out to the beach or the bay to help a distressed animal. Doug’s strength, smarts and skill came in handy for cold water rescue operations, and he was summoned for the most difficult jobs.

His mad-scientist passion for solving problems. Doug invented equipment that will improve the process of untangling whales from debris.

Chris Neklason, Cruzio’s CEO, said

“A Venn diagram is a chart of intersecting circles. Each circle could indicate a talent or an interest. A Venn diagram of Doug would be an infinitely petaled flower with a blazing core.”

Most of all, we’ll miss seeing Doug walk toward us, coffee cup in hand, wryly smiling, saying hello. Any community is only as great as its participants make it. We all depended on Doug for his leadership and we will miss him terribly. Much love to his family.

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The End of the World As We Know It?

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One of the biggest perks of the Cruzioworks Community is our always-enlightening Bounce Hour.

Every Thursday at 10:30am, Cruzioworks members and their guests are invited to join us for engaging conversations ranging from political discussions led by numerous city council candidates, to simulations that show the factors that could lead to the end of civilization as we know it. Plus, there’s free snacks and coffee for everyone that shows up.

Today, we wanted to give you a sneak peak into exactly what you can expect from Bounce Hour if you decide to become a member yourself. Yesterday, Cruzioworks member Alex Lamb gave us an in-depth, and often darkly hilarious look into how data modeling can help us predict the future of the human race. Take a look:

Alex spoke about how he uses data to predict human behavior and explain how society as a whole makes decisions. He showed jaw-dropping models demonstrating everything from the dangers of using social media as news, to how commerce, white collar crime, and global unification can actually lead to modern civilization’s demise. But, throughout the whole discussion, he maintained hope for the future of the human race and discussed how we can avoid disaster moving forward.

Bounce Hours are only one of the many benefits to becoming a member of the Cruzioworks coworking community. As a 24/7 Member, you can also enjoy full around-the-clock access to our state-of the-art coworking hub. There, you’ll have access to our lightning-fast gigabit-speed fiber internet, well-appointed meeting rooms, and our on-site organic cafe — All starting at $179 a month. And if you only need to work normal business hours, we also have 9-5 memberships for just $129 a month.

Enjoy enlightening Bounce Hour discussions like Alex’s and the other Cruzioworks perks by signing up for a membership!

Cruzio’s Open House Extravaganza 6.0: A Resounding Success

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Last Friday, thousands of excited people partied with us in our coworking and technology hub at this year’s Cruzio Open House Extravaganza 6.0. Community members sipped complimentary beverages, danced to fantastic tunes and enjoyed delicious food as they admired the wonderful work our Cruzioworks members do every day. Let’s take a quick tour:

Cruzio's own Ani Zickuhr's animated depictions of cats lined the walls.

Cruzio’s own Ani Zickuhr’s animated depictions of cats lined the walls.

Cruzio welcomed art enthusiasts, as visitors browsed pieces by local artists Doug Ross, Verna Knapp and Cruzio’s own Marketing Associate, Ani Zickuhr. Ani’s pride and joy, her adorably animated depictions of cats, lit up the entry wall, welcoming our guests into the party.

Through the door into our atrium, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and our fantastic Cruzio volunteers were pouring up delicious free local brews and wine for all of our beloved community members.  Their India Pale Ale was particularly tasty, and very popular with everyone who had a sip.

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Community members gather to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of the OHE

From there, guests walked into the Cruzioworks main event space, where our works members showed off their passions, projects and professions. Visitors could hear from city council candidate Robert Singleton, get advice from co-active life coach Karen Gray, and learn about the potential future of a light rail in Santa Cruz county from Colin Young, Tom Padula and Autumn Cardone–all of whom are Cruzioworks members.

And of course, we were on hand to talk about fiber internet in Santa Cruz, and how all of us can take part in bringing the future of internet into their communities. (hint: the survey here is a good place to start!)

Lisa and Alana educate visitors on the benefits of fiber internet at the Cruzio booth

Lisa and Alana educate visitors on the benefits of fiber internet at the Cruzio booth

When hunger struck, guests could head out back. There, the Ate3One food truck, coordinated by local and wildly popular food truck company Food Trucks-a-Go-Go, was serving up delicious meals like Philly Cheesesteaks, Naughty Fries, and Garlic Shrimp tacos.

Brian is ready to enjoy a delicious Philly Cheesesteak at the Ate3One Food Truck.

Brian is ready to enjoy a delicious Philly Cheesesteak at the Ate3One Food Truck.

Throughout the evening, everyone in the building was enjoying the smooth sounds of the always fantastic bluegrass band Full Moon Rooster. And in the band was Cruzio Team Member, and Field Operations Lead (we all like to have a wide array of abilities here at the office!), Ariel Carter showing off her wonderful talent.

Full Moon Rooster played bluegrass tunes all night long

Full Moon Rooster played bluegrass tunes all night long

The event was a spectacularly fun evening. As everyone shuffled out the door, their laughs echoed through the halls. Another fantastic OHE gone by.

The Cruzio crew celebrates a successful night.

The Cruzio crew celebrates a successful night.

One last thing: we want to give a tremendous thank you to Alana, Brian, Ani, Andrew, Robert, Natalie and Shannon. They’re the Cruzio staffers who worked hard all night, and helped to make this event a reality. That’s the crew from left to right in the picture above.

Not pictured above is Andrew’s mom Lisa, who was instrumental in helping us with everything from cleanup to running booths. Thank you Lisa!

And a special shout-out to Andrew, who’s hard work and determination was integral in making this event happen. Without his blood, sweat and tears, the OHE wouldn’t have been half the event we all enjoyed.

Andrew makes his eloquent speech at the end of the night.

Andrew makes his eloquent speech at the end of the night.

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Cruzio staffers Colin, Alex, Dave and Ali take kick back and enjoy the night

Cruzio staffers Colin, Alex, Dave and Ali kick back and enjoy the night