Kinderfee’s online babysitting service scores funding

The Berlin startup hopes that a ‘big six figure’ funding round can help it provide a European take on the ‘Airbnb for childcare’ model. But will its emphasis on trust and personal screening mean success — or simply create scaling problems?

Telecommuting makes life worse for some working parents, study says

For stressed-out working parents, telecommuting seems like an intuitive solution to improving the juggle and reducing their time squeeze. But according to surprising research published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, telecommuting may actually make matters worse for some busy parents.

The truth about telecommuting and childcare

Even though research shows men value working from home as highly as women, the perception persists that telecommuting is of particular value for mothers. Why? Working from home is often cited as a way to cut down on childcare costs. Total myth, say experts.

It Takes a Village

One of the main reasons I became a web worker was so that I could be around when my son got home from school. But I can’t imagine what it would have been like to work from home when he was in preschool. Peanut butter, meet keyboard.

Mike Gunderloy just did a post in which he suggested working at a stand-up desk might be a reasonable way to keep your work out of the reach of children. He also did a great post last year, discussing how to manage having kids at home.

We all agree that, as web workers, we’re incredibly fortunate to be able to participate in the discovery years. But you also have to admit that sometimes it’s impossible to work with a toddler or preschooler around.

If you have children, they probably have a lot to do with your lifestyle choice, so I imagine you don’t want to send your tiny tot off to daycare every day. But to get serious work done, you sometimes need a few hours to a few days a week without kid distractions.

Read More about It Takes a Village

Coworking, Childcare, Cubes & Crayons

Cubes & CrayonsCoworking continues to evolve and mold to the increasingly blurred boundaries between domestic and professional life. An area often overlooked is that of childcare for remote workers and home workers.

I have colleagues and collaborators who, despite the fact they’re self-employed and work largely from a home office, still need to employ childcare. Some may see this as an unnecessary overhead, but it’s actually desperately needed in order to provide focus whilst working from home.

Enter Cubes & Crayons in Menlo Park, CA, self-described as ‘full-time childcare and office space’; think of it as coworking + creche! Cube & Crayons was profiled recently (along with New York’s TwoRooms) in a Springwise article exploring emerging trends in ‘More Work Spaces for Parents‘. Read More about Coworking, Childcare, Cubes & Crayons

What was my most-used gadget on the CES trip?

Monster_20outlets_20to_20go_20003The trip to Vegas was full of gear usage, running around exhaustedly and of course introspection as I always look back on trips like this and give a good thought to what gadgets I took with me.  Guess what my most-used gadget was?  No, it wasn’t the venerable HTC Advantage that let us live-blog from the show floor and no, it wasn’t the HP 2710p which let me do anything I needed to do no matter where I was, even encoding video on the run.  Nope, it was the one thing that stays in my travel bag no matter what else I switch out.  It is the Monster Outlets to Go power strip that I find incredibly useful to take on every single trip I take.  It is simply perfectly designed to do what I need for power.  Thanks Marc!  ‘Nuff said.

HTC Shift posing again as Cleo on FCC site

HtcshiftcdmaevdogsmhsdpaFolks waiting for the HTC Shift to appear have one less obstacle here in the U.S.; Unwired View reports that the naughty Cleo 200 has exposed itself on the FCC site. The Cleo 200 looks to be a CDMA / EV-DO version of the Shift, while an identical twin named Cleo 100 shows up as a GSM / HSDPA model.Warner asks the valid question: is it too little, too late for the HTC Shift? Before CES, I would have said yes based on a few simple facts. 800 x 480 displays are going away in favor of 1024 x 600 screens, the battery life on the Windows side isn’t quite up to snuff and we’ve got new Melow-based units around the corner. Now that I’ve seen what the next six to twelve months have to offer in terms of UMPCs (which doesn’t appear to be as much as we hoped), I think the window of opportunity is still cracked open for the HTC Shift. Not much, but it’s not closed just yet. Thoughts?(via Mobility Site)

Vid-Biz: BrightRoll, Quarterlife, Payne

BrightRoll Raises $5 Million; Series B round includes True Ventures and Adams Street Productions (full disclosure: True Ventures also funds the GigaOM network, which includes NewTeeVee). (PE Hub)

Quarterlife Unveiled at NY Screening; high-profile MySpace series called “watchable, and a whole lot better than most standard TV shows” by CNET reporter. (CNET)

Tyler Perry Goes Mobile; TBS produces ten original House of Payne mobisodes for Verizon. (MediaWeek)

Read More about Vid-Biz: BrightRoll, Quarterlife, Payne

Long Distance is Dead… this time we mean it

IXC or the inter exchange carriers like AT&T and Sprint have long known that long distance phone call business is going to die. AT&T realized it earlier, and decided to stop actively marketing it… why throw good money after bad… and Sprint realized a week or so ago. Sprint’s asset write down is going to be around $2.5 billion, a pittance compared to AT&T’s $11.4 billion dollar write down. Now MCI is saying well, this crap is costing too much and took a $3.5 billion write down. Total: $17.4 billion in assets, mostly long distance related….pooof! Anyway things are unraveling at MCI pretty fast. Cindy Anderotti, MCI’s president of enterprise sales, the business unit that brings in the big dollars and keeps this sucker from sinking into a deeper, darker hole, has left the company, and Seth D. Blumenfeld, who heads MCI’s international business, is retiring at the end of the year. Ouch! Who will buy this crap now!

VON Boston: Bring on the hype, bring on da noise

Jeff Pulver: By tonight most members of the VON team will be in Boston getting ready to produce what looks to be our largest VON Event, passing the numbers we experienced back at Spring 2000 VON.

In a day or so, the VON Boston 2004 is going to kick-off. Given the hype and noise around VoIP, the show is going to be heavily attended. Perhaps, that is a good enough reason for me not to go. I know the bloggers will talk up things which are important, and focus on some non-important issues. Over a decade to following the technology business, here is what I know: bigger the show, less there is to say. Anyway, the VoN madness reminds me of the throngs who showed up at Gilder’s Telecosm show during the telecom bubble. (Such a coincidence that Gilderfest and CTIA shows are the same week!)