It's come to my attention that spam filters are a thing, and that this email list might be getting caught by them. My understanding is that adding me (me!) to your address book might help, so here's a vCard. Use it responsibly.
Updates from me: I'm working on stuff. You'll hear more about it, eventually :)
- Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Lab are working with GE Global Research to simulate melt pool characteristics in metal 3D printed parts, and the results will be totally open. This week I spoke to the director of LLNL's Accelerated Certification of Additively Manufactured Metals Initiative, and I can confirm that the way they're approaching the industrialization of metal 3D printing is cool. Re: my own work on 3D printed metal parts, I find this *really* exciting.
- A pretty slick web-based tool for creating models of spur gears.
- The idea that freezing your eggs is an insurance plan for your fertility is dubious. And, wow: Only 2000 children have ever been born from frozen eggs.
- Zach and I visited The Public Radio's PCB assembly house, and he wrote up a report (with pictures!).
- Three new planes: The HondaJet, which has an over-the-wing engine design, was approved by the FAA and should be one of the quietest and most fuel efficient planes in its class. NASA's LEAPTech X-plane has tiny little wings and eighteen (!) electric motors. And AeroMobil claims it'll have a flying car by 2017.
- I *love* pumped hydroelectric storage. Basically, you take excess grid power capacity (because solar only collects during the day, and nuclear produces power at max capacity 24/7, etc.) and use it to pump water uphill into a reservoir. Then when you need additional power during peak consumption, you open up the dam and let the water flow back downhill, spinning hydroelectric turbines as it goes. My excuse for explaining this? Apparently *someone* isn't totally blinded by Musk/Panasonic's battery gigafactory and is thinking about using pumped hydro instead. To which I say, kudos.
- The European power grid (which relies heavily on solar power) totally survived the solar eclipse.
- When a luxury liner docks, the process of changing over passengers, waste, and supplies is highly coordinated.
- A really thorough NIST report on what it's actually like to own an EOS M280, the go-to metal 3D printer today.
- On the history and future of placebos. "By casting placebo as the villain in [randomized controlled trials], he ended up stigmatizing one of his most important discoveries. The fact that even dummy capsules can kick-start the body's recovery engine became a problem for drug developers to overcome, rather than a phenomenon that could guide doctors toward a better understanding of the healing process and how to drive it most effectively."
- A great takedown of Quirky's Wink smart home products, which I can attest perform embarrassingly poorly.
- A rather philosophical piece on the growing trend of skyscrapers (e.g. 432 Park Ave.) not having public observation decks.
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- This piece about how Unicode should prioritize non-Roman languages over emoji is very interesting. My gripe: the author uses "inaccurate" when he really means "imprecise," and the difference matters in context.
- HealthKit doesn't track menstrual cycles.
- This seems *really* unlikely but apparently IBM is thinking about porting the blockchain to traditional currencies.