My major accomplishment this week (and I do think it's pretty major) was publishing a long update to my work with metal 3D printing. Thanks to my friends at Layerwise, 3D Systems, and EFBE for all their help in building & testing my titanium seatmast topper; I'm looking forward to developing it further (with some exciting design help from a few very talented friends) in the coming months.
- I was asked to visit Amazon this week, and spent some time beforehand writing up my thoughts on Amazon Business, their B2B ecommerce site, and how their consumer focus affects their current path.
- An old HBR article about how Japanese Keiretsu have changed over the recent decades. Oddly, the authors felt compelled to recommend that readers "Visit suppliers’ workplaces." If you're building stuff and *don't* do this, you're a moron.
- A good piece on the guy who owns .xyz, and the economics of owning a popular gTLD. Oh - I assume you know about that Google thing from this week, too.
- Tips for cutting threads in titanium alloys.
- Lignum vitae is a dense, oily wood grown in the Bahamas. This article (h/t Jordan) points out how it was used for shaft bearings in the first nuclear submarines, but I personally prefer its use in John Harrison's early marine chronometers, which were absolutely critical to the development of 18th century marine exploration.
- 96 million "shade balls" were dumped into the Van Norman reservior, near Los Angeles, in an effort to slow evaporation.
- Monsanto's Roundup Ready GMO seeds' patents expired, and the first generic GMOs are beginning to hit the market.
- A few people sent me this MTA video about the equipment used to manage train traffic today, and their ongoing efforts to upgrade it. It's really very good.
- Rolls Royce is sponsoring an effort to develop autonomous ships.
- There was a really massive explosion at a chemical storage facility in Tianjin, the fourth most populated city in China. Tianjin's port is the tenth largest in the world, and is about twice as big as the LA and Long Beach ports combined; the explosion will affect shipping there significantly.
- A great series of time lapse videos of the Tokyo Haneda airport.
- A good a16z post on how WeChat's domination in China was engineered, and how it affects Chinese mobile culture.
- Obama's new carbon regulations should speed up the transition to renewables. Interestingly, the Edison Electric Institute (whose constituents are investor owned utilities) is apparently supportive of the plan.
- Google Maps is rolling out a Timeline feature which allows you to look back at where you were at any time in the past.
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- Octopart is joining Altium - congrats to Sam & the rest of my friends there! My hope: they continue to work on integrating the product design & procurement worlds :)
- The Wikipedia page for pentagon tiling is surprisingly compelling.